The Telegraph Great Reads Summer 2016

The Telegraph Great Reads Summer 2016

Leading – Alex Ferguson

In this revelatory new book Sir Alex Ferguson dissects his 38 years of management to reveal the secrets to his success. From tactics to teamwork, from hiring to firing, from dealing with the boardroom to responding to failure, Leading investigates the leadership decisions of an astonishing career.

“A case study in leadership”

Financial Times

Read if you loved: My Autobiography – Alex Ferguson  /   The Second Half – Roy Keane  /   Black Box Thinking – Matthew Syed

The Secret War – Max Hastings

The Secret War presents a worldwide cast and extraordinary sagas of intelligence and Resistance to create a new perspective on the greatest conflict in history. With its stories of high policy and human drama, the book has been acclaimed as the best history of the secret war ever written.

“As gripping as any spy thriller, Hastings’s achievement is especially impressive, for he has produced the best single volume yet written on the subject.”

Sunday Times

Read if you loved: Catastrophe – Max Hastings  /   Aredennes – Antony Beevor  /   Churchill’s Secret Warriors – Damien Lewis

The Battle of the Atlantic – Jonathan Dimbleby

In Dimbleby’s brilliant and dramatic new account we see how the epic maritime struggle for the Atlantic played out. Filled with haunting and hair-raising stories of chases, ambushes, sinkings, and rescues, The Battle of the Atlantic is a monumental work of history as it was lived and fought.

“Recounts the horror and humanity of life on those perilous oceans.”


Read if you loved: Destiny in the Desert – Jonathan Dimbleby  /   The Second World War – Antony Beevor  /   D-Day – Antony Beevor

SPQR: A History of Ancient Rome – Mary Beard

SPQR is a new look at Roman history from one of the world’s foremost classicists. It explores not only how Rome grew from humble beginnings to a power that controlled territory from Spain to Syria, but also how the Romans thought about themselves and why they are still important to us today.

“Mary Beard unpacks the secrets of the city’s success with a crisp and merciless clarity.”

New York Times

Read if you loved: Dynasty – Tom Holland  /   Sapiens – Yuval Noah Harari  /   Dictator – Robert Harris

Shop Girl – Mary Portas

Follow young Mary Newton along her journey from her childhood in Watford, through her school year scrapes up to the moment when she takes to the camp and glamour of Harrods window dressing like a duck to water, and Mary, Queen of Shops is born…

“Portas writes with wit and verve… Shop Girl is a testament to survival”


Read if you loved: Please, Mister Postman – Alan Johnson  /   Spectacles – Sue Perkins  /   The Last Act of Love – Cathy Rentzenbrink

Quiet – Susan Cain

In Quiet, Susan Cain shows how the brain chemistry of introverts and extroverts differs, and how society misunderstands and undervalues introverts. Passionately argued, superbly researched, and filled with real stories, Quiet will permanently change how we see introverts – and how you see yourself.

“I can’t get Quiet out of my head. It is an important book – so persuasive and timely and heartfelt it should inevitably effect change in schools and offices.”

The Guardian

Read if you loved: Quiet Power – Susan Cain  /   The Marshmallow Test – Walter Mischel  /   The Idiot Brain – Dean Burnett

Landmarks – Robert Macfarlane

Travelling from Cumbria to the Cairngorms, and exploring the landscapes of Roger Deakin, J. A. Baker, Nan Shepherd and others, Robert Macfarlane shows that language, well used, is a keen way of knowing landscape, and a vital means of coming to love it.

“He has a poet’s eye and a prose style that will make many a novelist burn with envy.”


Read if you loved: Meadowland – John Lewis-Stempel   /   The Living Mountain – Nan Shepherd  /   Landscape and Memory – Simon Schama

Walking Away – Simon Armitage

In Walking Away Armitage swaps the moorland uplands of the north for the coastal fringes of the south west, once again giving readings every night, but this time through Somerset, Devon and Cornwall, taking poetry into distant communities and tourist hot-spots, busking his way from start to finish.

“Walking Away is very funny, very enjoyable and fuelled by Armitage’s own down-to-earth poetic genius.”


Read if you loved: The Shepherd’s Life – James Rebanks  /   H is for Hawk – Helen Macdonald  /   The Old Ways – Robert Macfarlane

The Longest Kill – Craig Harrison

In this unflinching autobiography Craig catapults us into the heat of the action as he describes how in November 2009 in Afghanistan, under intense pressure, he saved the lives of his comrades with the longest confirmed sniper kill – 2,475 metres, the length of 25 football pitches.

“The Longest Kill is an amazing account of his impressive career.”

Nicholas Irving, New York Times bestselling author of The Reaper

Read if you loved: American Sniper – Chris Kyle  /   Operation Mayhem – Steve Heaney  /   Pathfinder – David Blakeley

The Great Leader and the Fighter Pilot Escaping Tyranny in North Korea – Blaine Harden

A non-fiction thriller by bestselling author Blaine Harden that explores the world’s most repressive state through the intertwined lives of two North Koreans, one infamous, one obscure: Kim Il Sung, the former North Korean leader and No Kum Sok, once the state’s youngest jet fighter pilot.

“By contrasting these emblematic figures [Kim Il-Sung and No Kum Sok], Mr. Harden has produced a riveting book that makes the history of North Korea accessible to the general reader.”

Wall Street Journal

Read if you loved: Escape from Camp 14 – Blaine Harden  /   In Order to Live – Yeonmi Park  /   Red Notice: How I Became Putin’s No. 1 Enemy – Bill Browder

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