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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Image (cropped) by Jessica Ruscello under CC0 1.0 licence

The Madonna of Bolton
Matt Cain (Queens' 1994)

Charlie Matthews’ love story begins in a pebble-dashed house in suburban Bolton, at a time when most little boys want to grow up to be Michael Jackson, and girls want to be Princess Di. Remembering the Green Cross Code and getting out of football are the most important things in his life, until Auntie Jan gives him a gift that will last a lifetime: a seven-inch single called ‘Lucky Star’...

The Seer's Curse

Orleigh is cursed. Or so the other villagers believe. With each harvest worse than the last, something must be done. And so they consult the Seer. A deal is struck: the village will thrive once more, but in return, Orleigh must be sacrificed to the Earth God, Teymos.

Judge Walden: Back in Session (Walden of Bermondsey series)
Peter Murphy (Downing College 1963)

If you like Rumpole of the Bailey, you'll love Walden of Bermondsey

Judge Walden is back, to preside over five new cases at Bermondsey Crown Court.

Retired resident judge Peter Murphy takes us back to the world of criminal trials in South London for another session with Charlie Walden keeping the peace between his fellow judges Marjorie, Legless and Hubert while fighting off the attacks of the Grey Smoothies, the civil servants who seem intent on reducing the court s dwindling resources to vanishing point in the name of business cases and value for money.

Glorious Battle: The Cultural Politics of Victorian Anglo-Catholicism
John Shelton Reed

Originally published in 1996 and now reissued, Glorious Battle is a thorough, compelling, and often amusing account of how the Anglo-Catholic movement in the Victorian Church of England overcame vehement opposition to establish itself as a legitimate form of Anglicanism. In the first comprehensive treatment of the rise, growth, and eventual consolidation of this controversial movement, John Shelton Reed explores new ground with scholarly acumen, thorough and meticulous research, fresh perspective and insight, and a remarkably engaging literary style.

The Wound Register
Esther Morgan (Newnham 1988)

Esther Morgan's fourth poetry collection draws on her own family history in a very personal exploration of the First World War. It was written during the centenary of that conflict.

Cambridge and its economic region, 1450-1560
John Lee (Corpus 1997)

This study presents a wide-ranging analysis of the economy and society of Cambridge in the later middle ages, drawing extensively on the rich and largely unpublished records of the borough, university and colleges. Major themes include the town’s population and wealth, the groups within its society, its markets, trade and fairs, the impact of college consumption, the urban land market and its physical development.

How Much Brain Do We Really Need?
Jennifer Barnett (Darwin 2002) and Alexis Willett (Darwin 2001)

Your brain is shrinking. Does it matter?

How Much Brain Do We Really Need? is a popular science book that challenges us to think differently about the brain. Rather than just concentrating on the many wonderful things it can do, this entertaining insight into the complexities and contradictions of the human brain asks whether in fact we can live satisfactorily without some of it.

A Shadow on Our Hearts
Adam Gilbert (Clare 2008)

The American war in Vietnam was one of the most morally contentious events of the twentieth century, and it produced an extraordinary outpouring of poetry. Yet the complex ethical terrain of the conflict is remarkably underexplored, and the prodigious poetic voice of its American participants remains largely unheard. In A Shadow on Our Hearts, Adam Gilbert rectifies these oversights by utilizing the vast body of soldier-poetry to examine the war’s core moral issues.

Judith Bishop (Pembroke 1994)

Interval is the much anticipated second volume from the award-winning Australian poet and author of  Event (Salt (U.K.), 2007).

Come near, let me

sense you, in this human

way we have – for now

and not forever.


Crab & Whale
Mark Pallis (Hughes Hall 2001) and Christiane Kerr

“A truly heartwarming story celebrating kindness and gently introducing children to the life-changing power of mindfulness.” - Sir Anthony Seldon, former Headmaster & mindfulness in schools pioneer.

Plundering Beauty: A History of Art Crime during War
Arthur Tompkins (Caius 1983)

Plundering Beauty (192pp; 53 colour and B&W images) is a broad, international overview of art crime during times of armed conflict. Examples of art crimes are drawn from wars through history, including the Fourth Crusade, the Napoleonic era, the Second World War and modern-day conflicts in Yugoslavia and Iraq.

