Recent Home, Garden & DIY picks.

It’s all about creativity and style. This month’s pick features vertical garden, best soil, and personalised design for your garden, as well as decoration and desserts for your party!

Syndetics book coverDomino : your guide to a stylish home : discovering your personal style and creating a space you love / by Domino editors, Jessica Romm Perez, Shani Silver.
“From the editors of domino magazine comes the essential guide to discovering your personal style at home. Domino: Your Guide to a Stylish Home will help readers to: Identify your personal decorating style. Find inspiration from hundreds of beautiful, inspiring photos of real homes. Style the major and minor components of your home, from textiles to table settings to art. Shop for quality pieces that will stand the test of time. Learn from domino editors and tastemakers about how to style magazine-quality looks at home…” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe good dirt / Xanthe White.
“As the title suggests, this book is all about the soil we find in our garden and more particularly how we can maximize its growing potential. If you’ve ever wondered why some plants thrive in one location but struggle in your own backyard you’ll be likely to find explanations in the soil below. Xanthe White examines the five main soil types found in New Zealand and offers advice on how to get the best from each one by working in harmony with nature. Complete with ingredients guides for each soil type and ideas and design features to enhance its fertility, this is an essential companion for anyone looking to establish a new garden or improve their existing one.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverGood Housekeeping simple household wisdom : 425 easy ways to clean & organize your home / edited by Sara Lyle Bow.
“Your home is the place where you’re free to relax, entertain, and express your personality. Filled with fabulous photographs of every room, plus genius tips, savvy shortcuts, and quick fixes for tidying, decluttering, organizing, adding style, and more, Good Housekeeping Simple Household Wisdom is your go-to guide for turning a house into the home you’ll love even more.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverModern potluck : beautiful food to share / Kristin Donnelly.
Modern Potluck is a cookbook and guide for today’s potluckers that delivers Instagram-worthy dishes packed with exciting, bold flavors. These 100 make-ahead recipes are perfect for a crowd and navigate carnivore, gluten-free, dairy-free, vegetarian, and vegan preferences gracefully. With beautiful color photographs and lots of practical information such as how to pack foods to travel, Modern Potluck is the ultimate book for gathering friends and family around an abundant, delicious meal.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverVertical gardens / Leigh Clapp & Hattie Klotz.
“Vertical gardening is a fun, creative way to grow plants in urban spaces. As long as you’ve got a blank wall or bare fence that needs beautifying, you can tend edibles, annuals, even perennials with vertical garden products. Vertical gardens will turn your bare spaces into gorgeous living walls indoors and out.” (Back cover)

Syndetics book coverSimple tailoring & alterations : hems, waistbands, seams, sleeves, pockets, cuffs, darts, tucks, fastenings, necklines, linings / J. François-Campbell.
“Revamp your wardrobe with advice from acclaimed costumer and expert tailor J. Francois-Campbell in this comprehensive guide to maintaining and altering men’s and women’s clothing. Simple Tailoring & Alterations offers concise instructions covering all tailoring and alteration techniques from replacing buttons to changing a garment’s shape for a better fit. Guided by easy to follow instructions, you will enjoy projects on skirts, dresses, pants, jackets, shirts, coats, sweaters, vests, ties, and more.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverWell played : the ultimate guide to awakening your family’s playful spirit / Meredith Sinclair.
“From Today Show contributor, Meredith Sinclair, comes this ultimate resource for awakening your playful spirit, jumpstarting your relationships, and upping your happiness quotient. In our age of digital addiction, many of us have lost our ability to be spontaneous. More parents are complaining that they no longer even remember how to play…with their children, their spouse, and even with their own friends. Don’t fret! In Well Played, expert Meredith Sinclair helps families relearn what used to come naturally and shows how to find happiness through play. (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverElbows off the table, please : recipes to make any occasion special / Jo Seagar ; photography by Jae Frew.
“Delicious, effortless recipes along with wise advice on how to navigate any social occasion. A home-cooked meal or gift of baking is still one of the best ways to show your appreciation. …Jo Seagar shares her favourite dishes for simple gatherings, special celebrations and those times when a home-made offering saves the day. Accompanied by useful tips to help you be a generous host and gracious guest, this is an indispensable kitchen-to-table companion.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe finer things : timeless furniture, textiles, and details / Christiane Lemieux ; foreword by Miles Redd.
“Quality matters. Just as a home’s foundation should be built to stand the test of time, so, too, should the furniture, objects, and elements of our rooms speak to an enduring sense of beauty and comfort. They should outlast trends and our loving day-to-day use. …Weaving together the insights and guidance of dozens of wallpaper and paint specialists, textile fabricators, accessories artisans, and interior designers, Lemieux has curated an unparalleled education in recognizing the hallmarks of timeless, heirloom-quality pieces.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverDecorate for a party : stylish and simple ideas for meaningful gatherings / Holly Becker + Leslie Shewring.
Decorate for a Party is a stunning sourcebook packed with decorating tips and techniques that will ignite your creativity. Whether you are planning a significant celebration or a simple dinner with friends, this book delivers creative ideas for every occasion.” (Amazon.co.uk)

Popular non fiction books celebrating Christmas and holidays

A collection of Christmas and celebration themed books from our shelves for you to enjoy and relax with.

