Book shelf

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.

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.

polish swan
George Gömöri (Emeritus Fellow, Darwin College)

This present collection of George Gömöri's essays covers several centuries of Polish literature and its reception abroad.  The first three essays are devoted to Jan Kochanowski, the greatest poet of the Polish Renaissance, followed by shorter pieces on Stefan Batory, King of Poland from 1576 to 1586, whom Montaigne thought to be 'one of the greatest princes of our age'.  A substantial part of the book is devoted to the Baroque period and the final essays deal with the the great precursor of modern Polish poetry, Cyprian Norwid.

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Rosalie Osmond (Girton 1964)

This debut novel by Rosalie Osmond is set in Waldenstein, a tiny, isolated German community in early 20th-century Nova Scotia, where settlers survive lives of intolerable hardship through their unquestioning belief in a pre-Enlightenment Lutheranism. But when the most prominent man in the community fathers the child of his neighbour’s daughter, Erika, and a new clergyman from Europe arrives to shake the certainties of faith, their firm ideas are overturned.

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Frances Booth (Fitzwilliam 1998)

If you're worried that you're losing the power to concentrate, The Distraction Trap can help. Learn how you can easily release your life from the steely grip of modern technology where you're always available and always connected. Discover how you can radically boost your productivity by keeping your whole brain and both eyes on the task in hand.

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David Bennett (Sidney Sussex 1962)

Firefighters of Cambridge vividly recalls what life was like for a dedicated firefighter in a large and busy fire station between 1951 and 1981. David Bennett was himself a firefighter at Cambridge Fire Station from 1972 to 1977 so this book draws from his own experiences as well as those of his colleagues at that time. Fighting fires, extricating people from road accidents and attending a myriad of other emergencies are all described - exacting and sometimes dangerous work.

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Helen Lloyd (St Catharine's 2000)

Desert Snow is the story of one girl, one bike and 1,000 beers in Africa. By daring to follow a dream and not letting fear prevail, Helen cycled across the Sahara, Sahel and tropics of West Africa, paddled down the Niger River in a pirogue, hitch-hiked to Timbuktu and spent three months traversing the Congo, which she thought she may never leave...

Helen takes you with her on the journey through every high and low of her memories and misadventures. She describes a continent brimming with diversity that is both a world away from what she knows and yet not so different at all.

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Simon Thompson

In 1894, Martin Conway (Trinity 1875) became the first man to walk the Alps ‘from end to end’ when he completed a 1,000-mile journey from the Col de Tende in Italy to the summit of the Ankogel in Austria. On a midsummer’s morning, nearly 120 years later, Simon Thompson followed in his footsteps, setting out to explore both the mountains and the man.

Cambridge and Stourbridge fair cover
Honor Ridout (Newnham 1967)

For hundreds of years, Stourbridge Fair was the biggest fair in England and a high point of the Cambridge year.

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Mary Beard (Newnham 1973)

'This marvellous book won the Wolfson History Prize and is a model of subtle but accessible writing about the past' Judith Rice, Guardian

'Classicist Mary Beard has had a great time rooting about that ghostly place and she has brought it quite splendidly back to life' Nicholas Bagnall, Sunday Telegraph

'To the vast field of Pompeiana she brings the human touch ...this absorbing, inquisitive and affectionate account of Pompeii is a model of its kind. Beard has caught the quick of what was and, in our lives today, remains the same' Ross Leckie, The Times

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