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march 2018 - nonfiction and reference books

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Ettore Sottsass: The Glass

Published by Skira Editore 29th March 2018

The brilliant architect and designer Ettore Sottsass “made glass” from 1947 until the end of his career. This volume documents the entire period of his glass oeuvre, from the series he designed in the 1970s for Vistosi to the Memphis collections of the 1980s, the symbolic forms of the 1990s, the stunning constructions for the Millennium House in Qatar, and the famous Kachinas. The wealth of images, the analysis of design and painting together with the coeval cultural and artistic context, and the summary of works including many unpublished pieces make this volume edited by Luca Massimo Barbero the first scientific study on Ettore Sottsass’s works in glass and crystal

I don't know anything about architecture but I suspect that Sotsass is up there with the very best of them, and it's not really much of a surprise that he had a hobby which involved making pieces out of glass. This amazing fine art book is a treasure house of information and photographs of Sotsass's worj - it's a little like a ticket to an exhibition, the quality of the printing is that good! An expensive book, but for real fine art lovers, just a bit of pocket money. Astunding iages of pieces created by a remarkable man!


Greg Morse: The Seventies Railway

Published by Amberley 15th February 2018

For Britain’s railways, the 1970s was a time of contrasts, when gallows humour about British Rail sandwiches and delayed trains often overshadowed real achievement, like ‘parkway’ stations and high-speed travel. The Seventies Railway begins with the optimism of the new decade. It describes the electrification of the West Coast Main Line, the introduction of new computer systems, and the giving of grants for socially vital services. But while speeds were climbing, and finances appeared to be improving, Monday morning misery remained for many, as rolling stock aged and grew ever more uncomfortable. This was the BR of Travellers-Fare, Freightliners and peak-capped porters. It was beset with strikes and began with the aftershock of Beeching, but ended with the introduction of 125-mph services and the promise of even faster trains to come. This book is part of the Britain’s Heritage series, which provides definitive introductions to the riches of Britain’s past, and is the perfect way to get acquainted with the seventies railway in all its variety.

Amberley's Britain's Heritage series is one of the finest series of its kind ever published, and this latest volume, concetrating on British Rail after the decimation of the Beeching recommendations, paints a picture of a railway system with insufficient funding, just like now, when it's prime motivation is shareholder dividends rather than passenger safety and comfort. It was a decade of technological refinement rather than breakthroughs, and the accompanying illustrations show a network that barely copes. This is superb biopic of a railway decade in mostly conservatve Britain, and a worthy addition to this magnificent series.



Serge Gleizes: Azzaro - Fifty ears of Glitter

Published by Abrams 27th February 2018


Fashion designer Loris Azzaro embodied an era. His fashion house, founded in Paris in 1967, was known for visionary silhouettes, slinky silk jerseys, daring cut-outs, and ornate beading and embroidery. Starting with his wife and muse Michelle, Azzaro (b. Tunisia, 1933; d. Paris, 2003) created clothes for beautiful women― among them Sophia Loren, Raquel Welch, Marisa Berenson, Isabelle Adjani, Kate Winslet, Marion Cotillard, and Nicole Kidman. His style was seductive and modern, imbued with audacity and Parisian elegance. He created both mens’ and womens’ collections, and became well known for his perfumes. Filled with interviews with people who knew and worked with Azzaro, this sumptuous new book focuses on themes important to the designer: style, inspiration, contemporaneity, perfumes, and family. The stunning illustrations include photographs from the Azzaro archives by Helmut Newton, Guy Bourdin, and other well-known fashion photographers, as well as magazine covers from Vogue, Elle, and more.

If I know little about architecture, I know nothing at all abiout fashion, and long may it remain that way. But even I know what looks good - I've rarely seen anything approaching nice fashions in the rare glimpses I've seen on TV news about British Fashion week - everything looks like it's been designed by a lunatic! But Loris Azzaro's designs, mostly evening dresses from what I can gather from the accompanying text and beautiful photographs, he was enorously talented and a brilliant dress designer. For people who are interested in fashion, this is a wonderful essay into the life of a man who set out to please rather than to shock. For anyone else, like me, it's another beautiful collection of photographs of the rich and famous dressed in finery designed by one of the world's greatest designers. An extraordinarily beautiful collection of photos of people, some of whom you might recognise....




