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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.
Ordinary women doing the extraordinary. This book is testament to following your dreams and that you can do anything you put your mind too if you work hard enough. Four middle aged friends who met at a local Saturday morning rowing club decide to take on The Talisker Whiskey Challenge – also known as ‘The World's Toughest Row’ - across 3,000 miles of treacherous ocean. All four are mothers, wives and professional women but athletes? No, not athletes, yet they had a dream to follow and follow it they did. This is a story of determination, of pushing past the overwhelming feeling of failing, letting everyone down and of course of silencing the doubters, the people who say ‘You can’t do this’. This is an incredible story about an amazing experience by four amazing women. There were moments that sent shivers down my spine as I followed their journey from the very beginning when even getting to the start line was a massive undertaking. The story is told by all four women, all four friends and it feels like that too. Their warmth and love for each other shines through as they share ever moment, every fear, every failure and ultimately their success. By the end I felt so proud of the achievement and so emotionally engaged with these four ordinary mums who just happened to row an ocean.
Shortlisted for The People's Book Prize| February 2018 Book of the Month. A perfectly formed absolute treat of a book, containing 300 aphorisms by Robert Eddison, journalist, playwright, public speaker, and aphorist. The foreword by Gyles Brandreth salutes the skill of Eddison. These pithy, witty, thoughtful one-liners at times burst onto my consciousness, while others made me think, ponder, consider. Two favourites of mine are “Deep thoughts take time to surface”, and “Throwaway remarks are not always caught”. This little book would make the perfect gift for anyone with an appreciation for words, written or spoken. It can be picked up and dipped into, become a topic of conversation, revisited and evaluated. Wisdom and Wordplay contains some wonderful one-liners, they tease, fence, pierce, creating a fabulous addition to any bookshelf. ~ Liz Robinson
An essential collection of the astute and powerful non-fiction writing of the great Ursula K. Le Guin.
I wrote this book with a little help from a monk, who explains how the mind works, and also gives some mindfulness exercises, and a neuroscientist who explains what makes us 'us' in the brain. We answer every question you've ever had about: evolution, thoughts, emotions, the body, addictions, relationships, kids, the future and compassion. How to be Human is extremely funny, true and the only manual you'll need to help you upgrade your mind as much as you've upgraded your iPhone.
This book is in a word: brilliant. In many more words, Lost Connections is an insightful look into the causes of anxiety and depression. However, the book is not written by a preacher or self-help guru, but someone with the first-hand experience of anxiety and depression who is trying to work out his own place in and amongst all of the research. Lost Connections is partly a tale of Johann’s own journey of understanding about his mental health. It is also partly a summary of research that connects to depression and anxiety from experts in a wide range of fields. And finally, it is partly an attempt to offer effective solutions to those in despair. I was left astounded at a number of points in this book - mainly at the dates of the studies mentioned, and why I (and no doubt so many others) hadn’t heard that one of the most talked about “causes” of depression may not really be a cause at all. As someone who feels like they constantly have to manage anxious thoughts I found this book a breakthrough and I was enthralled from the first chapter, never wanting to put it down once I started reading. Johann Hari’s easy, almost colloquial writing would appeal to anyone with a professional or personal interest in psychology. It is a spectacular and groundbreaking look at two of today’s most significant mental health issues.
SUNDAY TIMES NUMBER ONE BESTSELLERNEW YORK TIMES NUMBER ONE BESTSELLERWith extraordinary access to the Trump White House, Michael Wolff tells the inside story of the most controversial presidency of our time.The first nine months of Donald Trump's term were stormy, outrageous - and absolutely mesmerising. Now, thanks to his deep access to the West Wing, bestselling author Michael Wolff tells the riveting story of how Trump launched a tenure as volatile and fiery as the man himself.In this explosive book, Wolff provides a wealth of new details about the chaos in the Oval Office. Among the revelations: - What President Trump's staff really thinks of him- What inspired Trump to claim he was wire-tapped by President Obama - Why FBI director James Comey was really fired- Why chief strategist Steve Bannon and Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner couldn't be in the same room - Who is really directing the Trump administration's strategy in the wake of Bannon's firing- What the secret to communicating with Trump is- What the Trump administration has in common with the movie The ProducersNever before has a presidency so divided the American people. Brilliantly reported and astoundingly fresh, Michael Wolff's Fire and Fury shows us how and why Donald Trump has become the king of discord and disunion.
Shortlisted for the Costa Book Awards 2017, Costa Biography Award Heart surgery is by its very nature a high-risk business and as Professor Stephen Westaby says ‘the grim reaper sits on your shoulder’, but when it is successful it is transformative, to say the least. With his 11,000 heart operations behind him Professor Stephen Westaby has been at the forefront of the advances in heart surgery for the last 35 years. Through his boundary-pushing, ethics-bending sometimes maverick approach he has helped make highly radical techniques, with a pretty poor chance of success, mainstream treatments for once fatal conditions.Fragile Lives is a candid and affecting biography, taking the reader to the heart of the operating theatre and into the lives of the patients whose courage help forge a path to safer and more effective heart surgery for us all. The Costa Judges say: ‘A powerful, engaging and passionate memoir from a surgical pioneer.’
