Andrew's Staff Picks and Recommendations

By Folio Books

By Folio Books


Bill Beverly


Essentially crime fiction, with ID theft as the catalyst, Dodgers is layered with brilliant, subtle metaphor, raising the question of who actually runs the USA. The implied answer will both delight and shock. Overall, the novel is Mark Twain gone "gangsta," with uncanny echoes of Huckleberry Finn reversed.

The Long Haul: A Trucker's Tales of Life on the Road

Finn Murphy

$16.95 $15.59

Read this book, and you will never see a truck the same way again! Murphy describes the finer details of trucks and trucking (particularly the shipping/moving sector), with adventures galore and a host of odd, delightful, and occasionally obnoxious characters. On another level, combining myth with socio-economic analysis, the memoir develops a subtle thesis of how and why the USA has evolved into its present incarnation.

How the Scots Invented the Modern World: The True Story of How Western Europe's Poorest Nation Created Our World and Everything in It

Arthur Herman

$18.00 $16.56

Really excellent. Do not be deceived by the daft title. This is a gem of scholarship and erudite writing, especially regarding one of the least-researched areas of philosophy: the Scottish Enlightenment.

Apeirogon: A Novel

Colum McCann

$28.00 $25.20

Apeirogon is a curious mixture of fiction and non-fiction, the essence being the story of how an Israeli and a Palestinian became best friends after their daughters were killed in separate incidents; one in a shooting, the other in a bombing. Grief layers the novel, yet it is supremely uplifting, their friendship providing a tangible, simple solution to the conflict of the Middle East, and conflict everywhere. After decades of political ritual, apathy, and failure, the reader will feel that this novel really could make a difference. As such, it is the type of work that appears very rarely, perhaps once in a generation.

Hero: The Life and Legend of Lawrence of Arabia

Michael Korda

$18.99 $17.47

Michael Korda has achieved one of the definitive biographies of T. E. Lawrence, outstanding against the volume of work written about this extraordinary man. Summarizing his principal exploits and achievements in the First World War, Korda proceeds to explain how and why Lawrence came to be in the Middle East, along with the trajectory of his career. Many facets emerge. Among his numerous acheivements, Lawrence was decades ahead of contemporary warfare in his use of mobility and speed to fight a guerilla war against a much larger enemy. He was also horribly aware of his role in the war, knowing the Arabs were being deliberately misled by France and Great Britain in order to get them to fight the Turks. It is regarding Lawrence's tragic destiny, his serving two opposing masters, that Korda's work is most useful and important. For although two Arab states, Jordan and Iraq, initially emerged from the ruins of the Ottoman Empire, thanks largely to Lawrence's efforts at the Peace Conference, for the most part the Arabs were sold short by the Allies, Palestine was allocated, and the Middle East has been in constant turmoil ever since. Although he could not have foreseen the Holocaust, Lawrence predicted much of this crisis, Michael Korda documents how, and it is therefore intriguing and didactic to learn how the Middle East continues to fester largely due to colonial treaties signed a century ago.

Caught Inside: A Surfer's Year on the California Coast

Daniel Duane

$16.00 $14.72

Looking back nearly thirty years, California is in recession, and the tech boom isn't even a whisper. Daniel Duane decides to do what most of us just dream of doing: spend four seasons on the California coast, researching breaks, and surfing them. This little volume of essays is a prototype of Barbarian Days, indeed there is a brief reference to Willam Finnegan's articles in the New Yorker, when Duane's mother buys him a subscription to the magazine. Where Barbarian Days occasionally becomes tedious, with Finnegan's endless claims to be the first dude to surf the best breaks on the planet that are now household names, Duane retains a consistent humility, through his detailed, beautiful observations of nature, and his honesty about his limitations in the ocean. This title remains a gem for those flat days, or for anyone who would like to learn more about Californian history and wildlife.

Outlaw Trail: A History of Butch Cassidy and His Wild Bunch

Charles Kelly, Anne Meadows, and Dan Buck

$21.95 $19.76

The Plague

Albert Camus

$15.00 $13.80

A book for our times in more ways than one, The Plague is ostensibly about an outbreak of plague in North Africa. However, Camus’ masterpiece is also a metaphor of the spread of fascism and its ultimate defeat, against all odds, by bravery, compassion, and the refusal to surrender.

