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The Non-Fiction You Need to Read in 2022

Posted on 23rd December 2021 by Mark Skinner

Across memoir and history, cookery and lifestyle, popular science, nature and more, there is so much great non-fiction to look forward to in 2022. Immerse yourself in our fantastic selection of the year's highlights courtesy of our definitive blog.

 

 

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In her inspiring follow-up to Becoming, former First Lady Michelle Obama shares practical wisdom and powerful strategies for staying hopeful and balanced in today's highly uncertain world.
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Penned by one of the people who knew him best, this official biography of the storytelling genius that was Terry Pratchett draws on both Pratchett's own unpublished notes and interviews from close friends and family to create a resounding tribute to a unique literary talent.
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The medic and author of the mega-selling This is Going to Hurt reflects on what happened after he left the NHS frontline in this characteristically sardonic and laugh-out-loud follow-up destined to become a modern classic.
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Spanning 75 years of the celebrated espionage novelist's eventful life - and covering topics as wide-ranging as his relationship with his fraudulent father and his observations on leading political figures - this enthralling collection of John le Carré's letters reveals a playful, intelligent and unfailingly eloquent individual.
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Told with all of Jarvis Cocker's distinctive dry wit, Good Pop, Bad Pop finds the Pulp frontman clearing out his loft and taking an inventory of the ephemera that formed his eventful, iconic life.
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From a challenging Dublin childhood to worldwide fame with U2 and high-profile campaigning for a multitude of causes, the rock legend and activist tells his hugely eventful story through both candid, lyrical prose and evocative original artwork.
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Ideal for all fans of A Very English Scandal, the man at the centre of the Jeremy Thorpe trial tells his sensational side of the story in this eagerly-awaited memoir from the former Liberal leader's lover who became the victim of an attempted murder plot.
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The hugely popular Outlander star takes to the West Highland Way to explore his Scottish heritage, his career and his inner life in this intimate, thoughtful and fascinating memoir that is essential reading for his legions of fans.
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In this inspiring and enlightening follow-up to the bestselling How Animals Saved My Life, Supervet Noel Fitzpatrick recounts incredible tales from his long and illustrious career caring for a multitude of different creatures.
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Known to millions as the big screen embodiment of Harry Potter's wizarding nemesis Draco Malfoy, Tom Felton delivers a fascinating, wittily written account of his role in of one of the world's most successful film franchises.
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In this unflinching, funny and emotionally devastating memoir, the Hollywood actress and model Selma Blair opens up about her uneasy childhood, celebrated career shadowed by alcohol addiction, and learning to live with multiple sclerosis.
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Liptrot follows up the Wainwright Prize-winning nature classic The Outrun with an intensely intimate and erotically charged account of her time looking for love in Berlin that interweaves observations about the city's wildlife with her own compelling narrative.
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The author of My Wild and Sleepless Nights delivers an intensely powerful, unflinching and reflective account of the first year after her sister's death from breast cancer.
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Recounted with his natural storytelling brio, the highly popular DJ and presenter delivers a wry and candid memoir of his Oldham childhood and subsequent success at Radio 1.
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Poignant and heartbreaking but resolutely unwilling to rely on sentimental platitudes, Morgan's memoir about a tragic change in her family circustances is a profoundly powerful and perceptive read on love, grief and the eternal promise of hope.
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A multi-faceted biography of a complex creative maverick, Dennison's concise life of Roald Dahl examines many sources anew to create the definitive portrait of the beloved children's author.
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Following the Booker prize-winner from 1940's Manchester through a succession of dead-end jobs and bizarre teaching gigs, Mother's Boy is the hilarious and heartwarming story of how Howard Jacobson became an author.
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Reissued in a boldly designed new hardback edition, the intensely powerful memoir of political activist Angela Davis is a touchstone of the Black Liberation movement and packed full of incredible first-hand accounts of key events.
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Laid low by ill health, bereavement and lockdown, Sheila Hancock reflects upon her life and career with all the winning candour and warm-heartedness we have come to expect from the legendary actress.
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Bragg's first ever memoir reveals the working-class Cumbrian lad's path to an Oxford scholarship, whilst also tenderly evoking the close-knit community of his youth and its memorable characters as one era of tradition collapsed into another of opportunity and freedom.
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Powerful, unfiltered and endlessly inspiring, the journals of the acclaimed author of The Color Purple take the reader on an intimate personal and political journey with the iconic activist and literary legend.
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In this riotous, lovable memoir packed with outrageous stories, the iconic frontman of AC/DC shares his journey from County Durham choir boy to globally adored rock god, no holds barred.
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Covering the entirety of the Gypsy King's career to date, Gloves Off chronicles Fury's tempestuous life from his Travelling upbringing to his battles with mental health and his devotion to his wife and children in compelling, candid prose.

