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.)

Standouts on the New Non-Fiction bookstand!

Voyages: From Tongan Villages To American Suburbs 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 are on sustainability, and on community: On cultivating community. & On sustainability and what we leave behind.

Mountains to sea : solving New Zealand’s freshwater crisis / edited by Mike Joy.
“The state of New Zealand’s freshwater has become an urgent public issue in recent years. From across the political spectrum, concern is growing about the pollution of New Zealand’s rivers and streams. We all know they need fixing. But how do we do it? In Mountains to Sea, leading ecologist Mike Joy teams up with thinkers from all walks of life to consider how we can solve New Zealand’s freshwater crisis. The book covers a wide range of topics, including food production, public health, economics and Maori narratives of water.” (Syndetics summary)

Freeman’s : power
“From the voices of protestors to the encroachment of a new fascism, everywhere we look power is revealed. This thought-provoking issue of the acclaimed literary annual Freeman’s explores who gets to say what matters in a time of social upheaval.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverVoyages : from Tongan villages to American suburbs / Cathy A. Small.
“In Voyages, Cathy A. Small offers a view of the changes in migration, globalization, and ethnographic fieldwork over three decades. The second edition adds fresh descriptions and narratives in three new chapters based on two more visits to Tonga and California in 2010. The author (whose role after thirty years of fieldwork is both ethnographer and family member) reintroduces the reader to four sisters in the same family-two who migrated to the United States and two who remained in Tonga-and reveals what has unfolded in their lives in the fifteen years since the first edition was written.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Have you eaten grandma? / Brandreth, Gyles Daubeney
“Our language is changing, literacy levels are dwindling and our grasp of grammar is at crisis point, so you wouldn’t be alone in thinking WTF! But do not despair, Have You Eaten Grandma? is here: Gyles Brandreth’s definitive (and hilarious) guide to punctuation, spelling, and good English for the twenty-first century.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverHow to Tell Fate from Destiny : And Other Skillful Word Distinctions
“If you have trouble distinguishing the verbs imitate and emulate, the relative pronouns that and which, or the adjectives pliant, pliable, and supple, never fear– How to Tell Fate from Destiny is here to help! With more than 500 headwords, the book is replete with advice on how to differentiate commonly confused words and steer clear of verbal trouble.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe Future of Capitalism : Facing the New Anxieties
“Deep new rifts are tearing apart the fabric of the United States and other Western societies: thriving cities versus rural counties, the highly skilled elite versus the less educated, wealthy versus developing countries. As these divides deepen, we have lost the sense of ethical obligation to others that was crucial to the rise of post-war social democracy. So far these rifts have been answered only by the revivalist ideologies of populism and socialism, leading to the seismic upheavals of Trump, Brexit, and the return of the far-right in Germany. We have heard many critiques of capitalism but no one has laid out a realistic way to fix it, until now.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverSeriously Curious : The Facts and Figures That Turn Our World Upside Down
“…brings together the very best explainers and charts, written and created by top journalists to help us understand such brain-bending conundrums as why Swedes overpay their taxes, why America still allows child marriage, and what the link is between avocados and crime. The Economist explains and its online sister, the Daily Chart, are the two most popular blogs on The Economist’s website. Together, these online giants provide answers to the kinds of questions, quirky and serious, that may be puzzling anyone interested in the world around them.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe crypto book : how to invest safely in bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies / Siam Kidd.
“Blockchain technology and the cryptocurrencies it enables are being described by some people as the biggest thing since the internet, but very few people understand it, or the opportunities it brings. Enter this down-to-earth guide to understanding what cryptocurrencies are, why it matters, and how to make money from them.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverI think, therefore I draw : understanding philosophy through cartoons / Thomas Cathcart and Daniel Klein.
“Covering topics as diverse as religion, gender, knowledge, morality, and the meaning of life (or the lack thereof), I Think, Therefore I Draw gives a thorough introduction to all of the major debates in philosophy through history and the present. And since they explain with the help of a selection of some of the smartest cartoonists working today, you’ll breeze through these weighty topics as you guffaw and slap your knee.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverGlobalization and its discontents revisited : anti-globalization in the era of Trump / Joseph E. Stiglitz.
“In this hugely controversial book, the most recent winner of the Nobel Prize for Economics argues that though globalization should be a powerful force for good, it has been badly mishandled by the West (especially its lead institutions, the World Bank and the IMF), and that the anti-globalizing protestors have much to say that we should listen to. Coming from a figure of Stiglitz’s background and authority, this is an explosive message which will change the way we regard modern global politics.” (Syndetics summary)

Pick of the bunch: New popular Non-Fiction

Talk on the Wild Side

An inspiration to ‘the disenfranchised, marginalised and voiceless Indigenous communities’ heads our list today. It’s A long way from No Go, about the life of Tjanara Goreng Goreng, who was a disadvantaged Australian Aboriginal woman. A fascinating memoir.

