UCL CENTRE FOR LANGUAGES & INTERNATIONAL EDUCATION (CLIE)

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  • Book of the Week - Bamboo

  • William Boyd

William Boyd's first collection of non-fiction is a substantial volume of writings from the last three decades that range widely over his particular interests and obsessions. Bamboo gathers together Boyd's writing on literature, art, the movie business, television, people he has met, places he has visited and autobiographical reflections on his African childhood, his years at boarding school and the profession of novelist. From Pablo Picasso to the allure of the British Caff, from Charles Dickens to Catherine Deneuve, from mini-cabs to Brideshead Revisited, this collection proves a fascinating and surprisingly revealing companion to the work of one of Britain's leading novelists.

William Boyd's first collection of non-fiction is a substantial volume of writings from the last three decades that range widely over his particular interests and obsessions. Bamboo gathers together Boyd's writing on literature, art, the movie business, television, people he has met, places he has visited and autobiographical reflections on his African childhood, his years at boarding school and the profession of novelist. From Pablo Picasso to the allure of the British Caff, from Charles Dickens to Catherine Deneuve, from mini-cabs to Brideshead Revisited, this collection proves a fascinating and surprisingly revealing companion to the work of one of Britain's leading novelists.

  • Book of the Week - Bearded Tit: A Lovestory with Feathers

  • Rory McGrath

It’s 1974 and young Rory is about to enter his second year at Cambridge, absolutely determined to have a meaningful relationship with a woman, or at least, lose his virginity

It’s 1974 and young Rory is about to enter his second year at Cambridge, absolutely determined to have a meaningful relationship with a woman, or at least, lose his virginity

  • Book of the Week - Beatrix Potter - A Life in Nature

  • Linda Lear

Beatrix Potter, the twentieth century's most beloved children's writer and illustrator, created books that will forever conjure nature for millions. Yet though she is a household name around the world, her personal life and her other significant achievements remain largely unknown. This remarkable new biography is a voyage of discovery into the story of an extraordinary woman. At a time when plunder was more popular than preservation, she brought nature back into the English imagination. "Beatrix Potter: A Life In Nature" reveals a strong, humorous and independent woman, whose art was timeless, and whose generosity left an indelible imprint on the countryside.

Beatrix Potter, the twentieth century's most beloved children's writer and illustrator, created books that will forever conjure nature for millions. Yet though she is a household name around the world, her personal life and her other significant achievements remain largely unknown. This remarkable new biography is a voyage of discovery into the story of an extraordinary woman. At a time when plunder was more popular than preservation, she brought nature back into the English imagination. "Beatrix Potter: A Life In Nature" reveals a strong, humorous and independent woman, whose art was timeless, and whose generosity left an indelible imprint on the countryside.

  • Book of the Week - Bringing the House Down

  • David Profumo

David Profumo was just seven when his father, who had been Secretary of State for War, resigned from the Macmillan government. Despite the furore and humiliation that followed, his parents famously stayed together -- and now, forty years on, their son has written this long-awaited account of their family life before, during and after the sensational events of 1963.

David Profumo was just seven when his father, who had been Secretary of State for War, resigned from the Macmillan government. Despite the furore and humiliation that followed, his parents famously stayed together -- and now, forty years on, their son has written this long-awaited account of their family life before, during and after the sensational events of 1963.

  • Book of the Week - Coconut Chaos

  • Diana Souhami

This singular tale by Whitbread Prize-winning writer Diana Souhami ('Selkirk's Island') connects the famous mutiny on the Bounty in the Pacific Ocean in 1789 to the plight of the islanders of Pitcairn now. Its conceptual core is how a small chance thing, the taking of a coconut by Fletcher Christian from William Bligh's stores on the ship, had dramatic ramifications that continue today.

This singular tale by Whitbread Prize-winning writer Diana Souhami ('Selkirk's Island') connects the famous mutiny on the Bounty in the Pacific Ocean in 1789 to the plight of the islanders of Pitcairn now. Its conceptual core is how a small chance thing, the taking of a coconut by Fletcher Christian from William Bligh's stores on the ship, had dramatic ramifications that continue today.

