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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.
It does not follow, over time, that as a society gets wealthier and more secure, it’s people become happier. Do you find the goal posts are always moving; that no matter your degree of personal or professional achievement, you never quite reach satisfaction? Contentment, at least full contentment, is a myth? And is the pursuit of personal happiness in fact self indulgent and selfish? If we do an unselfish act for another in order that it provides us with a good feeling, is that not, in fact, a selfish act? The Happiness Problem is a book written to invite us to stand back and ask a question. What is happiness, and what is it we seek to achieve through its pursuit? Wren-Lewis's book is thought provoking, disturbing and at the same time reassuring. A good read for anyone wanting to re-assess their goals in life, to reconnect with it, and to explore the notion that all that glitters is not gold.
For entrepreneurs ready to reach the next level of success, small business owner turned multibillionaire Tilman Fertitta shares the commonsense principles that have rocketed his worldwide hospitality empire to the top. For aspiring entrepreneurs or people in business, this audiobook will help you take your company to the next level. When you finish listening, you’ll know what you’re doing right and what you’re doing wrong to operate your business, and if you’re just getting started, it will help set you up for success. Tilman Fertitta, also known as the Billion Dollar Buyer, started his hospitality empire thirty years ago with just one restaurant. So he knows the challenges that business owners face, as well as the common pitfalls that cause them to go under. Over the years he’s stayed true to the principles that helped him scale his business to what is believed to be the largest single-shareholder company in America, with over $4 billion in revenue, including hundreds of restaurants (Landry’s Seafood, Bubba Gump Shrimp Company, Morton’s Steakhouse, Mastro’s, The Chart House, Rainforest Café, and over forty more restaurant concepts) and five Golden Nugget Casinos. He’s also sole owner of the NBA’s Houston Rockets. In Shut Up and Listen!, he shares the key insights that made it all possible. When entrepreneurs appear on Billion Dollar Buyer, the biggest obstacles they often face are ones they don’t suspect: not knowing your numbers, not knowing your strengths and weaknesses, or not being willing to go that extra mile with your customers. Fertitta has seen it all. He knows that what you aren’t paying attention to can either sink your business or become the very things that launch you to the top. As Fertitta says: “You might think you know what you’re doing, but I’m going to show you what you don’t know.” Fertitta shares straight-talk “Tilmanisms” around six key action items that any entrepreneur can adopt today: Be the Bull No Spare Customers Change, Change, Change Know Your Numbers Follow the 95/5 Rule Take No Out of Your Vocabulary A groundbreaking, no-holds-barred audiobook, Shut Up and Listen! offers practical, hard-earned wisdom from one of the most successful business owners in the world.
This really is the most gorgeously scrumptious book, showcasing some truly beautiful and awe-inspiring skies. 365 photographs and paintings, information, science, poetry and quotations all sit inside this rather lovely cover. The book is a great size, not too unwieldy, and after the introduction, which also gives some handy page numbers of some of the highlights, every single page is adorned with clouds. Did you know there was a Cloud Appreciation Society? I didn’t, but of course it makes complete sense! Gavin Pretor-Pinney started the society and says: “Having your head in the clouds, even for just a few moments each day, is good for your mind, good for you body and good for your soul. This book aims to show you why.” It certainly does show you why, you can open it at random, return again and again, and just soak up the images. The next time you head out, you can look up and know a little bit more about our beautiful skies. A Cloud A Day is a stunner, visually and mentally stimulating, it has been chosen as a LoveReading Star Book.
Penguin presents the audiobook edition of The Uninhabitable Earth written and read by David Wallace-Wells. It is worse, much worse, than you think. The slowness of climate change is a fairy tale, perhaps as pernicious as the one that says it isn't happening at all, and if your anxiety about it is dominated by fears of sea-level rise, you are barely scratching the surface of what terrors are possible, even within the lifetime of a teenager today. Over the past decades, the term "Anthropocene" has climbed into the popular imagination - a name given to the geologic era we live in now, one defined by human intervention in the life of the planet. But however sanguine you might be about the proposition that we have ravaged the natural world, which we surely have, it is another thing entirely to consider the possibility that we have only provoked it, engineering first in ignorance and then in denial a climate system that will now go to war with us for many centuries, perhaps until it destroys us. In the meantime, it will remake us, transforming every aspect of the way we live-the planet no longer nurturing a dream of abundance, but a living nightmare.
