Popular non-fiction

Our most popular books for non-fiction is full of diversity. It goes from an analysis on truth and facts on “A Matter of Fact: talking truth in a post-truth world”, passing through the fun and scientific “Breakfast with Einstein: the exotic physics of everyday objects” to the quite interesting “Chromatopia: an illustrated history of colour”.

A matter of fact : talking truth in a post-truth world / Berentson-Shaw, Jess
“…in the time of fake news and post-truth politics, it seems that conspiracy and rumour spread faster than ever and are even harder to debunk. Battling over facts can be exhausting and polarising. For those committed to distinguishing misinformation from good information how do we convincingly explain the difference? Jess Berentson-Shaw tackles these questions head-on. In A Matter of Fact she explores the science of communicating and presents innovative ways to talk effectively (and empathetically) about contentious information…” (adapted from Catalogue)

How to invent everything : a survival guide for the stranded time traveler / North, Ryan
“…This guide contains all the science, engineering, mathematics, art, music, philosophy, facts, and figures required for even the most clueless time traveler to build a civilization from the ground up. Your new world will be one in which humanity matured quickly and efficiently, instead of doing what we did… And, on the off chance you don’t one day find yourself stranded in time, this fascinating guide to the ideas and technologies that made us who we are today will at least allow you to make some really interesting cocktail-party small talk with a complete stranger.” (adapted from Catalogue)

Confessions of a rogue nuclear regulator / Jaczko, Gregory B.
“As former chair of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), physicist Jaczko found the NRC dominated by the industry it was supposed to regulate and spoke out-particularly with the refusal to make the changes that would prevent another catastrophe like Fukushima… Never before has the chairman of the world’s foremost nuclear regulatory agency challenged the nuclear industry to expose how these companies put us at risk. Because if we (and they) don’t act now, there will be another Fukushima. Only this time, it could happen here.” (adapted from Catalogue)

Breakfast with Einstein : the exotic physics of everyday objects / Orzel, Chad
“Just beneath the surface of our ordinary lives, strange phenomena lurk. Exciting physics doesn’t only show up in the Big Bang, or a black hole, or in the guts of giant particle accelerators like the Large Hadron Collider it ‘s all around us… In Breakfast with Einstein, the ordinary becomes extraordinary, everything is possible and the day’s end will find us dazzled.” (Catalogue)

Bolder : making the most of our longer lives / Honoré, Carl
“…Carl Honoré captured the zeitgeist with his international sensation, In Praise of Slow. In Bolder, he introduces us to another rising movement: a revolution in our approach to ageing….Having travelled the globe to meet the pioneers who are redefining ageing, Carl Honoré explores the cultural, medical and technological trends that will help us make the most of our longer lives. ” (adapted from Catalogue)

Primate change : how the world we made is remaking us / Cregan-Reid, Vybarr
“…PRIMATE CHANGE is a wide-ranging, polemical look at how and why the human body has changed since humankind first got up on two feet. Spanning the entirety of human history – from primate to transhuman – Vybarr Cregan-Reid’s book investigates where we came from, who we are today and how modern technology will change us beyond recognition.” adapted from (Catalogue)

Turned on : science, sex and robots / Devlin, Kate
“The idea of the seductive sex robot is the stuff of myth, legend and science fiction. From the ancient Greeks to twenty-first century movies, robots in human form have captured our imagination, our hopes and our fears. But beyond the fantasies there are real and fundamental questions about our relationship with technology as it moves into the realm of robotics… ” (adapted from Catalogue)

Not all dead white men : classics and misogyny in the digital age / Zuckerberg, Donna
“Some of the most controversial and consequential debates about the legacy of the ancients are raging not in universities but online, where alt-right men’s groups deploy ancient sources to justify misogyny and a return of antifeminist masculinity. Donna Zuckerberg dives deep to take a look at this unexpected reanimation of the Classical tradition…” (adapted from Catalogue)

Democratization and social movements in South Korea : defiant institutionalization / Kim, Sun-Chul
“South Korea provides an intellectual challenge in the fields of social movements and democracy in that intense mobilization and the strong influence of social movements have accompanied steady democratization for more than two decades, despite major theories having predicted otherwise. This book examines how social movements in previously authoritarian contexts evolve after democratic transition, using South Korea as a case study…” (adapted from Catalogue)

Chromatopia : an illustrated history of colour / Coles, David
“This origin story of history’smost vivid color pigmentsis perfect for artists, history buffs, science lovers, and design fanatics. …Spanning from the ancient world to modern leaps in technology, and vibrantly illustrated throughout, this book will add a little chroma to anyone’s understanding of the history of colors.” (adapted from Catalogue)

The mother of all jobs : how to have children and a career and stay sane(ish) / Armstrong, Christine
“…When Christine Armstrong became a mother, it never occurred to her that she would want to give up her job. But the truth is, combining work and small kids is hard, and when Christine tried it, she found herself desolate with misery. Determined to find a way forward, she looked for answers by interviewing other working mums and found that she wasn’t alone. The Mother of All Jobs brings together the wisdom of the women who opened up about everything (and we mean everything) into a manifesto for happy professional families. Ignoring the glossy lives presented on social media, this book shows that, while it’s not always pretty, working parents can thrive if they have the knowledge others learnt the hard way.” (adapted from Catalogue)

Win bigly : persuasion in a world where facts don’t matter / Adams, Scott
“Soon after Donald Trump declared his presidential candidacy, when most experts dismissed him as a joke who’d be gone before Iowa Scott Adams called Trump a master communicator in the same league as Abraham Lincoln and Steve Jobs. As a student of the art and science of persuasion, Adams recognized Trump’s deep toolbox for persuasion. On his popular blog, Adams predicted that Trump could go all the way…” (adapted from Catalogue)

The latest Home, D.I.Y and Garden books

Root, Nurture, Grow book cover

This month’s Home Garden and DIY blog features books about binding, sewing, planting and sharing; and are perfect for your new year resolutions.

