Capitalism, Economics, Behavior: Popular non-fiction books

Did you know that a vast array of books are available as eBooks and Audio books from our website?
The following are available from the Overdrive service, easily reachable from the Libby app.

AUDIOBOOKS

Overdrive cover Freakonomics, Steven D. Levitt (Audiobook)
“Penguin presents the audiobook edition of Freakonomics by Stephen J. Dubner and Steven Levitt, read by Stephen J. Dubner. Modern life can be baffling and chaotic. Is there any way of making sense of it? The answer, explains groundbreaking thinker Steven Levitt, lies in economics. Not ordinary economics, but freakonomics. …Asking provocative and profound questions about human motivation and contemporary living and reaching some astonishing conclusions, Freakonomics will make you see the familiar world through a completely original lens.” (adapted from Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover Behaving Ourselves, David Mitchell (Audiobook)
“David Mitchell sets out on a vigorous but impeccably polite investigation into the confusing world of manners. Are they really in decline, as many would have us believe? Or are we just throwing off the shackles of the Victorian obsession with etiquette? Over the course of the series, David eats his lunchtime sandwiches with children in a primary school, and later goes to a street market to see manners – good and bad – in action…” Produced by Chris Ledgard. (adapted from Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover The Age of Surveillance Capitalism, Shoshana Zuboff (Audiobook)
“In this masterwork of original thinking and research, Shoshana Zuboff provides startling insights into the phenomenon that she has named surveillance capitalism. Zuboff vividly brings to life the consequences as surveillance capitalism advances from Silicon Valley into every economic sector. Vast wealth and power are accumulated in ominous new “behavioral futures markets,” where predictions about our behavior are bought and sold, and the production of goods and services is subordinated to a new “means of behavioral modification.” (adapted from Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover How Fascism Works, Jason Stanley (Audiobook)
“Fascist politics are running rampant in America today—and spreading around the world. A Yale philosopher identifies the ten pillars of fascist politics, and charts their horrifying rise and deep history. By uncovering disturbing patterns that are as prevalent today as ever, Stanley reveals that the stuff of politics—charged by rhetoric and myth—can quickly become policy and reality. Only by recognizing fascists politics, he argues, may we resist its most harmful effects and return to democratic ideals.” (adapted from Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover Everything is F*cked, Mark Manson (Audiobook)
“In Everthing Is F*cked Manson turns his gaze from the inevitable flaws within each individual self to the endless calamities taking place in the world around us. Drawing from the pool of psychological research on these topics, as well as the timeless wisdom of philosophers such as Plato, Nietzsche, and Tom Waits, he dissects religion and politics and the uncomfortable ways they have come to resemble one another. (adapted from Overdrive description) (also available as an eBook)

eBOOKS

Overdrive cover Identity, Francis Fukuyama (ebook)
“Increasingly, the demands of identity direct the world’s politics. Nation, religion, sect, race, ethnicity, gender: these categories have overtaken broader, inclusive ideas of who we are. We have built walls rather than bridges. The result: increasing in anti-immigrant sentiment, rioting on college campuses, and the return of open white supremacy to our politics. Identity is an urgent and necessary book: a sharp warning that unless we forge a universal understanding of human dignity, we will doom ourselves to continual conflict.” (adapted from Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover Second Avenue Caper, Joyce Brabner (ebook)
“The renowned graphic-book author Joyce Brabner’s Second Avenue Caper is the true story of a tight-knit group of artists and activists living in New York City in the early 1980s who found themselves on the front lines in the fight against AIDS. Struggling to understand the disease and how they could help, they made a deal with a bona fide goodfella, donned masterful disguises, piled into an “A-Team” van, and set off for the border, determined to save their bedridden friends by smuggling an experimental drug into the United States from Mexico.” (adapted from Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover Climate of Hope, Michael Bloomberg (ebook)
“In Climate of Hope, Bloomberg and Pope offer an optimistic look at the challenge of climate change, the solutions they believe hold the greatest promise, and the practical steps that are necessary to achieve them. Writing from their own experiences, and sharing their own stories from government, business, and advocacy, Bloomberg and Pope provide a road map for tackling the most complicated challenge the world has ever faced. Along the way, they turn the usual way of thinking about climate change on its head: from top down to bottom up, from partisan to pragmatic, from costs to benefits, from tomorrow to today, and from fear to hope.” (adapted from Overdrive description)

BOOKS

Syndetics book coverZucked : waking up to the Facebook catastrophe / Roger McNamee.
“If you had told Roger McNamee even three years ago that he would soon be devoting himself to stopping Facebook from destroying our democracy, he would have howled with laughter. Zucked is McNamee’s intimate reckoning with the catastrophic failure of the head of one of the world’s most powerful companies to face up to the damage he is doing. It’s a story that begins with a series of rude awakenings. First there is the author’s dawning realization that the platform is being manipulated by some very bad actors. Then there is the even more unsettling realization that Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sandberg are unable or unwilling to share his concerns, polite as they may be to his face.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

All together now? : one man’s walk in search of his father and a lost England / Carter, Mike
“In 1981, Mike Carter’s dad, Pete, organised the People’s March for Jobs, which saw 300 people walk from Liverpool to London to protest as the Thatcher government’s policies devastated industrial Britain and sent unemployment skyrocketing. Just before the 2016 EU referendum, Mike set off to walk the same route in a quest to better understand his dad and his country. As he walked, Mike found many echoes of the early eighties: a working class overlooked and ignored by Westminster politicans; communities hollowed out but fiercely resistant; anger and despair co-existing with hope and determination for change.” (adapted from Catalogue)

Know how you think, change how you feel

In this month’s selection of new health books: unpick and improve your sleeping habits, gain the tools to be more resilient with the anxieties of life, pick up a jump rope and give it a try as a fitness aid, and delve into the neuroscience of addiction.

