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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.
Tom Doyle harks back to the 1970’s a time when Paul McCartney’s life was in total contrast to the man he is today. For Paul McCartney, the 1970’s were a time of uncertainty, the Beatles split to the death of John Lennon, global wandering and drug busts to the shock of imprisonment in Japan for possession of marijuana. How did Paul McCartney adapt and survive after this troublesome decade?Like for Like ReadingThe Beatles: Authorised Biography, Hunter DaviesRevolution in the Head, the Beatles’ Records and the Sixties, Ian MacDonald A 'Piece of Passion' from the publisher... Millions of words have been written about Paul McCartney, you’d think there would be nothing new to find out! But Tom Doyle reveals a very different man to his contemporary ‘thumbs aloft’, establishment image. He takes us hurtling through Macca’s first post-Beatles decade with real verve and insight. And he packed a lot in! There’s his nervous breakdown after the Beatles’ split, his drug busts, his banned (and occasionally baffling) records, the trials and triumphs of Wings, his Japanese jail time, his fraught relationships with his Beatle band mates, and the nightmare of John Lennon’s murder. Tom really excels at writing about the music—you can tell how much time he’s spent with his headphones on—and the excess of the music industry (so many lavish parties!) And it is impossible not to revisit the songs yourself after reading: what a treat! Vikki O’Reilly, Sales & marketing Manager, Polygon Books (and lifelong Beatles nut!)
September 2013 Non-Fiction Book of the Month. Tom Doyle harks back to the 1970’s a time when Paul McCartney’s life was in total contrast to the man he is today. For Paul McCartney, the 1970’s were a time of uncertainty, the Beatles split to the death of John Lennon, global wandering and drug busts to the shock of imprisonment in Japan for possession of marijuana. How did Paul McCartney adapt and survive after this troublesome decade?Like for Like ReadingThe Beatles: Authorised Biography, Hunter DaviesRevolution in the Head, the Beatles’ Records and the Sixties, Ian MacDonald
Ditch the fads, ditch the fat and get lean for life - let Max, Lloyd, James and Tom show you how. This book is not a quick fix - it's a new way of life. With Max, Lloyd, James and Tom as your guides you'll never feel tied down by a regime, like you can't accept a drinks invitation or like you have to force down that poached chicken fillet that you'd rather swap for fries. Feauturing: over 60 easy-to-do recipes from PB & J French Toast and cookie dough protein bars to hearty salads, stir fries and roast chicken with a twist; breakfasts, lunches, dinners, snacks and on-the-go, the sweet stuff and 4-ingredient heroes; workouts for every body: Tabata circuits, home workouts, buddy training, gym how-to's and stretches and advice to keep you motivated, life hacks for fitting fitness into your life (and not the other way around!) and a host of myth-busting. These guys know their stuff; let them be your go-to-experts to getting leaner, fitter and stronger for good.
The English Channel is the busiest waterway in the world. Ferries steam back and forth, trains thunder through the tunnel. The narrow sea has been crucial to our development and prosperity. It helps define our notion of Englishness, as an island people, a nation of seafarers. It is also our nearest, dearest playground where people have sought sun, sin and bracing breezes. Tom Fort takes us on a fascinating, discursive journey from east to west, to find out what this stretch of water means to us and what is so special about the English seaside, that edge between land and seawater. He dips his toe into Sandgate's waters, takes the air in Hastings and Bexhill, chews whelks in Brighton, builds a sandcastle in Sandbanks, sunbathes in sunny Sidmouth, catches prawns off the slipway at Salcombe and hunts a shark off Looe. Stories of smugglers and shipwreck robbers, of beachcombers and samphire gatherers, gold diggers and fossil hunters abound.
We have lived in villages a long time. The village was the first model for communal living. Towns came much later, then cities. Later still came suburbs, neighbourhoods, townships, communes, kibbutzes. But the village has endured. Across England, modernity creeps up to the boundaries of many, breaking the connection the village has with the land. With others, they can be as quiet as the graveyard as their housing is bought up by city 'weekenders', or commuters. The ideal chocolate box image many holidaying to our Sceptred Isle have in their minds eye may be true in some cases, but across the country the heartbeat of the real English village is still beating strongly - if you can find it. To this mission our intrepid historian and travel writer Tom Fort willingly gets on his trusty bicycle and covers the length and breadth of England to discover the essence of village life. His journeys will travel over six thousand years of communal existence for the peoples that eventually became the English.