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From Saturday Night Live to Better Call Saul, Bob Odenkirk recounts the twists and turns of his comedy career with typically witty and irreverent candour.
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Exploring notions of love, health and acceptance, the nurse and author of The Courage to Care takes a rueful look at mid-life and all the messiness, madness and magic that go with it.
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As suspenseful as a thriller and incredibly moving, Pauline Baer de Perignon’s stunningly crafted memoir traces what happened to her great-grandfather’s precious art collection after it was stolen from his Paris apartment during by the Gestapo in 1942.
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Bearing witness to the realities of incarceration as a teacher of philosophy in prison, West weaves questions of freedom, choice, responsibility, shame and forgiveness together with personal reflections and family history in this deeply authentic, intellectually thrilling and frequently funny memoir.
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Written in Dyer's distinctive, quixotic prose, The Last Days of Roger Federer takes the great tennis player's twilight years as a jumping off point to explore late flowerings of artistic and intellectual genius and asks what really defines the final segment of a long-lived career.
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A sublimely written account of refusing to be defined by social constructs and embracing life-enhancing change, The Cure for Sleep is a poignant and inspiring slice of literary memoir.
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Throwing open the vibrant underbelly of the City of Light in all its depraved, degenerate and dangerously addictive magnificence, Chisholm's account of his time spent as a Parisian waiter abounds in electrifying anecdote and jaw-dropping revelations.
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From the Boxing Day tsunami to the Covid-19 pandemic, Lucy Easthope has worked on the frontline in the wake of numerous disasters over the past two decades and in this inspiring and unflinching memoir she recounts a life spent confronting other people's trauma and helping them to move forward.
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The one and only Jamie Oliver returns with an exciting new book that simply bursts with inspiration for relaxed home cooking, with over 120 recipes that can all be cooked in a single pan.
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The Body Coach returns with over 100 nutritious, energy-boosting new recipes to get the nation eating healthily and happily.
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From Pomegranate and harissa roasted aubergine steak to cardamom and mocha rice pudding, the author of the bestselling Bazaar and Persiana returns with a treasure trove of over a hundred easy recipes brimming with flavour and perfect for everyday cooking.

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Combining scientific research about vegan diet in a digestible form with beautiful plant-based family friendly recipes, this wonderfully accessible and deliciously curated how-to guide from Ella Mills Woodward is a perfect tool for putting together balanced meals.
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The worthy winner of Jamie Oliver's The Great Cookbook Challenge serves up a delicious volume of Asian-inspired recipes that are both simple and affordable to prepare yet bursting with flavour and character.
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A loving, sumptuously designed and truly mouthwatering collection of traditional Indian recipes, Khan pays tribute to the Calcutta cooking of her mother, or ammu, with a selection of divine dishes.
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In her debut book, the online baking sensation serves up a host of fresh and vibrant recipes, all of which are comprised of fewer than five ingredients and are as hassle-free as they are delicious.