Wood pallet wonders : DIY projects for home, garden, holidays and more / Lamb, Becky
“Packed with color photos and easy-to-follow instructions, Wood Pallet Wonders shows you how to build, paint, stencil and finish unique seasonal and holiday projects.” (Catalogue)

Machine sewing : top tips and techniques for successful sewing / Shore, Debbie
“The focus of this book is machine sewing, and with her characteristically friendly and easy-to-follow style Debbie delves deeper in detail than her previous books, bringing you 10 must-make projects and the confidence to sew them. The book is packed with hints and tips for successful machine sewing and will walk you through every aspect of your sewing journey.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Complete book of outdoor DIY projects / Swift, Penny
“Provides step-by-step instructions and color photographs to build outdoor stone, water, wood, and brick features for a yard and garden”– Provided by publisher.” (Catalogue)

Syndetics book coverBound : 15 beautiful bookbinding projects / Rachel Hazell ; photography by Susan Bell.
“In this accessible collection of creative projects, Rachel Hazell shares exciting paper crafting techniques to develop your bookbinding skills. After explaining the tools and materials needed, Rachel takes you through each project with step-by-step instructions. Different techniques for cutting and folding are demonstrated, and, once you are happy with the various techniques, you will then begin to bind your own books with stitches such as ladder, dash and chain.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverRoot, Nurture, Grow: The Essential Guide to Propagating and Sharing Houseplants [hardback]
“Plants are designed to multiply. They spread their roots, send off inquisitive shoots, and regenerate themselves in all sorts of exciting and unexpected ways without any help. Even for the beginner indoor gardener, a single leaf can hold enough life to be successfully grown into a brand new plant. With Root, Nurture, Grow, you’ll learn pruning methods that produce no waste, organic rooting medium recipes, and eventually enjoy gifting and swapping newly grown greenery with friends, family and other houseplant hoarders you’ll meet along the way.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverMaking poor man’s guitars : cigar box guitars, the frying pan banjo, and other DIY instruments / Shane Speal.
“Many books have been written about how to build cigar box guitars and other unique hand-made instruments… but few have touched on why. This book presents the authentic stories of American DIY music with step-by-step projects, photo studies of antique instruments, interviews with music legends, and historical accounts. Shane Speal, the ‘King of the Cigar Box Guitar,’ brings the making of music and musical instruments back to its roots. From a simple two-string tin can guitar to an electrified washtub bass, Shane shows how anyone can build amazing musical instruments from found items.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverMade of wood : in the home / Mark & Sally Bailey ; photography by Debi Treloar.
“The first half of the book explores the many ways in which we can use wood in our homes–sculpted, left in its natural state, roughly sawn or smoothly planed, recycled, or painted. The second half of the book, Wooden Stories, contains 12 case studies, each one offering a glimpse into the homes of people who have used this most ancient and versatile of materials in creative and inspiring ways.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Breaking the pattern : a modern way to sew / Huhta, Saara
“From the Finnish sewing duo behind the dressmaking fashion label Named, Laura and Saara offer up an enticing selection of tops, dresses, skirt and trousers for the modern seamstress. You will build your skills as you work through the book and with plenty of variations suggested for each garment, there’s lots of room for you to add your own personal touches and quirks to each design. Taking you beyond the patterns featured in this book, Breaking the Pattern will inspire you to not only build on your sewing repertoire but to grow in confidence with your own sewing.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Top 50 indoor plants and how not to kill them! / Thomas, Angie
“House plants are well and truly back on trend – they instantly lift an area, make a room feel fresh and welcoming, and brighten your mood. On top of this, indoor plants are great for purifying the air and creating a healthier home. Together with microbes in the soil, plants work wonders to reduce harmful pollutants released from indoor furniture. (It’s true: look at the study conducted by the University of Technology, Sydney.)” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Immersive reads : new popular non-fiction

Timefulness book cover

Reading non-fiction is a great way to reflect on the world we live in and the moment in history that we find ourselves inhabiting. Below you’ll find lots of great new immersive reads and different perspectives, experiences and arguments. Plus, if saving is on your list of New Year’s resolutions, we’ve also included some topical books from NZ personal finance journalist Mary Holm and others.

The children of Harvey Milk : how LGBTQ politicians changed the world / Reynolds, Andrew
“Part political thriller, part meditation on social change, part love story, The Children of Harvey Milk tells the epic stories of courageous men and women around the world who came forward to make their voices heard during the struggle for equal rights…” (Adapted from catalogue)

Rising out of hatred : the awakening of a former white nationalist / Saslow, Eli
“Son of Don Black, founder of the huge racist Internet community Stormfront, and godson of KKK Grand Wizard David Duke, Derek Black had his own white nationalist radio show at age 19, which he broadcast secretly while attending liberal New College in Florida. Students vociferously challenged him when his cover was blown, while others reached out — an Orthodox Jew invited him to Shabbat dinners — and Black felt compelled to question his beliefs… This is a book to help us understand the American moment and to help us better understand one another.” (Adapted from catalogue)

How to live forever : the enduring power of connecting the generations / Freedman, Marc
“In How to Live Forever, social entrepreneur Marc Freedman argues that we don’t need medical or scientific intervention to live forever. Instead of trying to be young, we can live forever (and save money) by being there for those who are young. Investing time with young people, mentoring, and passing wisdom from generation to generation, is truly living one’s legacy…” (Adapted from catalogue)

Eve was shamed : how British justice is failing women / Kennedy, Helena
“…In Eve Was Shamed Helena Kennedy forensically examines the pressing new evidence that women are still being routinely discriminated against when it comes to the law… The law holds up a mirror to society and it is failing women. In this richly detailed and shocking book, one of our most eminent human rights thinkers and practitioners shows with force and fury that change for women cannot come soon enough. And it must start at the heart of what makes society just.” (Adapted from catalogue)

Rich enough? : a laid-back guide for every Kiwi / Holm, Mary
“In this lively, jargon-free book you’ll learn how to kill off debt, curb spending, find your best KiwiSaver fund, save painlessly, buy a house – or be happy not buying one, and move confidently towards and through retirement. You’ll also learn why setting and forgetting your investments is the best strategy. …Unlike many writers of finance books, Mary is not selling any products or services (except this book!). She doesn’t want to sign you up for costly advice or courses or investments. She just wants you to do well…” (Adapted from catalogue)

Blood on the page : a murder, a secret trial and a search for the truth / Harding, Thomas
“A groundbreaking examination of a terrifying murder and its aftermath… In June 2006, police were called to number 9 Downshire Hill in Hampstead. The owner of the house, Allan Chappelow, was an award-winning photographer and biographer, an expert on George Bernard Shaw, and a notorious recluse, who had not been seen for several weeks. Someone had recently accessed his bank accounts, and attempted to withdraw large amounts of money…” (Adapted from catalogue)

Work like a woman : a manifesto for change / Portas, Mary
“…Speaking candidly about the traps she fell into – from aping the behaviour seen in aggressive corporate environments to recreating a male working culture within her own business – Mary will explode the myth of women ‘having it all’. She will also track her evolution as a business leader and the decision to rebuild her company from the ground up on a model that today embraces female values. Examining practical issues – including flexible working and equal pay – and also cultural ones – such as gender bias – Mary will argue for a revolution in the way in which we work…” (Adapted from catalogue)

Timefulness : how thinking like a geologist can help save the world / Bjornerud, Marcia
“This compelling book presents a new way of thinking about our place in time, enabling us to make decisions on multigenerational timescales. The lifespan of Earth may seem unfathomable compared to the brevity of human existence, but this view of time denies our deep roots in Earth’s history-and the magnitude of our effects on the planet. …Our everyday lives are shaped by processes that vastly predate us, and our habits will in turn have consequences that will outlast us by generations…” (Adapted from catalogue)

