Library Loot: Non-fiction galore!

Library Loot: Non-fiction galore!


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Wow, it’s been an age since I posted one of these, despite the fact that I have been borrowing tonnes of books from the library, as always. I’m there at least once a week to pick up reservations and grab books from the ‘Recent Arrivals’ section, plus buy books in the book sale for my own shelves and those of the school library.

One of the things I am most excited about, with the arrival of our baby, is signing her up for her own library card and taking her along for Rhymetime and to have a browse. I have so many fond memories of my own visits to the library from an early age, so I am looking forward to sharing that with my daughter too.

I am also hoping to still be able to actually get some of my own books read during maternity leave, although I have heard from friends with newborns that I might be being  a little ambitious…

What have you borrowed from your library recently?

Here’s what I’ve borrowed this week:


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As you can see, I’ve been on a bit of a kick with non-fiction.


The Gendered Brain: The New Neuroscience That Shatters the Myth of the Female Brain

‘A treasure trove of information and good humour’ CORDELIA FINE, author of Testosterone Rex

Do you have a female brain or a male brain?
Or is that the wrong question?

Reading maps or reading emotions? Barbie or Lego? We live in a gendered world where we are bombarded with messages about sex and gender. On a daily basis we face deeply ingrained beliefs that your sex determines your skills and preferences, from toys and colours to career choice and salaries. But what does this constant gendering mean for our thoughts, decisions and behaviour? And what does it mean for our brains?

Drawing on her work as a professor of cognitive neuroimaging, Gina Rippon unpacks the stereotypes that bombard us from our earliest moments and shows how these messages mould our ideas of ourselves and even shape our brains. Taking us back through centuries of sexism, The Gendered Brain reveals how science has been misinterpreted or misused to ask the wrong questions. Instead of challenging the status quo, we are still bound by outdated stereotypes and assumptions. However, by exploring new, cutting-edge neuroscience, Rippon urges us to move beyond a binary view of our brains and instead to see these complex organs as highly individualised, profoundly adaptable and full of unbounded potential.

Rigorous, timely and liberating, The Gendered Brain has huge repercussions for women and men, for parents and children, and for how we identify ourselves.

I’m reading this at the moment and really enjoying it – however, I am taking in each chapter slowly and rereading where necessary to make sure I am understanding everything. As a teacher, I am very aware of gender stereotypes and how limiting they can be, so I really want to improve my knowledge in this area, particularly with bringing a daughter into the world soon.


A History of Japan (audiobook)

A classic of Japanese history, this audiobook is the preeminent work on the history of Japan. Newly revised and updated, A History of Japan is a single-volume complete history of the nation of Japan. Starting in ancient Japan during its early pre-history period, A History of Japan covers every important aspect of history and culture through feudal Japan to the post-Cold War period and collapse of the bubble economy in the early 1990s. Recent findings shed additional light on the origins of Japanese civilization and the birth of Japanese culture.

Also included is an in-depth analysis of the Japanese religion, Japanese arts, Japanese culture, and the Japanese people from the sixth century BC to the present. This contemporary classic, now updated and revised, continues to be an essential work in Japanese studies.

A History of Japan, Revised Edition includes:

Archaic Japan – including Yamato, the creation of a unified state, the Nana Period, and the Heian period.
Medieval Japan – including rule by the military houses, the failure of Ashikaga rule, Buddhism, and the Kamakura and Muroachi periods.
Early modern Japan – including Japanese feudalism, administration under the Tokugawa, and society and culture in early modern Japan.
Modern Japan – including the Meiji era and policies for modernization, from consensus to crisis (1912-1937), and solutions through force.
This contemporary classic continues to be a central work in Japanese studies and is a vital addition to the collection of any student or enthusiast of Japanese history, Japanese culture, or the Japanese language.

I am listening to this while doing other things around the house – it is quite dry, but also interesting to see what I have remembered and what I have forgotten. I do find that my attention tends to wander when listening to audiobooks, but I am determined to make more of an effort with them this year.


A Word for Every Day of the Year

A weird and wonderful word and its meaning for every day of the year.

‘A lexicological delight’ Professor David Crystal

Who knew that to dringle is to ‘waste time in a lazy lingering manner’? Or that a sudden happy ending could be termed a eucotastrophe? Looking for an alternative word to ‘bullshit’? Then try taradiddle.

