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)

New popular non-fiction books

Muslims of the World book cover

From immortality to death, our books this time contain a wide range of topics!

The only girl : my life and times on the masthead of Rolling Stone / Green, Robin
“In 1971, Robin Green had an interview with Jann Wenner at the offices Rolling Stone magazine. She had just moved to Berkeley, California, a city that promised “good vibes all-a time.” Those days, job applications asked just one question, “What are your sun, moon and rising signs?” Green thought she was interviewing for a clerical job like the other girls in the office, a “real job.” Instead, she was hired as a journalist. Brutally honest and bold, Green reveals what it was like to be the first woman granted entry into an iconic boys’ club.”(Catalogue (adapted))

The book of extraordinary deaths : true accounts of ill-fated lives / Ruiz, Cecilia
“…The Book of Extraordinary Deaths introduces readers to the bizarre demises of thinkers, writers, monarchs, artists, and notable nobodies throughout history. Beginning in the fifth century BC with the morbidly unusual death of Aeschylus and journeying chronologically to identical twins–who died on the same day–in the present day, readers will learn of people they may or may not have ever heard of, but will forever remember for their memorable final moments…” (Catalogue (adapted))

The future of humanity : terraforming Mars, interstellar travel, immortality, and our destiny beyond Earth / Kaku, Michio
“Having debuted at No. 1 on the New York Times best sellers list with 2014’s The Future of the Mind, celebrated CUNY physicist Kaku goes back to the future with this study of how humans might eventually move away from Earth and build a sustainable civilization out there somewhere. …Human civilization is on the verge of spreading beyond Earth. More than a possibility, it is becoming a necessity- whether our hand is forced by climate change and resource depletion or whether future catastrophes compel us to abandon Earth, one day we will make our homes among the stars …and perhaps even achieve immortality.” (adapted from Catalogue)

Melanin monologues : a black British perspective / Adjaye, Natreema A.
Melanin Monologues documents the journey of a Black woman’s struggle to regain her self-esteem and cultural pride in British society. The chronicles provide some insight into the ways that racial classifications and stereotypes have influenced Black British communities. Natreema Adjaye strives to project a voice that has been obscured and ignored for the longest time. The monologues presents an honest account of what it means to be Black and British in a society where African identity has been defined from a Eurocentric standpoint.” (Catalogue)

1,000 books to read before you die : a life-changing list / Mustich, James
“The ultimate book for book lovers: the 1,000 must-read books across genres and eras, each accompanied by a thought-provoking short essay on why the book is so essential. The ultimate book for book lovers: the 1,000 must-read books across genres and eras, each accompanied by a thought-provoking short essay on why the book is so essential.” (Catalogue)

Exploding data : reclaiming our cyber security in the digital age / Chertoff, Michael
“The most dangerous threat we – individually and as a society and country – face today is no longer military, but rather the increasingly pervasive exposure of our personal information; nothing undermines our freedom more than losing control of information about ourselves. And yet, as daily events underscore, we are ever more vulnerable to cyber-attack. In offering his compelling call for action, Chertoff argues that what is at stake is not so much the simple loss of privacy, which is almost impossible to protect, but of individual autonomy – the ability to make personal choices free of manipulation or coercion.” (adapted from Catalogue)

Rise & resist : how to change the world / Press, Clare
Rise & Resist takes a wild trip through the new activism sweeping the world. The political march is back in a big way, as communities rally to build movements for environmental and social justice. Join Press as she tracks the formation of a new counterculture, united by a grand purpose- to rethink how we live today to build a more sustainable tomorrow.” (adapted from Catalogue)

Let’s talk about death over dinner : an invitation and guide to life’s most important conversation / Hebb, Michael
“Of the many critical conversations we will all have throughout our lifetime, few are as important as the ones discussing death – and not just the practical considerations, such as DNRs and wills, but what we fear, what we hope, and how we want to be remembered. Let’s Talk About Death (over Dinner) offers keen practical advice on how to have these same conversations – not just at the dinner table, but anywhere.” (adapted from Catalogue)

