The Body by Bill Bryson

The Body: A Guide for Occupants by Bill Bryson was published in 2019 and is a very readable and comprehensive book about the human body covering interesting aspects of anatomy, physiology, disease, the history of medical science, the immune system, conception and birth, and much more. The author includes amusing (and sometimes horrifying) anecdotes to … Continue reading The Body by Bill Bryson

The Power of Geography by Tim Marshall

The Power of Geography: Ten Maps That Reveal the Future of Our World was published this year (2021) and is a sequel to Prisoners of Geography which I wrote about here.In that book Tim Marshall focused on the fact that geography has played a major role in history. In this new book he explores ten … Continue reading The Power of Geography by Tim Marshall

Vesper Flights by Helen Macdonald

Helen Macdonald is a British writer, poet, naturalist and historian of science. Vesper Flights was published in 2020 and is a collection of forty-one of short essays that point the reader to ways of seeing the world from a different perspective to their own.Hard science gives us evidence of the harm that results from our … Continue reading Vesper Flights by Helen Macdonald

Half Lives by Lucy Jane Santos

Half Lives: The Unlikely History of Radium by Lucy Jane Santos takes the reader through a cultural history of radium. As she points out, radioactivity is everywhere - in the Earth’s crust, in our homes and even in us. It is ubiquitous and that troubles us; but this was not the case in the late … Continue reading Half Lives by Lucy Jane Santos

In Order to Live by Yeonmi Park

In Order to Live is an astonishing story of endurance, courage, and love. Yeonmi Park was thirteen years old when she and her mother escaped from North Korea. In Order to Live tells their incredible story of survival, suffering, and eventual freedom. I’ve always had a fascination with the Cold War and Communism in general, … Continue reading In Order to Live by Yeonmi Park

The Poisoner’s Handbook by Deborah Blum

  So many crime novels of the Golden Age dealt with murders that involved poisons such as chloroform, arsenic and cyanide. It was the ‘weapon’ of choice in many cases back then because at that time (during the 1920’s and 1930’s) commercially made poisons were readily available and there were few tools available to detect … Continue reading The Poisoner’s Handbook by Deborah Blum

84 Charing Cross Road and The Duchess of Bloomsbury Street by Helene Hanff

84 Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff is a book I first heard book lovers rhapsodising over about twenty years ago but I’d never really been tempted to read it for a couple of reasons - I’d never seen it secondhand and I usually only buy new books after much thought over whether I’d be … Continue reading 84 Charing Cross Road and The Duchess of Bloomsbury Street by Helene Hanff

In The Steps of the Master by H.V. Morton (1934)

H.V. Morton’s In the Steps of the Master is a wonderful mix of travelogue, history, archaeology, and adventure. He wrote the book in an attempt to express the thoughts and the encounters that a traveller through Palestine ‘with the New Testament in his hands’ would have experienced. At the time the book was written in … Continue reading In The Steps of the Master by H.V. Morton (1934)

Prisoners of Geography by Tim Marshall (2015) Non-Fiction

Tim Marshall is a British journalist and author who has been on the front line in the Balkans, Syria and Afghanistan. He witnessed close hand how international conflicts and civil wars have arisen out of past decisions. He has seen how history has shaped the future events of a country and the role geography has … Continue reading Prisoners of Geography by Tim Marshall (2015) Non-Fiction