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We’ve independently picked our favourite non-fiction titles – from biography to science, there’s something here for everyone. And remember – we offer Free Postage in ROI on orders over €30 – just choose the Free Postage option at checkout.

  • In a debut memoir as candid as her music, Phair eschews themes of typical rock-and-roll tell-all for a more introspective look at events in her life. Phair, who released her debut album Exile in Guyville 1993, made her name with bluntly honest and sometimes sexually explicit lyrics focused on desire, independence, and relationships. She does the same her, moving nonlinearly through her life and focusing on "the small indignities we all suffer daily," where horror is found "in brief interactions that are as cumulatively powerful as the splashy heart-stoppers, because that's where we live most of our lives." Nine months pregnant, she became self-conscious as she was examined by her ob-gyn, recalling her first visit with a male pediatrician who erroneously told her that "she was very tight. It may be difficult for her to have sex." Her stories include realizing that a boyfriend is a "calculatingly dishonest" cheat, her own infidelity during her first marriage, getting lost in a blinding New York City snowstorm late at night, and dealing with the frightening fallout of a street fight in Shanghai that she started. Phair admits that she can still make "colossal errors in judgement," but her empathy for people's "private struggles" shines throughout: "The stranger next to you is so much more like you than you think." This powerful debut will delight Phair's many fans. Since then, Vicky has become women's voice for justice on the issue, and her system-changing activism has made her a household name. In her memoir Overcoming, Vicky shares her remarkable personal story, from a life-threatening accident in early adulthood through to motherhood, a battle with depression, her devastating later discovery that her cancer had returned in shocking circumstances - and the ensuing detective-like scrutiny of events that led the charge for her history-making legal action. An inspiring story of rare resilience and power, Overcoming is an account of how one woman can move mountains - even when she is fighting for her own life - and of finding happiness and strength in the toughest of times. ISBN 9780525512004
  • When Paddy Holohan discovered mixed martial arts as a teenager, it was the first time his life settled into something approaching focus. Far removed from the chaos of the outside world, every bout reduced that maze of hardship to one simple proposition: survive - a task made all the more unlikely given Paddy's rare form of haemophilia, which he kept secret from the MMA world for years. For the duration of his career, he was never more than one misplaced strike away from the end. Why enter the Octagon knowing you might never leave? For Holohan, it would take a journey to the summit of his sport, and a high-profile fall from grace, to unravel the answer to that question and, with it, finally find some measure of redemption. This is his story. ISBN 9780717186280
  • From the online phenomenons the Astro Poets comes the first great astrology primer of the 21st century, full of insight, advice and humor for every sign in the zodiac. In these pages the Astro Poets help you see what's written in the stars and use it to navigate your friendships, your career, and your very complicated love life. If you've ever wondered why your Gemini friend won't let you get a word in edge-wise at drinks? When that Scorpio texting "u up?" at 2AM will finally take the next step in your relationship? (Hint: they won't). You've come to the right place. Both the perfect introduction to the twelve signs for the astrological novice, and a resource to return to for those who already know why their Cancer boyfriend cries during commercials but need help with their whacky new Libra boss, this is the astrology must-have for the twenty-first century and beyond. ISBN 9781529029963
  • Weaving together personal stories, Threads deals with the meanings of intimacy, vulnerability and our affinities with people and places, both wild and tame. It is a deep exploration of the encounters that lend quiet networks of grace to our busy lives. William Henry Searle casts an eye back to episodes spent in close and tender relationships with members of his family, childhood friends, animals and loved ones, in places that range from his father's scrap metal yards, to the jungles of Borneo, an Oregon river and the Swiss Alps. In thoughtful, elegant prose, Searle celebrates the quiet conversations that nourish us, and the everyday patterns of connection that give meaning to our human existence. ISBN 9781787462397
