2022 Pick of the Year – Non-Fiction

Here are my non-fiction picks for this year. We have a broad selection: local history (of course), biography, folk tales, walking guides – lots of ideal Christmas presents.  These are some of our best selling new titles from this year.  And if you missed my fiction picks, you can find them here.

I Wanted A Boat

I Wanted A Boat, So I Built One

The Emery boatbuilding family of Sheringham

An amazing archive of photographs, documenting 150 years of the history of wooden boatbuilding in Sheringham, accompanied by a thoroughly researched text which includes numerous extracts from local newspapers of the time.

I Wanted a Boat So I Built One
by Michael, Malcolm and Jonathan Emery
Paperback 92 pages; Poppyland Publishing
ISBN 9781909796966; RRP £10.95

Wally Webb

Ah-haaa! It’s Wally Webb!

The Biography

Wally Webb is best known as a presenter on BBC Radio Norfolk – and perhaps as the inspiration for Steve Coogan’s Alan Partridge – but he’s had a long and varied career. Now in his seventies and retired from the BBC Wally and his wife Sheri have put together this entertaining biography.

Ah-haaa! It’s Wally Webb The Biography
Author/Publisher Sheri Webb; Paperback 373 pages
ISBN 9781399935432; RRP £14.99

Apparitions of East Anglia

Folklore Tales & Weird History

Chris Spalton explores a selection of tall tales, grim history and extraordinary events from East Anglia, illustrated with his own brilliant cartoon style drawings, photographs and humourous text.

Apparitions of East Anglia by Chris Spalton
Paperback 106 pages; Fenbeast Publications
ISBN 9781999676728; RRP £10.00

Wells-next-the-Sea: The Long Last Century


The Long Last Century 1859-1999

Over the last 150 years, Wells-next-the-Sea  has changed from being an industrial town and port, to a community largely dependent on tourism.  Roger Arguile delves into council and school records, newspaper archives and local memories to bring us this detailed history of the town.

Wells-next-the-Sea: The Long Last Century 1859-1999 
Author Roger Arguile; Hardback 265 pages
ISBN 9780956851512; RRP £19.95 

A Norfolk Rhapsody

A Norfolk Rhapsody

Ralph Vaughan Williams in King's Lynn

In early 1905, Ralph Vaughan Williams came to West Norfolk to hear the community’s traditional songs and note them down. This large format book retraces his steps, tells us about the people he met, and how his music was infused with the melodies and ideas he heard in the yards, the workhouse and the pubs of old King’s Lynn. It includes the words and music for many of the folk songs and is perfect for music lovers and anyone interested in the history of King’s Lynn.

A Norfolk Rhapsody: Ralph Vaughan Williams in Kings Lynn by Jill Bennett and Elizabeth James
Paperback 262 pages; 280x216mm; Poppyland
ISBN 9781909796942; RRP £19.95
The Welcome Stranger

The Welcome Stranger

Norwich incomers 1550-1750

In 1566 the mayor of Norwich invited 30 families to come to Norwich and set up their businesses.  In the end many more came and established communities of Flemish  Walloons and Huguenots with their own churches and trading groups.  Frank Meeres digs into the archives to tell their stories.

The Welcome Stranger by Frank Meeres
Paperback 207 pages; Poppyland Publishing
ISBN 9781909796836; RRP £10.95

And for a fictional take on a story of Dutch incomers to Norfolk, read The Devil’s Dye by Jeni Neill.

The Devil's Dye
Broads Park Rangers Favourite Walks

Broads Park Rangers Favourite Walks

Walking guide to the Broads National Park, with 20 best routes chosen by the park rangers. Each walk varies in length from 2 to 10 km and can be completed in less than 4 hours. An essential guide to some wonderful waterside walks.

Broads Park Rangers Favourite Walks
Paperback 128 Pages
ISBN 9780008462727; RRP £6.99

Norfolk 40 Coast and Country Walks

Another new walking guide to Norfolk, with 40 selected walks of varying distances all around the county.  includes detailed OS maps and descriptions.

Norfolk 40 Coast and Country Walks
Paperback 96 Pages
ISBN 9781907025921; RRP £6.99

King's Lynn and the German Hanse

King's Lynn and the German Hanse


Centuries before the EU, King’s Lynn became a senior trading partner of the German Hanseatic towns which dominated the overseas commerce of late medieval northern Europe. This book investigates the character of the German Hanse and why Hanseatic ships used King’s Lynn as a prime destination.

King’s Lynn and The German Hanse 1250 – 1550
Paperback 210 pages; Poppyland Publishing
ISBN 9781909796911; RRP £10.95
Big Blue Sky

Big Blue Sky

A Celebration of Norfolk

This is the memoir of a love affair of over 70 years with the county of Norfolk.  Barrie Lawrence takes a humourous look at the Norfolk accent and vocabulary, and a few fascinating characters. There are brief punchy historical facts on Boudicca, Nelson, Allan Smethurst, Bernard Matthews, Scottish drovers, the Huguenots, coypus, the origins of the broads – and so much more.

Big Blue Sky: A Celebration of Norfolk by Barrie Lawrence
Paperback 216 pages
ISBN 9781915292209; RRP £9.95


If you’re looking for a Christmas gift, I hope something in this list will fit the bill – if not take a look at our website where you will find hundreds more books about or set in our region.,

We have good stocks of all of the above books, and will be shipping up to a few days before Christmas.  But with current disruption to postal services, please order early (the last posting date for Christmas is now 16th December), or use our priority courier service.


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