The Book Smugglers of Timbuktu by Charlie English (William Collins, £20)
Charlie English was working as the head of international news at the Guardian when he heard an amazing story. Three librarians in Timbuktu, Mali, had risked their lives to smuggle out a cache of medieval manuscripts threatened by jihadist forces occupying the city. The story obsessed him to the point where, he says, “I left my job, determined to turn the story into a book.”
The preserved manuscripts have been compared in their historical significance to the Dead Sea Scrolls. They contain…
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