Dave Wardell with Lynne Barrett-Lee: Fabulous Finn

The Brave Police Dog Who Came Back From the Brink

Published by Quercus 8th February 2018

The Inspirational Life of Britain's Bravest Dog

Winner of the 2017 Daily Mirror Animal Hero of the Year Award.


Hertfordshire, October 5th 2016. At around 2 a.m., PC Dave Wardell and his dog, PD Finn, were trying to apprehend a robbery suspect when he turned around and attacked them. Finn was stabbed with a ten-inch-bladed knife, both through his chest, via his armpit and then - the knife bound for Dave - through the top of his head. Finn no doubt saved Dave's life, but the race was on to try and save Finn's. Dave Wardell's heartfelt memoir charts an incredible journey of friendship and loyalty. It is a celebration of the bond between one man and his dog, from when Dave collected Finn from his kennels at just nine months old, all the way through to Finn's recent and hard-earned retirement. The book charts the career of a highly trained, highly decorated dog. In his time on the job Finn tracked offenders of all kinds; found missing children; tackled armed offenders; saved lives. But Finn isn't just a police dog - he's also a cherished family pet and this is his remarkable, life-affirming story.


There is one other book that I have read that actually moved me to tears, and that is Black Beauty, by Anna Sewell. It's a book about animal cruelty. Fabulous Finn isn't really about animal cruelty, but it is about the strange and unprincipled way in which the powers that be hold service dogs and other animals, such as horses, of course. They are, for some reason, not considered to be sentient beings, but rather as objects. It's for this reason that the cowardly knife-wielding brute who attacked PC Dave Wardell and Finn got a ridiculous, insulting, paltry sentence. Dave's story is moving, because Finn is part of his family. Because he cared so deeply about Finn as he lay dying that all he could think of was to save the life of the dog he loved so much. I know a little of how that feels, having lost one of my treasured border collies eighteen months ago to lymphoma. My wife and I have never got over the loss of Holly, and I know Dave would have been just as broken hearted had he lost Finn to that vicious attack. This terrible incident took place on our original home patch, in Stevenage. Finn was first taken to Roebuck Vets, the practice that took care of all our dogs and cats when we lived in Stevenage for thirty-odd years. Probably not the same vet, but it sort of resonated with me as I read this wonderful book. Anyone who genuinely loves animals will treasure this book. The kind of people who go out shooting rabbits, foxes, squirrels and game birds won't be the slightest bit interested, because animal life, for them, is something that's put there for target practice. Finn's Law, a law that would rectify this appalling situation regarding how service animals are treated, has not yet made it on to the statute books, and the cowardly bastard that attacked Dave and Finn got just a few months in jail for his heinous crime. It's a shame people don't feel the same way about animal cruelty as they do about sexual harassment, which is grabbing all the headlines right now. There's no one to speak up for Finn - a sure indication that our priorities have been sadly diverted. This wonderful book goes a long way towards helping to put that right. The more people who read it will help alert others to this ridiculous situation and lead ultimately to the passing of finn's Law. It's a beautiful book, a story about pure love and devotion, and yes, it made me cry.


