We think: interesting and supremely relevant - and very readable!
We do not know what the future will hold. But we must make decisions anyway. So we crave certainties which cannot exist and invent knowledge we cannot have. Before President Obama made the decision to send in the Navy SEALs, his advisers offered him wildly divergent estimates of the odds that Osama bin Laden would be in the Abbottabad compound. In 2000, no one - not least Steve Jobs - knew what a smartphone was; how could anyone have predicted how many would be sold in 2020?
Humans are successful because they have adapted to an environment that they understand only imperfectly. We have developed a variety of ways of coping with the uncertainty that defines our lives.
Drawing on biography, history, mathematics, economics and philosophy, Kay and King highlight the most successful - and short-sighted - methods of dealing with an unknowable future.
Former war reporter Jack Fairweather tells the true story of Polish underground operative, Witold Pilecki, who accepted a mission in 1940 to uncover the fate of thousands of people being interned in Auschwitz.
Over the next two and a half years, Witold smuggled evidence of Nazi atrocities out of the camp, displaying unimaginable courage in the face of unspeakable horror and suffering. This meticulously researched account draws on unpublished family papers, newly released archival documents and exclusive interviews with surviving resistance fighters to show how he fought for the truth to come out.
The result is an enthralling story of resistance and heroism that deserves to be widely known.
We think: lyrical memoir of love and concern for the ocean
Reef Life is the story of how Callum Roberts, one of the world's pre-eminent marine scientists, fell in love with coral reefs. His stories are astonishing, lyrical and laced with humour. They allow us privileged access to, and understanding of, the science of our oceans and reefs. Even if you don't fancy entering the underwater world yourself, you will be inspired by the author's belief in our power to transform our behaviour and save the magical world that is the coral reef.
We think: a beautiful book to keep close or to give as a gift
Enter the world of Charlie's four unlikely friends and remind yourself of the important things in life.
The conversations of the boy, the mole, the fox and the horse have been shared thousands of times online, recreated in school art classes, hung on hospital walls and turned into tattoos. In Charlie's first book, you will find his most-loved illustrations and some new ones too...a modern fable for all ages to treasure.
We think: a great combination of places and people
Peter Fiennes follows in the footsteps of twelve inspirational writers, bringing modern Britain into focus by peering through the lens of the past.
From the wilds of Skye and Snowdon, to a big night out in Birmingham with J.B. Priestley and Beryl Bainbridge, Footnotes is a series of evocative biographies, a lyrical foray into the past, and a quest to understand Britain through the books, journals and diaries of some of our greatest writers.
We think: timely and intriguing look at where the global balance of power now lies
In this era of massively increasing globalisation, and with China ever more at the forefront of the news, does the global balance of power still lie in the West? In his critically acclaimed new book, Peter Frankopan (author of best-selling 'The Silk Roads') argues that the global power balance has shifted east. Looking at all aspects of China's relationship with the world, this accessible and thought-provoking book seeks to argue that China, not the West, calls the shots in today's world.
The Making of Poetry: Coleridge, the Wordsworths and their Year of Marvels
by Adam Nicolson
We think: wonderful combination of poetry and landscape
Award-winning writer Adam Nicolson tells the story, almost day by day, of the year in the late 1790s that Coleridge and Wordsworth produced some of their most celebrated works, including The Ancient Mariner, Kubla Khan and Lyrical Ballads.
Laced with dynamic prints by artist Tom Hammick, this is a fantastic exploration of creativity and a book to gift or treasure for yourself.
We think: absorbing history witnessed first-hand by Hastings as a young reporter
'Hastings himself says that “the literature of the Vietnam war is immense”. Why, then, add to it? It is a good question, but one to which his book provides a resounding answer. This is a work of considerable quality, marked by a possibly unique combination of military expertise, historical grasp and journalistic skill in unearthing hitherto undiscovered human stories of the war, as well as judiciously selecting from among others already known.' (The Guardian)
We think: beautifully observed classic travel writing
'A travel book of the first order. Atkins reminds a world shrunken by Google Earth that true discovery remains not only possible, but exhilarating - History, Geography, Art, Politics, all get a look in'. (Financial Times)
We think: unputdownable memoir of renowned trauma surgeon
Trauma surgeon David Nott describes his experiences at the sharp end of surgery in war and disaster zones. At times harrowing, but always compelling, a memoir of astonishing bravery and humanity in the most desperate of situations.
We think: exposes breathtaking naivety of a former age
Based on previously classified material, Roland Philipps reveals the character and devastating impact of perhaps the most dangerous soviet agent of the twentieth century. From his conversion to Communism at a young age through his stellar diplomatic career and eventual daring escape to Moscow.
We think: extraordinary and colourful wartime experiences of local heroine
Last few copies remaining of the fascinating story of Liz Eberlie, fondly remembered by many as headmistress of local Bricklehurst Manor school, previously decorated for a formidable career as successful code-breaker and senior intelligence officer in France and the Far East during WWII.
We think: behind every great man, there's a great woman (or two)
A meticulously researched and highly readable double biography of Byron's wife, Annabella Milbanke, and the daughter he never saw grow up, Ada Lovelace, who became a pioneer of computing and a feminist heroine.
We think: the truth behind Mary is every bit as dramatic as the film!
Leading Tudor historian, John Guy, offers radical interpretations of Mary Stuart's dramatic life. Previously published as "My Heart is my Own" and winner of the Whitbread Biography Award 2004 - "... now a major motion picture" as they say
We think: A beautifully written snapshot of a different life and time
Polish journalist, Ryszard Kapuscinski, describes his Cold War-era postings to India and China in the company of a translation of Herodotus' Histories, only permitted to be published after Stalin's death, which becomes a constant companion, comfort and guide.
We think: a rare book from this punk performance poet - full of wit and whimsy
Full of gems that make you think and may make you laugh out loud. From Haiku No 1 ("To freeze the moment / in seventeen syllables / is very diffic") to Bipolar Inmate Diary or The Man Who Didn't Love Elvis, Cooper Clarke moves from wit to social commentary and back to the simply whimsical.