  • In the summer of 1885, three Frenchmen arrived in London for a few days' shopping. One was a Prince, one was a Count, and the third was a commoner with an Italian name, who four years earlier had been the subject of one of John Singer Sargent's greatest portraits. The commoner was Samuel Pozzi, society doctor, pioneer gynaecologist and free-thinker - a rational and scientific man with a famously complicated private life. Pozzi's life played out against the backdrop of the Parisian Belle Epoque. The beautiful age of glamour and pleasure more often showed its ugly side: hysterical, narcissistic, decadent and violent, a time of rampant prejudice and blood-and-soil nativism, with more parallels to our own age than we might imagine. The Man in the Red Coat is at once a fresh and original portrait of the Belle Epoque - its heroes and villains, its writers, artists and thinkers - and a life of a man ahead of his time. Witty, surprising and deeply researched, the new book from Julian Barnes illuminates the fruitful and longstanding exchange of ideas between Britain and France, and makes a compelling case for keeping that exchange alive. ISBN 9781787332164
  • Sleep. Like money, you only think about it when you have too little. Then you think about it all the time, and the less you have the more you think about it. It becomes the prism through which you see the world and nothing can exist except in relation to it. Samantha Harvey's insomnia arrived, seemingly, from nowhere; for a year she has spent her nights chasing sleep that rarely comes. She's tried everything to appease it. Nothing is helping. What happens when one of the basic human needs goes unmet? For Samantha Harvey, extreme sleep deprivation resulted in a raw clarity about life itself. Original and profound, The Shapeless Unease is a startlingly insightful exploration of memory, writing and influence, death and grief, and the will to survive. ISBN 9781787332027
  • Eleanor finds herself in her late 30s on a beach in India with three old ladies, trying to 'find herself' and 'discover her family history' like some sad middle-class crisis cliche. How did she get here? Truthfully, it could be for any one of the below reasons, if not all combined: * Stepmum dying/Stepdad leaving - family falling apart, subsequent psychotic break; both parents now on third marriage * Breaking up with K after 12 years - breaking up a whole life, a whole fucking universe - for reasons that may have been... misguided? * New boyfriend moving in immediately, me insisting 'it's not a rebound!' even after everyone has stopped listening, then breaking up with me * Going into therapy after dating a threatening narcissist (the most pertinent point of which should be noted: I did not break up with him - he ghosted me) How to address this situation? Take a trip to India with your octogenarian nan and two great aunts of course. The perfect, if somewhat unusual, distraction from Eleanor's ongoing crisis. But the trip offers so much more than Eleanor could ever have hoped for. Through the vivid and worldly older women in her life, she learns what it means to be staunch in the face of true adversity. ISBN 9780008325695
  • Following the publication In My Mind's Eye, her acclaimed first volume of diaries, a Radio 4 Book of the Week in 2018, Jan Morris continued to write her daily musings. From her home in the North West of Wales, the author of classics such as Venice and Trieste cast her eye over modern life in all its stupidity and glory. From her daily thousand paces to the ongoing troubles of Brexit, from her enduring love for America to the wonders of the natural world, and from the vagaries and ailments of old age to the beauty of youth, she once again displays her determined belief in embracing life and creativity - all kindness and marmalade. ISBN 9780571357659
  • Andrea Corr's Barefoot Pilgrimage is a compelling and honest memoir. In part, an exercise in coming to terms with and making sense of life and mortality following the loss of a beloved father; in part, a reflection on an unlikely journey with her siblings through the music industry; in part, a meditation on family, on music, and on creativity; and, in part, a shout-out for love and for hope. Illustrated with personal photographs and with original poems interspersed throughout the text, this is a very personal - at times very funny, at times deeply moving - book from an iconic figure in popular music. ISBN 9780008321307
