New films and TV shows to feast your eyes on!

New DVDs feature ever popular TV series such as The Crown and the Game of thrones seventh season and recent hit movies American Made and Victoria & Abdul. Exciting DVDs keep coming. Click here to check them out.

The crown. The complete first season.
“The British Empire is in decline, the political world is in disarray, and a young woman takes the throne … a new era is dawning. Queen Elizabeth II is a 25-year-old newlywed faced with the daunting prospect of leading the world’s most famous monarchy while forging a relationship with legendary Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill.” (Syndetics summary)

An inconvenient sequel : truth to power.
“Former Vice President Al Gore presents evidence that the negative effects of global warming have increased since the release of the film ‘An inconvenient truth’ a decade earlier.” (Syndetics summary)

The dark tower.
“The last Gunslinger, Roland Deschain, has been locked in an eternal battle with Walter O’Dim, also known as the Man in Black, determined to prevent him from toppling the Dark Tower, which holds the universe together. With the fate of the worlds at stake, good and evil will collide in the ultimate battle as only Roland can defend the Tower from the Man in Black.” (Syndetics summary)

Hampstead.
“Living on the edge of Hampstead Heath, Emily Walters can’t quite focus on the things that need attention in her life, like her lovely old apartment, her diminishing finances or even her son. Everything changes when she meets the eccentric, unkempt Donald, who has lived harmoniously on the Heath for 17 years in a ramshackle hut. Now. property developers are attempting to evict him. As Emily steps up to defend Donald in the escalating battle, she soon finds that, despite his gruff exterior, there is something special about this gentle and unconventional man.”–Container.

Gilmore girls : a year in the life.
“The revival of the series is set about ten years after the finale of the original series.” (Syndetics summary)

Legion. The complete season one.
“David Haller is a troubled young man diagnosed as schizophrenic, but after a strange encounter, he discovers special powers that will change his life forever.” (Syndetics summary)

Taboo.
“London 1814. Taboo follows James Keziah Delaney (Tom Hardy), a man who has been to the ends of the earth and comes back irrevocably changed. Believed to be long dead, he returns home to London from Africa to inherit what is left of his father’s shipping empire and rebuild a life for himself. But his father’s legacy is a poisoned chalice, and with enemies lurking in every dark corner, James must navigate increasingly complex territories to avoid his own death sentence. Encircled by conspiracy, murder and betrayal, a dark family mystery unfolds in a combustible tale of love and treachery.” (Syndetics summary)

Victoria & Abdul
“Queen Victoria strikes up an unlikely friendship with a young Indian clerk named Abdul Karim.” (Syndetics summary)

American made
“The story of Barry Seal, an American pilot who became a drug-runner for the CIA in the 1980s in a clandestine operation that would be exposed as the Iran-Contra Affair.” (Syndetics summary)

The trip to Spain
“Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon embark on another deliciously deadpan culinary road trip. This time around, the guys head to Spain to sample the best of the country’s gastronomic offerings in between rounds of their hilariously off-the-cuff banter. Over plates of pintxos and paella, the pair exchange barbs and their patented celebrity impressions, as well as more serious reflections on what it means to settle into middle age.” (Syndetics summary)

The expanse. Season one
“A thriller set two hundred years in the future, after mankind has colonized the solar system. A hardened detective and a rogue ship’s captain come together for what starts as the case of a missing young woman and evolves into a race across the solar system to expose the greatest conspiracy in human history.” (Syndetics summary)

Game of thrones. The complete seventh season
“The long winter is here. The penultimate Season 7 of this blockbuster hit series focuses on a convergence of armies and attitudes that have been brewing for years.” (Syndetics summary)

Enjoy our latest hand-picked home, garden and DIY books this new year

Get great ideas for decorating, renovating, tinkering, personalising, and most importantly enjoying your home with this month’s hand-picked home, garden and do-it-yourself books.

Syndetics book coverTinkering : Australians reinvent DIY culture / Katherine Wilson.
“At a time when the labour market is failing as a source of security and identity for many, domestic tinkering is emerging as a legitimate vocation, in ways we haven’t seen since pre-industrial times. Practices of repair, crafting, invention, building and improvising …are becoming a vital part of our informal economy and social cohesion, complicating distinctions between work and leisure, amateur and professional, production and consumption. …with a journalist’s impulse for the currency of her story, Katherine Wilson documents domestic tinkering as an undervalued form of material scholarship, social connection, psychological sanctuary and political activism… (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverRenovate innovate : reclaimed and upcycled homes / Antonia Edwards.
“From converted factories and chapels to cabins built from salvaged wood, this collection of innovative, beautiful, and sustainable dwellings showcases a worldwide trend for upcycling in home design. …This international sampling of stunning new buildings and renovations will inspire readers, designers, architects, and dreamers alike to reimagine lived in spaces” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverSecond bloom : Cathy Graham’s art of the table / by Alexis Clark ; foreword by Joanna Coles ; photography by Quentin Bacon and Andrew Ingalls.
“Artist, collector, and entertaining guru Cathy Graham shares her secrets for gracious living and memorable get-togethers in Second Bloom. Graham covers the essential elements that make every event shine–flowers, paper components, table setting, and food presentation. Quentin Bacon’s photographs of a seaside gathering, a casual cocktail party, or a lively dinner in honor of a friend show how to achieve winning possibilities with ease.” (Syndetics summary

