Climate change, drugs and rock & roll
… Well, not really. Substitute “rock & roll” for “leaky buildings & bullies” and you’ll have a fair summary of these recent non-fiction picks. As always there are plenty of in-depth examinations on wide-ranging subjects to pique a wide range of interests.
High society : mind-altering drugs in history and culture / Mike Jay.
“High Society explores the spectrum of mind-altering sunstances across the globe and throughout history. Acclaimed cultural historian Mike Jay… traces the understanding of intoxicants from the botanicals of the classical world through the mind-bending self-experiments of early scientists to the present ‘war on drugs’…” – (adapted from Book jacket summary)
The rough guide to climate change / Robert Henson ; contributing editor, Duncan Clark.
“Cutting a swathe through scientific research and political debate, this completely updated third edition lays out the facts and assesses the options–global and personal–for dealing with the threat of a warming world.” – (adapted from Syndetics summary)
Romancing opiates : pharmacological lies and the addiction bureaucracy / by Theodore Dalrymple.
“Based on his experience as a British prison and hospital psychiatrist, Dr. Dalrymple challenges conventional ideas about addiction to opiates such as heroin. From literary, medical, and philosophical perspectives, he provocatively argues that uncritical acceptance of accounts of the nature of addiction and the alleged relationship between drugs, creativity, and crime has resulted in romanticization and misguided treatment efforts…” – (adapted from Syndetics summary)
The leaky buildings crisis : understanding the issues / Steve Alexander … [et.al.]
“The size of the leaky buildings problem is significant. It has been estimated that approximately 42,000 New Zealand homes are currently affected. The Leaky Buildings Crisis — Understanding the Issues examines the leaky buildings crisis from the perspectives of experts in the areas of law, public health, economics, sociology, property valuation, building surveying, construction and dispute resolution.” – (adapted from Publisher’s description)
The politics of climate change / Anthony Giddens.
“”A landmark study in the struggle to contain climate change, the greatest challenge of our era. I urge everyone to read it.” Bill Clinton, 42nd President of the United States of America. Since it first appeared, this book has achieved a classic status. Reprinted many times since its publication, it remains the only work that looks in detail at the political issues posed by global warming. This new edition has been thoroughly updated and provides a state-of-the-art discussion of the most formidable challenge humanity faces this century.” – (adapted from Syndetics summary)
The red market : on the trail of the world’s organ brokers, bone thieves, blood farmers, and child traffickers / Scott Carney.
“Journey through the macabre underworld of the global body bazaar, with contributing “Wired” editor and award-winning journalist Carney, where organs, bones, and live people are bought and sold on the red market.” – (adapted from Syndetics summary)
The bully society : school shootings and the crisis of bullying in America’s schools / Jessie Klein.
“In this thorough examination of the connection between bullying and three decades of school shootings in America, Adelphi University professor Klein pre-sents a compelling case that the strict gender rules by which American children and teenagers are unfairly forced to live are the driving factors in school violence. As Klein writes: “Although the forms of school violence may differ, the same patterns emerge. Boys (and, increasingly, girls) lash out to prove that they can fulfill their narrow gender prescriptions.” – (adpted from Publisher Weekly summary)
Mr. Wilson’s cabinet of wonder / Lawrence Weschler.
“Pronged ants, horned humans, a landscape carved on a fruit pit–some of the displays in David Wilson’s Museum of Jurassic Technology are hoaxes. But which ones? As he guides readers through an intellectual hall of mirrors, Lawrence Weschler revisits the 16th-century “wonder cabinets” that were the first museums and compels readers to examine the imaginative origins of both art and science. Illustrations.” – (adapted from Syndetics summary)
The Narcotic Farm / Nancy D. Campbell, JP Olsen, Luke Walden.
“The Narcotic Farm tells the story of the institution’s noble rise and tumultuous fall, and includes rare and unpublished photographs, film stills, newspaper and magazine clippings, government documents, as well as recollections from the prisoners, doctors, and staff who lived and worked there.” – (adapted from Book Jacket summary)
Tinderbox : how the West sparked the AIDS epidemic and how the world can finally overcome it / Craig Timberg and Daniel Halperin.
“An essential and engrossing read, Timberg and Halperin’s sweeping work covers AIDS from its origins during colonial rule in Africa to its impact on the world today. Journalist Timberg first met researcher Halperin in Swaziland in 2005, and the two bonded over their skepticism about how the AIDS epidemic was being portrayed in the media and combated by world powers. Here they trace the origins of the virus to the encounter of a hunter and a chimpanzee that likely occurred in 1908 in Cameroon….. Extensively researched, eminently readable, and accessible, Timberg and Halperin’s work is a notable and invaluable addition to the AIDS canon.” – (adapted from Booklist review)