Syndetics book cover100 little christmas gifts to make.
“The book is excellent value, containing 100 projects from some of Search Press’s best-selling authors. The projects cover a wide variety of crafts from including papercraft, sewing, knitting, crochet, sugarcraft, felt decorations, jewelry making, cross stitch, mosaic making, decoupage, polymer clay decorations and needlepoint. All projects are simple enough for experienced beginners and will also appeal to seasoned crafters.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverJamie Oliver’s Christmas cookbook.
“I’ve got all the bases covered with everything you need for the big day and any feasting meals over the festive period, as well as party fare, edible gifts, teatime treats, cocktails and of course, exciting ways to embrace and celebrate those leftovers. You’ll also find all the deeply important technical info you need, such as cooking charts, and wherever possible, I’ve designed the recipes to be cooked at the same oven temperature, so you can be efficient with time and oven space, and it’ll be super-easy for you to mix and match the different elements and build your own perfect Christmas meal. I haven’t held back. This book is the greatest hits, all wrapped up in one Christmas parcel.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThis change in the light : a collection of poems / Fiona Kidman.
“A superb collection of poetry from one of New Zealand’s top writers. Fiona Kidman’s exquisite and adroit poetry invites the reader into her life, introducing us to her family, friends and places she has loved. In turn it touches our own experiences, offering universal relevance and insight.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverMidcentury Christmas : holiday fads, fancies, and fun from 1945 to 1970 / Sarah Archer.
“Midcentury America was a wonderland of department stores, suburban cul-de-sacs, and Tupperware parties. Now design maven Sarah Archer tells the story of how Christmastime in America rocketed from the Victorian period into Space Age, thanks to the new technologies and unprecedented prosperity that shaped the era. The book features a visual feast of Christmastime eats and recipes, Christmas cards from artists and designers of the era, vintage how-to templates and instructions for holiday decor from Good Housekeeping and the 1960’s craft craze, and much more. Midcentury Christmas is sure to be on everyone’s most-wanted lists.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverA very merry paper Christmas : 25 creative ornaments & decorations / contributors, Anastasia Bosakowski, Ellen Deakin, Silvina De Vita, Alexandra Harrison.
“It’s the most wonderful time of the year–so celebrate in style with your own festive, homemade paper crafts. From wreaths and buntings to table settings, tree toppers, and ornaments, this collection of 25 projects offers a bounty of decorative items for a beautiful holiday. Created by some of the best crafters on Etsy, they all use straightforward techniques like cutting, folding, stapling, and taping, and include templates to guide you and plenty of helpful how-to illustrations.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverHow to celebrate everything : recipes and rituals for birthdays, holidays, family dinners, and every day in between / Jenny Rosenstrach ; photography by Chelsea Cavanaugh ; food styling by Victoria Granof.
“A warm and inviting guide to turning birthdays, holidays, and everyday occasions into cherished traditions, with more than 100 time-tested recipes… “Families crave rituals,” says Jenny Rosenstrach, and by rituals she means not just the big celebrations–Valentine’s Day dinners, Mother’s Day brunches, Halloween send-offs, Thanksgiving feasts, holiday cocktail parties–but the little ones we may not even realize are rituals…” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverUgly Christmas sweater party : Christmas crafts, recipes, activities / Brandy & Matt Shay.
“Put on your ugly holiday sweater and get ready to PARTY! Whether you’re planning your own wacky celebration or contributing to someone else’s festive affair, here are the most deliciously ugly (in a good way!) ideas for making Christmas merry. Dress up in a crazy Poinsettia Poncho. Serve easy-to-prepare eats and drinks like Strawberry Santa Hats and Jingle Bells Sangria. Play a game of Candy Cane Pickup. You’re ready to go: just set the date!” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverChristmas at designer’s homes across America / Katharine Kaye McMillan ; Patricia Hart McMillan ; foreword by Rose Bennett Gilbert.
“Almost 400 colour images treat readers to dazzling holiday visions that leading designers have realised in their own homes — scenes usually reserved for family and friends. Be inspired by their decorating strategies and hands-on ingenuity while gleaning insider tips for preserving trees — both fresh and artificial — and caring for ornaments. Get the scoop on unusual colour schemes and centrepieces. This treasure trove showcases one-of-a-kind holiday ideas from some of the nation’s most talented interior designers, who share not only their aesthetic tastes but also family holiday rituals and favourite Christmas traditions.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverChristmas Carols [paperback]
“Everyone loves a Christmas carol – in the end, even Scrooge. They have the power to summon up a special kind of midwinter mood, like the aroma of mince pies and mulled wine and the twinkle of lights on a tree. It’s a kind of magic. But how did they get that magic? In Christmas Carols Andrew Gant tells the story of some twenty carols, each accompanied by lyrics and music, unravelling a captivating – and often surprising – tale of great musicians and thinkers, saints and pagans, shepherd boys, choirboys, monks and drunks.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverMake your own Christmas jumper : 20 fun and easy projects to make in a day (even if you can’t knit!) / Nicolette Lafonseca.
“Christmas just wouldn’t be the same without a kitsch novelty knit – now you can make your own with these, fast, easy, no-knit ideas for one-of-a-kind Christmas jumpers. Once the sort of embarrassing gift you’d only get from your granny, these days seasonal patterned knitwear has gone well and truly mainstream. Whether it’s for charity, the office party, the kids’ nativity or the big day itself, an ironic Christmas jumper is the only thing to be seen in. With the trend growing each year, it’s increasingly difficult to be original. Unless, of course, you make your own….” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Recent new non-fiction books

Our first pick this time is an interesting book about Queen Elizabeth I who, after being excommunicated, turned to the Islam world for allies. Our last book is a celebration of popular British culture.
In-between, the always popular Sociology for Beginners in a new edition.

Syndetics book coverThe Sultan and the Queen: The Untold Story of Elizabeth and Islam
“History watchers know that 2016’s Brexit doesn’t mark the first time England has divorced itself from Europe. With the Protestant Queen Elizabeth I’s excommunication in 1570, England looked to the south (Morocco) and east (the Ottoman Empire and its enemy, Persia) for new allies in trade and war…” (adapted from Library Journal)

Syndetics book coverHow population change will transform our world / Sarah Harper.
“Population growth, primarily in Asia and Africa, is the focus of much concern. But, as Sarah Harper explains, it is not so much population growth as the changing age structures of populations that is set to transform the world in future decades.” (book jacket)

Syndetics book coverAs right as rain : the meaning and origins of popular expressions / Caroline Taggart.
“Let’s not beat about the bush: the English language is littered with linguistic quirks, which, out of context, seem completely peculiar. If you can’t quite cut the mustard, this book will explain how on earth ‘off the cuff’ came to express improvisation, why a ‘gut feeling’ is more intuitive than a brainwave, and who the heck is ‘happy’ Larry…” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverGood cop, bad war : my life undercover inside Britain’s biggest drug gang / Neil Woods with JS Rafaeli.
Good Cop, Bad War is a unique story about a man with a striking ability to infiltrate and extinguish drug gangs, but who, as the success of his operations grows, becomes disillusioned with the War on Drugs, ‘as he sees how it demonises those who need help while empowering the very worst elements in society’.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverGirls & sex : navigating the complicated new landscape / Peggy Orenstein.
“Bestselling journalist Orenstein follows up Cinderella Ate My Daughter with a look at what happens when the little princess hits puberty. The result is an eye-opening, sometimes horrifying look at sex for today’s girls and young adults. Through frank interviews, research, and school visits, Orenstein reveals that, on average, young women are engaging in sexual contact earlier than ever, in more varied ways, and reporting more coercion and less satisfaction than their male counterparts.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverBeyond measure : rescuing an overscheduled, overtested, underestimated generation / Vicki Abeles ; with Grace Rubenstein.
“…Pulling from powerful anecdotes and convincing new research, Abeles presents inspirational, quantifiable success stories and shows how anyone–students, parents, and educators–can effect change. Teachers who cut students’ workload see scores rise; kids discover their own motivation once parents relieve the pressure to perform; schools that institute later start times have well-rested students who are able to learn more efficiently; and schools that emphasize depth over test prep find students more attentive, inventive, and ready to thrive.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverRaising the transgender child : a complete guide for parents, families, & caregivers / Dr. Michele Angello & Alisa Bowman.
“Written by Dr. Michele Angello, a leading therapist and go-to expert in the field of transgender parenting, and Ali Bowman, bestselling writer and parent advocate, Raising the Transgender Child helps readers champion and celebrate gender diverse children while at the same time shedding fear, anger, sadness, and embarrassment. With specific and actionable advice–including coming-out letters, identity challenges, school and caregiver communications, and more –the guide provides a wealth of science-backed information alongside friendly and practical wisdom that is sure to comfort, guide, and inspire the family and friends of transgender and gender diverse children.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverA farewell to ice / Peter Wadhams ; with a foreword by Walter Munk.
“Most of the scientific establishment predict that the North Pole will be free of ice around the middle of this century. As Peter Wadhams, the world’s leading expert on sea ice, demonstrates in this book, even this assessment of the future is optimistic. Wadhams has visited the Polar Regions more often than any other living scientist – 50 times since he was on the first ship to circumnavigate the Americas in 1970 – and has a uniquely authoritative perspective on the changes they have undergone and where those changes will lead. From his observations and the latest scientific research, he describes how dramatically sea ice has diminished over the past three decades, to the point at which, by the time this book is published, the Arctic may be free of ice for the first time in 10,000 years.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverSociology for beginners / Richard Osborne.
“Sociology is the study of how society functions, or in some cases does not function. There are many competing schools of sociology with different conceptual systems. This introductory book traces the origins of these systems, from Enlightenment thought and the work of Auguste Comte to Karl Marx, Herbert Spencer, Emile Durkheim and Max Weber. Also outlines are the rapid expansion of sociology in 20th-century America and Britain, the post-World War II dominance of Talcott Parsons, the Chicago School, the rise of Structuralism, postmodernism, globalisation and digital society.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe Tea Party and the remaking of Republican conservatism / Theda Skocpol and Vanessa Williamson.
“On February 19, 2009, CNBC commentator Rick Santelli delivered a dramatic rant against Obama administration programs to shore up the plunging housing market. Invoking the Founding Fathers and ridiculing “losers” who could not pay their mortgages, Santelli called for “Tea Party” protests. Over the next two years, conservative activists took to the streets and airways, built hundreds of local Tea Party groups, and weighed in with votes and money to help right-wing Republicans win electoral victories in 2010.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe great British dream factory : the strange history of our national imagination / Dominic Sandbrook.
“…Britain’s empire has gone. We no longer matter as we once did. And yet there is still one area in which we can legitimately claim superpower status: our popular culture. …This is a book about the success and the meaning of Britain’s modern popular culture, from Bond and the Beatles to Catherine Cookson and Coronation Street, from Harry Potter, heavy metal and Kate Bush to Damien Hirst, Downton Abbey and Grand Theft Auto. Dominic Sandbrook’s superbly rich, entertaining and thought-provoking book makes it clear that The Great British Dream Factory is a very strange and wonderful place indeed.” (Syndetics summary)

