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Read these! Best new books for November

It's bloomin' freezing out there so batten down the hatches, commandeer the sofa and get stuck into The Little Bookshop in Cookham's November picks. Then, boycott the big boys and order the lot from its new online shop.


A Promised Land by Barack Obama, out 17 Nov 2020


While Trump is squatting in the White House and Joe Biden’s waiting outside with a removal truck, President Barack Obama is poised to launch his hotly-anticipated personal memoir. A Promised Land is a riveting, deeply personal account of history in the making from the president who inspired us to believe in the power of democracy. In the stirring first volume, Obama tells the story of his improbable odyssey from young man to leader of the free world. He describes in striking detail both his political education and the landmark moments of the first term – a time of dramatic transformation and turmoil. Obama takes readers on a compelling journey to the watershed night of November 4, 2008, when he was elected 44th president of the United States, becoming the first African American to hold the nation’s highest office. An absolute must-read. Pre-order your copy now and The Little Bookshop will give you a £10 gift voucher to spend in-store or online.


The Secret Life of the Savoy- and the D'Oyly Carte Family by Olivia Williams

A book that lifts the lid on The Savoy Hotel's eccentric and secretive founders, the D’Oyly Carte family. A name synonymous with luxury hotels and theatre, who entertained the great and the good from Princess Margaret and Sophie Loren to Christian Dior and Aristotle Onassis. It was a place to see and be seen. The incredible story of a Gondolier-themed birthday dinner, complete with swimming swans, and 5ft-high cake pulled in by a baby elephant borrowed from London Zoo is something else.

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A Life on Our Planet by David Attenborough

David Attenborough is 94, broke the internet when he joined Instagram and this new book is a climate crusade to right the wrongs of humankind. A Life on Our Planet is part autobiography and part hellfire sermon neatly wrapped up as his vision for the future. A worthy read that honours the life's work on a national treasure, the life we will never see again.

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Elizabethans: How Modern Britain Was Forged by Andrew Marr

Who made modern Britain the country it is today? How do we sum up the kind of people we are? What does it mean to be the new Elizabethans? In a brilliantly entertaining style and with unexpected insights into some of our sung and unsung heroes, Andrew Marr offers up a first draft of the history we are all living, spanning back to when Queen Elizabeth became queen in 1953. Marr traces the activists to the artists, the sports heroes to the innovators who have made Britain the country it is today.

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There Are Places in the World Where Rules Are Less Important Than Kindness by Carlo Rovelli

One of the most inspiring thinkers of our age, the bestselling author of Seven Brief Lessons on Physics transforms the way we think about the world. In this collection of writings, Carlo Rovelli follows his curiosity and invites us on a voyage through science, history, philosophy and politics. Written with clarity and wit, these pieces range widely across time and space: from Newton's alchemy to Einstein's mistakes, from Nabokov's butterflies to Dante's cosmology, via mind-altering psychedelic substances to the meaning of atheism. This could certianly pep up your post dinner chat!

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The Lost Spells by Robert Macfarlane and Jackie Morris

Moving, joyful and funny, The Lost Spells above all celebrates a sense of wonder, bearing witness to nature's power to amaze, console and bring joy. Written to be read aloud, painted in brushstrokes that call to the forest, field, riverbank and also to the heart, The Lost Spells summons back what is often lost from sight and care, teaching the names of everyday species, and inspiring its readers to attention, love and care.

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Troy: Our Greatest Story Retold by Stephen Fry

The story of Troy speaks to all of us. It is the kidnapping of Helen, a queen celebrated for her beauty, which sees the Greeks launch a thousand ships against that great city, to which they will lay siege for 10 very bloody years. It is a terrible, brutal war with casualties on all sides. The Greeks cannot defeat the Trojans – since Achilles, the Greek's boldest warrior, is consumed with jealousy over an ally's choice of lover and will not fight. Yup, it's a story with more drama than an EastEnders Christmas special, brought to life by the legendary Stephen Fry.

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Limited Edition: The Boy, The Mole, The Fox & The Horse by Charlie Mackes

A 2019 bestseller that has been given a 2020 update to mark what has been a weird ol' year. But this beautifully illustrated book has been a bedtime comfort blanket for kids (and grown-ups) who have been finding pandemic life a little bit too much. Immerse yourself in the world of a curious boy, a greedy mole, a wary fox and a wise horse who find themselves together, in sometimes difficult terrain, sharing their greatest fears and biggest discoveries about vulnerability, kindness, hope, friendship and love. It is a book to treasure.

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