One quiet day when her mother was away from home, Carmen Bugan’s father put on his best suit and drove into Bucharest to stage a one-man protest against Ceauşescu. He had been typing pamphlets on an illegal typewriter and burying it in the garden each morning under his daughter’s bedroom window. This is the story of what happened to Carmen and her family, isolated and under surveillance in their beloved village home. It is an intimate piece of our recent history, the testimony of an extraordinary childhood left abruptly behind. Above all, it is a luminous, compassionate, and unflinchingly honest book about the price of courage, the pain of exile, and the power of memory.
Ian Cobain has been a journalist since the early 1980s. He is a senior reporter on the Guardian. His inquiries into the UK’s involvement in torture since 9/11 have won a number of major awards, including the Martha Gellhorn Prize and the Paul Foot Award for investigative journalism. He has also won several Amnesty International media awards. His first book, Cruel Britannia was released last year.
RAF helicopter death revelation leads to secret Iraq detention camp
How secret renditions shed light on MI6’s licence to kill and torture
Rendition ordeal that raises new questions about secret trials
Army ‘waterboarding victim’ who spent 17 years in jail is cleared of murder
Northern Ireland loyalist shootings: one night of carnage, 18 years of silence
It is often the smallest details of daily life that tell us the most. And so it is under occupation in Palestine. What most of us take for granted has to be carefully thought about and planned for: When will the post be allowed to get through? Will there be enough water for the bath tonight? How shall I get rid of the rubbish collecting outside? How much time should I allow for the journey to visit my cousin, going through checkpoints? And big questions too: Is working with left-wing Israelis collaborating or not? What affect will the Arab Spring have on the future of Palestine? What can anyone do to bring about change? Are any of life’s pleasures untouched by politics?
Taken from Profile Books
Daniel Finkelstein is a weekly columnist and Chief Leader Writer of The Times. Before joining the paper in 2001, he was adviser to both Prime Minister John Major and Conservative leader William Hague. Daniel was named Political Commentator of the Year at the Editorial Intelligence Comment Awards 2011.
Taken from The Times
From leadership seminars in fancy hotels to medieval figures walking from town to town looking for work in small town factories; from the naïve waitresses working in the mecca of five star hotels to farmers struggling to grow the right crops for the 21st century, Siddhartha Deb’s book is the riveting, moving, darkly comic, brilliantly told story of modern India.
With the novelist’s vision, reminiscent of V.S. Naipaul’s An Area of Darkness, combined with the modern narrative force of Maximum City, Deb’s account paints a portrait of this country in turmoil through the story of its people: aspiring and deluded, desperate and hopeful, beautiful and damned.
Taken from Penguin Books
A girl. Noisy, sweary, political, very ranty. Geek mixed with a touch of law. No-longer-practising barrister.
Taken from Twitter profile
Everything you read in here is true.
In Manchester, Anders Svensson is on the trail of drug baron Merlin and his lieutenant Flow, a man so dangerous his type is said to appear only once in a decade.
In Glasgow, faced with the highest murder rate in Europe, Karyn McCluskey is a one-woman mission to end gang warfare.
In London, Pilgrim finds he’s no longer feared. Troll, the child soldier, is terrorizing the streets.
This is our hidden urban underworld.
Untold, until now.
Edward Docx writes for The Times, The Telegraph, The Washington Post, The Observer, Vogue and The Independent. His most recent journalism appears in The Guardian and Prospect Magazine. He has also published a number of books including The Calligrapher and Pravda. He is based in London.
Taken from Edward Docx’ website
Postmodernism is dead
I am Lisa Ansell. This blog is my thoughts. I have accepted it is unlikely that the next year is going to throw up a political solution to the global crisis the news is pretending we aren’t in. In the absence of a credible economic alternative, I am seeking my own. So while I attempt to defy the economy, I shall keep this. My perspective. Probably not yours, which is rather the point. I never understood how one perspective was ever expected to see anything in the round. I can pretty much guarantee that I can’t change reality to match your current political or ideological requirements. I apologise in advance. I am often wrong, I mostly write in a hurry and edit sporadically. The only line I take is my own, and it changes as I learn. And lets face it, there is little to do but learn at this point in time.
Taken from Lisa’s new blog – Defy the Economy
London-based journalist writing features and news for print and web. Recently completed a Winston Churchill Travel Fellowship reporting on immigration and asylum in Greece, Italy, Spain, France and the UK. Prior to that worked for the Washington Post’s London bureau chief as editorial assistant/special correspondent. Cut my teeth as news editor for the Partnerships Bulletin, a trade magazine all about PFIs and project finance. Before this, won a Guardian Scott Trust bursary to study print journalism at Sheffield University.
I am a poet, critic, conversationalist, personal shopper, siren, and housemaid to the gods – at least they think they’re gods. So it said when this blog first opened in 2006. The little gods have grown up and are – as used to be said – beginning the world; the guinea pig died long ago, and I’m frankly too tired to be much of a siren; and yet Baroque in Hackney has a life of its own.