How to sleep well : the science of sleeping smarter, living better, and being productive / Stanley, Neil
“Stop sabotaging your own sleep and finally wake up energised and refreshed. How to Sleep Well is a guidebook that can change your life. Whether you struggle to fall asleep, sleep too lightly, wake too often or simply cannot wake up, this book can help you get on track to the best sleep of your life.” (Catalogue)

The book of knowing : know how you think, change how you feel / Smith, Gwendoline
Aimed at teens – great to pass on to your teenager or have a read yourself: “Learn to understand the way you think and you will create resilience and be able to deal with many of the unnecessary anxieties of life.” (Catalogue)

Breathe : the 4-week plan to manage stress, anxiety and panic naturally / Birch, Mary
“In her years of teaching breathing retraining, Mary Birch has found that the majority of her clients experiencing symptoms of panic, anxiety and stress are overbreathing, sometimes significantly. …Most people will begin to feel an improvement in their symptoms within a week of implementing the strategies contained in this book, sometimes even within a few days. But Mary recommends a minimum four-week breathing retraining program for a reason: the body has to adjust to the new and improved breathing pattern, and this needs to become automatic, so that you do not revert to a disordered breathing pattern and chronic overbreathing in times of stress…” (adapted from Catalogue)

101 best jump rope workouts / Lee, Buddy
“A jump rope is the most effective fitness equipment you can own. Great for cardio, endurance and HIIT training a jump rope is versatile, portable, and efficient. Buddy Lee, recognized internationally as the world’s expert at jump rope fitness, provides 100 challenging, dynamic and varied workouts in this unique collection. …The Jump Rope Workout Handbook compiles a collection of more than 100 jump rope workouts optimized for effective weight loss, increased cardiovascular health, and improved athletic ability.” (adapted from Catalogue)

16:8 intermittent fasting / Chambers, Jaime Rose
“The health benefits of intermittent fasting are now indisputable, and 16:8 is the easiest and most effective fasting method. Jaime Rose Chambers is a practising dietitian who sees countless patients looking for advice on how to manage their weight. She prescribes intermittent fasting as a matter of course, as it’s by far the easiest and most effective tool for healthy weight control that she’s seen. This indispensable handbook has everything you need to know about intermittent fasting, including: – the latest science on 16:8 and 5:2, showing how intermittent fasting can not only help you control your weight, but also helps lower cholesterol, reduce blood pressure and protect against heart disease…” (adapted from Catalogue)

Never enough : the neuroscience and experience of addiction / Grisel, Judith
“A behavioral neuroscientist and a professor of psychology at Bucknell University, Grisel is also a former addict, which means she can explain not only the brain science behind addiction but the addict’s actual experience. She takes us through how different drugs act on the infinitely adaptable brain and shows how the thrill of the occasional high turns into a ceaseless craving for the next fix: there is never enough. Grisel aims to clarify a more effective and more compassionate response to a crisis in which one in every five people over the age of 14 is addicted…” (Catalogue)

Work in the 21st century: Popular non-fiction books

Analysis of work/life balance and why modern work is making people miserable in two different books; together with a book about the history of Brexit and one about Putin’s Russia, set the tone to our non-fiction new books.

#Chill : turn off your job and turn on your life / Robinson, Bryan E
“Dr. Robinson describes himself as having once being a chain-smoking, caffeine-drinking work junkie, dogged by self-doubt with no close friends. His colleagues were breathing down his neck and didn’t really appreciate his hard work, at least that’s what he told himself. His memory got so bad members of his family wondered if he was developing early onset Alzheimer’s. He scoffed at the idea of work/life balance, yet he couldn’t stop working. He joined Workaholics Anonymous, entered therapy, and stumbled into yoga and meditation. The practice enabled him to climb out of the work stupors into a saner life.” (adapted from Catalogue)

The coddling of the American mind : how good intentions and bad ideas are setting up a generation for failure / Lukianoff, Greg
“First Amendment expert Lukianoff and social psychologist Haidt argue that child-centered social attitudes dating back to the 1980s have convinced young people that their feelings are always right, and this leads not just to failure (as the subtitle has it) but free speech issues on campus and the rising polarization in politics. (they) show how the new problems on campus have their origins in three terrible ideas that have become increasingly woven into American childhood and education: what doesn’t kill you makes you weaker; always trust your feelings; and life is a battle between good people and evil people.” (adapted from Catalogue)

Reason in a dark time : why the struggle against climate change failed – and what it means for our future / Jamieson, Dale
“In this book, philosopher Dale Jamieson explains what climate change is, why we have failed to stop it, and why it still matters what we do. Centered in philosophy, the volume also treats the scientific, historical, economic, and political dimensions of climate change. Our failure to prevent or even to respond significantly to climate change, Jamieson argues, reflects the impoverishment of our systems of practical reason, the paralysis of our politics, and the limits of our cognitive and affective capacities. The climate change that is underway is remaking the world in such a way that familiar comforts, places, and ways of life will disappear in years or decades rather than centuries.” (adapted from Amazon.co.uk)

The globotics upheaval : globalization, robotics, and the future of work / Baldwin, Richard E
“Richard Baldwin explains how digital technology will bring globalization and robotics, or “globotics”, to previously unaffected professional and service sectors. Jobs will be displaced at the eruptive pace of digital technology, leading to discontent among the professional, white-collar, and service workers whose jobs are threatened. Baldwin analyzes how these rapid changes are likely to affect government policies and envisions the future of employment, predicting an increase in face-to-face interaction that will strengthen bonds in local communities.” (adapted from Catalogue)

A short history of Brexit : from brentry to backstop / O’Rourke, Kevin H.
“After all the debates, manoeuvrings, recriminations and exaltations, Brexit is upon us. But, as Kevin O’Rourke writes, Brexit did not emerge out of nowhere: it is the culmination of events that have been under way for decades and have historical roots stretching back well beyond that. Brexit has a history. ” (adapted from Catalogue)

