8 Non-Fiction Health Books worth checking out in August

From analyzing the science and looking at the evidence to listening to memoirs and personal experiences we recommend that you check out this list of 8 non-fiction health books new to the collection!

Syndetics book coverDirt is good : the advantage of germs for your child’s developing immune system / Jack Gilbert, Ph.D., and Rob Knight, Ph.D. with Sandra Blakeslee.
“From two of the world’s top scientists and one of the world’s top science writers comes a Q&A-based guide to everything you need to know about kids & germs. “Is it OK for my child to eat dirt?” is just one of the many questions authors Jack Gilbert and Rob Knight are bombarded with every week. The internet is rife with speculation and misinformation about the risks and benefits of what most parents think of as simply germs. Dirt Is Good is a comprehensive, authoritative and accessible guide you’ve been searching for to answer these questions.” (Adapted Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe Harvard Medical School guide to yoga : 8 weeks to strength, awareness, and flexibility / by Marlynn Wei, MD, JD and James E. Groves, MD.
“While there are many yoga books available, most are based on an individual yogis expertise. This book relies on modern medical science to illustrate the benefits of yoga;and offers a practical, easy-to-implement plan. This 8-week program features step-by-step sequences that are easy to learn and practice at home with minimal equipment. The book also offers poses and sequences targeted to improve arthritis, cardiovascular health, type 2 diabetes, weight loss, sleep issues, chronic pain, neurological disorders, as well as depression, anxiety, stress, and more.” (Adapted Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe boy in 7 billion : a true story of love, courage and hope / Callie Blackwell and Karen Hockney.
“True story,  Deryn Blackwell is a walking, talking miracle. At the age of 10, he was diagnosed with Leukaemia. Then 18 months later he developed another rare form of cancer called Langerhan’s cell syndrome. Only five other people in the world have it, he is the youngest of them all and the only person in the world known to be fighting it alongside another cancer, making him one in seven billion. This is the true story of the extraordinary lengths that a mother went to, to help her dying son.” (Adapted Syndetics Review)

Syndetics book coverLifted : 28 days to strengthen your body, focus your mind + elevate your spirit / Holly Rilinger with Myatt Murphy.
“There’s a secret to a successful fitness program: you won’t feel truly satisfied with your results until your mind and spirit are as strong as your body. That’s why Holly Rilinger created LIFTED , the first program to combine the mental and emotional benefits of meditation with the amazingly fast results of HIIT (high-intensity interval training ).  This 28-day program will show you how to focus on your goals and commit to daily movement and meditation.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverBoys don’t cry / Tim Grayburn.
“Meet Tim. For nearly a decade he kept his depression secret. It made him feel so weak and shameful he thought it would destroy his whole life if anyone found out. And Tim is not alone. After finally opening up he realised that mental illness was affecting many men around the globe, and he knew that wasn’t ok. A brutally honest, wickedly warming and heart-breaking tale about what it really takes to be a ‘real man’, written by one who decided that he wanted to change the world by no longer being silent. This is Tim’s story, but it could be yours too.” (Adapted Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe wellness project : how I learned to do right by my body, without giving up my life / Phoebe Lapine
“After she was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease in her early twenties, Phoebe Lapine bounced among every fat diet and new health program on the bestseller list in her attempt to get well, only to experience mixed results and a life of deprivation that seemed unsustainable at best. The Wellness Project is the insightful and hilarious result of a 12 year exploration. Part memoir and part health and wellness primer, it’s a must-read not just for those suffering from autoimmune disease, but for anyone looking for simple ways to improve their health without sacrificing life’s pleasures.” (Adapted Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverMy lovely wife : a memoir of madness and hope / Mark Lukach.
“With compassion and candour, in My Lovely Wife, Mark takes us through years with his wife and her battle with mental illnesses. A story of the fragility of the mind, and the tenacity of the human spirit, this is, above all, a love story that raises profound questions: How do we best care for the people we love? What and who do we live for? Breath-taking in its honesty, radiant with compassion, written with dazzling lyricism, this intensely personal odyssey offers much-needed insight into the caregiving side of mental illness, and affirms the power of love.” (Adapted Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverRigor mortis : how sloppy science creates worthless cures, crushes hope, and wastes billions / Richard Harris.
“Bad science doesn’t just hold back medical progress, it can sign the equivalent of a death sentence. Often, research institutes and academia emphasize publishing results over getting the right answers, incentivizing poor experimental design, improper methods, and sloppy statistics. In Rigor Mortis, award-winning science journalist Richard F. Harris reveals these urgent issues with vivid anecdotes, personal stories, and interviews with the nation’s top biomedical researchers. We need to fix our dysfunctional biomedical system-now.” (Adapted Syndetics summary)

New non-fiction books

This time we have some books about politics, some books on economics, the anthropocene, and a cold war spy story for your reading pleasure!

