New popular non-fiction

Our recent pick for popular new books this month is as diverse as having books on detective work, the ISIS attack on Charlie Hebdo, an analysis on the use of bad words in the English language, the detrimental side of beauty and, of course, the hot topic of climate change and how to try and slow it down.

The adventures of Maud West, lady detective : secrets and lies in the golden age of crime / Stapleton, Susannah
“Maud West ran her detective agency in London for more than thirty years, having starting sleuthing on behalf of society’s finest in 1905. Her exploits grabbed headlines throughout the world but, beneath the public persona, she was forced to hide vital aspects of her own identity in order to thrive in a class-obsessed and male-dominated world. And – as Susannah Stapleton reveals – she was a most unreliable witness to her own life. Interweaving tales from Maud West’s own ‘casebook’ with social history and extensive original research, Stapleton investigates the stories Maud West told about herself in a quest to uncover the truth.” (adapted from Catalogue)

Disturbance / Lançon, Philippe
“Paris, January 7, 2015. Two terrorists who claim allegiance to ISIS attack the satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo. The event causes untold pain to the victims and their families, prompts a global solidarity movement, and ignites a fierce debate over press freedoms and the role of satire today. Philippe Lançon, a journalist, author, and a weekly contributor to Charlie Hebdo is gravely wounded in the attack. This intense life experience upends his relationship to the world, to writing, to reading, to love and to friendship. Disturbance is a book about survival, resilience, and reconstruction, about transformation, about one man’s shifting relationship to time, to writing and journalism, to truth, and to his own body.” (adapted from Catalogue)

Bad words and what they tell us / Gooden, Philip
“Philip Gooden shows how and why taboo words and contentious expressions, including those four-letter ones, were first used in English. He discusses the ways such words have changed over the years and explores how a single syllable or two may possess an almost magical power to offend, distress or infuriate. Bad Words investigates the most controversial and provocative words in the English language in a way that is both anecdotal and analytical.” (adapted from Catalogue)

Beauty / Lee, Bri
“In recent decades women have made momentous progress fighting the patriarchy, yet they are held to ever-stricter, more punishing physical standards. Self-worth still plummets and eating disorders are more deadly for how easily they are dismissed. In Beauty Bri Lee explores our obsession with thinness and asks how an intrinsically unattainable standard of physical ‘perfection’ has become so crucial to so many. What happens if you try to reach that impossible goal? Bri did try, and Beauty is what she learned from that battle: a gripping and intelligent rejection of an ideal that diminishes us all.” (adapted from Catalogue)

Cows on ice & owls in the bog : the weird and wonderful world of Scandinavian sayings / Montnémery, Katarina
“Scandinavians are cooler, sexier, and more stylish than the rest of us. They have a higher standard of living, greater economic opportunity and equality, the world’s best restaurants, and moody TV dramas involving murders and sweaters. But did you know, amidst the obsession with hygge, IKEA, and lagom, that Scandinavian sayings are absolutely BIZARRE? Take the Swedish ‘Skita i det bl a sk pet’, which roughly translates as ‘You’ve done a poop in the blue locker’.” (adapted from Catalogue)

Good economics for hard times : better answers to our biggest problems / Banerjee, Abhijit V.
“Figuring out how to deal with today’s critical economic problems is perhaps the great challenge of our time. Immigration and inequality, globalization and technological disruption, slowing growth and accelerating climate change–these are sources of great anxiety across the world. The resources to address these challenges are there–what we lack are ideas that will help us jump the wall of disagreement and distrust that divides us. If we succeed, history will remember our era with gratitude; if we fail, the potential losses are incalculable.” (adapted from Catalogue)

Ghostland : in search of a haunted country / Parnell, Edward
“In his late thirties, Edward Parnell found himself trapped in the recurring nightmare of a family tragedy. For comfort, he turned to his bookshelves, back to the ghost stories that obsessed him as a boy, and to the writers through the ages who have attempted to confront what comes after death. Ghostland is Parnell’s moving exploration of what has haunted our writers and artists – and what is haunting him. It is a unique and elegiac meditation on grief, memory and longing, and of the redemptive power of stories and nature.” (adapted from Catalogue)

After Geoengineering: Climate Tragedy, Repair, And Restoration [hardback] / Buck, Holly Jean
“As the human species hurtles ever faster towards its own extinction geoengineering as a temporary fix to buy time for carbon removal, is a seductive idea. Can these technologies and practices be used as technologies of repair, to bring carbon levels back down to pre-industrial levels? Rejecting the idea that geoengineering is some kind of easy work-around, Holly Buck outlines the kind of social transformation that would be necessary to enact a programme of geoengineering in the first place.” (adapted from Catalogue)

Is there still sex in the city? / Bushnell, Candace
“The New York Times-bestselling author of Sex and the City takes a wry look at sex, dating, and friendship after age 50, with a smart, lively satirical story of marriage and children, divorce and bereavement, and the very real pressures on women to maintain their youth and have it all.” (Catalogue)

Losing Earth : a recent history / Rich, Nathaniel
“The most urgent story of our times, brilliantly reframed, beautifully told: how we had the chance to stop climate change, and failed. By 1979, we knew all that we know now about the science of climate change–what was happening, why it was happening, and how to stop it. Over the next ten years, we had the very real opportunity to stop it. Obviously, we failed. It is not just an agonizing revelation of historical missed opportunities, but a clear-eyed and eloquent assessment of how we got to now, and what we can and must do before it’s truly too late.” (adapted from Catalogue)

Non-fiction books and eBooks new to us

A very highly recommended book heads up our list for this time: How to walk a dog. This is followed by books about Christmas, just in time for Christmas.