Putin’s world : Russia against the West and with the rest / Stent, Angela
Putin’s world examines the complex panorama of the country’s turbulent past and how it has influenced Putin and the Russians’ understanding of their position on the global stage. This book looks at Russia’s key relationships — with the United States, China, Europe, NATO, Japan, the Middle East — and with Russia’s neighbors, particularly the fraught relationship with Ukraine.” (adapted from Catalogue)

Lab rats : why modern work makes people miserable / Lyons, Daniel
“Personality tests. Team-building exercises. Forced Fun. Desktop surveillance. Open-plan offices. Acronyms. Diminishing job security. Hot desking. Pointless perks. Hackathons. If any of the above sound familiar, welcome to the modern economy. In this hilarious, but deadly serious book, bestselling author Dan Lyons looks at how the world of work has slowly morphed from one of unions and steady career progression to a dystopia made of bean bags and unpaid internships.” (adapted from Catalogue)

No friend but the mountains : writing from Manus Prison / Boochani, Behrouz
“In 2013, Kurdish journalist Behrouz Boochani was illegally detained on Manus Island. He has been there ever since. People would run to the mountains to escape the warplanes and found asylum within their chestnut forests. This book is the result. Laboriously tapped out on a mobile phone and translated from the Farsi. It is a voice of witness, an act of survival. A lyric first-hand account. A cry of resistance. A vivid portrait through five years of incarceration and exile. Do Kurds have any friends other than the mountains?” (adapted from Catalogue)

Infographics to understand global economy: new non-fiction books

From amazing infographics to help you understand global economy; through how to save the planet we live on; to ideas to thrive in retirement, our new non-fiction books will have something for everyone.

The global economy as you’ve never seen it / Ramge, Thomas
“An ingeniously conceived tour of the global economy and all its key components, deconstructed piece by piece in 99 illuminating, full-color infographics.” (adapted from Catalogue)

The uninhabitable earth : life after warming / Wallace-Wells, David
“Without a revolution in how we approach climate change and adjustments to how billions of humans conduct their lives, parts of the Earth will likely become close to uninhabitable and other parts horrifically inhospitable, as soon as the end of this century. The Uninhabitable Earth is both a synthesis of the latest science and an impassioned call to action. For just as the world was brought to the brink of catastrophe within the span of a lifetime, the responsibility to avoid it now belongs to a single generation.” (adapted from Catalogue)

Around the world in 80 words : a journey through the English language / Jones, Paul Anthony
“In this captivating round-the-world jaunt, Paul Anthony Jones reveals the intriguing tales behind how 80 different places came to be immortalised in our language. Beautifully designed, consistently entertaining and ideal for dipping into, Around the World in 80 Words is the perfect gift: a whimsical voyage through the far-flung reaches of the English language.” (adapted from Catalogue)

Not fade away : how to thrive in retirement / Dodd, Celia
“Retirement is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be yourself and do what you want to do. It offers new possibilities for personal growth through learning, retraining, travelling and friendship. But it is also one of the biggest transitions we face, and brings huge psychological and emotional challenges. Not Fade Away inspires you to make up your own mind and take control of your future. And that, experts agree, is the key to a good retirement.” (adapted from Catalogue)

AI superpowers : China, Silicon Valley, and the new world order / Lee, Kai-Fu
“As Sino-American competition in AI heats up, Lee envisions China and the US forming a powerful duopoly in AI. He outlines the upheaval of traditional jobs, how the suddenly unemployed will find new ways of making their lives meaningful, and how the Chinese and American governments will have to cope with the changing economic landscape.” (adapted from Catalogue)

Unquiet women : stories from the dusk of the Roman Empire to the dawn of the Enlightenment / Adams, Max
“In this exploration of the lives of women living between the last days of Rome and the Enlightenment, Max Adams triumphantly overturns the idea that women of this period were either queens, nuns or invisible. A kaleidoscopic study of women’s creativity, intellect and influence, Unquiet Women brings to life the experiences of women whose stories are all too rarely told.” (adapted from Catalogue)

The future is Asian : commerce, conflict, and culture in the 21st century / Khanna, Parag
“In the 19th century, the world was Europeanized. In the 20th century, it was Americanized. Now, in the 21st century, the world is being Asianized. The “Asian Century” is even bigger than you think. Far greater than just China, the new Asian system taking shape is a multi-civilizational order spanning Saudi Arabia to Japan, Russia to Australia, Turkey to Indonesia–linking five billion people through trade, finance, infrastructure, and diplomatic networks that together represent 40 percent of global GDP.” (adapted from Catalogue)

Kafka’s last trial : the case of a literary legacy / Balint, Benjamin
“The story of the international struggle to preserve Kafka’s literary legacy. Kafka’s Last Trial begins with Kafka’s last instruction to his closest friend, Max Brod: to destroy all his remaining papers upon his death. But when the moment arrived in 1924, Brod could not bring himself to burn the unpublished works of the man he considered a literary genius–even a saint. Instead, Brod devoted his life to championing Kafka’s writing, rescuing his legacy from obscurity and physical destruction.” (adapted from Catalogue)

Looking after Earth: New books on sustainability and the environment

Save, Make, Do book cover

Introducing Flint & Steel, published by Maxim Institute. Maxim Institute is an independent research and public policy think tank, working to promote the dignity of every person in New Zealand. These two volumes below are on sustainability, and on community.

On cultivating community.

On sustainability and what we leave behind.

See what else has recently been added to the sustainability and the environment bookshelves!