Sometimes a Great Notion

Ken Kesey

$18.00 $16.56

On the Road: (penguin Great Books of the 20th Century)

Jack Kerouac

$18.00 $16.56

Howl and Other Poems

Allen Ginsberg

$7.95 $7.31

San Francisco Poems

Lawrence Ferlinghetti

$11.95 $10.99

Barbarian Days: A Surfing Life

William Finnegan

$18.00 $16.56

Man's Search for Meaning

Harold S Kushner, William J Winslade, and Viktor E Frankl

$15.00 $13.80

Wind, Sand and Stars

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

$14.99 $13.79

The winner of numerous literary awards, Wind, Sand and Stars provides a fascinating account of the early days of airmail. Written as a series of essays in his beautiful prose, Saint-Exupery recalls his adventures, and the dangers of flight over the Sahara and the Andes. One section is dedicated to the author's experiences in Madrid, when the city was being besieged in the Spanish Civil War. The memoir offers a moving, and inspiring introduction to Saint-Exupery's philosophy on camaraderie, friendship, and survival; the latter being as simple as placing one foot in front of the other, as one crosses the metaphorical desert or mountain range.

In Patagonia

Bruce Chatwin

$17.00 $15.64

In Patagonia established Bruce Chatwin's reputation as one of the finest travel writers in the English language, a career that was tragically cut short. Albeit a traditional account of travel through a remote corner of the world, there exists a surreal element in Chatwin's style that constantly delights and surprises the reader. Among the strange and unusual, we encounter vestiges of Butch Cassady and his gang, vivid descriptions of the country and wildlife, and bizarre characters like the giant man with a Scottish name Chatwin encounters blubbing like a child by a remote road. Overall, reflected in the digressive structure, Chatwin's narrative constitutes a meditation on wandering and nomadism.

God's Middle Finger: Into the Lawless Heart of the Sierra Madre

Richard Grant

$17.00 $15.64

The fact that Richard Grant made it home to write this book is a miracle. With extraordinary detail, and a unique sense of humor and style, Grant documents his adventures in the surreal, lethal heart of the Sierra Madre; a beautiful, lawless land of Tarahumara myth, bandits, drug smugglers, religious maniacs, and routine extreme violence.

Into the Wild

Jon Krakauer

$15.00 $13.80

The Heights of Macchu Picchu

Pablo Neruda and Tomas Q Morin

$15.00 $13.80

The Flame: Poems Notebooks Lyrics Drawings

Leonard Cohen

$18.00 $16.56

One Hundred Years of Solitude

Gabriel Garcia Marquez

$16.98 $15.62

Chronicle of a Death Foretold

Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Gregory Rabassa

$14.00 $12.88

Slouching Towards Bethlehem: Essays

Joan Didion

$15.00 $13.80

The Odyssey

Homer and Emily Wilson

$18.95 $17.43

The Iliad: (penguin Classics Deluxe Edition) (Revised)

Homer, Robert Fagles, and Bernard Knox

$20.00 $18.00


James Joyce

$17.00 $15.64

The Call of the Wild

Jack London and Melvin Burgess

$6.99 $6.43

Martin Eden (Revised)

Jack London and Andrew Sinclair

$18.00 $16.56

To the Lighthouse

Virginia Woolf

$14.99 $13.79

The Rainbow

D H Lawrence, James Wood, Mark Kinkead-Weekes, and Anne Fernihough

$11.00 $10.12

Women in Love

D H Lawrence


Heart of Darkness and the Secret Sharer

Joseph Conrad

$5.95 $5.47

The Power of One

Bryce Courtenay

$17.00 $15.64

Ask the Dust

John Fante

$16.98 $15.62

The Day of the Locust

Nathanael West

$13.95 $12.83

Ninety Percent of Everything: Inside Shipping, the Invisible Industry That Puts Clothes on Your Back, Gas in Your Car, and Food on Your Plate

Rose George

$18.00 $16.56

Journalist Rose George researches the shipping industry, one of the most opaque and least-regulated industries. She has the unique experience of sailing aboard a large freighter from Rotterdam to Singapore via the Suez Canal, including a tense stretch through the pirate-infested shipping lanes off Somalia. She encounters crew at all levels of the hierarchy, providing an insight into the dangers and loneliness of a world that is frequently romanticized.

