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Spike and The Greywacke Shortlisted for the Royal Society Science Book Prize

We are thrilled to announce that Spike by Jeremy Farrar with Anjana Ahuja and The Greywacke by Nick Davidson have been shortlisted for the 2022 Royal Society Science Book Prize, which recognises the best popular science writing from around the world. From 219 submissions, we are particularly proud that Profile makes up two of the six shortlisted titles. The winner of the Prize will be revealed at a ceremony on 29th November.

Read on for the judging panel’s comments on our shortlisted books.

Maria Fitzgerald on Jeremy Farrar and Anjana Ahuja’s Spike:
‘On New Year’s Eve 2019, while most of us were lifting a glass to see the new year in, Jeremy Farrar, world expert in global infectious diseases, received a personal call about a cluster of cases of a new pneumonia in Wuhan in China. Farrar’s account of what followed as the coronavirus pandemic unfolded is told in Spike, a rollercoaster story of intrigue, politics and human error that reads like a thriller. Farrar, who was present at the heart of government decision-making on Covid-19 and Ahuja, a talented science writer, lead us on an exciting and pacy journey, chilling in its honesty but intensely readable.’

Kate Humble on Nick Davidson’s The Greywacke:
‘Gloriously reminiscent of the traditional science books of days past, and full of intrigue and colour, The Greywacke vividly brings to life a remarkable Victorian geological discovery. Through the eyes of three unlikely and fascinating central characters, the reader is swept along in a book which is as captivating and theatrical as a novel; you could be a complete newcomer to the subject matter of geology and take a lot away from this. Ultimately a really exciting and digestible format for what may seem a niche topic.’

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Autumn Reads

As the longer nights draw in, we can’t wait for those cosy evenings at home with a big cup of tea and a good book. Luckily for you, we’ve got some fantastic autumn reads to inspire, entertain and enlighten this season. From Adrian Chiles’ witty guide to drinking in moderation to the perfect Halloween read from Kate Summerscale, take a look at our wealth of wonderful non-fiction publishing in the next few months.

What are you planning to read this autumn? Join us on Twitter @profilebooks and Instagram @profile.books for daily bookish chat.

BOOKS TO INSPIRE

A Home of One’s Own by Hashi Mohamed (OUT NOW)

Drawing on his own history of housing insecurity and his professional career as a planning barrister, Hashi Mohamed examines the myriad aspects of the housing crisis – from Right-to-Buy to Grenfell, slums and evictions to the Bank of Mum and Dad – and explores what needs to change.

The Intersectional Environmentalist by Leah Thomas (OUT NOW)

Perfect for admirers of Greta Thunberg and Vanessa Nakate, climate activist Leah Thomas brings us a guide to instigating change for everyone and a pledge to work towards the empowerment of all people and the betterment of the planet. This is an indispensable primer for activists looking to create meaningful, inclusive and sustainable change.

Discipline is Destiny by Ryan Holiday (Publishing September)

Following the bestselling Courage is Calling, Discipline is Destiny is the next inspiring book in Ryan Holiday’s new series, this time exploring how to cultivate willpower, moderation and self-control in our lives.

The Good Drinker by Adrian Chiles (Publishing October)

Join the inimitable Chiles as he sets out around Britain and plumbs his only slightly fuzzy memories of a lifetime in pubs in a quest to uncover the unsung pleasures of drinking in moderation.

BOOKS TO ENTERTAIN

Remainders of the Day by Shaun Bythell (OUT NOW)

Wigtown bookshop owner Shaun Bythell returns with the latest entry in his bestselling diary series. Featuring Shaun’s signature dry wit, Remainders of the Day provides a behind-the-scenes look at running the largest second-hand bookshop in Scotland, complete with eccentric customers, interesting booksellers and beautiful books galore.

Conversations from a Long Marriage by Jan Etherington (Publishing November)

Read the scripts from the witty and heart-warming BBC Radio 4 sitcom Conversations from a Long Marriage, starring Joanna Lumley and Roger Allam. These conversations will resonate with couples of any age – but especially those who are still dancing in their kitchen, singing in the car and trying to keep the passion alive.

Astonish Me! by Dominic Dromgoole (Publishing October)

From the long-time artistic director of of the Globe Theatre comes an adrenaline-charged rollercoaster through history’s seismic first nights, exploring how individual artists can change and shape the story of culture – and allow us to see ourselves in new ways.

