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New non-fiction for May 2018

Written by · Published Apr 30, 2018

Girl on the Line, The Life and Rhymes of Benjamin Zephaniah, Dare to Tri

The Language of Kindness: a nurse’s story, by Christie Watson

The non-fiction bestseller charts have been dominated by books by doctors recently. Here, Christie Watson tells her story of 20 years of nursing. This should appeal to fans of When Breath Becomes Air, by Paul Kalanithi and Do No Harm: stories of life, death and brain surgery, by Henry Marsh.

Between Stone and Sky: memoirs of a waller, by Whitney Brown

This could either take off and be very popular and be serialised on Radio 4, or sit unmoving on the shelf - you decide.

“Whitney Brown was midway through her Master’s thesis and on track for an exciting position at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington when a chance meeting with a Welsh dry-stone waller at a folklife festival changed the course of her life. Within weeks Whitney had left behind her secure world in the States and was living with him in rural Wales, learning the craft of dry-stone walling.

“What started simply as a working holiday led to the swift and utter decimation of all of her previous life plans. This title mixes Whitney Brown’s extraordinary and inspiring life story with reflections on tradition, adventure, on working with one’s hands, living close to the land and, ultimately, about love in all its many forms. It is a celebration of Wales and its fascinating jumble of historical, cultural and ecological layers.”

Arnhem: the battle for the bridges, 1944, by Antony Beevor

There is still a strong demand for well-written books about the Second World War. This new book tells the gripping story of Operation Market Garden, attempting to separate the reality from the legend of heroic failure.

Eat, Drink, Run: how I got fit without going too mad, by Bryony Gordon

“Bryony Gordon was not a runner. Yet somehow, as she began to recover from the emotional rollercoaster of laying her life bare in her mental health memoir Mad Girl, she started to realise that getting outside, moving her body and talking to others for whom life was also an occasional challenge might actually help her. As she began to run further she started to see the limitations she had imposed on her life more clearly. Maybe rather than sitting on the sofa watching the world go by, fulfilling your dreams was just about standing up and taking that first step. Maybe you can do it too.

“In April 2017, less than a year after she had weighed herself at over 16 stone but stepped off the scales and started training anyway, Bryony Gordon ran all 26 and 3/4 miles of the London Marathon. Here, she shows us how extraordinary things can happen to us all, no matter what life throws at us, if we’re willing to keep going.”

The Life and Rhymes of Benjamin Zephaniah: the autobiography, by Benjamin Zephaniah

Zephaniah, best known for his performance poetry with a political edge, tells the story of his life for the first time, from protests on the streets to performing on every continent in the world within the space of the year and his friendship with Nelson Mandela.

Zephaniah is coming to the Apex in Bury St Edmunds in May as part of his book tour.

Butterfly: from refugee to Olympian, my story of rescue, hope and triumph, by Yusra Mardini

“Yusra Mardini fled her native Syria to the Turkish coast in 2015 and boarded a small dinghy full of refugees bound for Greece. When the small and overcrowded boat’s engine cut out, it began to sink. Yusra, her sister and two others took to the water, pushing the boat for three and a half hours in open water until they eventually landed on Lesbos, saving the lives of the passengers aboard.

“This is the story of that remarkable woman, whose journey started in a war-torn suburb of Damascus and took her through Europe to Berlin and from there to the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.”

Girl on the Line: life - and death - in the Metropolitan Police, by Alice Vinten

There has recently been a lot of media coverage of street crime in London. This book gives a unique insight into the life of a female constable in the city.

Dare to Tri: my journey from the BBC Breakfast sofa to GB team triathlete, by Louise Minchin

Dare to Tri charts Louise Minchin’s incredible journey as she rediscovers competitive sport after 30 years and takes her first tentative steps as a triathlete. As her performances improve, there’s a realisation that representing Team GB in her age group is a possibility and the book tells of her plucky attempt to achieve this almost-unthinkable goal. It is an adventure not without its challenges as Louise has to overcome personal nerves, a brutal training regime, the odd bike crash and the occasional drama such as swimming with jellyfish and getting stuck in a loo before a race.”

Great British Gardeners, by Vanessa Berridge

Books about gardeners are always popular with our readers and with 28 inspiring figures, this is bound to be no exception.

“From ‘Capability’ Brown, Humphry Repton and Vita Sackville-West to lesser known figures, and present-day gardeners such as Beth Chatto and John Brookes - this book brings the colourful history of British gardening to life.”

Brandon King

I work in the Suffolk Libraries Stock Team