New popular non-fiction

From politics to climate change, the refugee crisis to “Senior Moments”, there are some light hearted topics in amongst the serious issues in this months’ selection.

Syndetics book coverCrash, bang, wallop : the inside story of London’s Big Bang and a financial revolution that changed the world / Iain Martin.
“Big Bang was the dramatic moment in October 1986 when London became a testing ground for a new type of global finance. It embodied a wider revolution and the birth of a new age of fully electronic trading, transcontinental commerce and wealth creation on titantic scale. Published to mark the 30th anniversary of Big Bang, Crash, Bang, Wallop is the definitive, unflinching story of what really happened during one of the most daring and ambitious financial experiments in history.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe madhouse effect : how climate change denial is threatening our planet, destroying our politics, and driving us crazy / Michael E. Mann and Tom Toles.
“Through satire, The Madhouse Effect portrays the intellectual pretzels into which denialists must twist logic to explain away the clear evidence that man-made activity has changed our climate. Toles’s cartoons collapse counter-scientific strategies into their biased components, helping readers see how to best strike at these fallacies. Mann’s expert skills at science communication aim to restore sanity to a debate that continues to rage against widely acknowledged scientific consensus.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverCast away : true stories of survival from Europe’s refugee crisis / Charlotte McDonald-Gibson.
“In 2015, more than one million migrants and refugees, most fleeing war-torn countries in Africa and the Middle East, attempted to make the perilous journey into Europe. Around three thousand lost their lives as they crossed the Mediterranean and Aegean in rickety boats provided by unscrupulous traffickers, including over seven hundred men, women, and children in a single day in April 2015.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe great derangement : climate change and the unthinkable / Amitav Ghosh.
“The extreme nature of today’s climate events, Ghosh asserts, make them peculiarly resistant to contemporary modes of thinking and imagining. This is particularly true of serious literary fiction: hundred-year storms and freakish tornadoes simply feel too improbable. In the writing of history, too, the climate crisis has sometimes led to gross simplifications. Ghosh ends by suggesting that politics, much like literature, has become a matter of personal moral reckoning rather than an arena of collective action. But to limit fiction and politics to individual moral adventure comes at a great cost. The climate crisis asks us to imagine other forms of human existence–a task to which fiction, Ghosh argues, is the best suited of all cultural forms. His book serves as a great writer’s summons to confront the most urgent task of our time.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverWorktown : the astonishing story of the birth of Mass-Observation / David Hall.
“In the late 1930s the Lancashire town of Bolton witnessed a ground-breaking social experiment. Over three years, a team of ninety observers recorded, in painstaking detail, the everyday lives of ordinary working people at work and play – in the pub, dance hall, factory and on holiday. Their aim was to create an ‘anthropology of ourselves’. The first of its kind, it later grew into the Mass Observation movement that proved so crucial to our understanding of public opinion in future generations.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverSenior moments : looking back, looking ahead / Willard Spiegelman.
Senior Moments is a series of discrete essays that, when taken together, constitute the life of a man who, despite Western cultural notions of aging as something to be denied, overcome, and resisted, has continued to relish the simplest of pleasures: reading, looking at art, talking, and indulging in occasional fits of nostalgia while also welcoming what inevitably lies ahead. Spiegelman’s expertly crafted book considers, with wisdom and elegance, how to be alert to the joys that brim from unexpected places even as death draws near”– Provided by publisher, adapted.

Syndetics book coverFeminist fight club : an office survival manual (for a sexist workplace) / Jessica Bennett ; illustrations by Saskia Wariner, with Hilary Fitzgerald Campbell.
“In Feminist Fight Club, acclaimed journalist Jessica Bennett blends the personal stories of her real-life fight club with research, statistics, and no-bullsh*t advice for how to combat today’s sexism (and come out the other side). Part manual, part manifesto, Bennett offers a new vocabulary for the sexist archetypes women encounter every day–such as the Manterrupter, who talks over female colleagues in meetings; or the Bropropriator, who appropriates their ideas–as well as the self-sabotaging behavior women sometimes exhibit themselves…” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverHomo deus : a brief history of tomorrow / Yuval Noah Harari.
“…Yuval Noah Harari, author of the bestselling ‘Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind’, envisions a not-too-distant world in which we face a new set of challenges. In Homo Deus, he examines our future with his trademark blend of science, history, philosophy and every discipline in between. Homo Deus explores the projects, dreams and nightmares that will shape the twenty-first century from overcoming death to creating artificial life. It asks the fundamental questions: Where do we go from here? And how will we protect this fragile world from our own destructive powers? This is the next stage of evolution.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverPolitics : between the extremes / Nick Clegg.
“Politics has changed. For decades Britain was divided between Left and Right but united in its belief in a two-party state. Now, with nationalism resurgent and mainstream parties in turmoil, stark new divisions define the country and the centre ground is deserted. As Deputy Prime Minister of Britain’s first coalition government in over fifty years, Nick Clegg witnessed this change from the inside. Here he offers a frank account of his experiences from his spectacular rise in the 2010 election to a brutal defeat in 2015, from his early years as an MEP in Brussels to the tumultuous fall-out of Britains EU referendum and puts the case for a new politics based on reason and compromise.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverIs the planet full? / edited by Ian Goldin.
“While it is common to hear about the problems of overpopulation, might there be unexplored benefits of increasing numbers of people in the world? How can we both consider and harness the potential benefits brought by a healthier, wealthier and larger population? May more people mean more scientists to discover how our world works, more inventors and thinkers to help solve the world’s problems, more skilled people to put these ideas into practice?” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe Fix: How Nations Survive and Thrive in a World in Decline
“We all know the bad news… Jonathan Tepperman’s The Fix presents a very different picture. The book reveals the often-overlooked success stories, offering a provocative, unconventional take on the answers hiding in plain sight. The Fix presents practical advice for problem-solvers of all stripes, and stands as a necessary corrective to the hand-wringing and grim prognostication that dominates the news, making a data-driven case for optimism in a time of crushing pessimism.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

