Electric cars and future transport

With more and more electric vehicles and scooters on the road, it’s time to think about future transport and technologies. This booklist includes a science fiction book about future cars. Enjoy!

Insane mode : how Elon Musk’s Tesla sparked an electric revolution to end the age of oil / McKenzie, Hamish
“Tells the story of Tesla and argues that, under Elon Musk’s “insane mode” leadership, the company is bringing an end to the era of gasoline-powered transportation.” (Catalogue)


Autopia : the future of cars / Bentley, Jon
“Cars are one of the most significant human creations. But in the next thirty years, this technology will itself change enormously. If Google get their way, are we all going to be ferried around in tiny electric bubble-cars? Or will we watch robots race a bionic Lewis Hamilton? And what about the future of classic cars?  From mobile hotel rooms to electric battery technology; from hydrogen-powered cars to jetpacks, Autopia is the essential guide to the future of our greatest invention.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

All about electric & hybrid cars / Traister, Robert JSelf-driving cars : the new way forward / Fallon, Michael
“Author Fallon presents a history of how the technology used in self-driving cars has developed, identifies recent technological gains, and surveys recent controversies surrounding the potential mass adoption of self-driving cars.”–Provided by publisher.” (Catalogue)


Hop, skip, go : how the transport revolution is transforming our lives / Rossant, John
“Urban expert John Rossant and business journalist Stephen Baker look beyond the false promises of the past to examine the real future of transportation and the repercussions for the world’s cities, the global economy, the environment, and our individual lives. In an engaging, deeply reported book, the authors travel to mobility hotspots, from Helsinki to Shanghai, to scout out this future.” (Adapted from the Catalogue)

The passengers / Marrs, John
“A ruthless hacker has targeted eight driverless cars, setting them on a fatal collision course. If the authorities interfere with the vehicles before they reach their destination, they will explode, killing everyone on board. Now the hacker is insisting that the public – and a select jury – judge who should live and who should die. It’s a trial by social media – a popularity contest that will be fought to the death…”–Publisher description.” (Catalogue)

Carbon neutral by 2020 : how New Zealanders can tackle climate change
“Climate change has become one of the central issues of our time. This book offers a positive response by presenting solutions from a range of New Zealand experts, all of whom show how we can rethink our current practices, mobilise people and put in place new ways of doing things that will help create a carbon neutral society. This is a timely, important book and a positive response to an absolutely critical issue from many of the best-informed people in New Zealand.” (Adapted from the Catalogue)

New planes, cars and transport books for June

There are an equal number of car-and-transport books and aircraft books this month. There are some very interesting plane books, including “Area 51 black jets”. Apparently, in July 2013, “CIA finally acknowledged the existence of Area 51 for the first time”.

Syndetics book coverView from the cockpit : flying military aircraft / Tim McLelland.
“Reviving a feature of old aviation magazines, this book’s detailed accounts give the reader an opportunity to place him or herself in the cockpit, sharing the what it is really like to sit inside a warplane. Few civilians and these days few journalists get the chance to fly in a combat aircraft; the author has been lucky enough to experience flying in a wide range of military planes ranging from the Chipmunk and Bulldog to huge multi-engine craft, front-line combat aircraft, such as the Jaguar, Phantom, Harrier, Buccaneer, Hawk, Hornet, and Tornado, and with the “Blue Angels” and Red Arrows. Combining narrative, interviews, and first-hand descriptions of handling aircraft–including each craft’s quirks and vices, this book offers a unique insight into military flying.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverCar brakes : a guide to upgrading, repair and maintenance / Jon Lawes.
“Modern car braking systems are designed to a very high standard, but the need for the home mechanic to know how to maintain their braking system is as important as ever. Whether upgrading your brakes at home or for the race track, this title offers guidance on upgrading, repairing and maintaining car braking systems.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverBeyond flying : rethinking air travel in a globally connected world / edited by Chris Watson.
“Is flying an irreplaceable part of 21st-century life? Flying is never zero-carbon, so can we reduce it, or even do without it? Can businesses succeed in a globalized world without international air travel? What about ‘love miles’ – visiting friends and family overseas?” (book jacket)