  • Book of the Week - Diaries 1969-1979: The Python Years

  • Michael Palin

Michael Palin has kept a diary since newly married in the late 1960s, when he was beginning to make a name for himself as a TV scriptwriter (for the Two Ronnies, David Frost etc). Monty Python was just around the corner. This first volume of his diaries reveals how Python emerged and triumphed, how he, John Cleese, Graham Chapman, the two Terrys - Jones and Gilliam - and Eric Idle, came together and changed the face of British comedy.

Michael Palin has kept a diary since newly married in the late 1960s, when he was beginning to make a name for himself as a TV scriptwriter (for the Two Ronnies, David Frost etc). Monty Python was just around the corner. This first volume of his diaries reveals how Python emerged and triumphed, how he, John Cleese, Graham Chapman, the two Terrys - Jones and Gilliam - and Eric Idle, came together and changed the face of British comedy.

  • Book of the Week - England's Mistress: The Infamous Life of Emma Hamilton

  • Kate Williams

A dramatic, sparkling tale of sex, glamour, intrigue, romance and heartbreak, "England's Mistress" traces the rise and rise of the gorgeous Emma Hamilton. Born into poverty, she clawed her way up through London's underworlds of sex for sale to become England's first media superstar.

A dramatic, sparkling tale of sex, glamour, intrigue, romance and heartbreak, "England's Mistress" traces the rise and rise of the gorgeous Emma Hamilton. Born into poverty, she clawed her way up through London's underworlds of sex for sale to become England's first media superstar.

  • Book of the Week - Hellfire and Herring

  • Christopher Rush

This evocation of a way of life now vanished demonstrates the power of the word to make the local universal and to bring the past timelessly to life. Woven into the fabric of family life, village characters, church and school, Rush writes of folklore and fishing and the eternal power of the sea, the cycle of the seasons, the worlds of the imagination and the unknown, the archetypal problems of fathers and sons and mother love, and the inescapability of childhood influences far on into adult life.

This evocation of a way of life now vanished demonstrates the power of the word to make the local universal and to bring the past timelessly to life. Woven into the fabric of family life, village characters, church and school, Rush writes of folklore and fishing and the eternal power of the sea, the cycle of the seasons, the worlds of the imagination and the unknown, the archetypal problems of fathers and sons and mother love, and the inescapability of childhood influences far on into adult life.

  • Book of the Week - I Was Vermeer

  • Frank Wynne

In 1945, a small-time Dutch art dealer was arrested for selling a forgery of a priceless national treasure - a painting by Vermeer - to Hitler's right-hand man. The charge was treason, the only possible sentence death. And yet Han van Meegeren languished in his dank prison cell, incapable of uttering the words that would set him free: 'I am a forger.' This riveting account of greed, hubris, excess, treason and fine art is the story of a failed artist and the greatest forger of all time, who executed a swindle which earned him the equivalent of fifty million dollars and the acclaim of the very critics who had mocked him.

In 1945, a small-time Dutch art dealer was arrested for selling a forgery of a priceless national treasure - a painting by Vermeer - to Hitler's right-hand man. The charge was treason, the only possible sentence death. And yet Han van Meegeren languished in his dank prison cell, incapable of uttering the words that would set him free: 'I am a forger.' This riveting account of greed, hubris, excess, treason and fine art is the story of a failed artist and the greatest forger of all time, who executed a swindle which earned him the equivalent of fifty million dollars and the acclaim of the very critics who had mocked him.

  • Book of the Week - Judge Sewall's Apology

  • Richard Francis

Samuel Sewall sat in judgement at the Salem witch trials. Five years later he recanted the guilty verdicts. Through his story, Richard Francis brings the New World vividly to life. The Salem witch trials of 1692 have assumed mythical status. Immortalised by Arthur Miller's The Crucible, the witch-hunt is now part of our vocabulary. Yet the actual events are more remote than ever. Biographer and novelist Richard Francis brings the reality back into focus with the story of Samuel Sewall, New England Puritan, Salem trial judge, publisher, entrepreneur and writer.

Samuel Sewall sat in judgement at the Salem witch trials. Five years later he recanted the guilty verdicts. Through his story, Richard Francis brings the New World vividly to life. The Salem witch trials of 1692 have assumed mythical status. Immortalised by Arthur Miller's The Crucible, the witch-hunt is now part of our vocabulary. Yet the actual events are more remote than ever. Biographer and novelist Richard Francis brings the reality back into focus with the story of Samuel Sewall, New England Puritan, Salem trial judge, publisher, entrepreneur and writer.