Syndetics book coverEveryday chic : my secrets for entertaining, organizing, and decorating at home / Molly Sims with Tracy O’Connor.
“Once upon a time, Molly Sims was a single girl who stored cashmere sweaters in her oven, and whose shoe collection far exceeded her recipe collection. But today, one husband and three kids later, a lot has changed. Supermodel? Try Supermomma! Molly has taken her style from the runway to the domestic arena, embracing the roles of home chef, party planner, organization expert, and design guru, as only she can…” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverLife in the garden / Penelope Lively.
“Penelope Lively has always been a keen gardener. This book is partly a memoir of her own life in gardens: the large garden at home in Cairo where she spent most of her childhood, her grandmother’s garden in a sloping Somerset field, then two successive Oxfordshire gardens of her own, and the smaller urban garden in the North London home she lives in today. It is also a wise, engaging and far-ranging exploration of gardens in literature, from Paradise Lost to Alice in Wonderland, and of writers and their gardens, from Virginia Woolf to Philip Larkin.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverTake a seat : 16 beautiful projects for your home / Jemima Schlee.
“Be seated in style and comfort with this gorgeous book full of ideas to revamp the things you sit on everyday. If your chairs are looking past their best, or in need of a makeover, you will find beautiful projects that can turn sorry-looking seats into stylish centrepieces. Jemima Schlee’s clever use of fabrics, textures, yarns and paint not only add personality and character to any interior, they are also an ideal way for thrifty types to create a new look on a budget.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverBuilding with secondhand stuff : how to reclaim, repurpose, re-use & upcycle salvaged & leftover materials / Chris Peterson.
“From deconstruction methods and salvaging tips to plotting efficient cutting plans and devising creative new uses for everyday items, this book is packed with clever ways to obtain low-cost materials and ingenious projects you can build yourself. …This book is a hands-on, do-it-yourself guide that shows you how to identify materials that can be salvaged efficiently and give you step-by-step instructions on how to build cool things with what you find…” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverRemodelista : the organized home : simple, stylish storage ideas for all over the house / Julie Carlson and Margot Guralnick ; with the editors of Remodelista ; photographs by Matthew Williams ; creative direction by Alexa Hotz.
“…Whether you’re a minimalist or someone who takes pleasure in her collections, we all yearn for an unencumbered life in a home that makes us happy. This compact tome shows us how, with more than 100 simple and stylish tips, each clearly presented and accompanied by full-color photographs that are sure to inspire. Readers will learn strategies for conquering their homes’ problem zones (from the medicine cabinet to the bedroom closet) and organizing tricks and tools that can be deployed in every room…” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverMary’s household tips & tricks : your guide to happiness in the home / Mary Berry.
“…Easy to use, practical and gorgeously illustrated, Mary’s Household Tips & Tricks covers everything from Mary’s golden rules for baking to her favourite flowers for each season, from how to polish silver to whether tea should be poured before or after milk. With secrets for accomplishing the most challenging home-keeping tasks with ease, Mary’s wonderfully simple book will help turn any house into a home.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverA well-crafted home : inspiration and 60 projects for personalizing your space / Janet Crowther ; photographs by Julia Wade ; illustrations by Tate Obayashi.
“More than just “DIY” crafts, these carefully designed projects call for good materials–like linen, leather, and wood–so the finished product will last you a lifetime. Ranging from beginner to more advanced, each item elevates a room in a way you’d never expect: a large-scale painting with an effortless “dot” design looks like a modern piece of art, flax linen bedding sewn with a few easy seams is gorgeous way to set off the bed (and is more affordable than you would think), and a copper pipe rack for hanging clothes is so pretty, you’ll want to keep it on display…” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverA sense of home : eat, make, sleep, live / Helen James.
“From leading Irish designer and food blogger Helen James comes a beautiful book for all who enjoy making their house a home. Room by room, Helen shares her distinctive design sensibility inspired by the natural world, as she considers the spaces where we spend so much of our time – indoor and out – from a sensory perspective: taste, sight, scent, touch and sound. Combining over 60 delicious, homely recipes – from bedroom feasts to ‘movie-night’ suppers – with essential design principles, natural beauty products, gardening plans and more, A Sense of Home is stunningly illustrated throughout. A sumptuous journey that is as pleasurable to browse as it is to put into practice – and the ideal gift.” (Syndetics summary)

New non-fiction books for interesting reading during the holiday season

Some interesting new books for the holidays, beginning with the whimsical I’d rather be reading.

Syndetics book coverI’d rather be reading : a library of art for book lovers / by Guinevere de la Mare ; with essays by Maura Kelly, Ann Patchett, and Gretchen Rubin.
“In this visual ode to all things bookish, readers will get lost in page after page of contemporary art, photography, and illustrations depicting the pleasures of books. Artwork from the likes of Jane Mount, Lisa Congdon, Julia Rothman, and Sophie Blackall is interwoven with text from essayist Maura Kelly, bestselling author Gretchen Rubin, and award-winning author and independent bookstore owner Ann Patchett.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverMythos : a retelling of the myths of Ancient Greece / Stephen Fry.
“The Greek myths are amongst the greatest stories ever told, passed down through millennia and inspiring writers and artists as varied as Shakespeare, Michelangelo, James Joyce and Walt Disney. They are embedded deeply in the traditions, tales and cultural DNA of the West. You’ll fall in love with Zeus, marvel at the birth of Athena, wince at Cronus and Gaia’s revenge on Ouranos, weep with King Midas and hunt with the beautiful and ferocious Artemis. Spellbinding, informative and moving, Stephen Fry’s Mythos perfectly captures these stories for the modern age – in all their rich and deeply human relevance.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverTotal cat mojo : the ultimate guide to life with your cat / Jackson Galaxy with Mikel Delgado and Bobby Rock.
“This comprehensive cat care guide from the star of the hit Animal Planet show “My Cat from Hell,” Jackson Galaxy, shows us how to eliminate feline behavioral problems by understanding cats’ instinctive behavior. Cat Mojo is the confidence that cats exhibit when they are at ease in their environment and in touch with their natural instincts–to hunt, catch, kill, eat, groom, and sleep. Problems such as litter box avoidance and aggression arise when cats lack this confidence. Jackson Galaxy’s number one piece of advice to his clients is to help their cats harness their mojo. This book is his most comprehensive guide yet to cat behavior and basic cat care, rooted in understanding cats better. ” (Provided by publisher)