Print books

How to walk a dog / White, Mike
“Mike White began walking his SPCA-rescue huntaway, Cooper, at Wellington’s dog parks ten years ago, and since then has become part of a remarkable community of people and their pets. Written with wit, wisdom and heartbreaking poignancy, How to Walk a Dog is a story anyone who has ever owned or loved a dog, will relate to. You will laugh, you will cry, and you will learn some of the secrets of living with a dog. Illustrated with line drawings from acclaimed cartoonist Sharon Murdoch.” (Summary, from Catalogue)

Last Christmas : memories of Christmases past and hopes for future ones
“When you think back to Christmases past, what (if anything) made it magical? Looking towards the future, what would your perfect Christmas be? What would you change? This is a beautiful, funny and soulful collection of personal essays about the meaning of Christmas. This gem of a book (is) introduced and curated by Emma Thompson and Greg Wise (and) celebrates the importance of kindness and generosity, acceptance and tolerance – and shows us that these values are not just for Christmas.” (Catalogue)

Christmas is coming! : celebrate the holiday with art, stories, poems, songs, and recipes.
“From The Metropolitan Museum, this Christmas treasury of stories, poems, recipes, and songs is sure to light up the holiday season. It’s the most wonderful time of the year, and this richly illustrated treasury celebrates everything there is to love about the holiday season! All the artwork is from the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s collection.” (adapted from Catalogue)

The government of no one : the theory and practice of anarchism / Kinna, Ruth
“Anarchism routinely gets a bad press. It’s usually seen as meaning chaos and disorder — or even nothing at all. And yet, from Occupy Wall Street to Pussy Riot, Noam Chomsky to David Graeber, this philosophical and political movement is as relevant as ever. Contrary to popular perception, different strands of anarchism — from individualism to collectivism — do follow certain structures and a shared sense of purpose: a belief in freedom and working towards collective good without the interference of the state.” (adapted from Catalogue)

Money : myths, truths and alternatives / Mellor, Mary
“In this highly topical book, Mary Mellor, an expert on money, examines money’s social, political and commercial histories to debunk longstanding myths such as money being in short supply and needing to come from somewhere. Arguing that money’s immense social value means that its creation and circulation should be a matter of democratic choice, she sets out a new finance system, based on green and feminist concerns, to bring radical change for social good.” (Catalogue)

The compatriots : the brutal and chaotic history of Russia’s exiles, emigrés, and agents abroad / Soldatov, Andreĭ
“The history of Russian espionage is soaked in blood, from a spontaneous pistol shot that killed a secret policeman in Romania in 1924 to the attempt to poison an exiled KGB colonel in Salisbury, England, in 2017. Russians began leaving the country in big numbers in the late nineteenth century creating the third-largest diaspora in the world. The exodus created a rare opportunity for the Kremlin. Moscow’s masters and spymasters fostered networks of spies, many of whom were emigrants driven from Russia.”(adapted from Catalogue)

24/6 : the power of unplugging one day a week / Shlain, Tiffany
“Internet pioneer and renowned filmmaker Tiffany Shlain takes us on an entertaining journey into a strategy for living in our 24/7 world: turning off all screens for 24 hours each week. She and her family call it “Technology Shabbat.” This weekly practice, which they’ve done for nearly a decade with their kids (16 & 10), has completely changed their lives, giving them more time, productivity, connection, and presence.” (adapted from Catalogue)

Childfree by choice : the movement redefining family and creating a new age of independence / Blackstone, Amy
“Amy Blackstone, a professor of sociology, has been studying the childfree choice since 2008, a choice she and her husband had already confidently and happily made. Using her own and others’ research as well as her personal experience, Blackstone delves into the childfree movement from its conception to today, as she strips away the misconceptions surrounding non-parents and reveals the still radical notion that support of the childfree can lead to better lives and societies for all.” (adapted from Catalogue)

Famous cold cases : more than 50 major crimes from murders and assassinations, to kidnappings, robberies and fraud / Wright, John D.
“Jack the Ripper and the Zodiac Killer. The kidnapping of little Madeleine McCann. The 22 million robbery of the British Bank in Beirut. What all these have in common is they’re cold cases: investigators have closed the file because they’re out of leads. Famous Cold Cases presents more than 50 of these unsolved or recently solved crimes in a dossier format.” (adapted from Catalogue)

eBooks

What we’re fighting for now is each other : dispatches from the front lines of climate justice / Stephenson, Wen
“In 2010, journalist Wen Stephenson woke up to the true scale and urgency of the catastrophe bearing down on humanity, starting with the poorest and most vulnerable everywhere, and confronted what he calls “the spiritual crisis at the heart of the climate crisis.” Inspired by others who refused to retreat into various forms of denial and fatalism, he walked away from his career in mainstream media and became an activist, joining those working to build a transformative movement for climate justice in America.” (adapted from Catalogue)