  • Book of the Week - Leni - The Life and Work of Leni Riefenstahl

  • Steven Bach

The definitive biography of Leni Riefenstahl, the woman best known as "Hitler's filmmaker," one of the most fascinating and controversial personalities of the twentieth century. It is the story of huge talent and huger ambition, one that probes the sometimes blurred borders dividing art and beauty from truth and humanity

The definitive biography of Leni Riefenstahl, the woman best known as "Hitler's filmmaker," one of the most fascinating and controversial personalities of the twentieth century. It is the story of huge talent and huger ambition, one that probes the sometimes blurred borders dividing art and beauty from truth and humanity

  • Book of the Week - Lost Cosmonaut

  • Daniel Kalder

"Lost Cosmonaut" documents Daniel Kalder's travels in the bizarre and mysterious worlds of Russia's ethnic republics. Obsessed with a quest he never fully understands, Kalder boldly goes where no man has gone before: in the deserts of Kalmykia, he stumbles upon a city dedicated to chess and a forgotten tribe of Mongols; in Mari El, home to Europe's last pagan nation, he meets the Chief Druid and participates in an ancient rite; while in the bleak industrial badlands of Udmurtia, Kalder looks for Mikhail Kalashnikov, inventor of the AK-47, and accidentally becomes a TV star. Profane yet wise, utterly honest and yet full of lies, "Lost Cosmonaut" is an eye-opening, blackly comic tour of the most alien planet in our cosmos: Earth.

"Lost Cosmonaut" documents Daniel Kalder's travels in the bizarre and mysterious worlds of Russia's ethnic republics. Obsessed with a quest he never fully understands, Kalder boldly goes where no man has gone before: in the deserts of Kalmykia, he stumbles upon a city dedicated to chess and a forgotten tribe of Mongols; in Mari El, home to Europe's last pagan nation, he meets the Chief Druid and participates in an ancient rite; while in the bleak industrial badlands of Udmurtia, Kalder looks for Mikhail Kalashnikov, inventor of the AK-47, and accidentally becomes a TV star. Profane yet wise, utterly honest and yet full of lies, "Lost Cosmonaut" is an eye-opening, blackly comic tour of the most alien planet in our cosmos: Earth.

  • Book of the Week - Love and Louis XIV

  • Antonia Fraser

Mistresses and wives, mothers and daughters - Antonia Fraser brilliantly explores the relationships which existed between The Sun King and the women in his life. This includes not only Louis XIV's mistresses, principally Louise de La Valliere, Athenais de Montespan, and the puritanical Madame de Maintenon, but also the wider story of his relationships with women in general, including his mother Anne of Austria, his two sisters-in-law who were Duchesses d'Orleans in succession, Henriette-Anne and Liselotte, his wayward illegitimate daughters, and lastly Adelaide, the beloved child-wife of his grandson.

Mistresses and wives, mothers and daughters - Antonia Fraser brilliantly explores the relationships which existed between The Sun King and the women in his life. This includes not only Louis XIV's mistresses, principally Louise de La Valliere, Athenais de Montespan, and the puritanical Madame de Maintenon, but also the wider story of his relationships with women in general, including his mother Anne of Austria, his two sisters-in-law who were Duchesses d'Orleans in succession, Henriette-Anne and Liselotte, his wayward illegitimate daughters, and lastly Adelaide, the beloved child-wife of his grandson.

  • Book of the Week - Margrave of the Marshes

  • John Peel

Despite the number of claims in publishers blurbs, not many people actually achieve the status of legend in their own lifetime. Fewer still actually deserve that status. John Peel is the exception which proves that rule, a Great Briton whose contribution to British culture is undeniable, without whom popular culture would never have become popular. Beloved by millions - whether for his unstinting championing of musical talent on Radio 1 or for his wildly popular Radio 4 show "Home Truths" - this is the astonishing book he began to write before his untimely death in October 2004, completed by the woman who knew him best, his wife Sheila.

