Wealthy, powerful, and potentially dangerous, hedge-find managers have emerged as the stars of twenty-first century capitalism. Based on unprecedented access to the industry, More Money Than God provides the first authoritative history of hedge funds. This is the inside story of their origins in the 1960s and 1970s, their explosive battles with central banks in the 1980s and 1990s, and finally their role in the financial crisis of 2007-9. Hedge funds reward risk takers, so they tend to attract larger-than-life personalities. Jim Simons began life as a code-breaker and mathematician, co-authoring a paper on theoretical geometry that led to breakthroughs in string theory. Ken Griffin started out trading convertible bonds from his Harvard dorm room. Paul Tudor Jones happily declared that a 1929-style crash would be `total rock-and-roll' for him. Michael Steinhardt was capable of reducing underlings to sobs. `All I want to do is kill myself, ' one said. `Can I watch?' Steinhardt responded. A saga of riches and rich egos, this is also a history of discovery. Drawing on insights from mathematics, economics and psychology to crack the mysteries of the market, hedge funds have transformed the world, spawning new markets in exotic financial instruments and rewriting the rules of capitalism. And while major banks, brokers, home lenders, insurers and money market funds failed or were bailed out during the crisis of 2007-9, the hedge-fund industry survived the test, proving that money can be successfully managed without taxpayer safety nets. Anybody pondering fixes to the financial system could usefully start here: the future of finance lies in the history of hedge funds.
an event that is to shatter their lives. After the Russians invade and the family is forced to flee to America, Amir realises that one day he must return to Afghanistan under Taliban rule to find the one thing that his new world cannot grant him: redemption.
In 1954 a fisherman is found dead in the nets of his boat, and a local Japanese-American man is charged with his murder. In the course of his trial, it becomes clear that what is at stake is more than one man's guilt. For on San Piedro, memories grow as thickly as cedar trees and the fields of ripe strawberries - memories of a charmed love affair between a white boy and a Japanese girl; memories of land desired, paid for, and lost. Above all, San Piedro is haunted by the memory of what happened to its Japanese residents during World War II, when an entire community was sent into exile while its neighbours watched.
The idea that some people think differently, though no less humanly, is explored in this inspiring book. Temple Grandin is a gifted and successful animal scientist, and she is autistic. Here she tells us what it was like to grow up perceiving the world in an entirely concrete and visual way - somewhat akin to how animals think, she believes - and how it feels now. Through her finely observed understanding of the workings of her mind she gives us an invaluable insight into autism and its challenges.
The sister is a knife thrower in a magician's stage act, the brother is an undertaker's assistant. Neither orphan knows of the other's existence. Until, that is, three terrible Aunts descend on the girl's house and imprison her guardian, the Great Cardamom. His dying act is to pass the girl a note with clues to the secret he has carried to his grave. Cardamom was one of three explorers on an expedition to locate the legendary Amarant, a plant with power over life and death. Now, pursued by flesh-eating crow-like ghuls, brother and sister must decode the message and save themselves from its sinister legacy.
Greece in the age of heroes. Patroclus, an awkward young prince, has been exiled to the court of King Peleus and his perfect son Achilles. Despite their differences, Achilles befriends the shamed prince, and as they grow into young men skilled in the arts of war and medicine, their bond blossoms into something deeper - despite the displeasure of Achilles's mother Thetis, a cruel sea goddess. But when word comes that Helen of Sparta has been kidnapped, Achilles must go to war in distant Troy and fulfill his destiny. Torn between love and fear for his friend, Patroclus goes with him, little knowing that the years that follow will test everything they hold dear.
Little is known of the wife of England's greatest playwright. In play after play Shakespeare presents the finding of a worthy wife as a triumphant denouement, yet scholars persist in believing that his own wife was resented and even hated by him. Here Germaine Greer strives to re-embed the story of their marriage in its social context and presents new hypotheses about the life of the farmer's daughter who married our greatest poet. This is a daring, insightful book that asks new questions, opens new fields of investigation and research, and rights the wrongs done to Ann Shakespeare.
