September 3rd: Non-Fiction Releases

OK, we are at the final blog post about September 3rd.

There are a lot of non-fiction releases out on that date and it seems to be the start of the run up to Christmas, with lots of autobiographies and cook books. There’s not as many as there are fiction books so you won’t be reading this quite so long.

So, without further ado, here are the non-fiction books out September 3rd, 2020:

AUTOBIOGRAPHY & BIOGRAPHY

Once Upon A Tyne by Anthony McPartlin & Declan Donnelly

Ant and Dec hold a special place in the hearts of TV viewers everywhere. This is their epic story, with never-before-seen photography and the very best tales from their 30 years in TV. From their modest beginnings in Byker Grove through to their “unique” time as pop stars and an award-laden TV career, those three decades have flown by in the blink of an eye. They’ve also featured an incredible cast of supporting characters, including their first scriptwriter – (an unknown comedian called David Walliams), Saturday night fun and games with countless Hollywood A-listers, and celebrities they torture – sorry, work with – every year in the jungle. Told through the lens of every TV show they’ve made, as well as everything they’ve learnt along the way, this is the riotously funny journey of two ordinary lads from Newcastle who went on to achieve extraordinary things.

Published by Little Brown Book Group Ltd. Buy here.

More Than A Woman by Caitlin Moran

A decade ago, Caitlin Moran thought she had it all figured out. Her instant bestseller How to Be a Woman was a game-changing take on feminism, the patriarchy, and the general ‘hoo-ha’ of becoming a woman. Back then, she firmly believed ‘the difficult bit’ was over, and her forties were going to be a doddle.

If only she had known: when middle age arrives, a whole new bunch of tough questions need answering. Why isn’t there such a thing as a ‘Mum Bod’? How did sex get boring? What are men really thinking? Where did all that stuff in the kitchen drawers come from? Can feminists have Botox? Why has wine turned against you? How can you tell the difference between a Teenage Micro-Breakdown, and The Real Thing? Has feminism gone too far ? And, as always, WHO’S LOOKING AFTER THE CHILDREN?

Now with ageing parents, teenage daughters, a bigger bum and a To-Do list without end, Caitlin Moran is back with More Than A Woman: a guide to growing older, a manifesto for change, and a celebration of all those middle-aged women who keep the world turning.

Published by Ebury. Buy here.

Sh**ged. Married. Annoyed. by Chris & Rosie Ramsay

This is not a self-help book. This book contains absolutely no advice that you should follow yourself.

SH**GED: The steady Saturday night-out routine, undying crushes, dating like it’s a competitive sport, one-night stands, the unavoidable walk of shame, strange cases of ghosting, tears and break-ups, and of course, those everlasting friendships you just can’t get rid of.

MARRIED: Meeting ‘the one’, meeting the parents, package holidays, Airbnb getaways, romantic weekend walks, engagement rings, spontaneous proposals on the edge of the grand canyon, rigorously planned trips to Aldi supermarket, wedding bells, the hen do, the stag, not copy and pasting your wedding vows, a rich and varied best man speech, the honeymoon of a lifetime.

ANNOYED: Who stacks a dishwasher like this? Empty milk cartons placed back into the fridge, pregnancy, graphic birthing tutorials, toilet seats up, toothpaste everywhere, throw cushions, less and less frequent baby sitters, the horror of realising 20 shades of boutique vintage chandelier do, in fact, look the same, divorce.

Whether you’re shagged, married, annoyed, or, all of the above, Chris and Rosie Ramsey, hosts of the number one podcast, write hilariously and with honesty about the universal highs and lows of life, dating, relationships, arguments, parenting and everything in between.

Published by Michael Joseph. Buy here.

To Be A Gay Man by Will Young

Million-selling pop star and co-host of influential podcast ‘Homo Sapiens’, Will Young is calling for an end to society’s legacy of gay shame, revealing the impact it had on his own life, how he learned to deal with it and how he learnt to be gay and happy.

A recent study published by Stonewall found that 52% of the LBGTQ+ community had experienced depression in the last year, compared to 16% in the wider population. It’s a crisis, and Will Young is passionate about raising awareness and helping others so they don’t have to go through what he did – depression, anxiety, addiction to alcohol, porn, shopping and even love, plus a sizeable bill for therapy. 

Young gay people growing up in a climate of shame are clearly more at risk of developing low self-worth, and even self-disgust, leading to destructive behaviours in adult life. With therapy, Will has provided himself with the tools, self-knowledge and perspective to identify destructive compulsions for what they are. In How to be a Gay Man, he reveals the darkest extremes he has been to, sharing his vulnerabilities, tracing his own navigation through it all, and showing others who might be feeling isolated, that their experience is shared.

Here you’ll find a frank and funny friend, a mentor, a champion, breaking taboos and giving a voice to unspoken thoughts. His disarming honesty provides a compelling narrative, and on top of that, a big dose of hard-earned wisdom.

Published by Ebury. Buy here.

A Woman of Firsts by Edna Adan Ismail

Imprisonment. Mutilation. Persecution.

Edna Adan Ismail endured it all – for the women of Africa.

A Woman of Firsts tells the inspirational story of a remarkable daughter, nurse and First Lady. The indomitable Edna Adan Ismail survived imprisonment, persecution, and civil war to become a pioneering politician, a leading light in the World Health Organisation, and a global campaigner for women’s rights.

The eldest child of an overworked doctor in the British Protectorate of Somaliland, Edna was the first midwife in Somaliland, she campaigned tirelessly for better healthcare for women and fought for women on a global stage as the first female Foreign Minister of her country. But mixing with presidents and princes, she still never forgot her roots and continued to deliver children and train midwives – a role she has to this day.

At 81 years old, she still runs what is hailed as the Horn of Africa’s finest university hospital where she trains future generations and still delivers babies.

After all – as she puts it – she is simply a midwife.

Published by Harper Collins. Buy here.

Homesick: Why I Live in a Shed by Catrina Davies

Aged thirty-one, Catrina Davies was renting a box-room in a house in Bristol, which she shared with four other adults and a child. Working several jobs and never knowing if she could make the rent, she felt like she was breaking apart. 

Homesick for the landscape of her childhood, in the far west of Cornwall, Catrina decides to give up the box-room and face her demons. As a child, she saw her family and their security torn apart; now, she resolves to make a tiny, dilapidated shed a home of her own.

With the freedom to write, surf and make music, Catrina rebuilds the shed and, piece by piece, her own sense of self. On the border of civilisation and wilderness, between the woods and the sea, she discovers the true value of home, while trying to find her place in a fragile natural world.

This is the story of a personal housing crisis and a country-wide one, grappling with class, economics, mental health and nature. It shows how housing can trap us or set us free, and what it means to feel at home.

Published by Quercus. Buy here.

The Bookseller’s Tale by Martin Latham

‘The right book has a neverendingness, and so does the right bookshop.’

This is the story of our love affair with books, whether we arrange them on our shelves, inhale their smell, scrawl in their margins or just curl up with them in bed. Taking us on a journey through comfort reads, street book stalls, mythical libraries, itinerant pedlars, radical pamphleteers, extraordinary bookshop customers and fanatical collectors, Canterbury bookseller Martin Latham uncovers the curious history of our book obsession – and his own.

Part cultural history, part literary love letter and part reluctant memoir, this is the tale of one bookseller and many, many books.

Published by Penguin, Buy here.

Duty of Care by Dominic Pimenta

The first book to tell the full story of the COVID-19 pandemic from a doctor on the frontline.

ALL ROYALTIES FROM SALES GO TO HEROES, A CHARITY PROTECTING AND SUPPORTING HEALTHCARE WORKERS.

On the 8th of February, Dr Dominic Pimenta encountered his first suspected case of coronavirus. Within a week, he began wearing a mask on the tube, and within a month, he moved over to the Intensive Care Unit to help fight the virus.

From the initial whispers coming out of China and the collective hesitation to class this as a pandemic to full lockdown and the continued battle to treat whoever came through the doors, Dr Pimenta tells the heroic stories of how the entire system shifted to tackle this outbreak and how, ultimately, the staff managed to save lives.

This incredible account captures the shock and surprise, the panic and power of an unprecedented time, and how, at this moment of despair, human generosity and kindness prevailed.

Published by Welbeck Publishing Group. Buy here.

Black Spartacus by Sudhir Hazareesingh

The definitive modern biography of the great slave leader, military genius and revolutionary hero Toussaint Louverture.

The Haitian Revolution began in the French Caribbean colony of Saint-Domingue with a slave revolt in August 1791, and culminated a dozen years later in the proclamation of the world’s first independent black state. After the abolition of slavery in 1793, Toussaint Louverture, himself a former slave, became the leader of the colony’s black population, the commander of its republican army and eventually its governor. During the course of his extraordinary life he confronted some of the dominant forces of his age – slavery, settler colonialism, imperialism and racial hierarchy. Treacherously seized by Napoleon’s invading army in 1802, this charismatic figure ended his days, in Wordsworth’s phrase, ‘the most unhappy man of men’, imprisoned in a fortress in France.

Black Spartacus draws on a wealth of archival material, much of it overlooked by previous biographers, to follow every step of Louverture’s singular journey, from his triumphs against French, Spanish and British troops to his skilful regional diplomacy, his Machiavellian dealings with successive French colonial administrators and his bold promulgation of an autonomous Constitution. Sudhir Hazareesingh shows that Louverture developed his unique vision and leadership not solely in response to imported Enlightenment ideals and revolutionary events in Europe and the Americas, but through a hybrid heritage of fraternal slave organisations, Caribbean mysticism and African political traditions. Above all, Hazareesingh retrieves Louverture’s rousing voice and force of personality, making this the most engaging, as well as the most complete, biography to date.

After his death in the French fortress, Louverture became a figure of legend, a beacon for slaves across the Atlantic and for generations of European republicans and progressive figures in the Americas. He inspired the anti-slavery campaigner Frederick Douglass, the most eminent nineteenth-century African-American; his emancipatory struggle was hailed by those who defied imperial and colonial rule well into the twentieth. In the modern era, his life informed the French poet Aime Cesaire’s seminal idea of negritude and has been celebrated in a remarkable range of plays, songs, novels and statues. Here, in all its drama, is the epic story of the world’s first black superhero.

Published by Penguin. Buy here

Shakespearen by Robert McCrum

When Robert McCrum began his recovery from a life-changing stroke, described in My Year Off , he discovered that the only words that made sense to him were snatches of Shakespeare. Unable to travel or move as he used to, McCrum found the First Folio became his ‘book of life’, an endless source of inspiration through which he could embark on ‘journeys of the mind’, and see a reflection of our own disrupted times. An acclaimed writer and journalist, McCrum has spent the last twenty-five years immersed in Shakespeare’s work, on stage and on the page. During this prolonged exploration, Shakespeare’s poetry and plays, so vivid and contemporary, have become his guide and consolation.

