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Top 10 non-fiction books for Xmas

Still in need of Christmas present inspiration? Janet at Gerrard’s Cross Bookshop has helpfully recommended 10 excellent new non-fiction titles for the bookworm in your life. What’s more, the shop is offering Muddy readers 15% off any of the books below until Christmas Eve. Just show them this feature on Muddy (or tell them you’ve seen it) or order by phone or email for collections up until 23 Dec.

Keeping On Keeping On, Alan Bennett £25

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Did someone say national treasure? We have just the ticket. The latest collection of diaries from the 82-year-old legendary author and playwright reflects on the last decade, with wry observations on topics ranging from tattoos to train delays to Margaret Thatcher’s funeral.

History of Britain in 21 Women, Jenni Murray £16.99

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History is so often dominated by men – the clue’s in the word after all. So a big hurray for Woman’s Hour presenter Jenni Murray’s excellent new book that traces the lives of a brace of game-changing women, from Boadicea to Mary Quant. Rebels with a cause? You bet.

Recipe for Life, Mary Berry £7.99

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National Treasure alert, pt 2! The Great British Bake Off‘s future looks in jeopardy with its shock move from the BBC to Channel 4, but we’ll always have Mary Berry. In this evocative memoir, we accompany everyone’s favourite TV cook through her 81 years of life lived to the full. NB We have signed copies available in store but be quick…

1342 QI Facts to Leave you Flabbergasted £9.99

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TV quiz show QI serves up a sparkling new selection of jaw-dropping facts that’ll keep you puzzling over the festive period. Did you know…Trees sleep at night? 1 in 3 children pretend to believe in Santa Claus to keep their parents happy? Black coffee drinkers are more likely to be psychopaths? It’ll certainly make for lively conversations over the turkey.

The World’s 100 Weirdest Museums, Geoff Tibballs £9.99

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We’re all familiar with the Louvre, the Guggenheim and the V&A, but have you ever been to the Dog Collar Museum, the Kansas Barbed Wire Museum, the Museum of Broken Relationships or Barney Smith’s Toilet Seat Art Museum? They’re all here in this quirky tome that covers a whole new world of esoteric exhibitions. Anyone fancy the lawnmower museum in Southport next weekend?

The Travel Book, Lonely Planet £40

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Take a journey through every country in the world. 850 images. 230 countries. One complete picture. All brand new, incredible photography illustrates each country, depicting what life is like in each nation from photographic portraits of people, beautiful landscape photographs and vibrant street photography. A perfect gift for all whether a gap year student or armchair traveller.

A Charm Of Goldfinches & Other Collective Nouns by Matt Sewell, £3.99

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This enchanting new book by the artist Matt Sewell plays on the theme of collective names for animals, and is a great gift for nature and art lovers. Each illustration is a quirky description of each group’s personality.

Cats, Jane Bown £14.99

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Jane Bown is a legendary Observer photographer best-known for her portraits of icons from Beckett to Bjork. This is a charming collection of 100 black and white pictures of felines which reveals the same sympathetic eye and wit as her portraits. She captures the cats sprawling, prowling, lolling, playing, feeding and lounging. House cats, alley cats, show cats and kittens trip and gambol across these pages making this the perfect photographic treat for cat-lovers.

Posh Dogs, Country Life Magazine £12.99

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There is no doubt that dogs, whatever shape or size, are at the heart of British country life. Posh Dogs features a selection of canines that have graced the pages of Country Life magazine from those early years to the present day. They have been chosen to select different facets of country life and whether ‘upstairs’ and ‘downstairs’ they are all equal in their owner’s eyes. Posh Dogs celebrates dogs in their element amidst the timeless beauty of the British countryside. The dogs of Downton Abbey garnered as many fans as the cast. The dogs featured in Posh Dogs are the real life incarnations of the Earl of Grantham’s beloved labrador and all the other dogs of Downton. This is a must-have gift book for all dog lovers.

Christmas Carols, Andrew Gant £7.99

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Everyone loves a Christmas carol – in the end, even Scrooge. They have the power to summon up a special kind of midwinter mood, like the aroma of mince pies and mulled wine and the twinkle of lights on a tree. It’s a kind of magic. Andrew Gant tells the story of some 20 Christmas Carols, each accompanied by lyrics and music, following the great musicians, thinkers, saints, pagans, shepherd boys, choirboys, monks and drunks who were involved in their history.

Gerrard’s Cross Bookshop, 12a Packhorse Road, Gerrards Cross, Bucks, 01753 885429, chilternbookshops.co.uk

 

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