The 80 best non-fiction books of all time

From eye-opening autobiographies to political exposés, broaden your horizons with our edit of the best non-fiction books of all time. 

The best non-fiction books can educate readers on vital subjects, offer fresh new perspectives, or simply give us a valuable, and often entertaining, insight into the lives of others. Here is our edit of the must-read new non-fiction, and the best non-fiction books of all time. 

Charles III

by Robert Hardman

Book cover for Charles III

In Charles III royal biographer Robert Hardman has chronicled the extraordinary first year of the new monarch’s reign. Offering up fresh insight into Charles III’s and Queen Camilla’s partnership, his much-reported relationships with his sons, and how he managed his grief for the death of his mother with his desire to show his strength to the British people, Charles III is an authoritative examination of a tumultuous year for the Royal Family, and the man at the heart of it all. 

The Green Budget Guide

by Nancy Birtwhistle

Book cover for The Green Budget Guide

If you’ve ever thrown something away because you couldn’t get a stain out, let your leftovers go to waste because you weren’t sure what to cook, or bought a “miracle” cleaning product that didn’t live up to its promises, The Green Budget Guide is for you. Packed with 101 ways to reduce the amount you spend sustainably from budgeting-expert Nancy Birtwhistle, with saving money and reducing our impact on the planet at the forefront of everyone’s minds, this book is a must-read this new year. 

Judgement at Tokyo

by Gary J. Bass

Book cover for Judgement at Tokyo

An riveting account of how Japan’s leaders were tried as war criminals after the Second Wolrd War, Judgement at Tokyo is the culmination of a decade of research by award-winning historian Gary J. Bass. Examining the weeks after Japan surrendered to the Allies, and the decision to put the country’s leaders on trial, Bass has created a page-turning courtroom drama of the trial that set the stage for post-war life in East Asia. 

Will You Care If I Die?

by Nicolas Lunabba

Book cover for Will You Care If I Die?

In a world where children murder children, and where gun violence is the worst in Europe, Nicolas Lunabba's job as a social organizer with Malmö's underclass requires firm boundaries and emotional detachment. But all that changes when he meets Elijah – an unruly teenage boy of mixed heritage whose perilous future reminds Nicolas of his own troubled past amongst the marginalized people who live on the fringes of every society. Written as a letter to Elijah, Will You Care If I Die? is a disarmingly direct memoir about social class, race, friendship and unexpected love.

Wise Animals

by Tom Chatfield

Book cover for Wise Animals

Wise Animals delves into our historical relationship and co-evolution with technology. Starting with early tool usage and fire, journeying through the invention of reading, printing, computers, the internet, and AI, the book proposes that our knowledge of technology mimics that of our ancestors towards older technologies. Tom Chatfield argues that technology shouldn't be perceived as a threat, nor should we view ourselves as its masters or victims. Instead, this human-centric view suggests that technology is an integral part of our identity, and our combined future is ours to shape.

How Life Works

by Philip Ball

Book cover for How Life Works

A change is afoot in the world of biology, with its impact changing everything we know about life. In How Life Works Phillip Ball, award-winning author and former editor of Nature, outlines what makes this new biology so exciting. From how new knowledge about the origins of life is helping scientists to reprogram cells and cure illnesses, to the potential to regenerate organs and maybe create new lifeforms in years to come, How Life Works presents a striking vision of the future of biology. 

Life's Work

by David Milch

Book cover for Life's Work

From one of the greatest American screenwriters of all time comes Life’s Work, an unflinchingly honest memoir about family and how our choices shape our lives. Written after his Alzheimer’s diagnosis, David Milch confronts his increasingly nebulous present and extraordinary past in Life's Work. From growing up in post-war America with his drug-addicted surgeon father to expulsion from Yale Law, his struggles with addiction, and how he created some of America’s best-loved cop dramas, Milch confronts his past with equal parts honesty and reflection. 

The Greatest Manifestation Book

by Vex King

Book cover for The Greatest Manifestation Book

Make 2024 the year you get the life you want with The Greatest Manifestation Book by bestselling author Vex King and social media star Kaushal. A daily journal that will help you understand and harness the power of manifestation, define your goals and intentions, practice gratitude for what you already have and understand what is holding you back, this book is the tool that will help you unlock your true potential in the new year. 

The Psychology of Stupidity

by Jean-Francois Marmion

Book cover for The Psychology of Stupidity

Edited by Jean-François Marmion, this dissection of stupidity is brought to you by some of the brightest brains around, including a Nobel Prize winner. The Psychology of Stupidity explains how lazy thinking leads to bad decisions, why even smart people can believe nonsense, how media manipulation makes us all dumber, and the pitfalls of trying to debate with a fool.

The Psychopath Test

by Jon Ronson

Book cover for The Psychopath Test

This Sunday Times bestseller is a fascinating and entertaining read. What if society wasn't fundamentally rational, but was motivated by insanity? This thought sets Jon Ronson on an utterly compelling adventure into the world of madness. Along the way Jon meets psychopaths, those whose lives have been touched by madness and those whose job it is to diagnose it, including the influential psychologist who developed the Psychopath Test, from whom Jon learns the art of psychopath-spotting. A skill which seemingly reveals that madness could indeed be at the heart of everything . . .


by Laurent Richard

Book cover for Pegasus

Pegasus is the most powerful piece of spyware ever developed, installed on a phone by as little as a missed Whatsapp call. Once on your phone it can record your calls, copy your messages, steal your photos and secretly film you, and those controlling it are able to track your daily movements. Award-winning journalists Laurent Richard and Sandrine Riguard have been investigating this for more than twenty years. Pegasus outlines this journey and explores how people's lives and privacy are being threatened by cyber-surveillance.  