Syndetics book coverThe best of A. A. Gill / A. A. Gill.
“For over twenty years, people turned to A. A. Gill’s columns every Sunday – for his fearlessness, his perception, and the laughter-and-tear-provoking one-liners – but mostly because he was the best. …This is the definitive collection ofa voice that was silenced too early but that can still make us look at the world in new and surprising ways… Wherever he was – at home or abroad – he found the human story, brought it to vivid life, and rendered it with fierce honesty and bracing compassion. And he was just as truthful about himself. …it will be by turns hilarious, uplifting, controversial, unflinching, sad, funny and furious.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverA glorious freedom : older women leading extraordinary lives / Lisa Congdon.
“The glory of growing older is the freedom to be more truly ourselves–with age we gain the liberty to pursue bold new endeavors and worry less about what other people think. In this richly illustrated volume, bestselling author and artist Lisa Congdon explores the power of women over the age of forty who are thriving and living life on their own terms. Profiles, interviews, and essays from women–including Vera Wang, Laura Ingalls Wilder, Julia Child, Cheryl Strayed, and many more–who’ve found creative fulfillment and accomplished great things in the second half of their lives are lavishly illustrated and hand-lettered in Congdon’s signature style.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverAustralian midwives / Paula Heelan.
“Sweet, funny and sometimes sad, these stories share what it is to be an Australian midwife in remote areas where resources are limited. A moving and celebratory collection of tales that brings you close to the drama and wonder of birth. Each of the thirteen midwives in this book work in extreme locations with few resources, but armed with only courage and skill, they regularly save lives and birth babies in difficult circumstances –on an airstrip, a cattle station, a dinghy (knee-deep in water with a wary eye out for the local croc), a troop-carrier or in the face of a cyclone. These stories are a tribute to both the skill of the midwives and the courage of the mothers. For these women, midwifery is not just a job – it’s a committed and passionate way of life.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverIt’s alive! : artificial intelligence from the logic piano to killer robots / Toby Walsh.
“The development of thinking machines is an adventure as bold and ambitious as any that humans have attempted. And the truth is that Artificial Intelligence is already an indispensable part of our daily lives. Without it, Google wouldn’t find out whatever you need to know. Your smartphone would be… just a phone. In countless ways AI has made the world what it is today. But where will AI technologies take us in the future? We know they will continue to change society, but how? Will AI destroy our jobs? Could it even pose an existential threat? What should we be doing now to prepare for the future?” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverAlibaba’s world : how a remarkable Chinese company is changing the face of global business / Porter Erisman.
“In September 2014, a Chinese company that most Americans had never heard of held the largest IPO in history – bigger than Google, Facebook and Twitter combined. Alibaba, now the world’s largest e-commerce company, mostly escaped Western notice for over ten years, while building a customer base more than twice the size of Amazon’s, and handling the bulk of e-commerce transactions in China. How did it happen? And what was it like to be along for such a revolutionary ride?” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverHow language began : the story of humanity’s greatest invention / Daniel L. Everett.
“Mankind has a distinct advantage over other terrestrial species: we talk to one another. But how did we acquire the most advanced form of communication on Earth? Daniel L. Everett provides in this sweeping history a comprehensive examination of the evolutionary story of language, from the earliest speaking attempts by hominids to the more than seven thousand languages that exist today. Based on nearly forty years of fieldwork, Everett debunks long-held theories by some of history’s greatest thinkers, from Plato to Chomsky. The result is an invaluable study of what makes us human.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverChristmas : a biography / Judith Flanders.
“Christmas has always been a magical time. Or has it? Thirty years after the first recorded Christmas, the Pope was already warning that too many people were spending the day, not in worship, but in partying and eating to excess. By 1616, the playwright Ben Jonson was nostalgically remembering Christmas in the old days, certain that it had been better then. Judith Flanders casts a sharp eye on myths, legends and history, deftly moving from the origins of the holiday in the Roman empire, through Christmas trees in central Europe, to what might be the first appearance of Santa Claus – in Switzerland – to draw a picture of the season as it has never been seen before.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverPost-war childhood : growing up in the not-so-friendly “Baby Boomer” years / Simon Webb.
“Many British baby boomers are very nostalgic about a supposed golden age; a vanished world when children were generally freer, happier and healthier than they are now. They wandered about all day; only returning home at teatime when they were hungry. Simon Webb presents a ‘warts and all’ portrait of British childhood in the years following the end of the Second World War. He demonstrates that contrary to popular belief, it was by any measure a far more hazardous and less pleasant time to be a child, than is the case in the twenty-first century.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverHighbrow, lowbrow, brilliant, despicable : 50 years of New York / by the editors of New York magazine ; writer & historian, Christopher Bonanos.
“The great story of New York City in the past half-century has been its near collapse and miraculous rebirth. A battered town left for dead, one that almost a million people abandoned and where those who remained had to live behind triple deadbolt locks, was reinvigorated by the twinned energies of starving artists and financial white knights. Since its founding in 1968, New York Magazine has told the story of that city’s constant morphing, week after week. Covering culture high and low, the drama and scandal of politics and finance, through jubilant moments and immense tragedies, the magazine has hit readers where they live, with a sensibility as fast and funny and urbane as New York itself.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

New books on learning English

A vast array of books on how to learn English.

Syndetics book coverIELTS to success : preparation tips and practice tests / Eric Van Bemmel, Janina Tucker.
IELTS to Success, 3rd edition, is a valuable resource for people preparing for the Academic Module of the International English Language Testing System (IELTS).
The authors fully explain the Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking sections of the IELTS test, and provide many useful skills and strategies. (and) include practice tests that have been thoroughly edited and trialled in IELTS Preparation classes. These practice tests are suitable for the IELTS Academic Module and comply with the standards of the IELTS test, including revisions implemented up to 2010.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverIELTS practice tests. Practice test 2 with key / Chris Gough, Susan Hutchison.
“Exam Essentials Practice Tests 1 and 2: IELTS is our major British English exam preparation series combining exam preparation, practice, and tips. This effective combination of testing and teaching has proved a popular formula with teachers and students. All of the tests are written by experts in the field, which means that students experience authentic exam-like material that is at a level at least as high as the actual exams. A DVD-ROM containing video of a complete model speaking interview with useful tips from examiners and accompanying worksheets allows students and teachers to see exactly what the speaking test entails.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverIELTS practice tests plus. 2 / Morgan Terry, Judith Wilson.
“This title provides essential practice in all four modules of the IELTS examination: Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverImprove your IELTS reading skills / Sam McCarter, Norman Whitby.
“Aimed at students between bands 4.5 and 7.5, this series has three preparation courses, Academic Reading, Academic Writing, and Listening and Speaking. The courses develop language, skills and test techniques to help students achieve a higher IELTS score.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverImprove your IELTS writing skills / Sam McCarter, Norman Whitby.
“Aimed at students between bands 4.5 and 7.5, this series has three preparation courses, Academic Reading, Academic Writing, and Listening and Speaking. The courses develop language, skills and test techniques to help students achieve a higher IELTS score.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverIELTS : the complete guide to general reading / Phil Biggerton.
“IELTS – The Complete Guide to General Reading takes you step by step, from a basic understanding of the IELTS exam to a point where you have the necessary skills and confidence to take the exam. You will be introduced to twelve question types commonly used in the IELTS exam: Short answers, Sentence completion, Summary completion, Multiple choice, Table completion, Labelling flowcharts and processes, Matching Paragraph selection, True, False, Not Given and Yes, No, Not Given, Headings, Diagrams. Apart from many practice exercises, 5 complete practice tests are also provided.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverEnglish vocabulary for beginning ESL learners / Jean Yates.
“With English Vocabulary for Beginning ESL Learners you will soon be talking in English as if it were your first language. Inside you will find more than 1,500 commonly used words you hear at work, at school, and on the street, with topics that range from clothing to cooking, and from doctors to digital devices. This new edition also covers numbers, and the many ways that they are talked about in daily life.>” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverCheck your English vocabulary for IELTS / by Rawdon Wyatt.
“This bestselling workbook provides a resource for students studying towards the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) exam. It has been written for students at intermediate level and above, and is particularly appropriate for anyone who plans to study or train at an English-speaking college or university. Comprehensive answer key with additional information – Includes IELTS-style Speaking and Writing tasks with sample answers to allow for productive practice of target language.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Continue reading “New books on learning English”