The desert and the sea : 977 days captive on the Somali pirate coast / Moore, Michael Scott
“…A sort of Catch-22 meets Black Hawk Down, The Desert and the Sea is written with dark humor, candor, and a journalist’s clinical distance and eye for detail. Moore offers an intimate and otherwise inaccessible view of life as we cannot fathom it, brilliantly weaving his own experience as a hostage with the social, economic, religious, and political factors creating it… wildly compelling….” (Adapted from catalogue)

The New Zealand money guide : all you need to know about becoming financially secure / Dudson, Lisa
“This book will help you: get clear on what is important to you in life, become more aware and mindful of how you spend your money, create positive and helpful money beliefs, have a good understanding of how to manage your money, understand the risks you may face and how to manage them, set achievable financial goals, feel less stressed about money, make a plan to pay off any debts you have, create more money and grow your wealth safely, and most importantly, become confident about managing and growing your finances” (Adapted from catalogue)

New non-fiction for your reading pleasure

Kindness book cover

In these cynical times, we are often exhorted to just be kinder. Our first book shows how this can be achieved.

Syndetics book coverKindness : the little thing that matters most / Jaime Thurston.
“The book is themed around 52 simple actions you can do to spread kindness. Interspersed throughout are nuggets of science explaining the positive effect kindness has on the brain and on the heart. This book is a call to action for people to live a more connected, fulfilling life. With inspirational quotes and personal stories this book will give you all the motivation you need to start spreading a little kindness – it’s free afterall!” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe unexpected genius of pigs / Matt Whyman ; illustrations by Micaela Lacaino.
“We often consider dogs to be our enduring sidekicks but the truth is domestic pigs have played a role in our lives for nearly as long. Pigs are highly social and smart. They like to play. They’re inventive, crafty and belligerent – and incredibly singleminded. Here is a charming ode to one of the most common, yet surprisingly intelligent, animals populating our landscapes. In this gentle and illuminating study, Matt Whyman embarks on a journey to uncover the heart and soul of an animal brimming with more energy, intelligence and playfulness than he could ever have imagined.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe fascinating history of toys & games around the world / Warwick Henderson.
“Toys are living proof of social changes, trends and fashions, design styles, manufacturing and industrial developments over time. The Fascinating History of Toys & Games Around the World details collectible toys and games from cast-iron soldiers to plastic robots, horse-drawn coaches to streamline convertibles, and an overdressed cyclist to a miniskirted tennis player doll – these are not just toys but objects that showcase an era or segment of history.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Heartland : a memoir of working hard and being broke in the richest country on Earth / Smarsh, Sarah
“During Sarah Smarsh’s turbulent childhood in Kansas in the 1980s and 1990s, the forces of cyclical poverty and the country’s changing economic policies solidified her family’s place among the working poor. By telling the story of her life and the lives of the people she loves, Smarsh challenges us to look more closely at the class divide in our country and examine the myths about people thought to be less because they earn less. Her personal history affirms the corrosive impact inter-generational poverty can have on individuals, families, and communities, and she explores this idea as lived experience, metaphor, and level of consciousness.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Lords of the desert : Britain’s struggle with America to dominate the Middle East / Barr, James
“Upon victory in 1945, Britain still dominated the Middle East. She directly ruled Palestine and Aden, was the kingmaker in Iran, the power behind the thrones of Egypt, Iraq and Jordan, and protected the sultan of Oman and the Gulf sheikhs. But her motives for wanting to dominate this crossroads between Europe, Asia and Africa were changing. Where ‘imperial security’ – control of the route to India – had once been paramount, now oil was an increasingly important factor. So, too, was prestige. Unable to withstand Arab and Jewish nationalism, within a generation the British were gone. But that is not the full story…” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Syndetics book coverFierce enigmas : a history of the United States in South Asia / Srinath Raghavan.
“South Asia looms large in American foreign policy. Over the past two decades, we have spent billions of dollars and thousands of human lives in the region, to seemingly little effect. As Srinath Raghavan reveals in Fierce Enigmas, this should not surprise us. For 230 years, America’s engagement with India, Afghanistan, and Pakistan has been characterized by short-term thinking and unintended consequences. Beginning with American traders in India in the eighteenth century, the region has become a locus for American efforts-secular and religious-to remake the world in its image.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverReformation to Industrial Revolution, 1530-1780 / Christopher Hill.
“In 1530 England was a backward economy. Yet by 1780 she possessed a global empire and was on the verge of becoming the world’s first industrialized power. This book deals with the intervening 250 years, and explains how England acquired this unique position in history. Esteemed historian Christopher Hill recounts a story that begins with the break with Europe before hitting a tumultuous period of war and revolution, combined with a cultural and scientific flowering that made up the early modern period. It was in this era that Britain became home to imperial ambitions and economic innovation, prefiguring what was to come. Hill excavates the conditions and ideas that underpin this age of extraordinary change, and shows how, and why, Britain became the most powerful nation in the world.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Dark commerce : how a new illicit economy is threatening our future / Shelley, Louise I
“Though mankind has traded tangible goods for millennia, recent technology has changed the fundamentals of trade, in both legitimate and illegal economies. In the past three decades, the most advanced forms of illicit trade have broken with all historical precedents and, as Dark Commerce shows, now operate as if on steroids, tied to computers and social media. Demonstrating that illicit trade is a business the global community cannot afford to ignore and must work together to address, Dark Commerce considers diverse ways of responding to this increasing challenge.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Propaganda blitz : how the corporate media distort reality / Edwards, David
Propaganda Blitz shows the damning effect of spin in UK media, not just in right-wing newspapers like the Sun, Times, Daily Mail, and the Express, but also in trusted liberal outlets like the BBC and the Guardian. The book uncovers a storm of top-down campaigns behind war reporting from Iraq, Syria, and Palestine, as well as the media’s destruction of the credibility of figures on the left, including Jeremy Corbyn, Russell Brand, and Hugo Chavez. Exposing propagandists at the top levels of the BBC, as well as their reporting on the Scottish Independence referendum, the dismantling of the National Health Service, and looming climate chaos, Propaganda Blitz shows how the corporate media hide the real issues from the public view, often completely reversing the truth.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

The women’s atlas / Seager, Joni
“The most comprehensive and accessible global analysis of key issues facing women: the advances that have been made and the distances still to be travelled. Joni Seager’s award-winning The Women’s Atlas illustrates the status of women worldwide today. Through cutting-edge infographics, the atlas portrays how women are living across continents and cultures.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

On the future : prospects for humanity / Rees, Martin J.
“Humanity has reached a critical moment. Our world is unsettled and rapidly changing, and we face existential risks over the next century. Various prospects for the future–good and bad–are possible. Yet our approach to the future is characterized by short-term thinking, polarizing debates, alarmist rhetoric, and pessimism. In this short, exhilarating book, renowned scientist and bestselling author Martin Rees argues that humanity’s future depends on our taking a very different approach to thinking about and planning for tomorrow.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Standouts on the New Non-Fiction bookstand!