Seven and a Half Lessons About the Brain

by Lisa Feldman Barrett

Book cover for Seven and a Half Lessons About the Brain

In seven short essays about that big grey blob between your ears, neuroscientist Lisa Feldman Barrett explores the origins and structure of the brain, as well as shelving popular myths about the alleged battle between thoughts and emotions, or between nature and nurture. Sure to intrigue casual readers and scientific veterans alike, the book is full of surprises, humour and revelations about human nature.

Scary Smart

by Mo Gawdat

Book cover for Scary Smart

In Scary Smart, The former chief business officer of Google outlines how artificial intelligence is way smarter than us, and is predicted to be a billion times more intelligent than humans by 2049. Free from distractions and working at incredible speeds, AI can look into the future and make informed predictions. But AI also gets so much wrong. Because humans design the algorithms that form AI, there are imperfect flaws embedded within them that reflect the imperfection of humans. Mo Gawdat, drawing on his unparalleled expertise in the field, outlines how and why we must alter the terrifying trajectory of AI development and teach ourselves and our machines to live better. 

Mo Gawdat is my life guru. His writing, his ideas and his generosity in sharing them has changed my life for the better in so many ways. Everything he writes is an enlightening education in how to be human.
Elizabeth Day

The Book of Minds

by Philip Ball

Book cover for The Book of Minds

Philosophers have spent centuries trying to understand the workings of the human mind. But, asks award-winning science writer Philip Ball, what about the non-human mind? His contention is that we need to move on from considering the human mind as the standard to judge all others. And that the more we understand about the minds of other creatures, from octopuses to chimpanzees – as well as the potential minds of computers and aliens – the more we begin to see and comprehend our own.

A Brief History of Black Holes

by Dr Becky Smethurst

Book cover for A Brief History of Black Holes

Right now, you are orbiting a black hole. The Earth goes around the Sun, and the Sun goes around the centre of the Milky Way: a supermassive black hole – the strangest and most misunderstood phenomenon in the galaxy. In A Brief History of Black Holes University of Oxford astrophysicist, Dr Becky Smethurst shares why black holes aren’t really ‘black’, that you never ever want to be ‘spaghettified’, and why beyond the event horizon, the future is a direction in space rather than in time. Full of wit and learning, this captivating book explains why black holes contain the secrets to the most profound questions about our universe.

How to Make an Apple Pie from Scratch

by Harry Cliff

Book cover for How to Make an Apple Pie from Scratch

‘If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe.’ - Carl Sagan. Inspired by Sagan’s famous line, Harry Cliff ventures out in search of the ultimate apple pie recipe, tracing the ingredients of our universe through the hearts of dying stars and back in time to a tiny fraction of a second after our universe began. If you've ever wondered what matter is really made of, or how our world began after the Big Bang, or what the very first moments of our universe looked like – then this is the book for you.

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Stay True

by Hua Hsu

Book cover for Stay True

Winner of Pulitzer Prize in Memoir, Stay True is a deeply moving and intimate memoir about growing up and moving through the world in search of meaning and belonging. When Hua Hsu first meets Ken in a Berkeley dorm room, he hates him. A frat boy with terrible taste in music, Ken seems exactly like everyone else. For Hua, Ken represents all that he defines himself in opposition to – the mainstream. The only thing Hua, the son of Taiwanese immigrants, and Ken, whose Japanese American family has been in the US for generations, have in common is that, however they engage with it, American culture doesn’t seem to have a place for either of them. 

Father and Son

by Jonathan Raban

Book cover for Father and Son

On 11 June 2011, three days short of his sixty-ninth birthday, Jonathan Raban suffered a stroke which left him unable to use the right side of his body. Learning to use a wheelchair in a rehab facility outside Seattle and resisting the ministrations of the nurses overseeing his recovery, Raban began to reflect upon the measure of his own life in the face of his own mortality. Together with the chronicle of his recovery is the extraordinary story of his parents’ marriage, the early years of which were conducted by letter while his father fought in the Second World War.

A Girlhood: A Letter to My Transgender Daughter

by Carolyn Hays

Book cover for A Girlhood: A Letter to My Transgender Daughter

This thought-provoking and moving memoir is an ode to Carolyn Hays's transgender daughter – a love letter to a child who has always known herself. After a caseworker from the Department of Children and Families knocked on the door to investigate a complaint about the upbringing of their transgender child, the Hays family moved away from their Republican state. In A Girlhood, Carolyn Hays tells of the brutal truths of being trans, of the sacrificial nature of motherhood and of the lengths a family will go to shield their youngest from the cruel realities of the world. Hays asks us all to love better, for children everywhere enduring injustice and prejudice just as they begin to understand themselves.

Finding Hildasay

by Christian Lewis

Book cover for Finding Hildasay

After hitting rock bottom having suffered with depression for years, Christian Lewis made an impulsive decision to walk the entire coastline of the UK. Just a few days later he set off with a tent, walking boots and a tenner in his pocket. Finding Hildasay tells us some of this incredible story, including the brutal three months Christian Lewis spent on the uninhabited island of Hildasay in Scotland with no fresh water or food. It was there, where his route was most barren, that he discovered pride and respect for himself. This is not just a story of a remarkable journey, but one of depression, survival and the meaning of home. 

Went to London, Took the Dog: A Diary

by Nina Stibbe

Book cover for Went to London, Took the Dog: A Diary

Two decades after she left the capital for Cornwall, Nina Stibbe made the life-changing decision to take a ‘sabbatical’ from her life and marriage to move in with her friend, writer Deborah Moggach, for a year. From spending more time with her adult children and rediscovering the London she once called home, to realising that both she and the city have changed immeasurably over the years, Stibbe charts the experience with her trademark humour and grace. Went to London, Took the Dog is a funny, deeply moving read for anyone who is dreaming of or embarking on a new chapter in their life. 