Future politics : living together in a world transformed by tech / Susskind, Jamie
Future Politics confronts one of the most important questions of our time: how will digital technology transform politics and society? The great political debate of the last century was about how much of our collective life should be determined by the state and what should be left to the market and civil society. In the future, the question will be how far our lives should be directed and controlled by powerful digital systems – and on what terms?” (adapted from Catalogue)

Hello world : being human in the age of algorithms / Fry, Hannah
“If you were accused of a crime, who would you rather decide your sentence – a mathematically consistent algorithm incapable of empathy or a compassionate human judge prone to bias and error? What if you want to buy a driverless car and must choose between one programmed to save as many lives as possible and another that prioritizes the lives of its own passengers? And would you agree to share your family’s full medical history if you were told that it would help researchers find a cure for cancer? These are just some of the dilemmas that we are beginning to face as we approach the age of the algorithm, when it feels as if the machines reign supreme.” (adapted from Catalogue)

Muslims of the world : portraits and stories of hope, survival, loss, and love / Shah, Sajjad
“We are living in a time of unrest for many members of the Islamic faith around the globe. Enter Muslims of the World, a book based on the popular Instagram account @MuslimsoftheWorld1. Like the account, the book’s mission is to tell the diverse stories of Muslims living in the US and around the world. Whether it is telling a story about a young Syrian refugee who dreams of being a pilot or about a young girl’s decision to not remove her hijab, which in turn saved her family’s life, Muslims of the World aims to unite people of all cultures and faiths by sharing the hopes, trials, and tribulations of Muslims from every walk of life.” (adapted from Catalogue)

People like us : the new wave of candidates knocking at democracy’s door / Bhojwani, Sayu
“The system is rigged: America’s political leadership remains overwhelmingly white, male, moneyed, and Christian. But in People Like Us, political scientist Sayu Bhojwani shares the stories of a diverse and persevering range of local and state politicians from across the country who are challenging the status quo, winning against all odds, and leaving a path for others to follow in their wake. In accessible prose, Bhojwani shines a light on the political, systemic, and cultural roadblocks that prevent government from effectively representing a rapidly changing America, and offers forward-thinking solutions on how to get rid of them.” (adapted from Catalogue)

Sustainability and Environment Recent Picks

Turning the Tide book cover

A new NZ book called Eco Home heads the list this time. It is ‘packed with practical and accessible information’ (book jacket), and is very well illustrated with beautiful pictures of NZ homes.

Eco home : smart ideas for sustainable New Zealand homes / Williams, Melinda
“Presents the modern home by moving from room to room, to look at structural materials, furnishings and general life hacks to improve your personal green-star rating. As well as the living spaces (kitchen, bathroom, bedrooms, office, living area, utility rooms and outdoor areas) it also looks at the wider issues – why make an eco home at all? Also covered are: principles of sustainable building, choosing a property, building a team of professionals, foundations and floors, the structure and the shell.” (Catalogue)

The honey factory : inside the ingenious world of bees / Tautz, Jürgen
“Bee hives might look like seething anarchy at first glance, but bees know exactly what they are doing. The universe of the beehive is an intricately organised, delicately balanced ecosystem. From the mighty queen to the lowliest worker bees, each bee plays its part in the whole. The Honey Factory plunges the reader into the invisible life of a bee colony and reveals the secrets of this fascinating world. How do worker bees come to a collective decision? What does the honey bees’ waggling dance communicate? What provokes the sexual excesses of the young queen bee? And why is the precious relationship between humans and bees a matter of species survival?” (Catalogue (adapted))

Waste not : make a big difference by throwing away less / Rhoads, Erin
“What if it were possible to live a modern life with less waste? That’s where Erin Rhoads, aka The Rogue Ginger, comes in. Erin knows that small changes can have a big impact. In Waste Not she shares everything she’s learnt from her own funny, inspiring–and far-from-perfect–journey to living with less waste. Including genuinely accessible and easy tips, this book is perfect for both the novice and the eco-aware.” (Catalogue (adapted))

Raise happy chickens : how to raise healthy chickens and other poultry in your outdoor space / Roberts, Victoria
Raise Happy Chickens is a quickly accessible but authoritative guide, suitable for total beginners, that provides all the information you need to start keeping your own chickens. Telling you which breed of bird lays best and providing useful guidance on housing, equipment and the necessities of day-to-day care, it meets all the needs of anyone who dreams of a garden full of happy, clucking birds. It also goes beyond just chickens to other types of poultry, and gives advice and practical guidelines on housing, with full explanation of key areas like welfare, behavior, and diet.” (Catalogue)

