Non-fiction books by the following York Authors are featured on this page:

  • Nathen Amin
  • Bob Gwynne
  • David Harbourne
  • Jerry Ibbotson
  • Elizabeth Sandie
  • Rosl Schatzberger
  • John Scott
  • Fiona Shaw
  • Christina Surdhar
  • Jacqueline Whitehart.

→ If you’re looking for non-fiction for kids or teens, click here.
→If you’d like to invite any of these authors to your book group/school/festival etc., or would like to find out more about them, click on their name below to reach their York Authors profile page.
→ If you’re a York writer and you’d like to join us and have your work featured here, please email York Authors.

Nathen Amin
Tudor Wales
Amberley, 2014. Paperback and e-book
Genre: British History
Set in York? No
Description: Tudor Wales is a guide to 40 places in Wales which has links to the Tudor dynasty. From Harlech Castle in the north to Pembroke Castle in the west, and from the holy Bishop’s Palace at Lamphey to the sacred Cathedral at St David’s, this guide will put you on the path to a true Tudor experience in the Land of their Fathers
Reviews: ‘Nathen Amin’s book is a wonderful read, bringing these places alive, and he’s done a fabulous job with the photos.’ Anne Boleyn Files
‘A great idea, perfectly executed’ Author Matthew Lewis
Find out more and buy from: Author’s website    Amazon

Nathen Amin
York Pubs
Amberley, 2016. Paperback and e-book
Genre: Local History
Set in York? Yes
Description: York Pubs catalogues 40 of the most intriguing and historic of the city’s pubs and provides the reader an introduction to a fascinating alehouse-based history of York.
Find out more and buy from: Author’s website   Amazon 

Nathen Amin
House of Beaufort
Amberley, 2017. Hardback and e-book
Genre: British History
Set in York? Partially
Description: House of Beaufort is the first full-length biography of the Beaufort dynasty, tracking their origins as illegitimate children to John of Gaunt, through Agincourt and the Wars of the Roses to the ascendancy of the Beaufort-blooded Tudors in 1485.
Find out more and buy from: Author’s website   Amazon

Gwynne - Flying ScotsmanBob Gwynne
The Flying Scotsman – The Train, The Locomotive, The Legend
Shire Library, 2010. Paperback and e-book
Genre: Non-fiction
Set in York? No.
Description: A succinct history of Flying Scotsman, the famous express train, and Flying Scotsman, the famous locomotive. Richly illustrated.
Reviews: ‘A useful and entertaining overview for readers new to this popular subject.’ Railway Magazine
‘A book that gives a great introduction into the history of this great machine! Highly recommended!’ Amazon reviewer
View sample pages, find out more and buy from: Amazon (paperback) | Amazon (Kindle) 

Gwynne: Railway preservationBob Gwynne
Railway Preservation in Britain
Shire Library, 2011. Paperback
Genre: Non-fiction
Set in York? No.
Description: From the Victorian era right through to now, this book blends social history with the moments and personalities that led Britain to have more tourist railways than anywhere else, as well as the largest railway museum in the world.
Reviews: ‘A succinct account which is as much a piece of social history as it is of undoubted interest to railway enthusiasts.’ Today’s Railways
‘Comprehensive, reliable and absolutely fascinating.’  Amazon reviewer
Find out more and buy from: Amazon

Gwynne - Celebrating RailfestBob Gwynne
Celebrating Rail : The Story of Railfest
Trans-Pennine Publishing, 2004. Paperback
Genre: Non-fiction
Set in York? Yes
Description:  This book describes the development and delivery of Railfest 2004’, the biggest rail show of the decade. The book came out to positive reviews and features a lot of photographs taken by the author.
Find out more and buy from: Crécy

David Harbourne
Penguins under the porch: a Yorkshireman’s ode to Oamaru
Wily Publications, 2018. Paperback/e-book
Genre: Travel/history
Set in York? No
Description: A quirky and engaging book about a town far away – Oamaru, New Zealand. The book blends history (New Zealand’s first female novelist, two police sergeants called Bullen), architecture, rocks and present-day encounters: a latter-day Victorian, the mayor, steampunks, the genius behind the country’s first moated castle, and hundreds of penguins.
Reviews: ‘A remarkable book.’ Oamaru Today
‘Entwining his research with the sometimes bemused commentary of a visitor from a distance, David Harbourne has produced a fine amalgam of fact, whimsy and good writing.’ Otago Daily Times
‘Very funny and very eye-opening!’Jonathan Cowap, BBC Radio York
Read a sample: Here
Find out more and buy from: Author’s website l  Amazon l  YPD Books