Linda Parker: A Seeker After Truths

Published by Casemate 15th January 2018

Geoffrey Studdert Kennedy became one of the most famous army chaplains of the First World War, earning the nickname ‘Woodbine Willie’ because of his habit of giving out both cigarettes and bibles to the men at the front. During the war he also earned the reputation of an unconventional preacher, who kept men spellbound with his passionate oratory. He believed that the place of the army chaplain in battle was near the action, with his troops, and earned a Military Cross for bravery at the Battle of Messines. It was during the war that he began writing the prose and poetry that were to make him famous. However, there was much more to the life of this talented and unusual priest than his war service. In his pre-war parochial ministry he had a definite bias to the poor, working in parishes with a high proportion of slum areas and poverty-stricken populations. In these parishes he became known for his ability to relate to all kinds of people and provide material and pastoral help, often at the expense of his own material possessions. He also developed a reputation as an excellent preacher, both in churches and at outdoor pitches. After the war, with a high standing amongst ex-service men and as a bestselling author, he took on preaching and speaking engagements in all parts of the country, becoming in 1921 a full time speaker for the Industrial Christian Fellowship, whilst continuing to write popular books which came honestly to grips with the post-war realities of life in Britain and the difficulties and rewards of the Christian faith in accessible terms. This book accesses previously unused material to examine Studdert Kennedy’s life in all its aspects, looking at his significance as an army chaplain, priest, theologian, author and public figure and assessing his impact on church life, industry and society before his early death in 1929. His life and achievement are examined in the context of Britain in the first half of the 20th century, assessing his legacy to the church and to society.


This is a brilliant and moving tribute to aman of the cloth who actually made a difference to people's lives both on and off the battlefield. Inspirational and interesting biography who served his country, his King and his God well.

Sasha Prood: Water Color Workshop

Published by Abrams 6th February 2018

Learn to paint gorgeous contemporary art by practicing watercolor technique directly in this instructional sketchbook. Through 100 different experiments, artist Sasha Prood teaches you traditional techniques like wet-on-dry, wet-on-wet, and flat washes, and also encourages you to play with the paint through colorful ombrés, unique bloom textures, and added elements like salt and sponging. Each experiment is accompanied by Sasha’s beautifully painted examples and space to practice your skills on the thick pages of the sketchbook. Sasha makes watercolors accessible by setting you up to paint a series of practice swatches before attempting to make final art and she emphasizes experimentation with color and technique so that you can learn to enjoy and embrace all the unique qualities of watercolor.


This remarkable book will appeal to people of all ages with a penchant for taking up water colour painting. Sasha is an exceptional teacher and the advantage of being able to paint in the book itself is a huge bonus.

Molly Hatch: Thinking of You

Published by Abrams 6th February 2018

This book offers a fresh take on the Victorian notion of expressing oneself with the symbolic language of flowers. Thinking of You offers a soothing array of blooms with empathetic meanings. Each spread features a flower that “flips up” from the page, a brief description of the flower’s symbolism, and its special message for the recipient. When all of the blossoms are popped up, the book can be displayed on a desk just like a vase of flowers.


I have the greatest respect forpeople who design books of this complexity. I think that the end result will be more appealing to children than to adults, but nevertheless, the architecture of this book is amazing.


Jane Gulliford Lowes: The Horsekeeper's Daughter

Published by Matador 28th January 2018

A small girl’s fascination with a battered old box of letters and photographs from a pioneer family in Queensland leads to the discovery of a tale of industrial unrest in the mining communities of County Durham in the 1880s.

Covering the years 1880-1942 and chronicling poverty, exploitation, destitution, adventure, love, tragedy and an incredible coincidence, The Horsekeeper’s Daughter tells the true story of the County Durham mining village of Seaham, its people, and one remarkable woman. Twenty two year old Sarah Marshall left the Durham pit villages in 1886 and travelled alone to start a new life on the far side of the world. Spanning ten thousand miles, the narrative weaves between County Durham and Queensland, and explores the lives of ordinary folk who faced extraordinary circumstances. 

The book unravels the social, political and economic factors which resulted in thousands of British women leaving their homes and families behind for the new state of Queensland, through the government-sponsored Single Female Migrant Programme. The prejudices, hardships and challenges these young women encountered on arrival in Australia are revealed. The experiences of Sarah and her family are paralleled with those of the loved ones she left behind in County Durham, as they faced their own struggles through times of political upheaval and financial deprivation. 

