Dr Robin Hesketh (Senior Lecturer, Department of Biochemistry)
Despite the medical advances of the last century, cancer kills over half-a-million people every year in the United States. Yet despite the tenacity of this universal scourge, the science behind the disease remains a mystery to many people.
Professor Simon Baron-Cohen (Professor in the Department of Psychiatry, Director of the Autism Research Centre)
In Zero Degrees of Empathy: A New Theory of Human Cruelty and Kindness Simon Baron-Cohen takes fascinating and challenging new look at what exactly makes our behaviour uniquely human. How can we ever explain human cruelty? We have always struggled to understand why some people behave in the most evil way imaginable, while others are completely self-sacrificing. Is it possible that - rather than thinking in terms of 'good' and 'evil' - all of us instead lie somewhere on the empathy spectrum, and our position on that spectrum can be affected by both genes and our environments?
In The Old Ways, Robert Macfarlane sets off from his Cambridge home to follow the ancient tracks, holloways, drove - roads and sea paths that form part of a vast network of routes criss-crossing the British landscape and its waters, and connecting them to the continents beyond. The result is an immersive, enthralling exploration of the ghosts and voices that haunt old paths, of the stories our tracks keep and tell, of pilgrimage and ritual, and of songlines and their singers.
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.
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' .
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.