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New non-fiction for March 2017

Written by · Published Feb 23, 2017

Who I Am, Home Cook, Gizelle's Bucket List

Who I Am, by Charlotte Rampling and Christophe Bataille

“Highly personal and packed with photographs from her personal archive, Rampling here recounts her childhood and youth as the daughter of an army officer and the memories and passions that would inspire her life and later work as an actress.”

Screen and stage actress Charlotte Rampling was born near Haverhill, making her autobiography even more interesting to Suffolk readers.

The Unaccompanied, by Simon Armitage

The Unaccompanied, Armitage’s 11th single volume, is a return to his trademark contemporary lyricism. Warm, knowing, generous, and moving, the poems in this new collection combine wit and mischief with heart-stopping honesty.”

Four Mums in a Boat, by Janette Benaddi, Helen Butters, Niki Doeg and Frances Davies

The incredible true story of four (extra)ordinary working mums from Yorkshire who decided one night over a few glasses of wine to leave their families behind for 2 months to row the Atlantic. This one has Hollywood film written all over it.

Home Cook: over 300 delicious fuss-free recipes, by Thomasina Miers

“Thomasina Miers, Guardian weekend cook and founder of Wahaca, has collected her most-loved recipes; recipes that she has fed her friends and family at her always busy kitchen table, recipes made up of family classics or food inspired by her travels and her favourite food-writers and chefs. And she has made these recipes achievable, time-friendly and fuss-free.”

Gizelle’s Bucket List: my life with a very large dog, by Lauren Fern Watt

“When 25-year-old Lauren learns that her dog and best friend Gizelle is going to die from the tumour in her leg, she resolves to spend their last months together on a never-to-be-forgotten bucket list adventure. They will eat the finest steak, play in the ocean, ride a canoe, stop for ice cream, take naps during the day, and just spend time cuddling. They will make it the best time of their lives.

“Gizelle has meant everything to Lauren - through her difficult growing up years, in her first serious relationship, and when she left Tennessee to move to New York. She has been her enormous, pavement-hogging, snuffly best friend. The dog that was non-negotiable in her life and relationships. And the dog - she now realises - who’s taught her everything.

“Their last months together teach Lauren the importance of living in the present, being able to face your fears as well as follow your heart.”

There’s more than a touch of Marley & Me about this one.

Joy of Big Knickers (or learning to love the rest of your life), by Kate Garraway

“TV and radio presenter Kate Garraway has a lot on her mind. She’s about to turn 50, which is fine (she thinks) but suddenly she seems to have MANY questions about EVERYTHING.

“Is she running out of time? Should she have had children earlier? How will she cope when they leave home? What on Earth is happening to her body? Should she be bungee jumping, skydiving… and all of those other bucket list type things? Is cosmetic surgery the norm now? What will happen to her sex life after the menopause? Is her pension big enough? Her parents cared for? The height of her career (gulp) over? And why, oh, why do her knickers keep getting bigger?

“In this revealing exploration of ageing, Kate tackles the biggest issues women in their supposed ‘prime’ face and searches for answers on their behalf, by drawing on her own experiences and those of others, consulting experts and challenging herself more than she’s ever done so before.

“This title presents an amusingly candid look at middle-age for the modern woman.”

Plot 29: a love affair with land, by Allan Jenkins

“Plot 29 is on a London allotment site where people come together to grow. It’s just that sometimes what Allan Jenkins grows there, along with marigolds and sorrel, is solace.

"”When I am disturbed, even angry, gardening has been a therapy. When I don’t want to talk, I turn to plot 29 or to a wilder piece of land by a northern sea. There, among seeds and trees, my breathing slows, my heart rate too. My anxieties slip away. I nurture small plants from seeds, like when I was small and needed someone to care for me. I offer protection from danger, as I tried to for my brother. It’s not all about healing, though it’s there in abundance, like summer beans. Sometimes it’s just the joy of growing food and flowers and sharing with people you love.”

“A personal narrative blended with beautiful descriptions of gardening and the pleasures of losing yourself in the horticultural, Plot 29 weaves together memoir and memory, from the author’s childhood to the present.”

The Stranger in the Woods, by Michael Finkel

“In 1986, 20-year-old Christopher Knight left his home in Massachusetts, drove to Maine, and disappeared into the woods. He would not speak to another human being until three decades later when he was arrested for stealing food.

“Christopher survived by his wits and courage, developing ingenious ways to store food and water in order to avoid freezing to death in his tent during the harsh Maine winters. He broke into nearby cottages for food, clothes, reading material and other provisions, taking only what he needed.

“In the process, he unwittingly terrified a community unable to solve the mysterious burglaries. Myths abounded amongst the locals eager to find this legendary hermit. Based on extensive interviews with Knight himself, this is a vividly detailed account of his secluded life and the challenges he faced returning to the world.”

Brandon King

I work in the Suffolk Libraries Stock Team