Cover - 1001 CarsJerry Ibbotson (Contributing author)
(Editor: Simon Heptinstall)
1001 Cars

Quintessence/ Cassell 2012 Paperback
Genre: Motoring
Set in York? No
Description: A lavishly illustrated collection of the 1,001 most ground-breaking and beautiful cars, from the earliest pioneering horseless carriages to the latest custom models for connoisseurs. This latest volume in the hugely popular 1001 series showcases the world’s best designed and most important cars. This collection is the next best thing to a test drive.
Read a sample: Here
Find out more and buy from: Author’s website l Amazon

Cover of Sandie - Just One StreetElizabeth Sandie
Just One Street
Elizabeth Sandie, 2011.  Paperback
Genre: Local history/ oral history/life stories
Set in York? Yes
Description:  Reveals the origins of an Edwardian York terrace and its first occupants followed by sketches of the lives of thirty residents interviewed in 2010. Covering a wide range of age, backgrounds, occupations and circumstances, these stories weave a very different portrait of life at the beginning of the twenty first century.
Reviews:  ‘Fascinating comparisons between when the houses were built and now. What richness and diversity! And what stories!’ Freda Waldapfel
‘Wonderful hybrid structure –  Meticulous research – Connections accumulate and histories echo between these extraordinary lives – as likely to have found their way from Yorkshire as Japan, Hungary, or India’    JT Welsch, Writing in Education 2012
Awards: Just One Street won a commission from Creative North Yorkshire’s Celebrating Place project.
Find out more from: Author’s website
Buy from: Amazon

Elizabeth SandieCover of Sandie - UA Fanthorpe
Acts of Resistance: The Poetry of U A Fanthorpe
Peterloo Poets, 2009. Paperback
Genre: Literary criticism
Set in York? No
Description: explores the biographical, social and literary contexts of U A Fanthorpe’s Collected Poems (2005); gives insights into individual poems, discusses major themes, poetic strategies and the subversiveness of this popular and critically acclaimed poet. Fanthorpe, a Quaker, speaks for the voiceless, for marginal lands and marginal lives.
Reviews:  ‘A meticulous, beautifully-written appraisal of the work of this generous, much-loved, very English poet. Sandie’s book is a delight – comprehensive, scholarly – an indispensable reference – intriguing, accessible and highly readable.Katherine Gallagher in Writers in Education
‘I wholeheartedly recommend this sensitive study to both new readers and Fanthorpe’s many enthusiasts. Its insights fall as gently and shiningly as the poems do.’ Chris Kinsey in Envoi
Find out more from: Author’s website
Buy from: Amazon

Cover of Oma GoodnessRosl Schatzberger (Foreword by Victoria Wood)
Oma Goodness! Austrian magic in an English kitchen
Jessie’s Fund, 2008
Genre:  Cookery (+ autobiography)
Set in York? Partially.
Description: ‘Oma, can I have the recipe for …?’ This oft-heard plea from her grandchildren prompted Rosl Schatzberger to write her cookery book, which not only shares an expert cook’s favourite recipes, but also recaptures fascinating nuggets from a pre-war childhood in Vienna, and entertaining anecdotes from her life since. The book is sold to raise funds for the York-based charity Jessie’s Fund. Jessie, the inspiration behind Jessie’s Fund, was Rosl’s granddaughter.
Find out more from:Jessie’s Fund website
Buy from: Jessie’s Fund website l Amazon

Cover of Paths Not Taken - John ScottJohn Scott
Paths Not Taken
Alston Books, 2014. Paperback
Description: This is a lively personal account of the growth of York from a forgotten backwater of a city after World War Two into the bustling tourist attraction it is today. It is seen through the eyes of a young National Serviceman returning home to his sleepy cathedral city and finding it dingy and shabby from the war. He becomes a reporter on the local  paper chronicling events as the city slowly shakes itself back to life.
Find out more and buy from:  Amazon (paperback) | Amazon (Kindle)The author