Doing justice : a prosecutor’s thoughts on crime, punishment, and the rule of law / Bharara, Preet
“By the one-time federal prosecutor for the Southern District of New York, an important overview of the way our justice system works, and why the rule of law is essential to our society. Using case histories, personal experiences and his own inviting writing and teaching style, Preet Bharara shows the thought process we need to best achieve truth and justice in our daily lives and within our society.” (adapted from Catalogue)

New in Literature

New literature has arrived! Spanning local and international writers, this month we’ve got an abundance of fresh poetry, essays, and short story anthologies. Find out who’s writing what in New Zealand in Fresh Ink, or perhaps delve deep into the intricacies and ambiguities of Shakespeare’s works with This is Shakespeare. 

I’m telling the truth, but I’m lying : essays / Ikpi, Bassey
“Having emigrated from Nigeria to America at age four, Ikpi assimilated uneasily but became a spoken word artist with HBO’s Russell Simmons Def Poetry Jam. Strong on the outside but crumbling on the inside, she was eventually hospitalized and diagnosed with Bipolar II. Viscerally raw and honest, the result is an exploration of the stories we tell ourselves to make sense of who we are–and the ways, as honest as we try to be, each of these stories can also be a lie.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Overdrive cover Labels and Other Stories, Louis de Bernières (ebook)
Full of wit, warmth and charm, Louis de Bernières’ Labels and Other Stories features tales from throughout his career as a masterful storyteller and transports us around the globe, from the London Underground to Turkish ruins to the banks of the Amazon. In this worldly and entertaining collection of stories, we are equally enchanted by familiar and fantastical occurrences, by de Bernières’ wry sense of humour and powerful imagination. (Adapted from Overdrive description)

Coventry : essays / Cusk, Rachel
“Lauded for the precision of her prose and the quality of her insight, Cusk is a writer of uncommon brilliance. Coventry encompasses memoir, cultural criticism, and writing about literature, with pieces on family life, gender, and politics. Named for an essay in Granta, this collection is pure Cusk and essential reading for our age: fearless, unrepentantly erudite, and dazzling to behold.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Fresh ink : a collection of voices from Aotearoa New Zealand, 2019.
“An anthology of short stories, extracts from novels, poetry and artwork, from established and respected New Zealand writers as well as some lively ‘fresh ink’ from previously unpublished literary voices.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Counting backwards : poems, 1975-2017 / Dunmore, Helen
“Winner of the Costa Book of the Year for her final collection, Inside the Wave, Helen Dunmore was as spellbinding storyteller in her poetry and in her prose.  Counting Backwards is a retrospective covering ten collections written over four decades, bringing together all the poems she included in her earlier selection, Out of the Blue (2001), with all those from her three later collections, Glad of These Times (2007), The Malarkey (2012) and Inside the Wave (2017), along with a number of earlier or previously uncollected poems.” (Catalogue)

This is Shakespeare / Smith, Emma
“This electrifying new book thrives on revealing, not resolving, the ambiguities of Shakespeare’s plays and their changing topicality. It introduces an intellectually, theatrically and ethically exciting writer who engages with intersectionality…  The Shakespeare in this book poses awkward questions rather than offering bland answers, always implicating us in working out what it might mean. This is Shakespeare. And he needs your attention.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Overdrive cover joinedupwriting, Roger McGough (ebook)
For fifty years, Roger McGough has delighted readers with poetry that is at once playful and poignant, intimate and universal. In his latest collection, he explores the whole gamut of the human experience, from forgotten friendships and family life, to the trauma of war and contemporary politics, wittily showing us who we are in all our shades of light and dark. (Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover Mouth Full of Blood, Toni Morrison (Audiobook)
Spanning four decades, these essays, speeches are heart-stoppingly introduced by a prayer for the dead of 9/11, a meditation on Martin Luther King and a eulogy for James Baldwin. Morrison’s Nobel lecture, on the power of language, is accompanied by lectures to Amnesty International and the Newspaper Association of America. A Mouth Full of Blood is a powerful, erudite and essential gathering of ideas that speaks to us all. (Adapted from Overdrive description)

Tales and Travelogues in Unexpected Places

This month we’ve got a lot of new travel writing hitting our shelves, featuring both some tourist favourites and remote destinations. We whirl from the Arctic to the Antarctic with some of the best travel writers of our time, stopping along the way in places such as Spain and Pakistan. Whether you are interested in culture, science, or just the human experience of travelling to new places, this booklist has you covered.