New non-fiction books in October

This month a book about relationships from the author of ‘The Game’ begins our chosen list, and the powerful, New York Times bestseller ‘Hillbilly Elegy’ completes it.

Syndetics book coverThe truth : an uncomfortable book about relationships / Neil Strauss.
“The New York Times journalist made a name for himself advocating freedom, sex and opportunity as author of The Game — with intimacy and long-term commitment taking a back seat. That is, until he met the woman who forced him to ask the questions that men and women are asking themselves every day: *Is it natural to be faithful to one person for life? *Do alternatives to monogamy lead to better relationships and greater happiness? *Can you keep passion and romance from fading over time?” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverChina’s hidden children : abandonment, adoption, and the human costs of the one-child policy / Kay Ann Johnson.
“In the thirty-five years since China instituted its One-Child Policy, 120,000 children– mostly girls– have left China through international adoption, including 85,000 to the United States. It is generally assumed that this diaspora is the result of China’s approach to population control, but there is also the underlying belief that the majority of adoptees are daughters because the One-Child Policy often collides with the traditional preference for a son. While there is some truth to this, it does not tell the full story– a story with deep personal resonance to Kay Ann Johnson, a China scholar and mother to an adopted Chinese daughter.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe bully, the bullied, and the bystander : from preschool to high school : how parents and teachers can help break the cycle of violence / Barbara Coloroso.
“Drawing on her decades of work with troubled youth and her wide experience with conflict resolution and reconciliatory justice, bestselling parenting educator Barbara Coloroso offers a practical and compassionate book destined to become a groundbreaking guide to this escalating problem. Coloroso helps readers recognize the characteristic triad of bullying: the bully who perpetrates the harm; the bullied who is the target (and who may become a bully); and the bystander–peers, siblings, or adults who don’t act to defuse the situation…” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverMind over money : the psychology of money and how to use it better / Claudia Hammond.
“A day doesn’t go by without money coming into our interactions. But how much do we really understand it? We know we need money. We tend to want more of it. But why do we behave the way we do with it? And why does it have such a hold on us? Award-winning BBC Radio 4 presenter Claudia Hammond delves into the surprising psychology of money to show us that our relationship with the stuff is more complex than we might think…” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe war on women : and the brave ones who fight back / Sue Lloyd-Roberts.
“In 1973, Sue Lloyd Roberts joined ITN as a news trainee and went on to be the UK’s first female video-journalist to report alone from the bleak outposts of the Soviet Union, China and Iran. During her 30-year-long career she travelled the world and witnessed the worst atrocities inflicted on women. But in observing first-hand the war on the female race she also documented their incredible determination to fight back…” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverRaising an entrepreneur : 10 rules for nurturing risk takers, problem solvers, and change makers / Margot Machol Bisnow.
“In this book, a political powerhouse and mother of two thriving entrepreneurs interviews the moms of over fifty of today’s most successful innovators and–based on her findings–provides ten rules for raising confident, fearless, self-made individuals whose ideas and drive will change the world…” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe cure for catastrophe : how we can stop manufacturing natural disasters / Robert Muir-Wood.
“A global risk expert defends his assertion that disasters are manufactured by people building in the wrong places and in the wrong way and recounts the ways people have fought back against natural disasters, including the development of new predictive technologies.” (NoveList)

Syndetics book coverThe new better off : reinventing the American dream / Courtney E. Martin.
“Are we living the good life–and what defines ‘good’, anyway? Americans today are constructing a completely different framework for success than their parents’ generation, using new metrics that TED speaker and columnist Courtney Martin has termed collectively the “New Better Off”.” (Provided by publisher)

Syndetics book coverDisrupted : ludicrous misadventures in the tech start-up bubble / Dan Lyons.
“Dan Lyons was Technology Editor at Newsweek Magazine for years, a magazine writer at the top of his profession. One Friday morning he received a phone call: his job no longer existed. Fifty years old and with a wife and two young kids, Dan was unemployed and facing financial oblivion. Then an idea hit. Dan had long reported on Silicon Valley and the tech explosion. Why not join it? HubSpot, a Boston start-up, was flush with $100 million in venture capital. They offered Dan a pile of stock options for the nebulous role of “marketing fellow.” What could possibly go wrong?” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverHillbilly elegy : a memoir of a family and culture in crisis / J.D. Vance.
“The Vance family story begins hopefully in postwar America. J. D.’s grandparents were “dirt poor and in love,” and moved north from Kentucky’s Appalachia region to Ohio in the hopes of escaping the dreadful poverty around them. They raised a middle-class family, and eventually their grandchild (the author) would graduate from Yale Law School, a conventional marker of their success in achieving generational upward mobility. But as the family saga of Hillbilly Elegy plays out, we learn that this is only the short, superficial version… Vance piercingly shows how he himself still carries around the demons of their chaotic family history. A deeply moving memoir with its share of humor and vividly colorful figures, Hillbilly Elegy is the story of how upward mobility really feels.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Keep an eye out for these new non-fiction books this month!

An interesting collection this month includes a new publication of the 25 year old classic The hidden face of Eve.

