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The Real World The Real World

All of the most interesting non-fiction accounts of everything that forms part of the human experience. It’s fascinating, huge and all yours!

Books of the Month

Ferguson's Gang The Remarkable Story of the National Trust Gangsters
Polly Bagnall, Sally Beck
November 2015 Book of the Month. You don't often read “gangsters” and National Trust in the same sentence, more surprising still to find out that the said “gangsters” are a secret group...
Format: Hardback - Released: 12/11/2015
Norwegian Wood Chopping, Stacking and Drying Wood the Scandinavian Way
Lars Mytting
November 2015 Book of the Month. This has been and continues to be a phenomenal Norwegian bestseller. Whether you are a seasoned woodcutter, or your passion is yet to be...
Format: Hardback - Released: 01/10/2015
Thing Explainer Complicated Stuff in Simple Words
Randall Munroe
Remarkably clear, simple, occasionally funny explanations and diagrams about 55 complicated things. With fabulous blueprints, some fold out pages, smart little funnies and fascinating information, this is suitable for children and adults, in fact I can see the whole family...
Format: Hardback - Released: 24/11/2015

Other Featured Books this Month

The Light Between Us Lessons from Heaven That Teach Us to Live Better in the Here and Now
Laura Lynne Jackson
‘The Light Between Us’ is moving and fascinating in equal measure. I’m interested in the power of the mind, however I’m sceptical about an afterlife, so will admit to starting to read with an eyebrow ready for raised action. The...
Format: Hardback - Released: 29/10/2015
Magna Carta The True Story Behind the Charter
David Starkey
To mark the 800th anniversary of the signing of Magna Carta, bestselling historian David Starkey explores its influence on Britain today. Taking us from the origins of the “Great Charter”, David Starkey explains its articles and how they have influenced...
Format: Paperback - Released: 22/10/2015
Neurotribes The Legacy of Autism and How to Think Smarter About People Who Think Differently
Steve Silberman
Winner of the Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction 2015. A groundbreaking book that upends conventional thinking about autism and suggests a broader model for acceptance, understanding, and full participation in society for people who think differently.
Format: Paperback - Released: 03/09/2015
In Order to Live A North Korean Girl's Journey to Freedom
Yeonmi Park
Europe is currently dealing with an unprecedented flow of human beings escaping conflict, hunger and political injustice. In Asia there is another flow of refugees undertaking an even deadlier journey from North Korea via China and Mongolia to reach the...
Format: Hardback - Released: 29/09/2015
The Magpie and the Wardrobe A Curiosity of Folklore, Magic and Spells
Sam McKechnie, Alexandrine Portelli
A book to delight , a seasonal celebration of tradition, magic, custom and folklore. The text and little random thoughts and sayings punctuating the beautiful collage style illustrations making some stunning still life scenes using found objects. The book has...
Format: Hardback - Released: 15/10/2015
Great Escapes The Story of MI9's Second World War Escape and Evasion Maps
Barbara Bond
A history of MI9's efforts in providing secret mapping during WWII. These maps, often printed on silk, were produced for pilots, the SOE and for smuggling to prisoners as an escape aid. It is one of those stories that has...
Format: Hardback - Released: 22/10/2015
Telegraph History of the World
Gavin Fuller
A celebration of 160 years of reporting from the end of the Crimea War in 1856 to the Fifa scandals in May this year. A Daily Telegraph reporter always on hand to report war and protest, death and glory. 160...
Format: Hardback - Released: 15/10/2015
Lingo A Language Spotter's Guide to Europe
Gaston Dorren
An examination of Europe through its languages and dialects, how, living so close together have we developed so many languages? These and other linguistic questions are answered in Gaston Dorren’s Lingo, a book to make any fan of etymology very...
Format: Paperback - Released: 05/11/2015
Chance The Science and Secrets of Luck, Randomness and Probability
Jeremy Webb, Michael Brooks
In Chance, a (not entirely) random selection of the New Scientist's sharpest minds provide fascinating insights into luck, randomness, risk and probability. From the secrets of coincidence to placing the perfect bet, the science of random number generation to the...
Format: Paperback - Released: 02/10/2014
They Laughed at Galileo
Albert Jack
A fascinating look at the inventions developed by visionaries who dreamt of the seemingly impossible, but who were opposed by an array of experts publicly declaring that 'It cannot be done.' Well, yes it could ... And here's the story...
Format: Hardback - Released: 07/05/2015
The Cancer Prevention Manual Simple Rules to Reduce the Risks
Ian N. Olver, Fred Stephens
The Cancer Prevention Manual, Second Edition is a handy guide to all of the key issues in cancer prevention. It presents medical and scientific information in an easy to understand style which is accessible to everyone. This book provides the...
Format: Paperback - Released: 22/10/2015
Big Magic Creative Living Beyond Fear
Elizabeth Gilbert
Sharing stories from her own life, as well as those from her friends and the people that have inspired her, Elizabeth Gilbert challenges us to embrace our curiosity, tackle what we most love and face down what we most fear....
Format: Hardback - Released: 22/09/2015
The Joy of Tax
Richard Murphy
Tax is at the heart of government, none of us want to see our hard-earned cash disappearing into the government’s maw yet we want the NHS, free schools, roads, the Police and the other things it pays for. Richard Murphy...
Format: Hardback - Released: 01/10/2015
Robert Macfarlane
Shortlisted for the Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction 2015. Infused with the poetry of the land, Robert Macfarlane’s Landmarks explores and celebrates the close relationship between the landscape and the words we use to describe it, an outpouring of...
Format: Hardback - Released: 05/03/2015
Hello Knitting! Simple Knits to Have You in Stitches

