Ask the book buyer about books...
to help us appreciate our own reality

Dear reader,

When reading for relaxation and escapism, you might usually reach for fiction. But at a time when such a dramatic plotline is unfolding in real life, it can be hard to switch off in quite the same way. Judging by trends in the bestseller lists, it seems that what people want more of at the moment is books that help us understand, reflect on and appreciate our own reality, as well as those that divulge other people’s direct experiences.

To celebrate the power and popularity of non-fiction, we are currently running a buy one get one half price offer across selected paperbacks instore and online, including titles by some of our most popular recent book event speakers: Chastise by Max Hastings, Lady in Waiting by Anne Glenconner and The Fens by Francis Pryor.

Below are a selection of those at the top of my reading list. Educational, reflective, often inspiring, sometimes empowering, non-fiction can prove just as entertaining and diversionary as the best novels out there.

Holly

Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race

 

Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race

Reni Eddo-Lodge

£8.99

BUY ONE GET ONE HALF PRICE


First published in 2017 this urgent and timely book is back at the top of the charts. Exploring what it mean to be black in Britain today, this is (rightly) not always a comfortable read but it is essential for anyone who cares about race relations in our country. It grew out of an essay that Eddo-Lodge published online in 2014, of the same title, where she wrote of her frustration that discussions of race and racism in Britain were being led by those who weren’t affected by it. She didn’t anticipate the flood of responses from others who shared her feelings: the piece went viral. And despite having vowed no longer to talk to white people about race, Eddo-Lodge was galvanised to write this book for readers of all colours and backgrounds.

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Invisible Women: Exposing Data Bias in a World Designed for Men

 

Invisible Women: Exposing Data Bias in a World Designed for Men

Caroline Criado Perez

£9.99

BUY ONE GET ONE HALF PRICE


High up on my to-read pile is this fascinating work of social science and winner of numerous prizes last year (including the FT & McKinsey Business Book of the Year). Invisible Women dives deep into data to reveal how in a world built for and by men, we systematically ignore half of the population, often with disastrous consequences. Beginning with obvious examples such as mobile phones being designed for men’s hands, to medical prescriptions being tailored to men’s bodies, Perez goes on to bring together a vast range of case studies, stories and new research on government policy and medical research, technology, workplaces, and the media, all illustrating the hidden ways in which women are forgotten, and the profound impact this has on us all.

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The Planets

 

The Planets

Andrew Cohen with Professor Brian Cox

£9.99

BUY ONE GET ONE HALF PRICE


This slimmed-down paperback edition of The Planets accompanies the acclaimed BBC series. While all around us feels like chaos, there is something mind-expanding and heartening about looking outwards and learning more about the solar system. Andrew Cohen and Professor Brain Cox take readers on a voyage of discovery through all the planets and beyond to the solar system’s outer reaches in a way that feels digestible and exciting. To use their own descriptions, there is: ‘Mercury, a lifeless victim of the Sun’s expanding power. Venus, once thought to be lush and fertile, now known to be trapped within a toxic and boiling atmosphere. Mars, the red planet, doomed by the loss of its atmosphere…’ and of course the list goes on.

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A Claxton Diary: Further Notes from a Small Planet

 

A Claxton Diary: Further Notes from a Small Planet

Mark Cocker

£9.99

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Not the first time I’ve reviewed this book but fresh out in paperback this month, A Claxton Diary is a celebration of our local environment by renowned Norfolk naturalist Mark Cocker. At a time when it feels like most things are out of our control, this beautiful, reflective series of essays grounds us firmly in the natural world, reminding us of the cyclical, regenerative power of nature, whatever else is going on. Winner of the 2019 East Anglian Book Awards, the book is a collection of Cocker’s observations of the daily occurrences and patterns of the flora and fauna in and around Claxton, a little village in the Norfolk Broads National Park.

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Journeys In The Wild: The Secret Life of a Camerman

 

Journeys In The Wild: The Secret Life of a Camerman

Gavin Thurston

£8.99

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From a different starting point, but with a similar effect to A Claxton Diary, Thurston’s memoir reminds us how observing and learning about the natural world can be satisfying and levelling at times of stress. Thurston has been a wildlife photographer for over 30 years and has worked on both Blue Planet II and Planet Earth II with David Attenborough. His style is easy and accessible as he describes journeys to some of the world’s remotest place to capture footage of prides of lions, silverback gorillas, capuchin monkeys, brown bears, grey whales, penguins, mosquitoes - you name it he's filmed it. Patience and bravery are strong characteristics he’s had to hone, as well as a good sense of humour.

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Gotta Get Theroux This

 

Gotta Get Theroux This

Louis Theroux

£8.99

BUY ONE GET ONE HALF PRICE


I’ve really enjoyed listening to Grounded, Louis Theroux’s lockdown podcast for the BBC, and was intrigued to find out more about his approach to life. With a title that feels more appropriate than ever right now, this laugh-out-loud memoir from the entertaining and much-loved documentary maker promises to lighten the mood. He takes the reader from his anxiety-prone childhood to his surprisingly successful career exploring difficult and often weird subjects on TV, from Scientology to prison culture, all in his trademark self-deprecating, witty tone.

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Prices and availability checked Friday 24 July 2020

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