A Word for Every Day of the Year is a fascinating collection of 366 words and their definitions, perfect for anyone who loves the richness of the English language, its diversity and wants to expand their vocabulary. Each day offers a rare and remarkable word with its history and definition and occasionally a challenge to include it in our lives.

The title is pretty self-explanatory. I enjoy words, especially unusual ones, and I am really savouring dipping into this every few days and reading about the history behind the usage or non-usage of specific unusual words.


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Red Alert! 15 endangered animals fighting to survive

An interactive look at endangered animals imploring readers to discover fifteen species facing extinction.

Inspired and endorsed by the “Red List” database of animals in peril maintained by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) this brightly illustrated book introduces species from six different habitats on six continents. Blending approachable text, secondary facts and lush art, Red Alert! offers full portraits of animals such as the Chinese giant salamander, the snow leopard, the blue whale, and the giant panda, and provides young activists additional resources for how they can help save these beautiful creatures. 

An interactive look at endangered animals imploring readers to discover fifteen species facing extinction.

Inspired and endorsed by the “Red List” database of animals in peril maintained by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) this brightly illustrated book introduces species from six different habitats on six continents. Blending approachable text, secondary facts and lush art, Red Alert! offers full portraits of animals such as the Chinese giant salamander, the snow leopard, the blue whale, and the giant panda, and provides young activists additional resources for how they can help save these beautiful creatures. I plan to share this with my class!


Books! Books! Books! Explore the treasures of The British Library

Calling all young bibliophiles! Peek inside the world’s greatest library and get the inside story on some of the rarest, oddest, most valuable, and best-loved books in its vaunted collection.

A tiny prayer book carried by a queen to her execution. An atlas so huge that it takes six people to lift it. A handmade gospel hidden in a saint’s coffin, and Shakespearean folios so precious they are kept in a bombproof storeroom. From stories of man-eating monsters, brave knights, and wicked witches to tales of lost children, magical creatures, haunted moors, and flying machines, award-winning duo Mick Manning and Brita Granstrom bring to life the extraordinary history of the book through the treasures of one of the greatest libraries in the world: the British Library.

No book-lover could resist this gloriously-illustrated introduction to some of the treasures of The British Library. I learned a few facts and really enjoyed the wide range of subjects presented – just wish that there were more as those that were included were so fascinating! This would be perfect to read before visiting The British Library with your kids.


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What did you think of my choices this week?

Did you spot any you might read?


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Library Loot is a weekly event co-hosted by Claire from The Captive Reader and Linda from Silly Little Mischief that encourages bloggers to share the books they’ve checked out from the library. If you’d like to participate, just write up your post-feel free to steal the button-and link it using the Mr. Linky any time during the week. And of course check out what other participants are getting from their libraries.


See my previous library loots here:

Mysteries, Paris and Hope

Feminism, Folklore and Body Positivity

Gymnastics, Mermaids and Achieving Your Dreams

Birds, Cages and Secrets

Dragons, Magic and Fairytales

Sequels and Secrets

Outer Space, Winter and Magic

Witches and War

Fantasy, Intrigue and Misunderstandings

Magic, Romance, More Magic

UK YA Bests

Aliens, Fences and Fairies

War, Hope and Storms

Clockwork, Curses and Fossils

Family, Dreams and Secret Agents

Magic, Memory and Climate Change

Independence, Love and Being Different

Society, Magic and Warriors

Dragons, Villains and Lost Property

Quests, Ghosts and Swimming

Invisible Women, Peer Pressure and Folklore

Mysterious Boys, Rain and Wellington Boots

Bravery, Love and Loneliness

Middle Grade Madness

Opposites, Worries and Families

Magic and Spookiness

Hallowe’en Reads

Ghosts, Snow and Adventure


What do you think of the books I have chosen?

Would you like to read any of them?

Are there any you would recommend me moving straight to the top of the TBR list?

Do you have a library near you?

How often do you borrow books?

Do you ever buy books after having already read them? (I do, all the time!)


Find me on Twitter , Goodreads or Instagram


Thanks for reading!

2 Comments Add yours

  1. It may be audio books for you!

    Liked by 1 person

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