A long way from No Go / Goreng Goreng, Tjanara
“This is a memoir of an Aboriginal woman, Tjanara Goreng Goreng, who began life without any of the advantages of her fellow non-Indigenous Australians except for grit, humour and diverse talent in spades. Life was tough and poor as an Aboriginal kid in No Go, in remote Queensland. Tjanara navigates the treacherous waters of her childhood, immersed in the legacy of 200 years of brutal treatment of her mother’s people that has left its suppurating scars deep in their psyche. This is a story of resilience, courage and Tjanara’s remarkable capacity to overcome every possible barrier that can be thrown up in Australian society. She is an inspiration to all fellow Australians and more specifically to the disenfranchised, marginalised and voiceless Indigenous communities.” (Adapted from the Catalogue)

Palaces for the people : how to build a more equal and united society / Klinenberg, Eric
“Too often we take for granted and neglect our libraries, parks, markets, schools, playgrounds, gardens and communal spaces, but decades of research now shows that these places can have an extraordinary effect on our health and wellbeing and that of society as a whole. Why? Because wherever people cross paths and linger, wherever we gather informally, strike up a conversation and get to know one another, relationships blossom and communities emerge – and where communities are strong, people are safer and healthier, crime drops and commerce thrives, and peace, tolerance and stability take root.” (Adapted from the Catalogue)

Syndetics book coverTalk on the Wild Side : Why Language Can’t Be Tamed
“Language is a wild thing. It is vague and anarchic. Style, meaning, and usage are continually on the move. Throughout history, for every mutation, idiosyncrasy, and ubiquitous mistake, there have been countervailing rules, pronouncements and systems making some attempt to bring language to heel. Talk on the Wild Side is both a guide to the great debates and controversies of usage, and a love letter to language itself. Holding it together is Greene’s infectious enthusiasm for his subject. While you can walk away with the finer points of who says “whom” and the strange history of “buxom” schoolboys, most of all, it inspires awe in language itself: for its elegance, resourcefulness, and power.” (Adapted from the Syndetics summary)

Unsettled : refugee camps and the making of multicultural Britain / Bailkin, Jordanna
“Refugee camps in Britain were never only for refugees. Refugees shared a space with Britons who had been displaced by war and poverty, as well as thousands of civil servants and a fractious mix of volunteers. Unsettled: Refugee Camps and the Making of Multicultural Britain explores how these camps have shaped today’s multicultural Britain. They generated unique intimacies and frictions, illuminating the closeness of individuals that have traditionally been kept separate–“citizens” and “migrants,” but also refugee populations from diverse countries and conflicts. As the world’s refugee crisis once again brings to Europe the challenges of mass encampment, Unsettled offers warnings from a liberal democracy’s recent past.” (Adapted from the Catalogue)

Best of enemies : the last great spy story of the Cold War / Russo, Gus
“The thrilling story of two Cold War spies — CIA case officer Jack Platt and KGB agent Gennady Vasilenko — and their improbable friendship at a time when they should have been anything but. In 1978, CIA maverick Jack Platt and KGB agent Gennady Vasilenko were new arrivals on the Washington, DC intelligence scene, with Jack working out of the CIA’s counterintelligence office and Gennady out of the Soviet Embassy. Both men, already notorious iconoclasts within their respective agencies, were assigned to seduce the other into betraying his country in the urgent final days of the Cold War, but instead the men ended up becoming the best of friends-blood brothers…” (Adapted from the Catalogue)

The tyranny of opinion : conformity and the future of liberalism / Blackford, Russell
“We live in an age of ideology, propaganda, and tribalism. Political conformity is enforced from many sides; the insidious social control that John Stuart Mill called “the tyranny of the prevailing opinion and feeling.” Liberal or left-minded people are often more afraid of each other than of their conservative or right wing opponents. Social media and call-out-culture makes it easier to name, shame, ostracize and harass non-conformists, and destroys careers and lives. How can we oppose this, regaining freedom and our sense of ourselves as individuals? The Tyranny of Opinion identifies the problem, defines its character, and proposes strategies of resistance. Russell Blackford calls for an end to ideological purity policing and for recommitment to the foundational liberal values of individual liberty and spontaneity, free inquiry, diverse opinion, and honest debate.” (Catalogue)

Democracy when the people are thinking : revitalizing our politics through public deliberation / Fishkin, James S
“This volume speaks to a recurring dilemma: listen to the people and get the angry voices of populism or rely on widely distrusted elites and get policies that seem out of touch with the public’s concerns. Instead, there are methods for getting a representative and thoughtful public voice that is really worth listening to. Democracy is under siege in most countries, where democratic institutions have low approval and face a resurgent threat from authoritarian regimes. Deliberative democracy can provide an antidote and can reinvigorate our democratic politics.” (Adapted from the Catalogue)

