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)

An eclectic mix of Popular non-fiction in May

From spying to dating, economics to parenting, there’s something for everyone this month!

Syndetics book coverSurveillance after Snowden / David Lyon.
“In 2013, Edward Snowden revealed that the NSA and its partners had been engaging in warrantless mass surveillance, using the internet and cellphone data, and driven by fear of terrorism under the sign of ‘security’. In this compelling account, surveillance expert David Lyon guides the reader through Snowden’s ongoing disclosures: the technological shifts involved, the steady rise of invisible monitoring of innocent citizens, the collusion of government agencies and for-profit companies and the implications for how we conceive of privacy in a democratic society infused by the lure of big data…” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverRaising Ryland : our story of parenting a transgender child with no strings attached / Hillary Whittington ; with Kristine Gasbarre.
“After they discovered their daughter Ryland was deaf at age one and needed cochlear implants, the Whittingtons spent nearly four years successfully teaching Ryland to speak. But once Ryland gained the power of speech, it was time for them to listen as Ryland insisted, “I am a boy!” And listen they did. After learning that forty-one percent of people who identify as transgender attempt to take their own lives, Hillary and her husband Jeff made it their mission to support their child–no matter what.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverEconobabble : how to decode political spin and economic nonsense / Richard Denniss.
Econobabble is for those who, deep down, have never believed that it makes sense, economic or otherwise, to help poor people by slashing public spending on the services they need. It’s for those who have a sneaking suspicion that it would be cheaper to avoid the effects of climate change than to let them happen and then ‘adapt’. And it’s for those who think it would be more efficient to reduce unemployment than to ship jobs offshore or blame those who are out of work.” (Book jacket)

Syndetics book coverNaked money : a revealing look at what it is and why it matters / Charles Wheelan.
“The best-selling author of Naked Statistics and Naked Economics explores the colorful world of money and banking to answer such questions as how money creation is used to counter financial crises, why the shared European currency has caused so much trouble and how Bitcoin will impact the future.” (Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverThe marriage test : our 40 dates before “I do” / Jill Andres and Brook Silva-Braga.
“Picking a partner is life’s most important decision, but how are we supposed to make it? Being in love is a good start, but the issues that ultimately wreck marriages–money and monogamy, career and kids–are hard to gauge until you’re actually hitched. So after a few years of dating, Jill Andres and Brook Silva-Braga built the Marriage Test to confirm their compatibility before saying “I do.”” (Book jacket)