Gardening with biochar: supercharge your soil with bioactivated charcoal / Cox, Jeff
“Bio-activated charcoal — called biochar — is the new darling of organic gardeners, embraced for its outstanding abilities to enrich the soil and improve plant growth. Gardening with Biochar is the first comprehensive guide to understanding, making, and using it effectively in the home garden. In this highly accessible handbook, long-time garden writer Jeff Cox explains what biochar is and provides detailed instructions for how it can be made from wood or other kinds of plant material, along with specific guidelines for using it to enrich soil, prevent erosion, and enhance plant growth.” (Catalogue)

Green architecture / Jodidio, Philip
“The most exciting new buildings in the world are now almost all environmentally aware, sustainable, and conceived to consume far less energy than ever before. That architecture is one of the major sources of greenhouse gases in the world makes this new trend all the more significant. This book brings the best examples of green projects from the Architecture Now! series together with numerous new, never-seen-before projects. Text in English, French, and German.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Do-it-yourself projects to get you off the grid: rain barrels, chicken coops, solar panels, and more
“Instructables is back with this inspiring book focused on a series of projects designed to get you thinking creatively about going green. Twenty Instructable illustrates just how simple it can be to make your own backyard chicken coop, or turn a wine barrel into a rainwater collector. With dozen of full-colour photographs per project accompanying easy-to-follow instructions, this Instructables collection utilizes the best that the online community has to offer.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

No-waste kitchen gardening: regrow your leftover greens, stalks, seeds, and more / Elzer-Peters, Katie
“The expert advice in No-Waste Kitchen Gardening gives you all the instruction and tricks you’ll need to grow and re-propagate produce from food waste. You’ll be astonished at how much food waste you can re-grow. Two-part photo instructions show first what the root, chunk seed, or leaf should look like when you re-plant it, and second, when to harvest or re-plant it in soil to continue growing.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Ecovillages around the world
“A beautiful, full-colour book showcasing 20 best practice designs from ecovillages around the world. Highlights the unique features of each project and their solutions to the global social and environmental challenges that confront us.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Essential rainwater harvesting: a guide to home-scale system design / Avis, Rob
“Water is a crucial resource increasingly under stress. Yet rainfall, even in arid climates, can make up a sizable portion of any home, acreage, or farm’s water requirements if harvested and utilized with care. The key is appropriate planning and high-quality site- and climate-specific design. Essential Rainwater Harvesting is a comprehensive manual for designing, building, and maintaining water harvesting systems for the warm and cold climates of the world.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Climate justice: hope, resilience, and the fight for a sustainable future / Robinson, Mary
“Holding her first grandchild in her arms in 2003, Mary Robinson was struck by the uncertainty of the world he had been born into. Before his fiftieth birthday, he would share the planet with more than nine billion people–people battling for food, water, and shelter in an increasingly volatile climate. The faceless, shadowy menace of climate change had become, in an instant, deeply personal.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Pig: tales from an organic farm / Browning, Helen
“In a frosty field on the longest night of the year, eight little piglets snuffle their first breaths and jostle close to their mother to feed. Over the six months that follow, lifelong farmer Helen Browning and her partner Tim Finney record their adventures to show how pigs become the mischievous, competitive, intelligent and inventive animals that we know them to be. In doing so, they demonstrate why it is so crucial that the welfare of our farm animals – and equally, the way we manage our countryside – takes centre stage in the contemporary discussions around food, climate change and the loss of wildlife.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Repurposed: New Zealand homes using upcycled materials and spaces / Foster, Cate
“The book features 20 homes located throughout the country that feature a variety of clever solutions and design styles. There is everything from repurposed container homes to army barracks, farm utility buildings, churches and urban spaces finished with upcycled and repurposed furnishings.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Save make do: slash your grocery bill by living sustainably / Webster, Lyn
“If you want to get ahead in life, both financially and sustainably, budgeting guru Lyn Webster can help. In Save Make Do, you will learn- – how to shop smarter- what to grow in your garden- the magic of baking soda and vinegar- 30 handy recipes (meals, treats and snacks; cleaning products and cosmetics)- clever ways to save, save, save With a Save Make Do attitude, you’ll soon be on the road to financial freedom – by making simple, healthy and sustainable choices. Make a little go a LOT further. Previously published as Pig Tits & Parsley Sauce” (Catalogue)

All your D.I.Y needs: Recent Home and Garden picks

This month’s blog features innovative and cost-effective DIY ideas for kids furniture, pallet bookshelves, fancy interior, pebble gardens and much more!

Big impact landscaping : 28 DIY projects you can do on a budget to beautify and add value to your home / Bendrick, Sara
“If you’ve ever looked at the weed-filled expanse that passes for your backyard and wondered why your family never uses it, then this book is for you. Sara Bendrick… addresses the most common homeowner requests for affordable ways to bring privacy, shade, dining areas, fire features and manageable plantings into their yards to increase their enjoyment of outdoor spaces and increase the value of their home.” (Catalogue)

Affordable interior design : high-end tips for any budget / Helmuth, Betsy
“Homeowners and renters of all means dream of having a beautiful home. The media makes it look so easy, but many of us have less to work with and still long to live in style. Affordable Interior Design makes luxury an affordable reality. In this DIY home decorating handbook, Helmuth reveals insider tips and her tried-and-tested methods for choosing colors, creating a gallery wall, how to use accent tables, entry benches, rugs, and more!” (Catalogue)

Big ideas for small spaces : creative ideas and 30 projects for balconies, roof gardens, windowsills, and terraces / Maguire, Kay
“Instructions and photographs show to make 30 easy projects for the garden using inexpensive or found materials. Provides practical solutions to greening a small and otherwise barren area including outer walls, tiny patios, balconies, courtyards, terraces, windowsills and rooftops. Also includes instructions on the basics of gardening.” (Catalogue)

Outdoor woodworking : 20 inspiring projects to make from scratch.
Outdoor Woodworking is an impressive new title containing a collection of projects, all ideal for the garden, patio or deck. There are some projects ideal for those just starting out in woodworking and others that will challenge even the experienced woodworker. All of the projects include clear guidance on how best to approach the construction of each piece…”–Amazon.com.” (adapted from Catalogue)

Brickwork projects for patio & garden : designs, instructions and 16 easy-to-build projects / Bridgewater, Alan
“From the decorative to the practical, Brickwork Projects for Patio & Garden offers a range of projects for all levels of expertise. Sixteen original projects range from a simple garden wall to a beautiful raised herringbone patio. Each project has been photographed step-by-step during construction and the finished piece is shown in its garden setting. Clear construction diagrams and concise text accompany every project.” (Abridged Catalogue)