Taken from Baroque in Hackney
The benefits of living in a digital, globalised society are enormous; so too are the dangers. The world has become a law enforcer’s nightmare and every criminal’s dream. We bank online, shop online, date, learn, work and live online. But have the institutions that keep us safe on the streets learned to protect us in the burgeoning digital world? Have we become complacent about our personal security – sharing our thoughts, beliefs and the details of our daily lives with anyone who cares to relieve us of them? In this fascinating and compelling book, Misha Glenny, author of the international bestseller McMafia, explores the three fundamental threats facing us in the 21st century: cyber crime, cyber warfare and cyber industrial espionage. Governments and the private sector are losing billions of dollars each year, fighting an ever-morphing, often invisible, often super-smart new breed of criminal: the hacker.* Glenny has travelled and trawled the world. And by exploring the rise and fall of the criminal website, DarkMarket, he has uncovered the most vivid, alarming and illuminating stories. Whether JiLsi or Matrix, Iceman, Master Splynter or Lord Cyric; whether Detective Sergeant Chris Dawson in Scunthorpe or Agent Keith Mularski in Pittsburgh, Glenny has tracked down and interviewed all the players – the criminals, the geeks, the police, the security experts and the victims – and he places everyone and everything in a rich brew of politics, economics and history. The result is simply unputdownable. DarkMarket is authoritative and completely engrossing. It’s a must-read for everyone who uses a computer: the essential crime book for our times.
Taken from Bodley Head
David James Smith writes for the Sunday Times Magazine for whom he has travelled around the world writing cover stories, investigative articles, reportage and profiles. He has also published a number of books, including ‘The Sleep of Reason’ (his definitive account of the James Bulger case), ‘One Morning in Sarajevo; and ‘Young Mandela’.
Taken from David James Smith’s website
Life in a broken bureaucracy with a bendy and borked body.
Taken from Benefit Scrounging Scum
Lucie Blackman – tall, blonde, and twenty-one years old – stepped out into the vastness of Tokyo in the summer of 2000, and disappeared forever. The following winter, her dismembered remains were found buried in a seaside cave.
The seven months in between had seen a massive search for the missing girl, involving Japanese policemen, British private detectives, Australian dowsers and Lucie’s desperate, but bitterly divided, parents. As the case unfolded, it drew the attention of prime ministers and sado-masochists, ambassadors and con-men, and reporters from across the world. Had Lucie been abducted by a religious cult, or snatched by human traffickers? Who was the mysterious man she had gone to meet? And what did her work, as a ‘hostess’ in the notorious Roppongi district of Tokyo, really involve?
Richard Lloyd Parry, an award-winning foreign correspondent, has followed the case since Lucie’s disappearance. Over the course of a decade, he has travelled to four continents to interview those caught up in the story, fought off a legal attack in the Japanese courts, and worked undercover as a barman in a Roppongi strip club. He has talked exhaustively to Lucie’s friends and family and won unique access to the Japanese detectives who investigated the case. And he has delved into the mind and background of the man accused of the crime – Joji Obara, described by the judge as ‘unprecedented and extremely evil’.
With the finesse of a novelist, he reveals the astonishing truth about Lucie and her fate.People Who Eat Darkness is, by turns, a non-fiction thriller, a courtroom drama and the biography of both a victim and a killer. It is the story of a young woman who fell prey to unspeakabale evil, and of a loving family torn apart by grief. And it is a fascinating insight into one of the world’s most baffling and mysterious societies, a light shone into dark corners of Japan that the rest of the world has never glimpsed before.
Taken from Random House Group
Paul Lewis is Special Projects Editor for The Guardian. He was named Reporter of the Year at the British Press Awards 2010 and won the 2009 Bevins Prize for outstanding investigative journalism. He previously worked at the Washington Post as the Stern Fellow.
Taken from The Guardian
‘On the outside, [the foreigners] seem intractable, but inside they are cowardly. . . Although there have been a few ups-and-downs, the situation as a whole is under control.’
In October 1839, a few months after the Chinese Imperial Commissioner, Lin Zexu, dispatched these confident words to his emperor, a cabinet meeting in Windsor voted to fight Britain’s first Opium War (1839-42) with China. The conflict turned out to be rich in tragicomedy: in bureaucratic fumblings, military missteps, political opportunism and collaboration. Yet over the past 170 years, this strange tale of misunderstanding, incompetence and compromise has become the founding myth of modern Chinese nationalism: the start of China’s heroic struggle against a Western conspiracy to destroy the country with opium and gunboat diplomacy.
Beginning with the dramas of the war itself, Julia Lovell explores its causes and consequences and, through this larger narrative, interweaves the curious stories of opium’s promoters and attackers.The Opium War is both the story of modern China – starting from this first conflict with the West – and an analysis of the country’s contemporary self-image. It explores how China’s national myths mould its interactions with the outside world, how public memory is spun to serve the present; and how delusion and prejudice have bedevilled its relationship with the modern West.
Taken from Pan Macmillan
Simon Kuper is a journalist writing for the Financial Times, and publishes in newspapers and magazines around the world. He has written a number of books on sport, including ‘Football Against the Enemy’ won the William Hill Award. Born in Uganda, Simon spent most of his childhood in Holland and now lives in Paris.