At House of Coco we love nothing more than getting curled up on a big comfy chair, in front of a roaring log fire with our sweats on whilst reading a book. We also love to dive in to a good read whilst on the beach with a cocktail (or two) in our hand!
In the winter of 1950, Margaret Sanger, then seventy-one, and who had campaigned for women’s right to control their own fertility for five decades, arrived at a Park Avenue apartment building. She had come to meet a visionary scientist with a dubious reputation more than twenty years her junior. His name was Gregory Pincus.
In The Birth of the Pill, Jonathan Eig tells the extraordinary story of how, prompted by Sanger, and then funded by the wealthy widow and philanthropist Katharine McCormick, Pincus invented a drug that would stop women ovulating. With the support of John Rock, a charismatic and, crucially, Catholic doctor from Boston, who battled his own church in the effort to win public approval for the controversial new drug, he succeeded. Together, these four determined men and women changed the world.
Spanning the years from Sanger’s heady Greenwich Village days in the early twentieth century to trial tests in Puerto Rico in the 1950s to the cusp of the sexual revolution in the 1960s, this is a grand story of radical feminism, scientific ingenuity, establishment opposition, and, ultimately, a sea change in social attitudes. Brilliantly researched and vividly written, The Birth of the Pill is a gripping account of a remarkable cultural, social and scientific journey.
In May 1941 Lena Mukhina was an ordinary teenage girl, living in Leningrad, worrying about her homework and whether Vova, the boy she liked, liked her. Like a good Soviet schoolgirl, she was also diligently learning German, the language of Russia’s Nazi ally. And she was keeping a diary, in which she recorded her hopes and dreams. Then, on 22 June 1941, Hitler broke his pact with Stalin and declared war on the Soviet Union.
All too soon, Leningrad was besieged and life became a living hell. Lena and her family fought to stay alive; their city was starving and its citizens were dying in their hundreds of thousands. From day to dreadful day, Lena records her experiences: the desperate hunt for food, the bitter cold of the Russian winter, the cruel deaths of those she loved.
The Diary of Lena Mukhina is a truly remarkable account of this most terrible era in modern history. It offers readers the vivid first-hand testimony of a courageous young woman struggling simply to survive.
Losing It by Helen Lederer – fiction
The laugh-out-loud debut novel from one of Britain’s best-loved comediennes (she played Catriona in Absolutely Fabulous)
Millie was at one time quite well known for various TV and radio appearances. However, she now has no money, a best friend with a better sex life than her, a daughter in Papua New Guinea and too much weight in places she really doesn’t want it.
When she’s asked to be the front woman for a new diet pill, she naively believes that all her troubles will be solved. She will have money, the weight will be gone, and maybe she’ll get more sex.
If only life was really that easy. It doesn’t take her long to realize it’s going to take more than a diet pill to solve her never-ending woes…
“In one hilarious bound Helen Lederer has crowned herself Queen of Desperate. Desperately funny, desperately engaging, desperately readable and desperately adorable.” – STEPHEN FRY
“Helen Lederer is the 3rd funniest woman in the world. Read this!” – DAWN FRENCH
“Funny, witty, quirky . . . like the woman herself. Treat yourself.” – JO BRAND
“A brilliant creation: scene after scene of blissful agony . . . Lederer’s dry and merciless observation of women struggling to be fabulous is hugely entertaining.” – JOANNA LUMLEY
The Unwitting by Ellen Feldman – fiction
Betrayal comes in many forms . . .
At the height of the Cold War, words are weapons and secrecy reigns. These are challenging times to be a writer and a wife, as Nell Benjamin knows only too well.
One bright November day in 1963, the dazzling young president arrives in Texas and Nell receives a phonecall that overturns the world as she knows it. In the shocking aftermath, whilst America mourns, Nell must come to terms with both a tragedy and a betrayal that shatters every illusion of the man she thought she knew better than anyone else.
Resonant, illuminating and utterly absorbing, The Unwitting is about the lies we tell, the secrets we keep and the power of both truth and love.