Syndetics book cover100 top cars : the editor’s pick from the first 100 issues of NZV8 magazine / [Todd Wylie].
“New Zealand has some of the most impressive and desirable V8-powered muscle cars and street machines in the world. To celebrate the passion for these vehicles, NZV8 magazine’s editor Todd Wylie has selected what he feels are his top 100 from the first 100 issues of the magazine.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverPaul Atterbury’s favourite railway journeys.
“For many people train travel is just a necessity, a quick and efficient means of transport that tends to be taken for granted, until it goes wrong. Yet, a train journey can be so much more, bringing together history, land scape and the particular but ever-changing view of Britain through the carriage window. Much of the network in use today, and its infrastructure, is a legacy of the 19th century, built by Victorian entrepreneurs and engineers… ” (adapted from book jacket)

Syndetics book coverExploring Britain’s lost railways / Julian Holland.
“Thousands of miles of britain’s railways were closed during the 20th century, many following the implementation of the ‘Beeching Report’ in the 1960s and early 1970s. Since then, many have been converted to footpaths and cycleways. Fortunately, both the keen wlaker and railway enthusiast can enjoy these well-worn routes and hidden byways in peace and tranquility. Follow the routes of over 50 long-closed lines across some of our most beautiful countryside and discover the lost railways of britain.” (Book jacket)

Syndetics book coverThe big book of flight / Rowland White.
The big book of flight is a celebration of anything to do with flight and flying, packed with derring-do stories of aviation’s pineers as well as fascinating profiles of remarkable planes fron Spitfires to Space Shuttles – and a number of other wondrous projects that never quite got off the drawing board.” (Book jacket)

Syndetics book coverArea 51 black jets / Bill Yenne.
“Since the mid-1950s, Area 51 (aka the -Nevada Test and Training Range, Homey Airport, and more), a desolate, dry lake bed in the southern Nevada desert, has operated as a clandestine CIA-U.S. Air Force–Lockheed Corporation test site for ongoing cutting-edge research in U.S. flight technology. In July 2013, following a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request filed nearly a decade earlier, the CIA finally acknowledged the existence of Area 51 for the first time by declassifying documents outlining the mandate and history of the base. -Military historian Yenne’s (Aces High) insightful study provides an illustrated chronology of many of Area 51’s premier aircraft projects, which include Lockheed’s U-2 and SR-71 spy planes, a range of drones, from the early Lockheed D-21 to the contemporary Predator, and the F-117 Nighthawk stealth fighter.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

New Cars and Transport Books

Strange but true tales of car collecting and the history of the London Underground are included here.

Syndetics book coverBRM : the saga of British racing motors / Doug Nye and Tony Rudd.
“Re-issue of an award-winning book which has been described as the most comprehensively researched and written history ever produced of a Formula 1 racing team. Doug Nye is the world’s most respected author and researcher on the historic racing scene and Tony Rudd’s distinguished motor industry career included many years as BRM designer and chief engineer. Little wonder, then, that their first volume of BRM v the Saga of British Racing Motors was hailed as the most detailed and authoritative history of a grand prix team ever published… Having unique access to the BRM company files, the authors have delved deeply into the emotion-charged background to the BRM team’s creation, its near-collapse and then its troubled survival prior to its final emergence as a front-running Grand Prix team. The team’s creator Raymond Mays and its great benefactor Sir Alfred Owen, as well as drivers like Stirling Moss, Juan Manuel Fangio, Froilan Gonzales, Tony Brooks, Jo Bonnier and many other stars of the past all figure prominently in this remarkable motor racing saga.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverWorking the London Underground from 1863 to 2013 / Ben Pedroche.
“Used extensively and somewhat taken for granted by millions of commuters and tourists every day, the London Underground has long been a part of our national heritage and way of life. It was the first underground railway in the world, and is now central to lives of millions of Londoners. Here Ben Pedroche explores the realities of building the railway from the beginning, 150 years ago, exploring this dangerous, back-breaking job and how it culminated in the rail system we see today. He works his way through the construction and working history of this iconic system, until reaching modern day, including stories from London Underground workers and their real-life experiences. Backed up with sixty stunning archive and modern photographs, this is a book that anyone interested in the London Underground or London history cannot do without.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book cover“Strange but true tales of car collecting : drowned Bugattis, buried Belvederes, felonious Ferraris, and other wild stories of automotive misadventure / by Keith Martin and Linda Clark.
“Keith Martin and the staff of “Sport Car Market Magazine” recount the wildest car-collecting stories of all time, focusing on tales of the most eccentric and over-the-top collectors and collections. Have you heard of the fellow who squirrelled away dozens of Chevelles, Camaros, and other classic muscle cars in semi trailers? How about the president of Shakespeare fishing rods who in the 1960s sold 30 now-priceless Bugattis for a mere $85,000? The English nobleman who cut up and buried his Ferrari horde in an elaborate insurance scam? Or how about the Duesenberg abandoned in a Manhattan parking garage for decades and uncovered by “Tonight Show” host Jay Leno? These are just a few of the amazing stories explored in this entertaining book, a must-have title for any car enthusiast.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverCars we loved in the 1970s / Giles Chapman.
“The 1970s saw some ground-breaking new metal in British showrooms – the Renault 5 established the new ‘supermini’ class, the Volkswagen Golf gave the average family car a hatchback and top quality, the Ford Capri made sporty cars available to everyone and, despite all of this, that old favourite the Ford Cortina continued to rule the sales charts. Yet it was a funny old time to be a driver, the 1970s. Britain started to experience a love/hate relationship with the four-wheeled machine that, previously, symbolised nothing but speed and freedom. The economic rollercoaster sent fuel prices soaring, while the country’s roads could barely handle all the cars jostling to use them. And those cars themselves… it seemed British manufacturers, beset by striking workers and falling quality standards, were stalling as Japan’s Datsuns, Hondas and Toyotas cruised off with contented customers. Britain’s new Rover 3500 was exciting and the Jaguar XJ12 an awesome engineering achievement, but the solid quality of BMWs and Mercs made more sense. Giles Chapman documents the whole turbulent decade in this fascinating and entertaining book through the cars that dominated our motoring lives and explaining how the much-maligned Morris Marina and Reliant Robin actually helped drivers out of a jam.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverKiwi bike culture : unique motorbike collections / Steve Holmes.
“”Delves into the love affair New Zealanders have with their motorbikes. From Harley-Davidsons to Vespas, and everything in between, this book is about the men and women whose lives revolve, in some way, around two-wheeled machinery.” (Back cover)