Syndetics book coverA seat at the table : congresswomen’s perspectives on why their presence matters / Kelly Dittmar, Kira Sanbonmatsu, and Susan J. Carroll.
“Drawing on personal interviews with women serving in the 114th Congress, the authors analyze the perspectives of women members as they seek to make a meaningful difference in the contemporary political environment. Unlike other studies of women in Congress, this book avoids looking at gender in a vacuum, instead considering how gender interacts with political party, race and ethnicity, seniority, chamber, and district characteristics to shape women’s representational influence.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverDigital renaissance : what data and economics tell us about the future of popular culture / Joel Waldfogel.
“The digital revolution poses a mortal threat to the major creative industries–music, publishing, television, and the movies. The ease with which digital files can be copied and distributed has unleashed a wave of piracy with disastrous effects on revenue. Cheap, easy self-publishing is eroding the position of these gatekeepers and guardians of culture. Does this revolution herald the collapse of culture, as some commentators claim? Far from it.” (Adapted from the Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverDangerous ideas about mothers / edited by Camilla Nelson & Rachel Robertson.
“Mothers are a topic on which almost everybody has an opinion, and always have. Now, however, those opinions are funnelled into and amplified on social media, where conversations turn ugly and advice is commercialised (read: the rise of the Mumpreneurs). Often, social media is understood as a place where mothers can either show off or shut up. It is from this idea of heightened scrutiny that Dangerous Ideas About Mothers takes its leave.” (Adapted from the Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverImpeaching the president : past, present, and future / Alan Hirsch.Impeaching a President: Past, Present, and Future
“It seems quite possible that President Trump will be impeached. …In response to the complexity of a rapidly evolving situation, constitutional scholar Alan Hirsch offers clear and to-the-point guidance for all matters relating to removing a sitting president–from the Founder’s constitutional protections against executive criminality, and the instructive impeachment stories of presidents Andrew Johnson, Richard Nixon, and Bill Clinton, to the particular ways that Donald Trump may be legally vulnerable, and the possibilities and limitations of presidential self-pardon.” (Adapted from the Syndetics summary)

All things Home, Garden and D.I.Y.

This month’s recent pick features great ideas for Christmas cooking, urban and contemporary gardening, and DIY guides. Enjoy!

The natural home : tips, ideas & recipes for a sustainable life / Nissen, Wendyl
“Wendyl Nissen shares her approach to living a balanced and sustainable life based on an old-fashioned model of growing and cooking your own food, avoiding artificial products and doing your best to avoid letting unnecessary chemical cocktails into your life.” (Catalogue)

Home made Christmas / Boven, Yvette van
“The holidays can be overwhelming, but Yvette shows you how to make them easier with her “make ahead” recipes, giving you time to enjoy your company when they arrive. Home Made Christmas includes more than 100 recipes for the holidays (organized by Prepare Ahead and To Finish It Off) that are all easy to make and delicious… Yvette even provides menu ideas to make all your planning easier. Whether you’re celebrating your first Christmas with the love of your life or cooking for your entire family, this cookbook makes sure you’re fully prepared to entertain your holiday guests with a delicious, satisfying meal.” (Adapted from the Catalogue)

Slow down and grow something. : the urban grower’s recipe for the good life / Smith, Byron
“Growing and eating food from your balcony or backyard is insanely addictive – a chance to pocket a slice of farm life in the city, even if it’s just for a few minutes a day. Join the grow-you-own revolution one lemongrass mojito at a time, with the help of Byron Smith, who has created urban food oases in even the tiniest of plots. Whether you’re considering cultivating a few pots of seasonal fruit and vege through to a rooftop farm for your apartment block, this book is your blueprint for the good life in the city. It’s jam-packed with projects, advice and 50 mind-blowing recipes that will inspire you to get digging and start growing now.” (Catalogue)

Make ink / Logan, Jason
“An illuminating guide to making eco-friendly ink at home using scavenged materials from the founder of the Toronto Ink Company. The Toronto Ink Company was founded in 2014 by designer and artist Jason Logan as a citizen science experiment to make eco-friendly, urban ink from street-harvested pigments. Logan delves into the history of inkmaking and the science of distilling pigment from the natural world.” (Adapted from the Catalogue)

Simply clean : the proven method for keeping your home organized, clean, and beautiful in just 10 minutes a day / Rapinchuk, Becky
“No matter how big your home or busy your schedule, Rapinchuk believes that in just ten minutes a day your can keep your house clean and decluttered. She shares her system to turn cleaning from a chore into an effortless habit, and also shares recipes for organic, environmentally conscious cleaning supplies.” (Catalogue)

Fewer, better things : the hidden wisdom of objects / Adamson, Glenn
“Curator and scholar Glenn Adamson opens Fewer, Better Things by contrasting his beloved childhood teddy bear to the smartphones and digital tablets children have today. He laments that many children and adults are losing touch with the material objects that have nurtured human development for thousands of years… Fewer, Better Things explores the history of craft in its many forms, explaining how raw materials, tools, design, and technique come together to produce beauty and utility in handmade or manufactured items. Whether describing the implements used in a traditional Japanese tea ceremony, the use of woodworking tools, or the use of new fabrication technologies, Adamson writes expertly and lovingly about the aesthetics of objects, and the care and attention that goes into producing them.” (Adapted from the Catalogue)

Beehive alchemy : projects and recipes using honey, beeswax, propolis, and pollen to make soap, candles, creams, salves, and more / Ahnert, Petra
Beehive Alchemy is every beekeeper’s (and bee lover’s) guide to transforming the bounty of bees into practical and beautiful products for health and home (and)offers a comprehensive introduction to incorporating the miracle of bees into everyday life. With this new book, beekeepers (and bee lovers) will learn about the benefits and attributes of beeswax, honey, propolis, and more alongside a full range of projects and techniques to process and harness the amazing gifts of bees.” (Adapted from the Catalogue)