Drawing upon family links, original letters and photographs, The Horsekeeper’s Daughter offers a unique perspective on the forgotten story of a working class girl, and the experiences of the hundreds of young North East women who left North East England and sailed to Australia to forge new lives in the late 19th Century.


Lara Weiss: The Coffins of the Priests of Amun

Published by Sidestone Press 15th February 2018

Ancient Egyptian coffins provided a shell to protect the deceased both magically and physically. They guaranteed an important requirement for eternal life: an intact body. Not everybody could afford richly decorated wooden coffins. As commodities, coffins also pl ayed a vital role in the daily life of the living and marked their owner’s taste and status. Coffin history is an ongoing process and does not end with the ancient burial. The coffins that were discovered and shipped to museums have become part of the National heritages. The Vatican Coffin Project is the first international research project to study the entire use-life of Egyptian coffins from an interdisciplinary perspective. This edited volume presents the first Leiden results of the project focusing on the lavishly decorated coffins of the Priests of Amun that are currently in the collection of the Dutch National Museum of Antiquities. Six chapters, written by international specialists, present the history of the Priests of Amun, the production of their coffins and use-life of the coffins from Ancient Egypt until modern times. The book appeals to the general public interested in Egyptian culture, heritage studies, and restoration research, and will also be a stimulating read for both students and academics.


I have to say that Egyptology remains one of my passions, as it has done right through my adult life - this is a most fascinating book, aimed at all levels of ability, but will probably resonate more with academics, and for me, there are simply not enough illustrations of the type that send a shiver down your spine.

James Moore: Murder By Numbers

Published by The History Press 31st January 2018

What is the connection between the number 13 and Jack the Ripper? Why was the number 18 crucial in catching Acid Bath murderer John George Haigh? And what is so puzzling about the number 340 in the chilling case of the Zodiac killer? The answers to all these questions and many more are revealed in a unique, number-crunching history of the ultimate crime. James Moore’s Murder by Numbers tells the story of murder through the centuries in an entirely new way … through the key digits involved. Each entry starts with a number and leads into a different aspect of murder, be it a fascinating angle to a case or revealing insights into murder methods, punishments and, of course, the chilling figures behind the most notorious killers from our past. From the grizzly death toll of the world’s worst serial killer to your own odds of being murdered, this guide will appeal to the connoisseur of true crime and the casual reader alike.


This amazing and intriguing collection of numerological facts relating to some of the world's most infamous and famous murders will fascinate you. I can't say that I understood everything, but the coincidences with numbers are too many and too complex to ignore.


MasterChef Sensational Puddings

Published by Dorling Kindersley 1st February 2018

Cook like a MasterChef pro in your own kitchen with a selection of stunning recipes from the hit BBC series, written by former contestants. MasterChef Sensational Puddings ensures that you finish your dinner party on a show-stopping high. Each recipes comes complete with stunning pictures of the finished dish, with step-by-step photographs to guide you through any tricky technique and presentation know-how. With delicious dishes such as gooey chocolate cake with spiced plum coulis, or citrus meringue tart with cinnamon cream, this clever little cookbook will help you win in the kitchen and make entertaining easy.


I have bad news for myself - the 175th series of Masterchef begins its new run next week with another three million episodes taking up twenty-four hours of television every day for the foreseeable future. You will gather from this that I dislike Masterchef. Some among you will say, why watch it? My answer to that is that I have a wife who likes it, and we watch TV as a couple, so will end up watching with her, all nine thousand episodes of this year's competition. Having said all that, on to this book. The illustrations are superb and might have been mouthwatering had they really been of sensational puddings and not of things that don't go together and are mostly, technically beyond the capabilities of most people. I don't dislike the book - in fact I prefer books to TV cookery shows as they don't hog the schedules - but they simply don't appeal to me in the way that an apple pie or crumble would.