Syndetics book coverWell, you did ask : why the UK voted to leave the EU / Michael Ashcroft & Kevin Culwick.
“The UK’s vote to leave the European Union shocked the world – not to mention many people in Britain. What it revealed about our country is at least as significant for the future of politics as Brexit itself. Drawing on more than two years of intensive research by Lord Ashcroft Polls, Well, You Did Ask explains how voters came to make the most momentous political decision of our time – how they saw the choice before them, what they made of the campaign, its personalities, claims and counterclaims – and why they ultimately chose to take the UK out of the EU. To think clearly about what the referendum result means, we first need to understand how it came about. The answers are in this book.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverMove fast and break things : how Facebook, Google, and Amazon have cornered culture and what it means for all of us / Jonathan Taplin.
“Google. Amazon. Facebook. The modern world is defined by vast digital monopolies turning ever-larger profits. Those of us who consume the content that feeds them are farmed for the purposes of being sold ever more products and advertising. Those that create the content – the artists, writers and musicians – are finding they can no longer survive in this unforgiving economic landscape. But it didn’t have to be this way.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverScale : the universal laws of growth, innovation, sustainability, and the pace of life in organisms, cities, economies, and companies / Geoffrey West.
“Visionary physicist Geoffrey West is a pioneer in the field of complexity science, the science of emergent systems and networks… Fascinated by issues of aging and mortality, West applied the rigor of a physicist to the biological question of why we live as long as we do and no longer. The result was astonishing, and changed science, creating a new understanding of energy use and metabolism: West found that despite the riotous diversity in the sizes of mammals, they are all, to a large degree, scaled versions of each other… West’s work has been game changing for biologists, but then he made the even bolder move of exploring his work’s applicability…and applied…[it] to the business and social world.” (Provided by publisher)

Syndetics book coverRevolting! : how the establishment are undermining democracy and what they’re afraid of / Mick Hume.
“We live in strange days in the history of democracy. Every serious politician in the Western world supports it. Yet when the EU referendum and American election both delivered the ‘wrong’ result, elites changed the merit of the people’s will, and some even tried to block it. …And yet the answer will never be to impose limitations. Popular democracy must offer better choices, rather than removing choice altogether. It’s time to defend democracy and fight for more of it, with no ifs, buts or backtracks.” (adapted from book jacket)

Defiant Earth : the fate of humans in the anthropocene / Clive Hamilton.
“Humans have become so powerful that we are disrupting the functioning of the earth, to the point where scientists now consider we have entered a new geological epoch, the Anthropocene. Clive Hamilton argues this forces us to rethink what kind of creature we humans are, and to acknowledge the power we still have to change the world for good.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book cover$uperhubs : how the financial elite and their networks rule our world / Sandra Navidi.
$UPERHUBS is a rare, behind-the-scenes look at how the world’s most powerful titans, the -superhubs- pull the levers of our global financial system. Combining insider’s knowledge with principles of network science, Sandra Navidi offers a startling new perspective on how superhubs build their powerful networks and how their decisions impact all our lives. $UPERHUBS reveals what happens at the exclusive, invitation-only platforms – The World Economic Forum in Davos, the meetings of the International Monetary Fund, think-tank gatherings and exclusive galas…” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverAdults in the room : my battle with Europe’s deep establishment / Yanis Varoufakis
“Varoufakis sparked one of the most spectacular and controversial battles in recent political history when, as finance minister of Greece, he attempted to re-negotiate his country’s relationship with the EU. Despite the mass support of the Greek people and the simple logic of his arguments, he succeeded only in provoking the fury of Europe’s political, financial and media elite. But the true story of what happened is almost entirely unknown. In this fearless account, Varoufakis reveals all: an extraordinary tale of brinkmanship, hypocrisy, collusion and betrayal that will shake the deep establishment to its foundations.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverA little history of economics / Niall Kishtainy.
“What causes poverty? Are economic crises inevitable under capitalism? Is government intervention in an economy a helpful approach or a disastrous idea? The answers to such basic economic questions matter to everyone, yet the unfamiliar jargon and math of economics can seem daunting. This clear, accessible, and even humorous book is ideal for young readers new to economics and for all readers who seek a better understanding of the full sweep of economic history and ideas.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverIn the long run we are all dead : Keynesianism, political economy, and revolution / Geoff Mann.
“A groundbreaking debunking of moderate attempts to resolve financial crises. If, in liberal capitalism, political economy is the science of government, what is it for? Is it distributional, to realize the revolution without revolutionaries? Or is it to figure out how to forestall the revolution, to teach the masses to consent to remain poor? Keynesianism is the political economy that answers ‘yes’ on both counts: the solution to crisis-induced liberal anxiety since the French Revolution, an anxiety for which “political economy” seemed a cure. If the financial crisis of 2007-2008 briefly resurrected a Keynesian sensibility long declared dead, its reluctant radicalism finds itself renewed not because ‘Keynesian economics’ is palatable once more, but because the risks to “civilization” have posed themselves so aggressively it seems no one can afford not to listen”– Provided by publisher.

