In the aftermath of World War I, the doctor and art historian Hans Prinzhorn put together the world's foremost collection of artworks by psychiatric patients. The Prinzhorn Collection, as it became known, inspired a new generation of modern artists, including Paul Klee, Max Ernst, and Salvador Dali. But when the self-taught artist Adolf Hitler rose to power, he turned on the new aesthetic, launching an exhibition of ‘Degenerate Art’ which pilloried modern art, and stripping modern works from German museums. Professional artists fled the country, but Prinzhorn's artists could not flee. Instead, they were targeted by Hitler's first mass-murder campaign, against the mentally ill. Combining inspirational art history with the disturbed exploits of a fanatical art-dictator, this astonishing story reveals the catastrophic cost of the culture war Hitler launched in Nazi Germany.

THE GALLERY OF MIRACLES AND MADNESS

 

For westerners, the name ‘Timbuktu’ has long conjured a tantalising paradise, an African El Dorado where even the slaves wore gold. Beginning in the late eighteenth century, a series of explorers gripped by the fever for discovery tried to reach the fabled city, but one expedition after another succumbed to attack, climate, and disease. In fact, Timbuktu was rich in a different way. For centuries a centre of Islamic learning, it was home to tens of thousands of manuscripts which covered every subject under the Saharan sun. In 2012, when al-Qaeda-linked jihadists surged across Mali and threatened the existence of these precious documents, a team of librarians and archivists joined forces to spirit the manuscripts to safety Relying on extensive research and firsthand reporting, English expertly twines two suspenseful strands into a fascinating account of one of the planet's extraordinary places, and the myths from which it has become inseparable.

 

THE BOOK SMUGGLERS OF TIMBUKTU (aka THE STORIED CITY)

 

THE SNOW TOURIST

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In this unique book, part eulogy, part history, part travelogue, Charlie English goes in search of the best snow on the planet. Along the way he explains the extraordinary hold this commonplace phenomenon has over us, and reveals the ongoing drama of our relationship with it. Combining on-the-slopes experience with off-piste research, Charlie English's journey begins with the magical moment when his two-year-old son sees snow for the first time, before setting off in the footsteps of the Romantic poets over the Alps, following the sled-tracks of the Inuit across Greenland, and meeting up with a flurry of fellow enthusiasts, from snow-making scientists in Japan and global warming experts in California to plough drivers in Alaska.This is a book for anyone who reaches for their mittens at the sight of the first flake.