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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.

The Things That Nobody Knows 501 Mysteries of Life, the Universe and Everything

The Things That Nobody Knows 501 Mysteries of Life, the Universe and Everything

Author: William Hartston Format: Hardback Release Date: 01/10/2011

The forward march of human knowledge has deepened our understanding of the universe and flung wide the floodgates of technological advance: we have established that the world came into being more than 4.5 billion years ago; we have deciphered the Rosetta Stone; travelled to the moon; eliminated smallpox and isolated the 'fat gene'. But in every domain of inquiry there remain a myriad things that we do not know, and which lurk tantalizingly beyond the bounds of our understanding. In The Things that Nobody Knows, William Hartston takes us on a guided tour of 501 gaps in our knowledge of cosmology, mathematics, animal behaviour, medical science, music, art, language and literature. As well as explaining our ignorance of the answers to such questions as 'What is Dark Energy?', 'Is colour a product of the mind?', 'Was there ever a real Pope Joan?' and 'Why are so many male giraffes gay?', he considers the likelihood of light being shed on these mysteries in the future. Both cerebrally satisfying and more-ishly dip-into-able, rigorously researched but also serendipitously playful, The Things that Nobody Knows is the perfect gift book for intellectually inquisitive people of all ages.

100 Ideas for Dads Who Love Their Kids but Find Them Exhausting

100 Ideas for Dads Who Love Their Kids but Find Them Exhausting

Author: Willem Van Eekelen Format: Paperback Release Date: 27/03/2014

Willem loves his children but finds them exhausting. Then, one day, he challenges them to find games that require him to lie on the sofa. They have the best day ever! This witty new book features an eclectic range of activities for kids and their dads - and all without the adult's boredom and exhaustion that often accompanies 'child's play'. Written from a personal perspective, Willem gives every activity a suggested age range and provides tips and golden rules along the way. The book includes games for at home, in the car, at the park, in the pool, at the forest - pretty much anywhere where parents and children spend time together. All games are fun for both and relaxing for dads, and none of them require money or preparation. After a long day at work, your children can either finish you off or get you to recover - depending on how you play it.

ebook of the month
Selfie How We Became So Self-Obsessed and What it's Doing to Us

Selfie How We Became So Self-Obsessed and What it's Doing to Us

Author: Will Storr Format: Hardback Release Date: 15/06/2017

People are suffering under the torture of this impossible fantasy. Unprecedented social pressure is leading to increases in depression and suicide. Where does this ideal come from? Why is it so powerful? Is there any way to break its spell? To answer these questions, Selfie takes us from the shores of Ancient Greece, through the Christian Middle Ages, to the self-esteem evangelists of 1980s California, the rise of narcissism and the selfie generation, and right up to the era of hyper-individualistic neoliberalism in which we live now. It tells the extraordinary story of the person we all know so intimately - our self.

ebook of the month
What are You Looking At? 150 Years of Modern Art in the Blink of an Eye

What are You Looking At? 150 Years of Modern Art in the Blink of an Eye

Author: Will Gompertz Format: Hardback Release Date: 06/09/2012

From Monet's water lilies to Van Gogh's sunflowers, from Warhol's soup cans to Hirst's pickled shark, hear the stories behind the masterpieces, meet the artists as they really were, and discover the real point of modern art. You will learn: not all conceptual art is bollocks; Picasso is king (but Cezanne is better); Pollock is no drip; Dali painted with his moustache; a urinal changed the course of art, why your 5-year-old really couldn't do it. Refreshing, irreverent and always straightforward, What Are You Looking At? cuts through the pretentious art speak and asks all the basic questions that you were too afraid to ask. Your next gallery trip is going to be a little less intimidating and a lot more interesting. It includes full of beautiful colour and black and white illustrations. It includes a free pull-out map of Modern Art to guide you through the movements. 'Will Gompertz is a natural communicator whose passion for art is expressed with wit and verve' Sir Nicholas Serota, Director of Tate Gallery Will Gompertz is the BBC Arts Editor and probably the world's first art history stand-up comedian. He was a Director at the Tate Gallery for 7 years. He has a particular interest in modern art and has written about the arts for The Times and the Guardian for over 20 years. In 2009, he wrote and performed a sell-out one-man comedy show about modern art at the Edinburgh Festival. He was recently voted one of the world's top 50 creative thinkers by New York's Creativity Magazine .