Alexander the Great: His Life and His Mysterious Death

Anthony Everitt

$30.00 $27.00

Red Notice: A True Story of High Finance, Murder, and One Man's Fight for Justice

Bill Browder

$17.00 $15.64

Should Bill Browder die an untimely and mysterious death, the reasons and perpetrators are clearly documented in his memoir, Red Notice. Indeed, Vladimir Putin has openly called for Browder's deportation to Russia! Reading like a thriller, Red Notice introduces us to the financial opening of Eastern Europe after the end of the Cold War. A fascinating insight into the labyrinth of financial manipulation, the memoir offers a unique interpretation of that closed world. As events develop, Browder's world darkens, and readers will discover how he was instrumental in the creation of the Magnitsky Act, signed into law by President Obama, in 2012. Red Notice is a harrowing yet inspiring account of true crime at the highest level.

A Spy Among Friends: Kim Philby and the Great Betrayal

Ben Macintyre and John Le Carré

$18.00 $16.56

Agent Zigzag: A True Story of Nazi Espionage, Love, and Betrayal

Ben Macintyre

$17.00 $15.64

Don Quixote

Miguel De Cervantes Saavedra, John Rutherford, and Roberto Gonzalez Echevarria

$17.00 $15.64

The Decameron (Revised)

Giovanni Boccaccio and G H McWilliam

$15.00 $13.80

The Divine Comedy: Volume 1: Inferno

Dante Alighieri, Eric Drooker, Robin Kirkpatrick, and Robin Kirkpatrick

$28.00 $25.20

Ghettoside: A True Story of Murder in America

Jill Leovy

$18.00 $16.56

Ghettoside is a remarkable, award-winning social document, essential reading in order to understand the reasons for gang activity, besides the epidemic of gang violence that afflicts American cities. An accomplished journalist, Jill Leovy follows the dedicated efforts of one LAPD detective to find and convict the murderers of a colleague's son. In the process, the reader learns the methods detectives use to work with a community marginalized from the law, and how gangs emerge in any community that feels itself to be marginalized, and therefore not properly represented by law enforcement. Leovy's research, together with her clear thesis, do much to dissipate common prejudices regarding policemen, and the communities within which they work.

Moby Dick

Herman Melville, Andrew Delbanco, and Tom Quirk

$16.00 $14.72

The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling

Henry Fielding, Thomas Keymer, and Alice Wakely

$12.00 $11.04

Rogue Heroes: The History of the Sas, Britain's Secret Special Forces Unit That Sabotaged the Nazis and Changed the Nature of War

Ben MacIntyre

$18.00 $16.56

With access to hitherto unreleased SAS archives, Ben Macintyre has crafted a unique, important piece of historical research. Rogue Heroes documents the development of the SAS in World War Two, showing how the unit’s unconventional characters revolutionized contemporary warfare regarding the use of special forces. Inspired by T. E. Lawrence, and Sir Ernest Shackleton, among others, the SAS paradigm has influenced widely. Who Dares, Wins!

The Fire Next Time

James Baldwin

$13.95 $12.83

It would be so wonderful if the examination of white supremacy in The Fire Next Time was obsolete, but James Baldwin’s analysis remains as relevant as when he first wrote this masterpiece. Inspiring Ta-Nehisi Coates to write Between the World and Me, Baldwin’s conclusion differs vastly, and a comparison of the works is both fascinating and vital, especially regarding contemporary challenges.

Cat Sense: How the New Feline Science Can Make You a Better Friend to Your Pet

John Bradshaw

$17.98 $16.54

Are you trying to make sense of your cat? Perhaps you imagine you know your cat? Actually, your cat is also trying to make cat sense of you! Thanks to Dr. John Bradshaw’s comprehensive research, I now know much more than I thought I knew about cats, especially my own little sweetheart, Jet Kitty. Entertaining, very informative, academic yet frequently hilarious, Cat Sense is at the cutting edge of Feline Science.

