“Why Pandas Do Handstands: And Other Curious Truths about Animals” by Augustus Brown: Astonishing new facts about animals are discovered every day. Here, gathered together in one book, are hundreds of the most fascinating, often funny, and, occasionally, just plain bizarre snippets known about animals freshly gleaned from the most up-to-date scientific observations and experiments. With chapters on every aspect of animal life, from how they communicate with one another to their highly unusual parenting, Augustus Brown has compiled a charming, educational, and supremely entertaining book. Augustus Brown's fascination with the strange side of animal life began on the Welsh farm where he grew up surrounded by cows that could sense rain, highly-combustible sheep and chickens that could easily be hypnotized.
“Relic Murders,” by Paul Doherty: The sixth book in the Tudor Mysteries series, “Relic Murders” tells the tale of Roger Shallot, self-proclaimed physician, rogue, charlatan and secret emissary of King Henry VIII. His master, Benjamin Daunbey, has been sent to Italy on a diplomatic mission, leaving him in charge of their manor outside Ipswich. Shallot, forbidden both to practice the art of medicine and to approach the beautiful Miranda, takes to reading. Discovering the potential wealth which can be accrued by the finding and selling of true relics, he goes in search of his own. Almost immediately he is in trouble; and in prison. Rescued by the return of his master and the influence of Cardinal Wolsey, Shallot finds himself at court, where he is ordered by the King and Cardinal to break the law; to steal back for the crown the Orb of Charlemagne, now under close guard at the priory at Clerkenwell.
“The World of Downton Abbey,” by Julian Fellowes: An inside look at the real world, both the secret history and the behind-the-scenes drama, of the spellbinding Emmy Award-winning Masterpiece TV series, Downton Abbey. Millions of American viewers were enthralled by the world of Downton Abbey, the mesmerizing TV drama of the aristocratic Crawley family, and their servants, on the verge of dramatic change. This gorgeous book, illustrated with sketches and research from the production team, as well as on-set photographs from both seasons, takes us even deeper into that world, with fresh insights into the story and characters as well as the social history. We learn how and why American heiresses became the wives of many of the English aristocracy and what the differences in philosophies of the two were.