Syndetics book coverThis brave new world : India, China and the United States / Anja Manuel.
“In the next decade and a half, China and India will become two of the world’s indispensable powers–whether they rise peacefully or not. During that time, Asia will surpass the combined strength of North America and Europe in economic might, population size, and military spending. Both India and China will have vetoes over many international decisions, from climate change to global trade, human rights, and business standards…” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe Nordic theory of everything : in search of a better life / Anu Partanen.
“A Finnish journalist, now a naturalized American citizen, asks Americans to draw on elements of the Nordic way of life to nurture a fairer, happier, more secure, and less stressful society for themselves and their children. Moving to America in 2008, Finnish journalist Anu Partanen quickly went from confident, successful professional to wary, self-doubting mess. She found that navigating the basics of everyday life–from buying a cell phone and filing taxes to education and childcare–was much more complicated and stressful than anything she encountered in her homeland… As Partanen explains step by step, the Nordic approach allows citizens to enjoy more individual freedom and independence than we do…” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe hidden face of Eve : women in the Arab world / Nawal El Saadawi ; translated and edited by Sherif Hetata ; foreword by Ronak Husni.
“This powerful non-fiction account of the oppression of women in the Muslim world remains as shocking today as when it was first published, more than a quarter of a century ago. Nawal El Saadawi writes out of a powerful sense of the violence and injustice which permeated her society. Her experiences working as a doctor in villages around Egypt, witnessing prostitution, honour killings and sexual abuse, including female circumcision, drove her to give voice to this suffering. Saadawi argues that the veil, polygamy and legal inequality are incompatible with the essence of Islam or any human faith.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverCode warriors : NSA’s codebreakers and the secret intelligence war against the Soviet Union / Stephen Budiansky.
“…The National Security Agency was born out of the legendary codebreaking programs of World War II that cracked the famed Enigma machine and other German and Japanese codes, thereby turning the tide of Allied victory. In the postwar years, as the United States developed a new enemy in the Soviet Union, our intelligence community found itself targeting not soldiers on the battlefield, but suspected spies, foreign leaders, and even American citizens…” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverMan (dis)connected : how the digital age is changing young men forever / Philip Zimbardo and Nikita D. Coulombe.
“Masculinity is in meltdown. Young men are failing as never before : academically, socially and sexually. But why? And what needs to be done? Internationally-acclaimed psychologist Philip Zimbardo, and research partner Nikita Coulombe, show how symptoms include excessive gaming and porn use, apathy and drug abuse. They argue that digital technologies create alternative worlds that many boys find less demanding and more rewarding than real life, yet which are ultimately harmful.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverA million years in a day : a curious history of everyday life from the Stone Age to the phone age / Greg Jenner.
“Who invented beds? When did we start cleaning our teeth? How old are wine and beer? Which came first: the toilet seat or toilet paper? What was the first clock? Every day, from the moment our alarm clock wakes us in the morning until our head hits our pillow at night, we all take part in rituals that are millennia old. Structured around one ordinary day, [this book] reveals the astonishing origins and development of the daily practices we take for granted… It is the story of your life, one million years in the making.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverDragons : ten entrepreneurs who built Britain / Liam Byrne.
Dragons tells the story of Britain’s advance through the lives of ten titans of British commerce. Beginning with the Tudor merchants who transformed England’s economy by creating the companies and colonies of the New World… Fast paced and using fresh research, Dragons explains how history’s great change-makers helped build not only Britain but the modern commercial world – before asking some of today’s entrepreneurs: what are the lessons of history for the world-beaters of the future?” (adapted from book jacket)

Syndetics book coverBrazillionaires : the godfathers of modern Brazil / Alex Cuadros.
“In 2012, Brazilian tycoon Eike Batista was the eighth richest man in the world, his $30bn fortune built on Brazil’s incredible natural resources. By the middle of 2013 he had lost it all, engulfed in scandal… Along the way, it tells the parallel story of Brazil itself, a country caught in the cycle of boom and bust, renewed hope and dashed promise; a country where the hyper-rich are at the heart of the economy – and where their wealth can buy immense political power. Stefan Zweig said in 1941 that Brazil was the country of the future; Brazilians joke that it always will be…” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe life project : the extraordinary story of 70,000 ordinary lives / Helen Pearson.
“In March 1946, scientists began to track thousands of children born in one cold week. No one imagined that this would become the longest-running study of human development in the world, growing to encompass five generations of children. Today, they are some of the best-studied people on the planet, and the simple act of observing human life has changed the way we are born, schooled, parent and die. This is the tale of these studies and the remarkable discoveries that have come from them. Touching people across the globe, they are one of the world’s best-kept secrets.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverRope : a history of the Hanged / Amanda Howard.
“This is a short history of the hanged … criminal and political cases, the guilty and the wrongly accused. There are some incredible stories herein, badly conducted hangings, innocent men and women, miraculous survivals and horrific deaths. Writer Amanda Howard has uncovered and relatively unknown history, delving into case studies of individuals and entire communities, even, obsessed with hanging throughout the ages.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Popular non-fiction titles this month

This month, many ladies are featured in our new books… as well as economics, politics, journalism and philosophy. Something to get your teeth into!

Syndetics book coverFinance as warfare / Michael Hudson.
“Michael Hudson is one the world’s foremost critics of contemporary financial capitalism. He is also one of a tiny handful of eminent economists who is leading us to look at old questions in startling new ways. Professor Hudson is the author of numerous books on international finance and economic history, and a frequent contributor to leading newspapers and public affairs sites.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverAll the single ladies : unmarried women and the rise of an independent nation / Rebecca Traister.
“In 2010, Rebecca Traister started a book that she thought would be about the twenty-first-century phenomenon of the American single woman, but she made a startling discovery: historically, when women have had options beyond early heterosexual marriage, their resulting independence has provoked massive social change. Unmarried women were crucial to the abolition, suffrage, temperance, and labor movements; they created settlement houses and secondary education for women. Today, only 20% of Americans are wed by age 29, compared to nearly 60% in 1960. The Population Reference Bureau calls it a “dramatic reversal.” Traister sets out to examine how this generation of independent women is changing the world.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverPistols and petticoats : 175 years of lady detectives in fact and fiction / Erika Janik.
“A lively exploration of the struggles faced by women in law enforcement and mystery fiction for the past 175 years. In 1910 Alice Wells took the oath to join the all-male Los Angeles Police Department. She wore no uniform, carried no weapon, and kept her badge stuffed in her pocketbook. She wasn’t the first or only policewoman, but she became the movement’s most visible voice. Police work from its very beginning was considered a male domain, far too dangerous and rough for a woman to even contemplate much less take on as a profession. Women who donned the badge faced harassment and discrimination. It would take more than seventy years for women to enter the force as full-fledged officers.”–Provided by publisher.