A Brief History of Pasta by Luca Cesari (Publishing October)

In A Brief History of Pasta, discover the humble origins of fettuccine Alfredo that lie in a back-street trattoria in Rome, how Genovese sauce became a Neapolitan staple and what conveyor belts have to do with serving spaghetti. Filled with mouth-watering recipes and engrossing tales, this is the story of Italy in ten dishes.

BOOKS TO ENLIGHTEN

The Magick of Matter by Felix Flicker (Publishing November)

Essential reading for science buffs and magic lovers alike, The Magick of Matter is a journey of discovery which will upend everything you think you know about witchcraft, wizardry, and condensed matter physics, from the laws of thermodynamics to the seven bridges of Konigsberg.

Exposed by Caroline Vout (OUT NOW) 

In this beautifully illustrated book, Professor of Classics at Cambridge Caroline Vout removes the Greek and Roman body from its pedestal and explores it in all its surprisingly human glory, from ancient cosmetics and contraception to early gym memberships.

The Book of Phobias and Manias by Kate Summerscale (Publishing October)

From the bestselling author of The Suspicions of Mr Whicher comes a captivating A-Z compendium of our deepest fears and innermost obsessions. Kate Summerscale explores the historical and cultural contexts of our obsessive anxieties by way of arachnophobia, bibliomania and more.

Five Arguments All Couples (Need to) Have by Joanna Harrison (OUT NOW)

Grounded in her experience as a couples therapist, Joanna Harrison explores the the five distinct issues couples need to work through to have a healthy and functioning relationship. Using sound advice and relatable case studies, she offers practical ideas and imaginative ways to think about ourselves and our partners.

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Our Top 5 Books on Society and the Human Condition

What does it mean to be human? And how are we shaped by society? We’ve selected our top five books from the Wellcome Collection that navigate the human condition and the way it intersects with society, from a deep-dive into what it means to be ‘normal’ to a fascinating exploration of our phobias and manias. Open your eyes to our vast and interesting human experience with our recommendations below.

Tell us what you’re reading on Twitter @profilebooks and Instagram @profile.books.

 

The Book of Phobias and Manias by Kate Summerscale (Publishing October)

Do you recoil in arachnophobic horror at the sight of a spider – or twitch with nomophobia when you misplace your mobile phone? In Kate Summerscale’s captivating A–Z compendium of phobias and manias, she deftly explores the past and present, the psychological and social, and the personal and the political, to shine a light on our obsessions and fears.

 

 

 

Exposed by Caroline Vout (Publishing September)

In this beautifully illustrated book, Cambridge Professor of Classics Caroline Vout explores the Greek and Roman body in all its (surprisingly human) glory. In this fascinating journey beyond ancient texts and marble statues, Exposed asks, where do we come from? What makes us different from gods and animals? And what happen to our bodies when we die?

 

 

 

Am I Normal? by Sarah Chaney (Out now)

Before the nineteenth century, the term ‘normal’ was rarely ever associated with human behaviour, instead used almost exclusively for maths. But from the 1830s, this branch of science took off across Europe and North America, with a proliferation of IQ tests, sex studies, a census of hallucinations – even a UK beauty map. This book is a surprising history of how the very notion of the normal came about and how it shaped us all, often while entrenching oppressive values.

 

 

 

Brainwashed by Daniel Pick (Out now)

In Brainwashed, historian and psychoanalyst Daniel Pick delves into the mysterious world of thought control. From the ‘brainwashed’ American POWs who chose to stay in Mao’s China rather than return to their homeland, to ISIS, TV advertising and online algorithms, this book is a fascinating exploration of brainwashing, shedding light on the ways in which we think about our minds and societies.

 

 

 

Something Out of Place by Eimear McBride (Out now)

Described as ‘formidable’ by Vogue, this essay from the award-winning author of A Girl is a Half-formed Thing unpicks the contradictory forces of disgust and objectification that control and shame women. From playground taunts of ‘only sluts do it’ but ‘virgins are frigid’, to ladette culture, and the arrival of ‘ironic’ porn, Eimear McBride looks at how this prejudicial messaging has played out in the past, and still surrounds us today.

