We’ve got some fascinating non-fiction reads here in the shop. The beauty of non-fiction books is their capacity to surprise – you can learn fascinating facts about things you’d never even considered before. Here’s four titles that I’ve been entertained by recently!
The Ravenmaster by Christopher Skaife
Christopher Skaife is Beefeater and Yeoman Ravenmaster at the Tower of London. The fond and often exasperated way he describes his fiercely intelligent feathered charges leaves you in no doubt of their distinct personalities.
In the first intimate behind-the-scenes account of life with the ravens of the Tower, the Ravenmaster himself shares the folklore, history and superstitions surrounding both the birds and their home. The result is a compelling, inspiring and irreverent story that will delight and surprise anyone with an interest in British history or animal behaviour.
Find it here.
King of Dust: Adventures in Forgotten Sculpture by Alex Woodcock
Medieval art might seem to most a strange place to find solace. But as soon as archaeologist Alex Woodcock picked up a stonemason’s tools he felt his mental struggles begin to ebb away, and reading this beautiful account you can understand why. Not just a fascinating exploration of the history of stonemasonry in South West England, King of Dust is also a celebration of nature, art, and the healing power of working with your hands.
King of Dust is a stonemason’s personal journey through the landscapes of south-west England and the sculpture which first inspired him to pick up tools: the Romanesque. Determined to understand the work by making and carving Alex retrained as a stonemason and spent several years working at Exeter Cathedral. A move to Cornwall prompted an urge to re-explore the little known Romanesque (12th century) carvings of the south-west. King of Dust follows a year of these wanderings.
Find it here.
Homing by Jon Day
Jon Day’s fascination with the humble pigeon started when he was a boy. They’re everywhere in our towns and cities, and are either ignored or seen as crumb-gobbling nuisances. A charming defence of these waddling birds and a fascinating peek into the pigeon-racing world.
The book delves into the curious world of pigeon fancying, and explores the scientific mysteries of animal homing as well as the cultural meanings of home. A book about the overlooked beauty of this species, a feral history of home, and our relationship with that most unloved bird.
This title is currently out of stock in the shop, but give us a call on 01326 312873 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can order a copy for you.
Skyfaring by Mark Vanhoenacker
A beautifully written celebration of flying from airline pilot Mark Vanhoenacker. Whilst offering an intriguingly in-depth look into every aspect of the cockpit the book also aims to capture the feeling of the first time up in the clouds, and succeeds.
In Skyfaring, a flight romantic shares his irrepressible love of flying, on a journey from day to night, from new ways of mapmaking and the poetry of physics to the names of winds and the nature of clouds. Here is an experience which modern travellers, armchair and otherwise, all too easily take for granted.
Find it here.