The Magic Misfits by Neil Patrick Harris

The Blurb On The Back:

Do you believe in magic?

Magic comes in all shapes and sizes and colours and tastes and smells and feelings.

Magic may even come in the shape of a book …

When Carter Locke runs away he’s never felt more alone. But then he finds a gang of other young magicians …

and THE MAGIC MISFITS are born!

Street magician Carter knows that magic tricks are just that – tricks. But when he runs away he finds himself alone and in danger from a dastardly carnival ringleader. He could really use some magic now …

A chance encounter with the mysterious Mr Vernon leads Carter to a gang of other young magicians. Can the Magic Misfits use their skills to foil the ringleader’s most evil scheme yet? And will Carter find the real magic hiding in this story?

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Anatomy Of A Scandal by Sarah Vaughan

The Blurb On The Back:

Sophie’s husband, James, is a loving father and a successful public figure. Yet he stands accused of a terrible crime. Sophie is convinced he is innocent and desperate to protect her precious family from the lies that threaten to engulf him. She’s kept his darkest secret ever since they were first lovers, at Oxford. And if she stood by him then, she can do it now.

Kate is the barrister prosecuting his case. She’s certain that James is guilty and determined he should pay. No stranger to suffering herself, she doesn’t flinch from posing the questions few want to hear. About what happens between a man and a woman when they’re alone: alone in a bed, alone in an embrace, alone in a lift …

Is James the victim of an unfortunate misunderstanding or the perpetrator of something sinister? Who is right: Sophie or Kate? This scandal – which forces Sophie to appraise her marriage and Kate her demons – will have far-reaching consequences for them all. 

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Clockwork City by Paul Crilley

The Blurb On The Back:

Cop, drunkard and low-grade magic user Gideon Tau is starting from scratch with only his undead boss and his foul-mouthed sidekick dog to help him find his daughter’s killer.

There they’ll have to contend with Fae gangs fighting for territory, the murder-suicide of two Delphic agents and the Seven Deadly Sins … 

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I, Witness by Niki Mackay

The Blurb On The Back:

Six years ago, Kate Reynolds was found holding the body of her best friend; covered in blood, and clutching the knife that killed her.

Kate has been in prison ever since, but now her sentence is up.  She is being released.

There’s only one person who can help: Private Investigator Madison Attalee, the first officer on the scene all those years ago.

But there’s someone out there who doesn’t want Kate digging up the past.  Someone who is willing to keep the truth buried at any cost. 

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Need To Know by Karen Cleveland

The Blurb On The Back:

Perfect husband.  Perfect father.  Perfect liar?

Married for ten years.

Four children.

She thought she knew her husband better than anyone.

She was wrong.

Vivian Miller is a CIA analyst assigned to uncover Russian sleeper cells in the USA.  After accessing the computer of a potential Russian spy, she stumbles on a secret dossier of deep-cover agents living in her own country.  Five seemingly normal people living in plain sight.

A few clicks later, everything that matters to Vivian is threatened – her job, her husband, even her four children …

Vivian has vowed to defend her country against all enemies, foreign and domestic.  But now she’s facing impossible choices.  Torn between loyalty and betrayal, allegiance and treason, love and suspicion, who can she trust?

Will her next move be the right one? 

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Loos Save Lives: How Sanitation And Clean Water Help Prevent Poverty, Disease And Death by Seren Boyd

The Blurb On The Back:

The humble loo is a lifesaver.  Over two billion people in the world don’t have access to a proper toilet or clean water to drink or to wash their hands – and that stinks!  Access to sanitation and clean water literally saves lives.  Loos also help schools.  When children have access to a safe, clean loo at school, they are more likely to stay in education, get better jobs and escape poverty.

Toilet Twinning is a charity that empowers people in low-income countries to build proper toilets and help make their communities healthier, safer and more prosperous.  This book visits some of the places Toilet Twinning have worked in, across Africa, Asia and Central America, and reveals the stories of the people they have helped.  It’s packed with stats, facts and lots of information all about water and waste.  

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Platform Capitalism by Nick Srnicek

The Blurb On The Back:

What unites Google and Facebook, Amazon and Microsoft, Siemens and GE, Uber and Airbnb?  Across a wide range of sectors, these firms are turning into platforms: businesses that provide the hardware and software foundation for others to operate on.  This transformation signals a major shift in how capitalist firms operate and how they interact with the rest of the economy: the emergence of ‘platform capitalism’.

Platform Capitalism critically examines these new business forms, tracing their genesis from the long downturn of the 1970s to the boom and bust of the 1990s and the aftershocks of the 2008 crisis.  It shows how the foundations of the economy are rapidly being carved up among a small number of monopolistic platforms and how the platform introduces new tendencies within capitalism that pose significant challenges to any vision of a post-capitalist future.  This book will be essential reading for anyone who wants to understand how the most powerful tech companies of our time are transforming the global economy. 

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Narcocapitalism by Laurent de Sutter

The Blurb On The Back:

What do the invention of anaesthetics in the middle of the nineteenth century, the Nazis’ use of cocaine, and the development of Prozac have in common?  The answer is that they’re all products of the same logic that defines out contemporary era: ‘the age of anaesthesia’.  Laurent de Sutter shows how large aspects of our lives are now characterised by the management of our emotions through drugs, ranging from the everyday use of sleeping pills to hard narcotics.  Chemistry has become so much a part of us that we can’t even see how much it has changed us.

In this era, being a subject doesn’t simply mean being subjected to powers that decide our lives: it means that our very emotions have been outsourced to chemical stimulation.  Yet we don’t understand why the drugs that we take are unable to free us from fatigue and depression, and from the absence of desire that now characterises our psycho-political condition.  We have forgotten what it means to be excited because our only excitement has become drug-induced.  We have to abandon the narcotic stimulation that we’ve come to rely on and find a way back to the collective excitement that is narcocapitalism’s greatest fear. 

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What Is Russia Up To In The Middle East? by Dmitri Trenin

The Blurb On The Back:

The eyes of the world are on the Middle East.  Today more than ever, this deeply troubled region is the center of power games between major global players vying or international influence.  Absent from this scene for the past quarter century, Russia is now back with gusto.  Yet its motivations, decision-making processes, and strategic objectives remain hard to pin down.

So just what is Russia up to in the Middle East?  In this hard-hitting essay, leading analyst of Russian affairs Dmitri Trenin cuts through the hyperbole to offer a clear and nuanced analysis of Russia’s involvement in the Middle East and its regional and global ramifications.  Russia, he argues, cannot and will not supplant the United States as the leading external power in the region, but its actions are accelerating changes that will fundamentally reshape the international system in the next two decades. 

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Restless Souls by Dan Sheehan

The Blurb On The Back:

After three years embedded in the Siege of Sarajevo, war correspondent Tom returns to Dublin a haunted shell of his former self.  His childhood friends Karl and Baz know they’re laughably unqualified to help him, but are determined to see him through the darkness.  Together, they embark on a journey for an unlikely cure, to an experimental Californian clinic called Restless Souls.

But as they try to save Tom from his memories, they must confront their own – of what happened to their childhood friend Gabriel.  And in doing so, they must ask how their raucously funny teenage souls became weighed down – and why life got so damn complicated and sad.  

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