Queen of Our Times

by Robert Hardman

Book cover for Queen of Our Times

This is the definitive biography of Queen Elizabeth II by one of Britain’s leading royal authorities. With original insights from those who knew her best, interviews with world leaders and access to unseen papers, bestselling author Robert Hardman explores the full, astonishing life of our longest reigning monarch in this compellingly authoritative yet intimate biography.


by Yusra Mardini

Book cover for Butterfly

After fleeing her native Syria to the Turkish coast in 2015, Yusra Mardini boarded a small dinghy full of refugees headed for Greece. On the journey, the boat's engine cut out. It started to sink. Seventeen-year-old Yusra, her sister, and two others took to the water to push the overcrowded boat for three and a half hours in open water. Eventually, they managed to land on Lesbos, with Yusra and the others having saved the lives of those on board. Butterfly is Yusra Mardini's journey from war-torn Damascus to Berlin and from there to the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games. Discover Yusra and her incredible story of resilience and unstoppable spirit.

This Is Going to Hurt

by Adam Kay

Book cover for This Is Going to Hurt

This is Going To Hurt began life as a comedy show inspired by the junior doctors’ strike and is Adam Kay’s no-holds-barred account of his life as a junior doctor. Written in secret  between gruelling hospital shifts, the book is by turns shocking, sad and laugh-out-loud funny, while telling you everything you ever need to know - and more - about life on a hospital ward. Highlighting the long hours, poor pay and staffing problems caused by underfunding, this is a must-read for anyone who values the NHS.

I Heard What You Said

by Jeffrey Boakye

Book cover for I Heard What You Said

Jeffrey Boakye’s experience as a black student shaped the teacher he became. In I Heard What You Said, his unflinching memoir, Boakye examines his experience as a black teacher in today’s education system. From outrageous questions about his background to his ability to navigate spaces that are white by default and teaching problematic texts in English, Boayke reflects with wit and passion on why he chooses to teach in a system designed to fail millions of children each year. 

The Happiest Man on Earth

by Eddie Jaku

Book cover for The Happiest Man on Earth

This heartbreaking yet hopeful memoir shows us how happiness can be found even in the darkest of times. In November 1938, Eddie Jaku was beaten, arrested and taken to a German concentration camp. He endured unimaginable horrors for the next seven years and lost family, friends and his country.  But he survived. And because he survived, he vowed to smile every day. He now believes he is the ‘happiest man on earth’. This is his story. 

Brown Girl Like Me

by Jaspreet Kaur

Book cover for Brown Girl Like Me

Equal parts memoir and manifesto, Jaspreet Kaur equips women with the confidence and skillset they need to navigate the difficulties that come with an intersectional identity. Interviews with brilliant South Asian Women of all walks of life as well as academic insight show what life is really like for brown women in the diaspora. Pulling no punches, and tackling topics from mental health and menstruation stigma to education and beauty standards, Brown Girl Like Me will educate, inspire and spark urgent conversations for change; essential reading for South Asian women and people with an interest in feminism and cultural issues.

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Bad Blood

by John Carreyrou

Book cover for Bad Blood

How far can you get with no expertise, technology that doesn’t work, and an extraordinary sales pitch? Disturbingly far. Bad Blood is the story of one of the biggest corporate fraud cases of the 21st century. Journalist John Carreyrou explores the rise and shocking fall of tech start-up Theranos, which was valued at $9 billion based on its innovative medical technology before it was all revealed to be a lie. This is the riveting story of the biggest corporate fraud since Enron, and a tale of ambition and hubris set amid the bold promises of Silicon Valley.

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Empire of Pain

by Patrick Radden Keefe

Book cover for Empire of Pain

Empire of Pain is the story of three generations of the Sackler family, and their role in the stories of Valium and Oxycontin. As one of the richest families in the world, the Sacklers are known for their lavish donations in the arts and the sciences. The source of the family fortune was vague, however, until it emerged that they were responsible for making and marketing Oxycontin, a blockbuster painkiller that was a catalyst for the opioid crisis – an international epidemic of drug addiction which has killed nearly half a million people. This masterpiece of narrative reporting is the secret history of the Sackler dynasty.

You feel almost guilty for enjoying it so much.
The Times

The Snakehead

by Patrick Radden Keefe

Book cover for The Snakehead

From the author of Empire of Pain comes a thrilling panorama of a secret world run by a surprising criminal. Cheng Chui Ping, a charismatic middle-aged grandmother managed a multimillion-dollar business smuggling people – all from a tiny noodle shop in New York's Chinatown. The Snakehead, uncovers the inner workings of this empire, and recounts the decade-long FBI investigation that eventually brought her down. But this is not just a crime story. As an incompetent and corrupt INS pursues desperate immigrants, Patrick Radden Keefe paints a portrait of a generation of these undocumented people, and ultimately the ironies of immigration in America more broadly. 


by Patrick Radden Keefe

Book cover for Rogues

From forgers to money launderers to arms merchants and those on death row, this is a book about behaving badly. Award-winning and hypnotically brilliant New Yorker writer Patrick Radden Keefe takes readers on a gripping but also humane trip into the psyches of those who society would rather forget. With global reach and meticulous research, this is a bravura piece of journalism. 

Warhol After Warhol

by Richard Dorment

Book cover for Warhol After Warhol

Twenty years ago, art critic Richard Dorment received a phone call that would change his life. The caller asked Dorment for his help after two of his prized pieces, paintings by the late pop artist Andy Warhol, had been declared fake. As the duo embark on a decade-long quest to prove the authenticity of the paintings, they stumble upon a world full of corruption and greed, and meet the colourful characters who hold the power. A stranger-than-fiction examination of the corruption and lies that have permeated the art world, Warhol After Warhol lifts the lid on the mystery and scandal that surrounds the billion-dollar art industry.