Pebble mosaics : 25 original step-by-step projects for the home and garden / Schneebeli-Morrell, Deborah
“You can take pebbles and other natural found objects and turn them into beautiful useful and decorative objects for the home and garden. Using easy methods and everyday materials, author Deborah Schneebeli-Morrell demonstrates in full color, step-by-step photographs how to create such beautiful items as a simple teapot stand to a rustic mosaic hearth.” (Abridged Catalogue)

Make : soft robotics : a DIY introduction to squishy, stretchy and flexible robots / Borgatti, Matthew
“Soft robotics is an emerging field that approaches robots in new ways, enabling them to operate in environments that are unstructured or unstable and to perform tasks that require delicacy and malleability.” (Book jacket)

The pallet book : DIY projects for the home, garden, and homestead / Peterson, Chris
“Author Chris Peterson presents everything the enterprising handyperson needs to know to reclaim and reuse pallets in innovative, useful ways. Just some of the projects included are: A handy vertical planter; Coffee table; Spice rack; Serving tray; Compost bin; Dog house; Bookshelves; Wine bottle rack; Side table; Adirondack chair. In addition to dozens of projects, the book includes a variety of pallet-specific knowledge. You’ll find a guide with the basic skills and tools needed to rework pallets, information on where to find and source pallets, a guide to decoding pallet markings, and important pallet-related safety.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

The PVC pipe book : projects for the home, garden, and homestead / Peterson, Chris
“Whether you’re a homeowner, gardener, homesteader, prepper, or just a parent looking for some new toy ideas, the projects in The PVC Pipe Book give you plenty of options. For anyone who needs some insight and a few tips on working with PVC, Peterson covers all the basics, as well as finishing techniques.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Easy garden projects : 200+ simple ideas for your yard, garden & home.
“With its simple tutorials that anyone can do to enhance their space, Easy Garden Projects appeals to a wide swath of gardeners. Whether it’s a homemade faux-stone planter filled with succulents or a potting bench made from reclaimed wood, each design features a finished-project photo and step-by-step instructions to guide you on your gardening path. The look and feel of the book reflects the breezy, rustic, and organic style of the Country Gardens brand.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Build a better vegetable garden : 30 DIY projects to improve your harvest / Russell, Joyce
“From simple woodwork projects for tunnels and frames to gadgets that deter slugs and carrot root fly, the results are well-designed as well as decorative.” (Book jacket)

Building unique and useful kids furniture : 24 great do-it-yourself projects / Carlsen, Spike
“Easy-to-build, affordable, beautiful, durable, fun furniture projects kids will love. You don’t need advanced skills. You don’t need specialized tools. You don’t need expensive materials. All of these projects can be built using basic tools and materials from any home improvement store. Step-by-step instructions and color photos show you exactly what to do–and many projects are labeled “Kid Friendly,” so your child can safely help you build it, developing their skills and confidence.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

All About Diversity: Popular Non-Fiction books

Our most popular books for non-fiction is full of diversity. It goes from an analysis on truth and facts on “A Matter of Fact: talking truth in a post-truth world”, passing through the fun and scientific “Breakfast with Einstein: the exotic physics of everyday objects” to the quite interesting “Chromatopia: an illustrated history of colour”.

A matter of fact : talking truth in a post-truth world / Berentson-Shaw, Jess
“…in the time of fake news and post-truth politics, it seems that conspiracy and rumour spread faster than ever and are even harder to debunk. Battling over facts can be exhausting and polarising. For those committed to distinguishing misinformation from good information how do we convincingly explain the difference? Jess Berentson-Shaw tackles these questions head-on. In A Matter of Fact she explores the science of communicating and presents innovative ways to talk effectively (and empathetically) about contentious information…” (adapted from Catalogue)

How to invent everything : a survival guide for the stranded time traveler / North, Ryan
“…This guide contains all the science, engineering, mathematics, art, music, philosophy, facts, and figures required for even the most clueless time traveler to build a civilization from the ground up. Your new world will be one in which humanity matured quickly and efficiently, instead of doing what we did… And, on the off chance you don’t one day find yourself stranded in time, this fascinating guide to the ideas and technologies that made us who we are today will at least allow you to make some really interesting cocktail-party small talk with a complete stranger.” (adapted from Catalogue)

Confessions of a rogue nuclear regulator / Jaczko, Gregory B.
“As former chair of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), physicist Jaczko found the NRC dominated by the industry it was supposed to regulate and spoke out-particularly with the refusal to make the changes that would prevent another catastrophe like Fukushima… Never before has the chairman of the world’s foremost nuclear regulatory agency challenged the nuclear industry to expose how these companies put us at risk. Because if we (and they) don’t act now, there will be another Fukushima. Only this time, it could happen here.” (adapted from Catalogue)

Breakfast with Einstein : the exotic physics of everyday objects / Orzel, Chad
“Just beneath the surface of our ordinary lives, strange phenomena lurk. Exciting physics doesn’t only show up in the Big Bang, or a black hole, or in the guts of giant particle accelerators like the Large Hadron Collider it ‘s all around us… In Breakfast with Einstein, the ordinary becomes extraordinary, everything is possible and the day’s end will find us dazzled.” (Catalogue)

Bolder : making the most of our longer lives / Honoré, Carl
“…Carl Honoré captured the zeitgeist with his international sensation, In Praise of Slow. In Bolder, he introduces us to another rising movement: a revolution in our approach to ageing….Having travelled the globe to meet the pioneers who are redefining ageing, Carl Honoré explores the cultural, medical and technological trends that will help us make the most of our longer lives. ” (adapted from Catalogue)

Primate change : how the world we made is remaking us / Cregan-Reid, Vybarr
“…PRIMATE CHANGE is a wide-ranging, polemical look at how and why the human body has changed since humankind first got up on two feet. Spanning the entirety of human history – from primate to transhuman – Vybarr Cregan-Reid’s book investigates where we came from, who we are today and how modern technology will change us beyond recognition.” adapted from (Catalogue)