Syndetics book coverThe Amazons : lives and legends of warrior women across the ancient world / Adrienne Mayor.
“Amazons–fierce warrior women dwelling on the fringes of the known world–were the mythic archenemies of the ancient Greeks. Heracles and Achilles displayed their valor in duels with Amazon queens, and the Athenians reveled in their victory over a powerful Amazon army. In historical times, Cyrus of Persia, Alexander the Great, and the Roman general Pompey tangled with Amazons. But just who were these bold barbarian archers on horseback who gloried in fighting, hunting, and sexual freedom? Were Amazons real? In this deeply researched, wide-ranging, and lavishly illustrated book, Adrienne Mayor presents the Amazons as they have never been seen before.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverHarley and me : embracing risk on the road to a more authentic life / Bernadette Murphy.
“What happens when women in midlife step out of what’s predictable? For Bernadette Murphy, learning to ride a motorcycle at forty-eight becomes the catalyst that transforms her from a settled wife and professor with three teenage children into a woman on her own. The confidence she gained from mastering a new skill and conquering her fears gave her the courage to face deeper issues in her own life and start taking risks. …With scientific research and journalistic interviews weaving through a page-turning, road trip narrative, this is a compelling look at how one woman found deeper meaning out on the open road.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverWhat I told my daughter : lessons from leaders on raising the next generation of empowered women / edited by Nina Tassler, with Cynthia Littleton.
“In What I Told My Daughter, entertainment executive Nina Tassler has brought together a powerful, diverse group of women–from Madeleine Albright to Ruth Bader Ginsburg, from Dr. Susan Love to Whoopi Goldberg–to reflect on the best advice and counsel they have given their daughters either by example, throughout their lives, or in character-building, teachable moments between parent and child.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe lady with the Borzoi : Blanche Knopf, literary tastemaker extraordinaire / Laura Claridge.
“Left off her company’s fifth anniversary tribute but described by Thomas Mann as “the soul of the firm,” Blanche Knopf began her career when she founded Alfred A. Knopf with her husband in 1915. A conduit to the literature of Langston Hughes and the Harlem Renaissance, Blanche also legitimized the hard-boiled detective fiction of writers such as Dashiell Hammett, James M. Cain, and Raymond Chandler; signed and nurtured literary authors like Muriel Spark; acquired momentous works of journalism by John Hersey and William Shirer; and introduced American readers to Albert Camus, André Gide, and Simone de Beauvoir.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverSaving capitalism : for the many, not the few / Robert B. Reich.
“Leading political economist and bestselling author Robert B. Reich presents a paradigm-shifting, clear-eyed examination of a political and economic status quo that no longer serves the people, exposing one of the most pernicious obstructions to progress today: the enduring myth of the “free market” when, behind the curtain, it is the powerful alliances between Washington and Wall Street that control the invisible hand. … Visionary and acute, Saving Capitalism illuminates the path toward restoring America’s fundamental promise of opportunity and advancement.” (Book jacket)

Syndetics book coverGoing red : the two million voters who will elect the next president–and how conservatives can win them / Ed Morrissey.
“Ed Morrissey argues that the fate of conservatism hangs on the 2016 election–and on a mere seven counties that will decide the whole race. Together, these counties are home to only 2 million people (that is, 1.5% of the American population), but it was in these communities that Barack Obama won the 2008 and 2012 elections, and in 2016, they hold the key to the states Republicans must win in order to take back the White House. Due to the Democrats’ misadventures under the Obama administration, the door is open for Republicans to win these counties–and the presidency…” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe ancient art of growing old / Tom Payne.
“Bette Davis said ‘Old age ain’t no place for sissies’. If that’s true, we could all use a little help as we approach our twilight years. Translator Tom Payne turns to Ovid, Seneca, Hippocrates, Plato, Aristotle, and Aristophanes to discover invigorating counsel on mental decline, medicine, late love affairs, death and legacy. This lively tour of ancient attitudes to ageing, supplemented by a translation of Cicero’s On Old Age’, reveals the true art of growing old gracefully.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe power paradox : how we gain and lose influence / Dacher Keltner.
“…It is taken for granted that power corrupts. This is reinforced culturally by everything from Machiavelli to contemporary politics. But how do we get power? And how does it change our behavior? So often, in spite of our best intentions, we lose our hard-won power. Enduring power comes from empathy and giving. Above all, power is given to us by other people. This is what all-too-often we forget, and what Dr. Keltner sets straight. …Dr. Keltner lays out exactly–in twenty original “Power Principles”– how to retain power, why power can be a demonstrably good thing, and the terrible consequences of letting those around us languish in powerlessness.” (Syndetics summary)

Popular new non-fiction books in April, with the spotlight on economics

New books this month include the best selling Ta-Nehisi Coates book Between the world and me.

Syndetics book coverThe age of stagnation : why perpetual growth is unattainable and the global economy is in peril / Satyajit Das.
“Das, selected by Bloomberg Markets as one of the 50 most influential financial thinkers, provides an accessible and deeply alarming look at the current world economy and anticipated future downward trends. After a concise summary of the post-WWII era, which he terms “the New Gilded Age,” Das reviews the 2007 financial crisis, providing a perspective that will be useful even for well-informed readers…” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverEnd game : tipping point for planet Earth? / Anthony D. Barnosky and Elizabeth A. Hadly.
In End Game, world-renowned scientists Anthony Barnosky and Elizabeth Hadly draw on their work to explain the growing threats to humanity as the planet edges towards a resource war for remaining space, food, oil and water. And as they show, these wars are not the nightmares of a dystopian future but are already happening today… Finally, they ask: at what point will inaction become the break-up of the intricate workings of the global society? The planet is in danger now, but the solutions, as Barnosky and Hadly show, are still available. We still have the chance to avoid the tipping point and to make the future better… (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThis is an uprising : how nonviolent revolt is shaping the twenty-first century / Mark Engler and Paul Engler.
“How do short-term uprisings become long-term movements? Why are some protests sensationalized while others are forgotten? Mark Engler and Paul Engler answer these questions successfully while profiling the work of Gene Sharp, a theorist of nonviolent action. Although nonviolence was popularized by Mahatma Gandhi’s Salt March (1930) and Martin Luther King Jr.’s Birmingham Campaign (1963), the ideology dates to ancient Rome. The authors emphasize that uprisings don’t have to triumph, they simply have to bring awareness to an issue, and when nonviolence is met with violence, it garners public sympathy… (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe profiteers : Bechtel and the men who built the world / Sally Denton.
“The tale of the Bechtel family dynasty is a classic American business story. It begins with Warren A. “Dad” Bechtel, who led a consortium that constructed the Hoover Dam. From that auspicious start, the family and its eponymous company would go on to “build the world,” from the construction of airports in Hong Kong and Doha, to pipelines and tunnels in Alaska and Europe, to mining and energy operations around the globe. Today Bechtel is one of the largest privately held corporations in the world, enriched and empowered by a long history of government contracts and the privatization of public works, made possible by an unprecedented revolving door between its San Francisco headquarters and Washington. Bechtel executives John McCone, Caspar Weinberger, and George P. Shultz segued from leadership at the company to positions as Director of the CIA, Secretary of Defense, and Secretary of State, respectively…” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe only game in town : central banks, instability, and avoiding the next collapse / Mohamed A. El-Erian.
“Our current economic path is coming to an end. Where we go when we reach this inflection point – toward renewed growth and prosperity, or toward increased malaise and financial chaos – is not pre-destined. It is up to us; to our assessment of the situation and our actions, both as individuals and collectively. Now El-Erian, one of the most influential and highly regarded thinkers in the world, provides us with a diagnosis and roadmap to understanding where we are today, how and why our central banks have become the essential actors in the current global economy, but cannot remain so, and where we can – indeed, should and must – go from here as individual investors, households, economies, societies, and governments” (Provided by publisher).

