Ask the book buyer about the top reads that offer some political perspective


With uncertainty over UK politics there are books that can provide a level of understanding, counsel and clarity, says Jarrold Book Buyer Holly Ainley.


Dear Reader,

As we hurtle towards the end of March the UK’s political situation is changing every day and wherever our loyalties lie, there is no denying we’re living in uncertain times.

It’s in exactly this kind of climate where books can provide a level of understanding, counsel and clarity that sometimes feels impossible to get from watching the unpredictable news. While of course they don’t guarantee answers, this fortnight’s book choices offer a deeper exploration of subjects on many of our minds right now and positively encourage us to reframe our perspectives. Who knows, you might even be pleasantly distracted and even inspired by one or two of them too!

Failing this – or if you’d rather put current affairs out of your mind completely – then we have an alternative solution: turn your attention to holidays and escapes with our buy-one-get-one-half-price offer on all travel guides and maps in the book department for the next three weeks.

Best wishes,


The Intelligence Trap

David Robson


Smart people (even politicians!) are not only just as prone to making mistakes as everyone else –they may be even more susceptible to them. This is the assertion of debut author David Robson, one of the guests at our Spring literary lunch earlier this month. The Intelligence Trap is a fascinating book for anyone interested in how we think – how we make decisions, our IQ and why we make mistakes. Packed with cutting-edge research, case studies and some hilarious anecdotes it reveals the ways that even the brightest minds and talented organisations can backfire – and how we can try to avoid the same.


Dangerous Hero: Corbyn’s Ruthless Plot for Power

Tom Bower

£18.00 (RRP £20.00)

Love or loathe him, there’s no escaping Corbyn’s presence and influence and there hasn’t been a book like this before about him – one that asks what it would look like if he were to be Prime Minister. Described as a ‘gripping exposé of the man, his politics and what this means for Britain’, an interesting element of the book is the way critics have reacted to it. There’s no question it gives an insight into Corbyn’s policies, his character and his perceived flaws, but it has also led some reviewers to come out in his favour, which was unlikely to be Bower’s intention. It’s well worth making your own mind up. 



Dreams of Leaving and Remaining

James Meek

£14.99 (RRP £16.99)

9781788795230 This is ‘an anatomy of Britain on the edge of Brexit’ by an Orwell Prize winning journalist and is a fascinating journey into the divisions that have arisen across the country over the past couple of years. Its focus is on real people – Meek meets farmers and fishermen intent on exiting the EU despite the loss of protections they will incur. He reports on a Cadbury’s factory shut down and moved to Poland in the name of free market economics, exploring the impact on the local community left behind. He charts how the NHS is coping with the twin burdens of austerity and an aging population. Although it focuses on divisive issues that many people are already anxious about, ironically, it find a way of bringing everyone together in this shared state.



Don’t Let My Past Be Your Future: A Call to Arms

Harry Leslie Smith


A bittersweet, heartfelt memoir by the British Stalwart who died aged 95 last year. A survivor of the Great Depression and a Second World War veteran, Smith’s life straddled two centuries and he experienced first-hand a life of extreme poverty and the injustice this brought to whole swathes of the country in his childhood. He looks at how far we’ve come but also at the precarious, still divided state of the country today, weaving his thoughts into a call-to-arms to learn from the past. He argues that Britain has overcome adversity before and will do so again – and reminds us of the possibility and importance of persevering through difficult times with one’s dignity and optimism intact.



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