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Book shelf

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Image (cropped) by Jessica Ruscello under CC0 1.0 licence

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

To have your book considered for inclusion, please submit your publication's details

Please note: to have your book considered for inclusion, its publication date must be either upcoming or it must have been published during the last 12 months. Unfortunately, we cannot include any details of books published prior to this time.

After Before cover
Jemma Wayne (Newnham 1999)

During a cold, British winter, three women reach crisis point. Each suffering their own demons, their lives have been torn open by betrayal: by other people, by themselves, by life itself. But as their paths interweave, they begin to unravel their beleaguered pasts, and inadvertently change each other's futures.

cambridge cats may ball adventure cover
Laura Robson Brown (New Hall 1990), devised by Katherine Mann (Trinity 1990)

The first of a series of children's picture books set in Cambridge, featuring two mischievous cats and their adventures around familiar sights.

Feet in the clouds cover
Richard Askwith (Trinity 1977)

Feet in the Clouds is a chronicle of a masochistic but admirable sporting obsession and an insight into one of the oldest extreme sports.

Running Free cover
Richard Askwith (Trinity 1977)

Part diary of a year running through the Northamptonshire countryside, part exploration of why we love to run without limits, this title offers an account of running in a forgotten, rural way, observing wildlife and celebrating the joys of nature.

flesh made word cover
Emily A Holmes (St John's 1996)

Emily A Holmes displays how medieval feminist theologians undermined traditional theology through the incarnational practice of theological writing. Holmes draws inspiration for feminist theology from the writings of these medieval women mystics as well as French feminist philosophers of l'ecriture feminine. The female body is then prioritised in feminist Christology, rather than circumvented. This is a fresh, inclusive theology of the incarnation.

The Great Plague cover
Evelyn Lord (Emerita Fellow, Wolfson)

During Medieval times, the Black Death wiped out one-fifth of the world's population. Four centuries later, in 1665, the plague returned with a vengeance, cutting a long and deadly swathe through the British Isles.

mr wonderful cover
John Nott (Trinity 1959)

'It all began in Cambridge. We were gathered there for the Alumni Weekend, when a thousand elderly graduates return to hear lectures from the great minds of the 21st century.'

biology and pathology cover
Roger Gosden (Darwin 1970), Ursula Eichenlaub-Ritter and Alan Trounson, co-editors

The human egg—the rarest and most rapidly aging cell in the body—is a topic of intense study for scientists and in assisted reproduction (“IVF”) clinics vying for better pregnancy rates. This new edition of what one reviewer of the first edition (2003) described as, “possibly the definitive work on the oocyte,” covers the developmental biology and pathology of this mother cell, and ovotechnologies to overcome infertility, avoid inherited diseases, and create genetically engineered embryos from stem cells and cloning.

a surgeon's story cover
Roger Gosden (Darwin 1970) and Pam Walker, editors

The story of a renowned New York doctor, Robert T. Morris (1857-1945), who struggled with a reactionary profession to pioneer sterility, small incisions, and better wound-healing in surgery. Blessed with abundant energy, sagacity, and long life, he also achieved distinction as a naturalist, horticulturist, and explorer, celebrating nature with brilliant prose and poetry. For those days, Morris was a rare visionary, grounded in science and courageously fighting on the side of suffering humanity, though few remember him today.

reds whites and varsity blues
Edited by Jennifer Segal

The book celebrates 60 years of the varsity blind wine-tasting competition, the oldest contest of its kind founded in 1953 by the legendary Harry Waugh (a cousin of Evelyn and Auberon Waugh) when he was with the historic wine merchant Harveys of Bristol. Champagne Pol Roger assumed the varsity match sponsorship in 1992.

the meaning of success
Jo Bostock

The Meaning of Success: Insights from Women at Cambridge makes a compelling case for a more inclusive definition of success. It argues that in order to recognise, reward and realise the talents of both women and men, a more meaningful definition of success is needed. Practical ways of achieving this are explored through interviews with female role models at the University of Cambridge. First-person stories bring alive the achievements and challenges women experience in their working lives, and the effect gender has on careers.

gratitude cover
Peter J Leithart (Peterhouse 1995)

Gratitude is often understood as etiquette rather than ethics, an emotion rather than politics. It was not always so. From Seneca to Shakespeare, gratitude was a public virtue. The circle of benefaction and return of service worked to make society strong. But at the beginning of the modern era, European thinkers began to imagine a political economy freed from the burdens of gratitude. Though this rethinking was part of a larger process of secularization, it was also a distorted byproduct of an impulse ultimately rooted in the teachings of Jesus and the apostle Paul.

art as an investment cover
Melanie Gerlis (Clare 1993)

For such a relatively small and opaque industry, the art world is imbued with glamour and sophistication and attracts a lot of wealth. In recent years much attention has been given to art’s appeal as an investment, not least because the growth and influence of global investment banking and wealth-management industries from the 1980s encouraged a more financially sophisticated approach to asset allocation.  When the wider economic markets began to unravel in 2008, art dealers and other art-market practitioners maintained that art wasn’t subject to the same volatility as other investments.

samantha sutton and the winter of the warrior queen cover
Jordan Jacobs (Trinity Hall 2003)

Samantha Sutton is hesitant to join her Uncle Jay and his team on another archaeological excavation. But the marshes near Cambridge, England sound harmless after the sinister perils she faced in Peru.

The Big Picture cover
PD Hemsley (Clare 1978)

The Big Picture is a much-needed book that allows the reader to consider the big questions of life without feeling bludgeoned to adopt the author’s opinion.  The book explains basics of science, philosophy and religion in a straightforward manner, and includes topics as diverse as quantum physics, cellular biology, evolution, consciousness, free will, historical accuracy of biblical accounts, and how to engineer a Boeing 747.

unshook till the end of time cover
Robert Alston and Stuart Laing (Corpus Christi 1967)

The 1800 agreement between Oman and Britain declared that the bond between the two nations should be "unshook till the end of time" - an ambitious goal but whatever the political ups and downs, a remarkable relationship endures to this day.  Oman's location at the mouth of the Persian Gulf, pincering oil flows with Iran, is of huge strategic importance and makes it the focus on increasing political interest.

blue stockings cover
Jessica Swale

A moving, comical and eye-opening story of four young women fighting for education and self-determination against the larger backdrop of women’s suffrage.

world cities cover
William Solesbury (Downing 1958)

World Cities, City Worlds: Explorations with metaphors, icons and perspectives is about how we make sense of cities, those extraordinary places where half the world’s population now lives.

confidence trap cover
David Runciman (Trinity 1985)

Why do democracies keep lurching from success to failure? The current financial crisis is just the latest example of how things continue to go wrong, just when it looked like they were going right. In this wide-ranging, original, and compelling book, David Runciman tells the story of modern democracy through the history of moments of crisis, from the First World War to the economic crash of 2008.

a brief history of human behaviour
John Preece (St John's 1946)

This book studiously avoids the plethora of conjectural theories and poorly substantiated opinionation on which so much psychological and sociological research currently depends.  Instead, it reverts to the bedrock evidence of human history, and prehistory as mirrored in primatology, as its primary sources to construct a succinct and very user friendly text which teenagers, parents and aspiring global citizens can readily understand.  A more astute and widely assimilated knowledge of behavioural scientific principles is key to their resolution.