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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.
A journalist for National Public Radio in the US, David Greene decides to travel thousands of kilometres from Moscow to Vladivostok on the iconic Trans-Siberian line. On the train and in the many Siberian outposts he stops as he meets a wide range of ordinary Russian people - from a group of Beatles-singing babushkas to soldiers and struggling entrepreneurs - with situations arising that are at times comical, awkward or poignant. Travelling in third class, he learns to adhere to the train's unwritten social codes and to navigate the unfamiliar environment of Siberia, occasionally shadowed by security agents. Conjuring up other famous travellers to the regions such as Anton Chekhov, David Greene manages, through the events he describes and his reflections and conversations on the journey, to construct a complex, compassionate and astute portrait of Putin's Russia far away from the glamour and prestige of Moscow.
In this title, Dale explains that heart disease is at epidemic proportions and rising, and attempts to find out why - and what we can do about it. His approach - using nutrition alongside conventional medicine - is to avoid the dietary baddies that may contribute to the problem. And he has some revolutionary ideas about what those might be. Dale shows how the heart works and gives you the tools you need to help yourself. His approachable, readable style reveals cardiovascular workings clearly. Dale peers inside the modern western kitchen storecupboard and shows what should be going into it with a comprehensive list of heart-healthy food. Vitally, he reveals what needs to be thrown out and never replaced - among them some startlingly common foods! Dale shows how easy it can be to incorporate powerful super-nutrients into your diet and what foods and supplements can provide them. Each recipe has a check-list showing the components it contains that are particularly heart-healthy. Start the day with a Salmon and asparagus frittata, dine sumptuously on Black olive and anchovy-stuffed chicken breast with sweet potato mash and finish it all off with Pears poached in spiced red wine. If these seem miles away from a conventional heart-healthy diet, that is because Dale believes much modern-day dietary advice is wrong. Learn his secrets for yourself and eat your way to better heart health.
In this title, Dale tackles the issues people suffer with their digestion, trying to understand the reasons behind the conditions and - most importantly - how you can help yourself to relieve them. His approach is designed to work alongside conventional medical treatment. Dale believes you can relieve a whole spectrum of digestive symptoms via diet. He believes that making a long-term change to the way you eat is a far better path to good digestion than short-lived, difficult-to-follow diets. He tackles the physiology and anatomy behind each of a handful of the most common digestive complaints: bloating; constipation; IBS; inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn's and ulcerative colitis), and touches on reflux and food 'intolerance', too. He shows how the body digests different foodstuffs, therefore giving readers the tools they need to heal themselves, promote gut flora and avoid foods that can continue to ferment in the gut. The wonderful recipes in this book are divided into groups, depending on the gut condition they are intended to tackle. Lunch on Bean and corn quesadillas if you have constipation. To help relieve IBS, try Chicken and shiitake pad thai, or dine on Chicken meat loaf with roasted roots to help relieve inflammatory bowel disease. Every recipe is simple and quick to prepare with easy-to-find ingredients.
In this title, Dale investigates the explosion in diabetes and attempts to find out why and what you can do about it. The title is intended to help relieve both type- 1 and type-2 diabetes - using nutrition alongside conventional medicine - but, importantly, Dale believes diet alone can heal type-2 diabetes. In the first half of the book, Dale unpicks the physiology and anatomy of diabetes, showing how the modern diet causes insulin resistance and - ultimately - type-2 diabetes. But his mission is to correct that and, in the second half of the book, he provides the delicious tools to do so. A chart of low-GI foods will help you to get 'carb-smart'. Start the day with an Avocado and cheddar omelette with spicy salsa, or enjoy a speedy Chicken and lentil curry. Serve friends Tilapia fillets with pea, mint and feta mash and tomato salad, or even try a low-GI Cheesecake for pudding. Learn Dale's secrets for yourself and successfully eat your way to avoiding - or relieving - diabetes.
The Danes are the happiest people in the world, and pay the highest taxes. 'Neutral' Sweden is one of the biggest arms manufacturers in the world. Finns have the largest per capita gun ownership after the US and Yemen. 54 per cent of Icelanders believe in elves. Norway is the richest country on earth. 5 per cent of Danish men have had sex with an animal. Michael Booth has lived among the Scandinavians, on and off, for over ten years, perplexed by their many strange paradoxes and character traits and equally bemused by the unquestioning enthusiasm for all things Nordic that has engulfed the rest of the world. He leaves his adopted home of Denmark and embarks on a journey through all five of the Nordic countries to discover who these curious tribes are, the secrets of their success and, most intriguing of all, what they think of each other. Along the way a more nuanced, often darker picture emerges of a region plagued by taboos, characterised by suffocating parochialism and populated by extremists of various shades.
From Herodotus's day to the present political upheavals, the steady flow of the Nile has been Egypt's heartbeat. It has shaped its geography, controlled its economy and moulded its civilisation. The same stretch of water which conveyed Pharaonic battleships, Ptolemaic grain ships, Roman troop-carriers and Victorian steamers today carries modern-day tourists past bankside settlements in which rural life - fishing, farming, flooding - continues much as it has for millennia. At this most critical juncture in the country's history, foremost Egyptologist Toby Wilkinson takes us on a journey up the Nile, north from Lake Victoria, from Cataract to Cataract, past the Aswan Dam, to the delta. The country is a palimpsest, every age has left its trace: as we pass the Nilometer on the island of Elephantine which since the days of the Pharaohs has measured the height of Nile floodwaters to predict the following season's agricultural yield and set the parameters for the entire Egyptian economy, the wonders of Giza which bear the scars of assault by nineteenth-century archaeologists and the modern-day unbridled urban expansion of Cairo - and in Egypt's earliest art (prehistoric images of fish-traps carved into cliffs) and the Arab Spring (fought on the bridges of Cairo) - the Nile is our guide to understanding the past and present of this unique, chaotic, vital, conservative yet rapidly changing land.