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The Disappearance of Lydia Harvey wins at the CWA

We are proud to announce that The Disappearance of Lydia Harvey by Julia Laite has won the ALCS Gold Dagger for Non-Fiction at the Crime Writers’ Association (CWA) Awards. The CWA Daggers is the premier crime-writing awards in the UK, so we could not be more thrilled to see Julia’s incredible book take home the non-fiction crown.

Learn more about The Disappearance of Lydia Harvey below:

***

‘Brilliantly summons up one girl’s life, dreams and suffering. It’s ingenious history writing’ – Mail on Sunday

‘A gripping, unputdownable masterpiece’ – Hallie Rubenhold, author of The Five

‘Extraordinary’ – Guardian

‘Historical writing does not get any better than this’ – Matt Houlbrook, author of The Prince of Tricksters

1910, Wellington, New Zealand. Lydia Harvey is sixteen, working long hours for low pay, when a glamorous couple invite her to Buenos Aires. She accepts – and disappears.

1910, London, England. Amid a global panic about sex trafficking, detectives are tracking a ring of international criminals when they find a young woman on the streets of Soho who might be the key to cracking the whole case.

As more people are drawn into Lydia’s life and the trial at the Old Bailey, the world is being reshaped into a new, global era. Choices are being made – about who gets to cross borders, whose stories matter and what justice looks like – that will shape the next century. In this immersive account, historian Julia Laite traces Lydia Harvey through the fragments she left behind to build an extraordinary story of aspiration, exploitation and survival – and one woman trying to build a life among the forces of history.

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Summer Reads

Summer means long days and long nights with ample time for getting stuck into a book. Whatever your plans, we’ve compiled the ultimate reading list to help you fill your summer months – for seaside holiday-makers, we have the ultimate beach companion in the marine miscellany Sea Fever; for serious history fans, we have the return of the inimitable Simon Jenkins in The Celts; and for those on the look out for some comedic relief whilst the children are off school, we have Lucy Mangan’s hilariously relatable novel Are We Having Fun Yet?

What’s at the top of your reading list this summer? Join us on Twitter @profilebooks and Instagram @profile.books for daily bookish chat.

EXPAND YOUR HORIZONS

Mountain Taleby Saumya Roy (OUT NOW) 

A remarkable, previously untold story of the Deonar garbage mountains in Mumbai, Mountain Tales is an eye-opening tale of a community whose lives in this current climate are becoming more fragile than ever.

Mathematical Intelligence by Junaid Mubeen (OUT NOW) 

From the presenter of the TEDx talk ‘You weren’t bad at maths – you just weren’t looking at it the right way’ comes this fascinating exploration of a surprising advantage that humans have over our incoming robot masters: we’re actually good at maths.

The Celts by Simon Jenkins (Publishing in June)

From the author of A Short History of England comes the history of Ancient Britain’s most enigmatic civilisations, exploring what their legacy should be in an increasingly dis-United Kingdom.

 

TRAVEL BY BOOK

World of Wonders by Aimee Nezhukumatathil (Publishing in August)

New York Times bestseller, World of Wonders is a sparkling, illustrated collection of essays about the natural world, forming a magnificent bestiary, and an unforgettable book of sustenance, resilience and joy.

Murder by the Seaside edited by Cecily Gayford (OUT NOW)

Get your thriller fix and take a holiday of a lifetime with history’s greatest mystery writers. This classic crime anthology features stories from the likes of Arthur Conan Doyle, Dorothy L. Sayers, Margery Allingham and many more.

Sea Fever by Meg Clothier and Chris Clothier (OUT NOW) 

The ultimate seaside companion, Sea Fever tells you everything you need to know about the sea and the shore, from advice on seasickness, to ancient marine lore and dramatic stories of daring-do.

 

STORIES OF LIVING

Love and the Novel by Christina Lupton (OUT NOW)

The perfect summer read for bibliophiles and romantics alike, this book is a genre-defying love story that illuminates all love stories.

Floor Sample by Julia Cameron (Publishing in August)

From her early career as a writer for Rolling Stone magazine and her marriage to Martin Scorsese, to her tortured experiences with alcohol and Hollywood, Floor Sample is a bold and big-hearted memoir by Julia Cameron, the author of The Artist’s Way.

Are We Having Fun Yet? by Lucy Mangan (Publishing in June)

Lucy Mangan’s uproariously funny debut novel charts one year in the life of one woman as she faces all the storms of modern life (babysitters, death, threadworms) on her epic quest for that holy grail: a moment to herself.