It's time to stop just worrying about climate change, says Paul Gilding. Instead we need to brace for impact, because global crisis is no longer avoidable. The `Great Disruption' started in 2008, with spiking food and oil prices and dramatic ecological change like the melting polar icecap. It is not simply about fossil fuels and carbon footprints. We have come to the end of Economic Growth, Version 1. 0, a world economy based on consumption and waste, where we lived beyond the means of our planet's ecosystems and resources. The Great Disruption offers a stark and unflinching look at the challenge humanity faces - yet also a deeply optimistic message. The coming decades will see loss, suffering and conflict as our planetary overdraft is paid. However, they will also bring out the best humanity can offer: compassion, innovation, resilience and adaptability. Gilding tells us how to fight, and win, what he calls `the One Degree War' to prevent catastrophic warming of the earth, and how to start today. The crisis we are in represents a rare chance to replace our addiction to growth with an ethic of sustainability, and it's already happening. It's also an unmatched business opportunity: old industries will collapse while new companies literally reshape our economy. In the aftermath of the Great Disruption, we will measure `growth' in a new way. It will mean not quantity of stuff, but quality, and happiness, of life. And, yes, there is life after shopping. The Great Disruption is an invigorating and well-informed polemic by an advocate for sustainability and climate change who has dedicated his life to campaigning for a balanced use of Earth's limited resources. It is essential reading.
SOON TO BE A MAJOR BBC TV SERIES Two magicians shall appear in England. The first shall fear me; the second shall long to behold me... The year is 1806. England is beleaguered by the long war with Napoleon, and centuries have passed since practical magicians faded into the nation's past. But scholars of this glorious history discover that one remains: the reclusive Mr Norrell whose displays of magic send a thrill through the country. Proceeding to London, he raises a beautiful woman from the dead and summons an army of ghostly ships to terrify the French. Yet the cautious, fussy Norrell is challenged by the emergence of another magician: the brilliant novice Jonathan Strange. Young, handsome and daring, Strange is the very opposite of Norrell. So begins a dangerous battle between these two great men which overwhelms the one between England and France. And their own obsessions and secret dabblings with the dark arts are going to cause more trouble than they can imagine.
Lauren, Jack, Ruby and Billy live by the seaside with their mum and dad. But their parents are always arguing, and then their dad moves out. Lauren and Jack decide they have to get them together again. And so begins Operation Eiffel Tower... in which the four children try to raise money to give their mum and dad a treat in an attempt to make them happier. First they want to send their parents to Paris, but quickly realise they can never afford that, so instead they set up a dinner for two under the Eiffel Tower in the local crazy golf attraction. But will it get their parents talking again? A funny and very moving story that tackles important issues with a light touch.
Stanley Yelnat's family has a history of bad luck going back generations, so he is not too surprised when a miscarriage of justice sends him to Camp Green Lake Juvenile Detention Centre. Nor is he very surprised when he is told that his daily labour at the camp is to dig a hole, five foot wide by five foot deep, and report anything that he finds in that hole. The warden claims that it is character building, but this is a lie and Stanley must dig up the truth. In this wonderfully inventive, compelling novel that is both serious and funny, Louis Sachar has created a masterpiece that will leave all readers amazed and delighted by the author's narrative flair and brilliantly handled plot.
When Mary sees her grandmother accused of witchcraft and hanged for the crime, she is silently hurried to safety by an unknown woman. The woman gives her tools to keep the record of her days - paper and ink. Mary is taken to a boat in Plymouth and from there sails to the New World where she hopes to make a new life among the pilgrims. But old superstitions die hard and soon Mary finds that she, like her grandmother, is the victim of ignorance and stupidity, and once more she faces important choices to ensure her survival. With a vividly evoked environment and characters skilfully and patiently drawn, this is a powerful literary achievement by Celia Rees that is utterly engrossing from start to finish.