ebook of the month
Hash The Chilling Inside Story of the Secret Underworld Behind the World's Most Lucrative Drug

Hash The Chilling Inside Story of the Secret Underworld Behind the World's Most Lucrative Drug

Author: Wensley Clarkson Format: Paperback Release Date: 27/02/2014

For millions of people across the world, lighting up a joint is no more controversial than having a cup of tea. But in Hash Wensley Clarkson explores the dark and sinister side of this multi-billion pound business: one fuelled by a brutal underworld network of dealers, drug barons, bent cops and even terrorists. Sex, intimidation, bribery and murder are all employed in a quest for vast profits. Travelling from the lawless Rif mountains in Morocco to darkened warehouses in Spain, protected by heavily armed gangsters, this is a revelatory roller-coaster ride through the secret world of Hash.

ebook of the month
I Love Shakespeare 400 Fantastic Facts

I Love Shakespeare 400 Fantastic Facts

Author: Warren King Format: Paperback Release Date: 20/01/2016

* One of Shakespeare's relatives was executed for plotting against Elizabeth I. * There are more than 80 records of Shakespeare's name. Not one of them says 'William Shakespeare'. * Shakespeare once played the ghost in Hamlet. * Shakespeare wore a gold earring in his left ear.

The Marshmallow Test Understanding Self-control and How to Master it

The Marshmallow Test Understanding Self-control and How to Master it

Author: Walter Mischel Format: Hardback Release Date: 25/09/2014

A child is presented with a marshmallow and given a choice: Eat this one now, or wait and enjoy two later. What will she do? And what are the implications for her behaviour later in life? Walter Mischel's now iconic 'marshmallow test,' one of the most famous experiments in the history of psychology, proved that the ability to delay gratification is critical to living a successful and fulfilling life: self-control not only predicts higher marks in school, better social and cognitive functioning, and a greater sense of self-worth; it also helps us manage stress, pursue goals more effectively, and cope with painful emotions. But is willpower prewired, or can it be taught? In his groundbreaking new book, Dr. Mischel draws on decades of compelling research and life examples to explore the nature of willpower, identifying the cognitive skills and mental mechanisms that enable it and showing how these can be applied to challenges in everyday life - from weight control to quitting smoking, overcoming heartbreak, making major decisions, and planning for retirement. With profound implications for the choices we make in parenting, education, public policy and self-care, The Marshmallow Test will change the way we think about who we are and what we can be. And since, as Mischel argues, a life with too much self-control can be as unfulfilling as one with too little, this book will also teach you when it's time to ring the bell and enjoy that marshmallow.

The Marshmallow Test Understanding Self-Control and How to Master it

The Marshmallow Test Understanding Self-Control and How to Master it

Author: Walter Mischel Format: Paperback Release Date: 10/09/2015

A child is presented with a marshmallow and given a choice: Eat this one now, or wait and enjoy two later. What will she do? And what are the implications for her behaviour later in life? Walter Mischel's now iconic 'marshmallow test,' one of the most famous experiments in the history of psychology, proved that the ability to delay gratification is critical to living a successful and fulfilling life: self-control not only predicts higher marks in school, better social and cognitive functioning, and a greater sense of self-worth; it also helps us manage stress, pursue goals more effectively, and cope with painful emotions. But is willpower prewired, or can it be taught? In his groundbreaking new book, Dr. Mischel draws on decades of compelling research and life examples to explore the nature of willpower, identifying the cognitive skills and mental mechanisms that enable it and showing how these can be applied to challenges in everyday life - from weight control to quitting smoking, overcoming heartbreak, making major decisions, and planning for retirement. With profound implications for the choices we make in parenting, education, public policy and self-care, The Marshmallow Test will change the way we think about who we are and what we can be. And since, as Mischel argues, a life with too much self-control can be as unfulfilling as one with too little, this book will also teach you when it's time to ring the bell and enjoy that marshmallow.

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!