The Fund

by Rob Copeland

Book cover for The Fund

Five decades after founding hedge-fund Bridgewater Associates, in October 2022 billionaire Ray Dalio announced he would be retiring from running the firm that has made him extremely rich, and infamous in the process. Now, through hundreds of interviews with those who know the fund and Dalio most intimately, Rob Copeland tells the shocking and fascinating story behind the firm’s enduring success. Revealing the secrets of the man behind the biggest hedge-fund on Wall Street, The Fund is a must-read business book for fans of The Big Short and Million Dollar Whale. 

Breaking Twitter

by Ben Mezrich

Book cover for Breaking Twitter

For more than twenty years, Twitter was a digital home for users to post, retweet and debate, until one bizarre day in October 2022. Charting one of the strangest and most polarising business takeovers of modern times, in this expose of Elon Musk’s acquisition of the brand, bestselling author Ben Mezrich charts the fateful fall of the platform formally known as Twitter. With interviews with Twitter employees, and sources close to Musk, Mezrich lifts the lid on the mass firings, the exodus of advertisers and how one man’s decisions have changed the internet forever. 


by Oliver Sacks

Book cover for Awakenings

For over four decades, twenty First World War veterans languished in hospital, treated by professionals who had no idea how to awaken them from their catatonic stupor. Motionless and silent, the men were aware of their surroundings but had no interest in engaging in them. That was until the day Dr Oliver Sacks administered a revolutionary new drug, L-DOPA, which roused the men from their inertia. A stranger-than-fiction story written in Sacks’ unmistakable prose, Awakenings is a compelling read and a classic of medical writing. 

The Sleeping Beauties

by Suzanne O'Sullivan

Book cover for The Sleeping Beauties

In Sweden, refugee children fall asleep for months and years at a time. In upstate New York, high school students develop contagious seizures. In the US Embassy in Cuba, employees complain of headaches and memory loss after hearing strange noises in the night. These disparate cases are some of the most remarkable diagnostic mysteries of the twenty-first century, as both doctors and scientists have struggled to explain them and – more crucially – to treat them. Neurologist Suzanne O’Sullivan travels the world to visit other communities who have also been subject to outbreaks of so-called ‘mystery’ illnesses.


by Jo Cheetham

Book cover for Killjoy

In this story of everyday people doing extraordinary things, Jo Cheetham writes of her time protesting up and down the country as part of the No More Page 3 campaign. When studying and working as a nanny in London, Jo saw news of an upcoming protest against the Page 3 pictorial in The Sun. Soon, she was embroiled in a movement determined to expose and take down this exploitative industry. In doing so she made an unlikely group of friends that would become her closest confidents and allies. Both hilarious and moving, Killyjoy shows us the power of a grassroots campaign and of shouting a little bit louder. 

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Ten Times Calmer

by Dr Kirren Schnack

Book cover for Ten Times Calmer

Dr Kirren Schnack is here to tell you that your anxiety isn’t here to stay. As an Oxford trained and practicing NHS clinical psychologist with twenty years’ experience, she offers a first aid kit of tools to help you understand what you’re going through and change how you’re feeling – and it might just be easier than you think. The ten chapters cover everything from dealing with anxious thoughts and stress to managing uncertainty and safely tackling trauma, with each tip taking you one step closer to an anxiety-free life. 

With You Every Step

by Rob Burrow

Book cover for With You Every Step

The moving affection between rugby legends, fundraising heroes and best friends Rob Burrow and Kevin Sinfield has inspired and uplifted the nation. In this truly special, pocket-sized gift book, heartfelt words from Rob and Kevin are brought to life with artwork from leading illustrators, to create an inspiring and hopeful celebration of love, support and connection. Exploring universal truths and celebrating kindness, empathy and the joy of friendship, With You Every Step is the perfect way to show the special people in your life, young and old, just how much they mean to you.

Closer to Love

by Vex King

Book cover for Closer to Love

Vex King is back with Closer to Love, a practical guide to creating lasting connections. After finding peace and joy in his own romantic relationship, he is now sharing his wisdom to guide readers on their own journeys. He considers the complexities of modern relationships and how to navigate these in an ever-changing world, helps us to overcome fears, expectations and insecurities, and clarifies our sense of selves, ultimately helping us to get closer to love. From the bestselling author of Good Vibes, Good Life and Healing is the New High, Closer to Love is an unmissable read from one of the nation's favourite self-help gurus.  

To My Sisters

by Courtney Daniella Boateng

Book cover for To My Sisters

From the hosts of the hit podcast, To My Sisters, comes this essential guide to sisterhood. Old friends Renee Kapuku and Courtney Daniella Boateng are united in one mission – reinvigorate and redefine sisterhood to inspire a global community of women to uplift each other and reclaim their power. They argue that unconditional love is too often limited to parents or spouses, when actually embracing the power of friendship and community in an authentic way is just as powerful. Packed with practical advice, reflective activities and wise words, To My Sisters will teach you how to find, build and nourish lifelong friendships. 


by Scott Shigeoka

Book cover for Seek

When was the last time you learned something new or spoke to someone totally different to you about their viewpoints and experiences? In his new book, Seek, curiosity-expert Scott Shigeoka invites us to wonder, explore what makes us curious and expand our understanding of the world. In this practical and accessible guide you’ll learn how harnessing your natural curiosity by letting go of assumptions and embracing hardship can help you enjoy a more connected, compassionate and interesting life. 