In Shakespearean he asks: why is it that we always return to Shakespeare, particularly in times of acute crisis and dislocation? What is the key to his hold on our imagination? And why do the collected works of an Elizabethan writer continue to speak to us as if they were written yesterday? Shakespearean is a rich, brilliant and superbly drawn portrait of an extraordinary artist, one of the greatest writers who ever lived. Through an enthralling narrative, ranging widely in time and space, McCrum seeks to understand Shakespeare within his historical context while also exploring the secrets of literary inspiration, and examining the nature of creativity itself. Witty and insightful, he makes a passionate and deeply personal case that Shakespeare’s words and ideas are not just enduring in their relevance – they are nothing less than the eternal key to our shared humanity.

Published by Pan Macmillan. Buy here.

Give by Magnus MacFarlane-Barrow

Few people in the world are better placed to understand the role of charity and generosity than Magnus Macfarlane-Barrow. As the founder and CEO of Mary’s Meals, Magnus helps feed and educate millions of children in 18 different countries across the world every year. In a time when some charitable organisations have been rocked by scandal and many are questioning their effectiveness in the modern age, Give takes us on an epic journey to rediscover the beauty and transformative power of authentic charity. Powerful and inspiring, Give celebrates the impact of charity in all our lives, illustrating how the act of sharing – and even sacrifice – is the key to a life of joy.

Published by Harper Collins. Buy here.

Zero Negativity by Ant Middleton

There are times when life feel like it has you cornered: financial difficulties, relationship issues, work problems, all of the above. Every one of us, at one time or another, will have to face up to the challenges that come our way. And there are two ways of meeting them: negatively, where blame is the answer, where other people are at fault, where you haven’t been treated fairly. Or positively, where you own the situation, learn and grow from it, and become a better person at the end of it.

Letting you into areas of his life he’s never talked about before, in Zero Negativity, Ant will show you how to embrace failure and use it to your advantage, how to see change as the foundation of your future success, how to develop resilience, how to deal with bullies, what it means to be a positive role model, and how to live a life with no regrets.

This book will not tell you who to be, where you should live, or what job you should do. That’s up to you. What this book is for, however, is to give you the tools you need to become the best possible version of yourself, to own who and what you are, and to live your life with Zero Negativity.

Published by Harper Collins. Buy here.

Treasure Islands by Alec Crawford

In 1971 Alec Crawford is determined to make his fortune from ship salvage. Early attempts lead nowhere until he teams up with a new partner, Simon Martin. Diving in Hebridean waters, they explore remains of the Spanish Armada, and the wreck of the SS Politician, the vessel made famous in the Whisky Galore. But money is scarce and irregular, and the work is fraught with danger and disappointment. Until they hear of one of the most incredible wrecks of all time – the White Star Liner Oceanic, which, when built in 1899, was the biggest and most luxurious ship in the world. Widely regarded as an ‘undiveable’ wreck, lying somewhere off the remote island of Foula, they decide to take the challenge. They face unbelievably dangerous waters and appalling weather conditions, and when a large salvage company takes action against them, they also have a huge legal fight on their hands. But if they succeed, the rewards will be enormous…

Published by Birlinn. Buy here.

Written In Bone: hidden stories in what we leave behind by Professor Sue Black

Our bones are the silent witnesses to the lives we lead. Our stories are marbled into their marrow.

Drawing upon her years of research and a wealth of remarkable experience, the world-renowned forensic anthropologist Professor Dame Sue Black takes us on a journey of revelation. From skull to feet, via the face, spine, chest, arms, hands, pelvis and legs, she shows that each part of us has a tale to tell. What we eat, where we go, everything we do leaves a trace, a message that waits patiently for months, years, sometimes centuries, until a forensic anthropologist is called upon to decipher it.

Some of this information is easily understood, some holds its secrets tight and needs scientific cajoling to be released. But by carefully piecing together the evidence, the facts of a life can be rebuilt. Limb by limb, case by case – some criminal, some historical, some unaccountably bizarre – Sue Black reconstructs with intimate sensitivity and compassion the hidden stories in what we leave behind.

Published by Transworld. Buy here.

Fake Law: The Truth About Justice in an Age of Lies by The Secret Barrister

Could the courts really order the death of your innocent baby? Was there an illegal immigrant who couldn’t be deported because he had a pet cat? Are unelected judges truly enemies of the people?

Most of us think the law is only relevant to criminals, if we even think of it at all. But the law touches every area of our lives: from intimate family matters to the biggest issues in our society.

Our unfamiliarity is dangerous because it makes us vulnerable to media spin, political lies and the kind of misinformation that frequently comes from loud-mouthed amateurs and those with vested interests. This ‘fake law’ allows the powerful and the ignorant to corrupt justice without our knowledge – worse, we risk letting them make us complicit.

Thankfully, the Secret Barrister is back to reveal the stupidity, malice and incompetence behind many of the biggest legal stories of recent years. In Fake Law , the Secret Barrister debunks the lies and builds an hilarious, alarming and eye-opening defence against the abuse of our law, our rights and our democracy.

Published by Pan Macmillan. Buy here.

Permanent Record by Edward Snowden

Edward Snowden, the man who risked everything to expose the US government’s system of mass surveillance, reveals for the first time the story of his life, including how he helped to build that system and what motivated him to try to bring it down.

In 2013, twenty-nine-year-old Edward Snowden shocked the world when he broke with the American intelligence establishment and revealed that the United States government was secretly pursuing the means to collect every single phone call, text message, and email. The result would be an unprecedented system of mass surveillance with the ability to pry into the private lives of every person on earth.

Six years later, Snowden reveals for the very first time how he helped to build this system and why he was moved to expose it. Spanning the bucolic Beltway suburbs of his childhood and the clandestine CIA and NSA postings of his adulthood, Permanent Record is the extraordinary account of a bright young man who grew up online – a man who became a spy, a whistleblower, and, in exile, the Internet’s conscience. Written with wit, grace, passion, and an unflinching candor, Permanent Record is a crucial memoir of our digital age and destined to be a classic.

Published by Pan Macmillan. Buy here.

The Hurt by Dylan Hartley

‘Rugby is great for the soul,’ he writes, ‘but terrible for the body.’

Rugby hurts. It demands mental resilience and resistance to pain. It explores character, beyond a capacity to endure punishment.

Dylan Hartley, one of England’s most successful captains, tells a story of hard men and harsh truths. From the sixteen-year-old Kiwi who travelled alone to England, to the winner of ninety-seven international caps, he describes with brutal clarity the sport’s increasing demand on players and the toll it takes on their mental health, as well as the untimely injury that shattered his dreams of leading England in the 2019 World Cup.

The Hurt is rugby in the raw, a unique insight into the price of sporting obsession.

Cassius X by Sturart Cosgrove

Miami, 1963. A young boy from Louisville, Kentucky, is on the path to becoming the greatest sportsman of all time. Cassius Clay is training in the 5th Street Gym for his heavyweight title clash against the formidable Sonny Liston. He is beginning to embrace the ideas and attitudes of Black Power, and firebrand preacher Malcolm X will soon become his spiritual adviser. Thus Cassius Clay will become ‘Cassius X’ as he awaits his induction into the Nation of Islam.

Cassius also befriends the legendary soul singer Sam Cooke, falls in love with soul singer Dee Dee Sharp and becomes a remarkable witness to the first days of soul music. As with his award-winning soul trilogy, Stuart Cosgrove’s intensive research and sweeping storytelling shines a new light on how black music lit up the sixties against a backdrop of social and political turmoil – and how Cassius Clay made his remarkable transformation into Muhammad Ali.

Published by Birlinn General. Buy here.

Above The Clouds: How I Carved My Own Path To the Top of the World by Killian Jornet

The most accomplished mountain runner of all time contemplates his record-breaking climb of Mount Everest in this profound and free-flowing memoir-an intellectual and spiritual journey that moves from the earth’s highest peak to the soul’s deepest reaches.

What drives a person to the edge of one of the most difficult and revered mountains in the world? How much is one willing to sacrifice and suffer to pursue an authentic and bold life? The most accomplished mountain runner of all time, Kilian Jornet ponders these questions as he contemplates his record-breaking climb of Mount Everest, exploring the mountain’s changing nature over four seasons and his own existence.

As he recounts a life spent studying, tending, and ascending the greatest peaks on earth, Jornet ruminates on what he has found in nature-simplicity, freedom, and spiritual joy-and offers a poetic yet clearheaded assessment of his relationship to the mountain . . . at times his opponent, at others, his greatest muse.

In this sweeping, soulful journey-the flip side of stories like Into Thin Air-Jornet illuminates with beauty and brilliance what it means to be an athlete, a competitor, and a human facing the greatest life challenges-for him, the mountain he yearns to climb and honour.

Published by Harper Collins. Buy here.

Perfect Sound Whatever by James Acaster

PERFECT SOUND WHATEVER is a love letter to the healing power of music, and how one man’s obsessive quest saw him defeat the bullshit of one year with the beauty of another. Because that one man is James Acaster, it also includes tales of befouling himself in a Los Angeles steakhouse, stealing a cookie from Clint Eastwood, and giving drunk, unsolicited pep talks to urinating strangers. 

January, 2017

James Acaster wakes up heartbroken and alone in New York, his relationship over, a day of disastrous meetings leading him to wonder if comedy is really what he wants to be doing any more. 

A constant comfort in James’s life has been music, but he’s not listened to anything new for a very long time. Idly browsing ‘best of the year’ lists, it dawns on him that 2016 may have been a grim year for a lot of reasons, but that it seemed to be an iconic year for music. And so begins a life-changing musical odyssey, as James finds himself desperately seeking solace in the music of 2016, setting himself the task of only listening to music released that year, ending up with 500 albums in his collection. 

Looking back on this year-long obsession, parallels begin to grow between the music and James’s own life: his relationship history, the highs and lows of human connection, residual Christian guilt, and mental health issues that have been bubbling under the surface for years. Some albums are life-changing masterpieces, others are ‘Howdilly Doodilly’ by Okilly Dokilly, a metalcore album devoted to The Simpsons‘ character Ned Flanders, but all of them play a part the year that helped James Acaster get his life back on track.

Published by Headline. Buy here.

Simply The Best by David ‘Bumble’ Lloyd

David ‘Bumble’ Lloyd is one of cricket’s great characters – hilarious, informative and insightful, and filled with boundless enthusiasm for the game. Now, in Simply the Best, he tells the stories of the most important, influential, talented and entertaining characters he has come across in sixty years in the game.

Following on from the bestselling successes of Last in the Tin Bath and Around the World in 80 Pints, in his new book Bumble looks back at the cricketers who have had the greatest impact on him throughout his career. From the gnarly veterans he first played against as a teenager in the Lancashire League, through the old pros he met on the county circuit while at Lancashire on to a revealing insight into life alongside Mike Atherton, Ian Botham, Nasser Hussain and Shane Warne in the commentary box, this book reveals Bumble at his best: telling great stories about his favourite people.