The tool book : the Australian companion to over 200 hand tools / Davy, Phil
“A complete visual guide with more than 800 images, The Tool Book pays homage to generations of craftsmanship, ingenuity and know-how. Clear photography and illustrations present more than 200 hand tools from every angle, showing you how to use and care for them, why each tool is right for the job and why it deserves pride of place in your collection.” (Adapted from the Catalogue)

Root to bloom : a modern guide to whole plant use : harvest, cook, preserve, heal / Pember, Mat
Root to Bloom equips readers with the knowledge and tools to grow, eat and celebrate every edible part of the plant. The book will explore the lesser-used parts of a plant that are often snubbed in favor of the produce we’ve come to expect. It includes a comprehensive rundown of 35 edible plants (from cilantro to onion to yams), covering extra components of edibility, including flowers, roots and weeds. It educates people about ideal growing conditions, the nutrition level of the parts, as well as activities on how to prepare/preserve them for eating – with recipes… As well, it includes six breakout chapters on key related topics: medicinal; herbicides; skin care; weeds/foraging; the orchard; and preserving flowers.” (Adapted from the Catalogue)

The nature of home : creating timeless houses / Dungan, Jeffrey
“Following in the tradition of populist architects Gil Schafer and Bobby McAlpine, Dungan designs new traditional houses for today–houses with clean lines, made with stone and wood, that carry an air of lasting beauty and that are made to be handed on to future generations. In his first book, Dungan shares his advice and insight for creating these “forever” houses and explores eight houses in full, from a beach house on the Gulf Coast to a farmhouse in the Southern countryside to a family home in the Blue Ridge Mountains. All speak of authenticity, timelessness, and lived history that reveals itself through the rich patinas and natural textures that come with age. Layered in between are thematic essays and imagery celebrating the importance of elements such as light, stone, and rooflines in creating a home.” (Adapted from the catalogue)

Where Shall We Run To? New eAudiobook Non-Fiction

The Library of Ice eBook cover

Cartoonist Carl Barks has been called one of the great storytellers of the 20th century, yet despite the exotic worlds of his stories, he didn’t leave North America until he was 93 years old! Instead Barks drew inspiration from books, encyclopedias and his subscription to National Geographic. This month’s new eAudiobook non-fiction from Overdrive has a similar spirit, taking listeners from the winter darkness of Greenland, across the Silk Road to China and even down to the US-Mexico border. So grab your computer, phone or tablet and join us as we venture into worlds unknown!

Overdrive cover The Line Becomes a River, by Francisco Cantú
“Francisco Cantú was a US Border Patrol agent from 2008 to 2012. He worked the desert along the Mexican border, at the remote crossroads of drug routes and smuggling corridors, tracking humans through blistering days and frigid nights across a vast terrain. He detains the exhausted and the parched. He hauls in the dead. He tries not to think where the stories go from there…” (Adapted from the Overdrive description.)

Overdrive cover My Life, My Fight, by Steven Adams
“The OKC Thunder’s big man shares the unlikely story behind his indomitable sense of determination and his journey from Rotorua, New Zealand to stardom in the NBA. Told with warmth, humour and humility, My Life, My Fight is a gripping account from an emerging superstar.” (Adapted from the Overdrive description.)

Overdrive cover Lands of Lost Borders, by Kate Harris
Lands of Lost Borders is the chronicle of Harris’s odyssey and an exploration of the importance of breaking the boundaries we set ourselves; an examination of the stories borders tell, and the restrictions they place on nature and humanity; and a meditation on the existential need to explore—the essential longing to discover what in the universe we are doing here.” (Adapted from the Overdrive description.)

Overdrive cover I Can’t Date Jesus, by Michael Arceneaux
“In the style of New York Times bestsellers You Can’t Touch My Hair, Bad Feminist and I’m Judging You, a timely collection of alternately hysterical and soul‑searching essays about what it is like to grow up as a creative, sensitive black man in a world that constantly tries to deride and diminish your humanity.” (Adapted from the Overdrive description.)

Overdrive cover Where Shall We Run To?, by Alan Garner
“In Where Shall We Run To?, Alan Garner remembers his early childhood in the Cheshire village of Alderley Edge: life at the village school as ‘a sissy and a mardy-arse’; pushing his friend Harold into a clump of nettles to test the truth of dock leaves; his father joining the army to guard the family against Hitler. From one of our greatest living writers, it is a remarkable and evocative memoir of a vanished England.” (Adapted from the Overdrive description.)

Overdrive cover The Library of Ice, by Nancy Campbell
“Author Nancy Campbell leads the reader carefully across intertwined icy tracks of crystallised geographics, melting myths and frozen exploration histories as well as her own tender diagnostics of what reading ice can show us in these times. Perilous in its scope, exacting in its observation, wild in intellect, The Library of Ice captures the reader’s attention almost as if caught in ice itself.” (Adapted from the Overdrive description.)

Overdrive cover No One Tells You This, by Glynnis MacNicol
“If the story doesn’t end with marriage or a child, what then? This question plagued Glynnis MacNicol on the eve of her 40th birthday. Despite a successful career as a writer, and an exciting life in New York City, Glynnis was constantly reminded she had neither of the things the world expected of a woman her age: a partner or a baby. There was no good blueprint for how to be a woman alone in the world. She concluded it was time to create one.” (Adapted from the Overdrive description.)

