Last updated: 23:19 BST, 7 September 2023

In her eye-opening account, Eight bears: Mythic past and imperilled future, Gloria Dickie starts by considering why the bear is so appealing to the human imagination.

Chris Broad went to Japan to teach English to Japanese students, and a decade later is established as a YouTube star with his Abroad In Japan videos explaining the country's customs and curiosities.

Lost and bewildered Walker may be when we first meet her, but she comes from a family with an extraordinary capacity for love. Her memoir reads like a novel...

With what sometimes seems like half of Europe and North America ablaze this summer, Fire Weather, by the Vancouver-based writer and journalist John Vaillant, could not be a more timely work.

Welcome to Ashton United, one of our oldest clubs, founded in 1878. This is the world of semi-pro, non-League football, a world of losing and occasionally winning, but it's also the world of mud and nettles...

Teun Toebes is a young Dutch nursing student in his early 20s who, finding himself short of money and without anywhere to live, took the opportunity to move into a nursing home.

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'I used to cook for Bono, now I make dinner for dogs': Ex-chef details how recovering from

On a whim, Harbison moved to the island of Koh Samui in Thailand in 2018, taking his beloved rescue dog Snoop with him. When his girlfriend left him because of his drinking, he went into a downward spiral. After his stint in hospital, he realised that something had to change. 'I knew that whatever I did next, I had to do with all my heart and soul,' he said.

Lynda La Plante would is currently reading Napoleon by Frank McLynn, a biography about the French general and would take the complete volumes of William Shakespeare to a desert island.

The summer of 1907, animal trainer Madame Ella Jensen was top of the bill at the Gloucester Palace of Varieties with a speciality performance starring her and a cageful of lions.

The Swimmer: The Wild Life of Roger Deakin is a biography of the author of the much-loved Waterlog - a wholly original account of how he swam across Britain, via lakes, ponds, canals and more.

The Jewel Box, Tim Blackburn's enchanting new book, not only celebrates moths but provides an introduction to the basic ideas of ecology and the study of the natural world.

Ackerman, an American science writer, suggests that we are intrigued by them because they are so elusive; most of us have only ever seen an owl in silhouette at night.

Essex is a county of firsts. There was the UK's first nudist colony (1924, in Wickford, intriguingly called 'Moonella'), and the world's first regular radio broadcasting company.

The Tour de France is the biggest annual sporting event in the entire world. It is also the most exhausting, with 150-200km stages, often up some impossibly steep mountains.

Rory Stewart's time as an MP left him disillusioned with politics - especially Cameron -

there is an extraordinary episode when, on coming into the job, he discovers that some of our largesse is funding municipal councils in north-west Syria. 'Are not these enclaves controlled by jihadi factions?' Stewart asks, getting the response from a civil servant 'in her early 20s, "I think, Minister, that there are many different groups in these areas." "So we are not funding jihadis?" "No, Minister."'

Had I keeled over in America, I'd now be a corpse, as their medical system is unsympathetic towards anyone 'poor and chronically ill', which is pretty much the category I usually find myself in.

How does your lawn grow? If it's looking shaggy and full of dandelions, clover and buttercups, then give yourself a gold star.

Usually photographed in an Indiana Jones-style hat, Tristan Gooley calls himself a 'natural navigator' and his motto is: 'Nature is always making a map for us. Everything outdoors is a clue...'

Charlie Taverner's book about the history of street food in London began life gives a fascinating picture of what Londoners used to eat while on the move, where that food came from and who sold it to them.

Once upon a raven's nest is a portrait of Tommy Collard, who became a friend of author Catrina Davies six years before his death. Enchanted by his anecdotes, she began writing down his stories.

In her new book, The Pirate's Code, Rebecca Simon debunks the myths of 17th and 18th century piracy, revealing that, with practices such as keel-hauling, the truth is even more gruesome.

Confessions of America's most prolific serial killer: When novelist Jillian Lauren asked

Sam Little didn't look like a serial killer at first glance - let alone like America's most prolific serial killer, guilty of 93 murders over three decades. A frail, charming, twinkly-eyed 78-year-old with a heart condition, diabetes and an amputated toe, he trundled into the visitors' room of California State Prison in his wheelchair. His first words to his new visitor Jillian Lauren were: 'You! You, my angel come to visit me from Heaven. God knew I was lonely and he sent me you.' Thus began the weirdest, creepiest two years any investigative journalist and novelist could expect in their working life.

Whose loo is 'past the Picasso and left at the Matisse'? ... and what was it about Liz Taylor that caught a studio boss's eye? Just two of the tantalising questions in our fiendish literary quiz

Here's a technological advance that will change our lives, make us all richer and healthier and happier and better looking.

UK-based Lizzie Pickering's son, Harry, died at the age of six in 2000. He had been diagnosed with terminal spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) just before his second birthday.

Noel Coward warned Mrs Worthington not to put her daughter on the stage, and parents who read Alice Robb's memoir might well whisk their little darlings away from pink tutus and pointe shoes altogether.

Doggy People offers a fascinating portrait of a small corner of 19th-century life. Despite such a niche subject, it uncovers an interesting array of forgotten and colourful characters.

When Ben Goldsmith's daughter Iris, 15, died in an accident, his world turned dark. Four years on, he tells how he tired to cope with grief in a heartbreaking - and inspiring - memoir.

Paul Richardson and his partner moved the a rural part of western Spain and transformed the surroundings. At first their new plot was nothing more than a clearing in a forest of brambles

Summer 1657: two apprentices, John Knight and Nathaniel Butler, shared a bedroom in a house in Milk Street, London.

Author Natasha Tidd tells us of the medieval chronicler, Gerald of Wales, who claimed he knew a man on whom tiny devils appeared every time he was confronted with lies.