Along the way, the reader not only learns who have been the funniest or most dangerous players to be around, but also gets an insight into what makes a team gel and players to perform at their very peak. It’s the perfect gift for any cricket fan who loves the game and needs something to keep them amused as the autumn draws in and winter takes over.

Published by Simon and Schuster UK. Buy here.

House of Music by Kadiatu Kanneh-Mason

Seven brothers and sisters. All of them classically trained musicians. One was Young Musician of the Year and performed for the royal family. The eldest has released her first album, showcasing the works of Clara Schumann. These siblings don’t come from the rarefied environment of elite music schools, but from a state comprehensive in Nottingham. How did they do it?

Their mother, Kadiatu Kanneh-Mason, opens up about what it takes to raise a musical family in a Britain divided by class and race. What comes out is a beautiful and heartrending memoir of the power of determination, camaraderie and a lot of hard work. The Kanneh-Masons are a remarkable family. But what truly sparkles in this eloquent memoir is the joyous affirmation that children are a gift and we must do all we can to nurture them.

Published by Oneworld Publications. Buy here.

Ramble Book: Musings on Childhood, Friendship, Family and 80s Pop Culture by Adam Buxton

Ramble Book is about parenthood, boarding school trauma, arguing with your partner, bad parties, confrontations on trains, friendship, wanting to fit in, growing up in the 80s, dead dads, teenage sexual anxiety, failed artistic endeavours, being a David Bowie fan; and how everything you read, watch and listen to as a child forms a part of the adult you become.

It’s also a book about the joys of going off topic and letting your mind wander. And it’s about a short, hairy, frequently confused man called Adam Buxton.

Published by Harper Collins. Buy here.

Max the Miracle Dog: The Heart-Warming Tale of a Life-Saving Friendship by Kerry Irving

In 2006, a traumatic car accident changed Kerry Irving’s life forever.

Suffering from severe neck and back injuries, Kerry was unemployed and housebound, struggling with depression and even thoughts of suicide. He went from cycling over 600 miles a month to becoming a prisoner in his own home.

With hope all but lost, Kerry’s wife encouraged him to go on a short walk to the local shop. In the face of unbearable pain and overwhelming panic, he persevered and along the way, met an adorable yard dog named Max. As the Spaniel peered up through the railings, Kerry found comfort and encouragement in his soulful brown eyes. This chance encounter marked a turning point in both their lives.

In Max, Kerry found comfort and motivation and in Kerry, Max found someone to care for him. This is their remarkable, inspiring story.

Published by Harper Collins. Buy here.

LIFESTYLE

The Gift by Edith Egar

This practical and inspirational guide to healing from the bestselling author of The Choice shows us how to release your self-limiting beliefs and embrace your potential. The prison is in your mind. The key is in your pocket. In the end, it’s not what happens to us that matters most – it’s what we choose to do with it. We all face suffering – sadness, loss, despair, fear, anxiety, failure. But we also have a choice; to give in and give up in the face of trauma or difficulties, or to live every moment as a gift. Celebrated therapist and Holocaust survivor, Dr Edith Eger, provides a hands-on guide that gently encourages us to change the imprisoning thoughts and destructive behaviours that may be holding us back. Accompanied by stories from Eger’s own life and the lives of her patients her empowering lessons help you to see your darkest moments as your greatest teachers and find freedom through the strength that lies within.

Published by Ebury. Buy here.

Finding Joy by Gary Andrews

When his wife, Joy, died very suddenly, a daily drawing became the way Gary Andrews dealt with his grief. From learning how to juggle his kids’ playdates and single-handedly organising Christmas, to getting used to the empty side of the bed, Gary’s honest and often hilarious illustrations have touched the hearts of thousands on social media. Finding Joy is the story of how one family learned to live again after tragedy.

Published by John Murray Press. Buy here.

Fattily Ever After by Stephanie Yeboah

Stephanie Yeboah has experienced racism and fat-phobia throughout her life. From being bullied at school to being objectified and humiliated in her dating life, Stephanie’s response to discrimination has always been to change the narrative around body-image and what we see as beautiful. In her debut book, Fattily Ever After , Stephanie speaks openly and courageously about her own experience on navigating life as a black, plus-sized woman – telling it how it really is – and how she has managed to find self-acceptance in a world where judgement and discrimination are rife.

Featuring stories of every day misogynoir and being fetishized, to navigating the cesspit of online dating and experiencing loneliness, Stephanie shares her thoughts on the treatment of black women throughout history, the marginalisation of black, plus-sized women in the media (even within the body-positivity movement) whilst drawing on wisdom from other black fat liberation champions along the way.

Peppered with insightful tips and honest advice and boldly illustrated throughout, this inspiring and powerful book is essential reading for a generation of black, plus-sized women, helping them to live their life openly, unapologetically and with confidence.

Published by Hardie Grant Books. Buy here.

Bringing up Race by Uju Asika

*This has been delayed until 24/09 but I decided to keep it in as it’s an important book.

You can’t avoid it, because it’s everywhere. In the looks my kids get in certain spaces, the manner in which some people speak to them, the stuff that goes over their heads. Stuff that makes them cry even when they don’t know why. How do you bring up your kids to be kind and happy when there is so much out there trying to break them down?

Bringing Up Race is an important book, for all families whatever their race or ethnicity. Racism cuts across all sectors of society – even the Queen will have to grapple with these issues, as great grandmother to a child of mixed ethnicity. It’s for everyone who wants to instil a sense of open-minded inclusivity in their kids, and those who want to discuss difference instead of shying away from tough questions. Uju draws on often shocking personal stories of prejudice along with opinions of experts, influencers and fellow parents to give prescriptive advice making this an invaluable guide.

Bringing Up Race explores: – When children start noticing ethnic differences (hint: much earlier than you think) – What to do if your child says something racist (try not to freak out) – How to have open, honest, age-appropriate conversations about race – How children and parents can handle racial bullying – How to recognise and challenge everyday racism, aka microaggressions A call to arms for ALL parents, Bringing Up Race starts the conversation which will mean the next generation have zero tolerance to racial prejudice, and grow up understanding what kindness and happiness truly mean.

Published by Hodder & Stoughton. Buy here.

Things They Don’t Want You To Know by Ben Brooks

Written from a teenager’s perspective, this is a unique field guide for parents about the secret lives of 21st century adolescents – from mental health to self-harm, from drugs to sexting – and how you can help them and yourself through these turbulent years without losing their trust.

Things They Don’t Want You To Know is a look at modern life through the eyes of a teenager, by someone who recently graduated from that club. Along the way, Brooks takes readers on a tour of the websites that most parenting manuals would rather pretend don’t exist. Yet this is the stuff your kids are all over, on a daily basis. There is porn, there are hallucinogens, there is cyberbullying and suicidal ideation. Brooks’ point is that to remain completely unaware of their existence can mean that as a parent, you end up getting blindsided. And being blindsided means you won’t know what to say and how to say it when things go wrong.

You’ll be surprised, shocked but you’ll also be reassured. This book will help you to understand and support your kids. They won’t thank you, but they might hate you less.

Published by Quercus. Buy here.

The Adulting Manual by Milly Smith

You know those things you’re supposed to know how to do as an adult, but you really don’t know? Ever been in that situation where you’re looking for the adult in the room, and then you realise YOU are the adult? Yeah, that. There’s adulting, then there’s adulting for the messy mind. Sometimes you just need extra maps and a GPS.

This manual is for adults that sometimes need a little extra help. From top small talk tips to use next time you’re at the hairdressers to advice on how to ask for help, this interactive journal offers a safe place for people to explore their mental health and express themselves. Written by

Milly Smith, a mental health and body acceptance advocate and public speaker. Milly uses her Instagram account @millykeepsgoing to send positive messages to her 170,000 strong following. Milly’s wise words are accompanied by the whimsical and quirky illustrations of Katie Abey. Katie’s motivational and pun-filled illustrations have a huge appeal to adults.

Published by Templar. Buy here.

You Are Incredible Just As You Are: How To Embrace Your Perfectly Imperfect Self by Emily Coxhead

Find happiness by embracing your perfectly imperfect self. This inspiring journal is designed to help you find your way in a world where comparison and judgement can make it hard to stay true to yourself. Using a mixture of prompts, tick boxes and space to write down thoughts, as well as uplifting quotes and thought-provoking words, this beautifully designed book by the creator of The Happy News will help you feel more confident in yourself and less anxious about what other people think. With advice on using social media in a positive way, embracing failure, celebrating your differences and finding people who make you feel happy, this book is designed to help you be kinder to yourself. Because when you embrace your insecurities, differences, and everything that makes you unique, you’ll realise that the only person you need to be is your strong, special, perfectly imperfect self.

Published by Ebury. Buy here.

Living Better: How I Learned to Survive Depression by Alistair Campbell

I almost killed myself. Almost. I’ve had a lot of almosts. Never gone from almost to deed. Don’t think I ever will. But it was a bad almost.

Living Better is Alastair Campbell’s honest, moving and life affirming account of his lifelong struggle with depression. It is an autobiographical, psychological and psychiatric study, which explores his own childhood, family and other relationships, and examines the impact of his professional and political life on himself and those around him. But it also lays bare his relentless quest to understand depression not just through his own life but through different treatments. Every bit as direct and driven, clever and candid as he is, this is a book filled with pain, but also hope — he examines how his successes have been in part because of rather than despite his mental health problems — and love.

We all know someone with depression. There is barely a family untouched by it. We may be talking about it more than we did, back in the era of ‘boys don’t cry’ – they did you know – and when a brave face or a stiff upper lip or a best foot forward was seen as the only way to go. But we still don’t talk about it enough. There is still stigma, and shame, and taboo. There is still the feeling that admitting to being sad or anxious makes us weak. It took me years, decades even to get to this point, but I passionately believe that the reverse is true and that speaking honestly about our feelings and experiences (whether as a depressive or as the friend or relative of a depressive) is the first and best step on the road to recovery. So that is what I have tried to do here.

Published by John Murray Press. Buy here.

F*ck Being Humble by Stefanie Sword-Williams

Whether it is through our parents, our education, our bosses, our colleagues, or the media we consume, we are constantly told that being humble is essential to our professional success. It’s often seen as distasteful or arrogant to shout about our achievements. But in a modern workplace, where the conventional, steady, linear career path is becoming rarer and rarer, this advice seems ever-more obsolete. In the age of flexible working and portfolio careers, it’s time to f*ck being humble .

With simple exercises, steps and real-life examples, this is a resource for your bedside table that you can come back to again and again, at any point in your career. Learn how to: Know what you stand forStop hiding (even when you don’t realise you are)Fully realise the power of networkingKnow your self-worthPlay the money game and winManage your emotions at workTake action and establish the right time to make the leapKeep the momentum you’ve generated going and maintain that elusive work-life balance Get ready to start taking charge of your own success.

Published by Quadrille. Buy here.

