Ruth Richardson's Dickens and the Workhouse: Oliver Twist & the London Poor (Oxford University Press) tells how she discovered his childhood home.
Dinosaurs Without Bones: Dinosaur Lives Revealed by Their Trace Fossils (Pegasus Books) by Anthony J. Martin tells of footprints, nests, and more.
The Greatest Movies You'll Never See: Unseen Masterpieces by the World's Greatest Directors (Cassell Illustrated), edited by Simon Braund, helps us imagine what might have been.
Nature's Nether Regions: What the Sex Lives of Bugs, Birds, and Beasts Tell Us about Evolution, Biodiversity, and Ourselves (Viking) by evolutionary biologist Menno Schilthuizen is full of sexual surprises.
In Jumbo: The Unauthorized Biography of a Victorian Sensation (Aurum Press), John Sutherland tells how we treated the most famous of elephants, and others.
In Sextant: A Young Man's Daring Sea Voyage and the Men Who Mapped the World's Oceans (William Morrow), David Barrie calls us back to scan the skies.
Whistler: A Life for Art's Sake (Yale University Press) by Donald E. Sutherland tells of a brilliant painter and competent brawler.
The Self-Portrait: A Cultural History (Thames and Hudson) by James Hall gives the long view of the selfie.
The Extreme Life of the Sea (Princeton University Press) by Stephen R. and Anthony R. Palumbi tells why going to extremes is vital.