Overdrive cover My Midsummer Morning, Alastair Humphreys (ebook)
Seasoned adventurer Alastair Humphreys pushes himself to his very limits – busking his way across Spain with a violin he can barely play. The journey was his most terrifying yet, risking failure and humiliation every day, and finding himself truly vulnerable to the rhythms of the road and of his own life. But along the way, he found humility, redemption and triumph. It was a very good adventure. (Adapted from Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover The Sun Is a Compass, Caroline Van Hemert (Audiobook)
In March of 2012 [Caroline Van Hemert] and her husband set off on a 4,000-mile wilderness journey from the Pacific rainforest to the Alaskan Arctic, traveling by rowboat, ski, foot, raft, and canoe.  A unique blend of science, adventure, and personal narrative, the book explores the bounds of the physical body and the tenuousness of life in the company of creatures whose daily survival is nothing short of miraculous. (Adapted from Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover Bowing to Elephants, Mag Dimond (ebook)
In Bowing to Elephants, a woman gazes into the feathery eyes of a 14,000-pound African elephant and looks for answers to old questions in Vietnam and the tragically ravaged landscape of Cambodia. Dimond journeys to far-flung places―into the perfumed chaos of India, the nostalgic, damp streets of Paris, the gray, the reverent and silent mountains of Bhutan, and the gold temples of Burma. (Adapted from Overdrive description)

Fifteen million years in Antarctica / Priestley, Rebecca
“Rebecca Priestley longs to be in Antarctica. But it is also the last place on Earth she wants to go. Fifteen Million Years in Antarctica offers a deeply personal tour of a place in which a person can feel like an outsider in more ways than one. With generosity and candour, Priestley reflects on what Antarctica can tell us about Earth’s future and asks: do people even belong in this fragile, otherworldly place?” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Overdrive cover Couchsurfing in Russia, Stephen Orth (ebook)
In this humorous and thought-provoking book, Orth ventures through that vast and mysterious land to uncover the real, unfiltered Russia not seen in today’s headlines: authentic, bizarre, dangerous, and beautiful. Orth follows the bestselling Couchsurfing in Iran with another complex, funny, and personal travelogue – a colourful portrait of a fascinating and misunderstood country. (Adapted from Overdrive description)

The crow eaters : a journey through south Australia / Stubbs, Ben
“Outsiders think of South Australia as being different, without really knowing much about it. Combining his own travel across the state with an investigation of its history, Ben Stubbs seeks to find out what South Australia is really like. In the spirit of the best travel writing and literary non-fiction, he lingers in places of quiet beauty and meets some memorable people… Stubbs brings this diverse state to life.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

From the lion’s mouth : a journey along the Indus / Campbell, Iain
“An insightful portrait of Pakistan with themes of religion, culture and hospitality in an account of travelling… Engrossing and eye-opening, Iain Campbell’s account of his travels through this mesmerising land will appeal to travellers, mountaineers, trekkers, wilderness enthusiasts, anyone interested in the culture and history of the subcontinent, and fans of quality travel writing.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

North Korea journal / Palin, Michael
“In May 2018, Michael Palin spent two weeks in the notoriously secretive Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, a cut-off land without internet or phone signal… Written with Palin’s trademark warmth and wit, and illustrated with beautiful colour photographs throughout, the journal offers a rare insight into the North Korea behind the headlines.” (Catalogue)

New library books to help you discover yourself

This month’s selection of books will offer you tips and advice on how to get to know yourself and transform your life. Enjoy reading!

Transforming your life through self-care : a guide to tapping into your deep beauty and inner worth / Brent, Carolyn A.
“Stop living in the poor me world and take purposeful action with discipline and determination to practice self-care, no matter what your age. This book shows you how to become your own caregiver by tapping into your deep beauty and inner worth and transforming yourself through exercise, diet, meditation, and getting rid of toxic relationships. This motivational self-help book outlines the necessary self-care actions to achieve success in your new lifestyle and wellness journey.(adapted from Catalogue)

Best self : be you, only better / Bayer, Mike
“Ask yourself…Are you truly Who You Want To Be? Is this the life you really want? What can you change? How would you answer those questions? Think about your daily life. Are you thriving, or going through the motions. Are your days full of work, relationships and activities that are true to your authentic self, or do you feel trapped on a treadmill of responsibility? If you dream of a better life, now is the time to turn your dream into reality.Best Self will show you how  to design a life that is fulfilling on the deepest levels” (adapted from Catalogue)

Wholehearted : slow down, help out, wake up / Ellison, Koshin Paley
“An inspiring book that will help readers rediscover their values and discover a way to truly live life to the fullest. Each of us has an enormous capacity for love–a deep well of attention and care that we can offer to ourselves and others. With guidance that is both simple and wholly transformative, Koshin Paley Ellison, Zen teacher and psychotherapist, shows us how to uncover it: pay attention, be of service, and be with others. With this inspiring book, you’ll learn how to identify the mental habits that could be hurting yourself.” (adapted from Catalogue)

The wisdom of anxiety : how worry and intrusive thoughts are gifts to help you heal / Paul, Sheryl
“For anyone troubled by obsessive thoughts, insomnia, and other manifestations of anxiety, counselor Sheryl Paul offers a shelter in the storm. In The Wisdom of Anxiety, Paul reveals that anxiety, like any emotion, is a signal – a clear bodily invitation to heal and renew your trust in your choices, self-image, and core values. Weaving together practical exercises, Jungian analysis, and lyrical personal stories, Paul offers drug-free approaches to renew your trust in your self.”  (adapted from Catalogue)

