Some of the most successful books of recent times have exposed the little-known and often shocking realities of the  professions, systems and businesses that shape our society. From the hilarious, moving and sometimes gory tales of a junior doctor in Adam Kay’s bestselling This is Going to Hurt to the inner workings of a broken justice system in The Secret Barrister, read on for some of our favourite real-life stories, insider secrets and exposés.

 

The Secret Barrister, The Secret Barrister

An anonymous lawyer working in the criminal justice system, The Secret Barrister shines a light on the inner workings of the legal system to show how it is broken, who broke it, and why you should care. From cuts to legal aid to the treatment of rape victims during trials, The Secret Barrister is a stark look at a system that is held up as the best in the world, through the eyes of an insider. This is a shocking, funny and moving journey through the legal system, highlighting how often it fails those that it is meant to protect.

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This is Going to Hurt, Adam Kay

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.

Read Adam Kay in conversation with Mark Watson about This is Going to Hurt

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Adam-Kay-reading-This-is-Going-to-Hurt

Adam Kay reading This is Going to Hurt

 

Some Kids I Taught and What They Taught Me, Kate Clanchy

Teacher and poet, Kate Clanchy, has taught in British secondary schools for over thirty years. In Some Kids I Taught and What They Taught Me, she shares stories from her time in schools across the United Kingdom, from teaching thirteen-year-olds about sex, to nurturing her multicultural poetry group of migrant and refugee students. Everyday stories of classroom life are accompanied by Clanchy’s views on education policy, formed over thirty years on the job. Teaching today is too often diminished and drastically under-funded - Some Kids I Taught and What They Taught Me shows us why teachers are so important. This is a book about the power of education and its ability to change lives.

Read Kate Clanchy on the story behind poetry anthology England: Poems from a School

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Bad BloodJohn Carreyrou

Bad Blood is the incredible story of the rise and fall of Theranos, the multibillion-dollar blood-testing start-up, and its charismatic founder Elizabeth Holmes. John Carreyrou, Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist, first exposed the false claims of Theranos and his 2015 report sparked the investigations that have since seen Holmes charged with massive fraud. Despite intimidation and repeated threats from Holmes’ lawyers, Carreyrou’s reports drew upon the testimony of former Theranos employees, who  illuminated the truth around the technology’s failings and the culture of secrets and lies at the company. Bad Blood is the  story of the biggest corporate fraud since Enron and a compelling insight into a journalist in pursuit of the truth.

Read Everything you need to know about the Theranos scandal

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Elizabeth-Holmes-theranos-founder

Elizabeth Holmes, Theranos founder

 

War Doctor, David Nott

War Doctor is the extraordinary story of David Nott, a general and vascular surgeon who, for more than twenty-five years, has taken unpaid leave from his NHS job to volunteer in some of the world’s most dangerous war and disaster zones. From Afghanistan to Yemen, David’s work has made him the most experienced trauma surgeon in the world, treating patients in extreme circumstances - with basic equipment, often untrained staff and with insufficient supplies of blood and medicine. This experience has compelled him to help even further, providing training to other doctors in the art of saving patients injured by bombs and bullets.  This is the story of the reality of life on the front lines of today’s wars and the effect of conflict on the people who are caught in the crossfire.

Listen to an exclusive interview between David Nott and his wife Elly

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Strangeways, Neil Samworth

Neil ‘Sam’ Samworth has spent eleven years working as a prison officer in HMP Manchester, otherwise known as Strangeways. This raw, brutally honest memoir lays bare just what a difficult job this is, a job made more difficult by staffing cuts which saw the prison system descend into crisis. Sam reveals the attacks he has faced, the problems caused by radicalization, and the gangsters, terrorists and psychopaths he has dealt with, in a job so stressful it eventually left him suffering from PTSD.

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