On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century

Timothy Snyder

$8.99 $8.27

It is unusual to encounter a work so concise, so brilliantly written, and yet so very timely. Timothy Snyder pulls no punches. Evoking the lessons of history, especially regarding the 1930s, he equates the tactics and politics of Donald Trump directly with those of Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin. Democracy, free elections, all the facets of the free system we take for granted, are portrayed in the gravest danger. Please read this book and, if you care, recommend it to someone you know, no matter what their political persuasion.

The Spy Who Tried to Stop a War

Thomas Mitchell and Marcia Mitchell

$16.98 $15.62

This is the account of the young British intelligence officer who risked her career and freedom to expose the Bush-Blair WMD pact to declare war on Iraq, for the illegal purpose of regime change. Was she right to do so? That is the question that lingers in terms of her achievement, against the wider perspectives of the Great Game.

The Marches: A Borderland Journey Between England and Scotland

Rory Stewart

$15.99 $14.71

Having once walked across Afghanistan in 2002, Rory Stewart embarks on an odyssey equally exotic, but closer to home, exploring the borderlands between Scotland and England. Introducing an array of diverse characters, including his father, Brian Stewart (former deputy head of MI6), while providing a very detailed record of the region's history, Rory Stewart’s analysis brings into question the concepts of nationalism and national identity, a refreshing contrast to current global trends.

American Nations: A History of the Eleven Rival Regional Cultures of North America

Colin Woodard

$18.00 $16.56

Colin Woodard documents North American history from a unique angle, examining the various nations that arrived on the continent after the 1500s. Through shifting alliances and rivalries, these nations continue to exert their influence, an example being the ongoing battle between Yankeedom and the Deep South, a struggle which has driven the USA’s socio-political climate. American Nations thus also provides an illuminating thesis to make more sense of the USA’s electoral trends. Woodard concludes with some shattering predictions for the future.

The Cretan Runner: His Story of the German Occupation

Patrick Leigh Fermor and George Psychoundakis


Beautiful Animals

Lawrence Osborne

$16.00 $14.72

I became curious about Lawrence Osborne, when I read a review of his work comparing him to Graham Greene. Indeed, if I remember correctly, he was being hailed as "a modern Graham Greene." Beautiful Animals provides an excellent introduction to Osborne's style. Set in the Greek Islands, ostensibly the story of two young women thrown into crisis when they encounter a migrant, the novel reveals complex layers of metaphor, describing the fatal breakdown of contemporary Europe.

Cider with Rosie

Laurie Lee

$15.95 $14.67

A delightful memoir of growing up in a Gloucestershire village around the time of the Great War, Cider wih Rosie is still immensely popular with children and adults all over the world. Laurie Lee's beautiful prose vividly transports the reader back to a mythical England long since gone. This is the first book in a trilogy, the second and third documenting the author's wanderings to Spain, and the Spanish Civil War.

The Violins of Saint-Jacques

James Campbell and Patrick Leigh Fermor


As I Walked Out One Midsummer Morning

Laurie Lee

$15.95 $14.67

The sequel to Cider with Rosie, As I Walked Out One Midsummmer Morning is Laurie Lee's memoir of leaving his Gloucestershire village in 1934. He walks to London, works there for a while, then sets off for Spain where, during the course of a year, he walks from Vigo to Andalusia. Lee's beautiful, semi-poetic style affords the reader an entrancing vision of Spain, just before the outbreak of the Civil War.

The Places in Between

Rory Stewart

$15.99 $14.71

Arabian Sands

Rory Stewart and Wilfred Thesiger

$17.00 $15.64

The Songlines

Rory Stewart and Bruce Chatwin

$17.00 $15.64

The Rum Diary

Hunter S Thompson

$16.98 $15.62

Hell's Angels: A Strange and Terrible Saga: A Strange and Terrible Saga

Hunter S Thompson

$17.00 $15.64

The First Third

Neal Cassady

$15.95 $14.67

Off the Road: Twenty Years with Cassady, Kerouac, and Ginsberg

Carolyn Cassady

$16.95 $15.59

The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test

Tom Wolfe

$20.00 $18.00

Demon Box

Ken Kesey


Junky: The Definitive Text of "Junk"

