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Non-fiction picks for May 2021

by Brandon King

Take a look at our brand new non-fiction titles for May 2021.

This is an epic, intimate account of one of the greatest naval dramas of World War II. Operation Pedestal was a crucial relief mission that became an epic, bloody naval battle and a pivotal moment in the Second World War. In 1942, the Luftwaffe had a stranglehold on Malta. In the months of April and May, they dropped more bombs on the island than on London in the entire Blitz.

British attempts to bring in supplies and reinforcements were failing with heavy losses, and the people on Malta were closing in on starvation as the Axis attempted to force their surrender. Operation Pedestal saw an armada of fifty British ships, painstakingly loaded with food and medical supplies, ammunition and fuel, attempt to fight its way in convoy to the island.

The ensuing battle was brutal on both sides, Italian submarines and German planes dealing serious damage alongside the naval skirmishing.

What does the foghorn sound like? It sounds huge. It rattles. It rattles you. It is a booming, lonely sound echoing into the vastness of the sea. When Jennifer Lucy Allan hears the foghorn's colossal bellow for the first time, it marks the beginning of an obsession and a journey deep into the history of a sound that has carved out the identity and the landscape of coastlines around the world, from Scotland to San Francisco.

Within its sound is a maritime history of shipwrecks and lighthouse keepers, the story and science of our industrial past, and urban myths relaying tales of foghorns in speaker stacks, blasting out for coastal raves. Here is an odyssey told through the people who battled the sea and the sound, who lived with it and loathed it, and one woman's intrepid voyage through the howling loneliness of nature.

Perfect for anyone who needs to earn a bit of extra cash but doesn't really know how, 'Never Go Broke' will show readers how to buy and sell all manners of goods, irrelevant of age or value, and turn them into a tidy profit. This guide will show readers practical applications to make money right now and grow that money to either reinvest, repurpose, or help circumnavigate financial difficulties.

Full of tips, tricks, advice and practical strategies you can use to make money by selling the everyday items all around you - nothing could be more useful in today's tricky economic reality.

  • Noise by Daniel Kahneman

This is a book about how to make better decisions. We make thousands of decisions every day, from minute choices we don't even know we're making up to great, agonising deliberations. But when every decision we make is life-changing, the way we reach them matters. And for every decision, there is noise.

This book teaches us how to understand all the extraneous factors that impact and bias our decision-making - and how to combat them and improve our thinking. Filled with new science, fascinating case studies and revealing practical examples, the skills this book teaches can be readily used by private or public institutions, by schools, hospitals, businesses, judges and in our everyday lives

Following the international critical acclaim of 'The Cost of Living', this final volume of Deborah Levy's 'Living Autobiography' is an exhilarating, thought-provoking and boldly intimate meditation on home and the spectres that haunt it.

Learn the craft of effective storytelling with the 'Writers' & Artists' Guide to How to Write.' Novelist William Ryan introduces the techniques needed to construct, craft and draft a novel. He provides tried-and-tested examples and details on what to consider when writing for any audience, across any genre.

Each chapter tackles a key aspect of the writing process, including how to: structure a novel, develop central and subsidiary characters, create atmosphere and tension, write punchy dialogue and pacey scenes.

This is the perfect guide for any writer looking for clear and informed advice on getting their ideas on to the page from the bestselling and trusted creative writing brand

Poet, pamphleteer and beauty, Caroline Norton dazzled 19th-century society with her vivacity and intelligence. After her marriage in 1828 to the MP George Norton, she continued to attract friends and admirers to her salon in Westminster, including the widowed Prime Minister Lord Melbourne.

Racked with jealousy, George Norton took the PM to court, suing him for damages on account of his 'Criminal Conversation' (adultery) with Caroline. Despite an acquittal, Norton legally denied Caroline access to her 3 children under 7. He also claimed her income as an author for himself, since the copyrights of a married woman belonged to her husband.

Caroline channelled her energies into reform: the rights of a married woman and specifically those of a mother. Antonia Fraser portrays a woman who refused to be curbed by the personal and political constraints of her tim

In 'Going with the Boys', Judith Mackrell tells the story of how six bold and resolute women became front-line war correspondents during the Second World War. Each of them had different motives for choosing so dangerous a career: Martha Gellhorn came to war journalism to save the world; Virginia Cowles wanted to see the world; Lee Miller wanted, arguably, to save herself.

Sigrid Schulz, Clare Hollingworth and Helen Kirkpatrick, reporting for daily newspapers, were required to write about the war in a more briskly factual style. But they were no less determined to uncover the truth. Barred from official briefings, forced to dodge around the Public Relations Officers who controlled the media's movements, all six set up their own informal contacts with soldiers, found pockets of war action and snapshots of human interest which gave a different colour and often a different heartbeat to their stories.

At the age of 20, after a traumatic sexual assault trial, writer Kathryn Heyman ran away from her life and became a deckhand on a fishing trawler in the Timor Sea. The life she left behind was beyond broken.

Coming from a family of poverty and violence, she had no real role models, no example of how to create a decent life, how to have hope, how to have expectations. But she was a reader. She understood story, and the power of naming. This was her salvation.

After one wild season on board the Ocean Thief, the only girl among tough working men, facing storms, treachery, and harder physical labour than she had ever known, Heyman was transformed, able to face the abuses that she thought had broken her, able to see 'all that she had been blind to, simply to survive'.