Out Now

18th June 2010 at 01:00

At Home: A Short History of Private Life

By Bill Bryson

Doubleday

ISBN: 978-0385608275

#163;20

Having written about Britain, the US and then nearly everything, it might seem there is not much left for Bill Bryson to examine. But there you would be wrong. For the prolific polymath has turned his attention somewhere nearer home: the home. It may be a shorter journey than he is used to, but on the way he has uncovered the fascinating in the mundane and the inspiration in the unremarkable. He has also shown that it is not only charity that begins at home but history, too.

Awkward Situations for Men

By Danny Wallace

Ebury Press

ISBN: 978-0091937577

#163;5.99

If you are one of those people who feel men have had rather a rough time of late, what with women getting the vote and all, you will sympathise with Danny Wallace. Danny seems to find everything difficult and is constantly putting his foot - or other appendages - in it. He thinks it is largely because he is a man, and being a man is tricky. Chances are you will find this either a hilarious year-in-the-life of a hapless bozo, or a case of someone drawing attention to themselves, depending on your gender.

WHAT I'M READING

Kevin Fear

My school is having a Year of Reading, so I am trying to read more. The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell looks at what makes products, ideas and behaviours become established in our society. Its subtitle - "how little things can make a big difference" - lies at the heart of the book. It certainly contains lessons on how to manage change and how to influence people.

Kevin Fear is headteacher of Nottingham High School.

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