Syndetics book coverThe new urban crisis : how our cities are increasing inequality, deepening segregation, and failing the middle class– and what we can do about it / Richard Florida.
“In recent years, the young, educated, and affluent have surged back into cities, reversing decades of suburban flight and urban decline… Florida, one of the first scholars to anticipate this back-to-the-city movement …demonstrates how the same forces that power the growth of the world’s superstar cities also generate their vexing challenges: gentrification, unaffordability, segregation, and inequality. …A bracingly original work of research and analysis, The New Urban Crisis offers a compelling diagnosis of our economic ills and a bold prescription for more inclusive cities capable of ensuring growth and prosperity for all.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe man with the poison gun : a Cold War spy story / Serhii Plokhy.
“In 1961, a KGB agent defected to West Germany. The 30-year-old man in police custody had papers in the name of an East German, Josef Lehmann, but claimed his real name was Bogdan Stashinsky, a citizen of the Soviet Union. On the orders of his KGB bosses, he had traveled on numerous occasions to Munich, where he singlehandedly tracked down and killed two enemies of the communist regime. He used a new, specially designed secret weapon–a spray pistol delivering liquid poison that, if fired into the victim’s face, killed without leaving any trace. In 1962, after spilling his secrets to the CIA, Stashinsky was put on trial in what would be the most publicized assassination case in Cold War history.” (Adapted from publisher’s description)

Popular non-fiction books in January

From books about making money to books about making war: economics, the human condition and rearing teenagers, there’s something for everyone in this month’s collection of new non-fiction books!

Syndetics book coverThe spies of winter : the GCHQ codebreakers who fought the Cold War / by Sinclair McKay.
“…Fascinating and insightful revelations from deep within the archives of this secret organisation reveal the story of the tumultuous early years of GCHQ as it navigated its way through an era of double agents, deception and betrayals. From the defection of the Cambridge Five and the treachery of the atomic scientist Klaus Fuchs, to the collapse of the British Empire, the ascension of Chairman Mao and the emergence of the US as a superpower, McKay deftly explores the impact these events had on the fledgling organisation.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverDefeating Jihad : the winnable war / Dr. Sebastian Gorka.
“Since September 11, 2001, America has been at war. And that’s about all anyone can say with certainty about a conflict that has cost 7,000 American lives and almost $2 trillion. As long as the most basic strategic questions–Who is the enemy? Why are we fighting?–remain unanswered, victory is impossible. Yet this war is eminently winnable if we remove our ideological blinders, accurately name our enemy, and draw up a strategy to defeat him. So says Dr. Sebastian Gorka, one of the most experienced and sought-after authorities on counterterrorism…” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverDo humankind’s best days lie ahead? / Steven Pinker, Matt Ridley, Alain de Botton, Malcolm Gladwell ; edited by Rudyard Griffiths.
“From the Enlightenment onwards, the West has had an enduring belief that through the evolution of institutions, innovations, and ideas, the human condition is improving… But is progress inevitable? What is seen as a breakthrough or innovation in one period becomes a setback or limitation in another. In short, progress is an ideology not a fact; a way of thinking about the world as opposed to a description of reality. So is the cup half full or half empty? As part of the Munk Debates series, held in Toronto biannually, pioneering cognitive scientist Steven Pinker and bestselling author Matt Ridley squared off against noted philosopher Alain de Botton and bestselling author Malcolm Gladwell, giving us an entertaining and thought-provoking face-off between four of the world’s most renowned thinkers.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe econocracy : the perils of leaving economics to the experts / Joe Earle, Cahal Moran and Zach Ward-Perkins.
“One hundred years ago the idea of ‘the economy’ didn’t exist. Now, improving the economy has come to be seen as perhaps the most important task facing modern societies. Politics and policymaking are conducted in the language of economics and economic logic shapes how political issues are thought about and addressed. The result is that the majority of citizens, who cannot speak this language, are locked out of politics while political decisions are increasingly devolved to experts. The econocracy explains how economics came to be seen this way – and the damaging consequences. It opens up the discipline and demonstrates its inner workings to the wider public so that the task of reclaiming democracy can begin.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverSex, likes and social media : talking to our teens in the digital age / Allison Harvey and Deana Puccio.
“Welcome to the world of the Digital Native, where self-esteem is measured in Likes, everyone is sexting and ‘Pimps and Hoes’ is an acceptable party theme. Dates have been replaced with swipes, rape jokes are hilarious and ‘No’ means ‘Yes’. For most parents, the digital landscape that our kids and teens are growing up in is uncharted territory. How do we know if they’re happy? How do we talk to them about sex and relationships? How do we give them the new tools they need when we don’t have them ourselves? This book is here to help. Based on their professional work with young people, parents and teachers – and their experiences with their own children – Deana Puccio and Allison Havey give you the tools.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverProperty entrepreneur : the wealth dragon way to build a successful property business / Vincent Wong.
“…Author Vincent Wong is one of the UK’s most dynamic and respected property entrepreneurs, and this book outlines his approach to creating wealth through property investing for both seasoned and aspiring investors. Emphasising the importance of treating property investing as a business, the author shares the wisdom of his first-hand experience and his investment techniques to help you navigate the ever-shifting property market and become a true property entrepreneur…” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverMolecular red : theory for the Anthropocene / McKenzie Wark.
“In Molecular Red, McKenzie Wark creates philosophical tools for the Anthropocene, our new planetary epoch, in which human and natural forces are so entwined that the future of one determines that of the other. …From the scientific pioneers who were trying to transform science during the Russia Revolution, to visionaries contemplating cyborg possibilities and science fiction dreams in late twentieth-century California, Molecular Red not only looks at the crisis of climate change that we face but also how we might be able to understand it, and how we might salvage some hope out of the wreckage.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverUtopia is creepy : and other provocations / Nicholas Carr.
“With a razor wit, Nicholas Carr cuts through Silicon Valley’s unsettlingly cheery vision of the technological future to ask a hard question: Have we been seduced by a lie? Gathering a decade’s worth of posts from his blog, Rough Type, as well as his seminal essays, Utopia Is Creepy offers an alternative history of the digital age, chronicling its roller-coaster crazes and crashes, its blind triumphs, and its unintended consequences. …In famous essays including “Is Google Making Us Stupid?” and “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Privacy,” Carr dissects the logic behind Silicon Valley’s “liberation mythology,” showing how technology has both enriched and imprisoned us–often at the same time…” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe unnatural world : the race to remake civilization in Earth’s newest age / David Biello.
“A Science Friday and Smithsonian Magazine Best Science Book of the Year. With the historical perspective of ‘The Song of the Dodo’ and the urgency of Al Gore’s ‘An Inconvenient Truth’, a brilliant young environmental journalist argues that we must innovate and adapt to save planet Earth. Civilization is in crisis, facing disasters of our own making on the only planet known to bear life in the vast void of the universe. We have become unwitting gardeners of the Earth, not in control, but setting the conditions under which all of life flourishes–or not. Truly, it’s survival of the innovators.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverRe-imagining capitalism / edited by Dominic Barton, Dezsö Horváth, and Matthias Kipping.
“Capitalism has been an unprecedented engine of wealth creation for many centuries, leading to sustained productivity gains and long-term growth and lifting an increasing part of humanity out of poverty and subsistence. But its effects, and hence its future, have come increasingly under question: Is capitalism still improving the wealth and well-being for the many? Or, has it become destructive for the economy, where long-term value creation is being sacrificed to the pressures of short-termism; for society, where the gap between rich and poor has increased and opportunities to lift oneself out of poverty have dwindled; and for the natural environment, which seems increasingly under threat with unforeseen consequences for prosperity and global order? This volume reflects both the urgency of the needed action and the opportunity to achieve a wide-ranging agreement and lasting movement towards a more responsible, equitable, and sustainable model of capitalism in order to ensure its very survival. ” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Popular Non-fiction books for holiday reading