The Bible Book

Published by Dorling Kindersley 1st March 2018

Learn more about the ideas and beliefs key to the teachings of the most widely printed religious book of all time, in this perfect introduction to The Bible. The Bible Book features breakdowns of some of the most well-known passages ever written from The Bible. Looking at more than 100 of the most important Old and New Testament stories through beautiful and easy-to-follow spreads, The Bible Book profiles key figures, from Adam and Eve to Peter and Paul, locations, such as Jerusalem and Rome and essential theological theories, like the Trinity, to help create a clear insight into Christianity. Packed with biblical quotes, flowcharts and infographics explaining significant concepts clearly and simply, The Bible Book is perfect for anyone with an interest in religion.

Lately, I have been searching for an answer to a fundamental question I have about the Bible, which is why the God of the Old testament went such an astonishing transformation from a God of hate and revenge and sacrifice, to, all of a sudden, a God of love, and peace, and forgiveness. Sadly, this book doesn't give me the answer, but it does explain many other things in the Bible and is a joy to read and look at, with superb illustrations and text.


Dorling Kindersley Great Paintings

Published by Dorling Kindersley 1st March 2018

From works by Botticelli and Raphael to Salvador Dali and Frida Kahlo, discover the paintings that have shaken the art world through the centuries and across continents. Great Paintings takes you on your own personal gallery tour of over 60 of the world's best-loved paintings. Unlock the hidden meanings and symbols behind each painting, with over 700 photographs to bring the pictures to life and help you understand the key features, composition and techniques that have made these paintings stand out. Plus, biographies of the artists provide the background to each art work, inspiring you to paint your own picture of the historical and social context behind each masterpiece. Updated for 2018, Great Paintings is a beautiful guide to the paintings, both familiar and new, that have changed the world- it really is like having a gallery of all the great paintings at your fingertips.


This is a new, revised and updated edition of a book published by DK several years ago, and whoever chose the paintings featured has a different inrerpretation of the word "great" to mine. I have a closed mind to modern art, for starters, and find anything by Picasso etc., laughable, a ;prime example of the Emperor's New Clothes. The really good paintings are at the beginning of the book, of course, and include the great Renaissance Masters and Reformation Masters. I was taught at the Open University that I could disagree with anyone's opinion on great paintings as long as I could say why I thought something was bad, or in many cases, just outrageously stupid. It's quite simple. Their paintings are rubbish. Simple as that. A huge amount of this book is lovely, with stupendous, breathtaking paintings. But it includes a number of 20th century pieces that I simply find naive, facile, and unworthy of the appellation "great".

Scott Eyman: Hank and Jim

Published by Simon and Schuster 16th November 2017

New York Times bestselling author Scott Eyman tells the story of the remarkable friendship of two Hollywood legends who, though different in many ways, maintained a close friendship that endured all of life’s twists and turns. Henry Fonda and James Stewart were two of the biggest stars in Hollywood for forty years. They became friends and then roommates as stage actors in New York, and when they began making films in Hollywood, they roomed together again. Between them they made such memorable films as The Grapes of Wrath, Mister Roberts, Twelve Angry Men, and On Golden Pond; and Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, Destry Rides Again, The Philadelphia Story, It’s a Wonderful Life, Vertigo, and Rear Window. They got along famously, with a shared interest in elaborate practical jokes and model airplanes, among other things. Fonda was a liberal Democrat, Stewart a conservative Republican, but after one memorable blow-up over politics, they agreed never to discuss that subject again. Fonda was a ladies’ man who was married five times; Stewart remained married to the same woman for forty-five years. Both men volunteered during World War II and were decorated for their service. When Stewart returned home, still unmarried, he once again moved in with Fonda, his wife, and his two children, Jane and Peter, who knew him as Uncle Jimmy. For Hank and Jim, biographer and film historian Scott Eyman spoke with Fonda’s widow and children as well as three of Stewart’s children, plus actors and directors who had worked with the men—in addition to doing extensive archival research to get the full details of their time together. This is not another Hollywood story, but a fascinating portrait of an extraordinary friendship that lasted through war, marriages, children, careers, and everything else.

