Book shelf

Book shelf

Explore a selection of publications by alumni and academics, and books with a link to the University or Cambridge

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Book cover for The Day Before, featuring a rural, lakeside landscape with the sun shining through dark clouds.
Aoife Lyall (St John's 2009)

The Day Before beautifully captures the ordinary moments in life that crystallise in the face of crisis and threat. Focusing on the earliest weeks and months of the pandemic, these intimate and meticulous poems mark the lived experience of someone who must navigate a world she no longer understands, exploring first steps and last breaths, milestones, millstones, emigration, fly-tipping and the entire world to be found in the space behind the front door.

Book cover for In Whom We Trust, featuring a smoking high-rise building in the background.
Hamid Varzi (Trinity Hall 1969)

In Whom We Trust traces the lives of three Cambridge University graduates—one American, one English, and one Iranian—whose intimate friendship is severely tested over the years by conflicting career paths in a rapidly modernising world, where battle lines are often as blurred as the governmental policies that put them there. This remarkable story is a thrilling mixture of political and religious intrigue set against a backdrop of historical events from the 1950s to the present.

Book cover features a river and waterfall landscape with cartoon children in the foreground,
Hamid Varzi (Trinity Hall 1969)

This illustrated poetry book encourages children's awareness of climate change, in a novel and unique manner. Instead of featuring adults preaching to children, the author portrays Nature herself addressing children directly through a talking tree, the sea and a honeybee. The book places children in Nature's shoes. As with Animal Farm, the book is suitable for both children and adults.

Book cover has an orange and yellow background, with a white silhouetted map of Africa.
Nat Rubner (King's 2008)

A study of the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights, one of the most important documents in modern African history, that positions it within the African Lives Matter struggle to assert an African identity rather than as simply a human rights document. The book describes its underlying African origins and how the principles of the OAU influenced its path and content.

Book cover for 'Lovebroken' featuring a wrinkled piece of white paper with a drawing of a head and shoulders.
Finley de Witt (Murray Edwards 1984)

Have you ever struggled with your mental health, your terrible relatives or a dysfunctional relationship? Or simply wondered what the hell is wrong with you? This story is for you. Finley de Witt is a writer, bodyworker and trauma specialist with 30 years' experience. This account of her experiences with NHS psychotherapy and the cast of characters she encounters along the way will offer a message of hope to all. Trauma has never been so funny or so shocking.

A person in a white doctor's jacket and stethoscope around their neck holds a gun.
Michael Duggan (Clare 1981)

In a perilous era, only the most skilled are summoned to safeguard our way of life. Amidst the allure of sex and drugs, the deceit of crooks, and the intricate dance between the police and doctors, this tale offers a deep dive into the world of clinical medicine. It spotlights a unique cadre of practitioners determined to make a difference, even as they navigate the challenges of an underfunded NHS, a government stretched thin, and a public often left in the dark. Medicine is not just a profession; it's a calling.

A mother and her young child sit on the kerb with their possessions.
Shaifali Sandhya (Trinity 1994)

Armed conflicts, natural disasters, poverty, and the pandemic have forced over 117 million people to abandon their homes and heritage. Surging pushbacks, protection gaps, and deportations precipitate refugees’ exclusion from equitable economic, social, cultural, political, and reproductive rights, amplifying suffering. As such displaced communities will shoulder a silent epidemic of posttraumatic stress as well as other debilitating ailments, which are often passed down to future generations.

A dark sea sits beneath a large star-lit sky
Eugene Stelzig (King's 1966)

The title—Remarkable It Is—refers to the poet’s calling to notice things that most of us take for granted (such as our breathing and our hearts beating) but that actually constitute the miracle of our being alive. These poems range from the playfully wistful, to the probingly thoughtful (about old age and the specter of mortality as well as our place in the universe), and the satirical (especially about contemporary politics and world events).

Beige cover with multicoloured circles arranged in a bar graph.
Ken Okoroafor (Downing 2014) and Mary Okoroafor

Stop worrying about money. Start enjoying your life.

This 10-week plan will help you to turn your life around and design a life of financial freedom filled with the small experiences that bring you joy.

A woman in a blue dress sits at the piano with her back to the viewer.
Susan Tomes (Kings 1972)

Throughout most of the piano’s history, women pianists lacked access to formal training and were excluded from male-dominated performance spaces. Even the modern piano’s keys were designed without consideration of women’s typically smaller hands. Yet despite their music being largely confined to the domestic sphere, women continued to play, perform, and compose on their own terms.