Today we live in snug, well-furnished houses surrounded by the trappings of a civilised life. But we are not alone - we suffer a constant stream of unwanted visitors. Our houses, our food, our belongings, our very existence are under constant attack from a host of invaders eager to take advantage of our shelter, our food stores and our tasty soft furnishings. From bats in the belfry to beetles in the cellar, moths in the wardrobe and mosquitoes in the bedroom, humans cannot escape the attentions of the animal kingdom. Nature may be red in tooth and claw, but when it's our blood the bedbugs are after, when it's our cereal bowl that's littered with mouse droppings, and when it's our favourite chair that collapses due to woodworm in the legs, it really brings it home the fact that we and our homes are part of nature too. This book represents a 21st century version of the classic Mediaeval bestiary. It poses questions such as where these animals came from, can we live with them, can we get rid of them, and should we? Written in Richard Jones's engaging style and with a funky-retro design, House Guests, House Pests will be a book to treasure.
In the summer of 2009, the leader of the dreaded Tamil Tiger guerrillas was killed, bringing to a bloody end the stubborn and complicated civil war in Sri Lanka. For nearly thirty years, the war's fingers had reached everywhere: into the bustle of Colombo, the Buddhist monasteries scattered across the island, the soft hills of central Sri Lanka, the curves of the eastern coast near Batticaloa and Trincomalee, and the stark, hot north. With its genius for brutality, the war left few places, and fewer people, untouched. What happens to the texture of life in a country that endures such bitter conflict? What happens to the country's soul? Samanth Subramanian gives us an extraordinary account of the Sri Lankan war and the lives it changed. Taking us to the ghosts of summers past, and to other battles from other times, he draws out the story of Sri Lanka today - an exhausted, disturbed society, still hot from the embers of the war.
There will be few people who won’t recognise Cath Tate’s greeting cards and her use of early photographic images with dead pan commentaries. Now with Mother’s Day approaching it’s Mothers coming in for the Cath Tate treatment. Mothers of all shapes and sizes, old and young, with babies and without all have something to say about Motherhood – all in the best possible taste. Like for Like Reading The New Yorker Book of Mom Cartoons, £7.99 Paperback 100 pages Andrews McMeel 1st March 2008 1st March 2008 9780740776038 Older: But Not Wiser, Cath Tate
February 2015 Non-Fiction Book of the Month. Forensics is the ultimate detective work and has a surprisingly long history with a Chinese textbook detailing forensic cases from as far back as the Thirteenth Century. Val McDermid turns from the fictional forensics to investigate the real thing, giving us a history of the science and the people who make the dead reveal their secrets. Like for Like Reading Forensic Casebook: The Science of Crime Scene Investigation, N E Genge The Mammoth Book of New CSI Forensic Science in over 30 Crime Scene Investigations, Nigel Cawthorne Click here to see Val McDermid talk about insect informants. Click here to see Val McDermid talk about genetic fingerpints and Dr Crippen Click here to see Val McDermid talk about the importance of humanity
November 2009. An emaciated young lawyer, Sergei Magnitsky, is led to a freezing isolation cell in a Moscow prison, handcuffed to a bed rail, and beaten to death by eight police officers. His crime? To testify against the Russian Interior Ministry officials who were involved in a conspiracy to steal $230 million of taxes paid to the state by one of the world's most successful hedge funds. Magnitsky's brutal killing has remained uninvestigated and unpunished to this day. His farcical posthumous show-trial brought Putin's regime to a new low in the eyes of the international community. Red Notice is a searing expose of the wholesale whitewash by Russian authorities of Magnitsky's imprisonment and murder, slicing deep into the shadowy heart of the Kremlin to uncover its sordid truths. Bill Browder - the hedge fund manager who employed Magnitsky - takes us on his explosive journey from the heady world of finance in New York and London in the 1990s, through his battles with ruthless oligarchs in the turbulent landscape of post-Soviet Union Moscow, to his expulsion from Russia on Putin's orders. Browder's graphic portrait of the Russian government as a criminal enterprise wielding all the power of a sovereign state illuminates his personal transformation from financier to human rights activist, campaigning for justice for his late lawyer and friend. With fraud, bribery, corruption and torture exposed at every turn, Red Notice is a shocking but true political roller-coaster that plays out in the highest echelons of Western power.
Magnificent. (Robert Macfarlane). Our lives depend on shipping but it is a world which is largely hidden from us. In every lonely corner of every sea, through every night, every day, and every imaginable weather, tiny crews of seafarers work the giant ships which keep landed life afloat. These ordinary men live extraordinary lives, subject to dangers and difficulties we can only imagine, from hurricanes and pirates to years of confinement in hazardous, if not hellish, environments. Horatio Clare joins two container ships on their epic voyages across the globe and experiences unforgettable journeys. As the ships cross seas of history and incident, seafarers unfold the stories of their lives, and a beautiful and terrifying portrait of the oceans and their human subjects emerges. Tremendous. (The Times).
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!