Voyages: From Tongan Villages To American Suburbs book cover

Introducing Flint & Steel, published by Maxim Institute. Maxim Institute is an independent research and public policy think tank, working to promote the dignity of every person in New Zealand. These two volumes are on sustainability, and on community: On cultivating community. & On sustainability and what we leave behind.

Mountains to sea : solving New Zealand’s freshwater crisis / edited by Mike Joy.
“The state of New Zealand’s freshwater has become an urgent public issue in recent years. From across the political spectrum, concern is growing about the pollution of New Zealand’s rivers and streams. We all know they need fixing. But how do we do it? In Mountains to Sea, leading ecologist Mike Joy teams up with thinkers from all walks of life to consider how we can solve New Zealand’s freshwater crisis. The book covers a wide range of topics, including food production, public health, economics and Maori narratives of water.” (Syndetics summary)

Freeman’s : power
“From the voices of protestors to the encroachment of a new fascism, everywhere we look power is revealed. This thought-provoking issue of the acclaimed literary annual Freeman’s explores who gets to say what matters in a time of social upheaval.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverVoyages : from Tongan villages to American suburbs / Cathy A. Small.
“In Voyages, Cathy A. Small offers a view of the changes in migration, globalization, and ethnographic fieldwork over three decades. The second edition adds fresh descriptions and narratives in three new chapters based on two more visits to Tonga and California in 2010. The author (whose role after thirty years of fieldwork is both ethnographer and family member) reintroduces the reader to four sisters in the same family-two who migrated to the United States and two who remained in Tonga-and reveals what has unfolded in their lives in the fifteen years since the first edition was written.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Have you eaten grandma? / Brandreth, Gyles Daubeney
“Our language is changing, literacy levels are dwindling and our grasp of grammar is at crisis point, so you wouldn’t be alone in thinking WTF! But do not despair, Have You Eaten Grandma? is here: Gyles Brandreth’s definitive (and hilarious) guide to punctuation, spelling, and good English for the twenty-first century.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverHow to Tell Fate from Destiny : And Other Skillful Word Distinctions
“If you have trouble distinguishing the verbs imitate and emulate, the relative pronouns that and which, or the adjectives pliant, pliable, and supple, never fear– How to Tell Fate from Destiny is here to help! With more than 500 headwords, the book is replete with advice on how to differentiate commonly confused words and steer clear of verbal trouble.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe Future of Capitalism : Facing the New Anxieties
“Deep new rifts are tearing apart the fabric of the United States and other Western societies: thriving cities versus rural counties, the highly skilled elite versus the less educated, wealthy versus developing countries. As these divides deepen, we have lost the sense of ethical obligation to others that was crucial to the rise of post-war social democracy. So far these rifts have been answered only by the revivalist ideologies of populism and socialism, leading to the seismic upheavals of Trump, Brexit, and the return of the far-right in Germany. We have heard many critiques of capitalism but no one has laid out a realistic way to fix it, until now.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverSeriously Curious : The Facts and Figures That Turn Our World Upside Down
“…brings together the very best explainers and charts, written and created by top journalists to help us understand such brain-bending conundrums as why Swedes overpay their taxes, why America still allows child marriage, and what the link is between avocados and crime. The Economist explains and its online sister, the Daily Chart, are the two most popular blogs on The Economist’s website. Together, these online giants provide answers to the kinds of questions, quirky and serious, that may be puzzling anyone interested in the world around them.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe crypto book : how to invest safely in bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies / Siam Kidd.
“Blockchain technology and the cryptocurrencies it enables are being described by some people as the biggest thing since the internet, but very few people understand it, or the opportunities it brings. Enter this down-to-earth guide to understanding what cryptocurrencies are, why it matters, and how to make money from them.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverI think, therefore I draw : understanding philosophy through cartoons / Thomas Cathcart and Daniel Klein.
“Covering topics as diverse as religion, gender, knowledge, morality, and the meaning of life (or the lack thereof), I Think, Therefore I Draw gives a thorough introduction to all of the major debates in philosophy through history and the present. And since they explain with the help of a selection of some of the smartest cartoonists working today, you’ll breeze through these weighty topics as you guffaw and slap your knee.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverGlobalization and its discontents revisited : anti-globalization in the era of Trump / Joseph E. Stiglitz.
“In this hugely controversial book, the most recent winner of the Nobel Prize for Economics argues that though globalization should be a powerful force for good, it has been badly mishandled by the West (especially its lead institutions, the World Bank and the IMF), and that the anti-globalizing protestors have much to say that we should listen to. Coming from a figure of Stiglitz’s background and authority, this is an explosive message which will change the way we regard modern global politics.” (Syndetics summary)

November’s newest DVDs

This Is Us S2 DVD cover

New DVDs added in November include the sequel to drug war thriller Sicario; spy drama with Beirut; the real-life story of Mary Shelley, and the creation of her immortal monster, and the poignant drama of a woman in her eighties planning a gruelling climbing trip the Scottish Highlands. New TV includes the 2nd seasons of This is Us & The Expanse, and the gripping re-imagining of the iconic Australian novel Picnic at Hanging Rock.

Sicario. Day of the soldado.
“In the drug war, there are no rules, and as the cartels have begun trafficking terrorists across the US border, federal agent Matt Graver calls on the mysterious Alejandro, whose family was murdered by a cartel kingpin. Alejandro kidnaps the kingpins daughter to inflame the conflict. But when the girl is seen as collateral damage, her fate will come between the two men.” (Syndetics summary)

Mary Shelley.
“The real-life story of Mary Shelley, and the creation of her immortal monster, is nearly as fantastical as her fiction. Raised by a renowned philosopher father in eighteenth-century London, Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin is a teenage dreamer determined to make her mark on the world, when she meets the dashing and brilliant poet Percy Shelley. So begins a torrid, bohemian love affair marked by both passion and personal tragedy that will transform Mary and fuel the writing of her Gothic masterwork, Frankenstein.” (Syndetics summary)

The spy who dumped me.
“Audrey and Morgan are two fairly ordinary 30-year-old women who live in Los Angeles. They are best friends, and they always stick together, so when Audrey discovers her ex-boyfriend is an international spy, Morgan joins her on an unlikely adventure. Together, the two of them must try to save him from assassins and help to save the world from a dangerous threat. As they travel around the globe with killers hot on their heels, they will discover hidden reserves of strength and cleverness that neither one of them knew they had.” (Syndetics summary)

