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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.
Written in an easy friendly style, a comprehensive – to say the least – guide to what to about everything in the house (or flat). DIY or get the experts in? DIY or get someone else to do it? As with packed school lunches, basic information is given but Barbara Toner recommends getting the children making their own as soon as possible – as soon as they’ve made their own bed that is. I’ve spent an entertaining hour trying to think up household disaster scenarios to catch out Ms Toner but I haven’t succeeded – this really is What to Do About Everything. Click here to read Barbara Toner's top 10 tips for managing your time. Like for Like ReadingThe Art of Good HousekeepingMrs Beeton’s Book of Household Management (Abridged)
Penguin presents the audiobook edition of What It Takes written and read by Raegan Moya-Jones. When Raegan Moya-Jones was told by her overbearing male boss that she didn't have an 'entrepreneurial bone' in her whole body, she almost laughed in his face. What he didn't know was that the business she'd been secretly working on in the small hours of the night after putting her baby to bed had just hit a revenue of $1 million. Today, aden + anais, the swaddling blanket and baby goods company Moya-Jones founded is a global, multi-million dollar franchise and one that Beyoncé, Gwen Stefani and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge loyally support. In this clever, relatable and iconoclastic success story, Moya-Jones busts every myth and misconception about women in business and argues that women should embrace the attributes that set them apart from men. Blanket conventions and perceived barriers attached to the female entrepreneur can be transformed into assets and profit - all you have to do is take the leap.
Jeremy Vine's BBC Radio 2 show attracts millions of listeners, he is well known for his television appearances on programmes such as Eggheads and even for his moves around the dance floor on Strictly Come Dancing. He seems to thrive on interaction with people and this has made him the household name he has become today. After 14 years of radio he has now calculated that he has taken more than 25,000 calls on a never ending variety of topics. Vine is certainly a big personality, bringing out the best and worst in his listeners but with this memoir he honours them and all the others who have touched his life (for good or bad or the just plain ridiculous). Over the years his listeners have discussed everything from politics to cellophane (???) and this memoir feels like a tribute to them and a nod towards the numerous platforms available today that allows voices of all backgrounds and opinions to be heard. Fans of Vine and his Radio show will enjoy his easy, engaging writing style but even those who are not familiar will find this a fascinating, funny and at times compassionate read. ~Shelley Fallows - You can also find Shelley here.
No one writes about cars like Jeremy Clarkson. Jeremy appreciates the more important things in life. Don't worry, we'll get to the cars. Eventually. But first we should consider: The case for invading France; The overwhelming appeal of a nice sit-down; The inconvenience of gin and tonic; Why clothes are no better than ice cream; Spot-welding with the Duchess of Kent; and, Why Denmark is the best place in the world.
From Monet's water lilies to Van Gogh's sunflowers, from Warhol's soup cans to Hirst's pickled shark, hear the stories behind the masterpieces, meet the artists as they really were, and discover the real point of modern art. You will learn: not all conceptual art is bollocks; Picasso is king (but Cezanne is better); Pollock is no drip; Dali painted with his moustache; a urinal changed the course of art, why your 5-year-old really couldn't do it. Refreshing, irreverent and always straightforward, What Are You Looking At? cuts through the pretentious art speak and asks all the basic questions that you were too afraid to ask. Your next gallery trip is going to be a little less intimidating and a lot more interesting. It includes full of beautiful colour and black and white illustrations. It includes a free pull-out map of Modern Art to guide you through the movements. 'Will Gompertz is a natural communicator whose passion for art is expressed with wit and verve' Sir Nicholas Serota, Director of Tate Gallery Will Gompertz is the BBC Arts Editor and probably the world's first art history stand-up comedian. He was a Director at the Tate Gallery for 7 years. He has a particular interest in modern art and has written about the arts for The Times and the Guardian for over 20 years. In 2009, he wrote and performed a sell-out one-man comedy show about modern art at the Edinburgh Festival. He was recently voted one of the world's top 50 creative thinkers by New York's Creativity Magazine .
November 2013 Non-Fiction Book of the Month. A brilliant book that makes you realise, with more than a hint of humour, how much you don’t know. Why do we breathe? What is money? How does the brain work? Why did life invent sex? Does time really exist? to name but a few. Dip into - or read the whole thing and really impress your friends.