William S Burroughs

$15.00 $13.80

Naked Lunch: The Restored Text

Barry Miles, James Grauerholz, and William S Burroughs Jr

$16.00 $14.72

Seven Pillars of Wisdom: A Triumph

T E Lawrence

$19.95 $18.35

The Mint: Lawrence After Arabia

T E Lawrence, Anthony Sattin, and Andrew Sattin

$14.00 $12.88

Three Men in a Boat & Three Men on the Bummel

Jerome K Jerome, Jeremy Lewis, and Jeremy Lewis

$13.00 $11.96

Constantly in print since it was first published in 1889, and originally intended to be a serious travel guide, Three Men in a Boat is a hilarious account of three men (and a dog) fed up with their dull lives, venturing up the River Thames in a small camping skiff. Not only does the story offer a delightful escape from the mundane and the dark, it also offers a splendid exploration of a section of the Thames, all the pubs and inns mentioned still being open. This volume includes the sequel, Three Men on the Bummel, about a cycling tour of Germany.

The Jungle Book

Rudyard Kipling and Christopher Paolini

$6.99 $6.43


Rudyard Kipling and Susan Cooper

$5.99 $5.51

The Great Game: The Struggle for Empire in Central Asia

Peter Hopkirk

$18.00 $16.56

With meticulous research, combined with his intimate knowledge of the area, Peter Hopkirk provides a fascinating history of the struggle for India, between Victorian Great Britain and Czarist Russia, the essence of which took place in the remotest tracts of Central Asia. Eminently readable, Hopkirk's analysis provides an excellent foundation on which to begin to understand contemporary geopolitical developments and conflict in the region.

The Death of Artemio Cruz

Carlos Fuentes and Alfred MacAdam

$17.00 $15.64

Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter

Mario Vargas Llosa and Helen R Lane

$19.00 $17.48

Pedro Paramo

Margaret Sayers Peden, Juan Rulfo, and Susan Sontag

$16.00 $14.72

Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy: A George Smiley Novel

John Le Carre

$17.00 $15.64

One of the great novels of espionage, le Carré also provides us with true epic myth, in the form of George Smiley. You will see yourself in these pages, your workplace, your family, your friends. And George Smiley is always the paradigm of dignity and control, no matter what the circumstances.

Going Solo

Roald Dahl

$7.99 $7.35

In this memoir of life in East Africa just prior to World War 2, and service as a fighter pilot in the RAF, Roald Dahl’s genius for storytelling is exhibited in a unique narrative, captivating for adults, and younger readers alike. His experiences are portrayed through crisp, clear, beautifully written sentences, evoking profound imagery and spare yet graphic description of British colonial history, and World War 2. Veering between hilarious adventure and sudden chilling reality, educational, instructive, and entertaining, this slim volume is an absolute gem!

The Eagle of the Ninth

Rosemary Sutcliff

$10.99 $10.11

Stig of the Dump

Clive King and Edward Ardizzone

$14.99 $13.79

A children's classic, published in 1963, Stig of the Dump is still widely read in British schools, ideal for Middle Reader level. A bored boy staying with his grandparents falls into a pit serving as a rubbish dump, where he meets Stig, a caveman. Adventures ensue, the climax being one summer night when the boy and his sister meet Stig's people, as they complete a circle of standing stones.

Mr. Midshipman Hornblower

C S Forester

$15.99 $14.71

The Secret of the Unicorn


$13.99 $12.87

The Adventures of Tintin: Red Rackham's Treasure


$13.99 $12.87

Asterix and the Golden Sickle

Albert Uderzo and René Goscinny

$12.99 $11.95

Asterix and the Big Fight

Albert Uderzo and René Goscinny

$12.99 $11.95

Swallows and Amazons

Arthur Ransome

$15.95 $14.67

The Wind in the Willows

Kenneth Grahame

$6.99 $6.43

Ghost Town

Morris and Goscinny

$11.95 $10.99

The Circus of Adventure

Enid Blyton and Rebecca Cobb


2001: A Space Odyssey

Arthur C Clarke

$8.99 $8.27

Watership Down

Richard Adams

$18.98 $17.46

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

Douglas Adams

$7.99 $7.35

Our Man in Havana

Christopher Hitchens and Graham Greene

$17.00 $15.64

This novel offers an excellent introduction to Graham Greene's style, and it is quite suitable for young teenagers keen to explore literature. Thematically one of Graham Greene's more humorous works, Our Man in Havana lampoons the spy services, notably MI6. Published in 1958, darker elements emerge in the novel, for example the uncanny "prediction" of Cuban missile sites. Apparently, Our Man in Havana got Greene into trouble with his former employers (he was an MI6 officer during the Second World War) because the novel details the relationship between a handler and an agent. Incidentally, Kim Philby was Greene's supervisor during the war, they remained friends even after Philby's defection (Greene visited Philby in Moscow), and Greene wrote an introduction to Philby's memoir, My Silent War.