 

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Announcing The Good Drinker: How I Learned to Love Drinking Less by Adrian Chiles

We’re thrilled to announce that we will publish broadcaster and columnist Adrian Chiles’ The Good Drinker: How I Learned to Love Drinking Less on 6th October 2022. The book grew out of Chiles’ BBC2 documentary, Drinkers Like Me, in which he explored his own – and Britain’s – drinking culture. We have bought World rights from Avalon.

There’s an awful lot of advice out there on how to quit booze completely. If you just want to drink a bit less, the pickings are slim. Yet while the alcohol industry depends on a minority of problem drinkers, the majority really do drink well below the recommended weekly alcohol limit. What’s their secret? In The Good Drinker, the inimitable Adrian Chiles sets out around Britain and plumbs his only slightly fuzzy memories of a lifetime in pubs in a quest to discover the unsung pleasures of drinking in moderation. He writes: ‘This book definitely isn’t some covert guide to knocking drinking on the head completely. Neither is it a classic self-help book; it might amount to the same thing, but it’s really just a distillation, if you’ll pardon the pun, of the many things I’ve learnt about drinking less since I made a TV documentary on the subject and started writing about it. And what I’ve learnt, you’ll be shocked to read, is that it’s complicated.’

Profile Editor Mark Ellingham says: ‘Adrian’s book is an eye-opener. It’s for all of us – about 20 percent of the population – who drink more than we should, but don’t think we have a problem. We wake up in our own beds. We don’t get into fights. But drink is all too much of a constant in our social lives. Adrian loves drinking and doesn’t want to stop. Most of us feel like that and his book will help set many of us on the path to some kind of moderation. And it’s pure Chiles: full of good sense, companionable and never remotely preachy. It is a book people will keep reading for many years.’

Adrian Chiles hosts Chiles on Friday on 5Live. He co-presented both The One Show and Daybreak, and was for five years the chief presenter for ITV Sport’s football coverage. He writes a regular column in both the Guardian and the Sun, which not many people can claim. His previous book, We Don’t Know What We’re Doing, was about obsessive West Bromwich Albion fans. He has hosted an array of documentaries for the BBC, including Drinkers Like Me (2018) and Panorama – Britain’s Drinking Problem (2020).

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Mathematical Intelligence: Watch the TedX Talk

There’s so much talk about the threat posed by intelligent machines that it sometimes seems as though we should surrender to our robot overlords now. But Junaid Mubeen isn’t ready to throw in the towel just yet.

As far as he is concerned, we have the edge over machines because of a remarkable system of thought developed over the millennia. It’s familiar to us all, but often badly taught and misrepresented in popular discourse – maths.

Computers are brilliant at totting up sums, pattern-seeking and performing, well, computation. For all things calculation, machines reign supreme. But Junaid identifies seven areas of intelligence where humans can retain a crucial edge. And in exploring these areas, he opens up a fascinating world where we can develop our uniquely human mathematical superpowers.

Mathematical Intelligence publishes on 2nd June. Find out more here.

In this TedX talk, Junaid Mubeen is here for the mathematically anxious, showing you that you aren’t bad at maths, you’re just not looking at it in the right way…

Watch below!

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Tenants: Read an Extract

The urgent story of this country’s biggest crisis, told through the lives of those it most affects

Tony is facing eviction instead of enjoying retirement; Limarra isn’t ‘homeless enough’ to get help from the council; and for Kelly and her asthmatic son Morgan, another new rented house is a matter of life and death. This is twenty-first century Britain, where millions are trying to build lives in privately rented accommodation, which creates profit for landlords but not safe and stable homes for tenants.

This fierce and moving account tells their stories, and the story of how we built a housing system where homelessness is a constant threat. Award-winning housing journalist Vicky Spratt traces decades of bad decisions to show how and why the British dream of homeownership has withered and the safety net of social housing has unravelled. She has spent years talking with those on the frontline all around the country. Here, she illuminates the ways this national emergency cuts across generations, class and education and is devastating our health, destroying communities and transforming the social, economic and political landscape beyond recognition.

But it is not irreversible. The Covid-19 pandemic showed that radical action is possible, and there are real steps we can take to give everyone the chance of a good home. This urgent, ground breaking book leads the way.

Follow Vicky on Twitter @Victoria_Spratt and on Instagram @vicky.spratt.

