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New non-fiction for August 2020

How to stay sane in an age of division, Diamonds at the lost and found, featherhood: on birds and fathers

Whether you're interested in vegan cooking, cricket or just want to indulge yourself in some amazing life stories, our non-fiction list for August should help you find that next read!

Vesper flights by Helen Macdonald

Animals don't exist to teach us things, but that is what they have always done, and most of what they teach us is what we think we know about ourselves. This book presents a transcendent collection of essays about the human relationship to the natural world. Helen Macdonald brings together a collection of her best loved pieces, along with new essays on topics and stories ranging from nostalgia and science fiction to the true account of a refugee's flight to the UK.

Simply: easy everyday dishes from the bestselling author of Persiana by Sabrina Ghayour

Sabrina Ghayour's new collection of unmissable dishes in her signature style, influenced by her love of fabulous flavours, is full of delicious food that can be enjoyed with a minimum of fuss.

Deliciously Ella quick & easy: plant-based deliciousness by Ella Mills

Ella's new collection shows us that vegan cooking doesn't have to be difficult or time-consuming. It's easy to embrace a plant-based lifestyle with her fuss-free, simple recipes that cater for our busy lives. Divided into 7 sections, the new book offers recipes with an approximate cooking time, showing you how to make simple meals that will satisfy your taste buds and inspire you every day.

Secret agent man: Ronnie Reed, the man behind Agent Zigzag and Operation Mincemeat by Nicholas Reed

Major Ronnie Reed was case officer for the infamous Agent Zigzag and the face behind Operation Mincemeat. But how did this young BBC radio operator, with no money and qualifications to speak of, reach such an important position in his twenties? Why did Agent Zigzag (Eddie Chapman) give Ronnie his Iron Cross, awarded to Zigzag by Hitler himself? And how, within ten years following the Second World War, did Ronnie find himself heading the anti-Russian department of MI5, dealing with notorious spies such as Philby, Burgess and Maclean? In an interview filmed in 1994, shortly before Ronnie's death, he revealed his remarkable story to his son, Nicholas. Here Nicholas Reed reproduces that interview and fills in the background of 'The Man Never War.'

The spirit of cricket by Mike Brearley

Cricketing lawmakers are interested in the overall appeal of the game to players and spectators alike. Mike Brearley's book will alternate between issues and examples within the game, as well as broader issues such as the spirit and letter of the law. It will discuss the issue of how far what purports to be justice (in law or in spirit) may or may not be the expression of the powerful within the activity or within society. It will also contrast cheating and corruption, and will reflect on the nature of penalties in regard to each. It will discuss the significance of the notion of the spirit of the game for umpires, groundsmen, administrators, media and spectators - as well of course as for players.

Featherhood: on birds and fathers by Charlie Samson Gilmour

One spring morning, a young magpie fell from its nest in a Bermondsey junkyard and landed in Charlie Gilmour's life. Abandoned by its parents, the black-and-white bird was unable to fly or even feed itself. It found an unlikely new magpie-father in Charlie, an accident-prone human as qualified for the role as a bird for babysitting. Terrified and starving, the magpie screamed for food every twenty minutes. Raw mincemeat. Grubs. Spiders. The bird grew in strength, and by the time it was well enough to spread its wings, an unbreakable bond had been forged across species. The magpie flew away only to return - a feathered new member of the family. Charlie didn't know it at the time, but birds like this already were part of his family.

Diamonds at the lost and found: a memoir in search of my mother by Sarah Aspinall

For readers of 'Hideous Kinky', 'Dadland' and 'Bad Blood'; the astonishing, beguiling story of Sarah Aspinall's harum scarum childhood, and a love letter to a woman who defied convention to live a life less ordinary.

How to Stay Sane in an Age of Division: From the Booker shortlisted author of 10 Minutes 38 Seconds in This Strange World by Elif Shafak

Short manifesto from the Turkish author. A rallying call for hopefulness and the power of stories.