Small is necessary : shared living on a shared planet / Nelson, Anitra
“Amidst crisis and fragmentation, the need for sociable, practical and sustainable housing is manifest. For centuries now, economists and governments have been relentlessly focused on growth. Bigger is always better, it seems.
But on a planet of finite resources, something has to give. And that doesn’t have to be a bad thing. With Small Is Necessary, Anitra Nelson show how shared living can help us solve a wide range of the social, economic, and sustainability challenges that we face today. Detailing a number of innovative approaches to shared living, she reveals a new way to think about our place in the world, one that is outward-looking, culturally rich, and ecologically sustainable.” (Catalogue)

Wilding : the return of nature to a British farm / Tree, Isabella
“Forced to accept that intensive farming on the heavy clay of their land at Knepp in West Sussex was economically unsustainable, Isabella Tree and her husband Charlie Burrell made a spectacular leap of faith: they decided to step back and let nature take over. The Burrells’ degraded agricultural land has become a functioning ecosystem again, heaving with life – all by itself. In Wilding, Isabella Tree tells the story of the ‘Knepp experiment’ and what it reveals of the ways in which we might regain that wilder, richer country. It shows how rewilding works across Europe; that it has multiple benefits for the land; that it can generate economic activity and employment; how it can benefit both nature and us – and that all of this can happen astonishingly quickly.” (Catalogue (adapted))

Buzz : the nature and necessity of bees / Hanson, Thor
“Bees are like oxygen: ubiquitous, essential, and, for the most part, unseen… In Buzz,the award-winning author of Feathers and The Triumph of Seeds takes us on a journey that begins 125 million years ago, when a wasp first dared to feed pollen to its young. From honeybees and bumbles to lesser-known diggers, miners, leafcutters, and masons, bees have long been central to our harvests, our mythologies, and our very existence. They’ve given us sweetness and light, the beauty of flowers, and as much as a third of the foodstuffs we eat. And, alarmingly, they are at risk of disappearing.” (Catalogue)

How to grow & eat your own super foods / Dickinson, Becky
“In an age of clean eating and fad diets, the term super food has become synonymous with inflated prices and overstated claims about the disease-fighting, anti-aging, life-enhancing powers of certain foods. This lively, engaging book weeds out the hype and unearths the secrets of what makes a food a super food. Discover a wide array of fruits and vegetables all with their own super qualities, and learn how to sow and plant them yourself, free from chemicals and full of goodness.” (Catalogue (adapted))

Turning the tide on plastic : how humanity (and you) can make our globe clean again / Siegle, Lucy
“Enough plastic is thrown away every year to circle the world 4 times. More than 8 million tonnes of plastic enter the oceans each year. 300 million tonnes of new plastic is produced every year. An estimated 15-51 trillion pieces of plastic now litter the world’s oceans. 38.5 million plastic bottles are used every day in the UK. A million plastic bottles are used per minute around the world. 500 million plastic straws are used per year. Without big action, at the current rate, pieces of plastic will outnumber fish in the ocean by 2050. That is the legacy we are leaving our children and grandchildren.” (Catalogue (adapted))

Planting for honeybees : the grower’s guide to creating a buzz / Lewis, Sarah Wyndham
“Our gardens would be unrecognizable without the gentle buzz of the humble honeybee. Yet in recent years bee populations have suffered from th loss of green spaces and need our help. Planting for Honeybees is a charmingly illustrated, practical guide on how to help attract these delightful pollinators – whether you only have a city window ledge or a whole country garden.” (Catalogue (adapted))

New popular non-fiction books

Fight Like a Girl book cover

Another small, perfect book from BWB Texts begins our list today, False Divides written by Lana Lopesi.

