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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.
September 2009 Good Housekeeping selection. This was never intended to be a feel-good book but in a perverse way it proves itself a great mood-shifter and lifter. Darkly humorous Ariel Leve lays out her daily insecurities like a patchwork quilt of modern anxiety and inadequacy, sparkling with tiny appliquéd gems of self-deprecating cynicism. Her hand-wringing at social trends: breast-sharing for new mothers/therapy ‘n’ jogging sessions; fessing up to her afternoon naps and Blackberry deficiency… Every admission of falling short makes us all feel a bit better.
One of the nations best loved actresses and comediennes tells her story in her own words.After a convent education Julie went in to nursing to please her mother but luckily for us she knew her heart lay in the theatre and she joined the Everyman Theatre in Liverpool. West End success followed and the rest is history. From her collaborations with Victoria Wood to her latest fill successes in Mamma Mia and the Harry Potter films Julie tells some marvellous tales and anecdotes as well as touching on the more personal sides of her life. The autobiography to read this year! Click on the screen below to view Julie Walters reading from her autobiography.
Reviewed on Richard and Judy on 1 March 2006. Reading this makes you wonder how the moon-walks ever happened at all. It also makes you realise what extraordinary men these nine privileged people are. Andrew Smith sought them out to discover not only their reaction to the moon-landings, but also how they have fared over the years. It’s a wonderful collective biography.
Featured on The Book Show on Sky Arts on 1 June 2010. Simon Schama traces the conflicts in Americas history to put 2008, an historic election year, into context.
A collection of recipes from celebrities and servicemen and women, dedicated to their hero’s. Proceeds form this book will go to the help the heroes charity. Food for Heroes Wins Gourmand Competition Food For Heroes, the official cook book of the Help For Heroes charity, has won The UK’s Best Fund Raising Book Award and the international Gourmand Competition to find the world’s best food publications. The celebrity cook book, which was created by a group of RAF servicemen and women to raise money for their war-injured military colleagues, has been voted the UK’s top charity cook book and has now won the world finals. Food For Heroes was up against the best charity cook books from 73 different countries. Published by independent UK publisher Accent Press and written by Squadron Leader Jon Pullen, Food For Heroes features contributions from more than 100 celebrities, top chefs, sporting heroes, politicians and military heroes. They were asked the question ‘ Who is your hero and what would you cook for them?’ Contributors included Ewan McGregor, Gordon Brown, David Cameron, Sir David Jason, Fern Britton, Ainsley Harriott , Dame Vera Lynn, Bruce Forsyth, Michelle Goodman (the first woman to be awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for bravery) and the last Tommy, Harry Patch.Sqn Leader Pullen, who is based at Abbeywood, Bristol, said: “It’s a real honour for the team to win this award. To be recognised on an international scale can only be good for sales and ultimately it will mean we can raise more money for Help For Heroes.” Managing director of Accent Press, Hazel Cushion, said: “The Gourmand Awards are well known among the world book trade. For an independent publisher like Accent Press to be competing alongside some of the world’s major publishing houses is a great achievement.”
Winner of the 2009 BBC Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction. Since the days of Moby Dick and before, man has held in awe the planet’s largest mammal and rightly so; they are magnificent and fascinating creatures. Philip Hoare has had his obsession with these creatures since childhood and in this wonderful book we follow him around the world as he follows these mesmerising creatures of the deep.
The third part of Chris Stewarts tales of life in El Valero. Fifteen years of living there and things still surprise, amaze, amuse and charm him, as he does us. Great writing from a very likeable chap!
Continuing the tales of life in a the Spanish hills. Now with their young daughter Chloe they are very much part of the community. We also learn far more about the journey that brought Chris and his family to Andalucía. You’ll be wanting to pack your bags and move out there yourself!
The first in a trilogy of books about Chris Stewart and his wife starting a new life in the Andalucian mountains. No electricity, no water, no clue!! This is such a funny and heart-warming book that once you finish this one you will be very relieved to know you have two more volumes to go. One of the best books in the field of moving, and making a life, abroad.
What an apt title for this terrifically readable book on domestic violence. What horror when you believe you have found a perfect love only to discover, really someway down the road, the violent mood swings of your beloved … and what pain … oh this is beautifully told.
This is like an updated Bravo Two Zero for we follow the first troops on the ground in Iraq in March 2003 as they are dropped into hostile territory and storm their way into Basra. It is told from the perspective of the Royal Marines and the Royal Navy who supported them, and it’s one hell of a tale.
A true crime novel that reads like the best of crime fiction. An American crime writer found himself fascinated by the case of ‘The Monster’ after moving next door to an olive grove, in Italy,where one in a series of double murders occurred. Joining forces with a renowned crime journalist, Mario Spezi, the two decide to investigate the crimes. In the introduction to the book Spezi says he believes Thomas Harris based Hannibal Lecter on the Monster of Florence and there are definite parallels that can be seen. A fascinating read and made all the more chilling by the fact the murderer has never been caught.
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!