  • A moving and powerful inter-generational memoir about story and memory. Mine is a family of readers and writers. Our house is filled with books. There are contemporary design books on the coffee table in the living room, legal books in my husband's home office, and piles of children's books for when my grandchildren visit. However, the side table next to my bed is piled with books about the Holocaust. Framed maps of shtetls line my office walls and pictures of relatives killed in the Holocaust are displayed on our family gallery walls.Sometimes I feel like I exist across two polarized realities, experiencing great fulfillment from family, friends, and a meaningful career, and, at the same time, finding the joy of my life tempered by its shadows. In the darker corners of my mind live ghosts and demons who visit me from the shtetls in Ukraine where my family came from. Some of the details that make these visions so vivid are imagined because I grew up in a family where memories were too terrible to speak of.This is the true story of four generations who have been dealing with the Holocaust and its aftermath. We are four generations, survivors and survivors of survivors, storytellers and memory keepers. And we're still here. ISBN 9780008297657
  • In Fifty Things that Made the Modern Economy, the revolutionary, acclaimed book, radio series and podcast, bestselling economist Tim Harford introduced us to a selection of fifty radical inventions that changed the world. Now, in this new book, Harford once again brings us an array of remarkable, memorable, curious and often unexpected 'things' - inventions that teach us lessons by turns intimate and sweeping about the complex world economy we live in today. From the brick, blockchain and the bicycle to fire, the factory and fundraising, and from solar PV and the pencil to the postage stamp, this brilliant and enlightening collection resonates, fascinates and stimulates. It is a wonderful blend of insight and inspiration from one of Britain's finest non-fiction storytellers. 'Endlessly insightful and full of surprises - exactly what you would expect from Tim Harford' BILL BRYSON 'Every Tim Harford book is cause for celebration' MALCOLM GLADWELL *PUBLISHED 28TH MAY 2020* ISBN 9781408712658
  • The Europeans is a richly enthralling, panoramic cultural history of nineteenth-century Europe, told through the intertwined lives of three remarkable people: a great singer, Pauline Viardot, a great writer, Ivan Turgenev, and a great connoisseur, Pauline's husband Louis. Their passionate, ambitious lives were bound up with an astonishing array of writers, composers and painters all trying to make their way through the exciting, prosperous and genuinely pan-European culture that came about as a result of huge economic and technological change. This culture - through trains, telegraphs and printing - allowed artists of all kinds to exchange ideas and make a living, shuttling back and forth across the whole continent from the British Isles to Imperial Russia, as they exploited a new cosmopolitan age. The Europeans is Orlando Figes' masterpiece. Surprising, beautifully written, it describes huge changes through intimate details, little-known stories and through the lens of Turgenev and the Viardots' touching, strange love triangle. Events which we now see as central to European high culture are made completely fresh, allowing the reader to revel in the sheer precariousness with which the great salons, premieres and bestsellers came into existence. ISBN 9780241004890
  • The perfect gift! Which Haruki Murakami novel shares its title with a Beatles song? In Roald Dahl's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, what is Charlie's surname? What is heavy-drinking Rachel Watson known as in the title of a 21st-century bestseller? And what do you get if you add the number of Bennet sisters in Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice to the number of Karamazov brothers in Fyodor Dostoevsky's The Brothers Karamazov? With four hundred questions covering books from literary classics to modern bestsellers, through iconic children's books and books you say that you've read but really you haven't, The Penguin Book Quiz is as appropriate for making you look well-read at a party as it is for a book-loving family to tuck into after Christmas dinner: it's as enjoyable to read as it is to play. Featuring the work of everyone from Antony Beevor to Zadie Smith, books from The Very Hungry Caterpillar to Ulysses, and with movie, music, television, theatre and literary references abounding, this entertaining quiz tickles the fancy (and the brains) of light and heavy readers alike. Answers:- Norwegian Wood- Bucket- The Girl on the Train- Eight (five sisters, three brothers). ISBN 9780241986035
  • Whether it's embracing a meat-free day or two each week, living a vegetarian lifestyle, or just wanting to try some brilliant new flavour combinations, this book ticks all the boxes. Discover simple but inventive veg dishes including: * ALLOTMENT COTTAGE PIE with root veg, porcini mushrooms, marmite & crispy rosemary * STICKY ONION TART with sweet garlic, fresh thyme & buttery puff pastry * CAULIFLOWER CHEESE PIZZA with an oozy melty cheesey white sauce & a super crispy crust * ROASTED TOMATO RISOTTO with fennel, crispy thyme, garlic, vermouth & parmesan * AUBERGINE LASAGNE with sweet tomato sauce and a cheese & almond crunch With chapters on Soups & Sarnies, Brunch, Pies Parcels & Bakes, Curries & Stews, Salads, Burgers & Fritters, Pasta, Rice & Noodles, and Traybakes there's something tasty for every occasion. Jamie's recipes will leave you feeling full, satisfied and happy - and not missing meat from your plate. ISBN 9780718187767