Plan your next movie night with our latest DVD picks

New DVDs include Robert De Niro’s return to form as financial swindler Bernie Madoff, medical comedy/drama ‘The Big Sick’, a crime heist with ‘Logan Lucky’, action with a great soundtrack with ‘Baby Driver’, and new TV with the missing season of ‘Un village français’ & sci-fi reboot ‘Westworld’.

The wizard of lies.
“It is the headline-making true story about the deceptions, lies and betrayals of Bernie Madoff, the man who masterminded the most heinous financial swindle of our generation.” (Syndetics summary)

The big sick.
“Pakistan-born comedian Kumail Nanjiani and grad student Emily Gardner fall in love but struggle as their cultures clash. When Emily contracts a mysterious illness, Kumail finds himself forced to face her feisty parents, his family’s expectations, and his true feelings.” (Syndetics summary)

Un village français. Vol. 5.
“It’s August 1944. Much of France is liberated, but the Germans remain in Villeneuve. The abuses by the militia continue, and this swells the ranks of the resistance, and the struggle continues, even if life after the war is so close. The characters are impatient, and driven to their wit’s end as they wait out a war that can only end one way. Then, they switch to “Liberation” a world that no-one could imagine.” (Syndetics summary)

Logan lucky.
“Trying to reverse a family curse, brothers Jimmy and Clyde Logan set out to execute an elaborate robbery during the legendary Coca-Cola 600 race at the Charlotte Motor Speedway. In a fun twist, six NASCAR stars pop up in non-driver cameo roles in the film.” (Syndetics summary)

One thousand ropes.
“One Thousand Ropes is a story of a father reconnecting with his youngest daughter and together putting to rest the ghosts that haunt them. She arrives vulnerable: badly beaten and heavily pregnant. He struggles with the inner temptation and the encouragement from the men in his life, to take revenge in the way he knows best on one hand and on the other, to build the new family and companionship so desperately missing from his life. (Syndetics summary)

Baby driver.
“A talented young getaway driver relies on the beat of his personal soundtrack to be the best in the game. But after being coerced into working for a crime boss, he must face the music when a doomed heist threatens his life, love, and freedom.” (Syndetics summary)

Westworld. Season one.
“A dark odyssey about the dawn of artificial consciousness and the evolution of sin — exploring a world in which every human appetite, not matter how noble or depraved, can be indulged. Exploring what it means to be human through the eyes of the lifelike AI “hosts” in the park, the series investigates the boundaries of an exotic world set at the intersection of the near future and the reimagined past. Meticulously crafted and artfully designed. Westworld offers its guests an unparalleled, immersive world where they have the freedom to become who they’ve always wanted to be — or who they never knew they were. No rules, no laws, no judgment. Live without limits.” (Syndetics summary)

Personal shopper.
“Olivier Assayas, the internationally-acclaimed director of Clouds of Sils Maria and Summer Hours, returns with this ethereal and mysterious ghost story starring Kristen Stewart as a high-fashion personal shopper to the stars who is also a spiritual medium. Grieving the recent death of her twin brother, she haunts his Paris home, determined to make contact with him.” (Syndetics summary)

War for the planet of the apes.
“Caesar and his apes are forced into a deadly conflict with an army of humans led by a ruthless Colonel. After the apes suffer unimaginable losses, Caesar wrestles with his darker instincts and begins his own mythic quest to avenge his kind. As the journey finally brings them face to face, Caesar and the Colonel are pitted against each other in an epic battle that will determine the fate of both their species and the future of the planet.” (Syndetics summary)

Land of mine.
“In the aftermath of World War II, a group of surrendered German soldiers are ordered by Allied forces to remove their own land mines from the coast of Denmark.” (Syndetics summary)

New popular nonfiction for perfect summer reading!

Some fascinating books this time, about sea level rise, AI, conservatism and more!
And to end, two very different life stories: that of a young black man Michael A., and that of James Jesus Angleton, CIA spymaster.

