Top 10 Non-Fiction Books
Politics, cookery, science, wildlife and, er, Princess Margaret are all on the hot list for Christmas, according to our Muddy bookworms
Stuck for Xmas pressies for the man/woman/Grand-Mudmother who has everything? Fear not, we at Muddy have hand-picked a fantastic selection of non-fiction books for Christmas, with something for everyone. Reading light on, glasses on nose, wine in hand – this will how your recipient will spend the big day!
Year of Wonder : Classical Music for Every Day by Clemency Burton-Hill
Have you ever wanted to discover more about classical music but had no idea where to begin? Or heard a piece of music so beautiful it stops you in your tracks? Whether you are a complete novices or a lifetime enthusiast this book is perfect in suggesting how to give yourself some time every day to listen to something uplifting or beautiful, truly a classical music for all. In Year of Wonder, award-winning violinist and BBC Radio 3 presenter Clemency Burton-Hill suggests an inspirational piece of music for every day of the year, celebrating composers from the medieval era to the present day.
At My Table : A Celebration of Home Cooking by Nigella Lawson
Nigella is back with a new series and a fantastic book championing the home cook. Celebrating the food she loves to cook for friends and family, the recipes are warming, comforting, and inspirational. With new takes on classics including Chicken Fricassee and Sticky Toffee Pudding – to adventures in a host of new dishes and ingredients, from Beef and Aubergine Fattet to White Miso Hummus. With ‘make ahead’ notes and delicious cocktails this one is definitely on my Christmas wish list.
My life, Our times by Gordon Brown
A long-awaited insight into the life of Britain’s former Prime Minister and longest serving Chancellor. A candid reflection on his life, including his upbringing in Scotland, the invasion of Iraq, the 2008 global financial crisis, Scottish and European referendums and his regret that, “in the greatest peacetime challenge – a catastrophic global recession – I could not persuade the British people that the progressive policies I pushed for, nationally and internationally, were the right and fairest way to respond”. A certainty for someone’s Christmas list.
Blue Planet 11 by James Honeyborne, Mark Brownlow
Blue Planet II, which accompanies the BBC 7-part series, is a ground-breaking new look at the richness and variety of underwater life across our planet. With over 200 breath-taking photographs and stills from the BBC Natural History Unit each chapter brings to life a different habitat of the oceanic world including saltwater trees and mud volcanoes. The final chapter explores and how they were able to capture these amazing stories on film, and what the future holds for marine life based these insights.
Endurance : A Year in Space, A Lifetime of Discovery by Scott Kelly
A vivid look at a year in space and stunning memoir from the astronaut who spent a record-breaking year aboard the International Space Station. This is a candid account of Scott Kelly’s remarkable voyage and colourful formative years, his rough-and-tumble New Jersey childhood and the youthful inspiration that sparked his remarkable career. Detailing effects on both his physical and mental health and the isolation from his family Kelly has a message of hope for the future, in his personal story, we see the triumph of the human imagination, the strength of the human will, and the boundless wonder of the galaxy.
A Poem for Every Day of the Year by Allie Esiri
Keeping on the theme of something for everyday of the year, this book is bursting at the seams with familiar favourites and exciting new discoveries. This is a wonderful collection of poems, a little bit of magic to read on every day of the year. Reflecting the changing seasons and linking to events on key dates – funny for April Fool’s Day, festive for Christmas – these poems are thoughtful, inspiring, humbling, informative, quiet, loud, small, epic, peaceful, energetic, upbeat, motivating, and empowering.
The Infinite Monkey Cage – How to Build a Universe by Brian Cox, Robin Ince
An irreverent and inspirational celebration of science peppered throughout with pearls of wisdom from leading scientist and comedians. As with the legendary BBC Radio 4 programme this book is unmissable particularly if you want to ponder on how to build a universe ! and understand the most bizarre and powerful natural phenomena. With photographs (black and white) doodles and equations this is an exceptionally engaging read for scientists and budding scientists of all ages.
Ma’am Darling: 99 Glimpses of Princess Margaret by Craig Brown
Spilling the beans, the author covers 99 glimpses into the character of Princess Margaret comprising of essays, lists, catalogues, diaries, palace announcements, newspaper cuttings and interviews, as well as parodies of Princess Margaret. Writing that “Margaret wore her rudeness as Tommy Cooper did his fez: it was her trademark” sets the tone for a hugely interesting read particularly for lovers of royal biographies.
River Cottage Much More Veg by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall
Firstly this a beautiful book – you will want to have it in your kitchen for the photography alone! In typical Hugh style, the recipes are, foolproof and delicious. All but a handful are gluten-free, and at least half the dishes require 20 minutes (or less) hands-on work time. With recipes such as Roast squash and chickpeas with spicy apricot sauce, Hugh shows us how easy it is to make versatile, plentiful and delicious vegetables the bedrock of your diet. My colleague Rosy has already tried four recipes from this book and, to quote, ‘all have been amazing!’.
The Hidden Life of Trees : The International Bestseller – What They Feel, How They Communicate by Peter Wohlleben
With a vivid glimpse in to the secret life of trees this is a fascinating and intriguing book. The author who worked for the German forestry commission for 20 years has gathered research globally from scientists examining how trees communicate and interact with one another. Tackling the question of whether trees are intelligent, and how they communicate using the secretion of scents and sound vibrations leading to the term ‘wood-wide web’ the scientific research is easily digestible. A walk in the woods will never be the same again ! a must have for all loves of the outdoors.