I've never paid Henry Fonda that much attention as a film actor. James Stewrt, yes, I've probably seen 90% of his films and loved most of them, in particular Rear Window. I may have seen the odd Fonda film and paid it scant attention. But this fascinating tale of a friendship that lasted the best part of fifty years, is remarkable and hugely enjoyable. Their adoption of thirty-odd stray cats, their penchant for constructing model aeroplanes from balsa wood, and their comparative successes and failures as they made their way up the Hollywood ladder make for a fascinating read. Superb.

Daniel Allen Butler: The First Jihad

Published by Casemate 28th February 2018

The First Jihad tells the story of Muhammad Ahmad, a Muslim religious leader in Anglo-Egyptian Sudan, and the uprising he led against British and Egyptian forces in the late nineteenth century. In 1881, Ahmad declared himself the Mahdi– the ‘Expected One’ – and travelled through Sudan, gathering support for his jihad. Initially, the Egyptian-Ottoman authorities did not take the rebellion seriously. However, in 1883, Ahmad’s army, armed only with spears and swords, overwhelmed an Egyptian force of more than 8,000 men at El Obied, and went on to defeat an even larger relief force at Sheikan. The Mahdi’s army swelled to 30,000 men, and cut off the retreating British forces at Khartoum. The British attempted to break the siege, but were eventually defeated. Charles George Gordon, the British Governor General of Sudan, was beheaded on the steps of the palace, and his head was paraded through the streets of the city. The Mahdi died shortly afterwards, yet his revolt had succeeded. The British vacated the territory for almost 15 years, and it was not until 1899 that the British returned, wishing to end the encroachment of other European powers in the region. The Mahdist forces were crushed at the Battle of Omdurman, and the great jihad was brought to an end.


This terrific book tells the story of the film Khartoum, which starred a hammy Charlton Heston and a comedic-turn Laurence Olivier, although there was plenty of spectacle in the film and it was enjoyabkle in places. I'm not surprised the film hasn't yet been remastered for Blu-Ray. But the book fills in an enormous number of gaps and is infintely more satisfying.


Robert Gellately: The Oxford Illustrated History of the Third Reich

Published by OUP 22nd February 2018

At age thirty in 1919, Adolf Hitler had no accomplishments. He was a rootless loner, a corporal in a shattered army, without money or prospects. A little more than twenty years later, in autumn 1941, he directed his dynamic forces against the Soviet Union, and in December, the Germans were at the gates of Moscow and Leningrad. At that moment, Hitler appeared ― however briefly ― to be the most powerful ruler on the planet. Given this dramatic turn of events, it is little wonder that since 1945 generations of historians keep trying to explain how it all happened. This richly illustrated history provides a readable and fresh approach to the complex history of the Third Reich, from the coming to power of the Nazis in 1933 to the final collapse in 1945. Using photographs, paintings, propaganda images, and a host of other such materials from a wide range of sources, including official documents, cinema, and the photography of contemporary amateurs, foreigners, and the Allied armies, it distils our ideas about the period and provides a balanced and accessible account of the whole era.


This is another of those books that professes to be "illustrated" but doesn't contain neraly enough illustrations - mind you, that may be a good thing, given the nature of the subject matter! It is, I'm sure, a definitive record of the Third Reich, and will come to be viewed as such over time. Just not enough illustrations for my liking.


Charlotte Dujardin: The Girl On The Dancing Horse

Published by Preface 8th March 2018

Charlotte Dujardin and her charismatic horse Valegro burst onto the international sports scene with their record–breaking performance at the 2012 Olympic Games in London. The world was captivated by the young woman with the dazzling smile and her dancing horse. The YouTube clip of their Freestyle performance has since had over 1.7 million views, and Dujardin is considered the dominant dressage rider of her era. When Valegro (affectionately called "Blueberry") retired from competition at the end of 2016, his farewell performance at the Olympia Grand Hall sold out and the dark bay gelding received a standing ovation. Dujardin began riding horses at the age of two, but dressage was the domain of the rich–not the life a girl from a middleclass family was born into. Her parents sacrificed to give her as many opportunities as they could, and she left school at 16 to focus on equestrian competition. It was at 22, when she was invited to be a groom for British Olympian Carl Hester, that she met the equine partner that would change her fortune. This is the story of an outsider, an unconventional horse, and the incredible bond that took them to the top.