Syndetics book coverShredded : inside RBS, the bank that broke Britain / Ian Fraser.
“The Royal Bank of Scotland was once one of the most successful and profitable financial institutions in the world; revered, admired and trusted by millions of savers and investors. A trusted employer for tens of thousands of people, with branches on nearly every high street in the land. Now, the very mention of the bank’s name causes fury and resentment, and the former CEO, Fred Goodwin, is regarded by many as the one of the principal culprits of the worst financial crash since 1929. Now, for the first time, award-winning financial journalist Ian Fraser reveals how the ‘light touch, limited touch’ approach to financial regulation of New Labour and the aggressive, confrontational, autocratic and reckless style of Fred Goodwin led to disaster, not just for the Royal Bank of Scotland, but for everyone in the UK…” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverClimate change, capitalism, and corporations : processes of creative self-destruction / Christopher Wright and Daniel Nyberg.
“Climate change is one of the greatest threats facing humanity, a definitive manifestation of the well-worn links between progress and devastation. This book explores the complex relationship that the corporate world has with climate change and examines the central role of corporations in shaping political and social responses to the climate crisis. The principal message of the book is that despite the need for dramatic economic and political change, corporate capitalism continues to rely on the maintenance of ‘business as usual’. The authors explore the different processes through which corporations engage with climate change. Key discussion points include climate change as business risk, corporate climate politics, the role of justification and compromise, and managerial identity and emotional reactions to climate change…” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe end of alchemy : money, banking and the future of the global economy / Mervyn King.
“Most accounts of the recent (financial) crisis focus on the symptoms and not the underlying causes of what went wrong. But those events, vivid though they remain in our memories, comprised only the latest in a long series of financial crises since our present system of commerce became the cornerstone of modern capitalism. The End of Alchemy explains why, ultimately, this was and remains a crisis not of banking – even if we need to reform the banking system – nor of policy-making – even if mistakes were made – but of ideas.” (Book jacket)

Syndetics book coverEmpire of things : how we became a world of consumers, from the fifteenth century to the twenty-first / Frank Trentmann.
“What we consume has become a central–perhaps the central–feature of modern life. Our economies live or die by spending, we increasingly define ourselves by our possessions, and this ever-richer lifestyle has had an extraordinary impact on our planet. How have we come to live with so much stuff, and how has this changed the course of history? In Empire of Things, Frank Trentmann unfolds the extraordinary story of our modern material world, from Renaissance Italy and late Ming China to today’s global economy. With an eye to the present and future, Frank Trentmann provides a long view on the global challenges of our relentless pursuit of more–from waste and debt to stress and inequality.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverBetween the world and me / Ta-Nehisi Coates.
“…In a profound work that pivots from the biggest questions about American history and ideals to the most intimate concerns of a father for his son, Ta-Nehisi Coates offers a powerful new framework for understanding our nation’s history and current crisis. Americans have built an empire on the idea of “race,” a falsehood that damages us all but falls most heavily on the bodies of black women and men – bodies exploited through slavery and segregation, and, today, threatened, locked up, and murdered out of all proportion. What is it like to inhabit a black body and find a way to live within it? And how can we all honestly reckon with this fraught history and free ourselves from its burden? Between the World and Me is Ta-Nehisi Coates’s attempt to answer these questions in a letter to his adolescent son…” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverInventing the future : postcapitalism and a world without work / Nick Srnicek and Alex Williams.
“”A bold new manifesto for life after capitalism. Against the confused understanding of our high-tech world by both the right and the left, this book claims that the emancipatory and future-oriented possibilities of our society can be reclaimed. Instead of running from a complex future, Nick Srnicek and Alex Williams demand a postcapitalist economy capable of advancing standards, liberating humanity from work and developing technologies that expand our freedoms”– Page 4 of cover.” (Syndetics summary)

Spotlight on women around the world – New popular non-fiction in April

From secret lives to radical ideas, selection training with the SAS, to proposing alternative economics, books about women, and by women dominate the chosen books for this month.

Syndetics book coverThe future we want : radical ideas for a new century / edited by Sarah Leonard and Bhaskar Sunkara.
“The Occupy movement gave us energy and language, but its critics were quick to ask “What are the ideas?” The Future We Want is the answer. In a sharp, rousing collective manifesto, nineteen cultural and political critics under the age of thirty dismantle the usual liberal solutions to America’s ills and propose something else.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverExcellent daughters : the secret lives of young women who are transforming the Arab world / Katherine Zoepf.
“”As a journalist based in the Middle East in the years after 9/11, Zoepf was in a unique position to observe the political and cultural zeitgeist emerging from the Arab world… Based on interviews and conversations with women in five Arab countries, including the hot spots of Syria, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia as well as Lebanon and the United Arab Emirates, Zoepf profiles women at the forefront of the headline-grabbing Arab Spring rebellion and behind the scenes of quieter yet equally intense societal changes. Zoepf immersed herself in Arab culture, attending classes, parties, and all-girl gab sessions, to create this unparalleled portrait of what life is like for young Arab women and how their influence on regional and global issues is not to be discounted.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverHeartificial intelligence : embracing our humanity to maximize machines / by John C. Havens.
“…We’ve entered an era where a myriad of personalization algorithms influence our every decision, and the lines between human assistance, automation, and extinction have blurred. We need to create ethical standards for the Artificial Intelligence usurping our lives, and allow individuals to control their identity based on their values. Otherwise, we sacrifice our humanity for productivity versus purpose and for profits versus people…” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverWhat goes around : a London cycle courier’s story / Emily Chappell.
“At twenty-five, Emily Chappell thought she’d eventually earn her living as an academic. She took up cycle couriering while she searched for a ‘real job’. Seven years on, she is still riding. Couriering is her most enduring love affair, a career that has shaped her life, and has derailed any hope of a ‘normal’ existence. As she flies through the streets of London, dancing with the traffic, Chappell records the pains and pleasures – both mental and physical of life on wheels: the hurting, dangerous missions; the moments of fear and freedom, anger and exhaustion; the camaraderie of the courier tribe; the conflict and harmony between bicycle and road, body and mind.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverFair economics : nature, money and people, beyond neoclassical thinking / Irene H. Schoene.
“Modern economics bases its view of the world on assumptions about nature and people laid down by Adam Smith, nearly 300 years ago, in a time when people traveled by horse and carriage and wrote by the light of candles. We now live in a globally connected, postindustrial world of digital communication and space exploration–and yet, our economic model remains stuck in the past. In Fair Economics, Irene Schoene puts forward an alternative economics that is not only relevant to our modern world of technology and industry but which also shows an awareness of environmental and geographic considerations…” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverApostrophe catastrophe and other grammatical grumbles / Patrick C. Notchtree.
“The apostrophe causes more problems in the English language than any other aspect of grammar. Grown adults with a university education don’t know how to use it properly, and our high streets are filled with hilarious examples of its misuse. Join the pedants as they revolt against the misuse of this essential piece of punctuation and with one simple rule learn how to use the apostrophe correctly – once and for all.” (Book cover)

