by Royal Geographical Society

New non fiction 2021

A selection of great reads recommended by our Information Services Team

The Angina Monologues: Stories of Surgery for Broken Hearts. Samer Nashef
This engrossing memoir takes the reader to the heart of the NHS in Britain. You will be shocked and amazed, but also entertained and uplifted.

Bush School: A 20-Year-Old Teacher Fresh out of College. A Tiny One-Teacher School in a Paddock Miles from Anywhere. 18 Children Aged Between 5 and 15. Nothing To It! Peter O'Brien
An engaging, charming and atmospheric memoir set in 1960's Australia. The title says it all!

Common Ground: Garden Histories of Aotearoa. Matt Morris
From the early beginnings of Māori gardening to dreams of future edible garden cities, the author tells the story of the gardens of ordinary people in New Zealand.

Disloyal: A Memoir: The True Story of the Former Personal Attorney to the President of the United States. Michael Cohen
Michael Cohen was President Trump's lawyer and "fixer", and witness to his business dealings, presidential campaign and administration. After being convicted and imprisoned for committing crimes while acting under Trump's instructions, he has written a book attempting to explain his unswerving loyalty to his former employee and his decision to expose Trump's underhand dealings.

Down South: In Search of the Great Southern Land. Bruce Ansley
Bruce Ansley, writer, tramper and traveller, explores the people and places that formed the  South Island identity, and the natural resources that have contributed to its wealth - land, gold, sheep, and spectacular scenery.

For the Love of Europe: My Favourite Places, People and Stories. Rick Steves
America's favourite travel writer shares his love of Europe in this beautifully photographed guide book. People and places are the main features, and he includes a list of his TV clips which you can either view on his free Classroom Europe website, or on YouTube. 

How Fascism Works: The Politics of Us and Them. Jason Stanley
An examination of how contemporary democratic societies can be vulnerable to fascism, by an author who is a renowned philosopher and scholar of propaganda.

HRH: So Many Thoughts on Royal Style. Elizabeth Holmes
Featuring the women of the modern Royal family, this book appraises the individual wardrobes and sense of style of Queen Elizabeth II, Diana Princess of Wales, Catherine Duchess of Cambridge, and Meghan Duchess of Suffolk.

Lioness: The Extraordinary Untold Story of Sue Brierley, Mother of Saroo, the Boy Known as Lion. Sue Brierley
This is the inspiring story of Sue Brierley, the mother played by Nicole Kidman in the film LION. Having grown up in a family with an abusive parent, Sue decides to adopt children to give them a loving home and make a difference in their lives. One of these boys is an Indian boy called Saroo who eventually finds where he came from using Google Maps and his early memories.  

Mamas in Lockdown: Personal Stories of Becoming a Parent during Covid-19 Lockdown in Aotearoa New Zealand. Denise Ives
77 raw, emotional and inspiring stories are shared here. There are some wonderful photographs too.

Magdalena: River of Dreams. Wade Davis
The Rio Magdalena is a magnificent river which carves its way across the length of the nation of Colombia. As journalist Wade Davis travels the course of the river, he delves into the history and culture to tell the epic story of this beautiful and misunderstood country.

Modern Fabric: Twenty-Five Designers on Their Inspiration and Craft. Abby Gilchrist and Amelia Poole
Profiles of a dynamic international group of modern fabric designers, their work spaces, creative processes and textile collections. A book for everyone who is inspired by style, pattern and colour.

Nose Dive: A Field Guide to the World's Smells. Harold McGee
A leading expert on the science of food gives us a fascinating book on how to develop and understand your sense of smell. Why do old books smell good? It is the molecule guaiacol (smells smoky), vanillin (vanilla) and benzaldehyde (almond essence), all from the wood pulp lignin.

Queens of the Crusades: Eleanor of Aquitaine and Her Successors, 1154-1291. Alison Weir
The latest title from renowned historical writer Alison Weir is about the lives of England's queen consorts during the early Plantagenet period. It covers 5 queens: the formidable Eleanor of Aquitaine, Berengaria of Navarre, Isabella of Angouleme, Alienor of Provence and beloved queen to Edward I, Eleanor of Castile.

Red Lead: The Naval Cat with Nine Lives. Roland Perry
Professor Roland Perry, a Melbourne-based author, tells the incredible story of a cat who survived the sinking of the HMAS Perth in 1942, then travelled with her sailor companions from Java to Changi and then on the Thai-Burma Railway. 

When the Earth Had Two Moons: The Lost History of the Night Sky. Erik Asphaug
The reader is taken on a fascinating tour of the solar system using cutting edge science and an engaging style to tell this story. Theories on the formation of planets and moons are also  discussed, and some of it is quite mind-blowing!