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Vintage Minis


Babies

Babies: our biggest mystery and our most natural consequence, our hardest test and our enduring love. Anne Enright describes the intensity, bewilderment and extravagant happiness of her experience of having babies, from the exhaustion of early pregnancy to first smiles and becoming acquainted with the long reaches of the night.


Death

When it comes to death, is there ever a best case scenario? In this disarmingly witty book, Julian Barnes confronts our unending obsession with the end. He reflects on what it means to miss God, whether death can be good for our careers and why we eventually turn into our parents. Barnes is the perfect guide to the weirdness of the only thing that binds us all.


Depression

How does a writer compose a suicide note? This was not a question that the prize-winning novelist William Styron had ever contemplated before. In this true account of his depression, Styron describes an illness that reduced him from a successful writer to a man arranging his own destruction. He lived to give us this gripping description of his descent into mental anguish.


Drinking

What’s the worst another drink could do? John Cheever pours out our most sociable of vices, and hands it to us in a highball. From the calculating teenager who raids her parents’ liquor cabinet, only to drown her sorrows in it, to the suburban swimmer withering away with every plunge he takes, these are stories suffused with beauty, sadness, and the gathering storm of a bender well-done.


Eating

In this inspiring, witty and eminently sensible book, Nigella Lawson sets out a manifesto for how to cook (and eat) good food every day with a minimum of fuss. From basic roast chicken and pea risotto to white truffles and Turkish Delight figs, Nigella brings the joy back into the kitchen.


Fatherhood

How to be a good father? Children’s birthday parties, unsuccessful family holidays, humiliating antenatal music classes: the trials of parenthood are all found in Knausgaard’s compelling and honest account of family life. Contrasting moments of enormous love and tenderness towards his children with the boring struggles of domesticity


Home

Salman Rushdie, a self-described `emigrant from one place and a newcomer in two’, explores the true meaning of home. Writing with insight, passion and humour, he looks at what it means to belong, whether roots are real and homelands imaginary, what it is like to reconfigure your past from fragments of memory and what happens when East meets West.


Jealousy

Can we truly know the one we love? In this painfully candid book Marcel Proust looks straight into the green eye of every lover’s jealous struggle. He broods on why we are driven to try possess one another, how jealousy can outlive death, and whether we can ever reclaim those careless days of first love.


Language

Have you ever tried to learn another language? When Zhuang first arrives in London from China she feels like she is among an alien species. The city is disorientating, the people unfriendly, the language a muddle of personal pronouns and moody verbs. But with increasing fluency in English surviving turns to living. And they say that the best way to learn a language is to fall in love with a native speaker…


Liberty

Why should one half be free to live, while the other is doomed to watch silently from the sidelines? In this visionary collection, Virginia Woolf leads us on a transformative journey through the liberating powers of the mind. From an exploration of why women were barred from writing and under what conditions they might break free,


Love

How do we love? With romance. With work. Through heartbreak. Throughout a lifetime. As a means, but not an end. Love in all its forms has been an abiding theme of Jeanette Winterson’s writing. Here are selections from her books about that impossible, essential force, stories and truths that search for the mythical creature we call Love.


Motherhood

Welcome to motherhood – a land of aching fatigue, constant self-sacrifice and thankless servitude, a land of bottomless devotion, small hands and feet like warm pink roses, and velvet kisses. Here is a land where men and women, once carefree and engrossed in work and sex, now try to solve age-old arguments and search fruitlessly for another hour in the day.


Psychedelics

Could drugs offer a new way of seeing the world? In 1953, in the presence of an investigator, Aldous Huxley took four-tenths of a gramme of mescalin, sat down and waited to see what would happen. When he opened his eyes everything, from the flowers in a vase to the creases in his trousers, was transformed.


