Tag Archives: Non fiction

The new look Shiny is here!

The new style Shiny New Books is back with new reviews for you We have a new site design and a new way of sharing our content with our readers. We’re changing from our former ‘magazine’ format, in which we published lots of new pages in big batches every couple of months (and giving you too much to read in… Read more »

‘Carrison’ and ‘A New Hope’

The Princess Diarist by Carrie Fisher Like the whole world, I was totally shocked to hear of Carrie Fisher’s heart-attack, then death over Christmas, followed by her mother Debbie Reynolds just one day later. I’d bought this volume the week it came out, and had just started to read it when I heard of her heart-attack. Carrie Fisher was one… Read more »

Two shorter reviews…

Girl in the Dark by Anna Lyndsey This account of a woman becoming afflicted by, and then having to live with extreme photosensitivity is completely harrowing, but suffused with dark humour. The author was enjoying life and had met the love of her life when she started to get burning sensations on her skin after screen-use and sun exposure, Soon… Read more »

Two shorter non-fic reviews

I’ve been reading a lot of non-fiction lately – including some absolute crackers that deserve a whole post to themselves – and I don’t mind saving them to write about for the new year. Meanwhile, today I have two shorter non-fic reviews for you… Set Phasers to Stun by Marcus Berkmann If you’ve read this blog for a while, you’ll… Read more »

All that remains… in the charnel house.

A Tour of Bones by Denise Inge Denise Inge was an American who married an English clergyman. When he became Bishop of Worcester they moved there, and Denise found that they would have to share their new home with a ‘charnel house’. Wikipedia defines it thus: “A charnel house is a vault or building where human skeletal remains are stored…. Read more »

What a Life in Design…

My Life in Design – Sir Terence Conran Terence Conran is 84 years young and still working. He’s one of the UK’s most iconic designers – a quote on the back cover of this book declares him: “Britain’s Taste-Maker in Chief”   Mick Brown, Daily Telegraph. With the upcoming reopening of London’s Design Museum (which he co-founded), in its new home… Read more »

We’re doomed! Or are we?

A Farewell To Ice by Peter Wadhams One theme that has emerged in much of my reading of late is that of icy and mostly northern climes. From Beryl Bainbridge’s Titanic novel Every Man for Himself to Midge Raymond’s Antarctic penguins in My Last Continent to Eowyn Ivey’s Alaska in To The Bright Edge of the World, then Stef Penney’s forthcoming Greenland-based epic Under… Read more »

Book Group Report: Travel

A Short Walk in the Hindu Kush by Eric Newby In an effort to get more variety into our reading, we’ve started a subject cycle. We pick a topic to research, then next month everyone comes with a suggestion or two on that subject and we whittle them down to a handful to draw a title from to read and… Read more »

Christmas Shiny Linkiness …

Today, I’d like to direct you over to my reviews in the Shiny New Books Christmas Inbetweeny.  By the way, have you tried our Shiny Advent Quiz yet? Ideal as a post-prandial competition… But back to my reviews as these books are all too good to leave off mentioning here too: The Islanders by Pascal Garnier Translated for Gallic Books… Read more »

Non-fiction and me …

I have shelves full of proper non-fiction books all awaiting my attention. Books historical, geographical, biographical, scientific, and so on – you get the picture. I love the idea of reading them, but in practice they make up less than ten percent of my reading. The majority of those I do read are memoirs and biographies, with occasional forays into… Read more »

Getting to know Beryl better…

Beryl Bainbridge: Artist, Writer, Friend by Psiche Hughes I will happily go on record to say that Beryl Bainbridge is my favourite author. Earlier this year, I hosted a reading week celebrating her work; you can see my record of that week and a bibliography of Beryl books and reviews on my Reading Beryl page. Through searching through reviews, obituaries,… Read more »

Modern Art is not rubbish

What Are You Looking At?: 150 Years of Modern Art in the Blink of an Eye by Will Gompertz The BBC’s Arts Editor, Will Gompertz, is unusual for an arts commentator – he has a sense of humour and a mission to enthuse us about his subject. He is uniquely qualified – having worked for the Tate Modern and performed… Read more »

Starting the Canongate Myths series …

A Short History of Myth by Karen Armstrong One of my reading resolutions for 2010 is to read the entire Canongate Myths series – re-tellings of age old stories by great authors. While I’m not intending to read them in strict publication order necessarily, (I managed to snaffle a copy of the latest addition Orphans of Eldorado by Milton Hatoum… Read more »

America has never looked better…

The USA Book: A Journey Through America by Carla Zimmerman Last year a copy of the compact version of Lonely Planet’s The Travel Book came into my hands and it was a fascinating but brief tour around the world. (See my write-up here.) That small sized book was a lavish 900 page brick, so when offered the full size version… Read more »

My Reading Resolutions for 2009 – how did I do #4 (the final one!)

By now you might have cottoned on, by the series of bookish but not books-read posts, that I’m suffering a severe case of end-of-term-can’t-read-itis and have thus resorted to fillers; (all this pondering the stats is helping me formulate my books of the year though). Aside from that, I am reading The Moonstone but mostly the same pages over and… Read more »

Q&A with science writer Marcus Chown

It’s my great pleasure today to introduce you to Marcus Chown, author of We Need To Talk About Kelvin who is on a blog tour to promote the book (which I reviewed here). Apart from writing great popular science books, Marcus is cosmology consultant of magazine New Scientist, having formerly been a radio astronomer at Caltech in Pasadena. Marcus’s own… Read more »

Making Quantum Physics Accessible

On Wednesday, I am delighted that Marcus Chown, author of We Need to Talk About Kelvin: What Everyday Things Tell Us About the Universe” will be visiting my blog to do a Q&A as part of his blogtour to promote the book. Marcus is a best-selling science author and cosmology consultant for New Scientist magazine. Today, I shall talk about… Read more »

Medical Myths debunked

Don’t Swallow Your Gum: and Other Medical Myths Debunked by Dr Aaron Carroll and Dr Rachel Vreeman This short book looks into about seventy-five medical myths and old wives tales, examines the evidence, and debunks them. Many will have read Ben Goldacre’s bestselling book Bad Science – (If you haven’t read it, do! My review is here) in which the… Read more »

An armchair traveller’s delight

The Travel Book by Lonely Planet Here’s my full written review… This is the new smaller format edition of Lonely Planet’s previous coffee table giant, but it’s still a doorstoppingly thick brick of a book! It has to be 900 pages to give even the tiniest snapshot of every country in the world, (plus a few territories etc). However being… Read more »

One down ….

AnnaBookBel   January 3, 2009   No Comments on One down ….

The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell I’ve just finished my first book in 2009, although started in 2008. The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell is an immensely readable analysis of what makes epidemics happen. However its not really about nasty diseases, although they do feature, but more about business and marketing. It is not just a social science book, but… Read more »