With bright, modern, full colour illustrations, anyone can quickly learn to knit, master new stitches and make a selection of cute and easy knitting projects with Hello Knitting! With this book safely at your side for guidance, even those who...
Format: Paperback - Released: 02/04/2015
Winter Knitting Patterns for the Family and Home
This inspiring new book from the team behind MillaMia knitwear is packed with projects to take you through the wintertime. As the seasons change from cool, crisp autumn to the cold and dark of winter, Scandinavians are particularly good at...
Format: Hardback - Released: 09/10/2014
Mollie Makes: How to Knit Go from Beginner to Expert with 20 New Projects
Mollie Makes
The team behind Mollie Makes magazine have brought together all their favourite knit designers to share their tips, stories and beautiful projects. Knitting may seem complicated, but in fact there are just two stitches you need to learn. Once you...
Format: Hardback - Released: 03/09/2015
Best in Show: Knit Your Own Dinosaur
Sally Muir, Joanna Osborne
Sally Muir and Joanna Osborne are back with a new title in the Best in Show series. This time they have turned back time and delved into the fascinating prehistoric world with a collection of new patterns for dinosaurs and...
Format: Hardback - Released: 09/07/2015
Hello Sewing! Simple Makes That are Just Sew
Lena Santana
Lena Santana has devised a collection of simple, beautifully made sewing projects that serve as a perfect introduction to dressmaking. With a comprehensive guide to choosing and using fabrics, and a handy techniques section beginners will be masters of sewing...
Format: Paperback - Released: 28/08/2014
Freehand Fashion Learn to Sew the Perfect Wardrobe - No Patterns Required!
Chinelo Bally
Before appearing on the BBC's The Great British Sewing Bee, Chinelo Bally had never used a sewing pattern. She wowed the judges with her ability to create stylish, fitted garments using a freehand cutting method that was taught to her...
Format: Hardback - Released: 12/11/2015
Secret Garden Embroidery 15 Projects for Your Stitching Pleasure
Sophie Simpson
This whimsical collection of botanical-inspired needlework projects will take you from budding novice to confident stitcher as you explore a variety of simple counted embroidery techniques. There are 15 gorgeous projects on offer here, with templates, beautiful photos and comprehensive...
Format: Paperback - Released: 11/06/2015
Fun with Fabric Sew, Cut, Print and Stick with Retro and Vintage Fabric
Jane Foster
Fun with Fabric is Jane Foster's first book, and in it she presents 15 simple projects, using fabulous fabrics from her own collection. With a cheerful primary coloured retro design hardback cover, this is a small but perfectly formed book....
Format: Hardback - Released: 10/10/2013
QI: The Third Book of General Ignorance
John Lloyd, John Mitchinson, James Harkin, Andrew Hunter Murray
This book gathers 180 questions that featured on the BBC TV programme's popular 'General Ignorance' round, and show why, when it comes to general knowledge, none of us knows anything at all.
Format: Hardback - Released: 01/10/2015
Wet Dog
Sophie Gamand
Portraits of any number of dogs undergoing their regular shampoo and set. Some long-suffering, most resigned and just a few enjoying the whole thing. A lovely array of dogs, some very high maintenance but with a good number of streetwise...
Format: Hardback - Released: 15/10/2015

