Directorate S: The CIA And America’s Secret Wars In Afghanistan And Pakistan, 2001 – 2016 by Steve Coll

The Blurb On The Back:

In the wake of the terrible shock of 9/11, the CIA scrambled to work out how to destroy Bin Laden and his associated. The CIA had long familiarity with Afghanistan and had worked closely with the Taliban to defeat the Soviet Union there. Superficially the invasion was quick and efficient, but Bin Laden’s successful escape, together with that of much of the Taliban leadership, and a catastrophic failure to define the limits of NATO’s mission in a tough, impoverished country the size of Texas, created a quagmire, which has now lasted many years.

At the heart of the problem lay ‘Directorate S’, a highly secretive arm of the Pakistan state, which had been covertly arming and training the Taliban for years as part of a wider competition for global influence, and which assumed that the USA and its allies would soon be leaving.

This remarkable new book tells a powerful, bitter story of just how badly foreign policy decisions can go wrong. 

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Natboff! One Million Years Of Stupidity by Andy Stanton

The Blurb On The Back:

Meet the hysterical, historical folk of Lamonic Bibber …

Hairy cavemen!  Duelling knights!  Fairy tale princesses!  Craft witches!  Victorian inventors!  Useless astronauts!  Talking grapes!  Peculiar doctors!  And a squirrel!

Yes, from 10,000 years BC to the distant future, they’re all inside waiting for YOU.  So sit back, strap on your laughing faces and prepare for the craziest trip of ALL TIME!  

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The Golden Child by Wendy James

The Blurb On The Back:

Blogger Lizzy’s life is shiny, happy, normal. Two gorgeous children, a handsome husband, destiny under control.  For her real-life alter-ego, Beth, things are unravelling.  Family tensions simmer and her daughters have moved into teenage-hood, their lives – at school, home and online – increasingly mysterious.

Then a fellow student is callously bullied and the finger of blame pointed at one of Beth’s girls.  As an innocent child lies suspended between life and death, two families are forced to question everything they believe about their children, and the answers are terrifying.

As unsettling as it is compelling, The Golden Child asks: how well can you know anyone in the digital age?

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A New Politics From The Left by Hilary Wainwright

The Blurb On The Back:

Millions passionately desire a viable alternative to austerity and neoliberalism, but they are sceptical of traditional leftist top-down solutions.

In this urgent polemic, Hilary Wainwright argues that this requires a new politics for the left that comes from the bottom up, based on participatory democracy and the everyday knowledge and creativity of each individual.  Political leadership should be about facilitation and partnership, not expert domination or paternalistic rule.

Wainwright uses lessons from recent movements and experiments to build a radical future vision that will be an inspiration for activists and radicals everywhere. 

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One Clear Ice-Cold January Morning At The Beginning Of The Twenty-First Century by Roland Schimmerlpfennig

The Blurb On The Back:

One clear ice-cold January morning shortly after dawn, a wolf crosses the border between Poland and Germany.  His trail leads all the way to Berlin, connecting the lives of disparate individuals whose paths intersect and diverge.

On an icy motorway eighty kilometres outside the city, a fuel tanker jack-knifes and explodes.  The lone wolf is glimpsed on the hard shoulder and photographed by Tomasz, a Polish construction worker who cannot survive in Germany without his girlfriend.  Elisabeth and Micha run away through the snow from their home village, crossing the wolf’s tracks on their way to the city.  A woman burns her mother’s diaries on a Berlin balcony.  And Elisabeth’s father, a famous sculptor, observes the vast skeleton of a whale in his studio and asks: What am I doing here?  And why?

Experiences and encounters flicker past with a raw, visual power, like frames in a black and white film.  Those who catch sight of the wolf see their own lives reflected, and find themselves searching for a different path in a cold time. 

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The List by Mick Herron

The Blurb On The Back:

Dieter Hess, an aged spy, is dead, and John Bachelor, his MI5 handler, is in deep, deep trouble.  Death has revealed that the deceased had been keeping a secret second bank account – and there’s only ever one reason a spy has a secret second bank account.  The question of whether he was a double agent must be resolved, and its answer may undo an entire career’s worth of spy secrets.  

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To The Edge Of The World by Julia Green

The Blurb On The Back:

Jamie lives on an island out west – a wild place of wind, waves, and surging tides.  He loves the island, but fears the surrounding ocean.

Mara lives on the island too – she’s fearless. The only thing that worries her is being sent away to school.  When that threat becomes too real, she knows it is time to plan her escape.

And that’s when Jamie, Mara and her dog Django find themselves swept away on a wild sea adventure beyond anything they have dreamed of …  

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