Despite the number of claims in publishers blurbs, not many people actually achieve the status of legend in their own lifetime. Fewer still actually deserve that status. John Peel is the exception which proves that rule, a Great Briton whose contribution to British culture is undeniable, without whom popular culture would never have become popular. Beloved by millions - whether for his unstinting championing of musical talent on Radio 1 or for his wildly popular Radio 4 show "Home Truths" - this is the astonishing book he began to write before his untimely death in October 2004, completed by the woman who knew him best, his wife Sheila.

  • Book of the Week - Memoir

  • John McGahern

At the heart of the "Memoir" is a son's unembarrassed tribute to his mother. His memory of walks with her through the narrow lanes to the country schools where she taught and his happiness as she named for him the wild flowers on the bank remained conscious and unconscious presences for the rest of his life. A classic family story, told with exceptional restraint and tenderness, "Memoir" cannot fail to move all those who read it.

At the heart of the "Memoir" is a son's unembarrassed tribute to his mother. His memory of walks with her through the narrow lanes to the country schools where she taught and his happiness as she named for him the wild flowers on the bank remained conscious and unconscious presences for the rest of his life. A classic family story, told with exceptional restraint and tenderness, "Memoir" cannot fail to move all those who read it.

  • Book of the Week - North Face of Soho

  • Clive James

Taking us from Fleet Street to Clive James on TV, from Russian department stores to Paris fashion shows via fatherhood, some killer bees, and a satire starring Anne Robinson as Mrs Thatcher, "North Face of Soho" is the larger-than-life story of a life lived to the full.

Taking us from Fleet Street to Clive James on TV, from Russian department stores to Paris fashion shows via fatherhood, some killer bees, and a satire starring Anne Robinson as Mrs Thatcher, "North Face of Soho" is the larger-than-life story of a life lived to the full.

  • Book of the Week - Paper Houses

  • Michele Roberts

Alternative politics, libertarian socialism, experimental living, feminist communes, street theatre, radical magazine, love affairs - gay and straight ...sex 'n' drugs 'n' rock 'n' roll. Paper Houses is the memoir of a young woman who comes down from Oxford to London in 1970, determined to break free from a conventional middle-class, close-knit family.

Alternative politics, libertarian socialism, experimental living, feminist communes, street theatre, radical magazine, love affairs - gay and straight ...sex 'n' drugs 'n' rock 'n' roll. Paper Houses is the memoir of a young woman who comes down from Oxford to London in 1970, determined to break free from a conventional middle-class, close-knit family.

  • Book of the Week - Part of the Pattern: Memoirs of a Wife at Westminster

  • Edna Healey

Edna Healey has been married to Denis Healey for more than fifty years and has seen parliamentary life, both in power and opposition from the inside.

Edna Healey has been married to Denis Healey for more than fifty years and has seen parliamentary life, both in power and opposition from the inside.

  • Book of the Week - Passionate Minds

  • David Bodanis

Emilie du Chatelet was one of the greatest thinkers of the 18th century, a woman whose work was of by history. Fiercely intellectual and passionate, Emilie's relationship with Voltaire was as radical as he vital use to Einstein and who, until now, has been largely ignoredr thinking.

Emilie du Chatelet was one of the greatest thinkers of the 18th century, a woman whose work was of by history. Fiercely intellectual and passionate, Emilie's relationship with Voltaire was as radical as he vital use to Einstein and who, until now, has been largely ignoredr thinking.

  • Book of the Week - Persian Fire

  • Tom Holland

In 480 BC, Xerxes, the King of Persia, led an invasion of mainland Greece. Its success should have been a formality. For seventy years, victory - rapid, spectacular victory - had seemed the birthright of the Persian Empire. In the space of a single generation, they had swept across the Near East, shattering ancient kingdoms, storming famous cities, putting together an empire which stretched from India to the shores of the Aegean. As a result of those conquests, Xerxes ruled as the most powerful man on the planet. Yet somehow, astonishingly, against the largest expeditionary force ever assembled, the Greeks of the mainland managed to hold out.

In 480 BC, Xerxes, the King of Persia, led an invasion of mainland Greece. Its success should have been a formality. For seventy years, victory - rapid, spectacular victory - had seemed the birthright of the Persian Empire. In the space of a single generation, they had swept across the Near East, shattering ancient kingdoms, storming famous cities, putting together an empire which stretched from India to the shores of the Aegean. As a result of those conquests, Xerxes ruled as the most powerful man on the planet. Yet somehow, astonishingly, against the largest expeditionary force ever assembled, the Greeks of the mainland managed to hold out.