Overdrive cover Vietnam, An Epic Tragedy, by Max Hastings
“Vietnam became the Western world’s most divisive modern conflict, precipitating a battlefield humiliation for France in 1954, then a vastly greater one for the United States in 1975. Max Hastings has spent the past three years interviewing scores of participants on both sides, as well as researching a multitude of American and Vietnamese documents and memoirs, to create a political and military narrative of the entire conflict.” (Adapted from the Overdrive description.)

Overdrive cover Leftover in China, by Roseann Lake
“Roseann Lake’s Leftover in China employs colourful anecdotes, hundreds of interviews and rigorous historical and demographic research to show how the ‘leftovers’ are the ultimate linchpin to China’s future.” (Adapted from the Overdrive description.)

Overdrive cover Fire and Fury, by Michael Wolff
“The first nine months of Donald Trump’s term were stormy, outrageous—and absolutely mesmerising. Now, thanks to his deep access to the West Wing, bestselling author Michael Wolff tells the riveting story of how Trump launched a tenure as volatile and fiery as the man himself. In this explosive audiobook, Wolff provides a wealth of new details about the chaos in the Oval Office, showing us how and why Donald Trump has become the king of discord and disunion.” (Adapted from the Overdrive description.)

New popular non-fiction books

Muslims of the World book cover

From immortality to death, our books this time contain a wide range of topics!

The only girl : my life and times on the masthead of Rolling Stone / Green, Robin
“In 1971, Robin Green had an interview with Jann Wenner at the offices Rolling Stone magazine. She had just moved to Berkeley, California, a city that promised “good vibes all-a time.” Those days, job applications asked just one question, “What are your sun, moon and rising signs?” Green thought she was interviewing for a clerical job like the other girls in the office, a “real job.” Instead, she was hired as a journalist. Brutally honest and bold, Green reveals what it was like to be the first woman granted entry into an iconic boys’ club.”(Catalogue (adapted))

The book of extraordinary deaths : true accounts of ill-fated lives / Ruiz, Cecilia
“…The Book of Extraordinary Deaths introduces readers to the bizarre demises of thinkers, writers, monarchs, artists, and notable nobodies throughout history. Beginning in the fifth century BC with the morbidly unusual death of Aeschylus and journeying chronologically to identical twins–who died on the same day–in the present day, readers will learn of people they may or may not have ever heard of, but will forever remember for their memorable final moments…” (Catalogue (adapted))

The future of humanity : terraforming Mars, interstellar travel, immortality, and our destiny beyond Earth / Kaku, Michio
“Having debuted at No. 1 on the New York Times best sellers list with 2014’s The Future of the Mind, celebrated CUNY physicist Kaku goes back to the future with this study of how humans might eventually move away from Earth and build a sustainable civilization out there somewhere. …Human civilization is on the verge of spreading beyond Earth. More than a possibility, it is becoming a necessity- whether our hand is forced by climate change and resource depletion or whether future catastrophes compel us to abandon Earth, one day we will make our homes among the stars …and perhaps even achieve immortality.” (adapted from Catalogue)

Melanin monologues : a black British perspective / Adjaye, Natreema A.
Melanin Monologues documents the journey of a Black woman’s struggle to regain her self-esteem and cultural pride in British society. The chronicles provide some insight into the ways that racial classifications and stereotypes have influenced Black British communities. Natreema Adjaye strives to project a voice that has been obscured and ignored for the longest time. The monologues presents an honest account of what it means to be Black and British in a society where African identity has been defined from a Eurocentric standpoint.” (Catalogue)

1,000 books to read before you die : a life-changing list / Mustich, James
“The ultimate book for book lovers: the 1,000 must-read books across genres and eras, each accompanied by a thought-provoking short essay on why the book is so essential. The ultimate book for book lovers: the 1,000 must-read books across genres and eras, each accompanied by a thought-provoking short essay on why the book is so essential.” (Catalogue)

Exploding data : reclaiming our cyber security in the digital age / Chertoff, Michael
“The most dangerous threat we – individually and as a society and country – face today is no longer military, but rather the increasingly pervasive exposure of our personal information; nothing undermines our freedom more than losing control of information about ourselves. And yet, as daily events underscore, we are ever more vulnerable to cyber-attack. In offering his compelling call for action, Chertoff argues that what is at stake is not so much the simple loss of privacy, which is almost impossible to protect, but of individual autonomy – the ability to make personal choices free of manipulation or coercion.” (adapted from Catalogue)

Rise & resist : how to change the world / Press, Clare
Rise & Resist takes a wild trip through the new activism sweeping the world. The political march is back in a big way, as communities rally to build movements for environmental and social justice. Join Press as she tracks the formation of a new counterculture, united by a grand purpose- to rethink how we live today to build a more sustainable tomorrow.” (adapted from Catalogue)