Winner of the Costa Biography Award 2007.Costa Book Awards 2007 Judges' comment: "Incredible scholarship, lightly worn. This biography opens up the previously hidden secrets of Stalin's youth. An amazing story, exceptionally well told." The background to what made the man a monster. Born in poverty, a poet, trainee priest, and fanatical revolutionary, thrilling stuff.
Northern Soul isn't just a music genre, it's a way of life and one that intensely encompasses and overpowers those that fall for it's high energy 'stomping' - dancing. Young Soul Rebels is part personal autobiography of the acclaimed music journalist and presenter Stuart Cosgrove, part biography of the music, fans, DJs, venues and musicians, and part social history. Every song, person, place and event is richly and significantly described. It's passionately and emotionally written with a depth of information that is expertly woven into the story, which informs but never gets in the way of the drive of it's narrative. You can't but help to want to play Northern Soul music whilst reading Stuart's excellent book. The true test for any great book on music.The book journeys through the defining years of Northern Soul - the 1960s through to the 1980s (and it's later rebirth) and it's backdrop is the decline and decay of the industrial north of England. But against this is the driving power of Northern Soul music.It kept the disposed alive, awake and stomping.At the heart of Northern Soul is the the hunt for that mega rare seven inch single, with an addictive beat and heartfelt lyric and then the pilgrimage to the 'all nighters' in jam-packed, drug-fuelled, sweaty clubs. To say that you had to be obsessive to be a true Northern Soul fan is an understatement and it's a music genre that those that love it want kept secret and underground, even to this day. The beauty is, for a lot of people, this book really shines a light on a time, people and music that most people know little of.It's time to go searching for the young soul rebels.' ~ Anthony Keates A 'Piece of Passion' from the publisher... ‘One of the most exciting books I've worked on in years. Okay, the most exciting book. Stuart was a joy to work with. He buzzes with ideas and infectious energy, and this jumps off the page. Memoir, true crime, music biog, social history, political history: you've got the lot. This will become the bible for northern soul fans.’ Alison Rae, Managing Editor, Polygon
Northern Soul isn't just a music genre, it's a way of life and one that intensely encompasses and overpowers those that fall for it's high energy 'stomping' - dancing. Young Soul Rebels is part personal autobiography of the acclaimed music journalist and presenter Stuart Cosgrove, part biography of the music, fans, DJs, venues and musicians, and part social history. Every song, person, place and event is richly and significantly described. It's passionately and emotionally written with a depth of information that is expertly woven into the story, which informs but never gets in the way of the drive of it's narrative. You can't but help to want to play Northern Soul music whilst reading Stuart's excellent book. The true test for any great book on music.The book journeys through the defining years of Northern Soul - the 1960s through to the 1980s (and it's later rebirth) and it's backdrop is the decline and decay of the industrial north of England. But against this is the driving power of Northern Soul music.It kept the disposed alive, awake and stomping.At the heart of Northern Soul is the the hunt for that mega rare seven inch single, with an addictive beat and heartfelt lyric and then the pilgrimage to the 'all nighters' in jam-packed, drug-fuelled, sweaty clubs. To say that you had to be obsessive to be a true Northern Soul fan is an understatement and it's a music genre that those that love it want kept secret and underground, even to this day. The beauty is, for a lot of people, this book really shines a light on a time, people and music that most people know little of.It's time to go searching for the young soul rebels.' ~ Anthony Keates June 2016 Non-Fiction Book of the Month. A 'Piece of Passion' from the publisher... ‘One of the most exciting books I've worked on in years. Okay, the most exciting book. Stuart was a joy to work with. He buzzes with ideas and infectious energy, and this jumps off the page. Memoir, true crime, music biog, social history, political history: you've got the lot. This will become the bible for northern soul fans.’ Alison Rae, Managing Editor, Polygon
Capturing the same kind of excitement and action that a novel by Patrick O’Brien might, this book tells the stories of the young men, and boys really, who fought in the Napoleonic wars. Unbelievable that boys as young as 8 would be sent to war but here, with many first hand letters and accounts to back this up, is the story of these brave young sailors.
A joyous celebration through Quentin's uniquely original illustrations of the art of ageing. A delightful little picture book to share with any child, but parents and grandparents will delight in its contents too, so in that respect it will make an ideal companion to the bookshelf in the loo as well as the nursery bookshelf! Whether it's making music, keeping fit or looking back on life, Quentin Blake, one of the world's favourite illustrators, shows just how much fun growing old can be ~ Julia Eccleshare
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.