  • Book of the Week - Playing with Fire

  • Nigel Havers

With characteristic modesty and a captivating eye for the absurd, Nigel Havers treats us to the highlights and lowlights of a life like no other; a life in which chilling reality (watching his father Michael - later the Attorney General - begin his prosecution of the Yorkshire Ripper) and beguiling fantasy (sleeping with 'Elizabeth Taylor') continuously and arrestingly collide.

With characteristic modesty and a captivating eye for the absurd, Nigel Havers treats us to the highlights and lowlights of a life like no other; a life in which chilling reality (watching his father Michael - later the Attorney General - begin his prosecution of the Yorkshire Ripper) and beguiling fantasy (sleeping with 'Elizabeth Taylor') continuously and arrestingly collide.

  • Book of the Week - Point of Departure

  • James Cameron

The classic memoir by one of the great British journalists of the twentieth century, a man who earned universal respect not only for his courage in reporting from dangerous places, but for his candour and independence. "Point of Departure" features Cameron's eyewitness accounts of the atom bomb tests at Bikini atoll, the Chinese invasion of Tibet and the war in Korea; and vivid evocations of his encounters with Mao Tse-tung and Winston Churchill.

The classic memoir by one of the great British journalists of the twentieth century, a man who earned universal respect not only for his courage in reporting from dangerous places, but for his candour and independence. "Point of Departure" features Cameron's eyewitness accounts of the atom bomb tests at Bikini atoll, the Chinese invasion of Tibet and the war in Korea; and vivid evocations of his encounters with Mao Tse-tung and Winston Churchill.

  • Book of the Week - Preferred Lies

  • Andrew Greig

Andrew Greig grew up on the East coast of Scotland, where playing golf is as natural as breathing. He sees the game as the great leveller, and has played on the Old course at St Andrews as well as on the miners' courses of Yorkshire. He writes about the different cultural manifestations of the game, the history, the geography, the different social meanings, as well as the subjective experience, the reflections between shots. An indispensable book for golfers and non golfers alike.

Andrew Greig grew up on the East coast of Scotland, where playing golf is as natural as breathing. He sees the game as the great leveller, and has played on the Old course at St Andrews as well as on the miners' courses of Yorkshire. He writes about the different cultural manifestations of the game, the history, the geography, the different social meanings, as well as the subjective experience, the reflections between shots. An indispensable book for golfers and non golfers alike.

  • Book of the Week - Queuing for Beginners

  • Joe Moran

We spend our days catching buses and trains, tapping away at computers, shopping, queuing, lying on sofas...But we know almost nothing about these activities. Exploring the history of these subjects as they come up during a typical day, starting with breakfast and ending with bedtime, Joe Moran shows that they conceal all kinds of hidden histories and meanings.

We spend our days catching buses and trains, tapping away at computers, shopping, queuing, lying on sofas...But we know almost nothing about these activities. Exploring the history of these subjects as they come up during a typical day, starting with breakfast and ending with bedtime, Joe Moran shows that they conceal all kinds of hidden histories and meanings.

  • Book of the Week - Salesman in Beijing

  • Arthur Miller

In 1983, Arthur Miller was invited to Beijing to direct the first Chinese production of Death of a Salesman. This book is the diary he kept during of that unique and eccentric production. The diary portrays the challenges that faced Miller as a Liberal American playwright and director working in Communist China. Miller's major concern was how to overcome the linguistic and cultural difficulties of trying to communicate his artistic vision to a Chinese cast. The result is not merely an interesting account of a highly unusual production, but it also reveals the process any production may go through, and is an insight into the mind of a considerate director.

In 1983, Arthur Miller was invited to Beijing to direct the first Chinese production of Death of a Salesman. This book is the diary he kept during of that unique and eccentric production. The diary portrays the challenges that faced Miller as a Liberal American playwright and director working in Communist China. Miller's major concern was how to overcome the linguistic and cultural difficulties of trying to communicate his artistic vision to a Chinese cast. The result is not merely an interesting account of a highly unusual production, but it also reveals the process any production may go through, and is an insight into the mind of a considerate director.

  • Book of the Week - Santa: A Life

  • Jeremy Seal

A meticulously researched history of the Santa Claus myth, tracing the munificent, rosy-cheeked one's journey from medieval Constantinople, through renaissance Amsterdam to his twentieth century comeback in the advertising studios of New York City.