Syndetics book coverThe water will come : rising seas, sinking cities, and the remaking of the civilized world / Jeff Goodell.
“Across the globe, scientists and civilians alike are noticing rapidly rising sea levels, and higher and higher tides pushing more water directly into the places we live, from our most vibrant, historic cities to our last remaining traditional coastal villages. With each crack in the great ice sheets of the Arctic and Antarctica, and each tick upwards of Earth’s thermometer, we are moving closer to the brink of broad disaster. The Water Will Come is the definitive account of the coming water, why and how this will happen, and what it will all mean…” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverDemocracy’s detectives : the economics of investigative journalism / James T. Hamilton.
“In democratic societies, investigative journalism holds government and private institutions accountable to the public. From firings and resignations to changes in budgets and laws, the impact of this reporting can be significant–but so too are the costs. As newspapers confront shrinking subscriptions and advertising revenue, who is footing the bill for journalists to carry out their essential work? …Hamilton chronicles a remarkable record of investigative journalism’s real-world impact, showing how a single dollar invested in a story can generate hundreds of dollars in social benefits.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverMachines that think : everything you need to know about the coming age of artificial intelligence.
“You might not realise it, but you interact with AIs every day. They route your phone calls, approve your credit card transactions and help your doctor interpret results. Driverless cars will soon be on the roads with a decision-making computer in charge. But how do machines actually think and learn? In Machines That Think, AI experts and New Scientist explore how artificial intelligence helps us understand human intelligence, machines that compose music and write stories – and ask if AI is really a threat” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverAge of discovery : navigating the risks and rewards of our second renaissance / Ian Goldin and Chris Kutarna.
“The present is a contest between the bright and dark sides of discovery. To avoid being torn apart by its stresses, we need to recognize the fact-and gain courage and wisdom from the past. Age of Discovery shows how. Now is the best moment in history to be alive, but we have never felt more anxious or divided. Human health, aggregate wealth and education are flourishing. Scientific discovery is racing forward. But the same global flows of trade, capital, people and ideas that make gains possible for some people deliver big losses to others-and make us all more vulnerable to one another…” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe reactionary mind : conservatism from Edmund Burke to Donald Trump / Corey Robin.
“In The Reactionary Mind, Robin traces conservatism back to its roots in the reaction against the French Revolution. He argues that the right was inspired, and is still united, by its hostility to emancipating the lower orders. Some conservatives endorse the free market; others oppose it. Some criticize the state; others celebrate it. Underlying these differences is the impulse to defend power and privilege against movements demanding freedom and equality — while simultaneously making populist appeals to the masses.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverSlums : the history of a global injustice / Alan Mayne.
“More than half of the world’s population now lives in urban areas, and a billion of these urban dwellers reside in neighborhoods of entrenched disadvantage–neighborhoods that are characterized as slums. Slums are often seen as a debilitating and even subversive presence within society. In reality, though, it is public policies that are often at fault, not the people who live in these neighborhoods…” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverWake up : the nine h#shtags of digital disruption / David Fagan.
“Your essential guide to the biggest revolution of the past century. David Fagan was at the forefront of this revolution as he helped take one of Australia’s largest media organisations from print to digital. In Wake Up, he explores the challenges and opportunities of the digital age from his position on the front line. He chronicles the rise of social media, online shopping, the Uber and Airbnb phenomena and the upending of traditional industries. Fagan observes the big emerging trends and examines the technologies leading this change, as the arrival of robots and artificial intelligence affects the way we live, work and play. If you haven’t been paying attention, now is the time to wake up.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverGhosts of the tsunami : death and life in Japan’s disaster zone / Richard Lloyd Parry.
“On March 11, 2011, a powerful earthquake sent a 120-foot-high tsunami smashing into the coast of northeast Japan. Richard Lloyd Parry, an award-winning foreign correspondent, lived through the earthquake in Tokyo and spent six years reporting from the disaster zone. He found himself drawn back again and again to a village that had suffered the greatest loss of all, a community tormented by unbearable mysteries of its own. What really happened to the local children as they waited in the schoolyard in the moments before the tsunami? Why did their teachers not evacuate them to safety? And why was the unbearable truth being so stubbornly covered up?” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverCuz : or, the life and times of Michael A / Danielle Allen.
“Aged 15 and living in LA, Michael Allen was arrested for a botched carjacking. He was tried as an adult and sentenced to thirteen years behind bars. After growing up in prison Michael was then released aged 26, only to be murdered three years later.
In this deeply personal yet clear-eyed memoir, Danielle Allen reconstructs her cousin’s life to try and understand how this tragedy was the end result. We become intimate with Michael’s experience, from his first steps to his first love, and with the events of his arrest, his coming of age in prison, and his attempts to make up for lost time after his release. We learn what it’s like to grow up in a city carved up by invisible gang borders; and we learn how a generation has been lost.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe ghost : the secret life of CIA spymaster James Jesus Angleton / Jefferson Morley.
“CIA spymaster James Jesus Angleton was one of the most powerful unelected officials in the United States government in the mid-20th century, a ghost of American power. From World War II to the Cold War, Angleton operated beyond the view of the public, Congress, and even the president. He unwittingly shared intelligence secrets with Soviet spy Kim Philby. He launched mass surveillance by opening the mail of hundreds of thousands of Americans. He abetted a scheme to aid Israel’s own nuclear efforts, disregarding U.S. security. He committed perjury and obstructed the JFK assassination investigation. He oversaw a massive spying operation on the antiwar and black nationalist movements and he initiated an obsessive search for communist moles that nearly destroyed the Agency.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

“Water” you waiting for? Check out these new non-fiction books!

This month: the hot topic of water, and just how lucky are we?

Syndetics book coverThe origin of others / Toni Morrison ; with a foreword by Ta-Nehisi Coates.
“America’s foremost novelist reflects on the themes that preoccupy her work and increasingly dominate national and world politics: race, fear, borders, the mass movement of peoples, the desire for belonging. What is race and why does it matter? What motivates the human tendency to construct Others? Why does the presence of Others make us so afraid? Drawing on her Norton Lectures, Toni Morrison takes up these and other vital questions bearing on identity in The Origin of Others. National Book Award winner Ta-Nehisi Coates provides a foreword to Morrison’s most personal work of nonfiction to date.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverStorming the wall : climate change, migration, and homeland security / Todd Miller.
“In Storming the Wall, Todd Miller travels around the world to connect the dots between climate-ravaged communities, the corporations cashing in on border militarization, and emerging movements for environmental justice and sustainability. Reporting from the flashpoints of climate clashes, and from likely sites of futures battles, Miller chronicles a growing system of militarized divisions between the rich and the poor, the environmentally secure and the environmentally exposed. Stories of crisis, greed and violence are juxtaposed with powerful examples of solidarity and hope in this urgent and timely message from the frontlines of the post-Paris Agreement era.” (Book jacket)

Syndetics book coverNomadland : surviving America in the twenty-first century / Jessica Bruder.
“Employers have discovered a new, low-cost labor pool, made up largely of transient older Americans. Finding that social security comes up short, often underwater on mortgages, these invisible casualties of the Great Recession have taken to the road by the tens of thousands in late-model RVs, travel trailers, and vans, forming a growing community of nomads: migrant laborers who call themselves “workampers.” In a secondhand vehicle she christens “Van Halen,” Jessica Bruder hits the road to get to know her subjects more intimately. Bruder tells a compelling, eye-opening tale of the dark underbelly of the American economy–one that foreshadows the precarious future that may await many more of us.” (adapted from book cover)

Syndetics book coverOne another’s equals : the basis of human equality / Jeremy Waldron.
“Waldron argues that there is no single characteristic that serves as the basis of equality. He says the case for moral equality rests on four capacities that all humans have the potential to possess in some degree: reason, autonomy, moral agency, and ability to love. But how should we regard the differences that people display on these various dimensions? And what are we to say about those who suffer from profound disability–people whose claim to humanity seems to outstrip any particular capacities they have along these lines? Waldron, who has worked on the nature of equality for many years, confronts these questions and others fully and unflinchingly.” (adapted from publisher’s description)