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Ranging across farming, health and economics, animal rights activist Winter delivers an uncompromising manifesto for a vegan lifestyle perfect for engaging in debate with doubters.
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A beautiful meeting of ancient traditions and mouthwatering plant-based cooking, Nistisima is a stunning collection of easy and delicious Mediterranean recipes that celebrate vegetables, pulses and grains and are naturally vegan.
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The author of the groundbreaking Quiet turns her attention to the curious amalgam of pain and beauty that is 'bittersweetness' and how embracing it can aid personal growth and happiness.

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Through eye-opening discussions with young people with mental health conditions as well as medical experts, counsellors and campaigners, the bestselling author of Women Who Fight Back delivers a hugely informative, urgent clarion call for tackling Britain’s growing mental health emergency.
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Offering a simple, practical framework for finding more contentment, peace and happiness in our daily lives, Dr Rangan Chatterjee draws from both cutting-edge science and philosophy to arm the reader with a host of easy-to-follow tips and motivation.
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From big tech to breakfast cereal, the iconic author of The Handmaid's Tale and The Testaments dissects the 21st century so far in a series of impish and insightful essays.
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Examining both writing and reading in prose as luminous as that of her novels, Elena Ferrante delivers a stunning collection of essays that travel far and wide through the landscape of literature.
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The celebrated author of Norwegian Wood, 1Q84 and What I Talk About When I Talk About Running presents his musings on the peculiar profession of the novelist, discussing his own creative process as well as the role of novelists in society in characteristically luminous prose.
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Featuring essays from Maggie Nelson, Ottessa Moshfegh, Anne Enright and more, this essential volume of music writing by women ranges far and wide, challenging the sexist narrative of male dominance at every turn.
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From Roman cremations to Christian burials, the anthropologist and author of the bestselling Ancestors explores the ways in which Ancient Britons bade farewell to their dead in an eye-opening slice of popular history.
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Hugely important to the history of the British Isles yet commonly misunderstood and neglected by contemporary audiences, the story of the Celts is finally told in a coherent and engaging fashion by the bestselling author of A Short History of England.
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Giving voice to the influential women of the Middle Ages who have been silenced by male gatekeepers, Ramirez's sweeping account not only highlights unjustly forgotten pioneers but also demonstrates how easily historical narratives can be manipulated.
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The master storyteller of real-life espionage turns his attention to the Second World War's most notorious prison and the rich cast of colourful characters who attempted to break free from its walls.