False divides / Lopesi, Lana
“Te Moana Nui a Kiwa is the great ocean continent. While it is common to understand ocean and seas as something that divides land, for those Indigenous to the Pacific or the Moana, it was traditionally a connector and an ancestor. Imperialism in the Moana, however, created false divides between islands and separated their peoples. In the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries, these connections are becoming visible again, partly through the use of globalising technologies. In this BWB Text, Lana Lopesi argues that while colonisation created divisions across Te Moana Nui a Kiwa, the adaptability of Moana peoples is now turning the ocean back into the unifying continent that it once was.” (Catalogue)

That F word : growing up feminist in Aotearoa / Marvelly, Elizabeth
“Lizzie Marvelly tells the story of New Zealand’s feminist roots, then traverses the modern landscape, tearing apart areas of gender imbalance and pervading attitudes to Kiwi women. Lizzie speaks about her own first-hand experiences with sexism and male misconduct, while also offering advice to young girls on how to take full control of their lives…” (Catalogue (adapted))

What to read and why / Prose, Francine
“In an age defined by hyper-connectivity and constant stimulation, Francine Prose makes a compelling case for the solitary act of reading and the great enjoyment it brings. Inspiring and illuminating, What to Read and Why includes selections culled from Prose’s previous essays, reviews, and introductions, combined with new, never-before-published pieces that focus on her favorite works of fiction and nonfiction, on works by masters of the short story, and even on books by photographers like Diane Arbus…” (Catalogue (adapted))

Value of everything : making and taking in the global economy / Mazzucato, Mariana
“A scathing indictment of our current global financial system, The Value of Everything rigorously scrutinizes the way in which economic value has been accounted and reveals how economic theory has failed to clearly delineate the difference between value creation and value extraction. Mariana Mazzucato argues that the increasingly blurry distinction between the two categories has allowed certain actors in the economy to portray themselves as value creators, while in reality they are just moving around existing value or, even worse, destroying it…”-Publisher’s description.” (Catalogue (adapted))

The AI delusion / Smith, Gary
“Gary Smith argues that the real danger of artificial intelligence is not that computers are smarter than us, but that we think they are. Through many examples, Smith shows that human reasoning is fundamentally different from artificial intelligence, and it is needed more than ever. …Computers are very good at discovering patterns, but are useless in judging whether the unearthed patterns are sensible because computers do not think the way humans think…” (Catalogue (adapted))

Digital human : the fourth revolution of humanity includes everyone / Skinner, Chris
“This digitalisation of our planet is bringing about a major transformation. Everyone on the planet will soon be included in the network and everyone on the planet will get the chance to talk, trade and transact with everyone in real time. This book offers insight into a number of intriguing topics that stem from the digitalisation of humanity such as how bitcoin and cryptocurrencies are challenging government and control mechanisms and why the Chinese tech giants are more imaginative than their Western counterparts…”-Dust jacket.” (Catalogue (adapted))

Poverty safari : understanding the anger of Britain’s underclass / McGarvey, Darren
“Darren McGarvey has experienced poverty and its devastating effects first-hand. He knows why people from deprived communities all around Britain feel angry and unheard. And he wants to explain… This book takes you inside the experience of poverty to show how the pressures really feel and how hard their legacy is to overcome. Arguing that both the political left and right misunderstand poverty as it is actually lived, McGarvey sets out what everybody – including himself – could do to change things…” (Catalogue (adapted))

Emotional AI : the rise of empathic media / McStay, Andrew
“What happens when media technologies are able to interpret our feelings, emotions, moods, and intentions? In this cutting edge new book, Andrew McStay explores that very question and argues that these abilities result in a form of technological empathy. …Combining established theory with original analysis, this book will change the way students view, use and interact with new technologies. It should be required reading for students and researchers in media, communications, the social sciences and beyond.” (Catalogue (adapted))

The edge of memory : ancient stories, oral tradition and the post-glacial world / Nunn, Patrick D.
“In The Edge of Memory, Patrick Nunn explores the science in folk history. He looks at ancient tales and traditions that may be rooted in scientifically verifiable fact, and can be explored via geological evidence, such as the Biblical Flood. We all know those stories that have been told in our families for generations. The ones that start “Have I ever told you about your great, great Uncle …?” In some cultures these stories have been passed down for thousands of years, and often reveal significant information about how the surrounding environment has changed and the effect it has had on societies–from stories referring to coastal drowning to the devastation caused by meteorite falls. Geologists are now starting to corroborate the tales through study of climatic data, sediments and land forms; the evidence was there in the stories, but until recently, nobody was listening.” (Catalogue (adapted))