Turned on : science, sex and robots / Devlin, Kate
“The idea of the seductive sex robot is the stuff of myth, legend and science fiction. From the ancient Greeks to twenty-first century movies, robots in human form have captured our imagination, our hopes and our fears. But beyond the fantasies there are real and fundamental questions about our relationship with technology as it moves into the realm of robotics… ” (adapted from Catalogue)

Not all dead white men : classics and misogyny in the digital age / Zuckerberg, Donna
“Some of the most controversial and consequential debates about the legacy of the ancients are raging not in universities but online, where alt-right men’s groups deploy ancient sources to justify misogyny and a return of antifeminist masculinity. Donna Zuckerberg dives deep to take a look at this unexpected reanimation of the Classical tradition…” (adapted from Catalogue)

Democratization and social movements in South Korea : defiant institutionalization / Kim, Sun-Chul
“South Korea provides an intellectual challenge in the fields of social movements and democracy in that intense mobilization and the strong influence of social movements have accompanied steady democratization for more than two decades, despite major theories having predicted otherwise. This book examines how social movements in previously authoritarian contexts evolve after democratic transition, using South Korea as a case study…” (adapted from Catalogue)

Chromatopia : an illustrated history of colour / Coles, David
“This origin story of history’smost vivid color pigmentsis perfect for artists, history buffs, science lovers, and design fanatics. …Spanning from the ancient world to modern leaps in technology, and vibrantly illustrated throughout, this book will add a little chroma to anyone’s understanding of the history of colors.” (adapted from Catalogue)

The mother of all jobs : how to have children and a career and stay sane(ish) / Armstrong, Christine
“…When Christine Armstrong became a mother, it never occurred to her that she would want to give up her job. But the truth is, combining work and small kids is hard, and when Christine tried it, she found herself desolate with misery. Determined to find a way forward, she looked for answers by interviewing other working mums and found that she wasn’t alone. The Mother of All Jobs brings together the wisdom of the women who opened up about everything (and we mean everything) into a manifesto for happy professional families. Ignoring the glossy lives presented on social media, this book shows that, while it’s not always pretty, working parents can thrive if they have the knowledge others learnt the hard way.” (adapted from Catalogue)

Win bigly : persuasion in a world where facts don’t matter / Adams, Scott
“Soon after Donald Trump declared his presidential candidacy, when most experts dismissed him as a joke who’d be gone before Iowa Scott Adams called Trump a master communicator in the same league as Abraham Lincoln and Steve Jobs. As a student of the art and science of persuasion, Adams recognized Trump’s deep toolbox for persuasion. On his popular blog, Adams predicted that Trump could go all the way…” (adapted from Catalogue)

Immersive reads : new popular non-fiction

Timefulness book cover

Reading non-fiction is a great way to reflect on the world we live in and the moment in history that we find ourselves inhabiting. Below you’ll find lots of great new immersive reads and different perspectives, experiences and arguments. Plus, if saving is on your list of New Year’s resolutions, we’ve also included some topical books from NZ personal finance journalist Mary Holm and others.

The children of Harvey Milk : how LGBTQ politicians changed the world / Reynolds, Andrew
“Part political thriller, part meditation on social change, part love story, The Children of Harvey Milk tells the epic stories of courageous men and women around the world who came forward to make their voices heard during the struggle for equal rights…” (Adapted from catalogue)

Rising out of hatred : the awakening of a former white nationalist / Saslow, Eli
“Son of Don Black, founder of the huge racist Internet community Stormfront, and godson of KKK Grand Wizard David Duke, Derek Black had his own white nationalist radio show at age 19, which he broadcast secretly while attending liberal New College in Florida. Students vociferously challenged him when his cover was blown, while others reached out — an Orthodox Jew invited him to Shabbat dinners — and Black felt compelled to question his beliefs… This is a book to help us understand the American moment and to help us better understand one another.” (Adapted from catalogue)

How to live forever : the enduring power of connecting the generations / Freedman, Marc
“In How to Live Forever, social entrepreneur Marc Freedman argues that we don’t need medical or scientific intervention to live forever. Instead of trying to be young, we can live forever (and save money) by being there for those who are young. Investing time with young people, mentoring, and passing wisdom from generation to generation, is truly living one’s legacy…” (Adapted from catalogue)

Eve was shamed : how British justice is failing women / Kennedy, Helena
“…In Eve Was Shamed Helena Kennedy forensically examines the pressing new evidence that women are still being routinely discriminated against when it comes to the law… The law holds up a mirror to society and it is failing women. In this richly detailed and shocking book, one of our most eminent human rights thinkers and practitioners shows with force and fury that change for women cannot come soon enough. And it must start at the heart of what makes society just.” (Adapted from catalogue)

Rich enough? : a laid-back guide for every Kiwi / Holm, Mary
“In this lively, jargon-free book you’ll learn how to kill off debt, curb spending, find your best KiwiSaver fund, save painlessly, buy a house – or be happy not buying one, and move confidently towards and through retirement. You’ll also learn why setting and forgetting your investments is the best strategy. …Unlike many writers of finance books, Mary is not selling any products or services (except this book!). She doesn’t want to sign you up for costly advice or courses or investments. She just wants you to do well…” (Adapted from catalogue)

Blood on the page : a murder, a secret trial and a search for the truth / Harding, Thomas
“A groundbreaking examination of a terrifying murder and its aftermath… In June 2006, police were called to number 9 Downshire Hill in Hampstead. The owner of the house, Allan Chappelow, was an award-winning photographer and biographer, an expert on George Bernard Shaw, and a notorious recluse, who had not been seen for several weeks. Someone had recently accessed his bank accounts, and attempted to withdraw large amounts of money…” (Adapted from catalogue)

