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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.
Any adult who deals with children, and not just teachers and others who work in school settings, would find this enlightening, thought provoking and revealing. As we learn from the little snippets from the school reports of Paul Dix at the end of each chapter, the author has direct experience of being one of the ‘bad boys’ and now has more than 25 years of working to transform the most challenging behaviour in schools, referral units and colleges to call upon. As a 14-year-old he vowed he would change the way adults deal with behaviour and I defy any reader not to rethink their own strategies as a result of this book. Responsible adults should be just that – always in control of themselves before they attempt to take control of others. But this is nothing to do with blaming teachers. Paul Dix is angry but he is angry with the lack of proper training in behaviour management and angry with the unrelenting drive for ‘progress’, pleasing Ofsted and analysing data which is destroying any ethos of pastoral care. Here chapter by chapter he asks hard hitting questions about school policies and behaviours and shows how these impact on students and often in a very counterproductive way. He writes with humour and the occasional frank expletive, he shares personal anecdotes, observations and tried and tested strategies backed up by theory, case studies and international examples. Each chapter concludes with three helpful checklists: Testing, Watch Out For and Nuggets which sum up, encourage and act as a quick aide-memoire going forward. Ultimately the author’s message is about consistency and kindness. “ Visible consistency with visible kindness allows exceptional behaviour to flourish” This is a genuine must-read that can genuinely transform schools and as his many examples show where improved behaviour leads, improved attainment follows. ~ Joy Court You can also access When the Adults Change, Everything Changes on Audible as an audio book here.
Penguin presents the audiobook edition of What It Takes written and read by Raegan Moya-Jones. When Raegan Moya-Jones was told by her overbearing male boss that she didn't have an 'entrepreneurial bone' in her whole body, she almost laughed in his face. What he didn't know was that the business she'd been secretly working on in the small hours of the night after putting her baby to bed had just hit a revenue of $1 million. Today, aden + anais, the swaddling blanket and baby goods company Moya-Jones founded is a global, multi-million dollar franchise and one that Beyoncé, Gwen Stefani and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge loyally support. In this clever, relatable and iconoclastic success story, Moya-Jones busts every myth and misconception about women in business and argues that women should embrace the attributes that set them apart from men. Blanket conventions and perceived barriers attached to the female entrepreneur can be transformed into assets and profit - all you have to do is take the leap.
This is a totally unique and breathtaking introduction to what lies beneath us, to the earth below our feet. Let this very special and beautiful book take you by the hand and lead you through the sunlit fields to the place where the underland begins, a place most human thoughts shy from in fear and confusion. This is a sequel to The Old Ways, yet you can begin here without concern, you can trust and join Robert Macfarlane as he explores the underland. I will admit that I am in love with the writing, the words, the vision that allows you to see and feel in darkness. I haven’t ever considered our deep connection to this stunning underworld in the way you are encouraged to here. Robert Macfarlane meets and shares experiences with people who have chosen to explore, to look beyond the obvious. I absolutely adored how much he shares, how accessible Underland is, his words reached out and connected with my thoughts and feelings, altering, reshaping, transforming. While there is plenty to fear for our future, all the time there are humans with this amount of love for our natural world, there is also hope. Underland is one of my picks of the month, and also one of our star books - it is quite simply stunning.
The moment I held Rock Pool for the first time, I sensed I was in for a real treat. The book (hardback) feels like an item of quality. It has a beautifully designed and illustrated front cover, a sturdy jacket, and is printed on very good quality paper. Credit must also go to Myfanwy Vernon-Hunt for the design, which is first class. The only remaining question, would the content match up? Rock Pool is a personal account of a life spent exploring our coastal rocks, our beaches, and the life therein. It’s not, as I first believed, a reference or identification book. To some extent, this relieved me as I am not – or I wasn’t – a beach or rock pool enthusiast. That said, I am a diver and I share the author’s love of nature, and of life at our coastal edge. There’s little I enjoy more than donning a wet suit and air tank to then spend an hour or so in shallow waters exploring the nooks and crannies of the rocks. So, did content match cover? Yes, very much. Heather Buttivant’s writing style is polished and engaging. With consummate ease, she leads you, her reader, into her world, shows it to you and helps you enjoy it and learn from it. Her infectious enthusiasm shines through every chapter, every page. Rock Pool is told, with considerable originality, through the medium of twenty-four creatures likely to be seen between the tides. It made me smile, many times. If I had one, very small, comment, it is that a few of the many colour photographs were not high definition. That said, this in no way detracted from my overall enjoyment of Rock Pool - and the illustrations are excellent! Heather Buttivant maintains a blog called Cornish Rock Pools. I’ve signed up to it, and I’ve every intention of attending one of her guided tours. If it’s as good as her book, it will also prove to be a great experience.