What is the meaning of love and death in a remote, forgotten, impossibly conflicted part of the world? In Rebel Land the acclaimed author and journalist Christopher de Bellaigue journeys to Turkey's inhospitable eastern provinces to find out. Immersing himself in the achingly beautiful district of Varto, a place left behind in Turkey's march to modernity, medieval in its attachment to race and religious sect, he explores the violent history of conflict between Turks, Kurds and Armenians, and the maelstrom, of emotion and memories, that defines its inhabitants even today. The result is a compellingly personal account of one man's search into the past, as de Bellaigue, mistrusted by all he meets, and particularly by the secret agents of the State, applies his investigative flair and fluent Turkish to unlock jealously-guarded taboos and hold humanity's excesses up to the light of a very modern sensibility.
The book of human skin is a large volume with many pages of villainy writ upon it. There are people who are a disease, you know. 13 May, 1784, Venice: Minguillo Fasan, heir to the decaying, gothic Palazzo Espagnol, is born. Yet Minguillo is no ordinary child: he is strange, devious and all those who come near him are fearful. Twelve years later Minguillo is faced with an unexpected threat to his inheritance: a newborn sister, Marcella. His untempered jealousy will condemn his sister to a series of fates as a cripple, a madwoman and a nun. But in his insatiable quest to destroy her, he may have underestimated his sister's ferocious determination, and her unlikely allies who will go to extraordinary lengths to save her...
summoning him for an ingenious campaign of revenge - he follows. After their all-nighter ends and a new day breaks, Q arrives at school to discover that Margo, always an enigma, has now become a mystery. She has disappeared. Q soon learns that there are clues in her disappearance . . . and they are for him. Trailing Margo's disconnected path across the USA, the closer Q gets, the less sure he is of who he is looking for.
Zara collects phobias the way other high school girls collect Facebook friends. It's little wonder, since she's had a fairly rough life. Her father left when she was a baby, her stepfather just died and her mother's almost given up - in fact, she's sent her to live with her grandmother in cold and sleepy Maine to `keep Zara safe'. Zara doesn't think she's in danger; she thinks her mother just can't cope. Zara's wrong. The man she sees everywhere - the tall, creepy guy who points at her from the side of the road - is not a figment of her imagination. He's a pixie. But not the cute, sweet kind with little wings. Maine's got a whole assortment of unbelievable creatures. And they seem to need something - something from Zara . . .
When Lukas Declercq is orphaned, his uncle summons him to Prague, a refuge for Europe's greatest alchemists and natural philosophers, offering to take him on as an apprentice. Uncle Anselmus is court physician to Rudolph II, the reclusive and unstable Emperor. He is also curator of Rudolph's bizarre Cabinet of Curiosities, a series of vast rooms stuffed with wonders and scientific marvels such as a nail from Noah's Ark, phoenix feathers and monstrous freaks of nature, which fascinate Lukas. As Rudolph retreats further into his fantasy world, the threat of rebellion hangs in the air. Dorantes, a diplomat from Spain, comes with his daughter, Celestina, on a mission from Philip II to persuade Rudolph to give up his heretical ways. But he discovers the court is full of diplomats who have been waiting months or years for an audience with the Emperor. Dorantes notices how some had wormed their way into the Emperor's favour by presenting him with fantastic gifts for his Cabinet, and sets about creating a device that he says will stop time. But it works only in the presence of the Emperor. Lukas knows the terrible truth behind Dorantes's mission. But sinister forces have plans for Lukas too, and before he can thwart the plot against the Emperor, Lukas must gamble on Celestina's loyalty in order to save his own life.
There has been a terrible mistake. Wayside School was supposed to have been built with thirty classrooms all next to each other in a row. Instead it was built with the thirty classrooms all on top of each other - thirty storeys high! That may be why all kinds of strange stuff happens at Wayside School. Especially on the thirtieth floor. It is a school full of unusual characters too. Mrs Gorf, the meanest teacher in the world. Terrible Todd who always gets sent home early. John who can only read upside down. It is a crazy mixed-up school, brilliantly brought to life by the irresistible Louis Sachar.