The shame factor : heal your deepest fears and set yourself free / Poulter, Stephan B
“A popular clinical psychologist explores an often misunderstood and unrecognized emotion that’s the root cause of many self-defeating and harmful behaviors. Emotional paralysis, a distorted view of self, a feeling of being a fraud, lack of trust in others, fear of criticism resulting in underdeveloped talents, and a chronic sense of being worthless, invisible, or disposable–these are typical symptoms of shame. This is a book full of insight and understanding, one that can help most of us discover and realize our full potentials.” (adapted from Catalogue)

New non-fiction books – September 2019

This selection has a wide variety of topics, from the abductions by Boko Haram, to AI, to aging, economics and from a New Zealand writer How to escape from prison.

Cities : the first 6,000 years / Smith, Monica L.
“Six thousand years ago, there were no cities on the planet. Today, more than half of the world’s population lives in urban areas, and that number is growing daily. Weaving together archeology, history, and contemporary observations, Monica Smith explains the rise of the first urban developments and their connection to today. Cities is an impassioned and learned account full of fascinating details of daily life in ancient urban centers, using archaeological perspectives to show that the aspects of cities we find most irresistible (and the most annoying) have been with us since the very beginnings of urbanism itself. She also proves the rise of cities was hardly inevitable, yet it was crucial to the eventual global dominance of our species–and that cities are here to stay.” (adapted from Catalogue)

Because internet : understanding the new rules of language / McCulloch, Gretchen
“A witty and linguistically informed look at how our digital world is transforming the English language. The internet isn’t the first technology to alter how we communicate, but it is making our language change faster and in more interesting ways than ever before… Internet linguist Gretchen McCulloch explores the deep forces that shape human language and influence the way we communicate with one another.” (adapted from Catalogue)

The clean money revolution : reinventing power, purpose, and capitalism / Solomon, Joel
The Clean Money Revolution is part memoir of an inspiring thought leader’s journey from presidential campaigner to pioneering investor, part insider’s guide to the businesses remaking the world, and part manifesto for a new vision of profit, power, and purpose. Meet some of the people behind this massive shift, and discover the role you can play in the $50-trillion movement toward true prosperity. A must-read for investors, wealth advisors, aspiring entrepreneurs, and all who want their values and money to work together to transform the future.” (adapted from Catalogue)

Aging joyfully : a woman’s guide to optimal health, relationships and fulfillment for her 50s and beyond / Manly, Carla Marie
“How does a woman embrace her maturity with joy and strength when her body changes year to year? Psychologist Dr. Carla Marie Manly provides an important and meaningful window into womanhood for those approaching fifty and beyond. A must-read book for any woman approaching the age of fifty, Aging Joyfully touches the sensitive reality of the transition from a life filled with new beginnings to a graceful process filled with freedom, beauty, and joy.” (Catalogue)

The creativity code : how AI is learning to write, paint and think / Du Sautoy, Marcus
“As humans, we have an extraordinary ability to create works of art that elevate, expand and transform what it means to be alive. Yet in many other areas, new developments in AI are shaking up the status quo, as we find out how many of the tasks humans engage in can be done equally well, if not better, by machines. In The Creativity Code, Marcus du Sautoy examines the nature of creativity, as well as providing an essential guide into how algorithms work, and the mathematical rules underpinning them.” (adapted from Catalogue)

How to escape from prison / Wood, Paul
“As an 18-year-old, Dr Paul Wood was completely off the rails. He wasn’t coping with the impending death of his mother, he was dependent on drugs, and was an unemployed high-school dropout committing crimes to feed his habit. Two days after his mother died he lost control when his then drug dealer attempted to assault him. He then spent 11 years in some of New Zealand’s toughest prisons. But after a series of remarkable events, including a enlightening encounter with a criminal safe-cracker, Paul became the first person in New Zealand to progress through undergraduate studies to attain a bachelor’s and master’s degree in prison, and was the first person to begin a doctorate while still incarcerated. In this awe-inspiring book, Dr Paul Wood shares his life of crime, his time behind bars and his pathway to freedom.” (adapted from Catalogue)

The shadow war : inside Russia’s and China’s secret operations to defeat America / Sciutto, Jim
“Today’s warfare is conducted via hacking, disinformation campaigns, and advanced satellite weaponry, with business-people and lawyers, space engineers and computer scientists the combatants. CNN’s Chief National Security Correspondent reveals the invisible fronts of twenty-first century warfare and identifies the ongoing battles being waged. Intensive and disturbing, this invaluable and important work opens our eyes and makes clear that future war is here.” (adapted from Catalogue)