Let’s talk about death over dinner : an invitation and guide to life’s most important conversation / Hebb, Michael
“Of the many critical conversations we will all have throughout our lifetime, few are as important as the ones discussing death – and not just the practical considerations, such as DNRs and wills, but what we fear, what we hope, and how we want to be remembered. Let’s Talk About Death (over Dinner) offers keen practical advice on how to have these same conversations – not just at the dinner table, but anywhere.” (adapted from Catalogue)

Future politics : living together in a world transformed by tech / Susskind, Jamie
Future Politics confronts one of the most important questions of our time: how will digital technology transform politics and society? The great political debate of the last century was about how much of our collective life should be determined by the state and what should be left to the market and civil society. In the future, the question will be how far our lives should be directed and controlled by powerful digital systems – and on what terms?” (adapted from Catalogue)

Hello world : being human in the age of algorithms / Fry, Hannah
“If you were accused of a crime, who would you rather decide your sentence – a mathematically consistent algorithm incapable of empathy or a compassionate human judge prone to bias and error? What if you want to buy a driverless car and must choose between one programmed to save as many lives as possible and another that prioritizes the lives of its own passengers? And would you agree to share your family’s full medical history if you were told that it would help researchers find a cure for cancer? These are just some of the dilemmas that we are beginning to face as we approach the age of the algorithm, when it feels as if the machines reign supreme.” (adapted from Catalogue)

Muslims of the world : portraits and stories of hope, survival, loss, and love / Shah, Sajjad
“We are living in a time of unrest for many members of the Islamic faith around the globe. Enter Muslims of the World, a book based on the popular Instagram account @MuslimsoftheWorld1. Like the account, the book’s mission is to tell the diverse stories of Muslims living in the US and around the world. Whether it is telling a story about a young Syrian refugee who dreams of being a pilot or about a young girl’s decision to not remove her hijab, which in turn saved her family’s life, Muslims of the World aims to unite people of all cultures and faiths by sharing the hopes, trials, and tribulations of Muslims from every walk of life.” (adapted from Catalogue)

People like us : the new wave of candidates knocking at democracy’s door / Bhojwani, Sayu
“The system is rigged: America’s political leadership remains overwhelmingly white, male, moneyed, and Christian. But in People Like Us, political scientist Sayu Bhojwani shares the stories of a diverse and persevering range of local and state politicians from across the country who are challenging the status quo, winning against all odds, and leaving a path for others to follow in their wake. In accessible prose, Bhojwani shines a light on the political, systemic, and cultural roadblocks that prevent government from effectively representing a rapidly changing America, and offers forward-thinking solutions on how to get rid of them.” (adapted from Catalogue)

New popular non-fiction books

Fight Like a Girl book cover

Another small, perfect book from BWB Texts begins our list today, False Divides written by Lana Lopesi.

False divides / Lopesi, Lana
“Te Moana Nui a Kiwa is the great ocean continent. While it is common to understand ocean and seas as something that divides land, for those Indigenous to the Pacific or the Moana, it was traditionally a connector and an ancestor. Imperialism in the Moana, however, created false divides between islands and separated their peoples. In the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries, these connections are becoming visible again, partly through the use of globalising technologies. In this BWB Text, Lana Lopesi argues that while colonisation created divisions across Te Moana Nui a Kiwa, the adaptability of Moana peoples is now turning the ocean back into the unifying continent that it once was.” (Catalogue)

That F word : growing up feminist in Aotearoa / Marvelly, Elizabeth
“Lizzie Marvelly tells the story of New Zealand’s feminist roots, then traverses the modern landscape, tearing apart areas of gender imbalance and pervading attitudes to Kiwi women. Lizzie speaks about her own first-hand experiences with sexism and male misconduct, while also offering advice to young girls on how to take full control of their lives…” (Catalogue (adapted))

What to read and why / Prose, Francine
“In an age defined by hyper-connectivity and constant stimulation, Francine Prose makes a compelling case for the solitary act of reading and the great enjoyment it brings. Inspiring and illuminating, What to Read and Why includes selections culled from Prose’s previous essays, reviews, and introductions, combined with new, never-before-published pieces that focus on her favorite works of fiction and nonfiction, on works by masters of the short story, and even on books by photographers like Diane Arbus…” (Catalogue (adapted))

Value of everything : making and taking in the global economy / Mazzucato, Mariana
“A scathing indictment of our current global financial system, The Value of Everything rigorously scrutinizes the way in which economic value has been accounted and reveals how economic theory has failed to clearly delineate the difference between value creation and value extraction. Mariana Mazzucato argues that the increasingly blurry distinction between the two categories has allowed certain actors in the economy to portray themselves as value creators, while in reality they are just moving around existing value or, even worse, destroying it…”-Publisher’s description.” (Catalogue (adapted))

The AI delusion / Smith, Gary
“Gary Smith argues that the real danger of artificial intelligence is not that computers are smarter than us, but that we think they are. Through many examples, Smith shows that human reasoning is fundamentally different from artificial intelligence, and it is needed more than ever. …Computers are very good at discovering patterns, but are useless in judging whether the unearthed patterns are sensible because computers do not think the way humans think…” (Catalogue (adapted))