Some more substantial reading just in time for your holidays.

Syndetics book coverRebel crossings : new women, free lovers, and radicals in Britain and America / Sheila Rowbotham.
Rebel Crossings relates the interweaving lives of four women and two men as they journey from the nineteenth to the twentieth century, from Britain to America, and from Old World conventions toward New World utopias. Radicalised by the rise of socialism, Helena Born, Miriam Daniell, Gertrude Dix, Robert Nicol and William Bailie cross the Atlantic dreaming of liberty and equality. …offers fascinating perspectives on the historical interaction of feminism, socialism, and anarchism and on the incipient consciousness of a new sense of self, so vital for women seeking emancipation.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverFour futures : visions of the world after capitalism / Peter Frase.
“Capitalism is going to end: Peter Frase argues that increasing automation and a growing scarcity of resources, thanks to climate change, will bring it all tumbling down. In Four Futures, Frase imagines how this post-capitalist world might look, deploying the tools of both social science and speculative fiction to explore what communism, rentism, socialism and exterminism might actually entail. A whirlwind tour through science fiction, social theory and the new technologies already shaping our lives, Four Futures is a balance sheet of the socialisms we may reach if a resurgent Left is successful, and the barbarisms we may be consigned to if those movements fail.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe optician of Lampedusa / Emma Jane Kirby.
“From an award-winning BBC journalist, this moving book turns the testimony of an accidental hero into a timeless story about the awakening of human courage and conscience. Emma-Jane Kirby has reported extensively on the reality of mass migration today. In The Optician of Lampedusa she brings to life the moving testimony of an ordinary man whose late summer boat trip off a Sicilian island unexpectedly turns into a tragic rescue mission.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverNorth Korea’s hidden revolution : how the information underground is transforming a closed society / Jieun Baek.
“One of the least understood countries in the world, North Korea has long been known for its repressive regime. Yet it is far from being an impenetrable black box. Media flows covertly into the country, and fault lines are appearing in the government’s sealed informational borders. Drawing on deeply personal interviews with North Korean defectors from all walks of life, ranging from propaganda artists to diplomats, Jieun Baek tells the story of North Korea’s information underground–the network of citizens who take extraordinary risks by circulating illicit content…” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverNo place to hide : climate change : a short introduction for New Zealanders / Jim Flynn.
“Millions of educated people all over the world feel powerless in the face of climate change and its consequences, partially because the literature on the environment is so vast it is difficult to know where to begin. This short book is intended to make their search for truth manageable. …Its strongest claim is that there are really two kinds of sceptics we must rebut: not just climate change deniers but also climate engineering deniers. …we must face the fact that climate engineering is necessary to buy the time to achieve carbon-free energy, and unless this is implemented soon, we will pass the point of no return.” (Book jacket)