I wanted to be a unicorn. I wanted to be a lawyer. I wanted to be an astronaut. But the thing I really wanted to be, more than anything else, was a little less like me. It was only recently that I realised not wanting to be me was at the heart of every dumb decision I ever made. And so now I am writing this book containing all the life lessons I wish someone had taught me. A book for the teenage girl in me. And for every teenage girl out there. Because the most powerful thing you can be when you grow up is yourself. Frank and fearless, You Got This openly explores topics like self-respect, body image, masturbation and mental health, making it the perfect companion for young women.
Why do some people get to achieve aspirations that were unattainable for their parents while others don’t seem to get the opportunities they deserve? That is the critical, far-reaching question at the heart of this energetic, enlightening book. Based on fascinating – and often heart-rending - case studies of UK citizens, it explores to what extent children are offered opportunities to attain widely-held aspirations (to have a job you love, your own home and a rewarding relationship/family), what barriers are in their way, and whether decision-makers are truly prepared to take measures to remove those barriers. Through personal experience and interviews with a diverse set of individuals, the author notes that most children from working class backgrounds have at best a couple of hours of career guidance. People stumble into jobs, or end up down career cul-de-sacs they should never have taken. The findings don’t make for happy reading overall. While a working class kid might break through one barrier and get to university on merit, on arrival “the cultural codes of the elite are opaque and baffling”, and it’s often the same experience for those who break into traditionally middle class professions. Indeed, the author discovers that today people from middle-income backgrounds are more likely to slide down the scale. So what’s the solution to this depressing state of affairs? The author notes several key factors that need to be addressed. For example, social desegregation in educational institutions: “schools should be required to ensure that their intake is at least approximately reflective of the population of the surrounding local authority.” Another key factor would be to take away “opportunity tolls” i.e. children not being able to attend certain schools because of uniform costs, or jobseekers being unable to afford to travel to interviews. This engaging book makes for sobering reading, but also offers hope through the author’s ideas for rebalancing society to benefit the many.
In the face of urgency and uncertainty, would you respond analytically or trust your instincts? How would you decide who lives and who dies? Dr Sabrina Cohen-Hatton has been a firefighter for eighteen years. She decides which of her colleagues rush into a burning building and how they confront the blaze. She makes the call to evacuate if she believes the options have been exhausted or that the situation has escalated beyond hope. This is her astonishing account of a profession defined by the most difficult decisions imaginable. Taking us to the very heart of firefighting, Sabrina uses her award-winning research to reveal the skills that are essential to surviving – and even thriving – in such a fast-paced and emotionally-charged environment. And she immerses us in this extraordinary world; from scenes of devastation and crisis, through triumphs of bravery, to the quieter moments when she questions herself and the decisions made in the most unforgiving circumstances. Here is the truth about how we respond in our most extreme moments.
Over 140 new, unmissable recipes from the creators of a plant-based revolution. Do you want a quick weeknight supper that gets more veg into your diet? A show-stopping vegan Christmas dinner? A fun, fresh meal plan to set you up with plant-based packed lunches? Whatever you're after, BISH BASH BOSH! has the perfect recipe. Henry and Ian have created a food revolution through the world's biggest plant-based platform. Their first cookbook was the highest-selling vegan cookbook ever, and with over 2 million followers across all their fast-growing channels, BOSH! are on a mission to show the world just how versatile cooking with veg can be. In BISH BASH BOSH! you'll discover a whole world of quick eats, weeknight suppers, showstopping feasts, and incredible sweet treats - all using the power of plants. From a hearty, classic lasagne to an indulgent mini banoffee meringue, and from quick quesadillas to an incredible curry house jalfrezi, these are simple, savvy recipes that you'll turn to time and again. Whether you are a committed vegan, trying plant-based food for the first time, or simply just want to try a meal a week without meat, this book has all the know-how and inspiration you need. BISH BASH BOSH!