Work like a woman : a manifesto for change / Portas, Mary
“…Speaking candidly about the traps she fell into – from aping the behaviour seen in aggressive corporate environments to recreating a male working culture within her own business – Mary will explode the myth of women ‘having it all’. She will also track her evolution as a business leader and the decision to rebuild her company from the ground up on a model that today embraces female values. Examining practical issues – including flexible working and equal pay – and also cultural ones – such as gender bias – Mary will argue for a revolution in the way in which we work…” (Adapted from catalogue)

Timefulness : how thinking like a geologist can help save the world / Bjornerud, Marcia
“This compelling book presents a new way of thinking about our place in time, enabling us to make decisions on multigenerational timescales. The lifespan of Earth may seem unfathomable compared to the brevity of human existence, but this view of time denies our deep roots in Earth’s history-and the magnitude of our effects on the planet. …Our everyday lives are shaped by processes that vastly predate us, and our habits will in turn have consequences that will outlast us by generations…” (Adapted from catalogue)

The desert and the sea : 977 days captive on the Somali pirate coast / Moore, Michael Scott
“…A sort of Catch-22 meets Black Hawk Down, The Desert and the Sea is written with dark humor, candor, and a journalist’s clinical distance and eye for detail. Moore offers an intimate and otherwise inaccessible view of life as we cannot fathom it, brilliantly weaving his own experience as a hostage with the social, economic, religious, and political factors creating it… wildly compelling….” (Adapted from catalogue)

The New Zealand money guide : all you need to know about becoming financially secure / Dudson, Lisa
“This book will help you: get clear on what is important to you in life, become more aware and mindful of how you spend your money, create positive and helpful money beliefs, have a good understanding of how to manage your money, understand the risks you may face and how to manage them, set achievable financial goals, feel less stressed about money, make a plan to pay off any debts you have, create more money and grow your wealth safely, and most importantly, become confident about managing and growing your finances” (Adapted from catalogue)

New non-fiction for your reading pleasure

Kindness book cover

In these cynical times, we are often exhorted to just be kinder. Our first book shows how this can be achieved.

Syndetics book coverKindness : the little thing that matters most / Jaime Thurston.
“The book is themed around 52 simple actions you can do to spread kindness. Interspersed throughout are nuggets of science explaining the positive effect kindness has on the brain and on the heart. This book is a call to action for people to live a more connected, fulfilling life. With inspirational quotes and personal stories this book will give you all the motivation you need to start spreading a little kindness – it’s free afterall!” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe unexpected genius of pigs / Matt Whyman ; illustrations by Micaela Lacaino.
“We often consider dogs to be our enduring sidekicks but the truth is domestic pigs have played a role in our lives for nearly as long. Pigs are highly social and smart. They like to play. They’re inventive, crafty and belligerent – and incredibly singleminded. Here is a charming ode to one of the most common, yet surprisingly intelligent, animals populating our landscapes. In this gentle and illuminating study, Matt Whyman embarks on a journey to uncover the heart and soul of an animal brimming with more energy, intelligence and playfulness than he could ever have imagined.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe fascinating history of toys & games around the world / Warwick Henderson.
“Toys are living proof of social changes, trends and fashions, design styles, manufacturing and industrial developments over time. The Fascinating History of Toys & Games Around the World details collectible toys and games from cast-iron soldiers to plastic robots, horse-drawn coaches to streamline convertibles, and an overdressed cyclist to a miniskirted tennis player doll – these are not just toys but objects that showcase an era or segment of history.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Heartland : a memoir of working hard and being broke in the richest country on Earth / Smarsh, Sarah
“During Sarah Smarsh’s turbulent childhood in Kansas in the 1980s and 1990s, the forces of cyclical poverty and the country’s changing economic policies solidified her family’s place among the working poor. By telling the story of her life and the lives of the people she loves, Smarsh challenges us to look more closely at the class divide in our country and examine the myths about people thought to be less because they earn less. Her personal history affirms the corrosive impact inter-generational poverty can have on individuals, families, and communities, and she explores this idea as lived experience, metaphor, and level of consciousness.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Lords of the desert : Britain’s struggle with America to dominate the Middle East / Barr, James
“Upon victory in 1945, Britain still dominated the Middle East. She directly ruled Palestine and Aden, was the kingmaker in Iran, the power behind the thrones of Egypt, Iraq and Jordan, and protected the sultan of Oman and the Gulf sheikhs. But her motives for wanting to dominate this crossroads between Europe, Asia and Africa were changing. Where ‘imperial security’ – control of the route to India – had once been paramount, now oil was an increasingly important factor. So, too, was prestige. Unable to withstand Arab and Jewish nationalism, within a generation the British were gone. But that is not the full story…” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Syndetics book coverFierce enigmas : a history of the United States in South Asia / Srinath Raghavan.
“South Asia looms large in American foreign policy. Over the past two decades, we have spent billions of dollars and thousands of human lives in the region, to seemingly little effect. As Srinath Raghavan reveals in Fierce Enigmas, this should not surprise us. For 230 years, America’s engagement with India, Afghanistan, and Pakistan has been characterized by short-term thinking and unintended consequences. Beginning with American traders in India in the eighteenth century, the region has become a locus for American efforts-secular and religious-to remake the world in its image.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverReformation to Industrial Revolution, 1530-1780 / Christopher Hill.
“In 1530 England was a backward economy. Yet by 1780 she possessed a global empire and was on the verge of becoming the world’s first industrialized power. This book deals with the intervening 250 years, and explains how England acquired this unique position in history. Esteemed historian Christopher Hill recounts a story that begins with the break with Europe before hitting a tumultuous period of war and revolution, combined with a cultural and scientific flowering that made up the early modern period. It was in this era that Britain became home to imperial ambitions and economic innovation, prefiguring what was to come. Hill excavates the conditions and ideas that underpin this age of extraordinary change, and shows how, and why, Britain became the most powerful nation in the world.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Dark commerce : how a new illicit economy is threatening our future / Shelley, Louise I
“Though mankind has traded tangible goods for millennia, recent technology has changed the fundamentals of trade, in both legitimate and illegal economies. In the past three decades, the most advanced forms of illicit trade have broken with all historical precedents and, as Dark Commerce shows, now operate as if on steroids, tied to computers and social media. Demonstrating that illicit trade is a business the global community cannot afford to ignore and must work together to address, Dark Commerce considers diverse ways of responding to this increasing challenge.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Propaganda blitz : how the corporate media distort reality / Edwards, David
Propaganda Blitz shows the damning effect of spin in UK media, not just in right-wing newspapers like the Sun, Times, Daily Mail, and the Express, but also in trusted liberal outlets like the BBC and the Guardian. The book uncovers a storm of top-down campaigns behind war reporting from Iraq, Syria, and Palestine, as well as the media’s destruction of the credibility of figures on the left, including Jeremy Corbyn, Russell Brand, and Hugo Chavez. Exposing propagandists at the top levels of the BBC, as well as their reporting on the Scottish Independence referendum, the dismantling of the National Health Service, and looming climate chaos, Propaganda Blitz shows how the corporate media hide the real issues from the public view, often completely reversing the truth.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

