Ask the expert: 5 of the best books for dads


Book expert Chris Rusby picks five of his favourite books for dad - after all it is Father's Day

The Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu

Joshua Hammer



In the 1980s, a young adventurer and collector for a government library, Abdel Kader Haidara, journeyed across the Sahara Desert and along the Niger River, tracking down and salvaging tens of thousands of ancient Islamic and secular manuscripts that were crumbling in the trunks of desert shepherds. His goal: to preserve this crucial part of the world's patrimony in a gorgeous library. But then Al Qaeda showed up at the door. Joshua Hammer writes about how Haidara, a mild-mannered archivist from the legendary city of Timbuktu, became one of the world's greatest smugglers by saving the texts from sure destruction. With bravery and patience, Haidara organized a dangerous operation to sneak all 350,000 volumes out of the city to the safety of southern Mali. His heroic heist is a reminder that ordinary citizens often do the most to protect the beauty of their culture.

Secrets of Death

Stephen Booth



Steeped in the atmosphere of the stunning Peak District, Secrets of Death is Stephen Booth's most daring and clever Cooper & Fry thriller yet. Residents of the Peak District are used to tourists descending on its soaring hills and brooding valleys. However, this summer brings a different kind of visitor to the idyllic landscape, leaving behind bodies and secrets. A series of suicides throughout the Peaks throws Detective Inspector Ben Cooper and his team in Derbyshire's E Division into a race against time to find a connection to these seemingly random acts.

The Essex Serpent

Sarah Perry




Winner of this year’s British Book Awards. Congratulations to Norwich author Sarah Perry for her word-of-mouth hit, The Essex Serpent. Set in 1893. Recently widowed Cora Seabourne decides to move with her son Francis to Essex where rumours of a mythical serpent abound. Cora, a keen amateur naturalist is convinced the answer lies in science and what the local people think is a magical beast may be a yet-undiscovered species.



How Freaking Zeitgeist Are You?

Murray Lachlan Young




For rhyme addicts to read out loud. From popular poet-in-residence Murray Lachlan Young on BBC Radio 6 Music and Radio 4's Saturday Live, How Freakin' Zeitgeist Are You? is the definitive collection of Murray Lachlan Young's poems from 1994 to the present day. From his humorous and witty take on social phenomena to dark commentary on today's society, Murray covers a wide range of topics from the weather, hair and machines to the UK festival culture, sex, men's issues, pop music and God.


The Hairy Dieters Go Veggie

Si King and Dave Myers




Well-known lovers of meat feasts, Si King and Dave Myers show you how to cut down on your weekly meat intake. There are over 80 meat-free, filling, low calorie healthy recipes. Try sweet potato saag aloo or mushroom, leek and chestnut pie and stuffed cabbage rolls. Some will appreciate the ‘We Miss Meat’ chapter with veggie versions of their meaty favourites – shepherd’s pie, meatballs and toad-in-the-hole. As Si and Dave put it, “Turnip the heat!”

Back to top