Book shelf

Book shelf

  • Rounded library shelves full of books

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

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diamond queen cover
Andrew Marr (Trinity 1977)

With the flair for narrative and the meticulous research that readers have come to expect, Andrew Marr turns his attention to the monarch and to the monarchy, chronicling the Queen's pivotal role at the centre of the state, which is largely hidden from the public gaze, and making a strong case for the institution itself.

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Dr David Starkey (Fitzwilliam 1964), Simon Thurley and Sarah Monks

This lavishly illustrated catalogue, published to accompany the major exhibition at the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, in 2012, explores the history of the Thames as a stage for Royal power, celebration and symbolism. It provides a thematic overview of major events and key individuals from the Tudor age onwards. Dr David Starkey, the leading authority on Britain's royal history, is the exhibition's guest curator. In the book, Dr Starkey and other experts examine the history of the Thames, London's greatest 'street' .

a brief life of the queen cover
Robert Lacey (Selwyn 1963)

The Queen is a succinct and intimate biography of Elizabeth II, who has managed to remain enigmatic yet is the most recognized woman in the world. For more than 30 years Robert Lacey has been gathering material from the members of the Queen's inner circle - her friends, relatives, private secretaries and prime ministers - and the results are distilled in this elegant, small format hardback, at under £10 contrasting deliberately with the other weighty and expensive Jubilee tomes.

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Ed Smith (Peterhouse 1995)

Tracing the history of the concepts of luck and fortune, destiny and fate, from the Ancient Greeks to the present day - in religion, in banking, in politics - Ed Smith argues that the question of luck versus skill is as pertinent today as it has ever been. Weaving in his personal stories - notably the fortunate encounter, on a train he seemed fated to miss, with a beautiful stranger who would become his wife - he challenges us to think again about chance, and to re-examine the question of innate ability and of privileges, both accidental and unavoidable, that are conferred at birth.

love mortality and the moving image
Professor Emma Wilson (Newnham 1985)

In their use of home movies, collages of photographs and live footage, moving image artists explore the wish to see dead loved ones living. This study scrutinizes emotions and sensations surrounding mortality and longing. Its focus is on love, tenderness, and eroticism, on the undoing of the self in desire and loss, and on the pursuit of relations with a missing other.

Steve James (Hughes Hall 1988)

In 1999, England slumped to a new low in their long and tumultuous cricket history. Defeat in a home series at the hands of a mediocre New Zealand team saw them fall to the bottom of the world Test rankings, below even Zimbabwe. Yet only just over a decade later, England had reached the top. It has been a remarkable and profound transformation, brought about largely by two men with an insatiable desire to succeed, Duncan Fletcher and Andy Flower.

the boxer and the goalkeeper cover
Dr Andy Martin (King's 1980)

Jean-Paul Sartre is the author of possibly the most notorious one-liner of twentieth-century philosophy: 'Hell is other people'. Albert Camus was The Outsider. The two men first came together in Occupied Paris in the middle of the Second World War, and quickly became friends, comrades, and mutual admirers. But the intellectual honeymoon was short-lived.

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Nick Drake (Magdalene 1980)

The poems in The Farewell Glacier grew out of a journey to the High Arctic. In late 2010 Nick Drake sailed around Svalbad, an archipelago of islands 500 miles north of Norway, with people from Cape Farewell, the arts climate change organisation. It was the end of the Arctic summer. The sun took eight hours to set. When the sky briefly darkened, the Great Bear turned about their heads as it had for Pythias the Greek, the first European known to have explored this far north.

betting on china cover image
Rob Koepp (Magdalene 1998)

The phrase “Made in China" is ubiquitous, and China's status as a consumer of everything from natural resources to advanced technology is well established, but how did it get there? Looking at the financial drivers of the country's phenomenal growth, in particular, the high-risk venture capital and private equity finance currently feeding the entrepreneurship and innovation that is positioning China at the forefront of tomorrow's industries, Betting on China sheds much needed light on the poorly understood, often disregarded subject of how the country became a global power.

Cover painting: Frank Auerbach, Head of Gerda Boehm, 1978–9 (detail). Oil on board, 56.5 x 71.1 cm (22 1/4 x 28 in). Private collection. Copyright © Frank Auerbach, courtesy Marlborough Fine Art. Photograph courtesy of Yvonne Burt.
Dan Burt (St John's 1964)

We Look Like This anatomizes how history, violence, power, lust and mortality work on us. Burt's formal, muscular language evokes a world of war, want, cruelty and hope, as well as childhood among ‘tough Jews’ in Philadelphia, dominated by his father Joe, son of Ukrainian immigrants, butcher, boxer and, late in life, coastal fisherman. Joe's last world, Barnegat inlet and the sea off the New Jersey coast, are counterpoint to and salvation from hard streets for father and son.

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