All the kids from Wayside School had to spend 243 days in horrible schools while Wayside was closed to get rid of the infestation of cows! Now the kids are back and the fun begins again on every floor. Miss Mush has prepared a special lunch of baked liver in purple sauce and it is pet day on the 30th floor. There are dogs and cats and frogs and skunks and an orange named Fido, causing a terrible commotion. But the biggest surprise of all is that Mrs Jewls is expecting a baby and a substitute teacher is coming, and everyone knows what that means . . . Wayside School is going to get a little stranger.
The Spitting Cobra is the first in a new series of four books set in ancient Egypt. Each book is a fantastically atmospheric evocation of Egyptian life encased in an exciting adventure story. The boy and girl characters, Hopi and Isis, feature in each book and readers will be intrigued to follow their struggles for existence and adventure in Egypt circa 1150 BC. The Spitting Cobra opens the series with a gripping adventure of royal proportions as Hopi and Isis, orphaned when crocodiles kill their parents, are due to perform for the Pharoah's tomb builders near the legendary Valley of the Kings. But the villagers fall under suspicion when the heavily guarded royal tombs are broken into. Can Isis and Hopi discover the truth about the robberies - in time?
In the spring of 2007, hard on the heels of the worst winter in the history of Juneau, Alaska, Lynn Schooler finds himself facing the far side of middle age and exhausted by labouring to handcraft a home as his marriage slips away. Seeking solace and escape in nature, he sets out on a solo journey into the Alaskan wilderness, travelling first by small boat across the formidable Gulf of Alaska, then on foot along one of the wildest coastlines in North America. Walking Home is filled with stunning observations of the natural world, and rife with nail-biting adventure as Schooler fords swollen rivers and eludes aggressive grizzlies. But more important, it is a story about finding wholeness-and a sense of humanity-in the wild. His is a solitary journey, but Schooler is never alone; human stories people the landscape-tales of trappers, explorers, marooned sailors, and hermits, as well as the mythology of the region's Tlingit Indians. Alone in the middle of several thousand square miles of wilderness, Schooler conjures the souls of travellers past to learn how the trials of life may be better borne with the help and community of others. In Walking Home Schooler creates a conversation between the human and the natural, the past and present, and investigates, with elegance and soul, what it means to be a part of the flow of human history.
During the ten years from 1987 to 1997 that he was Director of the Royal National Theatre, Richard Eyre kept a diary - a record that disarmingly captured a life at the heart of British cultural and political affairs. The powerful and the famous inevitably strut and fret upon its pages, but National Service is also a moving personal journey, charted faithfully by a fiercely self-aware and frequently self-doubting individual. The job of grappling with a giant three-headed monster as complex as the Royal National Theatre is laid before us. So are good gossip, brilliant insights into personalities and relationships and a sense of the ridiculous, which Eyre is powerless to suppress. Like other consummate diarists such as Alan Clark and Kenneth Tynan, Richard Eyre has a voice and point of view that jolt the reader into fresh understanding - and are instantly compelling.
beggar the imagination of journalistic witnesses. Cartel gunmen have shot up schools and rehabilitation centers, and murdered the entire families of those who defy them. Reformers and law enforcement officials have been gunned down within hours of taking office. Headless corpses are dumped on streets to intimidate rivals, and severed heads are rolled onto dancefloors as messages to would-be opponents. And the war is creeping northward. El Narco is the story of the ultraviolent criminal organizations that have turned huge areas of Mexico into a combat zone. It is a piercing portrait of a drug trade that turns ordinary men into mass murderers, as well as a diagnosis of what drives the cartels and what gives them such power. Veteran Mexico correspondent Ioan Grillo traces the gangs from their origins as smugglers to their present status as criminal empires. The narco cartels are a threat to the Mexican government, and their violence has now reached as far as North Carolina. El Narco is required reading for anyone concerned about one of the most important news stories of the decade.