Syndetics book coverThe master plan : ISIS, Al Qaeda, and the Jihadi strategy for final victory / Brian H. Fishman.
“An incisive narrative history of the Islamic State, from the 2005 master plan to reestablish the Caliphate to its quest for Final Victory in 2020. Given how quickly its operations have achieved global impact, it may seem that the Islamic State materialized suddenly. In fact, al-Qaeda’s operations chief, Sayf al-Adl, devised a seven-stage plan for jihadis to conquer the world by 2020 that included reestablishing the Caliphate in Syria between 2013 and 2016. Despite a massive schism between the Islamic State and al-Qaeda, al-Adl’s plan has proved remarkably prescient. In summer 2014, ISIS declared itself the Caliphate after capturing Mosul, Iraq–part of stage five in al-Adl’s plan… Only by understanding the Islamic State’s full history–and the strategy that drove it–can we understand the contradictions that may ultimately tear it apart.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverWhiplash : how to survive our faster future / Joi Ito and Jeff Howe.
“The world is more complex and volatile today than at any other time in our history. The tools of our modern existence are getting faster, cheaper, and smaller at an exponential rate, just as billions of strangers around the world are suddenly just one click or tweet or post away from each other… The logic of a faster future oversets the received wisdom of the past, and the people who succeed will be the ones who learn to think differently. In WHIPLASH, Joi Ito and Jeff Howe distill that logic into nine organizing principles for navigating and surviving this tumultuous period.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe social organism : a radical understanding of social media to transform your business and life / Oliver Luckett and Michael J. Casey.
“In barely a decade, social media has positioned itself at the centre of twenty-first-century life. The combined power of platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, and Vine have helped topple dictators and turned anonymous teenagers into celebrities overnight. How did this happen? The scope and pace of these changes have left traditional businesses — and their old-guard marketing gatekeepers — bewildered. We simply do not comprehend social media’s form, function, and possibilities. It’s time we did.” (Book jacket)

Syndetics book coverThank you for being late : an optimist’s guide to thriving in the age of accelerations / Thomas L. Friedman.
“We all sense it – something big is going on. You feel it in your workplace. You feel it when you talk to your children. You can’t miss it when you read the newspapers or watch the news. Our lives are speeding up – and it is dizzying. Friedman’s thesis is that to understand the twenty-first century, you need to understand that the planet’s three largest forces – Moore’s law (technology), the market (globalization) and Mother Nature (climate change and biodiversity loss) – are all accelerating at once, transforming the workplace, politics, geopolitics, ethics and community.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

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)

New non-fiction books in September

An eclectic mix this month, with something for everyone!

Syndetics book coverThe book : a cover-to-cover exploration of the most powerful object of our time / Keith Houston.
“From discussing papyrus to perfect binding, Houston (Shady Characters) takes readers on an exploration of the origins and evolution of the book. …a fascinating story enriched with descriptions of technical innovation, the curious experiments of printers and entrepreneurs, and a close examination of how the language, art, and science of bookmaking has developed (and in some cases remained the same) over centuries.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverEasternisation : war and peace in the Asian century / Gideon Rachman.
“Easternisation is the defining trend of our age–the growing wealth of Asian nations is transforming the international balance of power. This shift to the East is shaping the lives of people all over the world, the fate of nations, and the great questions of war and peace. A troubled but rising China is now challenging America’s supremacy, and the ambitions of other Asian powers–including Japan, North Korea, India, and Pakistan–have the potential to shake the whole world. Meanwhile the West is struggling with economic malaise and political populism, the Arab world is in turmoil, and Russia longs to reclaim its status as a great power…” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverFrackopoly : the battle for the future of energy and the environment / Wenonah Hauter.
“Over the past decade a new and controversial energy extraction method known as hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, has rocketed to the forefront of U.S. energy production. With fracking, millions of gallons of water, dangerous chemicals, and sand are injected under high pressure deep into the earth, fracturing hard rock to release oil and gas. Wenonah Hauter, one of the nation’s leading public interest advocates, argues that the rush to fracking is dangerous to the environment and treacherous to human health.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverEngineers of jihad : the curious connection between violent extremism and education / Diego Gambetta and Steffen Hertog.
“The violent actions of a few extremists can alter the course of history, yet there persists a yawning gap between the potential impact of these individuals and what we understand about them. In Engineers of Jihad, Diego Gambetta and Steffen Hertog uncover two unexpected facts, which they imaginatively leverage to narrow that gap: they find that a disproportionate share of Islamist radicals come from an engineering background, and that Islamist and right-wing extremism have more in common than either does with left-wing extremism, in which engineers are absent while social scientists and humanities students are prominent.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverWhy the future is workless / Tim Dunlop.
“In this timely and provocative book, Tim Dunlop argues that by embracing the changes ahead we might even find ourselves better off. Workless goes beyond the gadgetry and hype to examine the social and political ramifications of work throughout history and into the future. It argues we need to think big now, not wait until we’re in a dystopian world of mass unemployment and wealth held in the hands of a minority.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe kingdom of speech / Tom Wolfe.
“Tom Wolfe, whose legend began in journalism, takes us on an eye-opening journey that is sure to arouse widespread debate. The Kingdom of Speech is a captivating, paradigm-shifting argument that speech – not evolution – is responsible for humanity’s complex societies and achievements. From Alfred Russel Wallace, the Englishman who beat Darwin to the theory of natural selection but later renounced it, and through the controversial work of modern-day anthropologist Daniel Everett, who defies the current wisdom that language is hard-wired in humans, Wolfe examines the solemn, long-faced, laugh-out-loud zig-zags of Darwinism, old and Neo, and finds it irrelevant here in our Kingdom of Speech.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverSixty : a diary of my sixty-first year : the beginning of the end, or the end of the beginning? / Ian Brown.
“As Ian Brown’s sixtieth birthday loomed, every moment seemed to present a choice: Confront, or deny, the biological fact that the end was now closer than the beginning. True, he was beginning to notice memory lapses, creaking knees, and a certain social invisibility–and yet, it troubled him that many people think of sixty as “old,” because he rarely felt older than at forty. An award-winning writer, Brown instead chose to notice every moment, try to understand it, capture it . . . all without panicking…” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe Panama papers : breaking the story of how the rich & powerful hide their money / Bastian Obermayer and Frederik Obermaier.
“Late one evening, investigative journalist Bastian Obermayer receives an anonymous message offering him access to secret data. Through encrypted channels, he then receives documents revealing how the president of Argentina has sequestered millions of dollars of state money for private use. This is just the beginning. Obermayer and fellow Süddeutsche journalist Frederik Obermaier find themselves immersed in the secret world where complex networks of letterbox companies help the super-rich to hide their money…” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverIn defense of housing : the politics of crisis / David Madden, Peter Marcuse.
“In every major city in the world there is a housing crisis. How did this happen and what can we do about it? …today our homes are being transformed into commodities, making the inequalities of the city ever more acute. Pro fit has become more important than social need. The poor are forced to pay more for worse housing. Communities are faced with the violence of displacement and gentrification. And the benefits of decent housing are only available for those who can afford it.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverInvisible China : a journey through ethnic borderlands / Colin Legerton and Jacob Rawson.
“In this eye-opening adventure narrative, Colin Legerton and Jacob Rawson bring an unrevealed side of China to light. They journey to the farthest reaches of the country to engage in a heated discussion of human rights with Daur and Ewenki village cadres; celebrate Muhammad’s birthday with Dongxiang hajjis; and hike around Lugu Lake to farm with the matrilineal Mosuo women. These encounters with China’s hidden minorities reveal their complex position in Chinese society.” (Syndetics summary)