Syndetics book coverHit refresh : the quest to rediscover Microsoft’s soul and imagine a better future for everyone / Satya Nadella with Greg Shaw and Jill Tracie Nichols.
Hit Refresh is about individual change, the transformation happening inside Microsoft, and the arrival of the most exciting and disruptive wave of technology humankind has experienced–including artificial intelligence, mixed reality, and quantum computing. It examines how people, organizations, and societies can and must transform, how they must ‘hit refresh’ in their persistent quest for new energy, new ideas, and continued relevance and renewal. Yet at its core, it’s about humans and how one of our essential qualities–empathy–will become ever more valuable in a world where technological advancement will alter the status quo as never before.” (adapted from book cover)

Syndetics book coverAmericana : a 400-year history of American capitalism / Bhu Srinivasan.
“In a winning, accessible style, Bhu Srinivasan boldly takes on four centuries of American enterprise and reveals the unexpected connections that link them. We learn how Andrew Carnegie’s early job as a telegraph messenger boy paved the way for his leadership of the steel empire that would make him one of the nation’s richest men; how the gunmaker Remington reinvented itself in the postwar years to sell typewriters; how the inner workings of the Mafia mirrored the trend of consolidation and regulation in more traditional business; and how a 1950s infrastructure bill triggered a series of events that produced one of America’s most enduring brands: KFC.” (adapted from book cover)

Syndetics book coverWe were eight years in power : an American tragedy / Ta-Nehisi Coates.
“‘We were eight years in power’ was the lament of Reconstruction-era black politicians as the American experiment in multiracial democracy ended with the return of white supremacist rule in the South. In this sweeping collection of new and selected essays, Ta-Nehisi Coates explores the tragic echoes of that history in our own time: the unprecedented election of a black president followed by a vicious backlash that fueled the election of the man Coates argues is America’s ‘first white president.’ This book also examines the new voices, ideas, and movements for justice that emerged over this period–and the effects of the persistent, haunting shadow of our nation’s old and unreconciled history.” (adapted from book jacket)

Syndetics book coverBitch doctrine : essays for dissenting adults / Laurie Penny.
“Smart and provocative, witty and uncompromising, this collection of Laurie Penny’s celebrated essays establishes her as one of the most important and vibrant political voices of our time. Bitch Doctrine takes an unflinching look at the definitive issues of our age, from the shock of Donald Trump’s election and the victories of the far right to online harassment and the transgender rights movement.” (Amazon.com)

Syndetics book coverRefuge : rethinking refugee policy in a changing world / Alexander Betts and Paul Collier.
“Global refugee numbers are at their highest levels since the end of World War II, but the system in place to deal with them, based upon a humanitarian list of imagined “basic needs,” has changed little. In Refuge, Paul Collier and Alexander Betts argue that the system fails to provide a comprehensive solution to the fundamental problem, which is how to reintegrate displaced people into society. The numbers are stark: the average length of stay in a refugee camp worldwide is 17 years. Into this situation comes the Syria crisis, which has dislocated countless families, bringing them to face an impossible choice: huddle in dangerous urban desolation, rot in dilapidated camps, or flee across the Mediterranean to increasingly unwelcoming governments.” (Provided by publisher)

Syndetics book coverThey can’t kill us all : the story of the struggle for Black lives / Wesley Lowery.
“A deeply reported book that brings alive the quest for justice in the deaths of Michael Brown, Tamir Rice, and Freddie Gray, offering both unparalleled insight into the reality of police violence in America and an intimate, moving portrait of those working to end it. By posing the question, “What does the loss of any one life mean to the rest of the nation?” Lowery examines the cumulative effect of decades of racially biased policing in segregated neighborhoods with failing schools, crumbling infrastructure and too few jobs.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverTwilight of the money gods : economics as a religion and how it all went wrong / John Rapley.
“Imagine one day you went to a cash-machine and found your money was gone. You rushed to your branch, where a teller said that overnight people had stopped believing in money, and it all vanished. Seem incredible? It happened, and it could happen again. Twilight of the Money Gods is the story of economics, told not as the science it strove to be, but as the religion it became. Today, amid a crisis of faith in their expertise, we must re-imagine an economics for a new era – one filled with both danger and opportunity.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Water: quality and ownership / W.F. Benfield.
“New Zealand is fortunate in having a high quality water resource. It has fuelled an agricultural revolution where production has taken precedence over management of resources. In a world where clean water is becoming a scarce resource, we must protect ours for a nation’s future wellbeing. That is why urgent steps must be taken to address the issue of pollution of water by agricultural contamination and urban waste. The book also covers claims to “ownership” of New Zealand’s waters – from the bottling companies that take water from aquifers to make fortunes selling it overseas to demands by the Iwi Leaders Group to take ownership of a natural resource that falls from the sky. These issues have to be addressed and this book is an important step in that direction. ” (Back cover)

New DVDs to take home and enjoy

New DVDs for October include the latest reboot of the Spiderman franchise, acclaimed biopic ‘Churchill’, quirky Monster-movie comedy ‘Colossal’; and new TV with the adaptation of French crime writer Bernard Minier 1st novel, acclaimed US show ‘This Is Us’ and the latest instalment of ‘House of Cards’.

Spider-man. Homecoming.
“A young Peter Parker, who made his sensational debut in Captain America: Civil War, begins to navigate his newfound identity as the web-slinging super hero. Thrilled by his experience with the Avengers, Peter returns home, where he lives with his Aunt May, under the watchful eye of his new mentor Tony Stark. Peter tries to fall back into his normal daily routine, distracted by thoughts of proving himself.” (Syndetics summary)

Churchill.
“June 1944. Allied Forces stand on the brink: a massive army is secretly assembled on the south coast of Britain, poised to re-take Nazi-occupied Europe. One man stands in their way: Winston Churchill. An impulsive, sometimes bullying personality; fearful, obsessive and hurting. Fearful of repeating, on his disastrous command, the mass slaughter of 1915, when hundreds of thousands of young men were cut down on the beaches of Gallipoli. Obsessed with fulfilling historical greatness: his destiny.” (Syndetics summary)

My cousin Rachel.
“The movie is based on the 1951 novel by Daphne Du Maurier and tells the story of a young Englishman who plots revenge against his mysterious, beautiful cousin, believing that she murdered his guardian.” (Syndetics summary)