How to Calm Your Mind

by Chris Bailey

Book cover for How to Calm Your Mind

Productivity expert Chris Bailey offers a toolkit of accessible, science-based strategies to pursue calmness, and ultimately live a less anxious and more engaged life in How to Calm Your Mind. Covering topics including our desire for dopamine, 'busyness' and the digital world, Chris Bailey encourages us to develop our capacity for calm. In doing so, he believes we can build a deeper, more expansive reservoir of energy to draw from throughout the day and invest in the missing piece that leads our efforts to become sustainable over time, ultimately making room to do good work and live a happy life. 


by Marisa G. Franco, PhD

Book cover for Platonic

When was the last time you put yourself out there to make a new friend? For many of us, the answer is too long ago. In Platonic, Dr Marisa G. Franco explains how the undervaluing of friendship in our culture has led to an epidemic of isolation, and what we can do about it. Platonic teaches us to identify and understand our individual attachment styles and why exploring how we behave in relationships is the key to unlocking what we’re doing right (and what we could do better) in our friendships. This book is the ultimate guide to learning how we make and keep friends for life.

That Little Voice In Your Head

by Mo Gawdat

Book cover for That Little Voice In Your Head

Mo Gawdat's That Little Voice in Your Head is a practical guide to rewiring your brain for joy. He reveals that by talking down the negative voice within, we can change the way we think, turn greed into kindness, transform apathy into compassionate action and create our own happiness. Gawdat's brain exercises draw on his experience as a former Google engineer and Chief Business Officer, as well as from his neuroscience studies. And he explains how – despite their complexity – our brains generally behave in predictable ways. Drawing inspiration from the life of his late son, Gawdat has written a manual for happiness that is steeped in empathy.

The Kindness Method

by Shahroo Izadi

Book cover for The Kindness Method

In these difficult times, we could all benefit from showing ourselves a little kindness. If you want to use this time to make a change, Behavioural Change Specialist Shahroo Izadi believes there’s only one way to make change last, and that’s to be kind to yourself. The Kindness Method was developed through a combination of professional training and personal experience and will leave you feeling empowered, positive and ready to make a change, whether it’s weight loss, cutting down on alcohol or improving your relationships.

The Greatest Self-Help Book (is the one written by you)

by Vex King

Book cover for The Greatest Self-Help Book (is the one written by you)

From Sunday Times bestselling author of Good Vibes, Good Life and Healing is the New High, Vex King and social media star Kaushal, this is a journal like no other. Filled with exercises, activities and visual prompts, it will help you to understand and regulate your emotions, maintain habits that work for you, shift negative mindsets and cultivate positive thought patterns, build self-awareness and carve out time to practise self-love and gratitude. Think of this as your companion to help you build a healthier relationship with yourself and others; The Greatest Self-Help Book is the one written by you.

I have always believed in the idea that people inspire people. I know what's what inspired me... and Vex really is the ultimate example of that.
Deliciously Ella

H is for Hawk

by Helen Macdonald

Book cover for H is for Hawk

In this original blend of memoir, biography and nature writing, Helen Macdonald explores how raising Mabel the goshawk helped her heal after her father's sudden death. After buying Mabel for £800 on a Scottish quayside, Macdonald embarked on the long, strange business of trying to train this wildest of animals. The book parallels her experience to that of T. H. White, a closeted homosexual and sadist in the 1930s, who also flew a hawk to self-soothe. With beautiful descriptions of nature, as well as profound reflections on grief, this award-winning book will dazzle and delight in unexpected ways. 

The Queer Parent

by Lotte Jeffs and Stu Oakley

Book cover for The Queer Parent

From fertility and adoption queries to starting school and navigating conversations with your kids, The Queer Parent is the essential guide for LGBTQ+ parents, parents-to-be and allies. Written by Lotte Jeffs and Stu Oakley, the hosts of the award-winning podcast Some Families, this funny, empathetic guide contains advice from dozens of queer families and experts who share their experiences, tips, and pitfalls they faced in the journey to becoming parents. Whether you’re a parent, a teacher, a friend or anything in between, this book is essential reading for everyone.  

How Now to Age

by Michael Greger MD

Book cover for How Now to Age

Discover the foods, exercises and lifestyle changes that can increase your lifespan in this bestselling guide to longevity by Dr Michael Greger. Cutting through the noise to deliver peer-reviewed research on how to slow the effects of aging on your body, including tips inspired by the world’s oldest and healthiest communities, Dr Greger shares easy, achievable changes that anyone can make to their diet, exercise regime and lifestyle to make their later years happier, healthier and more youthful. 

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Gonzo Capitalism

by Chris Guillebeau

Book cover for Gonzo Capitalism

In Gonzo Capitalism, Chris Guillebeau explores how millennials and gen-Z are embracing unconventional ways to make money amidst financial challenges. He showcases individuals who have earned substantial income by sending potatoes in the mail, naming other people's babies, and getting paid to play online games. With a keen eye on the evolving platform economy, he reveals the inner workings of our economy and empowers readers to capitalize on new tools and platforms to turn their talents into income. Gonzo Capitalism provides valuable insights for those seeking alternative paths to financial success in a changing world.

How Big Things Get Done

by Bent Flyvbjerg

Book cover for How Big Things Get Done

Understanding what distinguishes the triumphs from the failures has been the life’s work of Oxford professor Bent Flyvbjerg. In How Big Things Get Done, along with bestselling author Dan Gardner, he reveals the errors that leads projects to fail, and the principles that make them succeed. Think of how Apple’s iPod went from a project with a single employee to an enormously successful product launch in eleven months. But such successes are the exception. Exploring case studies across a broad spectrum of technologies and businesses, discover why this is an exception, and how to be one of these exceptions. 