Book cover shows people hiking through the countryside and a close up of someone tying their shoelace
Dr Hugh JN Bethell (St John's 1960) & Prof David Brodie

A comprehensive description of the science of physical performance, how to measure it, its place in maintaining good health and its role in the prevention and treatment of a variety of diseases - particularly the degenerative conditions of later life.

The book also describes the woefully inadequate activity levels of our population, the dangers of sedentary lifestyles and the huge social and financial benefits to be gained by increasing exercise for all.

The book cover shows a silhouetted figure staring into the sunset over a mountainous landscape
Sola Amure (Christ's 1976)

Sola Amure’s childhood was spent between Nigeria and England.

In Nigeria his family enjoyed every material comfort: the only things lacking from his early life were love and affection. He was very upset at the huge disparity between people like his family and those families struggling to eat.

The book cover depicts cylinders of materials in neat lines
Paul Foulkes-Arellano (Queens 1982) & Julia L Freer Goldstein

This book examines sustainable manufacturing, from the extraction of materials to processing, use and disposal, and argues that significant changes in all of the above are needed for the world to progress toward a more circular economy.

A yellow and black depiction of Mecca (a 3D cube in shape) on a deep blue background.
Siti Malini Mat (Newnham 1999)

A collection of introspective reflections in the hajj journey of a regular Muslim lady, when she made it a point to deliberately ask herself, in almost each step of the way:

What does this mean to me?
What can I learn from this?
How can the lessons help me grow to become a better Muslim and a better person?

Nietzsche’s Political Economy book cover, brown background with green bold text
Dmitri G. Safronov (Girton 2016)

Nietzsche’s Political Economy is a pioneering appraisal of Nietzsche’s critique of industrial culture and its unfolding crisis. The author contends that Nietzsche remains unique in conceptualizing the upheavals of modern political economy in terms of the crisis of its governing values.

When We Walk By book cover, depicting the possessions of an unhoused person on the street
Kevin F. Adler (St Catherine's 2007) and Donald W. Burnes

A deeply humanising analysis that will change the way you think about poverty and homelessness - for the socially engaged reader of Isabel Wilkerson's Caste and Matthew Desmond's Evicted.

Think about the last time that you saw or interacted with an unhoused person. What did you do? What did you say? Did you offer money or a smile, or did you avert your gaze?

Alvin Hansen biography book cover, featuring a black and white image of the subject, dressed in a suit
Robert J. Bigg (Clare 1975)

Alvin Hansen was instrumental in the development of American Keynesianism, social security, and full-employment policies. His was a search for practical policies that could reconcile the demands of technological progress and private enterprise with employment security and a better society. How could government policy best support a dynamic maturing economy in the face of challenges from the lack of population and territorial growth that had supported the American expansion of the nineteenth century?

Molecular storms book cover, showing bold text over exploding light points
Liam Graham (Robinson 1986)

Why is the universe the way it is? Wherever we look, we find ordered structures: from stars to planets to living cells. This book shows that the same driving force is behind structure everywhere: the incessant random motion of the components of matter. Physicists call it thermal noise. Let’s call it the molecular storm.

The  Decarbonization Delusion book cover, featuring a white page with bold typeface
Andrew Moore (Clare 1990)

Could the race to decarbonize our energy systems be leading us closer to environmental disaster? Why did biology choose carbon, in a variety of compounds, as its energy carrier and storage substance? From the smallest life forms, through multicellular organisms, and up to whole ecosystems, this economy of carbon compounds is fundamentally sustainable. Yet today, many are conspiring to expunge carbon-based energy carriers from human economies, replacing them with solutions based on other elements and minerals.

Book cover depicting a crayon drawing of the Vajont dam
Andrea Di Antonio (Hughes Hall 2016)

Il disastro del Vajont si verifica nell’omonima valle situata a cavallo tra Veneto e Friuli Venezia Giulia, all’interno della quale viene realizzata una diga alta 261,60 metri che sottende un bacino idroelettrico di oltre 150 milioni di metri cubi d’acqua. Il 9 ottobre 1963, alle ore 22:39, una frana stimata in 270 milioni di metri cubi precipita all’interno del lago causando la formazione di un’onda alta circa 200 metri, che distrugge tutto ciò che incontra lungo il suo percorso e di cui, una parte, sormonta la diga e si incanala verso gli abitati di fondovalle.

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