If you want your personal sense of superiority punctured (and we all have one) then David McRaney is the man to do it. A follow-up to his You Are Not So Smart, here are more revelations into the not-so-perfect human brain and the traps it leads us into. You Can Beat Your Brain gives us some ammunition in fighting back to become the cool, calm and incredible brainiac we truly are. It’s both fun and fascinating to read but there is a serious side to all this, if we realised how our perceptions mislead us, life would be infinitely better for us and the planet with less aggression and all-round dumbness. Like for Like Reading The Invisible Gorilla and other Ways Our Intuition Deceives Us, Christopher Chabris and Daniel Simons The Drunkard's Walk: How Randomness Rules our Lives, Leonard Mlodinow
'You are the music / While the music lasts' T.S. Eliot, The Four Quartets Do babies remember music from the womb? Can classical music increase your child's IQ? Is music good for productivity? Can it aid recovery from illness and injury? And what is going on in your brain when Ultravox's 'Vienna', Schoenberg's Verklarte Nacht or Dizzee Rascal's 'Bonkers' transports you back to teenage years? In a brilliant new work that will delight music lovers of every persuasion, music psychologist Victoria Williamson examines our relationship with music across the whole of a lifetime. Along the way she reveals the amazing ways in which music can physically reshape our brains, explores how 'smart music listening' can improve cognitive performance, and considers the perennial puzzle of what causes 'earworms'. Requiring no specialist musical or scientific knowledge, this upbeat, eye-opening book reveals as never before the extent of the universal language of music that lives deep inside us all.
For those who think they are in control this is a real counterblast showing just how irrational and delusional our brains can be. Loads of mindboggling examples, anecdotes and research keep this entertaining, informative – and quite scary book zipping along. Like for Like Reading The Magic of Reality: How Do We Know What’s Really True, Richard Dawkins Thinking: Fast and Slow, Daniel Kahneman
In You Are Here, bestselling author and celebrated astronaut Chris Hadfield creates a virtual orbit of Earth, giving us the really big picture: this is our home, from space. The millions of us who followed Hadfield's news-making Twitter feed from the ISS thought we knew what we were looking at when we first saw his photos. But we may have caught the beauty and missed the full meaning. Now, through photographs - many of which have never been shared - Hadfield unveils a fresh and insightful look at our planet. He sees astonishing detail and importance in these images, not just because he's spent months in space but because his in-depth knowledge of geology, geography, and meteorology allows him to reveal the photos' mysteries. Featuring Hadfield's favourite images, You Are Here is divided by continent and represents one (idealized) orbit of the ISS. This planetary photo tour - surprising, playful, thought-provoking, and visually delightful - provides a breathtakingly beautiful perspective on the wonders of the world. You Are Here opens a singular window on our planet, using remarkable photographs to illuminate the history and consequences of human settlement, the magnificence of newly uncovered landscapes, and the power of the natural forces shaping our world and the future of our species.
Forget scarves and bobble hats. Here are some woollen wonders that will really blow your mind...For the last four years, Gabrielle Grillo has been scouring the web for the most bizarre knitted items she can find. In this hysterically funny book, she has collected the very best of her finds. From a knitted Christmas turkey cosy to woolly vomit, they have to be seen to be believed. After you've read WTF Knits and stitched your sides back together, you might just be inspired to dust off your needles, dig out your balls of wool and knit something downright odd yourself.
As one of the UK's leading forensic scientists, Mike Silverman has helped to identify and convict dozens of murderers, rapists, armed robbers, burglars and muggers, thanks to the evidence they - or their victims - unwittingly left behind at the scenes of their crimes. Mike Silverman started his career in the days when fingerprints were still kept on card files and DNA profiling was just a pipe dream, so Written in Blood is more than just a casebook - it is also a definitive history of the development of forensic science over the course of the past thirty-five years. From collecting blood samples at gangland executions to investigating forensic science failings, including in the murders of Rachel Nickell and Damilola Taylor, Mike Silverman's unique career provides a fascinating insight into the ways forensic science is used to help solve real-life crimes. Packed with genuine crime scene photographs and original sketches, Written in Blood is the ultimate insider's account of the fascinating world of forensic science.
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!