Sisters

Your sister might be the kindred soul who knows you best, or the most alien being in your household; she might enrage you or inspire you; she might be your fiercest competitor or closest co-conspirator, but she’ll always share with you a totally unique bond. Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy are four of the most famous sisters in literature,


Swimming

Is there anything quite so exhilarating as swimming in wild water? This is a joyful swimming tour of Britain, a frog’s-eye view of the country’s best bathing holes – the rivers, rock pools, lakes, ponds, lochs and sea that define a watery island. Charming, funny, inspiring, an assertion of the native swimmer’s right to roam.


Race

Is who we are really only skin deep? In this searing, remonstrative book, Toni Morrison unravels race through the stories of those debased and dehumanised because of it. A young black girl longing for the blue eyes of white baby dolls spirals into inferiority and confusion. A friendship falls apart over a disputed memory.


Work

Bob Slocum is anxious, bored and fearful of his job. So why is it he wants nothing more than the chance to speak at the next company convention? In this darkly satirical book, Joseph Heller takes us for a turn on the maddening hamster wheel of work. Heller’s workplace is a cradle of paranoia, bravado and nauseating banter,


Summer

How do you remember the summers of your childhood? For Laurie Lee they were flower-crested, heady, endless days. Here is an evocation of summer like no other – a remote valley filled with the scent of hay, jazzing wasps, blackberries plucked and gobbled, and games played until the last drop of dusk.


Money

How did money come to be invented? Why does it now have such significance in our lives? Does it make us happier or unhappier? And what does the future hold for it? With brilliant clarity and insight, Yuval Noah Harari takes the reader on a journey from the very first coins through to 21st century economics and shows us how we are all on the brink of a revolution, whether we like it or not.


Friendship

What is the secret to true friendship? Is it really love’s quieter relation or something stronger and more profound? And where does the line between the two lie? Rose Tremain looks at two unlikely lifelong friendships, which – though tested – prove unbreakable. Thought-provoking and life-affirming, this is at once an examination and a celebration of friendship in all its glorious complexity.


Rave

Irvine Welsh, ‘poet laureate of the chemical generation’, exposes the seamy underbelly of rave’s utopian dream. Lloyd, our permanently pilled-up protagonist, pushes his weekends to breaking point and beyond in this frazzled trip through Scottish clubland.


Marriage

Why do we set so much store by marriage? Jane Austen was fascinated by this question, subjecting it to her forensic eye and wonderfully ironic wit again and again. Here are stolen glances and nervous advances, meddling parents and self-important cousins, society whisperings and the fluttering hearts of young lovers.


Injustice

How to go on in a world where everything is set against you? With hope? In fear? Or, in violent struggle? In this gripping and disturbing book, Richard Wright weaves his own childhood recollections with those of Bigger Thomas – a young black man trapped in a life of poverty in the slums of Chicago, and unwittingly involved in a wealthy woman’s death – to paint a portrait of insurmountable oppression.


Dreams

Have you ever dreamt you were naked on stage, or woken having failed an exam? In these fascinating, pioneering essays, Sigmund Freud plunges into the recesses of our minds, and awakens the hidden meanings behind our most typical and surprising night-time fantasies.


Austerity

How do we choose between what is fair and just, and what our debtors demand of us? Yanis Varoufakis was put in such a dilemma in 2015 when he became the finance minister of Greece. In this rousing book, he charts the absurdities that underpin calls for austerity, as well as his own battles with a bureaucracy bent on ignoring the human cost of its every action.


Freedom

In this book of breathtaking imaginary leaps that conjure dystopias and magical islands, Margaret Atwood holds a mirror up to our own world. The reflection we are faced with, of men and women in prisons literal and metaphorical, is frightening.


Ghosts

A high-pitched laugh echoes in an empty church. Servants discover their master dead in his bed, the only sign of disturbance an open window. The coffin of a woman hanged as a witch is found to be empty. A bed that hasn’t been slept in is crumpled and distressed come the morning. A skeletal figure creeps closer and closer to the house where an unsuspecting family lie sleeping.


War

A soldier falls asleep on duty and is threatened with being court-martialled. An officer lies in mud, fighting for his life and the life of his men. A young man walks across Waterloo Bridge, explosives in his rucksack, heart pounding. In this powerfully moving book, Faulks shows us the true face of war.

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