Beneath the tamarind tree : a story of courage, family, and the lost schoolgirls of Boko Haram / Sesay, Isha
“The kidnapping of 276 schoolgirls by Boko Haram in 2014 made global headlines. From poor Nigerian families, these girls had defied the odds and pursued an education, but daring to dream resulted in one of the most high-profile abductions in modern history. Award-winning CNN anchor Isha Sesay was on the front lines as the story broke, and when 21 of the girls were released, she was the only journalist to accompany them on their dangerous journey back home. In Beneath the Tamarind Tree, having developed unprecedented access to the Chibok girls, Sesay shares an intimate account of the night Boko Haram attacked, exclusive details about their years in captivity, and their daring tales of escape.” (adapted from Catalogue)

Breakfast with the centenarians : the art of ageing well / Mari, Daniela
“Notes: Translated from the Italian by Denise Muir.
Translation of: ‘A spasso con i centenari’. First published in Italy in 2017.
Includes bibliographical references and index.” (Catalogue)

The third pillar : the revival of community in a polarised world / Rajan, Raghuram
“Raghuram Rajan has an unparalleled vantage point onto the social and economic consequences of globalization and their ultimate effect on politics and society. In The Third Pillar he offers up a magnificent big-picture framework for understanding how three key forces – the economy, society, and the state – interact, why things begin to break down, and how we can find our way back to a more secure and stable plane.” (adapted from Catalogue)

By the sea : the therapeutic benefits of being in, on and by the water / Cracknell, Deborah
“Throughout history, people have always gravitated to live near the sea, it is part of the survival instinct. Environmental psychology is the study of how the natural environment makes us feel, think and behave, and scientists in this area are discovering the tangible benefits of breathing in the fresh sea air.” (adapted from Catalogue)

2040 : a handbook for the Regeneration based on the documentary 2040 : ideas, advice, inspiration and even some recipes for creating a brighter, better world / Gameau, Damon (movie available on Beamafilm)
“Like most of us, Damon Gameau has spent most of his adult years overwhelmed into inaction by the problem of climate change and its devastating effects on the planet. But when Damon became a father, he knew he couldn’t continue to look away. So he decided to do what he does best, and tell a story. The result is the era-defining documentary 2040. It shows us that climate change is a practical problem that can be tackled by each of us, one small step at a time, and that we can make a genuine difference – if we know what to do.” (adapted from Catalogue)

Quilting with love! New craft books in your library

Love to create? Find inspiration, original ideas and designs in this collection of newly arrived books we have chosen for you! Happy quilting!

Quilted with love : patchwork projects inspired by a passion for quilting / Fielke, Sarah
“Share in Sarah Fielke’s addiction to quilting with these 16 breathtaking projects. For over 20 years, through her blog, her stunning quilt books, her fun classes, and her fabric, Sarah Fielke has been inspiring quilters worldwide to step outside their comfort zone with her vibrant and contemporary designs.” (adapted from Catalogue)

Organic appliqué : creative hand-stitching ideas and techniques / Doughty, Kathy
“With its organic lines, hand appliqué is the perfect medium for artistic expression. Come into the studio with Kathy Doughty as she shares her passion for quilt design, needle-turn appliqué, and fabric selection. Draw inspiration from eight projects with full-size patterns and build your skill set with simple, step-by-step instructions for Broderie Perse, Boro-style appliqué, paper piecing, and hand quilting.” (adapted from Catalogue)

Sarah Payne’s Quilt School : New Ways to Start Patchwork and Quilting / Payne, Sarah/ Ottosson, Mats
“Step into Sarah Payne’s world of sewing and learn from the expert the basics of quilting and patchwork. Filled with guidance and helpful tips and tricks, this book will equip you with all you need to know to get started on your quilting adventure. Put your skills into practice and at the same time create beautiful projects to keep or give as gifts.” (adapted from Catalogue)

Kaffe Fassett’s sew simple quilts & patchworks : 17 designs using Kaffe Fassett’s artisan fabrics / Fassett, Kaffe
“Heralded as the King of Color, fabric designer and quilter Kaffe Fassett showcases his glorious range of Artisan fabrics in Kaffe Fassett’s Sew Simple. A gallery of the stunning pieces is followed by step-by-step instructions and piecing diagrams, ensuring success for quilters and sewists of all skill levels.” (adapted from Catalogue)

Quilting on the move : with English paper piecing / Macdonald, Alistair
“18 beautiful, quick and easy portable hand-sewn patchwork gifts to make using English paper piecing. English paper piecing is a popular and easy method of creating handsewn patchwork designs. Following in the style of the highly successful Love to Sew series, author Alistair Macdonald provides 20 fabulous projects, including a baby’s playmat, a scarf, a scatter cushion, a hobby bag, a tea cosy, a tote bag and a make-up purse. All are hand-sewn using the English paper-piecing method.” (adapted from Catalogue)

Creating art quilts with panels / Hughes, Joyce
“Discover how to transform premade fabric panels and thread into one-of-a-kind art quilts. Award-winning quilter and fiber artist Joyce Hughes shows how to use a variety of decorating and customizing techniques to make seasonal panels, beautiful florals, holiday designs, and gorgeous landscapes. Sure to please both traditional and contemporary artists alike, Creating Art Quilts with Panels also features a photographic gallery of inspirational art quilt masterpieces.” (adapted from Catalogue)

The rise of positive psychology

Find out ways to change the limits of your emotional landscape, control your impulses – and can harness the power of your surroundings to live fuller, healthier and truly joyful lives.

