Non-Fiction

Reference Books & Guides

  • ETCW
    • £5.99
    • RRP £15.00
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    This book looks at how the world has changed since the beginning of the 20th century and how various major events have shaped the way we live. It has sections dedicated to humanity and liberty, culture and society, technology, medicine, science, space and the environment and politics and war.

    From the optimistic excitement at the start of the century when extraordinary scientific breakthroughs and new inventions were promising so much to the tumultuous and violent battles that followed, it's a whirlwind read through modern history.

    Covering culture, humanity, war, science and space among many other elements, this book covers everything from the sinking of the Titanic and the assassination of JFK to the release of the first personal computer. Other events include The Beatles releasing 'Please Please Me', the moon landing and the Chernobyl Disaster.
  • LBBH
    • £4.99
    • RRP £12.99
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    Ian Crofton's The Little Book of Big History will take you all the way from the beginning of our planet through to what's in store for our future. It's a concise, accessible and authoritative account of humanity.

    It incorporates everything from the Big Bang to modern day theories and will help you understand the entire story of the cosmos in an accessible way.

    Breaking down the main themes of the universe, this is an informative and essential guide for anyone interested in space and the universe. It includes a timeline that explains how we came to be.
  • LBBI
    • £4.99
    • RRP £12.99
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    Daniel Smith's The Little Book of Big Ideas provides accessible overviews of important human ideas including religion, science, philosophy, economics and art.

    From geometry and genetics to anarchism, art and architecture, this is a concise account of the most important principles of Western thought.

    This book explains where these ideologies have sprung from and how they have impacted civilisation in so many different ways.
  • DRVE
    • £12.99
    • RRP £25.00
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    Rev up for a truly exciting read... DK's Drive offers a definitive history of motoring that spans from 1985 all the way through to the present day.

    Written by petrolhead Giles Chapman and packed with facts, diagrams, illustrations and photographs, it covers everything from the public's initial reactions to the idea of a horseless carriage to the ways that cars might look and operate in the future.

    With emphasis on personal accounts and biographies of famous motor figures, this book covers how cars have become an essential part of modern life and how they are now faster, safer and easier to drive than ever before. It also looks at their evolution from being a means of transport into objects of desire and status...
  • TLBK
    • £7.99
    • RRP £20.00
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    This big book from DK will help you always choose the right tool for the job. It comes with a foreword from Ron Swanson himself - wood worker and tool fan Nick Offerman.

    The information in this book will help you understand, look after and use tools effectively. It contains photographs and illustrations of over 800 tools and pays homage to centuries of craftmanship and know-how. Looking at tools from every angle, it will help you understand the structure and manufacturing-up of so many different pieces of hardware.

    From hammers and spades to chisels, this has step-by-step photography that will help you use tools like a pro.
  • GGAG
    • £4.99
    • RRP £14.99
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    This book provides a fascinating insight into how inventions are designed and how they evolved from drawings on a page into the items we know and love today.

    Featuring the original drawings submitted to the patent office for the paperclip, the umbrella and even a space suit, this is an intriguing read for anyone who fancies themselves as an inventor.

    Other gadgets, gizmos and games feature in the book include the floppy disk, the Barbie doll and the Game Boy!
  • COPS
    • £6.99
    • RRP £20.00
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    In Cops and Robbers, TV presenter, former police officer and dedicated petrolhead Ant Anstead talks through the history of the British police car - revealing how it evolved from being a 20mph annoyance that scared horses to a vehicle capable of 150mph pursuits.

    Ant has always loved cars and this was partly the inspiration for his decision to join the police force. However, he was a serious copper and succeeded so much he joined on of the force's most elite units.

    From the Met's Wolseleys to the Senators that patrolled the motorways, Ant's love of cars shines through. This is a fascinating read for anyone who loves cars, races or modern history.
  • JRNY
    • £10.99
    • RRP £25.00
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    All the way from Ancient Persian couriers to the invention of Concorde and journeys into space, this coffee table book provides an illustrated account of human's greatest journeys.

    With a foreword by Simon Reeve, it's a fantastic book for every armchair historian and reveals how journeys range from manners of impulse to migration and hunts for food. It even focuses on quests for adventure and pilgrimages made out of scientific curiosity.

    Covering all of humanity's most famous, significant and thrilling journeys, this book has biographies of conquerers, explores and travellers.
  • ENGF
    Ben Fogle
    • £6.99
    • RRP £20.00
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    Book People favourite Ben Fogle reveals what it means to be English in this entertaining series of anecdotes that celebrates the country's signature traits.