Edie.
“Edith Moore (Edie) is a bitter, gruff woman in her eighties. In the months following her husband George’s death, Edie’s strained relationship with her daughter Nancy begins to worsen. The question over Edie’s future looms large; while Edie tries hard to convince Nancy she can manage fine by herself, Nancy is making plans for her mother to move into a retirement home. Edie feels like it is the beginning of the end. It seems she will die with all the regrets of her past intact and one regret haunts her most of all. When Edie was married, her father planned a climbing trip for them in the Scottish Highlands. Edie yearned to go, but her husband George, a difficult and controlling man, made her stay at home, nearly thirty years later, Edie decides to make the trip herself alone.” (Syndetics summary)

Picnic at Hanging Rock.
“A gripping re-imagining of the iconic Australian novel that plunges us into the mysterious disappearances of three schoolgirls and their governess on Valentine’s Day, 1900. Exploring the event’s far-reaching impact on the students and staff of Appleyard College and its enigmatic headmistress, theories soon abound, paranoia sets in and long-held secrets surface, as the Rock exerts its strange power and the dark stain of the unsolved mystery continues to spread.” (Syndetics summary)

This is us. The complete second season.
“Chronicles the Pearson family across the decades, from Jack and Rebecca as young parents in the 1980s to their 37 year old kids Kevin, Kate and Randall searching for love and fulfilment in the present day. This grounded, life affirming drama reveals how the tiniest events in people’s lives impact who they become, and how the connections they share with each other can transcend time, distance, and even death.” (Syndetics summary)

The expanse. Season two.
“A police detective in the asteroid belt, the first officer of an interplanetary ice freighter and an earth-bound United Nations executive slowly discover a vast conspiracy that threatens the Earth’s rebellious colony on the asteroid belt.” (Syndetics summary)

Beirut.
“Caught in the crossfires of civil war, CIA operatives must send a former US diplomat to negotiate for the life of a friend he left behind.” (Syndetics summary)

Recent books on Sustainability and the Environment

The Benevolent Bee book cover

Nurturing a village, the Natural Home, and Building the Cycling City head up our interesting line-up of books for this edition!

Image from BWBMountains to sea : solving New Zealand’s freshwater crisis / edited by Mike Joy.
“The state of New Zealand’s freshwater has become an urgent public issue in recent years. From across the political spectrum, concern is growing about the pollution of New Zealand’s rivers and streams. We all know they need fixing. But how do we do it? In Mountains to Sea, leading ecologist Mike Joy teams up with thinkers from all walks of life to consider how we can solve New Zealand’s freshwater crisis. The book covers a wide range of topics, including food production, public health, economics and Maori narratives of water. Mountains to Sea offers new perspectives on this intractable problem.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe village : grown & gathered / by Matt & Lentil.
“A comprehensive chapter with practical advice on setting up a natural garden to feed your village will help you get the basics right: the importance of soil and sun, garden design, planting guides and projects, and natural pest control. The Village is about nurturing and being nurtured, by growing, cooking and eating together – whether it’s dropping a loaf of bread around to a neighbour, or spending an afternoon making a big batch of pickles with your mates. It is about food, but beyond food. It is for everyone who wants to embrace the fullness of life in all its mess, for everyone who wants to connect. Because we all deserve it.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe natural home : tips, ideas & recipes for a sustainable life / Wendyl Nissen ; photography by Emily Hlaváč Green.
“Wendyl Nissen shares her approach to living a balanced and sustainable life based on an old-fashioned model of growing and cooking your own food, avoiding artificial products and doing your best to avoid letting unnecessary chemical cocktails into your life.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverMicro living : 40 innovative tiny houses equipped for full-time living, in 400 square feet or less / by Derek “Deek” Diedricksen.
“For everyone who’s ever dreamed of simplifying their life and downsizing their home, Micro Living offers an insider’s look at what tiny house living is really like. Best-selling author and tiny house enthusiast Derek “Deek” Diedricksen profiles 40 tiny — but practical — houses that are equipped for full-time living, all in 400 square feet or less. With tips on what to consider before you build, along with framing plans for a prototype small cabin, Micro Living is the perfect starter handbook for both dreamers and doers.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Building the cycling city : the Dutch blueprint for urban vitality / Bruntlett, Melissa
Building the Cycling City examines the triumphs and challenges of the Dutch while also presenting stories of North American cities already implementing lessons from across the Atlantic. Discover how Dutch cities inspired Atlanta to look at its transit-bike connection in a new way and showed Seattle how to teach its residents to realize the freedom of biking, along with other encouraging examples.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Smart homes and communities : fostering sustainable architecture / Friedman, Avi
“Avi Friedman, PhD, is a Professor of Architecture at McGill University in Montreal, Canada, where he directs the Affordable Homes Research Group. He is also a practicing architect specializing in sustainable residential design and is known internationally for his housing innovation, in particular for The Grow Home and The Next Home, which were built in several countries. In the year 2000, he was selected by Wallpaper magazine as one of 10 people from around the world most likely to change the way we live in the new millennium.” (Book jacket)

The benevolent bee : capture the bounty of the hive through science, history, home remedies and craft / Bruneau, Stephanie
“Get the buzz on bees, honey, hive behavior, and all the things you can make with bee products in The Benevolent Bee. Beekeeper, herbalist, and artist Stephanie Bruneau explores six amazing products of the honeybee hive–honey, pollen, propolis, royal jelly, beeswax, and bee venom. Learn how to make a salve for burns and a cough syrup from raw honey; how to make a tincture, an infused oil, and a mouthwash from propolis, the anti-bacterial “bee glue” that lines the inside of the hive; and much more.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Movable architecture
“Focusing on the requirement for energy-efficient sustainable architecture with a small carbon footprint, this book explores the many ways in which containers can be renovated to create housing and more. With environmentally friendly design, low associated costs and ease of mobility, containers could be a great future contributor to the development of low-carbon architecture. In addition to the case studies, design guidelines are supplied alongside information regarding the relevant construction standards for container buildings, making this book both inspirational and a practical source of resources for designers and architects.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Milkwood : real skills for down-to-earth living / Bradley, Kirsten
“Get started living a homegrown life with the hugely popular Aussie permaculture educators, Milkwood.” (Catalogue)

Syndetics book coverSmarter homes : how technology has changed your home life / Alexandra Deschamps-Sonsino.
“This book presents the opportunities in the homespace that will come from understanding the history and multiple players that have contributed to the development of the home in general. You’ll start by breaking down the historical, societal and political context for the changes in focus of that ‘smartness’ from affordability, efficiency, convenience to recently experimentation. The second half of the book then reviews what current developments tell us about what our homes will look like in the next 10 years through the lens of spaces, services, appliances and behaviours in our homes.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Pick of the bunch: New popular Non-Fiction

Talk on the Wild Side

An inspiration to ‘the disenfranchised, marginalised and voiceless Indigenous communities’ heads our list today. It’s A long way from No Go, about the life of Tjanara Goreng Goreng, who was a disadvantaged Australian Aboriginal woman. A fascinating memoir.

