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a load of old balls: THe QI History OF SPORTS

Anna Ptaszynski & James Harkin

Hop, skip and jump into this wonderfully curious grand tour of the world of sports, brought to you by QI Elves James Harkin and Anna Ptaszynski.

From sport's weirdest rules to its most unlikely heroes, via comically large cricket bats, pole-vaulting priests, creative football chants and exploding billiard balls, each chapter of A Load of Old Balls is brimming with surprising facts and intriguing stories.

Even if you've never asked yourself what David Attenborough has to do with yellow tennis balls, why Victorian doctors feared the outbreak of 'bicycle face' or what led ancient Egyptian athletes to have their spleens removed, this book will give you the astonishing answers - and plenty more besides.

Published in hardback as Everything to Play For.

'Top Bins! A personal best, a lap record and a hole in one for when rain has stopped play.' ALAN DAVIES

'The trivia book of the season....magnificent!' MARCUS BERKMANN, THE SPECTATOR



Andrew Hunter Murray

Property might be theft. But the housing market is murder.

My name is Al. I live in wealthy people's second homes while their real owners are away.
I don’t rob them, I don’t damage anything… I’m more an unofficial house-sitter than an actual criminal.
Life is good.
Or it was - until last night, when my friends and I broke into the wrong place, on the wrong day, and someone wound up dead.
And now … now we’re in a great deal of trouble.

'Hugely entertaining... laugh-out-loud funny.... almost impossible to put down.' SUNDAY TIMES


'A propulsive plot, an ingenious narrator and lashings of intrigue make this a genuine and thoroughly enjoyable page-turner.' THE GUARDIAN

Check out Andy's first two novels, The Last Day and The Sanctuary here.



Dan Schreiber

This is not a book of facts; it’s a book of ‘facts’. Should you finish it believing we became the planet’s dominant species because predators found us too smelly to eat; or that the living bloodline of Christ is a family of Japanese garlic farmers – well, that’s on you.

Why are we here? Do ghosts exist? Did life on Earth begin after a badly tidied-up picnic? Was it just an iceberg that sank the Titanic? Are authors stealing their plotlines from the future? Will we ever talk to animals? And why, when you’re in the shower, does the shower curtain always billow in towards you?

We don’t know the answers to any of these questions. But don’t worry, no matter what questions you have, you can bet on the fact that there is someone (or something) out there, investigating it on your behalf. From the sports stars who use cosmic energy to office plants investigating murders, The Theory of Everything Else will act as a handbook for those who want to think differently.

'Totally compelling and utterly bizarre.' LOUIS THEROUX

'A return to the golden age of the trivia compendium.' THE NEW YORK TIMES

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