    From a cheese-rolling contest in Gloucestershire to queues, coastlines and sporting arenas, this is a brilliant read for anyone who ever wonders what makes the English English. It's full of eccentric peculiarities such as the shipping forecast, jellied eels and Marmite and also celebrates the relentless optimism (especially for better weather) in the face of adversity that is known as 'the Dunkirk spirit'.

    This light-hearted book pays tribute to England's history, culture and ideas and explains exactly what it means to be quintessentially English.
  • ACCA
    • £3.99
    • RRP £9.99
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    In Roman times, blocks of text were commonly written as blocks without any wordspaces. During the Christian era, texts became more widely read and punctuation started to take on extra importance... This book finds Sunday Times bestselling author Caroline Taggart pointing out what really matters and what doesn't.

    She explains how, to a potential murderer or adulterer for example, there is a world of difference between 'If you are tempted, yield not, resisting the urge to commit a sin' and 'If you are tempted, yield, not resisting the urge to commit a sin'. However, the only surface difference is the positioning of a comma.

    Apostrophes are there to help and to clarify meaning, to convey emphasis and to indicate that you are asking a question of quoting someone else's words... Punctuation is also ideal for telling readers when they should pause for breath.

    This book also contains funny, silly and daft examples of misuse.
  • MRQU
    • £4.99
    • RRP £14.99
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    Petrolheads will be revving up to work their way through this cool book from the AA. It's a compendium of over 90 famous car logos and emblems from the past 120 years.

    From Alfa Romeo to Porsche, the marques are arranged alphabetically and are accompanied by a detailed history that reveals all their hidden meanings. Detailed artwork also captures each badge's evolution from initial design to the present day.

    A great present for car and design fans of all ages, the diagrams in this book are annotated to show their specific design details .
  • TIQU
    • £7.99
    • RRP £20.00
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    The Antiques Roadshow has been a staple of BBC television for 40 years now and is fully deserving of its status as a national institution. This coffee table book celebrates the most incredible finds and stories from the flagship show.

    Paul Atterbury and Marc Allum look back at some of the quintessential moments from the history of the show, revealing hidden secrets and celebrating some of the timeless and priceless finds including 23 original Beatrix Potter drawings, a poignant letter written by a doomed passenger on the Titanic and Marc Bolan of '70s glam rockers T. Rex's Flying V Gibson guitar.

    Beautifully illustrated with stunning photographs throughout, this hardback is a wonderful keepsake of the enduring show's extraordinary objects (including paintings, merchandise and tools) and most memorable moments.
  • SHCM
    • £5.99
    • RRP £15.00
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    Featuring summaries of the Bard's plays and characters, The Shakespeare Companion is the perfect read for anyone interested in his works, or those who are new to one of the most influential writers of all time.

    Complete with a foreword by Dame Judi Dench, this book will enlighten you about Shakespeare's writing and help you enjoy his plays even more. It provides synopses of plays and even a resume of each performance's history.

    There is also a look back at the history of Shakespearean theatre and those plays that he did not write that have been wrongly attributed to him.
  • TNYB
    • £5.99
    • RRP £16.99
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    Dixe Wills, a Book People favourite author, looks at Britain's tiniest treasures in this eye-opening book.

    He examines the smallest counties in the land, crosses the shortest river and enjoys a ride on the tiniest ferry. Covering castles, cathedrals, cinemas, pubs, museums, theatres, woods and stately homes, he explains how these gems are united in their lack of size and many of them are only known to locals.

    He explains how although these attractions and sites are all small in stature, they offer big fun.
  • TLVH
    • £10.99
    • RRP £25.00
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    This huge hardback is a marvellous gift for master builders of all ages. It provides a visual history of the world's favourite toy - from the very first brick through to the best modern kits.

    A nostalgic run through six decades, it celebrates the fact that even the early bricks are compatible with those that are made today and how LEGO has inspired so much imagination, creativity and innovation around the world.

    It highlights the best-loved and most interesting LEGO builds of all time and there are sure to be sets that you remember from your own childhood.
  • TYNK
    • £12.99
    • RRP £28.00
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    This book takes 10 subject areas and divides them into 10 sections of 100 profiles each - making it the ultimate list book!

    From the visual, literary and performing arts to history, society and philosophy, design and technology, science and nature, travel, sport and leisure to food and drink, each list is full of fascinating insights.

