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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.
The 'wild woman' in us is innately healthy, passionate and wise. "Women Who Run With The Wolves" gives readers a new sense of direction, a self confidence and purpose in their lives. March 2010 Guest Editor Susan Fletcher on Women Who Run with the Wolves... This non-fiction book amazed me. It amazes me still, with each reading. Viewed as feminist writing, self-help, or spiritual guidance (or all these things) it is, effectively, a book which celebrates and encourages living instinctively - about nurturing the 'wildish' part of us, as well as our 'everyday' selves. Estes praises the inner voice we all have, and, in brief, her book emphasises the importance of listening to it. She sings of the necessity of the natural world around us, of treasuring ourselves. Perhaps it is easy to tease such theories. But Estes' style is both so accessible and poetic that it is utterly beguiling. Her feelings on how to live a happy, meaningful life are ones I share, and it was joyous to finally find a writer who could express what I could not. In short, her words make sense to me. Women Who Run With The Wolves has made changes, both subtle and profound, to how I life my life, to my values, to how I view myself and others - and, crucially, to how I write.
The Allied bombers screamed in from the sea, spilling hundreds of shells onto the troops below. As the air filled with exploding shrapnel, one young German soldier flung himself into a ditch and prayed that his ordeal would soon be over. Wolfram Aichele was nine years old when Hitler came to power: his formative years were spent in the shadow of the Third Reich. He and his parents - free-thinking artists - were to have first hand experience of living under one of the most brutal regimes in history. Wolfram: The Boy Who Went to War overturns all the cliches about life under Hitler. It is a powerful story of warfare and human survival and a reminder that civilians on all sides suffered the consequences of Hitler's war. It is also an eloquent testimony to the fact that even in times of exceptional darkness there remains a brilliant spark of humanity that can never be totally extinguished.
After writing two highly successful autobiographies Terry is back to take us through a year in his life including radio, TV, charity events and the wonderful Eurovision Song Contest. Full of great anecdotes and experiences this is a warm and witty account of the ups and downs in one year of one of Britain’s best loved broadcasters. A must for all his fans.
Touching true stories from the heyday of the Butlin's holiday camps. 'When I got to the camp I felt as if I'd suddenly walked into Utopia - it was so colourful, so warm, so friendly. There were lights across the roads, there were banners fluttering in the breeze...There seemed to be laughter coming from every building.' With grey post-WWII skies hanging low over Britain, factories lining the streets and smoke stacks dotting the horizon, there was one way that ordinary families could escape: the ever-cheerful holiday camps of Butlin's. When Billy Butlin founded his holiday camps in 1936, they were bastions of community spirit and havens of luxury. Here, for one week, wives and mothers were freed from the toil and drudgery of housework, children ran free through the grounds, fathers and husbands hung up their work clothes. Ever-helpful redcoats were on hand all hours of the day, dinner halls ready with plentiful food for old and young alike, bars stocked to quench any level of thirst, ballrooms waiting to be flooded with shiny shoes, rustling dresses and peals of laughter. And, as the sun went down on another exhausting, happy day, a chorus line was ready to sing holidaymakers back to their beds. Rich in period detail and highly evocative, Wish You Were Here! follows the lives of five of the camps' key figures through the highs and lows of the holiday season: from redcoats searching for stardom to young families who returned year after year, to pensioners who rediscovered an inner youth. The laughter and tears, the loves and losses, and the fun and friendships that have lasted a lifetime - it's all here. Funny, moving and heartwarming, they are tales of swimming pools and sing-a-longs, Glamorous Grannies and bicycle rides, and of a community spirit that burned brightly in a much-loved British institution.