Read an extract from Tenants below. Get your copy here.


Private renters are tenants. A tenant is someone who has temporary possession of land or property which they rent from a landlord. The word has its roots in Old French and feudalism; it is related to the verb tenir, which means ‘to hold’ and is derived from the Latin tenere, which means ‘to keep’ or ‘to grasp’. To be a tenant in Britain today is to try everything in your power to hold on to your sense of security, often clutching at straws.

The business of private renting is simple: private renters add to their landlord’s wealth while (usually) diminishing their own; but private renters like Anthony are generally poorer than owner-occupiers to begin with. Over the past twenty years, the number of people in England’s private rented sector has doubled. There are now some 11 million people living in precarious rented homes which could be taken away from them at any time. From 2011 to 2018, rents in England rose by 16 per cent, outpacing wages, which only increased by 10 per cent on average during the same period, according to the housing charity Shelter.

In the year May 2020 to May 2021, the cost of rent to household income ratio (the amount of rent you pay compared with the amount of money you earn) increased in most regions in the United Kingdom. On average, private renters spend a third of their pre-tax earnings on rent (London 34 per cent, south-west 32 per cent, south-east 31.8 per cent, east England 31.3 per cent, north-west 29.4 per cent, Wales 29.1 per cent, East Midlands 29 per cent, West Midlands 29 per cent, Northern Ireland 27.6 per cent, Yorkshire and Humber 26.8 per cent, Scotland 25.2 per cent, north-east 24 per cent). This means that most renters (63 per cent) struggle to save. Unlike homeowners, their place in the world becomes neither legally nor financially more stable over time.

Across the UK there are currently 17.5 million adults without a safe, secure or stable home (if children are included, this rises to 22 million people). That’s one in three. Maybe that’s you or someone you love. Women and people who are not White British are disproportionately impacted by this. But not only has rent skyrocketed in the past ten years, house prices are now more than 65 times that of the average home in 1970. Meanwhile, average weekly wages are only 35.8 times higher. Now there is not, according to the independent not-for-profit organisation the Women’s Budget Group, a single place in the UK where a single woman on an average income can afford to buy or rent a home on her own. A third of all young people will be renting privately from cradle to grave. The number of older people who rely on a private landlord has also grown.

Private renting is now so unaffordable and unstable, it has fuelled homelessness (particularly in London, but increasingly elsewhere, too). The number of families who became homeless because they were evicted or could not afford their rent despite being in work, went up by 73 per cent between 2013 and 2018. In the most basic – financial – terms, this has cost the state greatly. Figures from the Local Government Association (LGA) show that councils in England spent £142 million placing homeless households in bed and breakfasts (most of which are privately owned, and, as I have reported, sometimes funded by offshore investments) in 2019/20, compared with £26.7 million in 2010/11 – that’s a 430 per cent increase over the course of a decade. At the start of 2021, 253,000 people in England, 130,000 of whom were children, were homeless and living in temporary accommodation – hostels, bed and breakfasts and even converted office blocks where you might find an entire family living in one room, sharing a bathroom and kitchen with total strangers.

And so this book is about those people – like Anthony – who don’t own their homes. It’s also about those who help them. And it’s about the landlords, letting agents and investors who make money from this crisis while politicians look the other way. It unpacks a complex truth: that we aren’t facing one homogeneous housing crisis in Britain right now. Hardest hit, as ever, are those on no and low incomes, who would previously have lived in social housing. But so, too, are those on average and middle incomes who would once have been able to buy a home relatively easily. This is the story of a series of localised crises which are distinct and distinctive. Reporting from HMOs in Bradford, modern slums in Weston-super-Mare, social housing in south London and the offices of Members of Parliament in Westminster, this book assesses the human impact of bad housing policy. It looks at how we got here, and how we can make things better in both the long and the short term. It asks a vital question: in an ideal world, what would we do with housing policy? And, ultimately, as the stories in this book show, the housing crisis underpins a range of social evils, from inequality to energy inefficiency, from mental health to regional inequity, and from the cost of living to social mobility. And so, this book asks whether fixing housing could fix everything else, too. Could a more compassionate and loving social, political and economic model, one that brings more humanity to housing, be within reach?

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Easter Reads

The long weekend is fast approaching, which means ample time for reading! We’ve compiled our ultimate Easter highlights: from an inspiring story of caring by the bestselling author Kate Mosse, to a beautifully illustrated history of the Church of England, to a radical book of essays accompanying the brand new Wellcome Collection exhibition.