Plundering beauty : a history of art crime during war / Tompkins, Arthur
“The roll-call of mankind’s wars down the centuries is paralleled by an equally extensive catalogue of the theft, destruction, plundering, displacement and concealing of some of the greatest works of art. …The works of art involved have fascinating stories to tell, as civilization moves from a simple and brutal ‘winner takes it all’ attitude to the spoils of war, to contemporary understanding, and commitment to, the idea that a society’s artistic heritage truly belongs to all humankind”–Back cover.” (Catalogue (adapted))

Wolf boys : two American teenagers and Mexico’s most dangerous drug cartel / Slater, Dan
“What it like to be an employee of a global drug-trafficking organization? In the border town of Laredo, Texas, Gabriel and his friend Bart abandon promising futures for the allure of the Zetas, a drug cartel with roots in the Mexican military. Mexican-born Detective Robert Garcia has worked hard all his life and is now struggling to raise his family in America. As violence spills over the border, Detective Garcia pursuit of the boys, and their cartel leaders, puts him face to face with the urgent consequences of a war he sees as unwinnable. Slater shows the way in which the border itself is changing, disappearing, and posing new, terrifying, and yet largely unseen threats to American security.” (Catalogue)

Raising Rosie : our story of parenting an intersex child / Lohman, Eric
“When their daughter Rosie was born …intersex – a term that describes people who are born with a variety of physical characteristics that do not fit neatly into traditional conceptions about male and female bodies – Rosie’s parents were pressured to consent to normalizing surgery on Rosie, without being offered any alternatives despite their concerns. Part memoir, part guidebook, this powerful book tells the authors’ experience of refusing to have Rosie operated on and how they raised a child who is intersex. The book looks at how they spoke about the condition to friends and family, to Rosie’s teachers and caregivers, and shows how they plan on explaining it to Rosie when she is older…” (Catalogue (adapted))

Fight Like a Girl book coverFight like a girl / Ford, Clementine
An incendiary debut taking the world by storm, Fight Like A Girl is an essential manifesto for feminists new, old and soon-to-be, and exposes just how unequal the world is. Personal and fearless – a call to arms for feminists new, old and as yet unrealised by one of our most outspoken feminist writers.” (Catalogue)

New Non-Fiction arrivals

Prime Movers book cover

A very interesting mix of books this month, including one on Adam Smith, an MI6 spy inside al-Qaeda and ‘The perfectionists : how precision engineers created the modern world’.

Prime movers : from Pericles to Gandhi : twelve great political thinkers and what’s wrong with each of them / Mount, Ferdinand
“The lives of men such as Jesus Christ, Rousseau, Adam Smith, Edmund Burke , and Thomas Jefferson are discussed and comparisons are drawn between the various approaches each figure promoted in their works – whether philosophical, or political theories.” (Syndetics summary, adapted)

Text, lies and cataloging : ethical treatment of deceptive works in the library / Brubaker, Jana
“The library profession values objectivity and accuracy, qualities that can be difficult to reconcile when a work is controversial. This book addresses ethical considerations, particularly for cataloguers, and proposes cataloguing solutions. The approaches suggested are provocative and designed to spark debate. … Deceptive literary works mislead readers and present librarians with a dilemma. Whether making recommendations to patrons or creating catalog records, objectivity and accuracy are crucial–and can be difficult to reconcile when a book’s authorship or veracity is in doubt… (Catalogue (adapted))

Internet celebrity : understanding fame online / Abidin, Crystal
“…The face of internet celebrity is rapidly diversifying and evolving. Online and mainstream celebrity culture are now weaving together, such that breakout stars from one-hit viral videos are able to turn their transient fame into a full-time career. This book presents a framework for thinking about the different forms of internet celebrity that have emerged over the last decade, taking examples from the Global North and South, to consolidate key ideas about cultures of online fame…” (Catalogue (adapted))

