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New non-fiction books for April

by Brandon King

Take a look at our latest non-fiction titles for April 2024, including guides on how to create the perfect garden to the untold story of Tudor ladies-in-waiting.

Looking for something new to read? Browse our recommendations.

The Book-Makers: A History of the Book in 18 Remarkable Lives, by Adam Smyth

A celebration of 550 years of the printed book, told through the lives of 18 extraordinary men and women who took the book in radical new directions: printers and binders, publishers and artists, paper-makers and library founders. This is a story of skill, craft, mess, cunning, triumph, improvisation, and error.

Borrow The Book-Makers

Knife: Meditations After an Attempted Murder, by Salman Rushdie

Speaking out for the first time, and in unforgettable detail, about the traumatic events of August 12th, 2022, Salman Rushdie answers violence with art, and reminds us of the power of words to make sense of the unthinkable. 'Knife' is a gripping, intimate, and ultimately life-affirming meditation on life, loss, love, art - and finding the strength to stand up again.

Borrow Knife

The Wealth Money Can't Buy: The 8 Hidden Habits to Live Your Richest Life, by Robin S. Sharma

In a world fixated on the conventional notion of success - marked by relentless hustle, sacrificing wellbeing and missing out on cherished moments with loved ones in the pursuit of fame and material possessions - Robin Sharma introduces a paradigm shift.

Borrow The Wealth Money Can't Buy

How to Be a Bad Botanist, by Simon Barnes

Self-confessed bad birdwatcher Simon Barnes thought he knew nothing about plants. He didn't object to them: trees are interesting, because birds perch in them; plants are useful as they create habitats and birds live in habitats. But while admiring the tenacity of some sea kale and yellow-horned poppy to thrive on an inhospitable shingle beach, he was struck by a truth - it all begins with plants.

In this funny and inspiring book, Simon Barnes tells the story of a lifelong relationship with plants, and the realisation of the fact. Taking us from thinking ourselves ignorant about plants, to gently starting to observe seasons, patterns and places, Barnes guides us on a journey to better observing the beauty and diversity of the natural world.

Borrow How to Be a Bad Botanist

A Year in a Small Garden: Creating a Beautiful Garden in Any Space, by Frances Tophill

'A Year in a Small Garden' follows Frances Tophill as she creates her new garden in a terraced house in Devon. Working in a small space, the book documents her journey to bring life to her garden, including tips and tricks for you to achieve similar results in whatever spaces you have at home. The book is structured around the stages of building her small garden, and branches out to include small community gardens Frances works with, as well as projects to create in small spaces at home - with a focus on growing food and planting in a sustainable, environmentally friendly way.

Featuring new photography shot throughout the year, as well as Frances's own journal and garden notebooks, this book will not only give you an insight into Frances's journey creating her first garden - but will help you create a beautiful, productive, garden at home.

Borrow A Year in a Small Garden

Every Body Should Know This: The Science of Eating for a Lifetime of Health, by Federica Amati

In theory, we all know what works and doesn't work for our bodies; we know that we should eat more vegetables, consume less refined sugar and saturated fat, avoid ultra-processed foods. We know that what we choose to eat has a direct consequence on our health and our happiness. But we have lost touch with our food; it's produced far away from our day to day lives and often arrives prepared and pre-packed to our homes, our desks and our supermarkets. We have built a food environment that is based on food marketing and arbitrary targets, instead of responding to our biology and nourishing ourselves as individuals.

Dr Amati explains how to make the most beneficial decisions for maintaining good health at every stage of life. This book combines nutrition, medical science and public health advice to create a simple guide to what we should all know about our food and how it affects us.

Borrow Every Body Should Know This

The Waiting Game: The Untold Story of the Women Who Served the Tudor Queens, by Nicola Clark

Who taught Catherine of Aragon English, helped Anne Boleyn get dressed in the morning, discussed sex with Anne of Cleves, or pushed religious revolution with Kathryn Parr? Every queen had ladies-in-waiting. Her confidantes and chaperones, they are the forgotten agents of the Tudor court. Ever present and yet hidden behind the scenes, these women held the secrets and the hearts of some of the Tudor period's most powerful men and women.

Experts at survival, negotiating the competing demands of their families and their queen, the ladies-in-waiting of Henry VIII's wives were far more than decorative 'extras': they were serious political players who changed the course of history, and four of them became queen themselves. 'The Waiting Game' is the first to tell their story.

Borrow The Waiting Game

Creating Effective Spaces: Declutter, Organise and Maintain Your Space, by Natasha Swingler

An effective space is one that works for you, liberating you to live the life you want. Natasha takes you around the home and shares her hacks from the kitchen to the bedroom via the office and entranceway. Never again will you need to step over your 'floordrobe', rifle through the shoe rack, or spend ten minutes searching for keys. Applying Natasha's 'house rules' to every room, drawer and cupboard, you'll learn to ditch the complex systems, keep things where you use them and set all-important boundaries throughout your home.

Taking the questionnaire at the start of the book will reveal the priorities for your living space. Then, by implementing daily routines, simple systems and practical processes tailored to your needs, you will create an ideal stress-free environment that looks good, too.

Borrow Creating Effective Spaces

Bored of Lunch: The Health Air Fryer Book, by Nathan Anthony

From Nathan Anthony, author of three instant no.1 bestsellers, comes a brand new book of quick, easy and healthy recipes for your air fryer. With dishes ready in 30 minutes or less (including prep time!), this is effortless cooking to maximise flavour while minimising cooking time. Every recipe is calorie counted, so you can have lighter versions of your favourites dishes on the table in just half an hour, making mealtimes and life that bit easier.

Borrow Bored of Lunch

Second Nature: The Story of a Naturalist's Garden, by Susie White

In a hidden valley tucked into an unspoiled corner of Northumberland lies a naturalist's garden, developed from scratch by award-winning gardener and author Susie White, her husband and friends. This is the story of how they created a remarkable oasis, a place as alive as it is beautiful. Susie's vision and passion unfold as she transforms a patch of untended ground into a wildlife-friendly haven, planted with flowering perennials, trees, herbs, vegetables, and a wildflower meadow.

The spaces teem with life: owls and blackbirds, bats and mice, butterflies and bees, all drawn by pollen-rich flowers, ponds, and nesting sites. 'Second Nature' takes us through the planning and construction, and describes how she designed the garden to blend harmoniously with her natural environment.

Borrow Second Nature