Wellcome Book Prize
The Wellcome Book Prize has been awarded to a study in psychosomatic illness, 'It's all in Your Head' by Dr Susan O'Sullivan. Judges praised the book for offering ''new insights into the relationship between the body and the mind''.
Pauline first became ill when she was fifteen. What seemed to be a urinary infection became joint pain, then life-threatening appendicitis. After a routine operation Pauline lost all the strength in her legs. Shortly afterwards, convulsions started. But Pauline's tests are normal: her symptoms seem to have no physical cause whatsoever. This may be an extreme case, but Pauline is not alone.
As many as a third of people visiting their GP have symptoms that are medically unexplained. In most, an emotional root is suspected which is often the last thing a patient wants to hear and a doctor to say. We accept our hearts can flutter with excitement and our brows can sweat with nerves, but on this journey into the very real world of psychosomatic illness, Suzanne O'Sullivan finds the secrets we are all capable of keeping from ourselves.
Book of the Week
In the Bonesetter's Waiting-Room: Travels through Indian Medicine by Aarathi Prasad
India defies definition, and the story of medicine in India is similarly rich and complex: shaped by unique challenges and opportunities, uniting cutting-edge technological developments with ancient cultural traditions, fuelled by political changes which transformed the lives of millions and moulded by the energy of forceful individuals. Here, Aarathi Prasad investigates how Indian medicine came to be the way it is. Her travels will take her to bonesetter clinics in Jaipur and Hyderabad and the waiting-rooms of Bollywood's best plastic surgeons, and introduce her to traditional healers as well as the world-beating heart surgeon who is revolutionising treatment of the poor around the globe. From the asthma treatment 'cure' that involves swallowing a live fish, to ground-breaking mental health initiatives in Mumbai's Dharavi mega-slum and ground-breaking neuroscience happening inside the Mughal walls of old Delhi, In the Bonesetter's Waiting Room tells the story of the Indian people, in sickness and in health, and provides a unique perspective on the most diverse and fascinating country in the world. In the Bonesetter's Waiting Room will accompany a programme of Wellcome Collection exhibitions and activity exploring India's rich plurality of cultures of medicine, healing and well-being in Indian cities in 2016.
Book at Bedtime
The Bricks that Built the Houses by Kate Tempest
Award-winning poet and rapper Kate Tempest's electrifying debut novel takes us into the beating heart of the capital in this multi-generational tale of drugs, desire and belonging. It gets into your bones. You don't even realise it, until you're driving through it, watching all the things you've always known and leaving them behind. Young Londoners Becky, Harry and Leon are leaving town in a fourth-hand Ford Cortina with a suitcase full of money. They are running from jealous boyfriends, dead-end jobs, violent maniacs and disgruntled drug dealers, in the hope of escaping the restless tedium of life in south-east London - the place they have always called home. As the story moves back in time, to before they had to leave, we see them torn between confidence and self-loathing, between loneliness and desire, between desperate ambition and the terrifying prospect of getting nothing done. In The Bricks that Built The Houses Kate Tempest explores contemporary city life with a powerful moral microscope, giving us irresistible stories of hidden lives, and showing us how the best intentions don't always lead to the right decisions
The EU Referendum
If you're still making up your mind about which way to vote, perhaps one of these two impartial guides could help.
Europe In or Out by David Charter
Europe: vital for Britain's economy and global standing or a bureaucratic monster hell-bent on destroying our national sovereignty?
Addressing the real issues surrounding a potential exit from the EU - including jobs, travel, immigration, investment, sovereignty and justice - this book investigates the consequences both for the country and for the person on the street.A clear, comprehensive and compelling guide to the impact of the EU and the implications of a British exit, this objective and unbiased handbook, from an expert in the field, is essential reading for anyone with an interest in Britain's future.
EU Referendum 2016: A Guide for Voters
Should the United Kingdom remain a part of the European Union or leave the European Union? This is the question we will have to answer on 23 June, when we head to the ballot boxes to cast our votes in the in/out referendum on EU membership. It's a complicated issue. What, exactly, would the much discussed 'Brexit' mean for the UK? With varied opinions on the EU from all over the political spectrum, do you know enough to make an informed decision? This non-partisan guide features chapters on the history of Britain in Europe, the 'Remain' and 'Leave' campaigns, and the likely timelines following both a 'In' and an 'Out' vote. With maps illustrating the EU and EEA membership and clear exposition of issues key to the debate by journalist and broadcaster David Torrance, author of guides to the 2015 General Election and the Scottish Independence Referendum, this is the only guide to 2016's referendum you will need.
These are the books that were most popular with our customers last week......
1.I Saw a Man by Owen Sheers
2. Sweet Caress by William Boyd (now in paperback)
3. Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins (now in paperback)
4. Tom Gates: Super Good Skills (Almost) by Liz Pichon
5. The Improbability of Love by Hannah Rothschild
6. Hitman Anders and the Meaning of it All by Jonas Jonasson
7. It's All in your Head by Suzanne O'Sullivan
8. EU Referendum: A Guide for Voters by David Torrence
9. Stasi Child by David Young
10. SPQR (now in paperback) by Mary Beard
If you would like to read any of these books, please send us a message from our contacts page, and we will reserve a copy for you.
The Night Manager by John Le Carre
In The Night Manager, John le Carre's first post-Cold War novel, an ex-soldier helps British Intelligence penetrate the secret world of ruthless arms dealers.
"Le Carre is the equal of any novelist now writing in English." (Guardian). "A marvellously observed relentless tale." (Observer). At the start of it all, Jonathan Pine is merely the night manager at a luxury hotel. But when a single attempt to pass on information to the British authorities - about an international businessman at the hotel with suspicious dealings - backfires terribly, and people close to Pine begin to die, he commits himself to a battle against powerful forces he cannot begin to imagine. In a chilling tale of corrupt intelligence agencies, billion-dollar price tags and the truth of the brutal arms trade, John le Carre creates a claustrophobic world in which no one can be trusted. "Complex and intense...page-turning tension." (San Francisco Chronicle).
"When I was under house arrest I was helped by the books of John le Carre...they were a journey into the wider world...These were the journeys that made me feel that I was not really cut off from the rest of humankind." (Aung San Suu Kyi).
"One of those writers who will be read a century from now." (Robert Harris). "He can communicate emotion, from sweating fear to despairing love, with terse and compassionate conviction." (Sunday Times (on The Spy Who Came in from the Cold)). "Return of the master...Having plumbed the devious depths of the Cold War, le Carre has done it again for our nasty new age." (The Times (on Our Kind of Traitor)).