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New non-fiction for November 2018

Written by · Published Oct 30, 2018

Becoming, The New Silk Roads, The Light in the Dark

Becoming, by Michelle Obama

I’m expecting this one to be everywhere in the media. The former first lady tells her story.

“Michelle Obama invites readers into her world, chronicling the experiences that have shaped her - from her childhood on the South Side of Chicago to her years as an executive balancing the demands of motherhood and work, to her time spent at the world’s most famous address. With unerring honesty and lively wit, she describes her triumphs and her disappointments, both public and private, telling her full story as she has lived it - in her own words and on her own terms.”

Brutally Honest, by Melanie Brown & Louise Gannon

The artist formerly known as ‘Scary Spice’ tells all in this no holds barred biography.

“As one-fifth of the iconic Spice Girls and judge on The X Factor and America’s Got Talent, Melanie Brown, a.k.a. Scary Spice, has been an international star since her twenties. Brutally Honest is an exposé of the struggles and acute pain that lay behind the glamour and success.

“With deep personal insight, remarkable frankness and trademark Yorkshire humour, the book removes the mask of fame and reveals the true story behind the Spice Girls, as well as the horror of her most recent marriage and her 10 year struggle to be free.”

The New Silk Roads: the present and future of the world, by Peter Frankopan

“When The Silk Roads was published in 2015, it became an instant classic. A major reassessment of world history, it compelled us to look at the past from a different perspective.

The New Silk Roads brings this story up to date, addressing the present and future of a world that is changing dramatically. Following the Silk Roads eastwards, from Europe through to China, by way of Russia and the Middle East, The New Silk Roads provides a reminder that we live in a world that is profoundly interconnected.

“In an age of Brexit and Trump, the themes of isolation and fragmentation permeating the Western world stand in sharp contrast to events along the Silk Roads since 2015, where ties have been strengthened and mutual cooperation established. Peter Frankopan takes a fresh look at the network of relationships being formed along the length and breadth of the Silk Roads today”

The Light in the Dark: a winter journal, by Horatio Clare

“As November stubs out the glow of autumn and the days tighten into shorter hours, winter’s occupation begins. Preparing for winter has its own rhythms, as old as our exchanges with the land. Of all the seasons, it draws us together.

“But winter can be tough. It is a time of introspection, of looking inwards. Seasonal sadness; winter blues; depression - such feelings are widespread in the darker months. But by looking outwards, by being in and observing nature, we can appreciate its rhythms.”

Nothing is Real: The Beatles were underrated and other sweeping statements about pop, by David Hepworth

Latest book from music journalist David Hepworth. As always it is well informed with obscure things you never knew about even the biggest star names. The last essay is ‘Five records that always work at weddings’.

“What’s fascinating about pop is our relationship with it. This relationship gets more complicated the longer it goes on. It’s been going on now for 50 years. David Hepworth is interested in the human side of pop. He’s interested in how people make the stuff and, more importantly, what it means to us.

“In this wide-ranging collection of essays, he shows how it is possible to take music seriously and, at the same time, not drain the life out of it. From the legacy of the Beatles to the dramatic decline of the record shop, from top tips for bands starting out to the bewildering nomenclature of musical genres, with characteristic insight and humour, he explores the highways and byways of this vast multiverse where Nothing Is Real and yet it is, emphatically and intrinsically so.”

In Miniature: how small things illuminate the world, by Simon Garfield

An investigation into what fascinates us about the small world – model railways, doll’s houses and even flea circuses. From the author who brought us the unlikely bestseller Just My Type (about fonts).

Ed Sheeran, by Sean Smith

Latest biography of Framlingham’s finest.

Casualty of War, by Jason Fox

“A true story. The events depicted took place during the last decade in an unnamed warzone. The names and locations have been redacted to protect the security of those involved and the practices of the British Special Forces. Out of respect for KIA and survivors, everything else has been told as it happened.”

Henry VIII and the Men Who Made Him: the secret history behind the Tudor throne, by Tracy Borman

The latest book from former Meet the Author subject Tracy Borman.

“Henry VIII is well known for his tumultuous relationships with women, and he is often defined by his many marriages. But what do we see if we take a different look? When we see Henry through the men in his life, a new perspective on this famous king emerges.

“Henry’s relationships with the men who surrounded him reveal much about his beliefs, behaviour, and character. They show him to be capable of fierce, but seldom abiding loyalty; of raising men only to destroy them later. He loved to be attended and entertained by boisterous young men who shared his passion for sport, but at other times he was more diverted by men of intellect, culture, and wit. In this fascinating and often surprising biography, Tracy Borman reveals Henry’s personality in all its multi-faceted, contradictory glory.”

Icons: my inspiration, my motivation, my obsession, by Bradley Wiggins

The first book from Sir Bradley since his retirement. This is a personal collection of his favourite riders and includes exclusive items from his own collection of memorabilia.

Out of the Maze: a story about the power of belief, by Spencer Johnson

Anyone who has done any type of management training will have read Who Moved My Cheese? The author of the book died recently but before he died he delivered his sequel featuring old favourites Hem and Haw.

Brandon King

I work in the Suffolk Libraries Stock Team