The Geek Way

by Andrew McAfee

Book cover for The Geek Way

If you’ve ever had an incredible idea that fell on deaf ears when you spoke to your boss about it, this book is for you. Rethinking the traditional structures of top-down hierarchies, some of Silicon Valley’s most successful companies have embraced the geek way of thinking, making decisions using trial and error, evidence and stress-testing, and doing away with the practice of upper management being the sole decision makers. By examining what it is that makes businesses and teams that embrace the approach work, Andrew McAfee has unlocked the secrets of The Geek Way, and how you can apply the principles to improve your business. The future is geeky! 

The Psychology of Money: Timeless lessons on wealth, greed, and happiness

by Morgan Housel

Book cover for The Psychology of Money: Timeless lessons on wealth, greed, and happiness

In The Psychology of Money award-winning author Morgan Housel reveals that our success with money isn’t necessarily about what we know, but how we behave. Through nineteen short stories, Housel explores the way we think about our finances in the real world, helping us understand more about our strange relationship with money and teaching readers how to make better sense of one of life’s most important topics. This is a vital read for anyone looking to redefine their relationship with their finances, and if you’re already a fan, Morgan Housel’s new book, Same as Ever: Timeless Lessons on Risk, Opportunity and Living a Good Life, came out this year.

The Psychology of Money is bursting with interesting ideas and practical takeaways. Quite simply, it is essential reading for anyone interested in being better with money. Everyone should own a copy.
James Clear on The Psychology of Money


by JL Collins

Book cover for Pathfinders

Hailed as 'The Godfather of Financial Independence', in Pathfinders, JL Collins accompanies readers through fascinating real-life stories from people on the journey to financial independence, and accompanies these with reflections on his 'rules for the road'. These heartfelt, and often surprising tales are the ultimate companion for your own journey to financial freedom, and the true and lasting wealth that lies at the end.

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The Making of the Modern Middle East

by Jeremy Bowen

Book cover for The Making of the Modern Middle East

BBC's International Editor, Jeremy Bowen, provides a compelling and informative exploration of the Middle East in The Making of the Modern Middle East. Drawing on his extensive experience and insights from his prominent podcast, 'Our Man in the Middle East', Bowen journeys across the region, tracing its history. He encounters everyday people, their leaders, and delves into the power dynamics that have inflicted suffering on civilians. From Syria to Israel and Palestine, Bowen's deep comprehension of the region's varied political, cultural and religious aspects is evident throughout the book.

Blood on the Snow

by Robert Service

Book cover for Blood on the Snow

Exploring the world events that preceded the 1917 Russian Revolution, in Blood on the Snow, Robert Service revisits the period that has fascinated him throughout his career. The esteemed historian presents the revisionist idea that it was Tsar Nicholas II’s decision to join the war against Germany in 1914, rather than a revolution driven by worker and peasant activism, that sowed the seeds of the Revolution. Through examination of primary source material, including diary entries from ordinary Russians, Service presents a compelling narrative of the events leading up to the birth of Bolshevik Russia. 

God: An Anatomy

by Francesca Stavrakopoulou

Book cover for God: An Anatomy

Three thousand years ago, in the region we now call Israel and Palestine, people worshipped an array of deities led by a god called El. El had seventy children, all of whom were gods themselves; one of these children, Yahweh, fought humans and monsters and eventually evolved into the God of the great monotheistic faiths. The history of God in culture stretches back centuries before the Bible was written. Elegantly written and fiercely argued, Professor Francesca Stavrakopoulou provides a fascinating analysis of God’s cultural DNA, and in the process explores the founding principles of Western culture.

In Defence of Witches

by Mona Chollet

Book cover for In Defence of Witches

Who is a witch? In Defence of Witches recasts the term 'witch' into a powerful role model to women today, as an emblem of power free to exist beyond the narrow limits society imposes on women. Witches are everywhere, whether they are casting spells on Donald Trump or posting photos of their crystal-adorned altar on Instagram. Historically accused of witchcraft, often meeting violent ends, many types of women have been censored, eliminated, repressed, over the centuries. Mona Chollet shows that by considering the lives of those who dared to live differently, we can learn more about the richness of roles available. 

The Ship Beneath the Ice

by Mensun Bound

Book cover for The Ship Beneath the Ice

On 21 November 1915, Sir Ernest Shackleton’s ship, Endurance, sank beneath the ice of the most hostile sea on Earth. While the miraculous survival of all those on board has entered legend, the iconic ship that bore them to the brink of the Antarctic was considered forever lost . . . until March 2022. Including countless fascinating stories of Shackleton and his ship, photographs from Shackleton's original voyage and from the legendary recovery expedition itself; in The Ship beneath the Ice, the Director of Exploration tells the story of the monumental discovery in his own words.

Warrior Queens & Quiet Revolutionaries

by Kate Mosse

Book cover for Warrior Queens & Quiet Revolutionaries

Warrior Queens & Quiet Revolutionaries is a celebration of unheard and under-heard women’s history. Within these pages you’ll meet nearly 1000 women whose names deserve to be better known: from the Mothers of Invention and the trailblazing women at the Bar; warrior queens and pirate commanders; the women who dedicated their lives to the natural world or to medicine; those women of courage who resisted and fought for what they believed; to the unsung heroes of stage, screen and stadium. Joyous, celebratory and engaging, Kate Mosse's book is for everyone who has ever wondered how history is made.

A (Very) Short History of Life On Earth

by Henry Gee

Book cover for A (Very) Short History of Life On Earth

This lyrical and moving account takes us back to the early history of the earth, a wildly inhospitable place with swirling seas, constant volcanic eruptions and an unstable atmosphere. The triumph of life as it emerges, survives and evolves in this hostile setting is Henry Gee's riveting subject: he traces the story of life on earth from its turbulent beginnings to the emergence of early hominids and the miracle of the first creatures to fly. You'll never look at our planet in the same way again.