A long way from No Go / Goreng Goreng, Tjanara
“This is a memoir of an Aboriginal woman, Tjanara Goreng Goreng, who began life without any of the advantages of her fellow non-Indigenous Australians except for grit, humour and diverse talent in spades. Life was tough and poor as an Aboriginal kid in No Go, in remote Queensland. Tjanara navigates the treacherous waters of her childhood, immersed in the legacy of 200 years of brutal treatment of her mother’s people that has left its suppurating scars deep in their psyche. This is a story of resilience, courage and Tjanara’s remarkable capacity to overcome every possible barrier that can be thrown up in Australian society. She is an inspiration to all fellow Australians and more specifically to the disenfranchised, marginalised and voiceless Indigenous communities.” (Adapted from the Catalogue)

Palaces for the people : how to build a more equal and united society / Klinenberg, Eric
“Too often we take for granted and neglect our libraries, parks, markets, schools, playgrounds, gardens and communal spaces, but decades of research now shows that these places can have an extraordinary effect on our health and wellbeing and that of society as a whole. Why? Because wherever people cross paths and linger, wherever we gather informally, strike up a conversation and get to know one another, relationships blossom and communities emerge – and where communities are strong, people are safer and healthier, crime drops and commerce thrives, and peace, tolerance and stability take root.” (Adapted from the Catalogue)

Syndetics book coverTalk on the Wild Side : Why Language Can’t Be Tamed
“Language is a wild thing. It is vague and anarchic. Style, meaning, and usage are continually on the move. Throughout history, for every mutation, idiosyncrasy, and ubiquitous mistake, there have been countervailing rules, pronouncements and systems making some attempt to bring language to heel. Talk on the Wild Side is both a guide to the great debates and controversies of usage, and a love letter to language itself. Holding it together is Greene’s infectious enthusiasm for his subject. While you can walk away with the finer points of who says “whom” and the strange history of “buxom” schoolboys, most of all, it inspires awe in language itself: for its elegance, resourcefulness, and power.” (Adapted from the Syndetics summary)

Unsettled : refugee camps and the making of multicultural Britain / Bailkin, Jordanna
“Refugee camps in Britain were never only for refugees. Refugees shared a space with Britons who had been displaced by war and poverty, as well as thousands of civil servants and a fractious mix of volunteers. Unsettled: Refugee Camps and the Making of Multicultural Britain explores how these camps have shaped today’s multicultural Britain. They generated unique intimacies and frictions, illuminating the closeness of individuals that have traditionally been kept separate–“citizens” and “migrants,” but also refugee populations from diverse countries and conflicts. As the world’s refugee crisis once again brings to Europe the challenges of mass encampment, Unsettled offers warnings from a liberal democracy’s recent past.” (Adapted from the Catalogue)

Best of enemies : the last great spy story of the Cold War / Russo, Gus
“The thrilling story of two Cold War spies — CIA case officer Jack Platt and KGB agent Gennady Vasilenko — and their improbable friendship at a time when they should have been anything but. In 1978, CIA maverick Jack Platt and KGB agent Gennady Vasilenko were new arrivals on the Washington, DC intelligence scene, with Jack working out of the CIA’s counterintelligence office and Gennady out of the Soviet Embassy. Both men, already notorious iconoclasts within their respective agencies, were assigned to seduce the other into betraying his country in the urgent final days of the Cold War, but instead the men ended up becoming the best of friends-blood brothers…” (Adapted from the Catalogue)

The tyranny of opinion : conformity and the future of liberalism / Blackford, Russell
“We live in an age of ideology, propaganda, and tribalism. Political conformity is enforced from many sides; the insidious social control that John Stuart Mill called “the tyranny of the prevailing opinion and feeling.” Liberal or left-minded people are often more afraid of each other than of their conservative or right wing opponents. Social media and call-out-culture makes it easier to name, shame, ostracize and harass non-conformists, and destroys careers and lives. How can we oppose this, regaining freedom and our sense of ourselves as individuals? The Tyranny of Opinion identifies the problem, defines its character, and proposes strategies of resistance. Russell Blackford calls for an end to ideological purity policing and for recommitment to the foundational liberal values of individual liberty and spontaneity, free inquiry, diverse opinion, and honest debate.” (Catalogue)

Democracy when the people are thinking : revitalizing our politics through public deliberation / Fishkin, James S
“This volume speaks to a recurring dilemma: listen to the people and get the angry voices of populism or rely on widely distrusted elites and get policies that seem out of touch with the public’s concerns. Instead, there are methods for getting a representative and thoughtful public voice that is really worth listening to. Democracy is under siege in most countries, where democratic institutions have low approval and face a resurgent threat from authoritarian regimes. Deliberative democracy can provide an antidote and can reinvigorate our democratic politics.” (Adapted from the Catalogue)

Syndetics book coverA seat at the table : congresswomen’s perspectives on why their presence matters / Kelly Dittmar, Kira Sanbonmatsu, and Susan J. Carroll.
“Drawing on personal interviews with women serving in the 114th Congress, the authors analyze the perspectives of women members as they seek to make a meaningful difference in the contemporary political environment. Unlike other studies of women in Congress, this book avoids looking at gender in a vacuum, instead considering how gender interacts with political party, race and ethnicity, seniority, chamber, and district characteristics to shape women’s representational influence.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverDigital renaissance : what data and economics tell us about the future of popular culture / Joel Waldfogel.
“The digital revolution poses a mortal threat to the major creative industries–music, publishing, television, and the movies. The ease with which digital files can be copied and distributed has unleashed a wave of piracy with disastrous effects on revenue. Cheap, easy self-publishing is eroding the position of these gatekeepers and guardians of culture. Does this revolution herald the collapse of culture, as some commentators claim? Far from it.” (Adapted from the Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverDangerous ideas about mothers / edited by Camilla Nelson & Rachel Robertson.
“Mothers are a topic on which almost everybody has an opinion, and always have. Now, however, those opinions are funnelled into and amplified on social media, where conversations turn ugly and advice is commercialised (read: the rise of the Mumpreneurs). Often, social media is understood as a place where mothers can either show off or shut up. It is from this idea of heightened scrutiny that Dangerous Ideas About Mothers takes its leave.” (Adapted from the Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverImpeaching the president : past, present, and future / Alan Hirsch.Impeaching a President: Past, Present, and Future
“It seems quite possible that President Trump will be impeached. …In response to the complexity of a rapidly evolving situation, constitutional scholar Alan Hirsch offers clear and to-the-point guidance for all matters relating to removing a sitting president–from the Founder’s constitutional protections against executive criminality, and the instructive impeachment stories of presidents Andrew Johnson, Richard Nixon, and Bill Clinton, to the particular ways that Donald Trump may be legally vulnerable, and the possibilities and limitations of presidential self-pardon.” (Adapted from the Syndetics summary)

Popular Reads: New Non-Fiction

In the wake of a recent scary article from Nature about Climate Change, and the recent IPCC warning document, our leading book this month asks Can democracy handle climate change? It is followed by a book that bemoans the present unwillingness of people to believe in scientific evidence.

