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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.

Why are Orangutans Orange? Science Puzzles in Pictures - with Fascinating Answers

Why are Orangutans Orange? Science Puzzles in Pictures - with Fascinating Answers

Author: New Scientist Format: Paperback Release Date: 06/10/2011

This 'Classic New Scientist Q&As' - now fully illustrated. Illustrated for the first time, with eighty full-colour photographs showing the beauty, complexity and mystery of the world around us, here is the next eagerly awaited volume of science questions and answers from New Scientist magazine. From ripples in glass to 'holograms' in ice, the natural world's wonders are unravelled by the magazine's knowledgeable readers.

Who Said That First? The Curious Origins of Common Words and Phrases

Who Said That First? The Curious Origins of Common Words and Phrases

Author: Max Cryer Format: Hardback Release Date: 03/10/2011

Who first wrote 'absence makes the heart grow fonder', 'accidentally on purpose' or 'no pain, no gain?' Did you know that there is no evidence Queen Victoria said 'We are not amused' or Marie Antoinette proclaimed 'Let them eat cake', but 'iron curtain' was in use for 40 years before Winston Churchill said it, and we have P.G. Wodehouse to thank for 'straight from the horse's mouth'?

ebook of the month
Who Cooked Adam Smith's Dinner? A Story About Women and Economics

Who Cooked Adam Smith's Dinner? A Story About Women and Economics

Author: Katrine Marcal Format: Paperback Release Date: 05/03/2015

It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker, that we can expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own interest When Adam Smith wrote that all our actions stem from self-interest and the world turns because of financial gain he brought to life 'economic man'. Selfish and cynical, economic man has dominated our thinking ever since and his influence has spread from the market to how we shop, work and date. But every night Adam Smith's mother served him his dinner, not out of self-interest but out of love. Today, our economics focuses on self-interest and excludes all other motivations. It disregards the unpaid work of mothering, caring, cleaning and cooking. It insists that if women are paid less, then that's because their labour is worth less - how could it be otherwise? Economics has told us a story about how the world works and we have swallowed it, hook, line and sinker. Now it's time to change the story. In this courageous look at the mess we're in, Katrine Marcal tackles the biggest myth of our time and invites us to kick out economic man once and for all.

White Beech The Rainforest Years

White Beech The Rainforest Years

Author: Dr. Germaine Greer Format: Paperback Release Date: 29/01/2015

One bright day in December 2001, sixty-two-year-old Germaine Greer found herself confronted by an irresistible challenge in the shape of sixty hectares of dairy farm, one of many in south-east Queensland that, after a century of logging, clearing and downright devastation, had been abandoned to their fate. She didn't think for a minute that by restoring the land she was saving the world. She was in search of heart's ease. Beyond the acres of exotic pasture grass and soft weed and the impenetrable curtains of tangled Lantana canes there were Macadamias dangling their strings of unripe nuts, and Black Beans with red and yellow pea flowers growing on their branches . and the few remaining White Beeches, stupendous trees up to forty metres in height, logged out within forty years of the arrival of the first white settlers. To have turned down even a faint chance of bringing them back to their old haunts would have been to succumb to despair. Once the process of rehabilitation had begun, the chance proved to be a dead certainty. When the first replanting shot up to make a forest and rare caterpillars turned up to feed on the leaves of the new young trees, she knew beyond doubt that at least here biodepletion could be reversed. Greer describes herself as an old dog who succeeded in learning a load of new tricks, inspired and rejuvenated by her passionate love of Australia and of Earth, most exuberant of small planets.

ebook of the month
Whitaker's Almanack 1869

Whitaker's Almanack 1869

Format: Hardback Release Date: 20/11/2014

'The Almanack is essentially a Household Book. From it is derived the knowledge ordinarily possessed of the Course of the Seasons, and other Astronomical phenomena, the nature of our Constitution, and the statistics of our Ecclesiastical, Legal, Naval, and Military systems. In addition to all such information, herein given in an unusually full and complete manner, the reader will discover other and important features not hitherto easily obtainable. He is referred, for instance, to the summaries of the Public Income and Expenditure, the proceedings of Parliaments during the last Session; to Scientific Discoveries and Inventions of the Year; to the Trade, Commerce, and Finance of the Kingdom; and to the particulars of our Municipal and Social Institutions...a clear and concise account of India, Australia, Canada and other possessions, together with a similar description of Foreign Countries' (December 10, 1868) So wrote Joseph Whitaker in the introduction to his very first edition of Whitaker's Almanack, published in 1868. One hundred and forty six years later Whitaker's is still published annually and its remit has remained remarkably unchanged. Alongside the calendar and astronomical data associated with an almanack, it provides a comprehensive overview of all aspects of UK infrastructure, a detailed digest of every country of the world and an overview of the events and discoveries of the past year.

Where's Stig: Motorsport Madness

Where's Stig: Motorsport Madness

Author: Rod Hunt Format: Hardback Release Date: 26/09/2013

The Stig, Top Gear's tame racing driver, is off on another adventure, this time following his passion for speed and adrenaline to its natural conclusion - motorsport. Stig has disappeared into the world of racing, and it's your job to find him. Follow Stig as he roams from the stifling heat of the Dakar rally to the redneck heartland of a NASCAR track, or from the nightime drama or Le Mans to the mud-soaked stands of Silverstone for the British Grand Prix. Along the way you'll also find Clarkson, Hammond and May as they indulge in a spot of home-made motorhome racing or Roman rallying, middle-eastern style. The Where's Stig books have taken Top Gear fans by storm - and his latest voyage is the most action packed yet!

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!