The pick of this month’s non-fiction
English, a former foreignnews editor, tells the story of the battle to save Timbuktu’s considerable historic and literary legacy from Islamists, as local archivists risked everything to smuggle manuscripts into hiding. Erica Benner Norton & Co, May 9
Political scientist and expert on the famous Italian Renaissance diplomat, politician and humanist Niccolò Machiavelli, Benner depicts her subject as a proponent of liberty and freedom of thought, rather than the cynical operator of reputation. Lee decides to try to mend a broken heart by swimming the 52 lakes around the German capital. As she navigates Berlin’s wilder waters over the course of 12 months, what emerges is a meditation on identity.
Be Like the Fox
Turning: A Swimming Memoir Jessica Lee Virago, May 4