Girl, stop apologizing : a shame-free plan for embracing and achieving your goals / Hollis, Rachel
“It’s known that many women have been taught to define themselves in light of other people–whether as wife, mother, daughter, or employee–instead of learning how to own who they are and what they want. With a challenge to women everywhere to stop talking themselves out of their dreams, Hollis identifies the excuses to let go of, the behaviours to adopt, and the skills to acquire on the path to growth, confidence, and believing in yourself.”–Dust jacket. (Catalogue)

Crappy to happy : simple steps to live your best life / Dunn, Cassandra
“Psychologist Cassandra Dunn believes that happiness is available to all of us – and not just in some picture-perfect ideal life. Cass has helped thousands of people get from Crappy to Happy with her hit podcast. In this book Cass expands on those conversations and provides even more information and practical tools, helping you learn to let go, to find your people, to determine your direction and more. Your journey to living your best life begins right here and now.” (Catalogue)

Joyful : the surprising power of ordinary things to create extraordinary happiness / Lee, Ingrid Fetell
“Have you ever wondered why we stop to watch the orange glow that arrives before sunset, or why we flock to see cherry blossoms bloom in spring? Is there a reason that people — regardless of gender, age, culture, or ethnicity — are mesmerized by baby animals, and can’t help but smile when they see a burst of confetti or a cluster of colourful balloons? In Joyful, designer Ingrid Fetell Lee explores how the seemingly mundane spaces and objects we interact with every day have surprising and powerful effects on our mood and, most importantly, she reveals how we can harness the power of our surroundings to live fuller, healthier, and truly joyful lives.” (Catalogue)

Crash test girl : an unlikely experiment in using the scientific method to answer life’s toughest questions / Byron, Kari
“Have questions about your sexuality? Alcohol? Depression? Byron, a former co-host of “MythBusters,” demonstrates how to use the scientific method for solving everyday problems. Question. Hypothesize. Experiment. Analyze. Conclude. So strap in, put on your safety goggles, and learn from the results.” (Catalogue)

The Spartan way : eat better, train better, think better, be better / De Sena, Joe
“Joe De Sena has one ultimate goal: to help improve everyone’s physical and emotional health by teaching them the tenets of Spartan living from ancient Greece: simple eating, smart training, mastering resilience, and an all-out commitment to achieving a goal. Like Spartan training, living The Spartan Way requires endurance to reach your finish line, the goal that inspires and drives you to succeed no matter what obstacles are thrown in your path. De Sena believes you can gain that endurance in just thirty-six days by following the ten Spartan Core Virtues, timeless principles to help you embrace adversity and overcome any challenge, and making them a permanent part of your own personal core.” (Catalogue)

Raising girls in the twenty-first century : helping our girls to grow up wise, strong and free / Biddulph, Steve
“Raising Girls is powerful, practical and positive. Your heart, head and hands will be strengthened by its message. It talks to the world’s leading voices on girls’ needs and makes their ideas clear and simple. Great tips for parents how to deal with the modern world, and ways getting the media off the backs of their daughters.” (Syndetics summary)

Expressing and finding ourselves through storytelling: latest literature titles

Our newest non-fiction literature titles celebrate storytelling and humanity.
These books pull together writing and identity, entwining them in a way that makes for a pleasurable read but will also leave you thinking about what it means to live and be yourself. Check out essay compilations, an insightful read by Alex Johnson on the influence of books, and a recent addition to our RBdigital magazine catalogue, Popshot (which, incidentally, also had its latest issue centered around identity – we are taking this as a sign that we are doing something right here).


Notes to self : essays / Pine, Emilie
“In this vivid and powerful collection of essays, Emilie Pine boldly confronts the past to better understand herself, her relationships and her role in society. Courageous, humane and uncompromising, devastatingly poignant and yet never self-pitying, these pieces investigate and challenge society’s assumptions around pain, strength, resilience and identity, ultimately embracing joy and hope in the business of living.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Bookends : collected intros and outros / Chabon, Michael
“In Bookends, Pulitzer Prize winning author Michael Chabon offers a compilation of pieces about literature-age-old classics as well as his own-that presents a unique look into his literary origins and influences, the books that shaped his taste and formed his ideas about writing and reading. Ultimately, this thought-provoking compendium is a series of love letters and thank-you notes, unified by the simple theme of the shared pleasure of discovery ” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Human relations and other difficulties / Wilmers, Mary-Kay
“Mary-Kay Wilmers has been a giant of the English literary world for decades. She was integral in the founding of LRB in 1979 during the year-long lock-out at The Times and has served as its editor in chief since 1992. This collection of Mary-Kay Wilmers’ essays, book reviews, short articles and obituaries handles subjects from mistresses to marketing, and seduction to psychoanalysts, all with Wilmers’ trademark insightful wit.  This creates a portrait of a particular slice of English culture in the late 20th and early 21st centuries.” (Catalogue)

