Recommendations for Christmas
In a nation of rugby heroes, Jamie Roberts has become a legend.
Jamie Roberts is your quintessential hard man: a 6 foot 4, 17 stone slab of rippling muscle, conditioned to run hard into other huge men in an arena where physical dominance is the prime currency. Yet away from rugby, he's a mild-mannered and thoughtful man - a qualified doctor with a thirst for knowledge and a curiosity about the world around him. It's an intriguing contradiction.
In his first full season with the Cardiff Blues he was picked by new Wales coach Warren Gatland in the Grand Slam-winning side of 2008. He was still establishing his position in the national team when he toured with the 2009 Lions, emerging as Player of the Series. He went on to win 97 Test caps and play for clubs in Paris, London and Cape Town, yet his career has seldom been straightforward.
A fractured skull was one of many injuries he had to overcome, and from the start he had to juggle the competing demands of university life and professional rugby. The joy of Six Nations success with Wales was balanced by heartbreak in the World Cup and disappointment against southern-hemisphere teams, while major trophies at club level proved frustratingly elusive.
In this colourful and frank account of a sterling career, Jamie Roberts reveals all about life on tour, in boot camps and in dressing rooms filled with once-in-a-generation characters such as Mike Phillips, Andy Powell, Shaun Edwards, Martyn Williams, Brian O'Driscoll and Johnny Sexton. He also shares his views on concussion in rugby, the failings of the professional structure in Wales and the vital role of old-school team-bonding.
The autobiography of former leader of Plaid Cymru and Deputy First Minister. Extraordinary stories are revealed about an important period in Welsh histroy - from the days of establishing the Assembly to the success of the second referendum on legislation powers in 2011. We learn of the challenges faced by Plaid Cymru as they moved from the sidelines to mainstream Welsh politics.
From the author of the worldwide bestseller and 'book of the decade', A Gentleman in Moscow
Emmett returns home to pick-up his little brother Billy, tie-up his late father's estate and get out of town for good. Since leaving the Kansas youth facility where he's served time, Emmett has wanted one thing: to give them both a fresh start - and that means heading out to the sparkling west.
Young, precocious Billy has plans of his own - to get to San Francisco, where he believes their long-estranged mother is waiting for them. However, as soon as they've loaded Emmett's bright blue Studebaker with their few belongings, trouble arrives and brings its sidekick in the form of Duchess and Woolly, two runaways from the very facility Emmett just left behind him.
Insatiable Duchess and his devoted, but slow companion Woolly soon wreck Billy's plan to get onto the open road, one well-intentioned blunder at a time. Each young man sees this journey as his chance to pursue his dreams, settle scores and find riches. And a simple journey quickly becomes a dazzling odyssey filled with obstacles, villains and ruses fit only for heroes to overcome.
Bursting with life, charm and unforgettable characters, The Lincoln Highway is an extraordinary journey through 1950s America from a master storyteller.
Carre, John Le
In Silverview John le Carré turns his focus to the world that occupied his writing for the past sixty years – the secret world itself.
Julian Lawndsley has renounced his high-flying job in the City for a simpler life running a bookshop in a small English seaside town. But only a couple of months into his new career, Julian’s evening is disrupted by a visitor. Edward, a Polish émigré living in Silverview, the big house on the edge of town, seems to know a lot about Julian’s family and is rather too interested in the inner workings of his modest new enterprise.
When a letter turns up at the door of a spy chief in London warning him of a dangerous leak, the investigations lead him to this quiet town by the sea . . .
Silverview is the mesmerising story of an encounter between innocence and experience and between public duty and private morals. In his inimitable voice John le Carré, the greatest chronicler of our age, seeks to answer the question of what we truly owe to the people we love.
Waterstones group exclusive edition, with extra content and designed endpapers
'This is a book for life . . . This, and it's high praise, is Slater's best book' Diana Henry, Sunday Telegraph
'It is beautiful' Grace Dent
*With over 200 recipes*
A Cook's Book is the story of Nigel Slater's life in the kitchen.
From the first jam tart Nigel made with his mum standing on a chair trying to reach the Aga, through to what he is cooking now, this is the ultimate Nigel Slater collection brimming with over 200 recipes.
He writes about how his cooking has changed from discovering the best way to roast a chicken to the trick to smoky, smooth aubergine mash. He gives the tales behind the recipes and recalls the first time he ate a baguette in Paris, his love of jewel-bright Japanese pickled radishes and his initial slice of buttercream-topped chocolate cake. These are the favourite recipes Nigel Slater cooks at home every day; the heart and soul of his cooking. Chapters include: a slice of tart, a chicken in the pot, everyday greens, the solace of soup and the ritual of tea. This is the essential Nigel Slater.