Last Month's Featured Books

Stalin's Englishman The Lives of Guy Burgess
Andrew Lownie
Why did Guy Burgess, 1st class Cambridge scholar and apparently one of the most British of characters, agree to work for a foreign power, of which he knew very little,...

Vargic's Miscellany of Curious Maps Mapping Out the Modern World
Martin Vargic
October 2015 Non-Fiction Book of the Month. Maps – but not as we know them... Some of Martin Vargic's intricate...

The Evolution of Everything How Ideas Emerge
Matt Ridley
October 2015 Non-Fiction Book of the Month. Matt Ridley explores the Theory of Evolution in Everything from Religion to Politics...

The A-Z of Pointless A Brain-Teasing Bumper Book of Questions and Trivia
Alexander Armstrong, Richard Osman
Delve into the world of Pointless, the huge ratings-winning hit BBC One quiz show, with this brilliant bumper book of over 120 new quiz questions, facts, banter and musings. Written...

Behavioural Economics Saved My Dog Life Advice for the Imperfect Human
Dan Ariely
With the driest of humour, Dan Ariely presents some of the questions he's answered via his Wall Street Journal column. He has a genius for coming at problems from unforseen...

Mayday! A History of Flight Through its Martyrs, Oddballs, and Daredevils
David Darling
David Darling’s is a most agreeable voyage through the history of flight and the men – and women who took such risks in the battle to get airborne. There is...

Flying the Nest The Early Days of Britain's Best-Loved Animals
Hannah Dale
An adorable set of animal portraits, the colour sketches catching the baby creatures in affectionate detail. Set out with an illustration on each page spread, accompanied by a short piece...

History of the World in 100 Modern Objects Middle-Class Stuff (and Nonsense)
Francesca Hornak
From her Sunday Times column Francesca Hornak has taken 100 columns highlighting iconic objects that any middle-class person would see as essential such as a Farrow and Ball sample pots...

Letters of Note Correspondence Deserving of a Wider Audience
Shaun Usher
Offers a collection of one hundred and twenty five of the world's most entertaining, inspiring and unusual letters, based on the seismically popular website of the same name - an...

More Letters of Note Correspondence Deserving of a Wider Audience
Shaun Usher
Featuring Richard Burton's farewell note to Elizabeth Taylor, Helen Keller's letter to The New York Symphony Orchestra about 'hearing' their concert through her fingers, the final missives from a doomed...

Nextinction Birds in Trouble
Ceri Levy, Ralph Steadman
The follow-up to the award-winning Extinct Boids. This time the focus is not on the birds that are gone, but the ones that there's still time to save. Cartoonist and...

London Couture British Luxury 1923-1975
Edwina Ehrman
London Couture is the first book to examine, in detail, the luxurious garments produced by the rarefied London couture industry - from lavish ballgowns to sharply tailored suits and spectacular...

The Magic and Mystery of Birds The Surprising Lives of Birds and What They Reveal About Being Human
Noah Strycker
Noah Strycker gives Birds the great attention they deserve; their variety, skill and emotion, a study of birds where we can also learn much about the human condition. One of...