The School of Life: An Emotional Education by Alain de Botton

This is a book about everything you were never taught at school. It’s about how to understand your emotions, find and sustain love, succeed in your career, fail well and overcome shame and guilt. It’s also about letting go of the myth of a perfect life in order to achieve genuine emotional maturity. Written in a hugely accessible, warm and humane style, The School of Lifeis the ultimate guide to the emotionally fulfilled lives we all long for – and deserve.

This book brings together ten years of essential and transformative research on emotional intelligence, with practical topics including:

– how to understand yourself
– how to master the dilemmas of relationships
– how to become more effective at work 
– how to endure failure
– how to grow more serene and resilient

Published by Penguin. Buy here.

Goodbye 2020, Hello 2021: Create a life you love this year by Project Love

Goodbye 2020, Hello 2021 is a guided journal full of prompts, exercises and inspirational quotes to help you reflect on the year past and to encourage you to design a life you want for the year to come.

This is not your average daily journal – it’s a planner that asks you to check in every three months to keep you on track with your dreams. Packed full of thoughtful questions and thought-provoking journaling practices, this book is the dose of positivity you need in your life.

Project Love founders and coaching experts, Selina Barker and Vicki Pavitt, have a combined 18 years of experience in empowering and helping clients all over the world to bring about positive change in their lives – in this journal they have poured all of their knowledge and expertise to help you create a life you love, today.

Published by Pavilion Books. Buy here.

S.E.N.D. In The Clowns: Essential Autism / ADHD Family Guide  by Suzy Rowland

S.E.N.D. In The Clowns started as a collection of diary entries and a way for author and mother, Suzy Rowland, to write through tears of injustice. But Suzy’s aim isn’t just to tell a personal story, it’s to help parents untangle red tape, stay engaged and feel empowered as they march, with their autism or ADHD child, through a system that struggles to educate children who are different. Packed with guidance, S.E.N.D In The Clowns is a surprisingly positive and uplifting read. A unique handbook of self-care and practical advice for parents who find themselves on the autism merry-go-round. S.E.N.D in the Clowns is a play on the acronym Special Educational Needs and Disability hinting that these children’s behaviour may look like they are either the sad clown sitting quietly in the corner or the zany clown performing slap stick tricks to make everyone in the classroom laugh. The reality is more poignant, these neurodiverse children are highly sensitive individuals who mask the pain and confusion of their neurodiversity in a school environment that is often frightening and confusing. S.E.N.D. in the Clowns takes you on two journeys: * Personal story from parent and child – from babe to pre-teen and… * Professional guidance for parents and professionals who work with, teach or support autistic or ADHD children.

Published by Hashtag Press. Buy here.

Honey, I Homeschooled the Kids: Our personal, practical and imperfect guide by Nadia Swahala and Mark Adderley

TV presenter Nadia and her husband Mark took their two children out of mainstream school five years ago. Since then they have homeschooled them. At a time when so many of us are being forced to rethink our roles as parents and teachers, Mark and Nadia bring their experiences – the good and the bad – and offer a candid and practical guide to teaching at home.

Statistics show that the number of homeschooled children in the UK has increased by 40% over the last three years, and the rate is steadily increasing. With humour and frankness Nadia and Mark share the challenges and rewards of their home school experiences, and ask what ‘success’ really means when it comes to our children’s education.

Bringing their energy, enthusiasm and openness to what is becoming an ever more relevant aspect of our lives, Honey, I Home Schooled the Kids will share obstacles, insights and resources that all parents can learn from, whether they’re looking for help supporting their child at school or if they have decided to take the plunge and home school.

This book is an honest and no holds barred guide for anyone interested in embarking on the homeschooling journey.

Published by Hodder & Stoughton. Buy here.

Dare To Be You by Matthew Syed

What would you dare to try if you stopped worrying about fitting in?

If you’re the kind of person who thinks: I don’t like standing out from the crowd … I wish I could be more like the cool kids … There’s no point trying to change things … then this book is for you.

Because guess what? There’s no such thing as normal.

Drawing examples from sport, science and even business, Dare to Be Youempowers young readers to follow their own path, love what makes them different and question the world around them. With You Are Awesome‘s trademark mix of hilarious text, stylish illustration, personal insights and inspiring real-life examples, including Greta Thunberg and Malala Yousafzai, Matthew Syed introduces children to the power of diverse thinking.

When you stop doubting yourself, embrace change and let your kindness loose, you become your own action hero. This groundbreaking, practical and positive book will help kids develop the inner confidence to grow into happy adults who know – and, more importantly, LIKE – themselves.

Published by Hachette Children’s Group. Buy here.

COOKBOOKS/FOOD & WINE

Speedy MOB: 12-minute meals for 4 people by Ben Lebus

Following on from the phenomenal success of MOB Kitchen and MOB Veggie, Ben Lebus returns, this time with a focus on creating beautiful budget-friendly food, fast.

Speedy MOB works on the principle that if the cornerstone of your meal (e.g. pasta, rice, grains) takes ten minutes to cook, then any recipe can take 12-minutes to prepare, cook and serve. So, it’s time to prep like a boss and get creative with your sauces, sides and dressings. Packed full of clever time-saving hacks and signature MOB Kitchen resourcefulness, you can go from chopping board to dinner plate in 12-minutes or less.

Each recipe is photographed in classic MOB style with chapters including: Brunch, Pasta, Rice and Noodles, Bowls and Sweet Stuff. Back with more recipes than ever before, Speedy MOB features over 75 all-new recipes for everything from Beetroot Sabich and Saag Paneer to Cheat’s Dan Dan Noodles and Crispy Beef Tacos.

The twelve-minute challenge has landed, so get ready, get speedy and feed your MOB.

Published by Pavilion Books. Buy here.

Nadiya Bakes by Nadiya Hussain

It’s what we’ve all been waiting for, Nadiya’s return to her true love, baking.

Learn to bake incredible cakes, pastries, pies and puddings for every occasion with Nadiya’s simple and achievable recipes. In true Nadiya fashion these bakes include the classics, and mouth-watering twists that will become your sweet staples for every birthday party, afternoon treat, lunchbox snack, dessert and even dinner. These recipes will be your favourites for everyday and for every celebration.

Our beloved Bake-Off winner has created your ultimate baking cookbook to conquer cakes, biscuits, traybakes, tarts and pies, showstopping desserts, breads and savouries, and even ‘no-bake’ bakes. These are deliciously easy recipes you can achieve at home: Strawberry and Clotted Cream Shortcakes, Raspberry Amaretti Biscuits, Portuguese Custard Tarts, Honey Cake with a Salted Hazelnut Crumb, Buttermilk Baked Chicken, Cheats Sourdough, Spiced Squash Strudel and much, much more.

Published by Michael Joseph. Buy here.

Ottolenghi Flavour by Yottam Ottolenghi

In this stunning new cookbook Yotam and co-writer Ixta Belfrage break down the three factors that create flavour and offer innovative vegetable dishes that deliver brand-new ingredient combinations to excite and inspire.

Ottolenghi Flavour combines simple recipes for weeknights, low effort-high impact dishes, and standout meals for the relaxed cook. Packed with signature colourful photography, Flavour not only inspires us with what to cook, but how flavour is dialled up and why it works.

The book is broken down into three parts, which reveal how to tap into the potential of ordinary vegetables to create extraordinary food:

Process explains cooking methods that elevate veg to great heights; 
Pairing identifies four basic pairings that are fundamental to great flavour; 
Produce offers impactful vegetables that do the work for you.

With surefire hits, such as Aubergine Dumplings alla Parmigiana, Hasselback Beetroot with Lime Leaf Butter, Miso Butter Onions, Spicy Mushroom Lasagne and Romano Pepper Schnitzel, plus mouthwatering photographs of nearly every one of the more than 100 recipes, Ottolenghi FLAVOUR is the impactful, next-level approach to vegetable cooking that Ottolenghi fans and vegetable lovers everywhere have been craving.

Published by Ebury. Buy here.

Home Cookery Year by Claire Thomson

The Home Cookery Year is the new essential kitchen bible, year-round and every day. Claire Thomson writes foolproof, imaginative recipes to please the whole family – as a professional chef and mum of three, she understands what it’s like to whip up tasty, crowd-pleasing dishes in minimal time at the end of a busy working day.

Wearing its seasonality lightly, with the emphasis on usefulness and practicality, Home Cookery Year offers mealtime solutions for:midweek emergenciescooking on a budgeton a budget and storecupboard recipessalads and light lunchestreat yourself (indulgent dishes for special occasions)celebration feasts Every recipe you will ever need is in here, for every occasion, with twists on classics, and super ideas for jaded palates for young and old alike.

Published by Quadrille Publishing Ltd. Buy here.

The Wicked Baker by Helena Garcia

#witchesofinstagram – here is the perfect book for your haunted kitchen!

Give your baking a wicked twist with eerily clever ideas for all manner of cakes, cookies, pastries, breads, desserts and even drinks to spook up your cooking repertoire and make Halloween an occasion to remember. Whether you’re a curious witch, a Halloween fiend or you just want to add a creepy touch to your baking, Helena Garcia will give you all the inspiration you need. Try her mummified eclairs, some cinnamon buns that look shockingly like brains, a batch of cookie bats, or a scarily impressive haunted tree cake and before you know it, every day will seem like Halloween.

Helena wowed the Great British Bake Off judges and audience with her surprisingly ghoulish interpretations of the baking challenges and now, with her amazingly inventive recipes, you too can become the ghostesswith the mostest.

Published by Quadrille Publishing Ltd. Buy here.

Twisted: A Cookbook – Bold, Unserious, Delicious Food for Every Occasion

From the UK’s No 1 food and drink social media publisher, with 30 million fans across the world – comes Twisted’s official cookbook; featuring 100+ never-before-seen, 100% delicious, easy-to-cook recipes that embody the Twisted ethos: Unserious food tastes seriously good!

Tom Jackson and Harry Bamber created Twisted back in 2016 with one thing in mind; to remind people that cooking should be outrageous fun. Through their unstoppable, engaging recipe videos, their refreshing take on food and cooking was brought to life, and has since been adopted by millions all over the world, becoming a global phenomenon in just 3 years. Having created thousands of indulgent, innovative, mouth-watering dishes with clever, simple twists, Twisted: A Cookbook is it’s most eye-wateringly brilliant collection of 100+ new recipes to date. Prepare for mealtimes to look a little different from now on.

Twisted: A Cookbook is divided into three parts, with sharing at the heart of each:

  • BASICS – covers all your Twisted condiments, breads, pickles and ‘can’t live without’ sauces
  • OCCASIONS – chapters include Meat-free Monday, Dinner Party, Picnic, BBQ, Game Day, Curry Night, Hungover Saturday Breakfast and Christmas Party
  • INGREDIENTS – is dedicated to the staples we adore and how to make them taste better than ever before from pasta to chocolate, wraps and potatoes.