This is the book that single women have been waiting for! Written by the hottest dating coach on the scene, Matthew Hussey, it offers clear, honest and practical advice for women on how to find their ideal man - and, importantly, how to keep him. Using simple steps, Matthew guides us through the complex maze of dating and shows us just how to find the guy, get the guy and keep the guy. Through his work as a peak performance coach, Matthew has gained unparalleled access into what makes guys tick when it comes to women. He is now using this 'insider information' to advise women who have been unsuccessful in their quest for a lasting relationship with the right man. His Get the Guy coaching events are hugely successful and the glowing testimonials he receives from those he has helped to find love just go to show that his advice really does work. In Get the Guy, Matthew shares his dating secrets and provides women with the toolkit they need to approach men, and to create and maintain relationships. Along the way, he explodes some commonly held myths about what it is that guys really want, shares strategies on how women can take control of their dating destinies and empowers them to go out there and find an exhilarating, adventurous love life.
This book is the bravely honest story of a year in Clare's life. A year that started with her quitting booze and then being given the devastating diagnosis of breast cancer. By the end of the year she is booze-free and cancer-free, she no longer has a wine belly, is two stone lighter and with a life that is so much richer, healthier and more rewarding than ever before. She has a happier family and a more positive outlook. Sober Diaries is an upbeat, funny and positive look at how to live life to the full. Interwoven within Clare's own very personal and brilliantly comic story is research and advice as she discovers the answers to questions like: How do I know if I'm drinking too much? How will I cope at parties? What do I say to friends and family? How do I cope with cravings? If I stop drinking will I lose weight? What if my partner still drinks? And many more.
December 2017 Book of the Month Sean Smith has written an engrossing book that takes you behind the public persona of George Michael and introduces you to Georgios Panayiotou, the man behind the pop star. It was with some surprise and sorrow that I learnt of the death of George Michael in 2016, it was especially poignant that it happened on Christmas day. Since I was young 'Last Christmas' had been as much a part of Christmas for me as turkey and brussel sprouts, it was always part of the playlist. I grew up listening to Wham songs and then George Michael the solo artist. Yet I didn't really know much about the man behind the music. George by Sean Smith begins by introducing us to a kind hearted, gentle boy who loved nothing more than exploring nature and hunting for bugs in the great outdoors. That is until a fall down the stairs resulting in a bang to the head changed everything and an obsession with music began. His parent's humble beginnings and their passion to create a better life for themselves and their three children gave George the determination and mindset he needed to seek his own success. He worked hard to become the superstar he undoubtingly was. From early influences such as David Cassidy and Elton John, George discovered a desire to be 'put on a pedestal and adored...' Sean Smith is a thorough and detailed biographer and the writing never feels laboured but a read that flows easily and leaves you feeling a little closer to knowing the man rather than the public persona. Passionate, intelligent and driven both personally and professionally, George Michael worked hard for his success but his compassion and desire to help people also drove him to use that success to help others and make a difference. Much has been reported of his kindness since his death but wrapped up in this package by Sean Smith it gives us a greater understanding of just what the world lost when George Michael died. George Michael was a true pop star but also a human being and George has given me a fascinating and at times incredibly moving insight into a man who is without doubt part of the soundtrack to my childhood. ~ Shelley Fallows - You can also find Shelley here.
Auntie's War is a love letter to radio. While these were the years when her sometimes bossy tones earned the BBC the nickname `Auntie', they were also a period of truly remarkable voices: Churchill's fighting speeches, de Gaulle's broadcasts from exile, J. B. Priestley, Ed Murrow, George Orwell, Richard Dimbleby and Vera Lynn. Radio offered an incomparable tool for propaganda; it was how coded messages, both political and personal, were sent across Europe, and it was a means of sending less than truthful information to the enemy. At the same time, eyewitness testimonies gave a voice to everyone, securing the BBC's reputation as reliable purveyor of the truth. Edward Stourton is a sharp-eyed, wry and affectionate companion on the BBC's wartime journey, investigating archives, diaries, letters and memoirs to examine what the BBC was and what it stood for. Full of astonishing, little-known incidents, battles with Whitehall warriors and Churchill himself, and with a cast of brilliant characters, Auntie's War is much more than a portrait of a beloved institution at a critical time. It is also a unique portrayal of the British in wartime and an incomparable insight into why we have the broadcast culture we do today.
My mother is not a foodie. But for as long as I can remember, once a year, she becomes possessed of a profound and desperate need to serve up a perfect roast turkey. Faced with a walk into the village though, she might think 'oh, f*** it' and decide to get a frozen one from Bejams on the 23rd and leave it to defrost in the downstairs toilet for not quite 48 hours.
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!