New & interesting Economics books

The first of our new, interesting Economics books is The Euro from the Nobel Prize-winning economist and best-selling author Joseph Stiglitz.

Syndetics book coverThe euro : how a common currency threatens the future of Europe / Joseph E. Stiglitz.
“In 2010, the 2008 global financial crisis morphed into the “eurocrisis”. It has not abated. The 19 countries of Europe that share the euro currency – the Eurozone – have been rocked by economic stagnation and debt crises. Some countries have been in depression for years while the governing powers of the Eurozone have careened from emergency to emergency, most notably in Greece.” (Book jacket)

Syndetics book coverEconomics : an A-Z guide / Matthew Bishop.
“Economics is all around us, essential to every aspect of our lives. But just how much does the average person understand about what Economics is for, how it underpins crucial decisions taken every day and how it continues to evolve? Step forward the Economist’s guide to Economics, written with the clarity and wit for which the newspaper is renowned and featuring bite-sized overviews of the most important economic ideas, concepts and terms…” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverRethinking capitalism : economics and policy for sustainable and inclusive growth / edited by Michael Jacobs and Mariana Mazzucato.
“…Western capitalism is in crisis. For decades investment has been falling, living standards have stagnated or declined, and inequality has risen dramatically. Economic policy has neither reformed the financial system nor restored stable growth. Climate change meanwhile poses increasing risks to future prosperity. In this book some of the world s leading economists propose new ways of thinking about capitalism. In clear and compelling prose, each chapter shows how today’s deep economic problems reflect the inadequacies of orthodox economic theory and the failure of policies informed by it…” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe great invention : the story of GDP and the making and unmaking of the modern world / Ehsan Masood.
“…The Great Invention reveals how in just a few decades GDP became the world’s most powerful formula: how six algebraic symbols forged in the fires of the 1930’s economic crisis helped Europe and America prosper, how the remedy now risks killing the patient it once saved, and how this fundamentally flawed metric is creating the illusion of global prosperity–and why many world leaders want to be able to ignore it but so far remain powerless to do so…” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe inner lives of markets : how people shape them–and they shape us / Ray Fisman and Tim Sullivan.
“America’s economic revolution isn’t just driven by technology. It’s about markets… Breakthrough companies like Amazon and Uber have disrupted the old ways and made the economy work better–all thanks to technology. At least that’s how the story of the modern economy is usually told. But in this lucid, wry book, Ray Fisman and Tim Sullivan show that the revolution is bigger than tech: it is really a story about the transformation of markets. From the auction theories that power Google’s ad sales algorithms to the models that online retailers use to prevent internet fraud, even the most high-tech modern businesses are empowered by theory first envisioned by economists…” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverRaising the floor : how a universal basic income can renew our economy and rebuild the American dream / Andy Stern with Lee Kravitz.
“The former president of the Service Employees International Union draws on extensive interviews with economists, labor leaders, bankers and others on how advances in technology are creating better products at the expense of the middle class, outlining strategies focused on a controversial “universal basic income” that provides for near-future needs.” (NoveList)

Recent Home, Garden & DIY picks for August

Get some inspiration on the garden that you can draw energy from, and tips on bee-keeping and positively aging.