Nine lives : my time as MI6’s top spy inside al-Qaeda / Dean, Aimen
“A compelling and invaluable account of life inside al-Qaeda through the eyes of a first-rate spy. As one of al-Qaeda’s most respected scholars and bomb-makers, Aimen Dean rubbed shoulders with the mastermind of the 9/11 attacks and swore allegiance to Osama bin Laden himself. His job was already one of the most dangerous in the world. But what the others didn’t know was that he was working undercover for MI6. This is the story of a young Muslim determined to defend his faith, even if it meant dying for the cause, the terrible disillusionment that followed when he realised he was fighting on the wrong side, and the fateful decision to work undercover with his sworn enemy.” (Catalogue (adapted))

Rethinking school : how to take charge of your child’s education / Bauer, Susan Wise
“With boldness, experience, and humor, Susan Wise Bauer turns conventional wisdom on its head. When a serious problem arises at school, the fault is more likely to lie with the school, or the educational system itself, than with the child. In five illuminating sections, Bauer teaches parents how to flex the K-12 system, rather than the child. As the author of the classic book on home-schooling, The Well-Trained Mind, Bauer knows how children learn and how schools work. Her advice here is comprehensive and anecdotal, including material drawn from experience with her own four children and more than twenty years of educational consulting and university teaching.” (Catalogue (adapted))

Politics for the new dark age : staying positive amidst disorder / Skews, Anthony
“Our societies are growing more unequal, more hierarchical, meaner and less human every year. Voters appalled by the direction of current politics respond to leaders that articulate a cohesive and genuine progressivism. This book provides the framework for politicians and activists to deliver that vision, organised around the themes of cooperative solutions to social problem-solving and a social contract centered on rights and the equal dignity of all people.” (Catalogue)

The perfectionists : how precision engineers created the modern world / Winchester, Simon
“New York Times best-selling Winchester charts the development of technology from the Industrial Age to the Digital Age with an eye to a single factor: precision. Standards of measurement, machines that made machines, the Hadron Collider-all have required and engendered ever greater precision. But are we missing the importance of craft and art and the messy reality of the world? (Catalogue (adapted))

Authentocrats : culture, politics and the new seriousness / Kennedy, Joe
Authentocrats critiques the manner in which post-liberal ideas have been mobilised underhandedly by centrist politicians who, at least notionally, are hostile to the likes of Donald Trump and UKIP. It examines the forms this populism of the centre has taken in the United Kingdom and situates the moderate withdrawal from liberalism within a story which begins in the early 1990s. In this book, we see how this spurious concern for “real people” is part of a broader turn within British culture by which the mainstream withdraws from the openness of the Nineties under the bad-faith supposition that there’s nowhere to go but backwards. Authentocrats charges liberals themselves with fuelling the post-liberal turn, and asks where the space might be found for an alternative.” (Catalogue (adapted))

Fair shot : rethinking inequality and how we earn / Hughes, Chris
“To help people who are struggling, Hughes proposes a simple, bold solution: a guaranteed income for working people, including unpaid caregivers and students, paid for by the one percent. Hughes believes that a guaranteed income is the most powerful tool we have to combat poverty.” (Book jacket)

Adam Smith : what he thought, and why it matters / Norman, Jesse
“This book is not only a biography. It dispels the myths and debunks the caricatures that have grown up around Adam Smith. It explores Smith’s ideas in detail, from ethics to law to economics and government, and the impact of those ideas on thinkers as diverse as Karl Marx, Charles Darwin, John Maynard Keynes and Friedrich Hayek. At a time when economics and politics are ever more polarized between left and right, this book, by offering a Smithian analysis of contemporary markets, predatory capitalism and the 2008 financial crash, returns us to first principles and shows how the lost centre of modern public debate can be recreated.” (Catalogue (adapted))

Invisible countries : journeys to the edge of nationhood / Keating, Joshua
“What is a country? While certain basic criteria–borders, a government, and recognition from other countries–seem obvious, journalist Joshua Keating’s book explores exceptions to these rules, including self-proclaimed countries such as Abkhazia, Kurdistan, and Somaliland, a Mohawk reservation straddling the U.S.-Canada border, and an island nation whose very existence is threatened by climate change. Through stories about these would-be countries’ efforts at self-determination, as well as their respective challenges, Keating shows that there is no universal legal authority determining what a country is. He argues that although our current world map appears fairly static, economic, cultural, and environmental forces in the places he describes may spark change.” (Catalogue)