Whatever your plans this bank holiday, we’ve got the best non-fiction to provide you with knowledge, inspiration and comfort. Join us on Twitter @profilebooks to tell us what you’re reading.

A People’s Church by Jeremy Morris

For those observing Easter and the end of Lent, try a A People’s Church. Weaving social, political, and religious history together with church music and architecture, this is a clear-eyed look at Anglican history through the ages.


An Extra Pair of Hands
by Kate Mosse

FROM THE BESTSELLING AUTHOR

Not all of us can take time off this bank holiday – being a carer, for example, is a full-time role. This small but beautifully formed book from bestselling novelist Kate Mosse is a rallying cry for carers and the acts of love that hold families together.


The Nature Seed by Lucy Jones and Kenneth Greenway

Hoping to get outside with the kids over the long weekend? The Nature Seed is your must-have practical and philosophical guide to sharing the wonders of the natural world with your little ones.

Move by Caroline Williams

Did you know that walking can improve your cognitive skills? And that strengthening your muscular core reduces anxiety? Get up out of your office chair and get moving this bank holiday for a happier and healthier mind.

This Book is a Plant

Are you planning to see the new Wellcome Collection exhibition Rooted Beings over the long weekend? Get yourself a copy of This Book is a Plant, the exhibition’s accompanying book, and discover a radical new way of engaging with our natural world.


Recovery by Dr Gavin Francis

SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER

Unwell this Easter? Be kind to yourself and discover the lost art of convalescence with this pocket-sized book of hope and healing from GP Gavin Francis.

Liberalism and its Discontents by Francis Fukuyama

After a thought-provoking read? Time to get the punchy but concise Liberalism and its Discontents by the renowned political philosopher Francis Fukuyama.


Butler to the World by Oliver Bullough

SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER

Just because the banks shut for the weekend, does not mean the entire world goes on standstill. For those keen to engage with politics over Easter, take a read of the ever timely Butler to the World and discover how the UK took up its position at the elbow of the worst people on Earth: the oligarchs, kleptocrats and gangsters.


This is How Your Marriage Ends by Matthew Fray

If spending time with your other half over the holiday feels strained, this book is for you. A thoughtful, down-to-earth, contemporary guide, This is How Your Marriage Ends helps partners identify and address relationship-killing behaviour patterns in their own lives.

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Spring 2022 Highlights

Start your year with new voices, big ideas and stories that challenge the status quo. In the list below we select some highlights for spring: from the urgent story of Britain’s renting crisis to a popular history of the BBC, and from an essential guide to self-acceptance to the latest book from renowned political philosopher Francis Fukuyama. 

This is non-fiction you won’t be able to put down, from the best writers out there. Join us on Twitter @profilebooks to tell us what you’re reading.  

The BBC by David Hendy (27th January)

In this monumental work of popular history, professor and historian David Hendy traces the BBC from its maverick beginnings through war, the creation of television, changing public taste, austerity and massive cultural change.

How to Be You by Jeffrey Marsh (3rd February)

With workbook pages and colouring charts to help you on your journey, How to Be You speaks to everyone who feels like they don’t belong. Jeffrey shows you how to deepen your relationship with yourself and find the courage to be the amazing person you already are.

Hybrid Humans by Harry Parker (17th February)

Harry Parker’s life changed overnight, when he lost his legs to an IED in Afghanistan. Grappling with his own new identity and disability, he discovers the latest robotics, tech and implants that might lead us to powerful, liberating possibilities for what a body can be.

Liberalism and its Discontents by Francis Fukuyama (17th March)

Since its inception, liberalism has come under attack from conservatives and progressives alike. In this brilliant and concise exposition, Francis Fukuyama sets out the cases for and against its classical premises: observing the rule of law, independence of judges, means over ends, and most of all, tolerance.

Nine Quarters of Jerusalem by Matthew Teller (17th March)

Ranging from the ancient past to the political present, this highly original ‘biography’ lets the communities of Jerusalem speak for themselves and, in turn, evokes the city’s depth and cultural diversity.

Butler to the World by Oliver Bullough (17th March)
Sunday Times bestselling author Oliver Bullough reveals the scandalous reality of Britain’s new position in the world: at the elbow of the oligarchs, kleptocrats and gangsters.