Can democracy handle climate change? / Fiorino, Daniel J.
“Global climate change poses an unprecedented challenge for governments across the world. In this incisive book, Daniel Fiorino challenges the assumptions and evidence offered by sceptics of democracy and its capacity to handle climate change. Democracies, he explains, typically enjoy higher levels of environmental performance and produce greater innovation in technology, policy, and climate governance than autocracies. Rather than less democracy, Fiorino calls for a more accountable and responsive politics that will provide democratically-elected governments with the enhanced capacity for collective action on climate and other environmental issues.” (Catalogue (adapted))

Denialism : the dangers of irrational thinking and ignoring science experts / Specter, Michael
“There is so much confusing and conflicting information about the world in which we live that the truth can be impossible to find. The rise of modern scepticism against fake news is to be celebrated, but this cultural shift has led to a world where opinion is as valuable as fact. The existence of climate change; the safety behind eating genetically modified foods; and the effectiveness of herbal remedies over newly developed medicines are all hotly debated subjects and yet the science, rather than the rhetoric, is almost unanimous. Denialism brilliantly exposes the irrational pseudoscience and scare-mongering that increasingly get in the way of the truth and sensible decision-making. Specter demonstrates how key areas of modern life from basic health, to the environment and overall scientific progress are being dangerously misdirected and why facts must be put back to the heart of our judgements and belief.” (Catalogue)

Talking to women / Dunn, Nell
“In 1964, Nell Dunn spoke to nine of her friends over a bottle of wine about men, sex, work, money, babies, freedom and love. Novelist Edna O’Brien remembers being ‘very frightened’ of having her nipples touched. The Pop Artist Pauline Boty says she got married to the ‘first man I could talk very freely to'” (Catalogue (adapted))

No place like home : repairing Australia’s housing crisis / Mares, Peter
“It is generally accepted that Australia is in the grip of a housing crisis. But we are divided – along class, generational and political lines – about what to do about it. Award-winning journalist Peter Mares draws on academic research, statistical data and personal interviews to create a clear picture of Australia’s housing problems and to offer practical solutions. Expertly informed and eminently readable, No Place Like Home cuts through the noise and asks the common-sense questions about why we do housing the way we do, and what the alternatives might be.” (Catalogue (adapted))

Cyberwar : how Russian hackers and trolls helped elect a president : what we don’t, can’t, and do know / Jamieson, Kathleen Hall
“In Cyberwar, the eminent scholar Kathleen Hall Jamieson, who sifted through a vast amount of polling and voting data, is able to conclude with a reasonable degree of certainty that Russian help was crucial in elevating Trump to the Oval Office. The question of how Donald Trump won the 2016 election looms over all of the many controversies that continue to swirl around him to this day. In particular, was his victory the result of Russian meddling in our political system? Up until now, the answer to that has been equivocal at best given how difficult it is to prove.” (Catalogue (adapted))

Disrupt and deny : spies, special forces, and the secret pursuit of British foreign policy / Cormac, Rory
“The untold story of Britain’s covert military and intelligence operations since the end of World War II, and its secret scheming against enemies, as well as friends… In Disrupt and Deny, Rory Cormac tells the remarkable true story of Britain’s secret scheming against its enemies, as well as its friends; of intrigue and manoeuvring within the darkest corridors of Whitehall, where officials fought to maintain control of this most sensitive and seductive work; and, above all, of Britain’s attempt to use smoke and mirrors to mask decline. He reveals hitherto secret operations, the slush funds that paid for them, and the battles in Whitehall that shaped them.” (Catalogue (adapted))

The mushroom at the end of the world : on the possibility of life in capitalist ruins / Tsing, Anna Lowenhaupt
“A tale of diversity within our damaged landscapes, The Mushroom at the End of the World follows one of the strangest commodity chains of our times to explore the unexpected corners of capitalism. Here, we witness the varied and peculiar worlds of matsutake commerce: the worlds of Japanese gourmets, capitalist traders, Hmong jungle fighters, industrial forests, Yi Chinese goat herders, Finnish nature guides, and more. These companions also lead us into fungal ecologies and forest histories to better understand the promise of cohabitation in a time of massive human destruction.”–Publisher’s description.” (Catalogue)

I’m absolutely fine! : a manual for imperfect women / Rivkin, Annabel
“I’m absolutely fine but I slightly need to pee, I followed the road less travelled and now I don’t know where the hell I am, I may bleed to death shaving my legs, I just ate the fridge, my soul aches, ducking hell, my sock is slipping off inside my shoe, another week has ended without me becoming accidentally rich, I just put my keys in the fridge, my jeans hate me, unexpected object in the bagging area, I haven’t slept since 2012, I’ve got road rage, I’ll have a café mocha vodka valium latte to go please, where’s my phone? My anxieties have anxieties, no… not like that – here, I’ll do it, do I have to do everything? WTF? Is it just me? We gnaw on that, don’t we? Is it just me? Well, look around. Look at the egg-freezing, the brain freezing, the soul freezing, the terror, the Tinder, the rage, the resolution, the ‘hear me roar’, the panic, the power, the regret, the chin hairs, the hyper-connectedness, the divorce, the shame, the empathy, the conversation, the sheer potential. Welcome to Midulthood: a place where we recognise that we are all more alike than we are unalike. Of course it’s not just you. If we’re not in it together, we’re not in it at all…” (Catalogue)

A good time to be a girl : don’t lean in, change the system / Morrissey, Helena
“Five years have passed since women were exhorted to ‘Lean In’. Over that time, the world has transformed beyond all expectations. But why should anyone ‘lean in’ to a patriarchal system that is out of date? Why not change it entirely for the good of us all?” (Catalogue)

The Skripal files : the life and near death of a Russian spy / Urban, Mark
The Skripal Files is the definitive account of how Skripal’s story fits into the wider context of the new spy war between Russia and the West. The Skripal Files explores the time Skripal spent as a spy in the Russian Military Intelligence, how he was turned to work as an agent by MI6, his imprisonment in Russia and his eventual release as part of a spy-swap that would bring him to Salisbury, where on that fateful day he and his daughter found themselves fighting for their lives.” (Catalogue)

