Recommended new non-fiction

 The housekeeper's tale: the women who really ran the English country house623 new adult non fiction titles in the last couple of weeks! Here’s a few we like.

All the new 2014  non fiction can be searched in the catalogue.

First up, if you’re missing Downton Abbey is The housekeeper’s tale: the women who really ran the English country house by Tessa Boase. It’s an historical account of the most important person in the country house – the housekeeper and tells the story of the real lives of the housekeepers, showing the individual tragedies, overturning myths.

Étape: the untold stories of the Tour de France's defining stagesWith the Grand Depart hitting Leeds very soon now,  critically acclaimed author Richard Moore’sÉtape: the untold stories of the Tour de France’s defining stages  takes readers on a virtual Tour de France, with each chapter focusing on a single rider in a single stage that came to define the Tour’s history.

British Team Sky will be taling part in the Tour again and top sportswriter David Walsh, who spent years trying to expose Lance Armstrong’s drug taking, has written- Inside Team Sky 

After the victory of Bradley WigginsInside Team Sky and Team Sky in the 2012 Tour de France, the pressure was on the team to repeat their success in  2013. 

Wiggins pulled out of the defence of his yellow jersey & attention moved to Chris Froome, who had finished as runner-up in 2012. Could he secure back-to-back victories for Team Sky/UK? With team principal Sir Dave Brailsford at the helm, expectations were high.  A definitive account of a dramatic race that gripped cycling fans.

Inverting the pyramid: a history of football tacticsFinally a bit late for England and the World Cup but maybe needed is  Jonathan Wilson’s  Inverting the pyramid: a history of football tactics  Jonathan Wilson charts how the concept of football tactics spread around the globe. Gradually a marauding five up front became inverted, to the point where one up front, or even no recognized out and out striker, is today far from unusual. Won an award for best sports book.

A couple of war books Dark invasion: 1915: Germany’s secret war and the hunt for the first terrorist cellA very private diary: a nurse in wartime in America by Howard Blum Set in New York in 1915, as WW1 rages in Europe – ‘Dark Invasion’ chronicles the little-known story of a tense cat-and-mouse battle between two complex antagonists: New York police captain Tom Tunney, who leads a select team of novice spy chasers; and Franz von Rintelen, an aristocratic German who comes to NY to set up a spy network and wage a secret war of terror that will disrupt American trade and affect the course of the war.

Mary Morris’s  A very private diary – is about 18-year-old Mary Mulry, a young Irish nurse, newly arrived in London in 1940.  ‘The real war started for me today’ begins a diary chronicling the next seven years as she witnesses many pivotal events first hand. In London during the Blitz she sees a young woman die after a botched abortion, narrowly escapes from the bombing of the Alexandra Hotel, and nurses critically ill children during bombing raids. In Normandy in 1944, after D-Day, she nurses Allied soldiers and German prisoners of war. In war-torn Belgium, harrowing stories of casualties from the Battle of Arnhem. A young woman coming of age, falling in and out of love several times over.

Judy: a dog in a million Damien Lewis (not of Homeland fame!) Judy: a dog in a million is about a beautiful English pointer, who was cherished and adored by the British, Australian, American and other Allied servicemen who fought alongside her. Half beaten to death by Japanese soldiers, almost drowned in the treacherous waters of the Yangtze River whilst serving as ship’s dog on British Gunboat the Gnat, bombed by Japanese warplanes in HMS Grasshopper, shipwrecked on a desert island, torpedoed by a Japanese submarine in the SS Van Waerwijck and hit by Japanese fire when taken as a prisoner of war in the deep jungle, she was also a survivor

On a more lighthearted note,  ‘Curious’   by Rebecca Front  is a collection of delightfully witty stories by actressCurious: true stories and loose connections, comedy writer and columnist . Rebecca has always used anecdotes from her own life to inform not only the characters she plays in such series as ‘The Thick of It’ and ‘Nighty Night’, but also her frequent observational comment pieces for the ‘Guardian’, ‘Independent’ and other magazines. In ‘Curious’, she takes those characters further, exploring and delighting in the absurdities of life, the oddities of human nature.

The wrong knickers: a decade of chaosBriony  Gordon’s The wrong knickers -looks at being in your twenties. For years, women have been told that those are their golden years, filled with fun, parties, sex, glamour. TV shows and movies tell the same story: this is your perfect decade – don’t waste it! You’ll never be so happy – or thin – again. Here, in her hilariously honest memoir, the author gives a fresh perspective. Like Carrie Bradshaw, she may have had a column in a national newspaper, but her twenties weren’t one long episode of ‘Sex and the City’, instead they were a decade of hangovers, heartbreak, and hideously awkward mornings-after, all over her overdraft limit.

Girls Aloud’s Kimberley Walsh’s A Whole Lot of History -tells the story from 2002 of Popstars The Rivals band Girls Aloud. Ten years later, after six platinum albums, 20 top-ten singles, a Brit Award, an entry in the Guinness Book of Records and a triumphant sell-out reunion tour, the girls have decided to go their separate ways.

Any luvvies out there?  Michael Simkins  The rules of acting is a manual for showbiz survival from am-dram to Hollywood and all that lies between! The author tells all about life under the spotlights. Providing practical encouragement to the budding thesp, laced with hilarious and often scurrilous cautionary tales, he pulls back the curtain on the world of acting on stage and screen The white spider: the story of the north face of the Eiger

 If you like stories like Touching the Void and Into thin Air about mountain tragedies and triumphs,  Heinrich HarrerThe white spider: the story of the north face of the Eiger  might be for you. ‘The White Spider’ tells the story of the harrowing first ascent of the Eiger’s North Wall, one of the most legendary and terrifying climbs in recorded history

Eat that frog!: 21 great ways to stop procrastinating and get more done in less timeThere’s always a great selection of improving yourself books to choose from –  Brian TracyEat that frog!: 21 great ways to stop procrastinating and get more done in less time   is a classic – Time is the currency of the 21st century – everyone is busier than they’ve ever been. Practical, proven, effective techniques to focus important tasks, and get more things done faster than ever.

Or for the body Morey, Gavin – Twelve weeks fitness & nutrition programme for women: real results, no gimmicks, no airbrushing – Based on a real-life challenge, this book demonstrates how you can achieve your dream body in just 12 weeks! It shows exactly how you can change your body and lifestyle for the better, illustrated by non-airbrushed photos showing progression of a real woman over the 12 week period. And there’s one for men too 

Use your new found fitness.  Naked and marooned: one man, one island, one epic survival story by Ed Stafford asks what  if you were abandoned on a tropical island with no food or water, no basic equipment, not even a knife, and no clothes – could you survive? Extreme adventurer Ed Stafford pushes himself to the limit ito try. For 60 days, with only his explorer’s instinct and a video camera to record his experiences, he faces the ultimate feat of physical and mental endurance confronting blazing heat & brutal loneliness; eats snails to escape starvation, battles illness, dehydration & fatigue.

Make your own soft toys: cut, stitch, and sew 25 super-cute friendsOn a gentler note, Rob Merrett’s – Make your own soft toys – has 25 easy  projects. The complete A to Z dictionary of dreams: be your own dream expert

Nick Coffer’s The after school cookbook  has quick, easy, and affordable recipes for your hungry kids from the man behind the video blog   

 Ian WallaceThe complete A to Z dictionary of dreams Ever wondered what your dreams mean? This explains!