Portraits of any number of dogs undergoing their regular shampoo and set. Some long-suffering, most resigned and just a few enjoying the whole thing. A lovely array of dogs, some very high maintenance but with a good number of streetwise dogs too. All wet, all gorgeous with many a why me and what now expression on their faces. ~ Sue Baker Like for Like ReadingDogs Hanging out of Windows, Various Plumdog , Emma Chichester Clark
A sweeping political, social, military and cultural overview of the United Kingdom on the eve, and then the day, of the greatest battle fought by British arms. Midnight, Sunday, 17 June 1815. There was no town in England that had not sent its soldiers, hardly a household that was not holding its breath, not a family, as Byron put it, that would escape 'havoc's tender mercies' at Waterloo, and yet at the same time life inevitably went on as normal. As Wellington's rain-sodden army retreated for the final, decisive battle, men and women in England were still going to the theatre and science lectures, still working in the fields and the factories, still reading and writing books and sermons, still painting their pictures and sitting in front of Lord Elgin's marbles as if almost five thousand did not already lie dead. After ten hours of savage fighting, Waterloo would be littered with the bodies of something like 47,000 dead and wounded. Meanwhile, as the day unfolded, a whole nation, countryside and town, artisan and aristocrat, was brought together by war. From Samuel Johnson Prize shortlisted author David Crane, Went the Day Well is a breathtaking portrait of Britain in those moments. Moving from England to the battle and back again this vivid, stunning freeze-frame of a country on the single most celebrated day in its modern history shows Crane's full range in tracing the endless, overlapping connections between people's lives. From private tragedies, disappointed political hopes, and public discontents to grandiloquent public celebrations and monuments, it answers Wellington's call as he rallied his troops to 'Think what England is thinking of us now'.
Welcome to Subirdia presents a surprising discovery: the suburbs of many large cities support incredible biological diversity. Populations and communities of a great variety of birds, as well as other creatures, are adapting to the conditions of our increasingly developed world. In this fascinating and optimistic book, John Marzluff reveals how our own actions affect the birds and animals that live in our cities and towns, and he provides ten specific strategies everyone can use to make human environments friendlier for our natural neighbors. Over many years of research and fieldwork, Marzluff and student assistants have closely followed the lives of thousands of tagged birds seeking food, mates, and shelter in cities and surrounding areas. From tiny Pacific wrens to grand pileated woodpeckers, diverse species now compatibly share human surroundings. By practicing careful stewardship with the biological riches in our cities and towns, Marzluff explains, we can foster a new relationship between humans and other living creatures--one that honors and enhances our mutual destiny.
April 2012 Non-Fiction Book of the Month. Having been a bookseller, one of my weirdest moments was being asked for a pound of sausages. We tracked that down to the shop having been a butcher in a previous incarnation but really, looking round is a Bookshop likely to sell sausages? Another time a customer hummed a tune and got into a rage when I couldn’t identify it, pointing out that we were a book and not a music shop, his rage increased and a letter of complaint was duly sent to my Managing Director who dealt with him rather like the unfortunate youth who got caught peeing through our letter box. Something about bookshops seems to attract weirdness and it helps to alleviate a dull day for the long suffering bookseller. Reading through the collection put together by Jen Campbell makes me realise that a lot more weirdness could have come my way, some of it mind boggling bizarre. Think before you speak might be one way of addressing the problem but then half the fun would go out of life, nowt so weird as folk.... Normally in my Like for Like recommendations I list books in print but it just so happens that two of the best on weird books are out of print – never mind - plenty for sale on Amazon and for book lovers there is plenty to enjoy in these walks on the wilder shores of bibliography.Like for Like Reading:Scouts in Bondage & other Books from an Innocent Age, Michael Bell + various hardback 96 pages Aurum 23rd October 2006 9781845131968Bizarre Books, Russell Ash & Brian Lake + various paperback 196 pages Pavilion 17th September 1998 9780965887649
“We’re going on a bar hunt. We’re going to find a cool one. The babysitter’s booked – We’re not old!” So chant the optimistic parents at the beginning of the book. But the bar hunt doesn’t quite go to plan and the book ends with heavy heads, lost keys and children bouncing around on the sofa at 6am. No more bar-hunts again for these two! A fun parody of the children’s classic title accompanied by Gillian Johnson’s witty illustrations. Like for Like ReadingThe Oxford Book of Parodies, John GrossThe Lost Diaries, Craig Brown
I am of an age where I can remember mutton, remember pork tasting special, remember chicken having a flavour, remember when our farm animals were fed from land rich in nutrients and minerals and our fruit and vegetables burst with flavour. Graham Harvey tells us why this isnâ€™t so any more and why so many illnesses and allergies affect us today. He also offers us a simple solution which makes obvious sense, something we can all do in our own gardens. This is an important book.
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!