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The Real World

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.

Beyond Happiness The Trap of Happiness and How to Find Deeper Meaning and Joy

Beyond Happiness The Trap of Happiness and How to Find Deeper Meaning and Joy

Author: Anthony Seldon Format: Paperback Release Date: 05/05/2016

As Britain's best-known headmaster, Sir Anthony famously introduced happiness, or well-being, lessons at his school, Wellington College. In 2011, he co-founded Action for Happiness, a body to raise awareness of the discovery of happiness and reduction of depression, whose influence is growing rapidly in Britain and across the world. In this book Anthony Seldon distinguishes between pleasure, happiness and joy, and offers an original 8-step approach on how to make our lives far more meaningful and rewarding. The pursuit of happiness can all too easily become a trap which seduces us into thinking there is no more to life than being happy. In fact, the author is highly critical of 'positive psychology' and other dominant schools of thought. In fact, we need to reach beyond this if we are to access the deepest levels of human experience open to us, and find our own unique path in life. The author offers a further 5 steps, which point the way to accessing these deeper levels of experience, which alone result in the joyful life which is our birthright. Paradoxically, as this book demonstrates, stepping off the happiness treadmill will ultimately make for a happier and more fulfilled life. It is time to go beyond happiness.

ebook of the month
The Old Man and the Sea A True Story of Crossing the Atlantic by Raft

The Old Man and the Sea A True Story of Crossing the Atlantic by Raft

Author: Anthony Smith Format: Hardback Release Date: 26/02/2015

Octogenarian Anthony Smith's journey was originally inspired by both the Kontiki Expedition of Thor Heyerdahl (who he knew) and the incredible story of the survivors of a 1940 boat disaster, who spent 70 days adrift in the Atlantic, eventually reaching land emaciated and close to death. While this might sound like a voyage no-one would wish to emulate, to octogenarian Anthony Smith it sounded like an adventure, and he placed a typically straightforward advertisement in the Telegraph that read Fancy rafting across the Atlantic? Famous traveller requires 3 crew. Must be OAP. Serious adventurers only. In his inimitable style, Smith details their voyage and the hardships they endured with a matter-of-fact air that makes his story seem all the more impressive. His advanced age allows him a wider perspective not only on the journey but on life itself, and his never-say-die attitude to the difficulty of the journey is inspirational. 'Old men ought to be explorers' said T.S. Eliot, and this book certainly gives a compelling argument in his favour. It is both a great story (a huge storm on the final night of the voyage almost wrecked them on a reef) and a call to action for the older generation - do not go quietly, says Anthony Smith, but seek out adventure as long as you are able.

The Old Man and the Sea A True Story of Crossing the Atlantic by Raft

The Old Man and the Sea A True Story of Crossing the Atlantic by Raft

Author: Anthony Smith Format: Paperback Release Date: 03/03/2016

Octogenarian Anthony Smith's journey was originally inspired by both the Kontiki Expedition of Thor Heyerdahl (who he knew) and the incredible story of the survivors of a 1940 boat disaster, who spent 70 days adrift in the Atlantic, eventually reaching land emaciated and close to death. While this might sound like a voyage no-one would wish to emulate, to octogenarian Anthony Smith it sounded like an adventure, and he placed a typically straightforward advertisement in the Telegraph that read Fancy rafting across the Atlantic? Famous traveller requires 3 crew. Must be OAP. Serious adventurers only. In his inimitable style, Smith details their voyage and the hardships they endured with a matter-of-fact air that makes his story seem all the more impressive. His advanced age allows him a wider perspective not only on the journey but on life itself, and his never-say-die attitude to the difficulty of the journey is inspirational. 'Old men ought to be explorers' said T.S. Eliot, and this book certainly gives a compelling argument in his favour. It is both a great story (a huge storm on the final night of the voyage almost wrecked them on a reef) and a call to action for the older generation - do not go quietly, says Anthony Smith, but seek out adventure as long as you are able.

ebook of the month
Being Mortal Illness, Medicine and What Matters in the End

Being Mortal Illness, Medicine and What Matters in the End

Author: Atul Gawande Format: Paperback Release Date: 01/07/2015

With his trademark mix of perceptiveness and sensitivity, Atul Gawande outlines a story that crosses the globe, as he examines his experiences as a surgeon and those of his patients and family, and learns to accept the limits of what he can do. Never before has aging been such an important topic. The systems that we have put in place to manage our mortality are manifestly failing; but, as Gawande reveals, it doesn't have to be this way. The ultimate goal, after all, is not a good death, but a good life - all the way to the very end. Published in partnership with the Wellcome Collection, a free visitor destination that explores the connections between medicine, life and art.

ebook of the month

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!