This is a practical, bright, bold and creative cookbook that will literally change your life, and, most importantly, inspire you to cook. Twisted don’t take themselves too seriously and believe cooking should be an inclusive, experimental exercise that anyone can fall in love with. That’s why, in Twisted: A Cookbook, there’s something for everyone, regardless of dietary preferences, time restrictions or culinary occasion!

Recipes include: Nectarine Panzanella, Vegan Mushroom Carbonara, Spicy Cauliflower Pakora Burgers, Creamy Peanut Butter Noodles, Rapid Black Daal, Sriracha Devilled Egg BLT, Baked Buffalo BBQ Ribs, Tartiflette Gnocchi, Sicilian Bruschetta Pasta Salad, Mashed Potato Dippers, Cheat’s Churros AND SO MANY MORE that the Twisted Team cannot wait to share.

Published by Hodder & Stoughton. Buy here.

Everyone Can Bake by Dominique Ansel

Dominique Ansel is the creator of beautiful, innovative, and delicious desserts, from the Frozen S’More to the Cronut ®, the croissant-doughnut hybrid that took the world by storm. He has been called the world’s best pastry chef. But this wasn’t always the case. Raised in a large, working-class family in rural France, Ansel could not afford college and instead began work as a baker’s apprentice at age sixteen. There, he learned the basics; how to make tender chocolate cakes, silky custards, buttery shortbread, and more. Ansel shares these essential, go-to recipes for the first time. With easy-to-follow instructions and kitchen tips, home cooks can master the building-blocks of desserts. These crucial components can be mixed in a variety of ways, and Ansel will show you how: his vanilla tart shell can be rolled out and stamped into cookies; shaped and filled with lemon curd; or even crumbled into a topping for ice cream. This cookbook will inspire beginners and experienced home cooks alike to bake as imaginatively as Ansel himself.

Published by Murdoch Books. Buy here.


Women in the Kitchen: Twelve Essential Cookbook Writers Who Defined the Way We Eat, from 1661 to Today by Anne Willan

Anne Willan, multi-award-winning culinary historian, cookbook writer, cooking teacher, and founder of La Varenne Cooking School in Paris, explores the lives and work of women cookbook authors whose important books have defined cooking over the past three hundred years. Beginning with the first published cookbook by Hannah Woolley in 1661, up to Alice Waters today, these women, and books, created the canon of the American table. 

Focusing on the figures behind the recipes, Women in the Kitchen traces the development of American home cooking from the first, early colonial days to transformative cookbooks by Fannie Farmer, Irma Rombauer, Julia Child, Edna Lewis, and Marcella Hazan. Willan offers a short biography of each influential woman, including her background, and a description of the seminal books she authored. These women inspired one another, and in part owe their places in cooking history to those who came before them.

Featuring fifty original recipes, as well as updated versions Willan has tested and modernized for the contemporary kitchen, this engaging narrative seamlessly moves through history to help readers understand how female cookbook authors have shaped American cooking today.

Published by Simon & Schuster. Buy here

Pinch of Nom Food Planner: Everyday Light by Kay Featherstone, Catherine (Kate) Allinson and Laura Davis

Staying on track has never been easier. This three-month companion from the number one bestselling authors of Pinch of Nom gives you everything you need to chart diet progress, cook some brand-new favourites and reach your goals.

Containing twenty-six exclusive Pinch of Nom recipes – all under 400 calories, all delicious, full of flavour and designed to keep you full and satisfied.

This new-style planner is set out in a simple format with diet diary-style pages that are easily adaptable to your personal slimming guidelines. From tear-out pages for shopping lists to gorgeous Nom stickers, there is so much room to plan and celebrate your key achievements in this handy ring-bound format. To give you more pages for writing up your goals and food plans, this book does not have any photographs of the recipes, however you can find them on the Pinch of Nom website. Instead the book is beautifully designed and illustrated with line drawings and motivational tips. Whether you want to keep track of calories, jot down your shopping lists, record healthy treats or celebrate key achievements, this book is designed to help you stay organized and motivated.

The Pinch of Nom food blog has a hugely engaged online following and has helped thousands of people to lose weight and cook incredibly delicious and varied recipes. Packed with advice for keeping to your goals and stories from community members, the Pinch of Nom Food Planner: Everyday Light is the perfect tool for tracking your weight-loss journey.

Published by Pan Macmillan. Buy here.

English Wine by Oz Clarke

It used to be the easiest way in the wine world to get a laugh – start extolling the virtues of English wine. Oh, how they would chortle! And they had a point. Until the 1990s hardly any English wine was more than a curiosity to be drunk if you had no other choice. The old-fashioned view of English wine is that of a cottage industry made up of amateurs struggling with the mud and the drizzle. The modern view is of a country amazingly blessed with vast tracts of soil suitable for viticulture, much of it almost indistinguishable from the chalky slopes of Champagne and Chablis, and of a country taking full advantage of the vagaries of climate change to ripen Chardonnay and Pinot Noir to levels perfect for sparkling wine, and increasingly excellent still wines. And it wouldn’t be far off the mark to say that England is now the newest of the New World, New Wave wine countries.

The 1990s brought several pioneering sparkling wine producers to the fore – led by Nyetimber and Breaky Bottom and suddenly England has found its wine vocation. Oz has long been a champion of English wines and this book helps you find the best wines, from fizz, whites, some impressive reds and even dessert and orange wines.

One of the great pleasures of wine is to drink it where it is grown and made. Both wine handbook and armchair companion, English Wine is an essential book for all lovers of wine. The opportunity to meet growers, winemakers and winery owners is what draws people to visit wineries and ‘have an experience in the vineyard’

Published by Pavilion Books. Buy here.

Hugh Johnson’s Pocket Wine 2021 by Hugh Johnson

The world’s best-selling annual wine guide.

Hugh Johnson’s Pocket Wine Book is the essential reference book for everyone who buys wine – in shops, restaurants, or on the internet. Now in its 44th year of publication, it has no rival as the comprehensive, up-to-the-minute annual guide. 

Hugh Johnson provides clear succinct facts and commentary on the wines, growers and wine regions of the whole world. He reveals which vintages to buy, which to drink and which to cellar, which growers to look for and why. Hugh Johnson’s Pocket Wine Book gives clear information on grape varieties, local specialities and how to match food with wines that will bring out the best in both.

Published by Octopus Publishing Group. Buy here.

HISTORY

Sicily ’43 by James Holland

This is the story of the biggest seaborne landing in history. Codenamed Operation HUSKY, the Allied assault on Sicily on 10 July 1943 remains the largest amphibious invasion ever mounted in world history, landing more men in a single day than at any other time. That day, over 160,000 British, American and Canadian troops were dropped from the sky or came ashore, more than on D-Day just under a year later. It was also preceded by an air campaign that marked a new direction and dominance of the skies by Allies. The subsequent thirty-eight-day Battle for Sicily was one of the most dramatic of the entire Second World War, involving daring raids by special forces, deals with the Mafia, attacks across mosquito-infested plains and perilous assaults up almost sheer faces of rock and scree.

It was a brutal campaign – the violence was extreme, the heat unbearable, the stench of rotting corpses intense and all-pervasive, the problems of malaria, dysentery and other diseases a constant plague. And all while trying to fight a way across an island of limited infrastructure and unforgiving landscape, and against a German foe who would not give up. It also signalled the beginning of the end of the War in the West. From here on, Italy ceased to participate in the war, the noose began to close around the neck of Nazi Germany, and the coalition between the United States and Britain came of age.

Most crucially, it would be a critical learning exercise before Operation OVERLORD, the Allied invasion of Normandy, in June 1944. Based on his own battlefield studies in Sicily and on much new research over the past thirty years, James Holland’s Sicily ’43 offers a vital new perspective on a major turning point in World War II. It is a timely, powerful and dramatic account by a master military historian and will fill a major gap in the narrative history of the Second World War.

Published by Transworld. Buy here.

Normandy ’44 by James Holland

The Times Renowned World War Two historian James Holland presents an entirely new perspective on one of the most important moments in recent history, unflinchingly examining the brutality and violence that characterised the campaign, and totally recalibrating our understanding of this momentous event. D-Day and the 76 days of bitter fighting in Normandy that followed have come to be seen as a defining episode in the Second World War. Its story has been endlessly retold, and yet it remains a narrative burdened by both myth and assumed knowledge.

In this reexamined history , James Holland challenges what we think we know. Drawing on unseen archives and testimonies from around the world, introducing a cast of eye-witnesses from foot soldiers to bomber crews, sailors, civilians and resistance fighters.

Published by Transworld. Buy here.

The Borgias by Paul Strathern

The Borgias have become a byword for evil. Corruption, incest, ruthlessness, avarice and vicious cruelty – all have been associated with their name. But the story of this remarkable family is far more than a tale of sensational depravities – it also marks the golden age of the Italian Renaissance and a decisive turning point in European history. From the family’s Spanish roots and the papacy of Rodrigo Borgia, to the lives of his infamous offspring, Lucrezia and Cesare – the hero who dazzled Machiavelli, but also the man who befriended Leonardo da Vinci – Paul Strathern tells the captivating story of this great dynasty and the world in which they flourished.

Published by Atlantic. Buy here.

The Anarchy by William

The Times History Book of the Year Longlisted for the Baillie Gifford Prize for Non-fiction 2019 In August 1765 the East India Company defeated the young Mughal emperor and forced him to establish a new administration in his richest provinces. Run by English merchants who collected taxes using a ruthless private army, this new regime saw the East India Company transform itself from an international trading corporation into something much more unusual: an aggressive colonial power in the guise of a multinational business. William Dalrymple tells the remarkable story of the East India Company as it has never been told before, unfolding a timely cautionary tale of the first global corporate power.

Published by Bloomsbury. Buy here.

Wolf Hall Companion by Lauren Mackay

An accessible and authoritative companion to the bestselling Wolf Hall trilogy by Hilary Mantel, published after the third and final book, The Mirror and the Light.

Wolf Hall Companion gives an historian’s view of what we know about Thomas Cromwell, one of the most powerful men of the Tudor age and the central character in Mantel’s Wolf Hall trilogy.

Covering the key court and political characters from the books, this companion guide also works as a concise Tudor history primer. Alongside Thomas Cromwell, the author explores characters including Anne Boleyn, Thomas Cranmer, Jane Seymour, Henry VIII, Thomas Howard, Cardinal Wolsey and Richard Fox. The important places in the court of Henry VIII are introduced and put into context, including Hampton Court, the Tower of London, Cromwell’s home Austin Friars, and of course Wolf Hall. The author explores not only the real history of these people and places, but also Hilary Mantel’s interpretation of them.

Included in the book are also incisive features on various aspects of Tudor life, from the court scene and the structure of government, to royal hunting and hawking, Renaissance influences and Tudor executions.

A beautiful and insightful book, Wolf Hall Companion will enrich the reading of the Mantel novels but also provides an incisive and concise understanding of the reign of Henry VIII, and the profound changes it brought to English life.

