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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.
This book prompted acres of press on her and her family and the discovery of a cache of letters from the Pre-Raphaelite painter Edward-Burns-Jones to her great-grandmother. Josceline then turned detective in this enthralling account of love in a fascinating age.
The Secret Policeman’s Balls, there have been twelve to date, have transformed the charity Amnesty International and become the platform for blisteringly effective and extremely funny satirical comedy. This book is the anthology of these twelve landmark events. From Monty Python to Beavis and Butthead, all the acts, all the scripts and all for charity.
The BBC Radio 4 series A Point of View has been on the air since 2007. Over the years, it's had a variety of presenters including the national treasure that is Clive James talking for ten minutes about anything and everything that has captured their imagination, piqued their interest, raised their blood pressure or just downright incensed them that week.
I rather wish I hadn’t read this book, I now know far more about Chocolate than is good for me, chapters giving the most trouble were those recommending the top chocolate brands in the world, before this enlightenment ignorance was bliss, now I know what delights I am missing thanks to this really luxurious volume of chocolate history and information.Like for Like ReadingChocolate News: From Cadbury to Kraft – 200 years of Sweet Success and Bitter Rivalry, Deborah CadburySweets: The History of Temptation, Tim Richardson The Lovereading view... This is the story of chocolate - for chocoholics everywhere - its place in history, from the Mayans to 21st-century artisan producers; the journey from tree to bar, from the plantation to thegourmet store and flavours from around the world. You’ll also find out about over 80 of the world's top producers – both the small artisan chocolatiers and the global producers – and the origin of some of their chocolate bars. Chocoholics will even be able to learn to taste chocolate like an expert.
Continuing the tales of life in a the Spanish hills. Now with their young daughter Chloe they are very much part of the community. We also learn far more about the journey that brought Chris and his family to Andalucía. You’ll be wanting to pack your bags and move out there yourself!
As well as sorting out your health and wealth for new year why not start that book you've always wanted to write? Louise Doughty's new book gives you all the advice you need for getting started, planning and turning out the novel that is waiting to be written.
Stress is a concept humans invented and now we let it rule us. We might have evolved to be able to miraculously balance on seven-inch heels, but as far as our emotional development is concerned we're still swimming with the pond scum. If we don't advance our more human qualities then we're doomed evolution-wise to become cyborgs, with an imprint of an 'Apple' where our hearts used to be. Ruby Wax shows us a scientific solution to these modern problems: mindfulness. I know what you're thinking - what if I don't want to stare at a butterfly wing or hear the single ting of a wind chime? My definition of mindfulness isn't about sitting erect on a hillock, legs in a knot, humming a mantra that's probably the phone book sung backwards, it's something that can help us all: learning to notice your thoughts and feelings so you can truly experience life.
Ever thought that your brain deliberately tricks you? Stop blaming it on the fact you had too many glasses of wine last night; there's science to prove that your brain has an agenda all of its own. This is an absolutely fascinating whirl around human psychology, illustrated with amusing real-life examples. Very interesting but slightly scary!
Who invented beds? When did we start cleaning our teeth? How old are wine and beer? Which came first: the toilet seat or toilet paper? What was the first clock? Every day, from the moment our alarm clock wakes us in the morning until our head hits our pillow at night, we all take part in rituals that are millennia old. Structured around one ordinary day, A MILLION YEARS IN A DAY reveals the astonishing origins and development of the daily practices we take for granted. In this gloriously entertaining romp through human history Greg Jenner explores the gradual and often unexpected evolution of our daily routines. This is not a story of politics, wars or great events, instead Greg Jenner has scoured Roman rubbish bins, Egyptian tombs and Victorian sewers to bring us the most intriguing, surprising and sometimes downright silly nuggets from our past.
March 2018 Book of the Month A slightly different offering than usual from Cathy Glass, yet still as emotional and powerful as you’d expect. The story begins in another country, Elaine and Ian have travelled there from the UK and are waiting to adopt their daughter. Cathy fully explains the reasons and thought processes behind the adoption and we get to know little Anna, to see how she spent the first few years of her life. Cathy allows you to connect to Elaine and Ian, to see life from their perspective. This part of the tale is so necessary, as to immediately start with Cathy’s involvement when Anna is older, would leave a gaping black hole in proceedings. As always, Cathy inspires awe, her ability to judge what is needed, yet not judge others, to give a child what they need, and not necessarily want really comes across. The story is so simply yet eloquently told, and Cathy’s years of fostering experience shine a beam of light across the pages. ‘A Long Way From Home’ is a touching, poignant tale, and the bleak beginning just begs for an encouraging and hopeful end.
This is the story of how, over a period of one hundred and ninety-two days, I was torn away from the life I knew and loved, and dragged down to the depths of despair; of how I endured enforced isolation and near-starvation at the hands of Somali pirates; and of how I made a choice to survive by any and all means that I could muster. In September 2011 Judith Tebbutt and her husband David set out on an adventurous holiday to Kenya. A couple for thirty-three years, they had first met in Zambia: Africa had played a major part in their life together. After a joyous week on safari in the Masai Mara, they flew on to a beach resort forty kilometres south of Somalia. And there, in the early hours of 11 September, tragedy struck them. Judith was torn away from David by a band of armed pirates, dragged over sea and land to a village in the arid heart of lawless Somalia, and there held hostage in a squalid room, a ransom on her head. There, too, she learned the terrible truth that the responsibility of securing her release now rested with her son Ollie. Powerful, moving and at times quite devastating, this is Judith Tebbutt's story in her own words.
First published in 1979, a welcome reissue of John Jackson’s description of life on a Kent small-holding. With his wife and three children (all more or less enthusiastic about the move), they buy a house high in the North Kent Weald. Almost immediately the animals started arriving revealing the family’s genius for naming them. They didn’t need to do the self-sufficiency thing, they wanted to and this account is all the more believable as we read of just as many successes as failures. The family manages to balance the financial side of farming with care and good management; they don’t always manage to keep the animals under control, their decision to breed animals like Jacobs sheep that are able to jump and evade fencing don’t make things easy. Why do we still not use odd corners of the land for crops and grazing as the Jacksons did, why not run sheep with a lone horse at pasture, a mutually beneficial practice, small ways that make the most of the land, this is an enjoyable read that we can still learn from. A 'Piece of Passion' from the author... 'This book tells a tale of how a family - my family - living in a sliver of countryside in Kent in London's commuter belt, came over some ten years, to make itself, in its 'spare time' self sufficient in its requirements for milk, meat, eggs, vegetables and some fruit.My then wife Ann and I had each grown up in the countryside and we had missed the connection with the land we had known then. As child, I had lived in a former fisherman's cottage in Dorset when self sufficiency was a matter of necessity. My father was on the dole, of which there was not much in the 1930's, and my mother was in poor health. We lived on what we could grow or forage and if the tide was right what we could get out of the sea. I remember how a conger eel caught by my father would provide us with fish cakes for a week! But the book is also about more than the activities of a family and their animals. It is an attempt to make a small statement about people's relationship with the land they live on and the importance of that relationship. I have long believed that the 'health' of a nation is better and its communities and their cultures stronger, the more it cleaves and values the land it lives on.' Like for Like Reading Spotted Pigs & Green Tomatoes: A Year in the Life of Our Farm, Rosie Boycott Tales of the Country, Brian Viner
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!