Syndetics book coverYou’re so mummy / Alex Manson-Smith and Sarah Thompson.
“Modern mums are swamped with parenting books and advice, but none seem to address the real questions confronting today’s mother. Questions such as: Who does the yoga in baby yoga? Is it okay to drink wine before wine o’clock? What do all the laundry symbols mean? If you invite another mum round for coffee, should you get dressed first? No, it’s not just you. Here to save your sanity, Sarah and Alex are two friends who’ve been around the park a few too many times. Hilarious and refreshingly honest, this book won’t tell you how to get your child to sleep, but will help you to find your way through the early years of motherhood with your sense of humour still intact.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe Internet of us : knowing more and understanding less in the age of Big Data / Michael Patrick Lynch.
“We used to say “seeing is believing”; now googling is believing. With 24/7 access to nearly all of the world’s information at our fingertips, we no longer trek to the library or the encyclopedia shelf in search of answers. We just open our browsers, type in a few keywords and wait for the information to come to us. Indeed, the Internet has revolutionized the way we learn and know, as well as how we interact with each other. And yet this explosion of technological innovation has also produced a curious paradox: even as we know more, we seem to understand less…” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverDemocracy : a life / Paul Cartledge.
“Ancient Greece first coined the concept of “democracy,” yet almost every major ancient Greek thinker – from Plato and Aristotle onwards – were ambivalent or even hostile to democracy in any form. The explanation is quite simple: the elite perceived majority power as tantamount to a dictatorship of the proletariat. In ancient Greece there can be traced not only the rudiments of modern democratic society but the entire Western tradition of anti-democratic thought. In Democracy: A Life, Paul Cartledge provides a detailed history of this ancient political system…” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe great departure : mass migration from Eastern Europe and the making of the free world / Tara Zahra.
“Between 1846 and 1940, more than 50 million Europeans moved to the Americas, irrevocably changing both their new homes and the ones they left behind… The great exodus out of Eastern Europe hollowed out villages with dizzying speed. As villages emptied and the fear of depopulation ran rampant, anxiety over “American fever” prevailed, leading to the scapegoating of Jewish emigration agents. Yet others saw vast opportunity: to seed colonies of migrants like the Polish community in Argentina, to gain economic advantage from an inflow of foreign currency, or to reshape their communities in a new land…” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverNew aging : live smarter now to live better forever / by Matthias Hollwich with Jennifer Krichels ; Bruce Mau Design.
New Aging invites us to take everything we associate with aging–the loss of freedom and vitality, the cold and sterile nursing homes, the boredom–and throw it out the window. As an architect, Matthias Hollwich is devoted to finding ways in which we can shape our living spaces and communities to make aging a graceful and fulfilling aspect of our lives. Now he has distilled his research into a collection of simple, visionary principles–brought to life with bright, colorful illustrations–that will inspire you to think creatively about how you can change your habits and environments to suit your evolving needs as you age…” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe great climate robbery : how the food system drives climate change and what we can do about it / GRAIN.
“Over the past twenty-five years, GRAIN has worked with social movements and organisations around the world to defend local food systems and cultures from the advance of industrial agriculture. Part of our work has involved documenting the ill effects of this industrial food system – the destruction of rural people’s livelihoods, the loss of biodiversity and cultures etc. – and analysing the ways through which this system expands, from seed laws to free trade agreements to secretive land deals… During the past five years, we have pulled together the available data to show how the industrial food system is a major driver of climate change and how food sovereignty is critical to any lasting and just solution.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe tides of mind : uncovering the spectrum of consciousness / David Gelernter.
“The holy grail of psychologists and scientists for nearly a century has been to understand and replicate both human thought and the human mind. As a student and young researcher in the 1980s, David Gelernter hoped to build a program with a dial marked “focus.” At maximum “focus,” the program would “think” rationally, formally, reasonably. As the dial was turned down, its “mind” would start to wander, eventually ignoring the user completely as it cruised off into the mental adventures we know as sleep. While the program was a only a partial success, it laid the foundation for The Tides of Mind, a groundbreaking new exploration of the human psyche that shows us how the very purpose of the mind changes throughout the day…” (adapted from 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)

New eAudiobook Non-fiction in April

Every month brings a new selection of eAudiobooks to Overdrive. This month there’s an exciting new bunch of non-fiction books that make for great listening. Overdrive eAudiobooks can be loaded onto your computer, smartphone or portable music player to be taken with you wherever you go, plus they’re free to reserve and there are no overdue fees!