Colossal.
“Gloria is an out-of-work party girl who, after getting kicked out of her apartment by her boyfriend, is forced to leave her life in New York and move back to her hometown. When news reports surface that a giant creature is destroying Seoul, South Korea, Gloria gradually comes to the realization that she is somehow connected to this far-off phenomenon. As events begin to spin out of control, Gloria must determine why her seemingly insignificant existence has such a colossal effect on the fate of the world.” (Syndetics summary)

Riverdale. The complete first season.
“A subversive take on Archie and his friends, exploring small-town life, and the darkness and weirdness bubbling beneath Riverdale’s wholesome facade.” (Syndetics summary)

The frozen dead.
“A horrific discovery in a small town nestled high in the French Pyrenees begins to unravel a dark mystery that has been hidden for years. Commandant Martin Servaz starts investigating and soon discovers a dark story of madness and revenge.” (Syndetics summary)

House of cards. The complete fifth season.
In the midst of the presidential election, tensions mount in the White House as Frank and Claire continue to navigate their political careers and redefine their relationships, particularly with each other.” (Syndetics summary)

This is us. The complete first season.
“Centered on characters who share the same birthday, the story follows several decades in the lives of Jack and Rebecca Pearson. As the plot unfolds, it traverses numerous timelines, and intertwines the stories of people whose lives connect in unexpected ways. Filled with memorable performances from its acclaimed cast, it is a smart, poignant dramedy.” (Syndetics summary)

It comes at night.
“Secure within a desolate home as an unnatural threat terrorizes the world, the tenuous domestic order he has established with his wife and son is put to the ultimate test with the arrival of a desperate young family seeking refuge. Despite the best intentions of both families, paranoia and mistrust boil over as the horrors outside creep ever-closer, awakening something hidden and monstrous within him as he learns that the protection of his family comes at the cost of his soul.” (Syndetics summary)

Whitney : can I be me.
“Six-time Grammy winner Whitney Houston was one of the most successful female recording artists of all time. WHITNEY: CAN I BE ME offers a raw and uncensored look at Whitney Houston, exploring the impact her life and death had on the people around her and the world of music.” (Syndetics summary)

Appreciate perfect imperfection in our latest home, garden and DIY picks

Our first book this time, Wab-sabi welcome is a beautifully illustrated one on the Japanese art of appreciating perfection in imperfect things, and leads on to the Wabi-sabi art of entertaining.

Syndetics book coverWabi-sabi welcome : learning to embrace the imperfect and entertain with thoughtfulness and ease / Julie Pointer Adams.
“Filled with unexpected ideas and recipes, tips for creating an intimate environment, and visits to select homes around the world where the principle of wabi-sabi is woven into daily life.” (Back cover)

Syndetics book coverGrow fruit & veg in pots / Australian consultant, Jennifer Wilkinson.
Grow Fruit & Veg in Pots introduces readers to the almost endless possibilities of growing homegrown produce in pots, from raising fresh salads in a matter of days and growing your own salsa mix, to cultivating juicy exotic fruits- A Discover what fruit and veg you can grow in containers and how to get the best possible crop A Follow simple growing techniques and expert advice for every crop, and be inspired by design ideas that are a feast for the eyes A Raise salads in a matter of days, grow your own salsa mix, or have a mini orchard.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverBuilding small : sustainable designs for tiny houses & backyard buildings / David & Jeanie Stiles ; illustrations by David Stiles.
Building Small is your key to joining the tiny house revolution with designs for homes as well as a range of backyard buildings including workspaces and sheds. There’s tons of practical how-to construction advice including best practices, common pitfalls and tips for the do-it-yourself carpenter. Within these pages you’ll find: Complete plans for seven tiny houses. Strategies for outfitting your tiny house with lighting, water, heating and waste removal. Ideas for floor layout and interior design Success stories and inspirational photos of tiny homes.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverHandwoven home : weaving techniques, tips, and projects for the rigid-heddle loom / Liz Gipson.
“In Handwoven Home, weaving expert Liz Gipson explains the tools and techniques you’ll need to weave personalized home textiles on a rigid-heddle loom–the most popular loom on the market today… Whether you’re making textiles for yourself or as a gift, inside you’ll find everything you need to create a woven personal touch for any room.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverFolk fashion : understanding homemade clothes / Amy Twigger Holroyd.
“A dynamic resurgence in sewing and knitting is under way, with many people enjoying making and mending their own garments at home. However, stories abound of homemade clothes languishing at the back of the wardrobe. Amy Twigger Holroyd draws on ideas of fashion, culture and craft to explore makers’ lived experiences of creating and wearing homemade clothes in a society dominated by shop-bought garments. Using the innovative metaphor of fashion as common land, Folk Fashion investigates the complex relationship between making, well-being and sustainability.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverDoormaking : materials, techniques, and projects for building your first door / Strother Purdy.
“Few pieces of furniture, save perhaps chairs, work as hard as doors. Building them to last, especially exterior doors, takes knowledge and experience that don’t come from making other types of furniture, such as tables and bookcases. Doormaking: Materials, Techniques and Projects for Building Your First Door by woodworker Strother Purdy gathers all the information and guidance that both beginning and intermediate woodworkers need to be successful making their first door.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Image from Mightape.co.nzSmall homes, grand living / edited by Robert Klanten and Caroline Kurze.
Small Homes, Grand Living’s assortment of projects and homes pays homage to the iconic innovation within modest living areas and shows the creative usage of space in continually expanding urban areas. As more people across the globe move into cities, living space becomes a precious commodity. Designers, architects, and innovative inhabitants seek new ways of creating a home that is just as comfortable as it is functional and aesthetically pleasing.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverMy French country home : entertaining through the seasons / Sharon Santoni ; photographs by Franck Schmitt.
“Born from her experience of everyday living in France, Sharon Santoni reveals the gracious, easy French way of entertaining guests at her countryside home, year-round. Personal stories evoke the spirit of the French lifestyle, while gorgeous photos make us feel right at home. Santoni creates lush bouquets from her garden and utilizes resources from surrounding nature to lay gorgeous tables both indoors and outdoors. Venues range from a Sunday morning breakfast on the patio, to a ladies lunch in her lush garden, a formal dinner in her dining room, and a picnic by the river.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverLagom : the Swedish secret of living well / by Lola A. Åkerström.
“As the Swedish proverb goes, ‘Lagom är bäst’ (The right amount is best). Lagom sums up the Swedish psyche and is the reason why Sweden is one of the happiest countries in the world with a healthy work-life balance and high standards of living. Lagom is a way of living that promotes harmony. It celebrates fairness, moderation and being satisfied with and taking proper care of what you’ve got, including your well-being, relationships, and possessions. It’s not about having too little or too much but about fully inviting contentment into our lives through making optimal decisions.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverPotted : make your own stylish garden containers / Annette Goliti Gutierrez & Mary Gray.
“This lushly designed guide empowers you to create your own show-stopping containers made from everyday materials such as concrete, plastic, metal, terracotta, rope, driftwood, and fabric. The 23 step-by-step projects are affordable, made from accessible materials, and most importantly, gorgeous. They include new spins on old favorites, like the cinderblock garden made popular by design blogs or hanging planters made from enamelware bowls, along with never-before-seen ideas like a chimney flue planter and wall planters made from paint cans.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverHandmade home / Mark & Sally Bailey ; photography by Debi Treloar.
“Living with paintings, sculptures, ceramics, and textiles–in fact almost anything crafted by hand –will give your home a distinct personality that is welcome in this age of mass production. Handmade Home shows how living with handcrafted pieces is a joyful experience that awakens the senses and brings simple, tactile pleasure to every day. The book begins by looking at The Elements: Color, Texture, Textiles, Made by Hand, and Collecting. Next, The Homes contains 12 inspirational case studies, offering a glimpse into the private spaces of those who love to create or to live with handmade pieces.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverMake yourself at home : design your space to discover your true self / Moorea Seal ; photographs by Marissa Maharaj ; illustrations by Julia Manchik.
“This book is all about beautifying your life inside and out, helping you turn your home into a comfortable space that reflects your best self. Organized room by room, each chapter delves into what each room represents in our lives, and how we can feel at home in our spaces and at home in ourselves. You don’t have to have the perfect life or perfect home in order to infuse your space with your signature spark and feel comfortable in your space.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThriftstyle : the ultimate bargain shopper’s guide to smart fashion / Allison Engel, Reise Moore and Margaret Engel ; photographs by Roger Snider.
“A must-have guide for bargain-hunting fashionistas looking to make a statement without sabotaging their budgets. In this photo-filled, easy-to-use resource, shoppers will learn to navigate the racks of their local consignment shop, spot name brands like Versace, Dior, and Burberry, select the best quality items, and repair secondhand clothes that need some love.” (Provided by publisher)