Syndetics book coverThe simple home : a month-by-month guide to self-reliance, productivity and contentment / Rhonda Hetzel ; photography by Julie Renouf.
“Award-winning blogger Rhonda Hetzel shares the day-to-day practicalities of a simple life and shows you how to rediscover the heart of your home. With a year of monthly projects that make household management easier, Rhonda encourages you to set up good systems, make what you need and appreciate what you have. Learn how to stretch money further, safely clean your home and cook from scratch with 40 favourite recipes, including step-by-step guides to baking bread and making cheese. Whether you’re part of a family, living alone or thinking about retirement, this is an inspiring, indispensable guide to slowing down, taking stock of your life and finding pleasure and satisfaction at home” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverHealing garden / David Kamp
“The idea of a ‘healing garden’ is well established in many developed countries as a specific form of landscape design method; it meets the physical, psychological, social and spiritual needs of the people using the garden, as well as their caregivers, family members and friends. Shown through detailed theory and illustrations, the first part of this book focuses on the concept, types, and design considerations. The second part of the book provides insightful design descriptions, detailed plan drawings and photos showing the final, built projects on a wide range of types of healing gardens.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe garden wanderer / Julie Kinney ; photographs by Freedom Garvey-Warr & Chris Gurney.
“Take an armchair ride around a small corner of Australia’s south-west and discover some hidden treasures in gardens of the region. Julie Kinney has lived in the area for twenty years and has an intimate knowledge of its gardens, from grand visions to pristine bush properties. Visit with her and share her enthusiasm through a selection of stunning photographs by Freedom Garvey-Warr and Chris Gurney.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverVictory gardens for bees : a DIY guide to saving the bees / Lori Weidenhammer.
“Who knew modern civilization may be brought down, not by plagues or war, but by bees? Or, more correctly, by no bees? This book investigates the growing problem of bee mortality and offers practical measures we can all take to help. Now that bees are facing unprecedented levels of die-off caused by a toxic mixture of environmental stresses, a community-based effort is needed to make gardens, fields and landscapes healthy sanctuaries for bees. Planning a bee-friendly space can provide a beautiful and bountiful selection of edible crops, native plants and fragrant ornamentals, as well as herbs that have medicinal properties for both pollinators and people…” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverNo patterns needed : DIY couture from simple shapes / Rosie Martin.
“If you want to sew your own clothes but are put off by the idea of cutting out pattern pieces covered with dotted lines and symbols, this is the book for you. Using Rosie Martin’s innovative method, you begin with nothing but a rectangle, circle, or triangle of fabric and some basic body measurements. Next, follow the detailed step-by-step photographs and diagrams to complete your garment. You’ll need a sewing machine, but no special equipment or expensive fabrics. With plenty of variations suggested for each garment, there’s lots of room for your own creative touches, too.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverFix your garden : how to make small spaces into green oases / Jane Moseley & Jackie Strachan ; illustrations by Clare Rollet.
“Don’t know what to do with a messy garden or bleak-looking balcony? Want to stake your claim on a little corner of a shared garden? No gardening experience whatsoever? This book is the perfect solution. Packed with tips and tricks to get your green fingers going, this beautifully illustrated little book will help you make the most of your outdoor space, even if you’ve only got a tiny windowbox. …With tips on garden design and how to conquer common pests and diseases, this is a crash course in getting your outdoor space sorted, and also contains information on houseplants so you can bring a little bit of the outdoors in.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverKathryn at home : a guide to simple entertaining / Kathryn M. Ireland with Ithaka Roddam.
“Beyond pulling a room together with great fabrics and furniture pieces, Kathryn M. Ireland has an extraordinary talent for pulling together stunning tabletops and delicious meals. Here she celebrates good friends and great food in the French countryside and in southern California. In an elegant scrapbook style, she shares her notes and advice on entertaining, particularly outdoors. Join Kathryn and her talented friend Ithaka for a breakfast, lunchtime picnics, a candlelight dinner, afternoon tea, a barbecue, and a wedding–all interlaced with signature Kathryn M. Ireland fabrics.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverNew small garden : contemporary principles, planting and practice / Noel Kingsbury ; photographs by Maayke de Ridder.
“Small gardens are a challenge to design and to keep looking good. This title aims to inspire and inform gardeners to make the most of their small spaces by looking at more than 50 contemporary and inspirational gardens, at how their designers have created them and how their owners use and develop them. In this serious review of the perennial subject, Noel explains the theory and practice of planting a small garden, he advocates on the use of containers, revitalises growing your own, and explains design tricks, storage solutions and vertical planting to help small garden owners maximise their small spaces…” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverInterior inspiration : Scandinavia / Sonia Lucano ; [translated by David Wilson].
“Natural materials; neutral colours; clean, elegant lines: the Scandinavian look is one of the most popular in contemporary interior design. This book is the perfect introduction to its history and major practitioners, covering such great designers as Arne Jacobsen and Stig Lindberg, and such key furniture and textiles designers as Litala and Marimekko. It will also teach readers how to recreate Scandinavian style with 30 step-by-step DIY projects that show them how to customize furniture and common household objects.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverHappy retirement : the psychology of reinvention / Kenneth S. Shultz, PhD, with Megan Kaye and Mike Annesley.
“A practical, fully illustrated guide to planning and enjoying retirement, grounded in psychological research. Retirement can bring immense fulfillment but also can be a source of stress, especially today. Retirement: The Psychology of Reinvention uses psychological research and a unique visual style of infographics and illustrations to provide readers with a retirement roadmap just right for them.” (adapted from –Amazon.com.)

