Books: Fact & Fiction
If you’re a bookworm, Cambridge’s Trinity Street – home to two of the city’s best-loved bookshops – is the place to go. Each month, the teams at Cambridge University Press and Heffers select their top fact and fiction titles
The New Psychology of Love by Robert J. Sternberg and Karin Sternberg
My first pick for February, when thoughts turn to love in all its complicated glory, is an anthology of essays which discuss the topic from a wide range of standpoints. The diversity of the contributions makes this considerably more than a psychology book. It’s anthropology, politics, sociology and even self-help, with chapters on how we love, why we find people attractive, and why relationships might succeed or fail. This really rewarding read will make you reflect on the thrills, spills, culture and meaning of love and how it touches us all through romance, friendship, family, and who we think we are.
Soho at Work: Pleasure and Place in Contemporary London by Melissa Tyler,University of Essex
From the psychology of love to the sociology of sex, specifically of the industry of London’s Soho; one of the most written-about and visited areas of the city, famous throughout the world for its colourful history and vivid nightlife. Based on 10 years of research, this books delves deep into the world of the working community of the area and intricate balance of gender, sex, money and the city. There is so much human interest in this book; past, present and future, and Melissa Tyler’s devotion to her task bears dividends in a rich and vibrant social and economic study.
Children's Fantasy Literature: An Introduction by Michael Levy and Farah Mendlesohn
The fantasies dealt with by Soho’s industry are a very different world from the ones found in this charming book. Children’s literature and fantasy are ever-growing field of study and delight for adult readers. This book combines the two genres, looking at, literally, fantastic books for children from the sixteenth to the twenty-first century; from fairy tales to Harry Potter and the myriad stories in between. This is a great introduction to a well-loved and familiar genre from two experts in the field of children’s literature and asks us to consider just what the stories we tell our children reveal about how adults perceive who they are and how they grow.
* Selected by Alice Tranah, bookseller at Cambridge University Press Bookshop, 1 Trinity Street, Cambridge CB2 1SZ. Call (01223) 333333.
Actress by Anne Enright
From the pen of Booker-winning author Anne Enright comes the story of Irish theatre legend Katherine O'Dell, as told by her daughter Norah who, from a young age, watched the grand performance of her mother’s life – both on and offstage – from the wings. From the glamour of Hollywood and post-war America to the shabbiness of 1970s Dublin, it’s a story about fame, sexual power and a daughter’s search to uncover her mother’s hidden truths. Can their relationship survive it?
The Foundling by Stacey Halls
As fans of Stacey’s first book, The Familiars, we have been looking forward to the publication of her second, The Foundling. Set in 1750s London, it follows the fortunes of Bess Bright, who gave her baby, Clara, up to the foundling hospital. Six years later, when Bess returns to reclaim her, she is told someone has already done so. But who? And why? ‘The Foundling’ is an atmospheric and gripping read, as we wait for Bess to find the answers to these questions and more.
False Value by Ben Aaronovitch
Detective and apprentice wizard Peter Grant makes a welcome return in the eighth book in the bestselling Rivers of London series. Grant is now facing fatherhood – with a sense of panic as well as enthusiasm. For a start he needs a stable job, so he accepts one at London start-up, the Serious Cybernetics Company. Other than trying to blend in with a) civilians who are b) even geekier than he is, Grant is expecting a reasonably easy time – but it turns out there’s a technological secret hidden here that, combined with magic, is going to prove quite a match for him.
* Selected by Kate Fleet, events and marketing manager at Heffers, 20 Trinity Street, Cambridge CB2 1TY. Call (01223) 463200.
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More by this authorAlice Ryan