How Words Get Good by Rebecca Lee (17th March)

Once upon a time, a writer had an idea. They wrote it down. But what happened next? Join Rebecca Lee, professional word-improver, as she embarks on the fascinating journey to find out how a book gets from author’s brain to finished copy.

How to Live With Each Other by Farhan Samanani (24th March)

Combining case studies from across the world with his own research, anthropologist Farhan Samanani provides insights into the capacity of humankind to connect across divides. He explores the roots of our present tensions and casts fresh light on how we can cultivate common ground, build healthy communities and not just live but flourish together.

Chums by Simon Kuper (28th April)

Eleven of the fifteen postwar British prime ministers went to Oxford. This narrowest of talent pools has shaped the modern country. In Chums, Simon Kuper traces how the rarefied and privileged atmosphere of Oxford University – and the friendships and worldviews it created – helped give us today’s Britain, including Brexit.

Tenants by Vicky Spratt (12th May)

In this fierce and moving account, journalist Vicky Spratt traces decades of bad policy decisions to show how and why the British dream of homeownership has withered and the safety net of social housing has broken. Through the lives of those in the renting trap, she illuminates the ways this crisis is devastating our health, communities and political landscape.

Geography is Destiny by Ian Morris (12th May)

Geography is Destiny tells the history of Britain and its changing relationships with Europe and the wider world, from its physical separation at the end of the Ice Age to the first flickers of a United Kingdom, struggles for the Atlantic, and rise of the Pacific Rim.

Mathematical Intelligence by Junaid Mubeen (2th June)

A fascinating exploration of a surprising advantage that humans have over our incoming robot masters: we’re actually good at maths. In exploring these areas of intelligence where humans can retain a crucial edge over machines, Junaid opens up a fascinating world where we can develop our uniquely human mathematical superpowers.

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The Profile Christmas Gifting Guide 2021

Christmas is just around the corner, and we have you covered with some fantastic festive gifting suggestions! Whether you’re shopping for presents for foodies, history buffs or art and design lovers, or simply trying to find the perfect stocking filler, there’s something for everyone in our Christmas gifting guide.

For all our latest news and new non-fiction reads, join our newsletter.

Happy reading!

FOR HISTORY BUFFS

The Wordhord by Hana Videen is the perfect gift for the wordsmith in your life – an illuminating collection of weird, wonderful and downright baffling words from the origins of English. In The Library – the first major history of its kind – Andrew Pettegree and Arthur der Weduwen explore the contested and dramatic history of the library, from the famous collections of the ancient world to the embattled public resources we cherish today. Published in time for the 700th anniversary of his death, Dante by Alessandro Barbero and translated by Allan Cameron brings the legendary author’s Italy to life, describing the political intrigue, battles, city and society that shaped his life and work.

FOR ART & DESIGN LOVERS

Fabric by Victoria Finlay is a visually stunning work that spins us around the globe, unwinding our history through cloth. The first major biography for our time, Magritte by celebrated biographer of Cézanne Alex Danchev is a deep examination of the Belgian surrealist. In Art of the Extreme, Sotherby’s director Philip Hook explores the ten most revolutionary years in art: 1905–1914. The Colour Code by Paul Simpson is a kaleidoscopic compendium of stories about our spectrum, with full-colour illustrations throughout. An ode to the software we love to hate, Everything I Know about Life I Learned from PowerPoint by Russell Davies is a witty and design-led book, perfect for office secret Santa!

FOR FOODIES

From the bestselling author of A Cheesemonger’s History of the British Isles comes A Cheesemonger’s Compendium of British and Irish Cheese – a delicious guide to artisanal and farmhouse cheeses by Ned Palmer. In At Christmas We Feast, Annie Gray celebrates festive food through the ages, from plum pudding and mince pies to boar’s head and brawn.

FOR NATURE NUTS

The perfect gift for adventurous parents and children alike, The Nature Seed by Lucy Jones and Kenneth Greenway is a practical guide to sharing the wonders of the natural world with your children. A Spotter’s Guide to Countryside Mysteries from bestselling author John Wright is a beautifully illustrated guide to the great outdoors, that shines a light on the details we might otherwise miss. In Being a Human, Charles Foster sets out to understand what a human is, inhabiting the sensory worlds of humans at three pivotal moments in our history. World of Wonders by Aimee Nezhukumatathil is a celebration of the natural world through stunningly illustrated and poetic essays. Vivid and charming, Birding Without Borders is a story of one man’s quest to see half the world’s 10,000 species of bird in one year.

