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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.

When Breath Becomes Air

When Breath Becomes Air

Author: Paul Kalanithi Format: Hardback Release Date: 05/01/2017

THE NEW YORK TIMES NUMBER ONE BESTSELLER. Finishing this book and then forgetting about it is simply not an option...Unmissable . (New York Times). At the age of thirty-six, on the verge of completing a decade's training as a neurosurgeon, Paul Kalanithi was diagnosed with inoperable lung cancer. One day he was a doctor treating the dying, the next he was a patient struggling to live. When Breath Becomes Air chronicles Kalanithi's transformation from a medical student asking what makes a virtuous and meaningful life into a neurosurgeon working in the core of human identity - the brain - and finally into a patient and a new father.

ebook of the month
Whatever! A Down-to-Earth Guide to Parenting Teenagers

Whatever! A Down-to-Earth Guide to Parenting Teenagers

Author: Gill Hines, Alison Baverstock Format: Paperback Release Date: 14/01/2016

Do you find bringing up teenagers more of a pain than a pleasure? Raising teenagers can test parental love to breaking point, particularly if you have previously enjoyed a close and loving relationship. The child whose every joy and sadness you shared has suddenly become taller than you, louder than you, with an inside knowledge of all your failings - and a sudden urge to point them out. What's more, this newly arrived creature may spend half their life glued to a gadget, talk and dress in a way you find alien and respond to all queries with a grunt or a dismissal - whilst expecting ever-greater financial hand-outs. Help is however at hand.

ebook of the month
What? Are These Really the Twenty Most Important Questions in Human History?

What? Are These Really the Twenty Most Important Questions in Human History?

Author: Mark Kurlansky Format: Hardback Release Date: 06/06/2011

Kurlansky considers the work of Confucius, Plato, Shakespeare, Descartes, Nietzsche, Freud, Hemingway, Emily Dickinson, the Talmud, Charles de Gaulle, Virginia Woolf, and others, distilling the deep questions of life to their sparkling essence.

ebook of the month
What's Mine is Yours How Collaborative Consumption is Changing the Way We Live

What's Mine is Yours How Collaborative Consumption is Changing the Way We Live

Author: Rachel Botsman, Roo Rogers Format: Paperback Release Date: 03/02/2011

In the 20th century humanity consumed products faster than ever, but this way of living is no longer sustainable. This new and important book shows how technological advances are driving forms of 'collaborative consumption' which will change forever the ways in which we interact both with businesses and with each other. The average lawn mower is used for four hours a year. The average power drill is used for only twenty minutes in its entire lifespan. The average car is unused for 22 hours a day, and even when it is being used there are normally three empty seats. Surely there must be a way to get the benefit out of things like mowers, drills and even cars, without having to carry the huge up-front costs of ownership? There is indeed. Collaborative consumption is not just a buzzword, it is a new win-win way of life. This insightful and thought-provoking new book by Rachel Botsman and Roo Rogers is an important and fast-moving survey of the dramatic changes we are seeing in the way we consume products. Many of us are familiar with freecycle, eBay, couchsurfing and Zipcar. But these are just the beginning of a new phenomenon. Rachel Botsman and Roo Rogers have interviewed business leaders and opinion formers around the world to draw together the many strands of Collaborative Consumption into a coherent and challenging argument to show that the way we did business and consumerism in the 20th century is not the way we will do it in the 21st century.

ebook of the month
What's in a Surname? A Journey from Abercrombie to Zwicker

What's in a Surname? A Journey from Abercrombie to Zwicker

Author: David McKie Format: Paperback Release Date: 03/07/2014

This is the Sunday Times bestseller. Surnames are much more than convenient identity tags; they are windows into our families' pasts. Some suggest ancestral trades (Butcher, Smith, Roper) or physical appearance (Long, Brown, Thynne). Some provide clues to where we come from (McDonald, Evans, Patel). And some - Rymer, Brocklebank, Stolbof - offer a hint of something just a little more exotic or esoteric. All are grist to the mill for David McKie who, in What's in a Surname?, sets off on a journey around Britain to find out how such appellations have evolved and what they tell us about ourselves. En route he looks at the surname's tentative beginnings in medieval times, and the myriad routes by which particular names became established. He considers some curious byways: the rise and fall of the multi-barrel surname and the Victorian reinvention of 'embarrassing' surnames among them. He considers whether fortune favours those whose surnames come at the beginning of the alphabet. And he celebrates the remarkable and the quirky, from the fearsome Ridley (the cry of which once struck terror in the hearts of their neighbours) to the legend-encrusted Tichborne, whose most famous holders were destined to suffer misfortune and controversy. Elegiac and amusing by turns, he offers a wonderfully entertaining wander along the footpaths of the nation's history and culture, celebrating not just the Smiths and Joneses of these islands but the Chaceporcs and Swetinbeddes, too.

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!