  • Marisa Meltzer was put on her first diet aged five: it was the beginning of a fraught relationship with food. Jean Nidetch was a housewife from Queens who defiantly lost 70 pounds after she was mistaken for being pregnant. Taking everything she learned from this experience, in 1963 she founded Weight Watchers, a company that has shaped decades of diet culture. When Marisa reads Jean's obituary, she feels a moment of intense connection. Curious about the woman and her legacy, she signs up for a year of Weight Watchers; counting points, weighing in and listening to her fellow members struggle with their bodies. This is Big is a biography of an idiosyncratic entrepreneur whose impact is still felt strongly today. It is a history of dieting and body politics for anyone who has agonised over their weight or defiantly tried not to do so. And it is Marisa's funny and thoughtful journey towards a different way to live in the world. ISBN 9781784742409
  • Jamie Heaslip is one of the most decorated players in the history of Irish rugby. Over the course of a thirteen-year career, during which he amassed 229 appearances for Leinster and 100 international caps, his name became synonymous with both the Irish No 8 jersey and the values that have propelled the growth of professional rugby in Ireland: diligence, professionalism and an unwavering commitment to self-improvement. Here, in a frank and stirring account of his years on rugby's front line, Heaslip recalls the events, wisdom and personalities that helped craft his winning mindset and vault Ireland to the summit of world rugby. An inspiring personal memoir and insider account of Ireland's transformation from amateur backwater to professional powerhouse, All In is also a profound meditation on sport, leadership and what it takes to succeed in the harshest of environments. ISBN 9780717189533
  • From climbing trees and making dens, to building sandcastles and pond-dipping, many of the activities we associate with a happy childhood take place outdoors. And yet, the reality for many contemporary children is very different. The studies tell us that we are raising a generation who are so alienated from nature that they can't identify the commonest birds or plants, they don't know where their food comes from, they are shuttled between home, school and the shops and spend very little time in green spaces - let alone roaming free. In this timely and personal book, celebrated nature writer Patrick Barkham draws on his own experience as a parent and a forest school volunteer to explore the relationship between children and nature. Unfolding over the course of a year of snowsuits, muddy wellies, and sunhats, Wild Child is both an intimate story of children finding their place in natural world, and a celebration of the delight we can all find in even modest patches of green. ISBN 9781783781911
  • This omnibus edition includes Revenge of the Baby-Sat and Scientific Progress Goes Boink as well as other cartoons, integrated throughout. Bill Watterson won the 1986 Reuben Award as Outstanding Cartoonist of the Year, nominated by the National Cartoonists' Society. Calvin, cheeky, hyperactive and mischievous, and Hobbes, his cuddly toy tiger who, as far as Calvin is concerned is very much alive and kicking, are two of the most loveable and hilarious characters to grace the comic strip in years. ISBN 9780751500288
  • "Damrosch brings the Club's redoubtable personalities - the brilliant minds, the jousting wits, the tender camaraderie - to vivid life..."-The New York Times Book Review In 1763, the painter Joshua Reynolds proposed to his friend Samuel Johnson that they invite a few friends to join them every Friday at the Turk's Head Tavern in London to dine, drink, and talk until midnight. Eventually the group came to include among its members Edmund Burke, Adam Smith, Edward Gibbon, and James Boswell. It was known simply as "the Club." In this captivating book, Leo Damrosch brings alive a brilliant, competitive, and eccentric cast of characters. With the friendship of the "odd couple" Samuel Johnson and James Boswell at the heart of his narrative, Damrosch conjures up the precarious, exciting, and often brutal world of late eighteenth-century Britain. This is the story of an extraordinary group of people whose ideas helped to shape their age, and our own. Named one of the 10 Best Books of 2019 by the New York Times Book Review ISBN  9780300251784
  • Eric Cantona arrived at Manchester United in 1992, starting an era of unprecedented success. This book takes a meticulous look at his impact on a sporting and cultural level, at Manchester United and beyond. Numerous interviews, research and in-depth analysis tell the story of the man who fans voted as Manchester United's best ever player. ISBN 9781911613510