FOR THE INTELLECTUALLY CURIOUS

From junior barrister Christian Weaver, The Law in 60 Seconds is an indispensable and accessible legal handbook to give you the confidence and clarity to take control in any situation. The latest book from the master of self-development, The Daily Laws by Robert Greene distils wisdom about power, seduction, strategy, psychology and human nature into daily entries. Courage is Calling by Ryan Holiday is the first in a new series examining the four key virtues of Stoicism, starting with an inspiring anthem to the power, promise and challenges of courage.

AND FINALLY… THE PERFECT STOCKING FILLERS

The Handshake by paleoanthropologist Ella Al-Shamahi is a funny and fascinating voyage of discovery revealing the secrets of one of our most ancient social gestures. Ideal gifting for fans of the multiverse, All of the Marvels by Douglas Wolk is a celebration of the past 60 years of Marvel, from the man who has read all 27,000 comics. Beautifully redesigned with new illustrations by Lydia Coventry, Warning is a charming gift book of the uplifting poem by Jenny Joseph about growing older, twice voted poem of the year. Truly Peculiar by Tom Standage is another collection of astonishing facts from The Economist covering questions such as ‘Where can you wed your mobile phone?’ and ‘Why do septuagenarians have a better chance of summiting Mount Everest than ever?’. Featuring stories by Dorothy L. Sayers, Arthur Conan Doyle and Mark Billingham, Murder on a Winter’s Night is a chilling Yuletide collection of ten classic crime stories.

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Everything I Know about Life I Learned from PowerPoint


In the beginning was the Word. Now there’s PowerPoint.

Everything I Know about Life I Learned from PowerPoint by Russell Davies is the perfect present for the tricky-to-buy-for colleague, the partner who loves tech or the friend who is all about design. This is an ode to the software we love to hate, beautifully designed and full of visual puns. Find out how PowerPoint was invented, how it can help you think, create and persuade, and how to end your presentations with a BANG.

Take a look at some of Russell’s best tips and wittiest puns, taken straight from the book, below.

With these bullet points, I thee wed
A cash point gives you cash. PowerPoint gives you power.
PowerPoint: A Swiss Army knife for the mind
Repeat after me repeat after me repeat after me repeat after me repeat after me repeat after me
Use words. Not too many. Mostly short.

Don’t aim for excellence; excellence will screw you up and get in your head.

Lower the bar. Just avoid mistakes.

Just do these seven things:

Divide your presentation into three sections.
Make your words short, big and clear.

Don’t have many colours.
Don’t have many fonts.
Practise a lot.
Be yourself.

This will get you an excellent presentation. You don’t have to be Steve Jobs.

Honestly, those ☝️ will do.

The 48 Laws of PowerPoint

  1. Don’t just read the screen
  2. Lists
  3. Use lists
  4. Lots of lists
  5. But 48 items is way too many – who thought this was a good idea?
  6. Start with a story
  7. End with an ask
  8. Fill up the rest with ideas and images
  9. Repeat the important things
  10. Remove the word ‘key’
  11. Make it shorter
  12. Repeat the important things
  13. Don’t just read the screen
  14. Arrive early
  15. Respect the AV people
  16. Be a bit bigger
  17. Make it clear, concise and catchy
  18. Or freewheeling, unpredictable and magical
  19. Just be sure which one you’re doing
  20. Repeat the important things
  21. Arrive early
  22. Double-check the tech
  23. What will you do if your slides don’t work?
  24. Press B
  25. Make something very big
  26. Make something very small
  27. Make something rhyme
  28. Finish on time
  29. Actually, finish early
  30. Never outshine the master
  31. Sorry, wrong list
  32. One hour of prep per one minute of talk
  33. Repeat the important things
  34. Demand change
  35. Make it readable
  36. Make it accessible
  37. Make it memorable
  38. Make it bigger
  39. Remove the word ‘holistic’
  40. No 3D
  41. No pies
  42. Slow down
  43. Speed up
  44. Repeat the important things
  45. Start with a story
  46. End with a bang
  47. Don’t just read the screen
  48. BANG

Everything I Know about Life I Learned from PowerPoint is out now!