Syndetics book coverTheir promised land : my grandparents in love and war / Ian Buruma.
“During the almost six years England was at war with Nazi Germany, Winifred and Bernard Schlesinger, Ian Buruma’s grandparents, and the film director John Schlesinger’s parents, were, like so many others, thoroughly sundered from each other. Their only recourse was to write letters back and forth. The thousands of letters between them were part of an inheritance that ultimately came into the hands of their grandson, Ian Buruma. Now, in a labor of love that is also a powerful act of artistic creation, Ian Buruma has woven his own voice in with theirs to provide the context and counterpoint necessary to bring to life, not just a remarkable marriage, but a class, and an age.” (Book jacket)

Syndetics book coverWorlds apart : a Muslim girl with the SAS / Azi Ahmad.
“This is a remarkable book about a clash between very different worlds: the British Army and Britain’s Muslim community. It follows a young girl’s extraordinary journey from working in the family kebab shop in Manchester to a London barracks where the Colonel of 21 SAS unit is putting women through selection training with the men. Lacking military experience, physically slight and, as a Muslim, socially isolated, Alisha is plunged into the ordeal with eleven other girls and 200 men. She soon realises the physical challenge is the least of her worries. Deep-rooted ethnic and gender prejudices need overcoming and she is faced with trying to defend her religion and culture within a regimented and hostile environment, a situation that is not helped by the events of 9/11…” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverSmart women finish rich : 9 steps to achieving financial security and funding your dreams / David Bach.
“A financial crusader for women’s financial empowerment shares his motivating strategies for achieving real wealth and financial security–newly updated and revised.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe button box : lifting the lid on women’s lives / Lynn Knight.
“Inspired by her own shimmering box of toggles, clasps and buckles, Knight takes us on an ingenious tour of domestic and social history over the last century… From this core of very personal material, Knight writes more generally of ordinary women’s lives and changing prospects over three generations, of clothes as self-expression, as defiance, as entertainment, as evidence of frugality and frivolity all rolled into one.” (Amazon.co.uk)”

Our new popular non-fiction books in March feature politics around the world…

From Russia and China to Spain and Greece, this month’s political books take us around much of the world. Also featured are oil, Lego Mindstorms and mindful tech, something for everyone!

Syndetics book coverWhy Europe failed / Oliver Hartwich.
“Over the past years, we have become used to Europe’s debt crisis. However, fiscal problems of countries such as Greece are only the tip of the iceberg. Europe’s crisis has much deeper roots. In this essay, Dr Oliver Hartwich presents a sketch of Europe’s decline. The continent that invented and dominated the modern world has gambled away its future.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe world in conflict : understanding the world’s troublespots / John Andrews.
“…In The World in Conflict, John Andrews tackles head-on the reasons why global conflict is an ever-present in our lives. He analyses today’s conflicts continent by continent, considering the causes, participants, impact and likely outcomes. He looks at recently-ended wars that remain prone to intermittent fighting. And, crucially, he considers where, why and how new conflicts might erupt. This is a book for our times, an essential guide for anyone and everyone who wants to know more about the world’s main danger spots and how and why war and terrorism persist – in short, how we might better understand our world in conflict.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe industries of the future / Alec Ross.
“…Ross had the opportunity to travel to numerous countries and learn about recent and upcoming innovations. He predicts that the near future will provide amazing inventions, including suits that enable paraplegics to walk and drugs that cure some kinds of cancer. Identifying certain industries as key drivers of changes, Ross devotes individual chapters to robotics, advanced life sciences, and cyberwarfare. He also shows that the empowerment of women, both economically and politically, is a key indicator of impending success. Ross discusses the threat to the middle class posed by increased income inequality, and lastly, he covers how best to prepare children to enter the vastly changed workplace ahead…” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverOne child : the story of China’s most radical experiment / Mei Fong. 
“…Malaysian-born Chinese journalist Fong writes a compassionate account of a chilling social experiment of staggering impact. The Chinese Communist Party’s quota on children was implemented to address poverty and enable economic growth, but its repercussions are profound. The 35-year practice has brought a severe, chronic baby shortage to the world’s most populous country, along with a shortage of women, a great and growing disproportion of elderly people, and generations of children raised in a quirky social environment, subject to both great coddling and scarily lofty expectations. Coerced abortions and sterilizations, situations of baby trafficking, and other horrors have been perpetrated on a numbingly large scale, but Fong illumines individual grief and dignity…” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverPolitics in a time of crisis : Podemos and the future of European democracy / Pablo Iglesias ; translation by Lorna Scott Fox.
“Since 2011, Pablo Iglesias has led Podemos, a new radical left party in Spain that is reframing the nature of modern politics. Under his guidance, the party has unmasked the ideological motives behind European austerity, revealing the true nature of this power grab conducted on behalf of elites intent on dismantling the welfare state.” (Book jacket)

Syndetics book coverThe Maisky diaries : red ambassador to the Court of St James’s, 1932-1943 / edited by Gabriel Gorodetsky ; translated by Tatiana Sorokina and Oliver Ready.
“The terror and purges of Stalin’s Russia in the 1930s discouraged Soviet officials from leaving documentary records let alone keeping personal diaries. A remarkable exception is the unique diary assiduously kept by Ivan Maisky, the Soviet ambassador to London between 1932 and 1943. This selection from Maisky’s diary, never before published in English, grippingly documents Britain’s drift to war during the 1930s, Churchill’s rise to power, the German invasion of Russia, and the intense debate over the opening of the second front… ” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverMindful tech : how to bring balance to our digital lives / David M. Levy.
“From email to smart phones, and from social media to Google searches, digital technologies have transformed the way we learn, entertain ourselves, socialize, and work. Despite their usefulness, these technologies have often led to information overload, stress, and distraction. David M. Levy, who has lived his life between the “fast world” of high tech and the “slow world” of contemplation, offers a welcome guide to being more relaxed, attentive, and emotionally balanced while online.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverBlood oil : tyrants, violence, and the rules that run the world / Leif Wenar.
“Natural resources like oil and minerals are the largest source of unaccountable power in the world. Petrocrats like Putin and the Saudis spend resource money on weapons and oppression; militants in Iraq and in the Congo spend resource money on radicalization and ammunition. Resource-fueled authoritarians and extremists present endless crises to the West-and the source of their resource power is ultimately ordinary consumers, doing their everyday shopping at the gas station and the mall. …Blood Oil shows how the West can now lead a peaceful revolution by ending its dependence on authoritarian oil, and by getting consumers out of business with the men of blood.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverBreaking out of the man box : the next generation of manhood / Tony Porter.
“This book tackles the collective socialization of manhood and provides an in-depth look at the experiences of boys and men. In an effort to understand the many aspects of “what it means to be a man,” Porter suggests the topic is worthy of being rethought, challenged, and even redefined. This book will help men–fathers, husbands, brothers, coworkers, etc.–unpack and correct those realities.” (Book jacket)

Syndetics book coverHacking your Lego Mindstorms EV3 kit / John Baichtal.
“You can do way more with your LEGO Mindstorms EV3 kit than anyone ever told you! …You’ll discover just how much you can do with only the parts that came with your kit-and how much farther you can go with extremely low-cost add-ons like Arduino and Raspberry Pi. You’ll learn how to reprogram your Mindstorms Intelligent Brick to add additional hardware options and create more complex programs.” (Book jacket)