Illustrated throughout with woodcut portraits, maps and family trees and with a beautifully produced cover – this companion guide is a must-have for any discerning Wolf Hall and Tudor fan.

Publsihed by Pavilion Books. Buy here.

The Story of China by Michael Wood

China’s story is extraordinarily rich and dramatic. Now Michael Wood, one of the UK’s pre-eminent historians, brings it all together in a major new one-volume history of China that is essential reading for anyone who wants to understand its burgeoning role in our world today.

China is the oldest living civilisation on earth, but its history is still surprisingly little known in the wider world. Michael Wood’s sparkling narrative, which mingles the grand sweep with local and personal stories, woven together with the author’s own travel journals, is an enthralling account of China’s 4000-year-old tradition, taking in life stationed on the Great Wall or inside the Forbidden City. The story is enriched with the latest archaeological and documentary discoveries; correspondence and court cases going back to the Qin and Han dynasties; family letters from soldiers in the real-life Terracotta Army; stories from Silk Road merchants and Buddhist travellers, along with memoirs and diaries of emperors, poets and peasants.

In the modern era, the book is full of new insights, with the electrifying manifestos of the feminist revolutionaries Qiu Jin and He Zhen, extraordinary eye-witness accounts of the Japanese invasion, the Great Famine and the Cultural Revolution under Chairman Mao, and fascinating newly published sources for the great turning points in China’s modern history, including the Tiananmen Square crisis of 1989, and the new order of President Xi Jinping.

A compelling portrait of a single civilisation over an immense period of time, the book is full of intimate detail and colourful voices, taking us from the desolate Mongolian steppes to the ultra-modern world of Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong. It also asks what were the forces that have kept China together for so long? Why was China overtaken by the west after the 18th century? What lies behind China’s extraordinary rise today? The Story of China tells a thrilling story of intense drama, fabulous creativity and deep humanity; a portrait of a country that will be of the greatest importance to the world in the twenty-first century.

Published by Simon & Schuster. Buy here.

An Atlas of Extinct Countries: The Remarkable (and Occasionally Ridiculous) Stories of 48 Nations That Fell off the Map by Gideon Defoe

Countries die. Sometimes it’s murder, sometimes it’s by accident, and sometimes it’s because they were so ludicrous they didn’t deserve to exist in the first place. Occasionally they explode violently. A few slip away almost unnoticed. Often the cause of death is either ‘got too greedy’ or ‘Napoleon turned up’. Now and then they just hold a referendum and vote themselves out of existence.

This is an atlas of nations that fell off the map. The polite way of writing an obituary is: dwell on the good bits, gloss over the embarrassing stuff. This book fails to do that. And that is mainly because most of these dead nations (and a lot of the ones that are still alive) are so weird or borderline nonsensical that it’s impossible to skip the embarrassing stuff.

The life stories of the sadly deceased involve a catalogue of chancers, racists, racist chancers, conmen, madmen, people trying to get out of paying tax, mistakes, lies, stupid schemes and General Idiocy. Because of this – and because treating nation states with too much respect is the entire problem with pretty much everything – these accounts are not fussed about adding to all the earnest flag saluting in the world, however nice some of the flags are.

Published by Harper Collins. Buy here.

Britain at Bay: The Epic Story of the Second World War: 1938-1941 by Alan Allport

In the bleak first half of the Second World War, Britain stood alone against the Axis forces. Isolated and outmanoeuvred, it seemed as though she might fall at any moment. Only an extraordinary effort of courage – by ordinary men and women – held the line.

The Second World War is the defining experience of modern British history, a new Iliad for our own times. But, as Alan Allport reveals in this, the first part of a major new two-volume history, the real story was often very different from the myth that followed it. From the subtle moral calculus of appeasement to the febrile dusts of the Western Desert, Allport interrogates every aspect of the conflict – and exposes its echoes in our own age.

Challenging orthodoxy and casting fresh light on famous events from Dunkirk to the Blitz, this is the real story of a clash between civilisations that remade the world in its image.

Published by Profile Books Ltd. Buy here.

A Tomb with a View by Peter Ross

Enter a grave new world of fascination and delight as award-winning writer Peter Ross uncovers the stories and glories of graveyards. Who are London’s outcast dead and why is David Bowie their guardian angel? What is the remarkable truth about Phoebe Hessel, who disguised herself as a man to fight alongside her sweetheart, and went on to live in the reigns of five monarchs? Why is a Bristol cemetery the perfect wedding venue for goths?

All of these sorrowful mysteries – and many more – are answered in A Tomb With A View , a book for anyone who has ever wandered through a field of crooked headstones and wondered about the lives and deaths of those who lie beneath. So push open the rusting gate, push back the ivy, and take a look inside…

Published by Headline. Buy here.

Human Journey by Professor Alice Roberts and James Weston Lewis

Join TV biological anthropologist Professor Alice Roberts on a fascinating non-fiction journey to discover the secrets of our past, in this dramatic retelling of our human journey for children aged 7+ years. Adults who love Who Do You Think You Are? will enjoy reading and sharing this book with young ones.

Reach back through time and shake hands with your ancestors. Discover who we are, where we come from and even what it means to be human as you follow the amazing human journey. This spectacular illustrated book begins with the dawn of humankind on the grasslands of Africa around two and a half million years ago and unfolds to follow our ancestors over time and all around the world: from Africa to Asia, Europe, Australia and the Americas. Travel with them as they face perils posed by deserts, oceans, changing climates, giant beasts, volcanoes and more, as they adapted, invented, survived and thrived.

Professor Alice Roberts is an anatomist, anthropologist, Professor of Public Engagement in Science and television presenter. She has presented landmark BBC TV series, including The Incredible Human Journey and Digging for Britain. She has written many popular science books and brought her talent for communicating science to a young audience in the 2018 Royal Institution Christmas Lectures. James Weston Lewis is an illustrator and print maker. He was longlisted for the 2017 CILIP Kate Greenaway medal for The Great Fire of London and has also brought his powerful, vivid, contemporary style to The Legend of Tutankhamun and Secrets of the Skies.

Published by Egmont. Buy here.

The Nine Lives of Pakistan by Declan Walsh

The demise of Pakistan – a country with a reputation for volatility, brutality and radical Islam – is regularly predicted. But things rarely turn out as expected, as renowned journalist Declan Walsh knows well. Over a decade covering the country, his travels took him from the raucous port of Karachi to the gilded salons of Lahore to the lawless frontier of Waziristan, encountering Pakistanis whose lives offer a compelling portrait of this land of contradictions. He meets a crusading lawyer who risks her life to fight for society’s most marginalised, taking on everyone including the powerful military establishment; an imperious chieftain spouting poetry at his desert fort; a roguish politician waging a mini-war against the Taliban; and a charismatic business tycoon who moves into politics and seems to be riding high – till he takes up the wrong cause. Lastly, Walsh meets a spy whose orders once involved following him, and who might finally be able to answer the question that haunts him: why the Pakistanis suddenly expelled him from their country. Intimate and complex, unravelling the many mysteries of state and religion, this formidable book offers an arresting account of life in a country that, often as not, seems to be at war with itself.

Published by Bloomsbury. Buy here.

Eat The Buddah: The Story of Modern Tibet Through the People of One Town by Barbrara Demick

In 1950, China claimed sovereignty over Tibet, leading to decades of unrest and resistance, defining the country today.

In Eat the Buddha, Barbara Demick chronicles the Tibetan tragedy from Ngaba, a defiant town on the eastern edge of the Tibetan plateau where dozens of Tibetans have shocked the world since 2009 by immolating themselves.

Following the stories of the last princess of the region, of Tibetans who experienced the struggle sessions of Mao’s Cultural Revolution, of the recent generations of monks and townsfolk experiencing renewed repression, Demick paints a riveting portrait of recent Tibetan history, opening a window onto Tibetan life today, and onto the challenges Tibetans face while locked in a struggle for identity against one of the most powerful countries in the world.

Published by Granta Books. Buy here.

Open: The Story of Human Progress by Johan Norberg

Humanity’s embrace of openness is the key to our success. The freedom to explore and exchange – whether it’s goods, ideas or people – has led to stunning achievements in science, technology and culture. As a result, we live at a time of unprecedented wealth and opportunity. So why are we so intent on ruining it?
From Stone Age hunter-gatherers to contemporary Chinese-American relations, Open explores how across time and cultures, we have struggled with a constant tension between our yearning for co-operation and our profound need for belonging. Providing a bold new framework for understanding human history, bestselling author and thinker Johan Norberg examines why we’re often uncomfortable with openness – but also why it is essential for progress. Part sweeping history and part polemic, this urgent book makes a compelling case for why an open world with an open economy is worth fighting for more than ever.

Published by Atlantic Books. Buy here.

The Humans: Ancient civilisations and astonishing things they taught us by Johnny Marx

This book showcases the greatest achievements of ancient civilisations, peoples and iconic figures from history. From the Nubians to the Native Americans, and the Akkadians to the Aztecs, our predecessors have pioneered a plethora of wonderful and wacky inventions, technologies and practices. They’ve constructed monumental buildings and sprawling cities, created languages, modes of transport, art, medicines, music, stories, myths and more. 
Let’s delve into the past and discover what humankind accomplished in the centuries and millennia since the first civilisations were formed…

Published by Little Tiger Press. Buy here.

Science

What is Life?: Understand Biology in Five Steps by Paul Nurse

Life is all around us, abundant and diverse, it is extraordinary. But what does it actually mean to be alive? Nobel prize-winner Paul Nurse has spent his career revealing how living cells work. In this book, he takes up the challenge of defining life in a way that every reader can understand. It is a shared journey of discovery; step by step he illuminates five great ideas that underpin biology. He traces the roots of his own curiosity and knowledge to reveal how science works, both now and in the past. Using his personal experiences, in and out of the lab, he shares with us the challenges, the lucky breaks, and the thrilling eureka moments of discovery. To survive the challenges that face the human race today – from climate change, to pandemics, loss of biodiversity and food security – it is vital that we all understand what life is.

Published by David Fickling Books. Buy here.

Exercised: The Science of Physical Activity, Rest and Health by Daniel Lieberman

The myth-busting science behind our modern attitudes to exercise: what our bodies really need, why it matters, and its effects on health and wellbeing.

In industrialized nations, our sedentary lifestyles have contributed to skyrocketing rates of obesity and diseases like diabetes. A key remedy, we are told, is exercise – voluntary physical activity for the sake of health. However, most of us struggle to stay fit, and our attitudes to exercise are plagued by misconceptions, finger-pointing and anxiety.

But, as Daniel Lieberman shows in Exercised, the first book of its kind by a leading scientific expert, we never evolved to exercise. We are hardwired for moderate exertion throughout each day, not triathlons or treadmills. Drawing on over a decade of high-level scientific research and eye-opening insights from evolutionary biology and anthropology, Lieberman explains precisely how exercise can promote health; debunks persistent myths about sitting, speed, strength and endurance; and points the way towards more enjoyable and physically active living in the modern world.