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From superpower leaders to Cuban peasants, the acclaimed military historian and author of Operation Pedestal takes a panoramic look at the most nerve-jangling episode in twentieth-century history, when Cold War tensions threatened to explode into nuclear conflagration.
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Mining never-before-seen archive material to reconstruct the lives of five women – wives, mothers and sisters of the men participating in Robert Falcon Scott’s polar expedition – MacInnes offers a fresh and utterly different perspective on the race to the South Pole.
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The forging of the Soviet Union recounted in thrilling detail by the celebrated historian and author of Stalingrad, as the Russian Revolution segues into bloody Civil War shaping the tumultuous story of the twentieth century.
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Through one woman's fight for justice, the award-winning author of East West Street recounts the shocking events that marked the 1965 establishment of the British Indian Ocean Territory with his characteristic expertise, insight and compelling storytelling ability.
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Making inspired links through time, Groom's monumental history of the North of England abounds in colourful characters and enthralling incident, from the Venerable Bede to the Miners' Strike, and marshals a vast array of material into a compulsively readable whole.
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From iconic figures such as Queen Victoria to unnamed geishas and soldiers, the third, visually stunning book in The Colour of Time series makes magnificent use of Marina Amaral's acclaimed photographic colourisation techniques and Dan Jones' skilful text to tell a multitude of women's stories from the middle of the nineteenth century to the dawn of second-wave feminism.
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Accompanying a four-part BBC series marking the 40th anniversary of the Falklands War, Halls' gripping and accessible volume - jam-packed with electrifying tales of derring-do - provides the definitive history of the Royal Marines.
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Charting the fascinating life and extraordinary achievements of one of the most famous Black Victorian Britons, Helen Rappaport's deeply-researched biography pays long-due tribute to Mary Seacole, as well as busting myths surrounding her life.
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The author of Hanns and Rudolf and The House by the Lake delivers a blazingly eloquent and unflinching examination of Britain's pernicious role in the slave trade through the prism of the Demerara Uprising and its aftermath.
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A true story so outlandish and improbable that it simply demands to be read, Knight's page-turning volume spotlights a network of psychic visionaries working out of a run-down 1960's mental hospital and the extraordinary effects wrought by two young 'percipients' in particular.
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Casting an authoritative eye over the nine forgotten realms of Dark Ages Britain, the author of Viking Britain paints a vivid portrait of the medieval world and examines how different the future map of Britain could have looked.
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From Ancient Gaul to Napoleon and beyond, Robb's rollicking history of France streamlines thousands of years of tumultuous events into a pulsating narrative rich in intrepid adventure.
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Ground-breaking, deeply researched and compellingly told, Hendy’s magisterial tome charts the BBC’s first hundred years during which this now global institution has shaped Britain as an indomitable force for cultural change.
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A truly fascinating account of seven non-Indians who fought for Indian independence, Rebels Against the Raj excels at providing rounded, compelling portraits of a remarkable group of individuals motivated by idealism and a strong sense of morality.
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Anderson and Hanson’s fascinating investigation into the UK’s only war crimes trial charts the interwoven lives of the accused and the main witness for prosecution ¬– two childhood friends from Belarus – in the most immersive, gripping prose.
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The Secret Barrister returns, this time mixing memoir with jaw-dropping revelation as they chronicle their path from the Bar to Inns of Court and beyond, spotlighting as ever the shocking injustices within the justice system.
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Detailing the troubling amounts of political power wielded by a very small and privileged Oxford elite, Kuper's excellently researched and vividly written account is by turns shocking, illuminating and darkly funny.
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Unequivocally debunking the myth that acts of violence towards women are merely 'isolated incidents,' the groundbreaking author of Everyday Sexism and Men Who Hate Women lays bare the patterns of systemic misogyny that result in shockingly high numbers of women losing their lives.
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This blistering polemic from the author of The Madness of Crowds investigates the ways in which vilification of the West and extreme political polarisation are used to direct attention away from iniquitous projects, and why a deconstruction of political discourse is vital for protecting democratic values.
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The trailblazing author of the Orwell Prize-winning Poverty Safari delivers an eloquent and impassioned polemic about the remoteness of Britain's political class from the people whose lives their decisions most affect.
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With piercing insight and wit, the bestselling author of former Waterstones Non-Fiction Book of the Month Moneyland delivers an urgent and eye-opening analysis of the UK’s economic history as the financial butler to the world’s oligarchs, kleptocrats, tax dodgers and criminals.
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Reclaiming the life of the man from the political totem that his name has become, Washington Post reporters Samuels and Olorunippa's definitive biography of George Floyd shines an urgent light on systemic racism and inequality in modern America.
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Detailing six high profile murder and manslaughter cases over which they have presided, an Old Bailey judge reveals the inner workings of a crown court and how we should all be invested in the judicial process that transforms so many ordinary lives.
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The former US Secretary of State deconstructs the careers of six key post-war political figures in a masterful analysis of the complexities of statecraft and the demands of modern diplomacy.
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The first volume to analyse the global importance of political strongmen across the globe, Rachman's insightful work compares and contrasts leaders from Trump to Putin to Erdogan in an attempt to get to the heart of a disturbing twenty-first-century phenomenon.
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The author of Identity and The Origins of Political Order looks at the crucial challenges that Liberalism faces in today’s world and serves up a pithy, powerful and penetrating analysis of the cases for and against its classical tenets.
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Crisscrossing the globe in an attempt to discover why our attention spans are shorter than ever, the author of Lost Connections expounds on twelve pertinent cases and offers his own theory of where things went wrong.