Recent interesting new non-fiction books

Featuring the much anticipated How did we get into this mess? by George Monbiot.

Syndetics book coverThe switch / Chris Goodall.
“How will the world be powered in ten years’ time? Not by fossil fuels. Energy experts are all saying the same thing: solar photovoltaics (PV) is our future. …Solar panels are being made that will last longer than ever hoped; investors are seeing the benefits of the long-term rewards provided by investing in solar; in the Middle East, a contractor can now offer solar-powered electricity far cheaper than that of a coal-fired power station… (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverHow did we get into this mess? : politics, equality, nature / George Monbiot.
“George Monbiot is one of the most vocal, and eloquent, critics of the current consensus. How Did We Get into this Mess?, based on his powerful journalism, assesses the state we are now in: the devastation of the natural world, the crisis of inequality, the corporate takeover of nature, our obsessions with growth and profit and the decline of the political debate over what to do. …How do we stand up to the powerful when they seem to have all the weapons? What can we do to prepare our children for an uncertain future?.. (adapted from Book jacket)

Syndetics book coverThe fire this time : a new generation speaks about race / edited by Jesmyn Ward.
“National Book Award-winner Jesmyn Ward takes James Baldwin’s 1963 examination of race in America, The Fire Next Time, as a jumping off point for this groundbreaking collection of essays and poems about race from the most important voices of her generation and our time. …Jesmyn Ward knows that Baldwin’s words ring as true as ever today. In response, she has gathered short essays, memoir, and a few essential poems to engage the question of race in the United States…” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe joy of tax : how a fair tax system can create a better society / Richard Murphy.
“…Whilst we may not like tax very much, in contrast it is clear that we really do like the public services which governments provide. So much so, in fact, that for most of the last 300 years, people have been more than happy for governments to run deficits by spending more than they raise in taxation. 2008 apparently changed all that. The issues of debt, deficits, cuts and austerity have dominated the political agenda ever since…” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverLes Parisiennes : how the women of Paris lived, loved, and died under Nazi occupation in the 1940’s / Anne Sebba.
“New York Times bestselling author Anne Sebba explores a devastating period in Paris’s history and tells the stories of how women survived–or didn’t–during the Nazi occupation. Paris in the 1940s was a place of fear, power, aggression, courage, deprivation, and secrets. When the Nazis and the puppet Vichy regime began rounding up Jews to ship east to concentration camps, the full horror of the war was brought home and the choice between collaboration and resistance became unavoidable.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe new odyssey : the story of Europe’s refugee crisis / Patrick Kingsley.
“…Throughout 2015, Kingsley travelled to 17 countries along the migrant trail, meeting hundreds of refugees making epic odysseys across deserts, seas and mountains to reach the holy grail of Europe. This is Kingsley’s unparalleled account of who these voyagers are. It’s about why they keep coming, and how they do it. It’s about the smugglers who help them on their way, and the coastguards who rescue them at the other end. The volunteers that feed them, the hoteliers that house them, and the border guards trying to keep them out. And the politicians looking the other way…” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverWe’re all going to die / Dr. Leah Kaminsky.
“The one certainty about life is that everybody is going to die. Yet somehow as a society we have come to deny this central fact we ignore it, hoping it will go away. Ours is an aging society, where we are all living longer, healthier lives, yet we find ourselves less and less prepared for our inevitable end… As Leah says in this uplifting book, ‘If we truly open ourselves up to the experiences of those directly confronted with their own mortality, maybe we will overcome our own tunnel vision and decide to live our lives more fully.’–Backcover.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverTribe : on homecoming and belonging / Sebastian Junger.
“From the author of The Perfect Storm and War comes a book about why men miss war, why Londoners missed the Blitz, and what we can all learn from American Indian captives who refused to go home. Tribe is a look at post-traumatic stress disorder and the challenges veterans face returning to society. …Sebastian Junger argues that the problem lies not with vets or with the trauma they’ve suffered, but with the society to which they are trying to return… It is one of the ironies of the modern age that as affluence rises in a society, so do rates of suicide, depression and of course PTSD… (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe 100-year life / Lynda Gratton and Andrew Scott.
“Does the thought of working for 60 or 70 years fill you with dread? Or can you see the potential for a more stimulating future as a result of having so much extra time? Many of us have been raised on the traditional notion of a three-stage approach to our working lives: education, followed by work and then retirement.But this well-established pathway is already beginning to collapse – life expectancy is rising, final-salary pensions are vanishing, and increasing numbers of people are juggling multiple careers…” (Book jacket)

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)