Take a look at our latest non-fiction titles for April 2022.
The palace papers: inside the House of Windsor, the truth and the turmoil, by Tina Brown
'Never again', became Queen Elizabeth II's mantra shortly after Diana's death. More specifically, there could never be 'another Diana' - a member of the family whose global popularity upstaged, outshone, and posed an existential threat to the British monarchy. Picking up where The Diana Chronicles left off, The Palace Papers reveals how the royal family reinvented itself after the traumatic years when Diana's blazing celebrity ripped through the House of Windsor like a comet.
Tina Brown takes readers on a tour de force journey that shows the Queen's stoic resolve as she coped with the passing of Princess Margaret, the Queen Mother and her partner for seven decades, Prince Philip, and triumphed in her Jubilee years even as the family dramas raged around her.
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Super-infinite: the transformations of John Donne, by Katherine Rundell
Sometime religious outsider and social disaster, sometime celebrity preacher and establishment darling, John Donne was incapable of being just one thing. In his myriad lives he was a scholar of law, a sea adventurer, a priest, an MP - and perhaps the greatest love poet in the history of the English language. Along the way he converted from Catholicism to Protestantism, was imprisoned for marrying a sixteen-year old girl without her father's consent; struggled to feed a family of ten children; and was often ill and in pain. He was a man who suffered from black surges of misery, yet expressed in his verse many breathtaking impressions of electric joy and love.
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An accidental icon: how I dodged a bullet, spoke truth to power and lived to tell the tale, by Norman Scott
In October 1975 an assassin tried to murder Norman Scott on Exmoor but the trigger failed and he only succeeded in shooting Scott's beloved dog, Rinka. Scott subsequently found himself at the centre of a major political scandal and became an unlikely queer icon. But this was never his intention. He was born in 1940 into a poor, dysfunctional and abusive family. Aged 16 he began an equestrian career, animals having been the one source of comfort in his childhood.
By the age of 20 he had run into debts and had suffered a nervous breakdown. In 1960 Scott began a sexual affair with Jeremy Thorpe. By the time of the attempted assassination of Scott, Thorpe was married, leader of the Liberal Party and a figure at the heart of the establishment. He was embarrassed by their former relationship and wanted to cover it up. But he failed. The assassination attempt culminated in a sensational trial in 1979.
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Bittersweet: how sorrow and longing make us whole, by Susan Cain
In this inspiring masterpiece, bestselling author Susan Cain shows the power of 'bittersweetness' - a tendency toward sorrow and longing, an acute awareness of passing time, and a piercing joy when beholding beauty. But what are the powers of a bittersweet, melancholic outlook? she asks. And why has our culture been so blind to its value? Bittersweetness recognises that light and dark, birth and death - bitter and sweet - are forever paired.
As Bittersweet shows, our obsession with happiness is not making us happy, healthy, or whole. It's only by embracing our darker emotions - as well as the light - that we discover our deepest meaning and connection, love and joy. It can change the way we work, the way we create and the way we love - for it is the hidden source of our love stories, moonshots and masterpieces.
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Unforgettable: my story of rugby, dementia and the fight of my life, by Steve Thompson
In 2003, England won the Rugby World Cup. Steve Thompson was there, in England's front row, at the heart of the match, and at the heart of the scrum - one of sport's most destructive, repetitive impacts. But the triumphs came at a cost. When rugby union turned professional, Steve was plunged into a game where raw power meant everything. Today, he remembers nothing about playing in that final. In his words, watching the tape back is like watching a ghost. The years of hurt in an era of professional meat shields, and the culture of sucking up punishment and coming back for more, have taken a terrible toll.
Steve has been diagnosed with early onset dementia, and probable chronic traumatic encephalopathy. He is in his early forties. There are days when he doesn't remember the names of his wife and four kids. But Steve doesn't hate the game of rugby. He wants to change it.
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The folding lady: tools & tricks to make the most of your space & find after value in your home, by Sophie Liard
Thousands have fallen for the Folding Lady's realistic approach to making life easier through folding and organising. Here, she brings all her ex-retailer expertise together and offers us a practical and personal guide to help us futureproof against the chaos and stress caused by the daily grind; equip us with the tools to create mental and physical 'room'; turn our focus, time and energy to the tasks and 'things' that hold true long-term after value.
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Grounding: finding home in a garden, by Lulah Ellender
Lulah Ellender's garden in Sussex is an unruly but beloved place. It is also not permanently her own. When just a few weeks after losing her mother, Lulah is told that she and her family might have to leave the rented house that they have made their home, her immediate response is to freeze, to neglect the plants she has spent years cultivating. But before long she finds herself back in the garden, tidying, planning, and planting - putting down roots even though she may not be there to see the shoots emerge.
Drawing on her intimate knowledge of this small plot of land in Sussex, as well as her visits to the celebrated gardens close by - Charleston and Sissinghurst, among others - Lulah explores the broader relationship between gardener and garden.
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About a son: a murder and a father's search for truth, by David Whitehouse
On the evening of Halloween in 2015, Morgan Hehir was walking with friends close to Nuneaton town centre when they were viciously attacked by a group of strangers. Morgan was stabbed in the heart and lungs and died hours later. He was 20 years old and worked in the local hospital, a graffiti artist who dreamed of moving away and building a life for himself by the sea. From the moment he heard the news, Morgan's father Colin Hehir began to keep an extraordinary diary.
It became a record not only of the immediate aftermath of his son's murder, but also a chronicle of his family's evolving grief, the trial of Morgan's killers, and his personal fight to reveal the truth behind the lies, mistakes and cover-ups that led to a young man with a history of violence being free to take Morgan's life that night.
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To everything a season: a view from the fen, by C.W.R.D. Moseley
A beautifully-crafted and moving personal account of the rolling seasons, as seen from a man who loves his Fenland village, its ever-changing scenery, its adaptable wildlife, its stoical local people, and its evolving farming practises over the centuries.
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Left on Tenth: a second chance at life, by Delia Ephron
When Delia Ephron's beloved first husband Jerry died of cancer in 2015, after 35 years of marriage, she struggled without him. Focusing on the day-to-day, she decided to make one small move forward and cancel Jerry's dedicated landline. This spiralled into days of frustration, prompting Delia to turn to words to process her grief and bewilderment. Her New York Times piece about the woes of customer service caught the eye of Peter, who emailed to commiserate. He was recently widowed himself and reminded Delia that years ago, when they were college students, they had been set up by her sister Nora. Cautiously, Delia replied.
Over a few short weeks of email exchanges, Delia realised that she and Peter were undeniably soulmates. Months later, still caught up in this whirlwind romance, Delia made another life-changing discovery: she was profoundly sick. This is Delia's spirted story of her second change at love.
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Looking for something new to read? Take a look at our recommendations.