Syndetics book coverArt of the classic car / photography by Peter Hardoldt [sic] ; words by Peter Bodensteiner.
“For folks who enjoy the automobile as art, here is another sumptuous coffee-table book from Motorbooks. Photographer Harholdt (The Allure of the Automobile: Driving in Style, 1930-1965) gives classic cars the full treatment, with an oversize spread shot of each automobile and smaller photos of the engine, the interior and upholstery, and any other attractive parts, such as the hood ornaments. The classic cars included range from a 1911 Mercer 351L Runabout to the 1941 Chrysler Town & Country, with the rest of the cars from the 1920s and 1930s. -Duesenbergs, Delahayes, and other rare vehicles only seen in museums or at prestigious car shows star on these pages. There is minimal text by Bodensteiner (founder, Stance & Speed Pub.), just enough to identify the car, a few specifications, and sometimes a tidbit of interest.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverTop steam railways of the world / Anthony Lambert.
“Less than 50 years ago, trains were routinely hauled by majestic steam-powered locomotives. These magnificent machines still exercise a powerful hold on our imagination, conjuring up the romance of oldfashioned rail travel and the excitement of human ingenuity pitted against the challenges of narrow passes, tight bends and fearsome gradients. Although the heyday of steam has passed, it is still possible to travel on preserved lines, heritage railways and industrial lines where steam traction is still in use. Many of these journeys have been made possible by the dedicated efforts of steam enthusiasts, who have struggled to acquire, keep open and refurbish routes that railway companies had earmarked for closure. This book profiles 26 of these remarkable journeys, ranging from the popular Ffestiniog Railway in northern Wales to the Changa Manga Forest Railway of Pakistan. Each chapter sketches the story behind the journey and details the locomotives that are in use, illustrated throughout with spectacular photography.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverDown to the sea in ships : of ageless oceans and modern men / Horatio Clare.
“For millennia, the seaways have carried our goods, cultures and ideas, the terrors of war and the bounties of peace – and they have never been busier than they are today. But though our normality depends on shipping, it is a world which passes largely unconsidered, unseen and unrecorded. Horatio Clare joins two container ships, travelling in the company of their crews and captains. Together they experience unforgettable journeys. In Clare’s vibrant prose a modern industry does battle with implacable forces, as the ships cross seas of history and incident, while seafarers unfold the stories of their lives, telling their tales and yarns.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)