Digital human : the fourth revolution of humanity includes everyone / Skinner, Chris
“This digitalisation of our planet is bringing about a major transformation. Everyone on the planet will soon be included in the network and everyone on the planet will get the chance to talk, trade and transact with everyone in real time. This book offers insight into a number of intriguing topics that stem from the digitalisation of humanity such as how bitcoin and cryptocurrencies are challenging government and control mechanisms and why the Chinese tech giants are more imaginative than their Western counterparts…”-Dust jacket.” (Catalogue (adapted))

Poverty safari : understanding the anger of Britain’s underclass / McGarvey, Darren
“Darren McGarvey has experienced poverty and its devastating effects first-hand. He knows why people from deprived communities all around Britain feel angry and unheard. And he wants to explain… This book takes you inside the experience of poverty to show how the pressures really feel and how hard their legacy is to overcome. Arguing that both the political left and right misunderstand poverty as it is actually lived, McGarvey sets out what everybody – including himself – could do to change things…” (Catalogue (adapted))

Emotional AI : the rise of empathic media / McStay, Andrew
“What happens when media technologies are able to interpret our feelings, emotions, moods, and intentions? In this cutting edge new book, Andrew McStay explores that very question and argues that these abilities result in a form of technological empathy. …Combining established theory with original analysis, this book will change the way students view, use and interact with new technologies. It should be required reading for students and researchers in media, communications, the social sciences and beyond.” (Catalogue (adapted))

The edge of memory : ancient stories, oral tradition and the post-glacial world / Nunn, Patrick D.
“In The Edge of Memory, Patrick Nunn explores the science in folk history. He looks at ancient tales and traditions that may be rooted in scientifically verifiable fact, and can be explored via geological evidence, such as the Biblical Flood. We all know those stories that have been told in our families for generations. The ones that start “Have I ever told you about your great, great Uncle …?” In some cultures these stories have been passed down for thousands of years, and often reveal significant information about how the surrounding environment has changed and the effect it has had on societies–from stories referring to coastal drowning to the devastation caused by meteorite falls. Geologists are now starting to corroborate the tales through study of climatic data, sediments and land forms; the evidence was there in the stories, but until recently, nobody was listening.” (Catalogue (adapted))

Plundering beauty : a history of art crime during war / Tompkins, Arthur
“The roll-call of mankind’s wars down the centuries is paralleled by an equally extensive catalogue of the theft, destruction, plundering, displacement and concealing of some of the greatest works of art. …The works of art involved have fascinating stories to tell, as civilization moves from a simple and brutal ‘winner takes it all’ attitude to the spoils of war, to contemporary understanding, and commitment to, the idea that a society’s artistic heritage truly belongs to all humankind”–Back cover.” (Catalogue (adapted))

Wolf boys : two American teenagers and Mexico’s most dangerous drug cartel / Slater, Dan
“What it like to be an employee of a global drug-trafficking organization? In the border town of Laredo, Texas, Gabriel and his friend Bart abandon promising futures for the allure of the Zetas, a drug cartel with roots in the Mexican military. Mexican-born Detective Robert Garcia has worked hard all his life and is now struggling to raise his family in America. As violence spills over the border, Detective Garcia pursuit of the boys, and their cartel leaders, puts him face to face with the urgent consequences of a war he sees as unwinnable. Slater shows the way in which the border itself is changing, disappearing, and posing new, terrifying, and yet largely unseen threats to American security.” (Catalogue)

Raising Rosie : our story of parenting an intersex child / Lohman, Eric
“When their daughter Rosie was born …intersex – a term that describes people who are born with a variety of physical characteristics that do not fit neatly into traditional conceptions about male and female bodies – Rosie’s parents were pressured to consent to normalizing surgery on Rosie, without being offered any alternatives despite their concerns. Part memoir, part guidebook, this powerful book tells the authors’ experience of refusing to have Rosie operated on and how they raised a child who is intersex. The book looks at how they spoke about the condition to friends and family, to Rosie’s teachers and caregivers, and shows how they plan on explaining it to Rosie when she is older…” (Catalogue (adapted))

Fight Like a Girl book coverFight like a girl / Ford, Clementine
An incendiary debut taking the world by storm, Fight Like A Girl is an essential manifesto for feminists new, old and soon-to-be, and exposes just how unequal the world is. Personal and fearless – a call to arms for feminists new, old and as yet unrealised by one of our most outspoken feminist writers.” (Catalogue)

New Non-Fiction arrivals

Prime Movers book cover

A very interesting mix of books this month, including one on Adam Smith, an MI6 spy inside al-Qaeda and ‘The perfectionists : how precision engineers created the modern world’.