Shortlisted for The People's Book Prize| February 2018 Book of the Month. A perfectly formed absolute treat of a book, containing 300 aphorisms by Robert Eddison, journalist, playwright, public speaker, and aphorist. The foreword by Gyles Brandreth salutes the skill of Eddison. These pithy, witty, thoughtful one-liners at times burst onto my consciousness, while others made me think, ponder, consider. Two favourites of mine are “Deep thoughts take time to surface”, and “Throwaway remarks are not always caught”. This little book would make the perfect gift for anyone with an appreciation for words, written or spoken. It can be picked up and dipped into, become a topic of conversation, revisited and evaluated. Wisdom and Wordplay contains some wonderful one-liners, they tease, fence, pierce, creating a fabulous addition to any bookshelf. ~ Liz Robinson
With a foreword from Boris Johnson, an anthology of Churchill's writing for the Daily Telegraph together with some of the newspaper's coverage of Churchill's life. It was a surprisingly long relationship starting in 1897 with a report from the further reaches of the British Empire. There are the great set pieces, the calls to arms, the warnings and his visions and plans but amongst all this seriousness there are lighter more personal pieces - on his love of painting and some surprising little gems like the black swan missing from Chartwell and its subsequent discovery in the south of Holland. Overall the book gives a very different view of Churchill from young man to world statesman, complementing the many biographies with his own words and views.~ Sue Baker Like for Like Reading All Will be Well: Good Advice from Winston Churchill, Richard M Langworth Churchill: A Biography, Roy Jenkins
October 2012 Non-Fiction Book of the Month. The seventh in the phenomenally brilliant and best selling series. Complied from the ‘Last Word’ section of the New Scientist magazine, where readers write in with interesting and obscure questions - which are then answered by other (v clever) readers. Perfect for someone who thinks they know everything or for everyone else who loves dipping in and out of fascinating scientific trivia.
Michael Moore says â€œIâ€™m proud to give voice to the troops who have written to meâ€ for this is what he does here as American GIs, their families and supporters tell the real story of Iraq, sans the propaganda, and Michael just links their letters. Itâ€™s powerful, searing stuff.
In Wilding, Isabella Tree tells the story of the 'Knepp experiment', a pioneering rewilding project in West Sussex, using free-roaming grazing animals to create new habitats for wildlife. Part gripping memoir, part fascinating account of the ecology of our countryside, Wilding is, above all, an inspiring story of hope. Forced to accept that intensive farming on the heavy clay of their land at Knepp was economically unsustainable, Isabella Tree and her husband Charlie Burrell made a spectacular leap of faith: they decided to step back and let nature take over. Thanks to the introduction of free-roaming cattle, ponies, pigs and deer - proxies of the large animals that once roamed Britain - the 3,500 acre project has seen extraordinary increases in wildlife numbers and diversity in little over a decade. Extremely rare species, including turtle doves, nightingales, peregrine falcons, lesser spotted woodpeckers and purple emperor butterflies, are now breeding at Knepp, and populations of other species are rocketing. The Burrells' degraded agricultural land has become a functioning ecosystem again, heaving with life - all by itself. Personal and inspirational, Wilding is an astonishing account of the beauty and strength of nature, when it is given as much freedom as possible.
A record of travels in one of the wildest and most remote corners of the UK – the Cairngorms. Following in the footsteps of Scottish writers such as Neil Gunn and Rowena Farre, Mike Cawthorne recalls the landscape as his subjects would have experienced it and, as he walks, we see the landscape of today and the issues that beset even such a remote place, ownership, wildlife, conservation and depopulation. May 2014 Non-Fiction Book of the Month. Like for Like Reading Findings, Kathleen Jamie Mountains of the Mind: A History of a Fascination, Robert McFarlane
This autobiographical tale by a part Irish American writer uses the thread of family insomnia, perhaps inherited, to glue the story together and link episodes in it. Analysing and dissecting the meaning both cerebral and practical of sleep deprivation, Patricia Morrison shows us how through history it has been a problem for all races and for all ages, even though her grandfather had a theory that people of Irish extraction were particularly light sleepers! Using her own experiences, we are able through her, to visit a sleep laboratory; take sleeping tablets and observe their effect; investigate the lack of sleep caused by bedbugs (considerable); and visit psychological experts specializing in sleep problems. She tries New Age therapies; investigates SAD (the phenomena of depression caused by light deprivation in the winter); and finally uses meditation. By the end of the book those with similar problems will at least know they are not alone. An interesting subject covered in depth against her day to day life and her search for a solution.
Award winning author Katherine Rundell is as passionate about reading children’s books as she is about writing them. In this brief but and perfectly structured handbook she encourages all readers to think about the particular qualities of children’s books and about the special experience of reading as a child – which she remembers clearly. Drawing on her deep knowledge of children’s stories and supporting her arguments with endorsing quotes from writers of all kinds she sets out her defence of the book’s title in brief sections. She is as much at home in the factual – ‘On how children’s fiction came to be’ and ‘On children’s fiction today’ as the more personal which reflect her own views including ‘On wild hunger and heroic optimism’ and ‘The galvanic kick of children’s books’.
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!