The Body – Penguin Random House

In the bestselling, prize-winning A Short History of Nearly Everything, Bill Bryson achieved the seemingly impossible by making the science of our world both understandable and entertaining to millions of people around the globe. Now he turns his attention inwards to explore the human body, how it functions and its remarkable ability to heal itself. Full of extraordinary facts and astonishing stories, The Body: A Guide for Occupants is a brilliant, often very funny attempt to understand the miracle of our physical and neurological make up. This book will have you marvelling at the form you occupy, and celebrating the genius of your existence, time and time again. –

The Testaments – Chatto & Windus

In this brilliant sequel to The Handmaid’s Tale, acclaimed author Margaret Atwood answers the questions that have tantalised readers for decades. When the van door slammed on Offred’s future at the end of The Handmaid’s Tale, readers had no way of telling what lay ahead for her – freedom, prison or death. With The Testaments, the wait is over. Margaret Atwood’s sequel picks up the story more than 15 years after Offred stepped into the unknown, with the explosive testaments of three female narrators from Gilead. According to the author, everything her readers have asked her about Gilead and its inner workings was the inspiration for this book. “The other inspiration is the world we’ve been living in.” –

Cilka’s Journey – Zaffre

From the author of the multi-million copy bestseller, The Tattooist of Auschwitz comes a new novel based on a riveting true story of love and resilience. Cilka is just 16 when she is taken to Auschwitz-Birkenau Concentration Camp in 1942, where the commandant immediately notices how beautiful she is. When the war is over and the camp is liberated, freedom is not granted to Cilka: She is charged as a collaborator for sleeping with the enemy and sent to a Siberian prison camp. Confronting death and terror daily, Cilka discovers a strength she never knew she had when she begins to tend to the ill in the camp, forming bonds and relationships in this harsh, new reality. Despite everything that has happened to her, she finds there is room in her heart for love.  –

The School of Life – Hamish Hamilton

We spend years in school learning facts and figures but the one thing we’re never taught is how to live a fulfilled life. That’s why we need The School of Life – a real organisation founded a decade ago by writer and philosopher Alain de Botton, whose earlier books include the delightful Essays in Love, The Consolations of Philosophy, and The Art of Travel. The School of Life has one simple aim: to equip people with emotional intelligence – the most important tool for surviving and thriving in the modern world. With all the trademark wit and elegance of Alain de Botton’s other writings, and rooted in practical, achievable advice, it shows us a path to the better lives we all want and deserve. –

My African Conquest – Jonathan Ball

‘Next year I’m going to be 80 years old. My car will be 20 years old. Together we’ll be 100. We’re going to drive to London.’ When octogenarian Julia Albu calls into her favourite radio show with this zany, half-baked idea, she has no idea that it will lead her to the adventure of a lifetime. With her trusty old Toyota Conquest, Tracy, a giant map and unbounded enthusiasm, Julia sets off on the long drive from the Cape to Cairo – through deserts, over mountains and across grassy plains – and into the UK, where she hopes to meet the Queen of England. Along the way, she meets a host of colourful characters (human and animal). My African Conquest is a funny, feel-good story about adventuring through life – and never acting your age. –

My twenty-five years in Provence – Penguin Random House

The beloved author Peter Mayle, champion of all things Provence, is back with a final volume of vivid recollections from his 25 years in the South of France – lessons learned, culinary delights enjoyed, and changes observed. It all started when Mayle and his wife, Jennie, were rained out of a planned two weeks on the Côte d’Azur and, in search of sunlight, they set off for Aix-en-Provence. Enchanted by the world they found there, they soon decided to uproot their lives in England and settle in Provence. They have never looked back and, although modern life may have seeped into sleepy Provence, its magic remains. This thoughtful, humorous and vivid exploration of life well-lived, à la Provence, will charm long-time fans and a new generation of readers alike. –

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