The spy and the traitor : the greatest espionage story of the Cold War / Macintyre, Ben
“A thrilling Cold War story about a KGB double agent, by one of Britain’s greatest historians. On a warm July evening in 1985, a middle-aged man stood on the pavement of a busy avenue in the heart of Moscow, holding a plastic carrier bag. In his grey suit and tie, he looked like any other Soviet citizen. The bag alone was mildly conspicuous, printed with the red logo of Safeway, the British supermarket. The man was a spy. A senior KGB officer, for more than a decade he had supplied his British spymasters with a stream of priceless secrets from deep within the Soviet intelligence machine. No spy had done more to damage the KGB. The Safeway bag was a signal: to activate his escape plan to be smuggled out of Soviet Russia. So began one of the boldest and most extraordinary episodes in the history of spying. Ben Macintyre reveals a tale of espionage, betrayal and raw courage that changed the course of the Cold War forever…” (Catalogue)

All things Home, Garden and D.I.Y.

This month’s recent pick features great ideas for Christmas cooking, urban and contemporary gardening, and DIY guides. Enjoy!

The natural home : tips, ideas & recipes for a sustainable life / Nissen, Wendyl
“Wendyl Nissen shares her approach to living a balanced and sustainable life based on an old-fashioned model of growing and cooking your own food, avoiding artificial products and doing your best to avoid letting unnecessary chemical cocktails into your life.” (Catalogue)

Home made Christmas / Boven, Yvette van
“The holidays can be overwhelming, but Yvette shows you how to make them easier with her “make ahead” recipes, giving you time to enjoy your company when they arrive. Home Made Christmas includes more than 100 recipes for the holidays (organized by Prepare Ahead and To Finish It Off) that are all easy to make and delicious… Yvette even provides menu ideas to make all your planning easier. Whether you’re celebrating your first Christmas with the love of your life or cooking for your entire family, this cookbook makes sure you’re fully prepared to entertain your holiday guests with a delicious, satisfying meal.” (Adapted from the Catalogue)

Slow down and grow something. : the urban grower’s recipe for the good life / Smith, Byron
“Growing and eating food from your balcony or backyard is insanely addictive – a chance to pocket a slice of farm life in the city, even if it’s just for a few minutes a day. Join the grow-you-own revolution one lemongrass mojito at a time, with the help of Byron Smith, who has created urban food oases in even the tiniest of plots. Whether you’re considering cultivating a few pots of seasonal fruit and vege through to a rooftop farm for your apartment block, this book is your blueprint for the good life in the city. It’s jam-packed with projects, advice and 50 mind-blowing recipes that will inspire you to get digging and start growing now.” (Catalogue)

Make ink / Logan, Jason
“An illuminating guide to making eco-friendly ink at home using scavenged materials from the founder of the Toronto Ink Company. The Toronto Ink Company was founded in 2014 by designer and artist Jason Logan as a citizen science experiment to make eco-friendly, urban ink from street-harvested pigments. Logan delves into the history of inkmaking and the science of distilling pigment from the natural world.” (Adapted from the Catalogue)

Simply clean : the proven method for keeping your home organized, clean, and beautiful in just 10 minutes a day / Rapinchuk, Becky
“No matter how big your home or busy your schedule, Rapinchuk believes that in just ten minutes a day your can keep your house clean and decluttered. She shares her system to turn cleaning from a chore into an effortless habit, and also shares recipes for organic, environmentally conscious cleaning supplies.” (Catalogue)

Fewer, better things : the hidden wisdom of objects / Adamson, Glenn
“Curator and scholar Glenn Adamson opens Fewer, Better Things by contrasting his beloved childhood teddy bear to the smartphones and digital tablets children have today. He laments that many children and adults are losing touch with the material objects that have nurtured human development for thousands of years… Fewer, Better Things explores the history of craft in its many forms, explaining how raw materials, tools, design, and technique come together to produce beauty and utility in handmade or manufactured items. Whether describing the implements used in a traditional Japanese tea ceremony, the use of woodworking tools, or the use of new fabrication technologies, Adamson writes expertly and lovingly about the aesthetics of objects, and the care and attention that goes into producing them.” (Adapted from the Catalogue)

Beehive alchemy : projects and recipes using honey, beeswax, propolis, and pollen to make soap, candles, creams, salves, and more / Ahnert, Petra
Beehive Alchemy is every beekeeper’s (and bee lover’s) guide to transforming the bounty of bees into practical and beautiful products for health and home (and)offers a comprehensive introduction to incorporating the miracle of bees into everyday life. With this new book, beekeepers (and bee lovers) will learn about the benefits and attributes of beeswax, honey, propolis, and more alongside a full range of projects and techniques to process and harness the amazing gifts of bees.” (Adapted from the Catalogue)

The tool book : the Australian companion to over 200 hand tools / Davy, Phil
“A complete visual guide with more than 800 images, The Tool Book pays homage to generations of craftsmanship, ingenuity and know-how. Clear photography and illustrations present more than 200 hand tools from every angle, showing you how to use and care for them, why each tool is right for the job and why it deserves pride of place in your collection.” (Adapted from the Catalogue)

Root to bloom : a modern guide to whole plant use : harvest, cook, preserve, heal / Pember, Mat
Root to Bloom equips readers with the knowledge and tools to grow, eat and celebrate every edible part of the plant. The book will explore the lesser-used parts of a plant that are often snubbed in favor of the produce we’ve come to expect. It includes a comprehensive rundown of 35 edible plants (from cilantro to onion to yams), covering extra components of edibility, including flowers, roots and weeds. It educates people about ideal growing conditions, the nutrition level of the parts, as well as activities on how to prepare/preserve them for eating – with recipes… As well, it includes six breakout chapters on key related topics: medicinal; herbicides; skin care; weeds/foraging; the orchard; and preserving flowers.” (Adapted from the Catalogue)

The nature of home : creating timeless houses / Dungan, Jeffrey
“Following in the tradition of populist architects Gil Schafer and Bobby McAlpine, Dungan designs new traditional houses for today–houses with clean lines, made with stone and wood, that carry an air of lasting beauty and that are made to be handed on to future generations. In his first book, Dungan shares his advice and insight for creating these “forever” houses and explores eight houses in full, from a beach house on the Gulf Coast to a farmhouse in the Southern countryside to a family home in the Blue Ridge Mountains. All speak of authenticity, timelessness, and lived history that reveals itself through the rich patinas and natural textures that come with age. Layered in between are thematic essays and imagery celebrating the importance of elements such as light, stone, and rooflines in creating a home.” (Adapted from the catalogue)