The Fall of Boris Johnson

by Sebastian Payne

Book cover for The Fall of Boris Johnson

Boris Johnson was touted as the saviour of the country and the Conservative Party, obtaining a huge commons majority and finally getting Brexit done. But within three short years, he was deposed in disgrace, leaving the country in crisis. Sebastian Payne, Whitehall Editor for the Financial Times, tells the essential behind-the-scenes story, charting the betrayals, rivalries and resignations that resulted in the dramatic Conservative coup and set in motion events that saw the party sink to catastrophic new lows.

A genuinely page turning, gripping account of some of the most extraordinary days in modern British history.
Andrew Marr

Divine Might

by Natalie Haynes

Book cover for Divine Might

In Divine Might Natalie Haynes, author of the bestselling Pandora’s Jar, returns to the world of Greek myth and this time she examines the role of the goddesses. We meet Athene, Artemis, Aphrodite and Hera; each with their own story. We also meet Demeter, goddess of agriculture and mother of the kidnapped Persephone, we sing the immortal song of the Muses and we warm ourselves with Hestia, goddess of the hearth and sacrificial fire. These goddesses are as mighty, revered and destructive as their male counterparts. Isn’t it time we looked beyond the columns of a ruined temple to the awesome power within?

Black and British

by David Olusoga

Book cover for Black and British

In this vital re-examination of a shared history, historian and broadcaster David Olusoga tells the rich and revealing story of the long relationship between the British Isles and the people of Africa and the Caribbean. This edition features a new chapter encompassing the Windrush scandal and the Black Lives Matter protests of 2020, events which put black British history at the centre of urgent national debate. This is vivid confirmation that black history can no longer be kept separate and marginalised. It is woven into the cultural and economic histories of the nation and it belongs to us all. 

How to Survive a Plague

by David France

Book cover for How to Survive a Plague

How to Survive a Plague was the winner of The Green Carnation Prize for LGBTQ Literature and the Lambda Literary Award for LGBT non-fiction. The book is a riveting and moving account of the AIDS epidemic and the activists at grass-roots level who fought to develop the drugs which turned AIDS from an almost always fatal infection to a manageable disease. Weaving together dozens of individual stories, many from people who were facing their own life or death struggles with the disease, this is an insider’s account of an incredibly important moment in our history.

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The Rise and Reign of the Mammals

by Steve Brusatte

Book cover for The Rise and Reign of the Mammals

In The Rise and Reign of the Mammals, palaeontologist Steve Brusatte weaves together the history and evolution of our mammal forebears with stories of the scientists whose fieldwork and discoveries underlie our knowledge, both of iconic mammals like the mammoths and sabre-toothed tigers of which we have all heard, and of fascinating species that few of us are aware of. For what we see today is but a very limited range of the mammals that have existed; in this fascinating and ground-breaking book, Steve Brusatte tells their – and our – story.

A World on the Wing

by Charles Scott Weidensaul

Book cover for A World on the Wing

This is the rousing story of the billions of birds that, despite the numerous obstacles we have placed in their path, continue to head to the far horizon. The past two decades have seen an explosion in our understanding of the feats of endurance and complexity involved in bird migration. A World on the Wing sees Pulitzer Prize-shortlisted writer and ornithologist Scott Weidensaul track some of the most remarkable flights undertaken by birds around the world.

The Green Gardening Handbook

by Nancy Birtwhistle

Book cover for The Green Gardening Handbook

Going green in the garden has never been easier with Nancy Birtwhistle’s sustainable, eco-friendly tips that will help you make the most of your space, and what it can grow. Whether you have a sprawling garden, a modest patch of grass or just a spare windowsill, The Green Gardening Handbook has over 100 tips that will help you embrace the joy of growing and eating from your own garden. This is a book for anyone green-fingered or not, packed with practical advice to save money and reduce waste, packaged in a beautifully illustrated guide. 

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The Last Drop

by Tim Smedley

Book cover for The Last Drop

A gripping, thought-provoking and ultimately optimistic investigation into the world’s next great climate crisis – the scarcity of water. Water stress is already driving the first waves of climate refugees. It’s increasingly clear that human mismanagement of water is dangerously unsustainable, for both ecological and human survival. And yet in recent years some key countries have been quietly and very successfully addressing water stress. In The Last Drop, award-winning environmental journalist Tim Smedley meets experts, victims, activists and pioneers to find out how we can mend the water table that our survival depends upon.

The Sixth Extinction

by Elizabeth Kolbert

Book cover for The Sixth Extinction

Over the last half a billion years, there have been five mass extinctions of life on earth. Scientists around the world are currently monitoring the sixth, predicted to be the most devastating extinction event since the asteroid impact that wiped out the dinosaurs. Elizabeth Kolbert combines field reporting, the history of ideas and the work of geologists, botanists and marine biologists to tell the stories of a dozen species. The sixth extinction is likely to be mankind's most lasting legacy and Elizabeth Kolbert's book urgently compels us to rethink the fundamental question of what it means to be human.

A Brief Atlas of the Lighthouses at the End of the World

by González Macías

From a blind lighthouse keeper tending a light in the Arctic Circle, to an intrepid young girl saving ships from wreck at the foot of her father's lighthouse, and the plight of the lighthouse crew cut off from society for forty days, this is a glorious book full of illuminating stories that will transport the reader to the world's most isolated and inspiring lighthouses.


by Jared Farmer

Book cover for Elderflora

Historian Jared Farmer tells the story of the planet's oldest trees and what they have meant to human beings in Elderflora. In the eighteenth century, naturalists embarked on a quest to locate and the oldest living things on earth. And so the science of tree time was born. Spanning Lebanon to New Zealand and California, Farmer takes us through this science and surveys the complex history of the world's oldest trees. Combining rigorous scholarship with lyrical writing, he shows how amidst a changing climate we need old trees now more than ever. 