A meticulously researched history of the Santa Claus myth, tracing the munificent, rosy-cheeked one's journey from medieval Constantinople, through renaissance Amsterdam to his twentieth century comeback in the advertising studios of New York City.

  • Book of the Week - Second Lives

  • Tim Guest

We've always dreamed of perfect places: Eden, heaven and Oz - places over the rainbow, beyond death and loss. Now, through computer technology, we can inhabit those worlds together. Each week, between 35 and 50 million people worldwide abandon reality for virtual worlds. Tim Guest takes us on a revelatory journey through the electronic looking-glass, as he investigates one of the most bizarre phenomena of the 21st century.

We've always dreamed of perfect places: Eden, heaven and Oz - places over the rainbow, beyond death and loss. Now, through computer technology, we can inhabit those worlds together. Each week, between 35 and 50 million people worldwide abandon reality for virtual worlds. Tim Guest takes us on a revelatory journey through the electronic looking-glass, as he investigates one of the most bizarre phenomena of the 21st century.

  • Book of the Week - Seize the Hour - When Nixon Met Mao

  • Margaret MacMillan

In February 1972, Nixon amazed the world with a trip to China. He was the first US President to go there -- in fact officially the first American since the Communist takeover. It was like a visit to the far side of the moon, but also a brilliant stroke of policy. With China on side Nixon could get out of Vietnam; US technology could help Mao recover from his disastrous Cultural Revolution; most of all, both needed a buttress against Soviet Russia in aggressive mood.

In February 1972, Nixon amazed the world with a trip to China. He was the first US President to go there -- in fact officially the first American since the Communist takeover. It was like a visit to the far side of the moon, but also a brilliant stroke of policy. With China on side Nixon could get out of Vietnam; US technology could help Mao recover from his disastrous Cultural Revolution; most of all, both needed a buttress against Soviet Russia in aggressive mood.

  • Book of the Week - Someone Like Me: Tales from a Borrowed Childhood

  • Miles Kington

Beloved broadcaster and writer Miles Kington's account of an endearingly eccentric childhood has everything - a lovable narrator, a mother who is constantly on her deathbed, a gadget-obsessed father and a flamboyantly theatrical older brother. SOMEONE LIKE ME is a collection of enchanting musings on life from the fringes of a sometimes roundabout, often perplexing but always entertaining adult world in which the incidents and accidents of dog training, borrowed lawnmowers, badminton, figs and unlikely brushes with the Catholic Church combine in the most original and laugh-out-loud funny book you'll have read in decades.

Beloved broadcaster and writer Miles Kington's account of an endearingly eccentric childhood has everything - a lovable narrator, a mother who is constantly on her deathbed, a gadget-obsessed father and a flamboyantly theatrical older brother. SOMEONE LIKE ME is a collection of enchanting musings on life from the fringes of a sometimes roundabout, often perplexing but always entertaining adult world in which the incidents and accidents of dog training, borrowed lawnmowers, badminton, figs and unlikely brushes with the Catholic Church combine in the most original and laugh-out-loud funny book you'll have read in decades.

  • Book of the Week - Sound Bites

  • Alex Kapranos

In September 2005, Alex Kapranos began writing about what he ate while touring the world with the rock band Franz Ferdinand. The writing is as much about where he eats and the people he eats with as the unusual flavours he tastes on the road. Whether it's munching donuts with cops in Brooklyn, swallowing bull's balls with the band in Buenos Aires or queuing for a saveloy in South Shields, these are surprising and vivid snapshots of life on the road. Funny, poignant, sickening or sexual depending on the situation, the material, both new and previously published in the "Guardian", is fascinating and entertaining.

In September 2005, Alex Kapranos began writing about what he ate while touring the world with the rock band Franz Ferdinand. The writing is as much about where he eats and the people he eats with as the unusual flavours he tastes on the road. Whether it's munching donuts with cops in Brooklyn, swallowing bull's balls with the band in Buenos Aires or queuing for a saveloy in South Shields, these are surprising and vivid snapshots of life on the road. Funny, poignant, sickening or sexual depending on the situation, the material, both new and previously published in the "Guardian", is fascinating and entertaining.