  • From the early days of his music with Stockton's Wing to training at Ballymaloe Cookery School, food and music have been parallel lines that have kept Mike Hanrahan on track his entire life. Mike Hanrahan, cook and teacher, songwriter and musician, takes us back stage and into the kitchens of a bohemian, international and surprisingly foodie group of Irish household names, including Ronnie Drew, Finbar Furey, Maura O'Connell, Leslie Dowdall, Pat Shortt, Eleanor Shanley and Sharon Shannon. Mike penned hit singles 'Beautiful Affair' and 'Walk Away' for Stockton's Wing, from which a world of touring and behind-the-scenes escapades began. With affectionate portraits of the legendary personalities he came to know along the way, Beautiful Affair rings with the sheer graft, dedication and serious sense of humour of a life well spent on stage - and in the kitchen. Mike's time training with Ballymaloe's Darina Allen would see his hobby become a second career. Here, he shares favourite recipes from home, friends and professional kitchens across the country - from family recipes cooked on country hearths to vegetarian folk-club grub and tour-bus pressure-cooker stews. Beautiful Affair tells tales of the Irish music scene from the 1970s through to today, and wends its way through a lifelong love affair with Irish food. 'This is much more than my story. In Beautiful Affair I introduce you to my friends - who share memories, recipes and quite a few amusing anecdotes that add so much sparkle to my life.' - Mike Hanrahan ISBN 9780008333003
  • A combined book of two daring works by Sarah Manguso, presented together in a rare reversible single edition. Think of this as a short book composed entirely of what I hoped would be a long book's quotable passages. 300 ARGUMENTS 300 Arguments by Sarah Manguso is at first glance a group of unrelated aphorisms, but the pieces reveal themselves as a masterful arrangement that steadily gathers power. Manguso's arguments about writing, desire, ambition, relationships, and failure are pithy, unsentimental, and defiant, and they add up to an unexpected and renegade wisdom literature. Lines you will underline, write in notebooks and read to the person sitting next to you, that will drift back into your mind as you try to get to sleep. ONGOINGNESS: THE END OF THE DIARY In Ongoingness, Sarah Manguso continues to define the contours of the contemporary essay. In it, she confronts a meticulous diary that she has kept for twenty-five years. `I wanted to end each day with a record of everything that had ever happened,' she explains. But this simple statement belies a terror that she might forget something, that she might miss something important. Maintaining that diary, now eight hundred thousand words, had become, until recently, a kind of spiritual practice. Then Manguso became pregnant and had a child, and these two Copernican events generated an amnesia that put her into a different relationship with the need to document herself amid ongoing time. Ongoingness is a spare, meditative work that stands in stark contrast to the volubility of the diary - it is a haunting account of mortality and impermanence, of how we struggle to find clarity in the chaos of time that rushes around and over and through us. ISBN 9781529027624
  • Discover 101 inspiring ideas for more useful things you can do with your knob. From herding sheep to mountain rescue, controlling traffic, space exploration or taking the perfect group selfie, you too can use your willy to make the world a better place. ISBN 9781529102949
  • Coffee is one of the most valuable commodities in the history of the global economy and the world's most popular drug. The very word 'coffee' is one of the most widespread on the planet. Augustine Sedgewick's brilliant new history tells the hidden and surprising story of how this came to be, tracing coffee's 400-year transformation into an everyday necessity. The story is one that few coffee drinkers know. Coffeeland centres on the volcanic highlands of El Salvador, where James Hill, born in the slums of nineteenth-century Manchester, founded one of the world's great coffee dynasties. Adapting the innovations of the industrial revolution to plantation agriculture, Hill helped to turn El Salvador into perhaps the most intensive monoculture in modern history, a place of extraordinary productivity, inequality and violence. The book follows coffee from the Hill family plantations into the United States, through the San Francisco roasting plants into supermarkets, kitchens and work places, and finally into today's omnipresent cafes. Sedgewick reveals the unexpected consequences of the rise of coffee, which reshaped large areas of the tropics, transformed understandings of energy, and ultimately made us dependent on a drug served in a cup. 'Thoroughly engrossing' Michael Pollan, The Atlantic. ISBN 9780241426227
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