Overdrive cover All the Single Ladies, by Rebecca Traister (Audiobook)
“In 2009, journalist Rebecca Traister started All the Single Ladies. It was the year the proportion of American women who were married dropped below fifty percent; and the median age of first marriages rose dramatically to twenty-seven. But over the course of her vast research and more than a hundred interviews with academics, social scientists and prominent single women, Traister discovered the phenomenon of the single woman in America is not a new one.” (Adapted from Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover The Spiral Notebook, by Stephen Singular (Audiobook)
“Mass violence committed by young people is now an epidemic. In the first fourteen school days of 2014, there were seven school shootings, compared to twenty-eight in all of 2013. The reasons behind this escalating violence is the subject of this important new book. Bestselling author Stephen Singular has often examined violence in America in his critically acclaimed books. Here he has teamed with his wife, Joyce, for their most important work yet—one that investigates why America keeps producing mass killers.” (Adapted from Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover Made to Stick, by Chip Heath (Audiobook)
“Mark Twain once observed, “A lie can get halfway around the world before the truth can even get its boots on.” Urban legends, conspiracy theories, and bogus public-health scares circulate effortlessly. Meanwhile, people with important ideas–business people, teachers, politicians, journalists, and others–struggle to make their ideas “stick.” Why do some ideas thrive while others die? And how do we improve the chances of worthy ideas? In Made to Stick, Chip and Dan Heath tackle head-on these vexing questions.” (Adapted from Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover Creation, by Adam Rutherford (Audiobook)
“What is life? Humans have been asking this question for millennia. But as technology has advanced and our understanding of biology has deepened, the answer has evolved. For decades, scientists have been exploring the limits of nature by modifying and manipulating DNA, cells and whole organisms to create new ones that could never have existed on their own. In Creation, Adam Rutherford explains how we are now radically exceeding the boundaries of evolution and engineering.” (Adapted from Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover Fast Girl, by Suzy Favor Hamilton (Audiobook)
The former middle distance Olympic runner and high-end escort speaks out for the first time about her battle with mental illness, and how mania controlled and compelled her in competition, but also in life. This is a heartbreakingly honest yet hopeful memoir reminiscent of Manic, Electroboy, and An Unquiet Mind. Sharing her story, Suzy is determined to raise awareness, provide understanding, and offer inspiration to others coping with their own challenges.” (Adapted from Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover Notorious RBG, by Irin Carmon (Audiobook)
Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg offers a visually rich, intimate, unprecedented look at the Justice and how she changed the world. From Ginsburg’s refusal to let the slammed doors of sexism stop her to her innovative legal work, from her before-its-time feminist marriage to her perch on the nation’s highest court—with the fierce dissents to match—get to know RBG as never before.” (Adapted from Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover Meaningful, by Bernadette Jiwa (Audiobook)
“Our new digital landscape has spawned an entrepreneurial culture and the belief that anyone with a laptop and an Internet connection has the power to change the world—to create an idea that flies. But for every groundbreaking business that started this way, a thousand others have stalled or failed. Why? What’s the secret to success? What do Khan Academy, the GoPro camera, the Dyson vacuum cleaner and Kickstarter have in common?” (Adapted from Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover Washington’s Immortals, by Patrick K. O’Donnell (Audiobook)
“In August 1776, the revolution was on the verge of a sudden and disastrous end. General George Washington found his troops outmanned and outmanoeuvred and it looked like there was no escape. But thanks to a series of desperate rear guard attacks by a single heroic regiment, Washington was able to evacuate his men, and the nascent Continental Army lived to fight another day. O’Donnell pieces together the stories of these men.” (Adapted from Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover Dare, Dream, Do, by Whitney Johnson (Audiobook)
“Whitney Johnson has a goal: to help us identify and achieve our dreams. Her belief is that we can each achieve greater happiness when focusing both on our dreams and on other people in our lives. In this inspiring book, Johnson directs her attention to teaching a three-step model for personal advancement and happiness. Featuring exceptional content, this notable audiobook contain the essential tools that can be applied to every facet of your life.” (Adapted from Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover The New Confessions of an Economic Hit Man, by John Perkins (Audiobook)
“Shocking bestseller: the original version of this astonishing tell-all book spent seventy-three weeks on the New York Times bestseller list, has sold more than 1.25 million copies, and has been translated into thirty-two languages. New revelations: featuring fifteen explosive new chapters, this expanded edition of Perkins’ classic bestseller brings the story of economic hit men up to date and, chillingly, home to the US.” (Adapted from Overdrive description)

New travel books in November

The story of the youngest sailor to ever circumnavigate the globe is the first in our travel books this month, an amazing story. Then, we’re off to… London, New York, Cambodia, New Zealand’s State Highway 1, Tokyo, Tuscany, and finally Marrakesh. Happy reading!