    A great book to dip in and out of, it'll make a fascinating gift for anyone with an interest in history, popular culture and trivia.
  • SR0021
    • £3.99
    • RRP £9.99
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    Beginner and experienced cyclists will love this go-to manual for all kinds of bike repairs. It's free from jargon and will help steer you through a complete maintenance programme.

    From simple, minor repairs to more challenging tasks like tuning your suspension, this handily sized book will help you learn how to repair your bike's brakes, gears and hubs.

    With easy, photographic tutorials, there are also chapters dedicated to using GPS gadgets and plenty of quick tips to keep you safe on the road.
  • MOTW
    • £4.99
    • RRP £14.99
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    This guide to the best marathons in the world covers over 50 events that take place across all seven continents.

    All of the races are complemented by stunning photography and have details on when and how to enter plus information on when they take place alongside essential training tips. The race routes are also rated for difficulty and fact boxes tell you when you should apply to take part.

    London, New York, Boston, Berlin and the Midnight Sun (Norway) are just a few of the marathons featured.
  • TMGT
    • £7.99
    • RRP £20.00
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    The Times has a history of receiving incredible letters and this book presents over 300 items of correspondence from the past century from politicians, literary figures and and celebrities.

    The letter section is a forum for debate, a playground for opinion-formers and a noticeboard for eccentrics. Over the years, the Times' letters section has provided a window on the nation's feelings about the events of the time and also covered more trivial events including how to make the perfect porridge.

    Well-informed, well-intentioned, witty, quirky and bizarre, among those you can read letters by are Margaret Thatcher, Benito Mussolini, Graham Greene and John Le Carre.
  • TBBS
    • £4.99
    • RRP £12.99
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    Did you know that most black holes are not actually that much bigger than London? Or that 1 millilitre of blood contains 5 million red blood cells? How about the fact 5 billion videos are watched on YouTube every day?

    The Big Book of Science is packed with facts, figures and theories that will blow anyone's mind. Many are accompanied by diagrams, charts and illustrations that make them even more accessible.
    This incredibly informative book is full of infographics that will help readers understand the fundamental scientific principles and theories by using analogies to describe the abstract ideas using everyday objects.

    There are chapters dedicated to science topics including physics, chemistry, astronomy, biology, Earth sciences, anatomy and technology.
  • GNGM
    • £4.99
    • RRP £11.99
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    The expert creators of The Gannet offer a selection of fascinating, funny and unexpected facts about food and drink in this gastronomic miscellany.

    Going well beyond the usual food fixations, this book is presented in a very inventive style and will entertain any foodie. It offers advice on everything from creating a hit food profile on Instagram to learning the ins and outs of craft beer.

    It also highlights millenia-old products that are still edible today... are you brave enough to try Irish bog butter or Ancient Egyptian honey?
  • DRFZ
    (1)
    • £4.99
    • RRP £14.99
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    Jonathan Ray, a wine connoisseur, talks about 100 of the best types of fizz and reveals all the facts you need to become a bubbly expert.

    Featuring sparkling wines from all over the world, there's something for every budget, taste and occasion and the likes of champagne, prosecco, cava, cremant and ice wine are all included.

    With his personality shining through, Jonathan takes you through the stories and qualities behind the bottles of sparkling wine and champagne and also showcases the producers of the tipples. He even offers up recipes for champagne cocktails!

    He also provides information about the right kind of glass to use, varying levels of sweetness and a glossary of terms.
  • WNTD
    • £4.99
    • RRP £12.99
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    Covering from whether you should treat yourself to that takeaway tonight to the great mysteries of human existence, Marcus Weeks' What Would Nietzche Do? is a guide to life that also provides a fantastic introduction to philosophy.

    Weeks looks at what the likes of Schopenhauer, Heraclitus and Foucault had to say about topics including relationships, identity, art and politics and provides an illuminating commentary on all of their answers.

    This is a brilliant book if you're seeking answers from the experts about modern life's big questions including 'How do you fix a broken heart?', 'How do you find a lost phone?' and 'Is Shakespeare really better than the Simpsons?'.
  • TYHS
    • £4.99
    • RRP £16.99
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    Tiny Histories is the perfect book for anyone with an interest in history. Wittily told, it reveals the seemingly insignificant coincidences, decisions and acts that have helped to shape British history.

    Fun and informative, it reveals how the world we live in is often shaped by trivial events rather than the actions of world leaders and looks at the enormous repercussions that mistakes like a wrong turn and an act of chivalry can have.

    Looking behind the scenes of wars, politics, the arts, food, science and health and safety, this is a great book for history buffs and pub quiz trivia fans.