Published by Penguin. Buy here.

How Bad Are Bananas?: The Carbon Footprint of Everything by Mike Berners-Lee

From a text message to a war, from a Valentine’s rose to a flight or even having a child, How Bad are Bananas? gives us the carbon answers we need and provides plenty of revelations. By talking through a hundred or so items, Mike Berners-Lee sets out to give us a carbon instinct for the footprint of literally anything we do, buy and think about. He helps us pick our battles by laying out the orders of magnitude. The book ranges from the everyday (foods, books, plastic bags, bikes, flights, baths…) and the global (deforestation, data centres, rice production, the World Cup, volcanoes, …) Be warned, some of the things you thought you knew about green living may be about to be turned on their head. Never preachy but packed full of information and always entertaining

Published by Profile Books. Buy here.

117 Things You Should F*#king Know About Your World: The Best of IFL Science

Did you know your irises are lying to you and all human eyes are actually brown?

Want to know the absolute worst way to die, according to science? 

Did you know that a smoking psychedelic toad milk could alleviate depression for up to four weeks?

117 Things You Should F*#king Know About Your World tells you the answers to these questions and many more weird and wonderful facts about the universe. Split into the site’s different subject areas of environment, technology, space, health and medicine, plants and animals, physics and chemistry, this is the ultimate science book. 

With 25 million social media followers, I F*#king Love Science is the world’s favourite source of science on the web. From missing nuclear weapons and Facebook secret files to the world’s smallest computer and why you should wrap your car keys in tinfoil, this is the book that only the world’s leading source of crazy-but-true stories could produce.

Published by Octopus Publishing Group. Buy here.

Entangled Life: How Fungi Make Our Worlds, Change Our Minds and Shape Our Futures by Merlin Sheldrake

There is a lifeform so strange and wondrous that it forces us to rethink how life works…

Neither plant nor animal, it is found throughout the earth, the air and our bodies. It can be microscopic, yet also accounts for the largest organisms ever recorded, living for millennia and weighing tens of thousands of tonnes. Its ability to digest rock enabled the first life on land, it can survive unprotected in space, and thrives amidst nuclear radiation.

In this captivating adventure, Merlin Sheldrake explores the spectacular and neglected world of fungi: endlessly surprising organisms that sustain nearly all living systems. They can solve problems without a brain, stretching traditional definitions of ‘intelligence’, and can manipulate animal behaviour with devastating precision. In giving us bread, alcohol and life-saving medicines, fungi have shaped human history, and their psychedelic properties, which have influenced societies since antiquity, have recently been shown to alleviate a number of mental illnesses. The ability of fungi to digest plastic, explosives, pesticides and crude oil is being harnessed in break-through technologies, and the discovery that they connect plants in underground networks, the ‘Wood Wide Web’, is transforming the way we understand ecosystems. Yet they live their lives largely out of sight, and over ninety percent of their species remain undocumented.

Entangled Life is a mind-altering journey into this hidden kingdom of life, and shows that fungi are key to understanding the planet on which we live, and the ways we think, feel and behave. The more we learn about fungi, the less makes sense without them.

Published by Vintage. Buy here.

Travel

The Gran Tour by Ben Aiken

One millennial, six coach trips, one big generation gap. When Ben Aitken learnt that his gran had enjoyed a four-night holiday including four three-course dinners, four cooked breakfasts, four games of bingo, a pair of excursions, sixteen pints of lager and luxury return coach travel, all for a hundred pounds, he thought, that’s the life, and signed himself up. Six times over. Good value aside, what Ben was really after was the company of his elders – those with more chapters under their belt, with the wisdom granted by experience, the candour gifted by time, and the hard-earned ability to live each day like it’s nearly their last. A series of coach holidays ensued – from Scarborough to St Ives, Killarney to Lake Como – during which Ben attempts to shake off his thirty-something blues by getting old as soon as possible.

Published by Icon Books. Buy here.

Venice: The Lion, the City and the Water by Cees Nooteboom

With this treasury of his time spent in Venice over a period of fifty-five years, Nooteboom makes himself the indispensable companion for all lovers of “the sailing, amphibious city”, and for every new visitor.

Because he is a master storyteller with an inexhaustible curiosity, and always with a suitcase of books (to which new discoveries are added), he brings vividly and poetically to life not only the tumultuous history of the Republic but along the way its doges, its villains, its heroes, its magnificent painters, its architects, its scholars, its skies, its canals and piazzas and alleyways, and on his expeditions its “bronze voices of time”.

Those who know and love this city and its literature will recognise Nooteboom – in Laura Watkinson’s fine translation – as the dazzling heir and companion to Montaigne, Thomas Mann, Rilke, Ruskin, Proust, Brodsky, and Donna Leon. His homage to Venice is a generous introduction, learned and enchanting, and worthy of its magnificent subject.

Published by Quercus. Buy here

Subterranea by Chris Finch

If you were to peel back the Earth’s surface like an orange, then take a sly peek underneath, what extraordinary things would you see?

Subterranea is where the world’s remaining mysteries are yet to be found. For millennia, across nations and cultures, it has been a hotbed of fantastical stories. It’s where humans have kept their most sacred treasures and their darkest secrets. It’s where we have found evidence of our past and may, at some point, find an escape route for our uncertain future. But what would we find there today? 

From the underground cities of Cappadocia to smuggling tunnels on the US-Mexico border, caves full of tiny blind dragons and a seed vault located 1300km inside the Arctic circle, Subterranea demonstrates that the world below our feet is every bit as vivid and evocative as the world we see around us. Lavishly illustrated and replete with maps and photographs of little-explored locations, Subterranea is the unique, untold and utterly unforgettable story of our planet from the inside.

Published by Headline. Buy here.

POLITICS

Stolen Lives by Louise Hulland

136,000 people in the UK are in some form of slavery. This is big business, generating more than GBP120 billion annually for criminal organisations across the world.

Stolen Lives examines trafficking and slavery in Britain, hearing from those on the front line. Powerful and moving testimony from survivors reveals the individual stories behind the headlines and charts one young woman’s terrifying and ultimately inspiring journey to freedom and independence.

Finally, it shows us what we can do to make a difference.

Published by Sandstone Press. Buy here.

The Madness of Crowds: Gender, Race and Identity by Douglas Murray

A truthful look at today’s most divisive issues’ – Jordan B. Peterson ‘[Murray’s] latest book is beyond brilliant and should be read, must be read, by everyone’ – Richard Dawkins Are we living through the great derangement of our times?

In The Madness of Crowds Douglas Murray investigates the dangers of ‘woke’ culture and the rise of identity politics. In lively, razor-sharp prose he examines the most controversial issues of our moment: sexuality, gender, technology and race, with interludes on the Marxist foundations of ‘wokeness’, the impact of tech and how, in an increasingly online culture, we must relearn the ability to forgive. One of the few writers who dares to counter the prevailing view and question the dramatic changes in our society – from gender reassignment for children to the impact of transgender rights on women – Murray’s penetrating book, now published with a new afterword taking account of the book’s reception and responding to the worldwide Black Lives Matter protests, clears a path of sanity through the fog of our modern predicament.

Published by Bloomsbury. Buy here.

The Madman Theory by Jim Sciutto

From praising dictators to alienating allies, Trump has made chaos his calling card. Has his strategy caused more problems than it solved?

Richard Nixon tried it first. Hoping to make communist bloc countries uneasy and thus unstable, Nixon let them think he was just crazy enough to nuke them. He called this “the madman theory.” Nearly half a century later, President Trump has employed his own “madman theory,” sometimes intentionally and sometimes not.

Trump praises Kim Jong-un and their “love notes,” admires and flatters Vladimir Putin, and gives a greenlight to Recep Tayyip Erdogan to invade Syria. Meanwhile, he attacks US institutions and officials, ignores his own advisors, and turns his back on US allies from Canada and Mexico to NATO to Ukraine to the Kurds at war with ISIS. Trump is willing to make the nation’s most sensitive and consequential decisions while often ignoring the best information and intelligence available to him. He continually catches the world off guard, but is it working?

In The Madman Theory, Jim Sciutto shows how Trump’s supporters assume he has a strategy for long-term success – that he is somehow playing three-dimensional chess. Now that we are four years into his presidency, we can see his unpredictable focus on short-term headlines has in fact lead to predictably mediocre results in the short and long run. Trump’s foreign policy has undermined American values and national security interests, while hurting allies who have been on our side for decades, leaving them isolated and vulnerable without American support. Meanwhile, he comforts and emboldens our enemies. The White House’s revolving door of staff demonstrates that Trump has no real plan; all serious policymakers-and those who would be a check on his most destructive impulses-have been exiled or jumped ship.

Sciutto has interviewed a wide swath of current and former administration officials to assemble the first comprehensive portrait of the impact of Trump’s erratic foreign policy. Smart, authoritative, and compelling, The Madman Theory is the definitive take on Trump’s calamitous legacy around the globe, showing how his proclivity for chaos is creating a world which is more unstable, violent, and impoverished than it was before.

Published by Harper Collins. Buy here.

The Art of Disruption: A Manifesto For Real Change by Magid Magid

Magid Magid’s story seems an unlikely one. He’s a Somali-born black Muslim refugee who became the youngest ever Lord Mayor of Sheffield and one of the last UK MEPs. Magid has made headlines nationally and internationally for his creative ways of campaigning while not conforming to tradition and being unapologetically himself. Magid had no idea that the poster he dreamed up for a local music festival in 2018 would go viral. The poster contained the 10 commandments he tries to live by. He had no idea that this poster would come to represent a movement that has swept him to the heart of local and European establishment politics. Now, for the first time, he reveals the stories behind each of these ‘commandments’; what drives him, the obstacles he overcame and what makes him hopeful.

Published by Bonnier Boks Ltd. Buy here.

My First Little Book of Intersectional Activism by Titania McGrath

Aimed at activists from the age of six months to six years, Titania’s book will help cultivate a new progressive generation. In a series of groundbreaking and poignant chapters, she will take you on a journey with some of the most inspiring individuals in history, such as Emmeline Pankhurst, Meghan Markle, Nelson Mandela, Hillary Clinton and Joseph Stalin. Praise for Woke : ‘Beautiful classic satire’ Ricky Gervais ‘The latest genius twist in Britain’s long tradition of satirical spoof’ Daily Express ‘Titania McGrath mercilessly satirises the Left’s online umbrage brigade, the permanently offended, those who have taken on the role of policing thoughts and words to the point of absurdity’ The Herald ‘Hilarious’ Evening Standard ‘Hilarious’ Spectator ‘Hilarious’ The Times ‘Utterly unfunny’ Peter Hitchens

Published by Little Brown Book Group Ltd. Buy here.