Cennino Cennini's 'Il libro dell'arte'
Lara Broecke (Corpus 2002)

This is the first new translation into English of Cennino' Cennini's well-known treatise on painting techniques since Daniel Thompson published his version in 1932, and the only version to include the Italian text in the same volume as the translation. Cennino Cennino was an Italian artist, active around 1400 in Florence and then in Padua.

A Manner of Walking
Michael Dawes (Queens' 1966)

It is the Roaring Twenties. Life in England has picked itself up after the war, but things are not as they were. Times are changing on all fronts, especially in the norms of social conduct. The worlds of the Wellington-Smythes, Larkins and Randalls are about to collide. Revelations from the past and the consequences of selfish behaviour of the day throw family against family. Antics of the "Bright Young People" of the time, made famous by the tabloid press and by writers such as F. Scott Fitzgerald and Evelyn Waugh, play against a darkened canvas.

America's Political Inventors: The Lost Art of Legislation
George W. Liebmann (Visiting Fellow 1996)

A discussion of ten American political institutions and the men who designed them, including John Winthrop and the New England town; John Locke and the Southern plantation; Thomas Jefferson and the north-western township; William Leggett and the general business corporation; Joseph Pulitzer and municipal home rule; Justin Morrill and land grant colleges; Hugh Hammond Bennett and Soil Conservation Districts and Byron Hanke and Residential Community Associations, among others.

The Great Darkness
Jim Kelly (Press Fellow Wolfson 1985)

The first in a new series of crime mysteries set in Cambridge in the Second World War. Eden Brooke, once of Michaelhouse College, is a veteran of the Great War, and now a detectve inspector on the 'Borough' - one of the smallest police forces in the country, charged with keeping the peace in the university town's medieval centre. It is the opening weeks of the war and first complete Black Out - dubbed The Great Darkness - provides a platoon of soldiers with the cover they need to dig pits on St John's Wilderness. What lies beneath?

Cybertwists: Hacking and Cyberattacks Explained
Richard Paul Hudson (Trinity 1994)

Cybertwists is an introduction to how hacking and cyberattacks work that is aimed at the general reader. It provides a lively illustration of the manifold techniques with which both criminals and secret services infiltrate other people’s computers, accessing and sometimes manipulating their data.

Beethoven's Symphony no. 9
Alexander Rehding (Queens' 1991)

Beethoven's Ninth Symphony has held musical audiences captive for close to two centuries. Few other musical works hold such a prominent place in the collective imagination; each generation rediscovers the work for itself and makes it its own. Honing in on the significance of the symphony in contemporary culture, this book establishes a dialog between Beethoven's world and ours, marked by the earthshattering events of 1789 and of 1989. In particular, this book outlines what is special about the Ninth in millennial culture.

American Empire: A Global History
Tony Hopkins (Pembroke 1994)

This book offers a fresh approach to the history of U.S international relations during the past three centuries. The central argument holds that the United States was part of an evolving Western imperial system from the period of colonial rule to the present. This proposition is set in motion by identifying three phases of globalisation and assigning empires a starring role in the process. The transition from one phase to another generated the three crises that form the turning points the book identifies.

Follow the Child
Sacha Langton-Gilks (Trinity 1985)

Drawing on her family's own experiences and those of other parents facing the death of a child from illness or a life-limiting condition, Sacha Langton-Gilks explains the challenges, planning, and conversations that can be expected during this traumatic period. Practical advice such as how to work with the healthcare professionals, drawing up an Advance Care Plan, and how to move care into the home sit alongside tender observations of how such things worked in her own family's story.

Psycho-nationalism: Global Thought, Iranian Imaginations (The Global Middle East)
Arshin Adib-Moghaddam (Hughes Hall 2000)

States routinely and readily exploit the grey area between sentiments of national affinity and hegemonic emotions geared to nationalist aggression. In this book, Arshin Adib-Moghaddam focuses on the use of Iranian identity to offer a timely exploration into the psychological and political roots of national identity and how these are often utilised by governments from East to West.