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The Inner Game of Tennis

by W Timothy Gallwey

Book cover for The Inner Game of Tennis

Recently named by Bill Gates as one of his 'all-time favourite books', and described by Billie Jean King as her 'tennis bible', this bestseller has been a must-read for tennis players of all abilities for nearly fifty years. Rather than concentrating on how to improve technique, Gallwey deals with the 'inner game' within ourselves as we try to overcome doubt and maintain clarity of mind when playing. 'It’s the best book on tennis that I have ever read,' says Gates, 'and its profound advice applies to many other parts of life.'

Alone on the Wall

by Alex Honnold

Book cover for Alone on the Wall

In the last forty years, only a handful of climbers have pushed themselves as far, ‘free soloing’ to the absolute limit of human capabilities. Half of them are dead. Although Alex Honnold’s exploits are probably a bit too extreme for most of us, the stories behind his incredible climbs are exciting, uplifting and truly awe-inspiring. Alone on the Wall is a book about the essential truth of being free to pursue your passions and the ability to maintain a singular focus, even in the face of mortal danger. This updated edition contains the account of Alex's El Capitan climb, which is the subject of the Oscar and BAFTA winning documentary, Free Solo.


by Poorna Bell

Book cover for Stronger

Poorna Bell’s journey to get strong began when – following the death of her husband, Rob – she realized that she had been relying on the men in her life to take out the bins, carry the luggage and move furniture. Poorna is now a competitive amateur power-lifter and the strongest she has ever been. This inspiring non-fiction book is part memoir and part manifesto, starting a conversation about women’s mental and physical strength and fitness which has nothing to do with weight loss. 

Jan Ullrich: The Best There Never Was

by Daniel Friebe

Book cover for Jan Ullrich: The Best There Never Was

In 1997, Jan Ullrich obliterated his rivals in the first mountain stage of the Tour de France. So awesome was his display that it sent shockwaves throughout the world of cycling. Everyone agreed: Jan Ullrich was the future of cycling. He was also voted Germany’s most popular sportsperson of all time, and his rivalry with Lance Armstrong defined the most controversial years of the Tour de France. But just what did happen to the best who never was? This is an account of how unbearable expectation, mental and physical fragility, a complicated childhood, a morally corrupt sport and one individual – Lance Armstrong – can conspire to reroute destiny.

The Damned Utd

by David Peace

Book cover for The Damned Utd

In 1974 the brilliant and controversial Brian Clough made perhaps his most eccentric decision: he accepted the position of Leeds United manager. A successor to Don Revie, his bitter adversary, Clough was to last just 44 days. In one of the most acclaimed British sports novels of recent years –subsequently made into a film starring Michael Sheen – David Peace takes us into the mind and thoughts of Ol' Big 'Ead himself, and brings vividly to life one of football's most complex and fascinating characters.

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Mozart in Italy

by Jane Glover

Book cover for Mozart in Italy

At thirteen years old Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was a child prodigy who had captured the hearts of northern Europe, but his father Leopold was now determined to conquer Italy. Together, they made three visits there the last when Mozart was seventeen, all vividly recounted here by acclaimed conductor Jane Glover. Evocative, beautifully written and with a profound understanding of eighteenth-century classical music, Mozart in Italy reveals how what he experienced during these Italian journeys changed Mozart – and his music – for ever.

Holding the Note

by David Remnick

David Remnick, the Pulitzer Prize-winnning journalist and editor of The New Yorker, writes about the lives and work of some of the greatest musicians, songwriters, and performers of the past fifty years. He portrays a series of musical lives – Leonard Cohen, Buddy Guy, Mavis Staples, Paul McCartney, Bruce Springsteen, Patti Smith, and more – and their unique encounters with the passing of that essential element of music: time. These are intimate portraits of some of the greatest creative minds of our time written with a lifetime’s passionate attachment to music that has shaped us all.

Beyond the Story

by BTS

Book cover for Beyond the Story

Published in celebration of their 10th anniversary, this is the BTS's first official book, including unreleased photos, QR codes of videos and other exclusive content. Through in-depth interviews and years of coverage by Myeongseok Kang, the world of K-pop comes alive. As digital artists, BTS has been communicating with the world through the internet and this book allows readers to immediately access trailers, music videos, and more online to have a rich understanding of all the key moments in BTS history. Complete with a timeline of all major milestones, Beyond the Story is a remarkable archive — truly everything about BTS in one volume.

Party Lines

by Ed Gillett

Book cover for Party Lines

From the illicit reggae blues dances and acid-rock free festivals of the 1970s, through the ecstasy-fuelled Second Summer of Love in 1988, to the increasingly corporate dance music culture of the post-Covid era, Party Lines is a groundbreaking new history of UK dance music, exploring its pivotal role in the social, political and economic shifts on which modern Britain has been built. Ed Gillett charts an ongoing conflict, fought in basement clubs, abandoned warehouses and sunlit fields, between the revolutionary potential of communal sound and the reactionary impulses of the British establishment.

The Last Action Heroes

by Nick de Semlyen

Book cover for The Last Action Heroes

This wildly entertaining account of the golden age of the action movie charts Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger’s carnage-packed journey from enmity to friendship against the backdrop of Reagan’s America and the Cold War. Revealing fascinating untold stories of the colourful characters who ascended in their wake, it chronicles the rise of the invincible action hero who used muscle, martial arts or the perfect weapon to save the day. And how, as the 1990s rolled on, the glory days of these macho men – and the vision of masculinity they celebrated – began to fade.

In this episode of Book Break, Emma takes a look at some recent non-fiction titles: