Recent non-fiction books

An interesting book on linguistics, and book about the formula for making predictions head up our curated list this month!

Don’t believe a word : the surprising truth about language / Shariatmadari, David
“In Don’t Believe a Word linguist David Shariatmadari takes us on a mind-boggling journey through the science of language, urging us to abandon our prejudices in a bid to uncover the (far more interesting) truth about what we do with words. Exploding nine widely-held myths about language while introducing us to some of the fundamental insights of modern linguistics, David Shariatmadari is an energetic guide to the beauty and quirkiness of humanity’s greatest achievement.” (adapted from Catalogue)

How to predict everything : the formula transforming what we know about life and the universe / Poundstone, William
“How do you predict something that has never happened before? There’s a useful calculation being employed by Wall Street, Silicon Valley and maths professors all over the world, and it predicts that the human species will become extinct in 760 years. With brief detours into archaeology, philology, and overdue library books, William Poundstone explains how we can use it to predict pretty much anything. How long will Hamilton run? And are we really all doomed?” (adapted from Catalogue)

Be the change : a toolkit for the activist in you / Martin, Gina
“In June 2017, a man took a photo up Gina Martin’s skirt at a music festival. The police told her that this was not a sexual offence; the man would not be charged. But something inside her had snapped. Gina was tired of accepting sexual harassment as a fact of life. Eighteen months later, she had changed the law and made upskirting a criminal offence. Now, Gina wants to empower you with the tools and courage to challenge injustice and fight for change, whether it’s in your school, workplace or community, or even on a global scale.” (adapted from Catalogue)

Always song in the water : an oceanic sketchbook / O’Brien, Gregory
“Beginning in Northland and heading into the blue beyond, Always Song in the Water is a book of encounters and epiphanies, a dinghy ride through New Zealand’s oceanic imagination. With creative spirits such as Janet Frame, Ralph Hotere, Robin White, John Pule and Epeli Hau‘ofa as touchstones, and featuring art by John Pule, Robin White, Phil Dadson, Fiona Hall and many others, O’Brien suggests how we New Zealanders might be re-imagining ourselves as an oceanic people on a small island in a big piece of water.” (adapted from Catalogue)

Banking bad / Ferguson, Adele
“In Banking Bad, Ferguson tells the full story of the power imbalance, toxic culture and cover-ups. She describes the long fight for justice by whistleblowers, victims and political mavericks, and she looks at the outcomes of the royal commission – the falls from grace, the damaging hubris, and the colossal compensation bill – an estimated $10 billion. Finally, she asks where to from here? Will it all be business as usual from now on, or have our financial executives learned that their wealth cannot come at the expense of ordinary Australians?” (adapted from Catalogue)

Brown, white, black : an American family at the intersection of race, gender, sexuality, and religion / Mehra, Nishta
“Middle-school English teacher Mehra, is the daughter of Indian immigrants, wife of a white Christian woman, and mother of an adopted black son named Shiv. Hence, she can tell us about crossing the jagged boundaries of race, gender, sexuality, and religion in this country and how she still keeps herself and her family whole. A beautiful and profound memoir about family and motherhood and race and raising a black son in America today.” (adapted from Catalogue)

For the love of men : a new vision for mindful masculinity / Plank, Liz
“In For the Love of Men, Liz offers a smart, insightful, and deeply-researched guide for what we’re all going to do about toxic masculinity. For both women looking to guide the men in their lives and men who want to do better and just don’t know how, For the Love of Men will lead the conversation on men’s issues in a society where so much is changing, but gender roles have remained strangely stagnant.” (adapted from Catalogue)

Fashionopolis : the price of fast fashion & the future of clothes / Thomas, Dana
“Historically, the apparel trade has exploited labour, the environment, and intellectual property – and in the last three decades, those abuses have multiplied exponentially – and primarily out of view. Journalist Dana Thomas has travelled the globe to discover the visionary designers and companies who are propelling the industry toward that more positive future by reclaiming traditional craft and launching cutting-edge sustainable technologies to produce better fashion.” (adapted from Catalogue)

Invisible women : exposing data bias in a world designed for men / Criado-Perez, Caroline
Invisible Women shows us how, in a world largely built for and by men, we are systematically ignoring half the population. It exposes the gender data gap – a gap in our knowledge that is at the root of perpetual, systemic discrimination against women, and that has created a pervasive but invisible bias with a profound effect on women’s lives. From government policy and medical research, to technology, workplaces, urban planning and the media, Invisible Women reveals the biased data that excludes women.” (adapted from Catalogue)

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