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Life’s a Pitch

Roger Mavity

(OD 1956)

and Stephen Bayley

Transworld Publishers,


A business pitch is

described in this book

as “the absolute essence

of modern business”. The

ultimate how-to book,

this book is a mixture

of mechanics and magic.

This is the first time

a book of this nature

has been written, to

create embedded clause,

including as it does, a

mixture of mentoring,

graphics, anthropology,

market research and

modern Machiavellianism.

So whether at a sales

conference, in corporate

conference room hell, or

over lunch at a glamourous


Life’s a Pitch

tells you how to handle

human transactions. Part

inspirational manual for

business, part guidebook

to a successful and

happy social life,

Life’s a


is the result of an

accumulated half century

of (mostly successful)

pitching by the authors.

Roger Mavity is a

business expert, writer

and photographer and was

one of our speakers at the


Arduus ad Solem


Entrepreneurs Event (see

page 12).


Nicholas Shakespeare

(OD 1970)

Random House, 2015

On 1 January 1915,

ramifications from the

First World War, raging

half a world away, were

felt in Broken Hill,

Australia when, in a

guerrilla-style military

operation, four citizens

were killed and seven

wounded. It was the

annual picnic day and

1000 Australians, dressed

for fun, were suddenly

attacked by the enemy on

Australian soil. Nicholas

Shakespeare has turned

this little known piece of

Australian history into a

story for our time.


is an

economically elegant story.

Peter Craven of the


Morning Herald

wrote that

it “…restores to a human

scale what wanton death,

suicidal defiance in the

name of Allah, explicable

grievances and absurd

tragedy look like with a

real human face.”

Nicholas Shakespeare

has had 13 books

published and has been

described by the


Street Journal

as “one of

the best English novelists

of our time”.

Secret Gardens of

the Cotswolds

Victoria Summerly,

photographs by Hugo


(OD 1970)

Frances Lincoln, 2015

This coffee table book is a

captivating photographic

portrait of the greatest

British gardens and

the lords, ladies and

gardeners who own and

manage them. Focusing

on the counties of

Gloucestershire and

Oxfordshire, it features

20 gardens designed

by some of the world’s

leading contemporary

garden designers. Some

are strictly private, while

others are regularly open

to visitors, but all can

now be savoured and

enjoyed along with those

who know them best.

Hugo is one of the

UK’s leading portrait

photographers, but

in 2012 was privately

commissioned to

photograph the Cotswold

gardens of Eyford House,

Corwill Manor and

Asthall Manor.

Sidney Chambers

and The Dangers of


James Runcie

(OD 1972)

Bloomsbury Publishing,


The Dangers of Temptation

features Archdeacon

Sidney Chambers finding

being a full-time priest

(and part-time detective)

increasingly challenging.

When a bewitching

divorcee interrupts his

family lunch and asks

him to help locate her

missing son, he hopes it

will be an open and shut

case.The last thing he

expects is to be dragged

into the mysterious

workings of a sinister

cult, or to find himself

tangled up in another

murder investigation.

But, as always, the village

of Grantchester is not

as peaceful as it seems

... From the theft of an

heirloom to an ominous

case of blackmail, Sidney

is once again rushed off

his feet.

James Runcie is a

novelist, documentary

film-maker, television

producer and theatre


The Dangers

of Temptation

is the

fifth instalment of his

Grantchester Mysteries.

The Dragon is keen to keep abreast of published OD writing, books about ODs and of OD interest.

Here are publishers’ descriptions of books received by the OD Office since the last issue of

The OD


Book Shelf


Thomas Brown



Sparkling Books, 2016

Thomas Brown celebrated

the publication of

his second novel at

Waterstones in Witney

on 13 February 2015. The

book focuses on Felix,

who walks the same way

to work every morning,

and the same way home

again in the evenings.

His life feels like one day

repeated over and over;

sometimes all he can do

is sit and watch while

the urban sprawl races

indifferently around him.

When the city stares

back at him, one evening

after work, everything

changes. He doesn’t see

the statue’s head move, but

he feels its eyes studying

him from its lofty perch

in East Park. From then

on he thinks he still

glimpses it encroaching

with every visit. Memories

start spilling through the

streets, crawling through

the dark, haunting his

night-time flat, until he

isn’t quite sure what is

real anymore and what

is imagined, in this hard,

grey place where the gulls

watch him.