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Illuminating and insightful, the diaries that the last British governor of Hong Kong kept during his five-year tenure provide an unprecedented window into diplomatic negotiation at the highest level.
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In incandescent prose, the celebrated novelist ranges over topics from Afrofuturism to the lack of Black representation in Western Art and from racial passing to her own experience as the daughter of Ghanian immigrants in five magnificent essays.
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Journalist and broadcaster Anna Jones delivers a powerful manifesto for bridging the political and cultural division between rural and urban communities to make positive lasting changes to heal the environment.
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Shining a light on the murky workings of social media, the New York Times technology reporter makes a powerful case for the wholesale damage that many platforms have inflicted on the world and offers enlightening suggestions as to how we can reclaim our collective sanity.
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From Ice Age Alaska to the birthplace of humanity, palaeobiologist Halliday takes readers on a dazzling tour of deep time to view astounding ancient landscapes from all seven continents.
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The author of former Waterstones Non-fiction Book of the Month Rewild Yourself takes a visionary look at the world of plants, uncovering many little known facts and examining their interrelationship with other facets of nature in this eye-opening volume to accompany the BBC series.
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The popular geneticist and author of How to Argue With a Racist delivers a sobering, highly informative account of the eugenics movement from its origins in Darwinian evolutionary theory through its adoption by totalitarian regimes such as the Third Reich to the tech based arguments being made today.
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Shedding light on the ambitious work of the pioneering plastic surgeon Harold Gillies with the First World War soldiers who sustained facial injuries in battle, The Facemaker tells the story of how imagination and medical innovation helped to restore faces – and identities – wrecked by war.
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Tracing a path of catastrophe and cover-up through six iconic nuclear disasters, the celebrated author of Chernobyl presents a shocking saga of scientific negligence and political duplicity at its most deadly.
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Highly readable and brimming with insight, Simon Clark’s eye-opening volume tells the layered story of the air around us, discussing the contributions atmospheric science can make in the debates surrounding the climate today.
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With unparalleled insight from her 45-year career, the UK's leading forensic scientist and the author of When the Dogs Don't Bark takes the reader into the heart of the crime scene, showing how forensics really works.
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Mitchell's diagnosis of early onset dementia turned her life upside down but not in the ways that most people expect the condition to, and this bracing, optimistic and witty memoir presents another side to living with dementia which is all too rarely touched upon.
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£16.99
Hardback
5+ in stock
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Filled with empathy, resilience and hope, Vasquez-Lavado’s deeply moving memoir of climbing Mount Everest with five other young women to overcome personal trauma is a testament to the strength and healing that can be found in forming a community.
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£16.99
Hardback
10+ in stock
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In this touching and contemplative climbing memoir, Mort reflects on risk-taking, freedom and our relationship to the natural world through the lens of motherhood.
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£18.99
Hardback
10+ in stock
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Combining fascinating information about the architecture and history of Venice with beautifully rendered sketches of the floating city's canals, palazzos and iconic buildings, Rice's enchanting companion is a stunning work of travel literature to treasure forever.
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£14.99
Hardback
10+ in stock
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The author and activist behind The Book of Trespass combines exquisite woodcut illustrations with quietly subversive notes for exploring land closed off from the public by the caprice of the state.
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£16.99
Hardback
10+ in stock
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The environmentalist and diversity activist known as Birdgirl delivers a mindful, reflective and uplifting account of a life devoted to avian observation and how her passion has enabled her to cope with challenging life situations and unexpected trauma.
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£16.99
Hardback
10+ in stock
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Lifting the lid on a quiet catastrophe taking place all around the globe, Milman’s beautifully written volume is both a deeply researched investigation into the worrying patterns of change in insect populations and a celebration of these extraordinary creatures.
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£30.00
Hardback
10+ in stock
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The undoubted king of British locomotive literature turns his attention to the rise and fall of British Rail, telling a dramatic and shocking story through meticulous research and page-turning prose.
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