Syndetics book coverOne girl, one dream / Laura Dekker.
“The amazing autobiographical account of the youngest ever solo circumnavigation of the Earth. Aged just 14, New Zealand-born Laura Dekker defied the authorities and braved the open oceans to realise her dream of becoming the youngest ever sailor to circumnavigate the Earth. When she finished the journey she was still only 16, the youngest ever person to achieve this feat. Her extraordinary story is both a real-life adventure for all ages, and an inspirational account of how a free spirit and will to succeed can accomplish anything”–Publisher information.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverGwennie’s diary : a Kiwi’s world tour to Yorkshire 1939-40 / Gwynne Irene Peacock ; edited by Anthony Dodsworth.
“A captivating account of a young New Zealander’s journey around the world to England in the shadow of the Second World War” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe rough guide to Cambodia / updated by Emma Boyle and Gavin Thomas.
“The new-look Rough Guide to Cambodia – now in full colour throughout – is the ultimate travel guide to one of the world’s most exciting destinations emerging in 2014.nbsp;nbsp;Discover Cambodia’s highlights with stunning photography, colour-coded maps and more listings and information than ever before. You’ll find detailed practical advice on what to see and do – from street food and nightlife in vibrant Phnom Penh through to the iconic ancient temples of Angkor – as well as up-to-date descriptions of the best hotels, bars, shops and restaurants for all budgets.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe hunt : London / David Leppan.
“London is huge, but come with us, and you’ll have a jolly good time! Discover milliners and shoemakers who’ll feather your cap and put a spring in your step, vintage boutiques galore and interior design shops. Hungry? There are also organic cafés, old pubs, fine-dining restaurants and everything in between. Delightful museums and art galleries, plus verdant parks aplenty too. Off you go, cheerio! This beautiful little guide fits snugly in the back pocket of your jeans, or neatly in your favorite clutch, and is packed with the inside scoop on old-school favorites, eccentric gems and hip newcomers to lively London.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverView from the road / photography by Arno Gasteiger ; text by Kennedy Warne.
“At 2047 kilometres long and stretching from the southernmost tip of the South Island to Cape Reinga, State Highway 1 links this country’s five main cities, and countless towns and blink-of-an-eye settlements in between. It’s also the perfect route from which to explore this country’s geographical diversity, traversing expansive plains and a so-called desert, meandering around rugged coastlines, crossing rivers and harbours, and skirting the country’s largest lake. In View from the Road, photographer Arno Gasteiger travels from Bluff to the Far North capturing the people, places and landmarks to be discovered along New Zealand’s most important highway, while Kennedy Warne reflects on the organic evolution and quirks of this often travelled, but perhaps little known, stretch of road.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverNew York / edited and produced by viction:ary ; concepts & art direction by Victor Cheung.
“Local artists and creatives offer an inside look at New York City from its famous sights and restaurants, to lesser-known and up-and-coming spots. Their recommendations include going for a ride on Janes Carousel, viewing the art and shopping at Tara McPherson and Sean Leonards Cotton Candy Machine, shopping for vinyl at Bleeker Street Records, stopping by Ovenly for their salted chocolate chip cookies, and dining on oysters and absinthe at Maison Premiere.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverClueless in Tokyo : an explorer’s sketchbook of weird and wonderful things in Japan / by Betty Reynolds.
“A perfect introduction to Japan and Japanese culture, this edition contains many new illustrations as well as the Japanese script for key words and phrases. …Clueless in Tokyo provides an outsider’s take on everyday life in Japan’s capital city – a place where vending machines talk, toilets can be terrifying, and centuries-old festivals unfold against a backdrop of space-age architecture. During the seven years Reynolds lived in Japan, she filled thirty sketchbooks with everything that caught her eye. Whether it’s fashion, food, sport, transport, seasonal rituals, or Japanese pastimes, each vibrant sketch is a delight, and Reynolds’ witty hand-lettered captions in both Japanese and English provide an entertaining resource for beginning learners of Japanese.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverHidden Tuscany : discovering art, culture, and memories in a well-known region’s unknown places / John Keahey.
“In Hidden Tuscany, acclaimed author John Keahey takes the reader into a part of Tuscany beyond the usual tourist destinations of Chianti, Florence, and Siena. The often overlooked western portion of Tuscany is rich with history, cuisine, and scenery begging to be explored, and Keahey encourages travelers to abandon itineraries and let the grooves in the road and the curves of the coast guide your journey instead.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverOnly in New York / Lily Brett.
“Lily Brett’s love affair with New York began as an outsider in her late teens when she was posted on assignment there as a young Australian rock journalist. In her early forties she returned, together with her soul mate and three children, to start a new life, and for the last twenty-five years she has called New York home.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverMarrakech express : (on and off the rails in the Sultans’ Kingdom) / Peter Millar.
“Back in 1969 when Morocco’s ancient capital was a hashish-clouded hippie mecca, Crosby Stills and Nash recorded their cheesy (and hopelessly inaccurate) foot-tapping anthem ‘Marrakesh Express”. A generation on, award-winning journalist, author and one-time glam-rock fan Peter Millar uses what is now the country’s best visited tourist destination as the embarkation point for a literally reverse-engineered train journey through this still exotic, diverse and challenging North African country, struggling to maintain its unique blend of tradition and tolerance in the turbulent winds of the Arab Spring.” (Book jacket)