The Third Man (Anniversary)

Graham Greene

$15.00 $13.80

My Silent War: The Autobiography of a Spy

Phillip Knightley, Graham Greene, and Kim Philby


My Silent War presents Kim Philby's version of his career in MI6. The memoir begins during the Spanish Civil War, ending with Philby's activities during the Cold War. As such, the account offers a fascinating insight into areas of history seldom documented, written with succinct brilliance and occasional hilarity. The memoir was highly influential, inspiring a new genre of spy fiction subsequently developed by authors like John le Carre and Graham Greene. Raising the question of whether Philby could have been a triple agent, My Silent War is the perfect companion for a reading of Ben Macintyre's A Spy Among Friends.

The Coral Island

R M Ballantyne and John Boyne

$14.99 $13.79

Published in 1857, this children's classic of adventure and survival has never been out of print. The novel inspired William Golding to write Lord of the Flies, and echoes of it exist towards the end of Brendan Behan's Borstal Boy.


Lawrence Durrell and Robert Ryan

$18.00 $16.56

Justine is the first volume of Lawrence Durrell's tetralogy, The Alexandria Quartet. Set in Alexandria in the 1930s, the novel begins the labyrinthine, interlocking perspectives that form the overall plot. The sordid and the beautiful coexist through the characters and the city creating a mesmerizing panorama of a lost age. Published between 1957 and 1960, Lawrence Durrell's prose in The Alexandria Quartet is regarded as some of the finest of the 20th century.

My Family and Other Animals

Gerald Durrell

$17.00 $15.64

The Nick Adams Stories

Ernest Hemingway

$17.00 $15.64

Maugham: Collected Short Stories: Volume 2

W Somerset Maugham

$20.00 $18.00

As I Lay Dying

William Faulkner

$14.95 $13.75

A Month in the Country

Michael Holroyd and J L Carr

$14.95 $13.75

Two Years Before The Mast

Richard Henry Dana, John Seelye, and Wes Davis


Reading this classic, we are introduced to the uniquely literate memoir of a Harvard undergraduate documenting the conditions of a common sailor in the 1830s. An absolute must-read for anyone interested in Californian history, Dana's account describes life in the tiny coastal villages of San Diego and San Francisco, among others. Working the coast in an era before the country has been traversed, Alta California still being part of Mexico, Dana returns after the Gold Rush, by which time San Francisco has become a city of 100,000 inhabitants. From being a pallid, sickly undergraduate, Dana's health is restored by his odyssey, and at the end of the memoir, unrecognized by a friend who has come to meet him in port, he swings down from aloft burned black by the sun, with the physique of a gladiator.

Deep Survival: Who Lives, Who Dies, and Why

Laurence Gonzales

$16.95 $15.59

Documenting true stories of survival, Laurence Gonzales compiles his analysis, based on science and vivid storytelling, to create common denominators regarding what it takes to survive. The resulting conclusions are relevant not only to the wilderness and the ocean, but also to daily life. The lessons are as simple as creating routine and structure, together with maintaining faith and optimism.

Mister Pip

Lloyd Jones

$16.00 $14.72

Set on the island of Bougainville, during the civil war of the 1990s, Mister Pip is a work of extraordinary beauty and inspiration. With a background of Charles Dickens' novel, Great Expectations, the events are narrated by a young girl who comes of age in atrocious circumstances. Much of the story revolves around the identity and character of the mysterious Watts, the children's teacher and the only white person left on the island. The reader will be kept guessing to the very end. Overall, the novel develops as a tribute to the power of teaching and literature to occlude horror, and carry the human spirit through the darkest circumstances.