The Wake-Up Call: Why the pandemic has exposed the weakness of the West – and how to fix it by John Micklethwaite and Adrian Wooldrige

An urgent and informed look at the challenges Britain and world governments will face in a post-Covid-19 world.

The Covid crisis has not just highlighted the failures of certain governments, it is accelerating a shift in the balance of power from West to East. After a decade where politics in the US and the UK has been consumed with inward-facing struggles, countries like South Korea, Singapore, Taiwan, as well as China, have made extraordinary advances economically, technologically and politically.

In this beautifully crafted essay, Micklethwait and Wooldridge explain how we ended up in this mess and explore the possible routes out. If Western governments respond creatively to the crisis, they will have a chance of reversing decades of decline; if they dither and delay while Asia continues to improve, the prospect of a new Eastern-dominated world order will increase. The big question facing the world is whether the West can rise to the challenge as it has before.

Published by Short Books. Buy here.

The Prime Ministers: Reflections on Leadership from Wilson to Johnson by Steve Richards

A landmark history of the men and women who have defined the UK’s role in the modern world – and what makes them special – by a seasoned political journalist.

At a time of unprecedented political upheaval, this magisterial history explains who leads us and why. From Harold Wilson to Boris Johnson, it brilliantly brings to life all 10 inhabitants of 10 Downing Street over the past fifty years, vividly outlining their successes and failures – and what made each of them special. Based on unprecedented access and in-depth interviews, and inspired by the author’s BBC Radio 4 and television series, Steve Richards expertly examines the men and women who have defined the UK’s role in the modern world and sheds new light on the demands of the highest public office in the land.

Published by Atlantic. Buy here.

Left Out: The Inside Story of Labour Under Corbyn by Gabriel Pogrund and Patrick Maguire

Left Out is the first full account of Labour’s recent transformation and historic defeat. The 2017 parliament began with Labour on the precipice of power, and its left- most fringe – for so long alienated within its own party – closer to government than it had ever been. It ended with them even farther away than they started. From the peak of Jeremy Corbyn’s popularity and the shock hung parliament of 2017 to Labour’s humbling in 2019 and the election of Keir Starmer, Left Out draws on unrivalled access throughout the party and to both leaders’ inner circles to provide a blistering narrative expose of the Labour Party during one of the most tumultuous and significant episodes in its history.

It reveals a party riven by factionalism and at war over ideology, then incapacitated by crisis and indecision. From the plotting of the break-away Independent Group to the inaction and despair over accusations of anti-Semitism, from complaints of sexual harassment and bullying to foiled coups and furious disagreements over Brexit, the reader is in the room as tempers fray and tensions boil over, as sworn enemies forge unlikely alliances and lifelong friendships are tested to breaking-point.

At the heart of the book is Corbyn himself, a man whose like had never been seen at the top of British politics – and is unlikely to ever be seen again. Heroised for his principles by some, derided as an idealist by others, the loyalty and hatred he inspired changed not only the party but the nation.

Intimately drawn and brilliantly told, Left Out is the revelatory inside account of how Labour became the party it is today and of the greatest experiment seen in British politics for a generation.

Published by Vintage. Buy here.

TRUE CRIME

Manhunt: Hunting Britain’s Most Wanted Murderer by Peter Bleksley

Published by Ad Lib. Buy here.

SOCIETY AND CULTURE

Men Who Hate Women by Laura Bates

Imagine a world in which a vast network of misogynists is able to operate, virtually undetected.
Imagine a world in which these extremists commit terrorist acts, united by their deep hatred of women.
Imagine a world in which they groom and radicalise vulnerable teenage boys, shielded by veils of irony and ‘banter’.
Imagine a world in which their community swells to become an international movement, tens of thousands strong.
You don’t have to imagine that world … you already live in it.

In her explosive new book, acclaimed feminist writer Laura Bates lifts the lid on the communities of men who hate women, going undercover, both on- and offline, to explore the ideology and impact they have worldwide.

Starting in the murkiest depths of the internet, Laura observes these groups in action, from incels and pickup artists to Men’s Rights Activists and Men Going Their Own Way, tracing how effectively their ideas have been smuggled into our collective consciousness – via trolls, the media, celebrities and politicians – to emerge unchecked in our schools, workplaces and corridors of power, posing deadly harm to men and women alike.

Including exclusive interviews with former members of these groups, as well as with the men fighting against them, Laura seeks to understand what attracts people to this movement, how it operates – and, above all, what must be done to stop it.

Published by Simon & Schuster. Buy here.

OTHER

The Almanac: A Seasonal Guide to 2021 by Lia Leendertz

Welcome to The Almanac: A Seasonal Guide to 2021. If you are new to The Almanac then welcome; if you are a regular reader then hello! The Almanac is about celebrating the unfolding year in all its various facets. The old dependables which I include every year are back: moon phases, sun rises and sets, tide time tables and the sky at night. As ever there are seasonal recipes and monthly gardening tips for the flower and vegetable garden too, as well as a bit of folklore, and nature and a song for each month.

This year’s edition has a theme: movement, migration and pilgrimage. This was not a reaction to the unsettling events of last year – it was half written by the time Covid-19 hit – but writing it from lockdown did give me a heightened appreciation of the way in which Britain and Ireland have always and continue to be places of movement, and are intimately connected to the rest of the world. You will find within this book migration tales for each month of this year, but I have also searched out seasonal tales of human movement, and included a pilgrimage for each month, some ancient, some current, all underlining the spiritual benefits of putting one foot in front of the other. Every month I have included a method of navigating using the stars, sun or moon, so you can find your way around in the dark (or just look out of your window and know where south is). And our monthly folk songs are all shanties this year, work songs with movement at their very heart, created to coordinate muscle power to drive sailing ships backwards and forwards across the Atlantic Ocean, and containing influences from the eastern seaboard of the US down to the Caribbean and beyond mixed with British and Irish folk traditions. These songs are stitched through with movement and travel, as is this Almanac.

We are all eager to move after so much time cooped up, but I dedicate this edition particularly to those for whom staying in one place was not so different, who were never going to climb mountains anyway. I hope this Almanac helps you to travel in your mind all year long, via the swift that streams past your window, through a rasher pudding cooked up in the Romani style, and by way of a song of derring do on the ocean waves. Have a wonderful 2021.

Published by Octopus Publishing Group. Buy here.

101 Reasons Why We Love The Queen by E. Dunne & H. Sutcliffe

Did you know that the Queen likes to wake up to the sound of bagpipes? That her favourite flower is the primrose? Or that she has established a whole new dog breed, the dorgi, a cross between a corgi and a dachshund? This book is a charming and witty paean to our longest-serving monarch; a collection of all the things that make Queen Elizabeth II a national treasure, from the profound impact she has had on 21st century politics, to her unshakeable sense of duty to her fabulous collection of headscarves. With beautiful illustrations and humorous observations, 101 Reasons Why We Love the Queen is a joyful celebration of a monarch who will go down in history as one of the greatest of all time.

Published by Short Books Ltd. Buy here.

English Pastoral by James Rebanks

As a boy, James Rebanks’s grandfather taught him to work the land the old way. Their family farm in the Lake District hills was part of an ancient agricultural landscape: a patchwork of crops and meadows, of pastures grazed with livestock, and hedgerows teeming with wildlife. And yet, by the time James inherited the farm, it was barely recognisable. The men and women had vanished from the fields; the old stone barns had crumbled; the skies had emptied of birds and their wind-blown song.

English Pastoral is the story of an inheritance: one that affects us all. It tells of how rural landscapes around the world were brought close to collapse, and the age-old rhythms of work, weather, community and wild things were lost. And yet this elegy from the northern fells is also a song of hope: of how, guided by the past, one farmer began to salvage a tiny corner of England that was now his, doing his best to restore the life that had vanished and to leave a legacy for the future.

This is a book about what it means to have love and pride in a place, and how, against all the odds, it may still be possible to build a new pastoral: not a utopia, but somewhere decent for us all.

Published by Penguin. Buy here.

How To Grow Your Own Poem by Kate Clanchy

Kate Clanchy has been teaching people to write poetry for more than twenty years. Some were old, some were young; some were fluent English speakers, some were not. None of them were confident to start with, but a surprising number went to win prizes and every one finished up with a poem they were proud of, a poem that only they could have written – their own poem.

Kate’s big secret is a simple one: is to share other poems. She believes poetry is like singing or dancing and the best way to learn is to follow someone else. In this book, Kate shares the poems she has found provoke the richest responses, the exercises that help to shape those responses into new poems, and the advice that most often helps new writers build their own writing practice.

If you have never written a poem before, this book will get you started. If you have written poems before, this book will help you to write more fluently and confidently, more as yourself. This book not like other creative writing books. It doesn’t ask you to set out on your own, but to join in. Your invitation is inside.

Published by Pan MacMillan. Buy here.

The Story of Scottish Art by Lachlan Goudie

This is the story of how Scotland has defined itself through its art over the past 5000 years, from the earliest enigmatic Neolithic symbols etched onto the landscape of Kilmartin Glen to Glasgow’s fame as a centre of artistic innovation today. Lachlan Goudie brings his perspective and passion as a practising artist and broadcaster to narrate the joys and struggles of artists across the millennia striving to fulfil their vision and the dramatic transformations of Scottish society reflected in their art. 

The Story of Scottish Art is beautifully illustrated with the diverse artworks that form Scotland’s long tradition of bold creativity: Pictish carved stones and Celtic metalwork, Renaissance palaces and chapels, paintings of Scottish life and landscapes by Horatio McCulloch, David Wilkie and Joan Eardley, designs by master architect Charles Rennie Mackintosh, and collage and sculpture by Pop Art pioneer Eduardo Paolozzi. Lachlan tells the compelling story of how and why these and many other Scottish masterpieces were created, and the impact they have had on the world.

Published by Thomas & Hudson Ltd. Buy here.

Monsters of River and Rock: My Life as Iron Maiden’s Compulsive Angler by Adrian Smith

Legendary Iron Maiden guitarist takes you to the final frontier of fishing.

Welcome to the world of Adrian Smith, playing his Jackson guitar onstage to millions – while behind the scenes he explores far-flung rivers, seas and lakes, waterways and weirs, in a fearless quest for fishing nirvana.

Hooked on the angling adrenaline rush since first catching perch from East London canals on outings with his father, Adrian grew up to be in one of Rock’s most iconic bands. On tour, his gear went with him. The fish got bigger. The adventures more extreme.

In Monsters of River and Rock you’ll hear about his first sturgeon: a whopping 100-pounder from the roaring rapids of Canada’s Fraser River that nearly wiped him out mid-Maiden tour. Then there’s the close shave with a shark off the Virgin Islands whilst wading waist-deep for bonefish. Not to mention an enviable list of specimen coarse fish from the UK.

Come to the riverbank with Adrian and cast a line on the wild side.

Published by Ebury. Buy here.

2 thoughts on “September 3rd: Non-Fiction Releases

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