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Looking to find out something more about the world we live in, instead of gallivanting off into the realm of fiction? Have a look at our hand-picked non-fiction choices.
September 2009 Good Housekeeping selection. On My Bookshelf by Penny Smith... Life At The Extremes: The Science Of Survival by Dr Frances Ashcroft is full of derring-do and really mad scientists trying to prove what they think they know. You know QI (Quite Interesting)? Well this should be VI because I find it Very Interesting. For example, when they tell you to put on your mask first in a plane it’s because the 15 seconds before the oxygen becomes too thin is the only time you are capable of doing anything. That’s worth knowing! GMTV presenter Penny Smith is passionate about books and is now a novelist herself; her latest fiction, After The Break, is published by Harper Perennial.
August 2010 Guest Editor Veronica Henry on Kitchen Confidential... Everyone loves a bad boy, and Anthony Bourdain does bad better than anyone, with his no-holds-barred behind the scenes expose of the restaurant world. He is unashamedly outrageous – and all the more attractive for it. If I could make any of my heroes have a tenth of his magnetism …
This practical no nonsense, humorous and easy-to-read book will help you discover the truth about men and women and how as a consequence to learn to live with each other in a more relaxing and understanding environment. The result will be an improved relationship as well as an inspirational read. Like its sister books why men don't have a clue and women always need more shoes and The definitive book of body language, they are all guaranteed to lift the human spirit.
January 2010 Good Housekeeping selection. On My Bookshelf by Wendy Holden... I’m not much of a cook, but French Provincial Cooking by Elizabeth David (Penguin) makes me feel that I could be one. The food in it is so delicious-sounding and there’s a wonderful atmosphere engendered by David’s descriptions of stopping at country inns in the middle of nowhere and discovering some gastronomic sensation served by an unassuming French grandma in an apron. I have always loved France (Is there anyone who doesn’t?) and the South of France in particular, and sometimes, when one is feeling a bit tired and down, nothing beats taking Elizabeth David to bed and reading about Crème Vichyssoise, Poireaux aux Vin Rouge and other such gourmet delights.
Winner of the Pulitzer Prize and the American Book Award, The Soul of a New Machine was a bestseller on its first publication in 1981. With the touch of an expert thriller writer, Tracy Kidder recounts the feverish efforts of a team of Data General researchers to create a new 32-bit superminicomputer. A compelling account of individual sacrifice and human ingenuity, The Soul of a New Machine endures as the classic chronicle of the computer age and the masterminds behind its technological advances.
After writing two highly praised travel books, Sara Wheeler was accepted by the American government to be the first foreigner on their National Science Foundation's Antarctic Artists' and Writers Program. She spent six weeks at the pole and on the edge of the infamous Ross Ice Shelf, as well as another month with the British Antarctic Survey. Terra Incognita is a meditation on the landscape, myths and history of one of the remotest parts of the globe, as well as an encounter with the people who inhabit this region - living in close confinement despite the surrounding acres of white space - and the mechanics of day-to-day life in extraordinary conditions. Through Sara Wheeler, the Antarctic is revealed, in all its seductive mystery.
April 2010 Good Housekeeping selection. On My Bookshelf by Hilary Mantel... In The Man Who Mistook His Wife For A Hat, the famous neurologist Oliver Sacks opened his casebook to show the strangeness of the human condition. No invention could match these real-life cases for interest, and he marries the scientist’s precision to the intensely perceptive, intuitive qualities of a born artist.
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!