Prime movers : from Pericles to Gandhi : twelve great political thinkers and what’s wrong with each of them / Mount, Ferdinand
“The lives of men such as Jesus Christ, Rousseau, Adam Smith, Edmund Burke , and Thomas Jefferson are discussed and comparisons are drawn between the various approaches each figure promoted in their works – whether philosophical, or political theories.” (Syndetics summary, adapted)

Text, lies and cataloging : ethical treatment of deceptive works in the library / Brubaker, Jana
“The library profession values objectivity and accuracy, qualities that can be difficult to reconcile when a work is controversial. This book addresses ethical considerations, particularly for cataloguers, and proposes cataloguing solutions. The approaches suggested are provocative and designed to spark debate. … Deceptive literary works mislead readers and present librarians with a dilemma. Whether making recommendations to patrons or creating catalog records, objectivity and accuracy are crucial–and can be difficult to reconcile when a book’s authorship or veracity is in doubt… (Catalogue (adapted))

Internet celebrity : understanding fame online / Abidin, Crystal
“…The face of internet celebrity is rapidly diversifying and evolving. Online and mainstream celebrity culture are now weaving together, such that breakout stars from one-hit viral videos are able to turn their transient fame into a full-time career. This book presents a framework for thinking about the different forms of internet celebrity that have emerged over the last decade, taking examples from the Global North and South, to consolidate key ideas about cultures of online fame…” (Catalogue (adapted))

Nine lives : my time as MI6’s top spy inside al-Qaeda / Dean, Aimen
“A compelling and invaluable account of life inside al-Qaeda through the eyes of a first-rate spy. As one of al-Qaeda’s most respected scholars and bomb-makers, Aimen Dean rubbed shoulders with the mastermind of the 9/11 attacks and swore allegiance to Osama bin Laden himself. His job was already one of the most dangerous in the world. But what the others didn’t know was that he was working undercover for MI6. This is the story of a young Muslim determined to defend his faith, even if it meant dying for the cause, the terrible disillusionment that followed when he realised he was fighting on the wrong side, and the fateful decision to work undercover with his sworn enemy.” (Catalogue (adapted))

Rethinking school : how to take charge of your child’s education / Bauer, Susan Wise
“With boldness, experience, and humor, Susan Wise Bauer turns conventional wisdom on its head. When a serious problem arises at school, the fault is more likely to lie with the school, or the educational system itself, than with the child. In five illuminating sections, Bauer teaches parents how to flex the K-12 system, rather than the child. As the author of the classic book on home-schooling, The Well-Trained Mind, Bauer knows how children learn and how schools work. Her advice here is comprehensive and anecdotal, including material drawn from experience with her own four children and more than twenty years of educational consulting and university teaching.” (Catalogue (adapted))

Politics for the new dark age : staying positive amidst disorder / Skews, Anthony
“Our societies are growing more unequal, more hierarchical, meaner and less human every year. Voters appalled by the direction of current politics respond to leaders that articulate a cohesive and genuine progressivism. This book provides the framework for politicians and activists to deliver that vision, organised around the themes of cooperative solutions to social problem-solving and a social contract centered on rights and the equal dignity of all people.” (Catalogue)

The perfectionists : how precision engineers created the modern world / Winchester, Simon
“New York Times best-selling Winchester charts the development of technology from the Industrial Age to the Digital Age with an eye to a single factor: precision. Standards of measurement, machines that made machines, the Hadron Collider-all have required and engendered ever greater precision. But are we missing the importance of craft and art and the messy reality of the world? (Catalogue (adapted))

Authentocrats : culture, politics and the new seriousness / Kennedy, Joe
Authentocrats critiques the manner in which post-liberal ideas have been mobilised underhandedly by centrist politicians who, at least notionally, are hostile to the likes of Donald Trump and UKIP. It examines the forms this populism of the centre has taken in the United Kingdom and situates the moderate withdrawal from liberalism within a story which begins in the early 1990s. In this book, we see how this spurious concern for “real people” is part of a broader turn within British culture by which the mainstream withdraws from the openness of the Nineties under the bad-faith supposition that there’s nowhere to go but backwards. Authentocrats charges liberals themselves with fuelling the post-liberal turn, and asks where the space might be found for an alternative.” (Catalogue (adapted))

Fair shot : rethinking inequality and how we earn / Hughes, Chris
“To help people who are struggling, Hughes proposes a simple, bold solution: a guaranteed income for working people, including unpaid caregivers and students, paid for by the one percent. Hughes believes that a guaranteed income is the most powerful tool we have to combat poverty.” (Book jacket)

Adam Smith : what he thought, and why it matters / Norman, Jesse
“This book is not only a biography. It dispels the myths and debunks the caricatures that have grown up around Adam Smith. It explores Smith’s ideas in detail, from ethics to law to economics and government, and the impact of those ideas on thinkers as diverse as Karl Marx, Charles Darwin, John Maynard Keynes and Friedrich Hayek. At a time when economics and politics are ever more polarized between left and right, this book, by offering a Smithian analysis of contemporary markets, predatory capitalism and the 2008 financial crash, returns us to first principles and shows how the lost centre of modern public debate can be recreated.” (Catalogue (adapted))

Invisible countries : journeys to the edge of nationhood / Keating, Joshua
“What is a country? While certain basic criteria–borders, a government, and recognition from other countries–seem obvious, journalist Joshua Keating’s book explores exceptions to these rules, including self-proclaimed countries such as Abkhazia, Kurdistan, and Somaliland, a Mohawk reservation straddling the U.S.-Canada border, and an island nation whose very existence is threatened by climate change. Through stories about these would-be countries’ efforts at self-determination, as well as their respective challenges, Keating shows that there is no universal legal authority determining what a country is. He argues that although our current world map appears fairly static, economic, cultural, and environmental forces in the places he describes may spark change.” (Catalogue)