Absolutely adorable, this is an autobiography full of eccentricity, charm and a penguin called Juan Salvador. As a young man in the 1970’s Tom Michell travelled to Argentina to teach at a boarding school. While in Uruguay Tom rescued a penguin from an oil slick and found himself with an unexpected companion. Writing in a fresh, chatty and friendly style, Tom introduces his colleagues, students and the beautiful country of Argentina. With super little titbits and recollections of his time in South America this a beautifully written memoir, however, I have to confess, that it is Juan Salvador who truly enchanted me. This confident, sociable little penguin must have been a joy to get to know. ‘The Penguin Lessons’ has left me with a lovely warm glow of optimism, there’s far more to be gained from these lessons than you would originally suspect. Explore our '80+ Books That Deliver a Hug' listicle for more feel-good or uplifting books.
'Okay listen up everyone,' I said, zipping up my high visibility jacket. 'It will be most effective to comb the local area by taking a village each.' I told my team as I traced my finger across the map. My experience as a former copper was invaluable for our search. We weren't looking for a missing person though - we had a dog to find. Any pet owner knows the agonising panic when their beloved furry family member goes missing, but Tom Watkins, former policeman turned pet detective, is on hand to reunite our animal companions with their owners.
Any historian dealing with the Vikings must firstly fight myth – those horned helmets to name but one and then there’s the sparsity of evidence from a people with so little in the way of written record. We do get a lot of sword-play and blood-lust but there are also the sharp-eyed merchants trading across the known world. But mostly it’s the swords with men fighting for dominance and allegiance. While I would have liked to know more about the lives of Viking women (about 12 pages, having checked the index) Tom Williams is very good at putting the Vikings into a historical context, looking at their legacy and the mark they made on our country. ~ Sue Baker Like for Like Reading Vikings by Neil Oliver Oxford Illustrated History of the Vikings by Peter Sawyer
Tom Wolfe, whose legend began in journalism, takes us on an eye-opening journey that is sure to arouse widespread debate. The Kingdom of Speech is a captivating, paradigm-shifting argument that speech - not evolution - is responsible for humanity's complex societies and achievements. From Alfred Russel Wallace, the Englishman who beat Darwin to the theory of natural selection but later renounced it, and through the controversial work of modern-day anthropologist Daniel Everett, who defies the current wisdom that language is hard-wired in humans, Wolfe examines the solemn, long-faced, laugh-out-loud zig-zags of Darwinism, old and Neo, and finds it irrelevant here in our Kingdom of Speech.
The perfect gift for Christmas as Tommy Cooper’s timeless jokes will amuse across the generations. A great collection from one of the funniest comedians Britain has ever produced.
You've heard of the lone ranger? I'm his brother hydrangea! The other night I dreamt I was eating a ten-pound marshmallow. When I woke up the pillow had gone! My wife just phoned me. She said, 'I've got water in the carburettor.' I said, 'Where's the car?' She said, 'In the river.' I said to the doctor, 'Doctor, I'm losing all sense of direction. What should I do?' He said, 'Get lost.' I've got a dog, you know. I have. He's a one-man dog. He only bites me. Tommy Cooper died on stage at Her Majesty's Theatre, London, twenty-five years ago in April 1984 and is still revered today as probably the greatest comedian of the second half of the 20th century. More than just a comedian, Tommy Cooper was a born entertainer. Working in a golden age of British comedy, Cooper stood - literally - head and shoulders above the crowd, and had a magical talent for humour that defied description. With a love of laughter stemming from a magic performance gone wrong when he was in his teens, Cooper enlisted in the army in 1939 and began to perfect his comic timing on his army colleagues in the Egyptian desert. The man with the fez was born.
The relationships between fathers and sons are unique and varied, and have a powerful effect on your life and upbringing. This book explores twelve such relationships through some highly entertaining stories -- full of wisdom and comedy that can’t help but strike a chord. Highly relevant and recommended!
From the end of the Picadilly line to the plains of Africa, an unlikely journey fired by a childhood reading of Tarzan of the Apes. Tony Fitzjohn found his path in life, helping save the lions of Africa. A particularly valuable guide as he pulls no punches when dealing with the reality of poaching, encroachment and crime and the effects these have on his life-saving work. Like for Like Reading:Born Free: The Full Story, Joy AdamsonWild Life, Amazing Animals, Extraordinary People, Astonishing Places, Simon King
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!