Some new books on learning English

A good collection of new books about learning English for speakers of other languages.

Syndetics book coverThe official guide to PTE Academic : Pearson Test of English Academic / from the test developers.
“The Official Guide to PTE Academic provides comprehensive information about the test, over 200 practice tasks on CD-ROM, analysis of sample answers, test-taking tips and more. The first and only official guide for PTE Academic written by the developers of the test itself, it includes everything you need to know about the test. * Explains the features, format and scoring of PTE Academic, giving test takers a clear idea of what to expect when they take the test * Provides practice with authentic test types and questions * Includes sample answers that are actual student responses from field tests * Improves on test taking strategies * CD-ROM provides additional practice.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverPTE Academic : practice tests plus / from the test developers.
“PTE Academic Practice Tests Plus includes: * four complete practice tests with authentic test questions by PTE Academic test writers * detailed guidance, strategies and tips to teach you how to do each task type * annotated answer key and score guide to help you assess your answers * real candidate answers with comments on each spoken and written task * MP3 disc with the recordings for all of the listening and speaking tasks.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book cover39 ESL icebreakers: for teenagers and adults / Jackie Bolen + Jennifer Booker Smith ; edited by Victoria Florimont.
“All ESL/EFL/TEFL teachers who work with teenagers or adults need activities to get their classes started off on the right foot when students don’t know each other, or you. Icebreaker activities are the perfect tool for the job, but it’s not easy to find the best ones… In 39 ESL Icebreakers, you’ll get over three-dozen ideas to use in your own classroom. The highly-detailed descriptions will show you exactly how to use the activities during your lessons. The clearly and concisely explained activities will help you add instructional variety and put the focus back on your students.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverGrammar in context. Basic / Sandra N. Elbaum, Judi P. Pemán.
“The Sixth Edition of the best-selling Grammar in Context series, inspires learners through compelling stories, National Geographic images, and content, relevant to students’ lives. Students learn more, remember more, and use language more effectively when they learn grammar in context.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverAdvanced trainer : six practice tests with answers / Felicity O’Dell and Michael Black.
Advanced Trainer Second edition offers six practice tests for the revised Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE) exam combined with easy-to-follow guidance and exam tips. The first two tests are fully guided with advice on how to tackle each paper. Extra practice activities, informed by the Cambridge Learner Corpus, a bank of real candidates’ exam papers, focus on areas where students typically need the most help. This version contains a full answer key. Audio for the listening and speaking test activities is available online for download.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Simply advanced (CAE) : 8 practise tests for the Cambridge English. Advanced CAE.
“This kit contains 8 practise test for the Cambridge Advanced English examination. There are sample writings for both parts of the Paper 2 – Writing. There is also justification of the correct answers for the Reading and Listening section. This self-study edition includes audio scripts, answer key and MP3 audio CD.” (Syndetics summary)

Reading for the real world. 1 / Casey Malarcher, Andrea Janzen, Adam Worcester, Peggy Anderson.
” Free app, free website.” (Cover)

Syndetics book coverEnglish. Essential / written by Christopher Warnasch ; translated by I-Ling Hsu ; edited by Laura Riggio.
English, Complete Edition is a unique multimedia program that is designed for speakers of any language. It takes you from a beginner to an advanced level in one convenient package. At the core of English, Complete Edition is the Living Language Method(tm), based on linguistic science, proven techniques, and over 65 years of experience. Our method teaches you the whole language, so you can express yourself, not just recite memorized words or scripts.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Improve your IELTS listening & speaking skills / Barry Cusack, Sam McCarter.
“Improve your IELTS skills is a series of three skills books written for students preparing to take the IELTS examination. The series aims to help develop the skills, language and test techniques required to do well in the exam.” (back cover)

Syndetics book coverUnderstanding spoken English : a focus on everyday language in context. Book one / by Susan Boyer.

Syndetics book coverUnderstanding spoken English : a focus on everyday language in context. Book two / Susan Boyer.

Syndetics book coverUnderstanding spoken English : a focus on everyday language in context. Book three / Susan Boyer.
“This book is designed to help students of English understand spoken language as it is encountered in everyday business and social situations in English speaking environments around the world. It provides information about the social and business conventions of spoken English such as, agreeing and disagreeing politely, giving an opinion and dealing with business negotiations.” (Syndetics summary)