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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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.

A sketchy knowledge of ai book cover, drawn in a comic book style, showing a figure in a thought bubble over a city
John O'Hare (Hughes Hall 1994)

"An Absolute Gem! This book is a treasure for anyone curious about AI. In just 30 sketches, it manages to demystify a futuristic technology that often seems beyond reach. The cartoon-based approach is not only accessible but also fun, making it a must-read for all ages. Understanding AI has never been this enjoyable!"

Currently #10 in the Amazon best selling list of children's books on computers, and #51 on all AI books.

Rescuing Richard book cover showing a map and compass, and a silhouetted gentleman
Gareth Williams (Queens 1984)

Rescuing Richard is the thrilling third instalment of the Richard Davey Chronicles. A breathless quest that sweeps the reader from the blood-soaked battlefields of Zululand to the corridors of power in Regency London. Richard is astonished when Shaka appoints him to his inner council, where he vies for influence with Napoleon Bonaparte, recently escaped from St Helena. Wrestling with his conscience, Richard confronts colonial adventurers exploiting the land he has sworn to protect.

Book cover for In Patient Mental Health Care, with paint splatter affect background.
Andrew Colley (Wolfson 2017)

With a focus on the progression and dismantlement of the asylum system, this book examines key issues around the policy and practice of in-patient mental health provision in the UK, making comparisons with similar services in other parts of the world.

In the Moment book cover, featuring a sage green background and a tab toggled to 'on'
Neil Mullarkey (Robinson 1980)

There are moments throughout our lives when our confidence and creativity can make all the difference. Discover how to transform your career and grow your network by finding success In The Moment. With over two decades of experience in bringing improv and other skills to leaders and teams, Neil Mullarkey shares his insights on creativity, leadership, meetings, storytelling, the human connection, both in face-to-face and virtual worlds.

All to Play For book cover, featuring a blue background with sports cartoon sports players
Matt Rogan (Fitzwilliam 1993) and Kerry Potter

From the collective shared experience of a nationwide event and the individual benefits gained from lacing up your trainers and getting out there, to the political power of a footballer's Twitter account, All to Play For is a roadmap for the way that sports can unite us in the worst of times.

An Ordinary Spectator Returns book cover detailing a sports players on a pitch
Dr John Rigg (Trinity 1974)

An Ordinary Spectator Returns: Watching Sport Again presents a collection of John Rigg’s wide-ranging sports writing over the last six years. The book captures the thrill of watching some of the elite participants of the modern era, including Kevin De Bruyne, Alastair Cook, Sonny Bill Williams et al. But it’s not all about the star performers.

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Aaron Rosen (Pembroke 1999)

Aaron Rosen, one of the world’s leading experts on art and religion, brings a fresh lens to the Gospels, informed by his experience as an art curator and scholar, as well as his life as a practicing Jew married to an Episcopal priest. He examines Jesus's eye for spectacle, and his tools for discerning truth amid a flurry of false appearances. As he applies Jesus’s view to key challenges facing society today, Rosen taps a surprising trove of examples drawn from art, current events, and popular culture.

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Dr Dana Sinclair (Hughes Hall 1990)

For readers of Atomic Habits and Grit, a top performance psychologist, who has coached elite athletes, surgeons, and business leaders, shares her proven plan to getting the best results when the pressure is on. What do a major league baseball catcher struggling with pop-flies, an operating room doctor anxious before a surgery, and a slumping sixteen-year-old tennis prodigy all have in common? They’re elite performers who, for whatever reasons, are not achieving excellence, and they’re not sure how to improve.

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Jennifer Sundberg (St Catharine's 1998) & Pippa Begg (Downing 2002)

Enduringly successful companies don’t rely on a genius CEO. They build collective intelligence, systematically empowering everyone, from the boardroom to the shop floor, to use their brains and apply them to the problems and opportunities that matter most. The iPhone wasn’t the brainchild of Steve Jobs, Warren Buffet didn’t want to bet on Apple, and Amazon Prime wasn’t Jeff Bezos’ idea. Each of these breakthroughs was sparked by an employee who’d been given the tools, skills, and confidence to ask the right questions.

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Stuart Lyons (King's 1962)

200 poems with introduction, timeline and glossary. Between his arrival in Cambridge in 1921 and his tragic death ten years later, Xu Zhimo transformed Chinese poetry. Love and heartbreak, landscape and dreams, famine and war, Xu says 'goodbye' to his hopes and optimism. Stuart Lyons won the 2020 Stephen Spender Prize for poetry in translation. 

Available for purchase from The Shop at King's (King’s Visitor Centre), 13 King’s Parade, Cambridge CB2 1SP. Contact details: 01223 789340,

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Emma Williams (Christ's 1990)

The early career research stage is tough. Interesting, intellectually challenging, pushing back frontiers of knowledge, working with talented people from around the world – all fantastic things. But have you ever wondered what on earth the next career step is going to be? Felt surrounded by researchers who are brighter and more together than you? Felt overwhelmed by the sheer volume of 'stuff' you are supposed to do as a researcher? Looked at those 'high ups' in your institution and wondered where the women are? Tried to explain to your parents that postdocs seldom get Nobel prizes?

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Jon Silverman (Selwyn 1968) & Robert Sherwood

The controversial 1991 War Crimes Act gave new powers to courts to try non-British citizens resident in the UK for war crimes committed during WWII. But in spite of the extensive investigative and legal work that followed, and the expense of some £11 million, it led to just one conviction: that in 1999 of Anthony (Andrzej) Sawoniuk.

Live to See the Day book cover
Nikhil Goyal (Selwyn 2016)

An indelible portrait of three children struggling to survive in the poorest neighborhood of the poorest large city in America. Live to See the Day is “An incisive, compassionate depiction of families in a crisis not of their making and a vision of the policy choices our country could adopt to save their lives.” —Heather McGhee, author of The Sum of Us. Kensington, Philadelphia, is distinguished only by its poverty. It is home to Ryan, Giancarlos, and Emmanuel, three Puerto Rican children who live among the most marginalized families in the United States.

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Natalia Petrovskaia (Peterhouse 2003)

This is Not a Grail Romance provides answers to some of the most important questions surrounding the medieval Welsh Arthurian tale Historia Peredur vab Efrawc, one of the few surviving medieval Welsh narrative compositions, and an important member of the ‘Grail' family of medieval European narratives. The study demonstrates that Historia Peredur is an original Welsh composition, rather than (as previous theories have suggested) being an adaptation of the twelfth-century French grail romance.

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Rajan Kashyap (Wolfson 1978)

Travel with the author, a former civil servant, on a fascinating journey. From a childhood spent in the infancy of free India, growing up in a state still relishing the after taste of maharajas and grand royalty, to traipsing into the Indian Administrative Service with child-like optimism. Enjoy a renaissance in the heady heights of the University of Cambridge, and a mellow cadence of a fruitful life in a modern Indian city, juxtaposed with a view of the transforming rural economy in a state at the heart of India’s green revolution.


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