Scott - Does he speak WelshJohn Scott
Does He Speak Welsh
Red ‘n’ Ritten, 2008. Paperback
Description:   A schoolboy account of the German bombing raid on York after being a lonely evacuee in Wales where everyone around him spoke Welsh and his only escape was to become the town’s baker boy  helping his Uncle Bob make and deliver the town’s bread.
Find out more and buy from: Amazon |

Scott - University at LastJohn Scott
University at Last
Alston Books, 2010. Paperback
Description: Sixty year old granddad decides to get himself an education and becomes an undergraduate at York University.  However happily drifting along on academic Cloud Nine  and constantly forgetting the household chores  causes marital tensions.
Find out more and buy from: Amazon |

Cover of Shaw - Out of MeFiona Shaw
Out of Me: The Story of a Postnatal Breakdown
Penguin,1997. Paperback/e-book
Genre: Autobiography
Set in York? Yes
Description: A loving husband, dream cottage, new baby. But ten days later hospitalised in a psychiatric unit with severe postnatal depression.
Fiona describes the descent into hell and months of despair which nearly destroyed her. Only when she produced this startling testimony could she take back her life again.
Reviews: ‘An exceptional memoir, written with a discipline that outfaces chaos. At times, it makes… The Bell Jar ring hollow.’ Observer
‘The hell [described] in this extraordinary testament does have an exit, but she had to make it out of thin air… She remade herself memory by memory, word by word.’ Guardian
Find out more and buy from: Author’s website l Amazon

Surdhar - Bloody History YorkChristina Surdhar
Bloody British History – York
The History Press 2013
This is the history of York as you have never encountered it before! Travel back to a time when Erik Bloodaxe was resident monarch, or when William the Conqueror was in the middle of his relentless ‘harrying of the north’. There are no tea rooms or hanging baskets in this York, but the severed heads on the walls have a certain decorative effect and there are plenty of places to stay if you don’t mind risking cholera, and the plague. York has been the backdrop to some of the most significant and bloody events in British history. Read on if you dare!
Buy from: Amazon

COver of Whitehart: Complete 2-day fasting dietJacqueline Whitehart
The Complete 2-Day Fasting Diet
HarperCollins, 2014. Paperback
Genre: Health and Diet
Set in York? No
Description: From bestselling diet author Jacqueline Whitehart comes the only recipe book you’ll ever need for your 2-Day Diet. With the 2-Day Diet you’ll lose weight FAST, and with these deliciously simple recipes, tailored to suit your lifestyle throughout the year, cutting your calories couldn’t be easier.
Find out more and buy from: Author’s websiteAmazon

Cover of Whitehart: 5:2 Bikini DietJacqueline Whitehart
The 5:2 Bikini Diet
HarperCollins, 2013. Paperback
Genre: Health and Diet
Set in York? No
Description: Lose up to 14 lbs in just 4 weeks! By dieting for only two days a week you can have the bikini body you’ve always dreamed of – fast. With over 140 mouth-watering and filling recipes, all under 500 calories, bestselling diet author Jacqueline Whitehart is the answer to your dieting prayers. The 5:2 Bikini Diet offers a new and fresh approach to the Intermittent Fasting phenomenon that will get you in bikini-ready shape super fast.
Reviews: ‘Fast your way to a beautiful beach body!’ Mirror
Find out more and buy from: Author’s website  l  Amazon

Cover of Whitehart: 5:2 Diet Recipe BookJacqueline Whitehart
The 5:2 Diet Recipe Book
Pepik Books, 2012. Paperback
Genre: Health and Diet
Set in York? No
Description: Over 100 recipes specially crafted to be filling, healthy and calorie controlled. This recipe book has a full range of over 100 fantastic, filling recipes all suitable for your 5:2 diet days. From breakfasts to snacks, light lunches and dinners. The recipes are expertly balanced with plenty of protein and moderate complex carbohydrates. They’re all designed to fill you up and stave off hunger pangs.
Reviews: ‘I would (and will) recommend this book to everyone interested in the diet –  unreservedly.’ Berly Kearney
Find out more and buy from: Author’s website  l  Amazon

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