The women’s atlas / Seager, Joni
“The most comprehensive and accessible global analysis of key issues facing women: the advances that have been made and the distances still to be travelled. Joni Seager’s award-winning The Women’s Atlas illustrates the status of women worldwide today. Through cutting-edge infographics, the atlas portrays how women are living across continents and cultures.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

On the future : prospects for humanity / Rees, Martin J.
“Humanity has reached a critical moment. Our world is unsettled and rapidly changing, and we face existential risks over the next century. Various prospects for the future–good and bad–are possible. Yet our approach to the future is characterized by short-term thinking, polarizing debates, alarmist rhetoric, and pessimism. In this short, exhilarating book, renowned scientist and bestselling author Martin Rees argues that humanity’s future depends on our taking a very different approach to thinking about and planning for tomorrow.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Christmas at the Romanovs: New eBook Non-Fiction

Christmas means family and togetherness, but what if your family members are the autocratic rulers of the Russian Empire, known for their disastrous wars, bloody massacres and friendships with unreliable holy men? That’s the question author Helen Rappaport ponders in The Race to Save the Romanovs. Why was it that after Tsar Nicholas II was imprisoned following the October Revolution, not one of his cousins in Europe’s wide network of monarchies came to his rescue? Read on (or sign up) to find out!

Overdrive cover The Race to Save the Romanovs, by Helen Rappaport
“On 17 July 1918, the Russian Revolution came for the former Tsar Nicholas, his wife Alexandra, and their children – Olga, Tatiana, Maria, Anastasia and Alexey. Why were the world’s mightiest nations powerless to save the Romanovs? Helen Rappaport reveals a tragic story of fierce loyalty, bitter rivalries and devastating betrayals, culminating in the execution of the abandoned Imperial family.” (Adapted from the Overdrive description.)

Overdrive cover Dopesick, by Beth Macy
“Beth Macy takes us into the heart of America’s struggle with opioid addiction. From distressed small communities in Central Appalachia to wealthy suburbs and once-idyllic farm towns, this powerful and moving story illustrates how a national crisis became so firmly entrenched. And at the heart of the narrative is one large corporation: Purdue.” (Adapted from the Overdrive description.)

Overdrive cover The Cave, by Liam Cochrane
“When the 12 young members of the Wild Boars soccer club walked into a Thai cave with their coach, they expected to be out by nightfall. A birthday cake waited in the fridge for one boy, another boy had a tutoring class. Then a sudden monsoonal downpour flooded their route out. They were trapped. So began the greatest search-and-rescue mission in living memory.” (Adapted from the Overdrive description.)

Overdrive cover Meghan, by Andrew Morton
“In this biography of the duchess-to-be, acclaimed royal biographer Andrew Morton goes back to Meghan’s roots, interviewing those closest to her to uncover the story of her childhood, growing up in The Valley in LA and her breakout into acting. Finishing with an account of her romance with Prince Harry, Morton reflects on the impact that Meghan has already made on the rigid traditions of the House of Windsor.” (Adapted from the Overdrive description.)

Overdrive cover Women, Equality, Power, by Helen Clark
“Helen Clark has been a political leader for more than 40 years. She entered parliament in 1981, led the Labour Party to victory in 1999 and was Prime Minister of New Zealand for nine years. She then took on a critical international role as Administrator of the UN Development Programme. One of her key focuses throughout this time has been the empowerment of women and she has paved the way for other women to step up and lead.” (Adapted from the Overdrive description.)

Overdrive cover The Life You Can Save, by Peter Singer
“Most of us are absolutely certain that we wouldn’t hesitate to save a drowning child. Yet while thousands of children die each day, we spend money on things we take for granted, and would hardly miss if they were not there. Is that wrong? If so, how far does our obligation to the poor go?” (Adapted from the Overdrive description.)

Overdrive cover Chasing Hillary, by Amy Chozick
“Hillary Clinton dominated Amy Chozick’s life for more than a decade. Here, she tells the inside story of Clinton’s pursuit of the US presidency in a campaign book like no other. Chozick comes to understand what drove Clinton, how she accomplished what no woman had before, and why she ultimately failed. Poignant, illuminating, laugh-out-loud funny, Chasing Hillary is a campaign book like never before.” (Adapted from the Overdrive description.)

Overdrive cover Brotopia, by Emily Chang
“In this powerful exposé, journalist Emily Chang reveals how Silicon Valley got so sexist despite its utopian ideals, why bro culture endures despite decades of companies claiming the moral high ground (Don’t Be Evil! Connect the World!)—and how women are finally starting to speak out and fight back.” (Adapted from the Overdrive description.)

Overdrive cover The Islamic Enlightenment, by Christopher de Bellaigue
“The Muslim world has often been accused of a failure to modernise and adapt. Yet in this sweeping narrative and provocative retelling of modern history, Christopher de Bellaigue charts the forgotten story of the Islamic Enlightenment – the social movements, reforms and revolutions that transfigured the Middle East.” (Adapted from the Overdrive description.)