An interesting and thought-provoking memoir based on Ruth Hartley’s escape to London, and the ordeal she went through to get here in the early 1960’s while pregnant with her first born. I’m not one to get emotional over books but this is one of those rare occasions where I went through a whole roller-coaster of emotions, ranging from Sadness to happiness to even angry about some of the attitudes that people had in the early 60’s. I know some of these prejudices and stigmas still exist to this day but these day’s people and even communities are learning to accept it a little better. This was a very well written memoir, which I found easy to read. I managed to race through this book quite quickly. In fact I finished it in 2 sittings. This was due to the fact that I just wanted to keep reading to find out what happens next. Overall a very enjoyable read. I haven’t read Ruth’s other books but I will definitely be adding them to my TBR list. I highly recommend this book, especially if enjoy reading memoirs and your looking for a memorable read. Manisha Natha, A LoveReading Ambassador
From Abergynolwyn and Zvolen, Agrigento and Zürich, Great Railway Journeys of Europe is all a traveller needs to plan and enjoy European rail adventures. “Dear Victoria, gateway to the world beyond England. How I love your continental platform, and how I love trains anyway. Snuffing up the sulphurous smell ecstatically, so different from the feint, aloof, distantly oily smell of a boat. But a train, a big snorting hurrying, companionable train with its big puffing engine, sending up clouds of steam and seeming to say impatiently, “I’ve got to be off, I’ve got to be off, I’ve got to be off”, is a friend.’ Agatha Christie This full-colour, extensively-mapped guidebook is for those who can identify with these words, written by Agatha Christie, or those who think they might be able to, given the chance. Of the various modes of travel, only sailing ships and the grand liners have rivalled the train in the affections of their users and the wider public. The 400+ pages of detailed country-by-country information have been written and curated by experts, with fascinating in-depth features on the history and development of Europe's railways, spectacular photographs of contemporary sights, and absorbing archival images. As such, this is an excellent inspirational tool for pre-trip planning, plus it’s packed with practical information for when travellers are “on the rails”. In addition, being an Insight Guide, this unique guidebook also comes with innovative extras – a free eBook and app - which provide easy access to up-to-date information while travelling. Routes covered include: Venice Simplon-Orient-Express Budapest-Istanbul Paris/Amsterdam-Moscow Alicante-Dénia Verona-Innsbruck Cagliari-Arbatax Köln-Frankfurt/Trier-Giessen Bergen-Oslo Helsinki-St Petersburg Venice-Zagreb About Founded in 1970, Apa Publications owns three of the best-known global travel brands - Insight Guides, Berlitz Publishing and Rough Guides - and publishes a range of innovative quality products (guidebooks, maps, apps, globes and language books) for every kind of traveller. Insight Guides is a pioneer of full-colour, feature-filled guidebooks, with almost 50 years' experience of publishing highly visual, culture-oriented travel guides. The list includes over 400 guidebooks and maps, as well as phrasebooks, eBooks, and apps that enhance on-the-road exploration. www.insightguides.com also offers tailor-made trips curated by local experts.
Has appeal as a rags to riches story but also will act as an inspiration for anyone dreaming of starting their own business. Showing that you don't need qualifications and good school results to get ahead Jo Malone has a passion for business and for encouraging others to reach their potential. Her own poignant story frames her business life - facing cancer and the loss of her business she came through and is now back with her new fragrance house Jo Loves– you can smell one of her first successes, Pomelo, due to the perfumed page tipped in at the front of the book. ~ Sue Baker
From the author of the New York Times bestseller The Plant Paradox comes a groundbreaking plan for living a long, healthy, happy life. From the moment we are born, our cells begin to age. But aging does not have to mean decline. World-renowned surgeon Dr. Steven Gundry has been treating mature patients for most of his career. He knows that everyone thinks they want to live forever, until they hit middle age and witness the suffering of their parents and even their peers. So how do we solve the paradox of wanting to live to a ripe old age—but enjoy the benefits of youth? This groundbreaking book holds the answer. Working with thousands of patients, Dr. Gundry has discovered that the “diseases of aging” we most fear are not simply a function of age; rather, they are a byproduct of the way we have lived over the decades. In The Longevity Paradox, he maps out a new approach to aging well—one that is based on supporting the health of the “oldest” parts of us: the microorganisms that live within our bodies. Our gut bugs—the bacteria that make up the microbiome—largely determine our health over the years. From diseases like cancer and Alzheimer’s to common ailments like arthritis to our weight and the appearance of our skin, these bugs are in the driver’s seat, controlling our quality of life as we age. The good news is, it’s never too late to support these microbes and give them what they need to help them—and you—thrive. In The Longevity Paradox, Dr. Gundry outlines a nutrition and lifestyle plan to support gut health and live well for decades to come. A progressive take on the new science of aging, The Longevity Paradox offers an action plan to prevent and reverse disease as well as simple hacks to help anyone look and feel younger and more vital.
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!