For those of you who prefer a dose of reality to counteract the fantasy you're living in, here's a list of new books that are completely true. Or at least, mostly.
Inside their pages you will find almost incredible stories, the truth behind the headlines, and uncover dastardly crimes. (Does anyone actually use that word anymore?) How 'bout nefarious? Or reprehensible?
At all events, be inspired, be horrified - believe it.
Facts are Sacred
You've all heard of the "austerity measures" governments are dishing out - but what effect are they actually having? What's the real cost of the war in Afghanistan, to people and society? For those who like to know more than what's in the soundbites, here's a book that crunches the data, with a liberal sprinkling of fact.
Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness
Mirror Mirror, Off the Wall
When Kjerstin Gruys became engaged to the love of her life, she was thrilled - until it came time to shop for a wedding dress. Having overcome an eating disorder years before, Gruys found herself struggling to maintain a positive self-image as her pending nuptials imposed a new set of impossible beauty standards. She decided to embark on a bold plan for boosting her self-esteem while refocusing her attention on the beautiful world around her. She gave up mirrors and other reflective surfaces, relying instead on her friends and her fiance to help her gauge both her appearance and her outlook on life. The result? A renewed focus on what truly matters, regardless of smeared makeup, crooked eyebrows, or messy hair.
The Bling Ring
The story of a gang of privileged LA kids and minor reality TV stars who stole from celebrities' homes, causing an ongoing saga in the press. Stars targeted included Paris Hilton, Orlando Bloom, Rachel Bilson and Lindsay Lohan. They even robbed Brian Austin-Green in hopes of stealing Megan Fox's wardrobe. Now a movie starring Emma Watson and Paris Hilton herself.
Confessions of a Sociopath
The Girl with No Name
At the age of four, Marina was kidnapped, then abandoned in the Colombian jungle. She managed to survive by copying the Capuchin monkeys. Marina gradually became part of the family for five years, developing extraordinary super-human abilities such as tree-climbing, stealth and animal communication. Discovered by a pair of hunters, she was sold into slavery in exchange for a parrot. She escaped after a year and lived on the streets, picking pockets to survive, eventually leading her own gang of thieves. From being forced to work in a brothel to cooking for the Duke of Kent, from encountering pythons, crocodiles and big cats to surviving car crashes and bombs, from facing three seemingly insurmountable tragedies to finally finding love in the UK, this is one incredible journey.