I've decided to do something a little different for this week's Friday Five; non-fiction. I've read all of the following and can highly recommend them:
1. We Can't All Be Astronauts by Tim Clare. Tim Clare dreamt of writing a critically-acclaimed bestseller, but he was single, still living with his parents, and, worst of all, his friends had beat him to it. Read how he decided to give his publication dream one last shot, grovelled to Jeffrey Archer on a reality TV programme, and suffered a mental breakdown before finally answering this question: Could things get any worse?
2. Dewey by Vicki Myron. The true tale of how one small-town library cat touched not only the people in his hometown, but the rest of the world. This is an inspirational story of the power of one animal to unite people and provide comfort through the worst of times. Have your hankies ready.
3. Are You Dave Gorman? by Dave Gorman and Danny Wallace. I first read this book in 2001 and have read it again several times. It is a hilarious and touching account of two friends who decide upon a drunken bet late one night in their local pub. Dave Gorman thought there must be hundreds of people who shared his name. Danny didn't. Read how they travelled around the world in search of Dave Gormans and tested both their friendship and Danny Wallace's long-suffering girlfriend to the limit.
4. A Prickly Affair by Hugh Warwick. Given the topic of the book - hedgehogs - you might be forgiven for asking how could a book about Hedgehogs be interesting? But it is about far more than facts and figures; it is about our relationship and fascination with them. Read how Warwick, an ecologist and member of the British Hedgehog Preservation Society, travelled to American to take part in the International Hedgehog Olympics, to China to find the rarest breed of all, and many other adventures.
5. The Perfect Storm by Sebastian Junger. The first thing to say about this book is that it is not one of those awful based-on-the-movie books. The Perfect Storm does tell the tale of the Andrea Gail and the awful events of October 1991, but it is about so much more. Junger tells the human story of the tragedy and the myriad of people whose lives revolved around the sea and fishing. The fact that it remained on the international bestseller list for four years is an indication of the quality of Junger's writing.
Well, that is it for this week. What non-fiction books would you recommend?