Switch it off
Emlyn Rees, Josie Lloyd
From the authors of We're Going on a Bar Hunt , the paper smartphone full of cool stuff to get you really connected with the people in your life......

The Four Dimensional Human Ways of Being in the Digital World
Laurence Scott
Shortlisted for the Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction 2015. Winner of the Jerwood Prize for Non-Fiction 2014. What does it feel like to be four-dimensional? How do digital technologies influence...

The Unravelling High Hopes and Missed Opportunities in Iraq
Emma Sky
Shortlisted for the Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction 2015. The riveting first hand account of a young British civilian woman who volunteered to go to Iraq immediately after the invasion...

This Divided Island Stories from the Sri Lankan War
Samanth Subramanian
Shortlisted for the Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction 2015. The vivid and haunting story of Sri Lanka and its brutal thirty-year civil war, from one of India's best new writers....

The Month Before's Featured Books

50 People Who Screwed Up Scotland
Allan Brown
Allan Brown, former Scottish journalist of the year, offers us some withering criticism of those who, in his opinion, have screwed up Scotland. Targets range from Alex Salmond to Sean...

Jack Challoner
Gives readers an insight into the minds and lives of some of the great men and women who have helped shape the modern world. This book transports the reader back...

The Man Who Didn't Go to Newcastle
Alison Clink
September 2015 Book of the Month. A wonderfully eloquent, heartfelt and touching recollection of the author’s relationship with her brother, after he...

Jewels of Allah The Untold Story of Women in Iran
Nina Ansary
September 2015 Book of the Month. A fascinating, behind the scenes view, looking simply and astutely at the history and story of...

Royalty Inc Britain's Best-Known Brand
Stephen Bates
September 2015 Book of the Month. Stephen Bates, a former Guardian Royal Correspondent, chronicles the ups and downs of the British Monarchy...

The Marshmallow Test Understanding Self-Control and How to Master it
Walter Mischel
The marshmallow test - eat one now or enjoy 2 later? The principles of delayed gratification, will-power and self-control are explained and having indentified these skills Walter Mischel, the originator...

The Making of Home The 500-Year Story of How Our Houses Became Homes
Judith Flanders
One of my very favourite books of last year, a wonderful all encompassing history of European and American home life as experienced over the past 500 years. Judith Flanders overturns...

The Human Age The World Shaped by Us
Diane Ackerman
For good or ill, Humans have changed Planet Earth, we are at a crossroads – will our vision, optimism and inventiveness allow us to find a way forward? Not just...

The Novel Cure An A to Z of Literary Remedies
Ella Berthoud, Susan Elderkin
I’d like to think there’ll be a copy of this book in every Doctors / Psychiatrists office and when we want to give up smoking, need painkillers for PMT or...

Late Fragments Everything I Want to Tell You (About This Magnificent Life)
Kate Gross
Diagnosed with terminal bowel cancer as a young woman, Kate Gross was destined never to see her children grow and mature, leave behind a much loved husband and lose all...
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Literally Everything


Cartoonist, Robert Crumb said; “When I come up against the Real World, I just vacillate”. Well, he can happily vacillate here for a while. This section features a whole host of books covering subjects as diverse as Mankind’s place in the Universe (Human Universe by Brian Cox), the history of the human journey to work (Rush Hour by Iain Gateley) and the real business of reading books (Bookworms, Dogears and Squashy Big Armchairs by Heather Reyes). This is the ‘Human’ section in our book lovers’ journey.

If you love reading, then you’ll find something here to fascinate you. There are new and interest-piquing passages here from science, philosophy, politics, history, religion, and all of the things that occupy the lives of humans. And we mean ALL of them. The fight against Cancer, the fight for freedom, feminism, fatality, frailty and fame. It’s too big to list. Have a browse through the titles by using our monthly recommendations past and present. We guarantee you’ll be hooked in minutes!

Dava Sobel 
Bill Bryson 
Giles Milton