I have always enjoyed watching showjumping and the other disciplines of horsemanship these amazing riders display. Charlotte Dujardin tells an amazing story of a bond with an altogether amazing horse that propelled her to Olympic Gold Medal stardom at the 2012 Olympics. A superb story, well told.


Pamela A Sambrook: The Servants' Story

Published by Amberley 15th February 2018

Trentham was the Staffordshire home of the Leveson-Gower family, the Dukes of Sutherland. In the mid-nineteenth century they were said to be the richest non-royal family in Britain. They owned many other country houses and estates, bound to each other by a large and loyal staff. The resulting archive is huge. Combining these records with family history sources, it is possible to reimagine some of the triumphs and tragedies of their servants and managers: who they were, what they did and what happened to them after their time at Trentham ended. With its strict social structure and its sometimes bizarre regulations, the world of Trentham in the 1830s can seem alien to us now, but families are always families, responsibilities can always be burdensome and sorrow is always around the corner. The stories of Trentham’s servants are not just family histories; they reveal experiences and unravel relationships to which we can all relate, and demonstrate how people coped in the face of the immense change to country-house life in the early years of the transition into a modern nation.


Author book for fans of Downton Abbey, this time featuring Trentham, the hoe of the Leveson-Gower family, who don't sound like aristocracy, but apparently are. The tales of above and below stairs happenings are a sheer delight for people like me who love this sort of thing, and for those of us who miss Downton Abbey, this is surely the next best thing.



Marcus Chown: Big Bang - Ladybird Expert Series

Published by Ladybird 22nd March 2018

Part of the new Ladybird Expert series, The Big Bang is an accessible, authoritative, and entertaining introduction to the greatest discovery in the history of science - the birth of the universe. Written by award-winning broadcaster and cosmologist Marcus Chown, The Big Bang details how 13.82 billion years ago all matter, energy, space - and even time - erupted into being in a titanic fireball. In this mind-bending book, you'll learn how scientists have approached the questions: What was the big bang? What drove the big bang? And what happened before the big bang? The evidence it turns out, is all around us... Written by the leading lights and most outstanding communicators in their fields, the Ladybird Expert books provide clear, accessible and authoritative introductions to subjects drawn from science, history and culture. For an adult readership, the Ladybird Expert series is produced in the same iconic small hardback format pioneered by the original Ladybirds. Each beautifully illustrated book features the first new illustrations produced in the original Ladybird style for nearly forty years.






Sam O Opeche: Don't Get Married Until You Are Single

Published by Matador 28th January 2018

Sam Opeche didn't know his mum until he turned 19. His parents were divorced when he was just six. Something always told him that growing up wouldn't have been so difficult if his parents had stayed together. He found that there's his dad's side of the story, his mum's side of the story, and then there's the truth. Since then, a lot of his time has been spent on trying to search for the truth. Could his parent's divorce have been prevented or was it inevitable? Could there have been something different in the mix that may have helped them weather the storms, or could it be that they were just not made for each other? It wasn't until years later, as he faced up to his own personal challenges in marriage, that it dawned on him what the solution could have been. `Don't Get Married Until You Are Single', but if you are married already, seek singleness and self-love and your marriage will blossom to new dimensions of fulfilment.







The small print: Books Monthly, now well into its twentieth year on the web, is published on or slightly before the first day of each month by Paul Norman. You can contact me here. If you wish to submit something for publication in the magazine, let me remind you there is no payment as I don't make any money from this publication. If you want to send me something to review, contact me via email and I'll let you know where to send it.