The coolest monsters / Baxter, Megan
“Grounded in personal experience these essays ask through narrative what it means to be a rebel girl, a rebel teenager, and a rebel woman in a world that seems to offer no real alternative to traditional roles. The essays travel with the narrator from a summer camp in Maine, to opal mining in Nevada, to the story of a deadly thunderstorm in Vermont, to hunting for ginseng, asking the questions about belonging, expectation and, ultimately, if there is a chance for real happiness.” (Catalogue)

So here I am : speeches by great women to empower and inspire / Russell, Anna
So here I am is a celebration of empowering speeches by women throughout history and today. ‘History has many themes, one of them is that women should be quiet’; for too long, the female voice has not been part of the public sphere, perhaps with rare exceptions. Dip into this curated selection of women’s voices who need to be heard, now. This shot of inspiration serves as a reminder that despite all adversity, nevertheless, she persisted.” (Catalogue)

Shelf life : writers on books and reading / Johnson, Alex
“‘Books; reading, collecting and the physical housing of them has brought the book-lover joy – and stress – for centuries. Enjoy serious speculations on the psychological implications of reading from a 19th century philosopher, and less serious ones concerning the predicament of dispensing with unwanted volumes or the danger of letting children (the ‘enemies of books’) near your collection.” (Catalogue)

Salt on your tongue : women and the sea / Runcie, Charlotte
“In Salt On Your Tongue Charlotte explores what the sea means to us, and particularly what it has meant to women through the ages. This book is a walk on the beach with Turner, with Shakespeare, with the Romantic Poets and shanty-singers. In mesmerising prose, Charlotte Runcie explores how the sea has inspired, fascinated and terrified us… Navigating through ancient Greek myths, poetry, shipwrecks and Scottish folktales, Salt On Your Tongue is about how the wild untameable waves can help us understand what it means to be human.” (Catalogue)

Popshot Magazine
Popshot is an illustrated literary magazine that publishes short stories, flash fiction, and poetry from the literary new blood.

 

 

 

 

Ten Women Who Changed Science and other intriguing works

This month we bring amazing books in popular science. From Ten Women Who Changed Science to quantum physics, the importance of the Sun in our lives and even a book about how ancient foods feed our microbiome. Come with us in this amazing read!


Ten women who changed science, and the world / Whitlock, Catherine
Ten Women Who Changed Science tells the moving stories of the physicists, biologists, chemists, astronomers and doctors who helped to shape our world with their extraordinary breakthroughs and inventions, and outlines their remarkable achievements. (adapted from Amazon.co.uk)

Beyond weird : why everything you thought you knew about quantum physics is… different / Ball, Philip
“An exhilarating tour of the contemporary quantum landscape, Beyond Weird is a book about what quantum physics really means-and what it doesn’t.” (adapted from Catalogue)

Chasing the sun : how the science of sunlight shapes our bodies and minds / Geddes, Linda
“Our ancestors constructed vast monuments like Stonehenge and Pyramids of Egypt and Central America to keep track of the sun and celebrate the annual cycle of death and rebirth. The returning sun heralds new beginnings. This book asks us to rethink the significance of the sun in our lives and to exploit our relationship to improve our health, sleep and productivity.” (adapted from Catalogue)

The cosmic mystery tour : a high-speed journey through space & time / Mee, Nicholas
“How did the universe begin? What are gravitational waves all about? Will we find life on other planets? The Cosmic Mystery Tour is a brilliant, entertaining introduction to the discoveries of physics and astronomy. Stories, explanations, and illustrations open up the exciting frontiers of science to any beginner.” (adapted from Catalogue)

The cradle of humanity : how the changing landscape of Africa made us so smart / Maslin, Mark A.
“What drove the evolution of humans, with our uniquely big brains? The Cradle of Humanity presents fascinating and controversial new research which suggests that the geological and climatic history of East Africa’s Rift Valley are at the heart of the answer. Astronomy, geology, climate, and landscape all had a part to play in making East Africa the cradle of humanity and allowing us to dominate the planet.” (adapted from Catalogue)

Cultured : how ancient foods feed our microbiome / Courage, Katherine Harmon
“A revealing look at the 300 trillion microorganisms that keep us healthy–and the foods they need to thrive. These days, probiotic yogurt and other “gut-friendly” foods line supermarket shelves. But what’s the best way to feed our all-important microbiome–and what is a microbiome, anyway? In this engaging and eye-opening book, science journalist Katherine Harmon Courage investigates these questions, presenting a deep dive into the ancient food traditions and the latest research for maintaining a healthy gut.” (adapted from Catalogue)

Exact thinking in demented times : the Vienna Circle and the epic quest for the foundations of science / Sigmund, Karl
Exact Thinking in Demented Times is the first book to tell the often outrageous, sometimes tragic but always riveting stories of the men who shaped present-day scientific thought. A dazzling group biography, this landmark book will make clear the debt we owe to those who dared to reinvent knowledge from the ground up. — from dust jacket.” (adapted from Catalogue)

The space oracle : a guide to your stars / Hollings, Ken
“A radical retelling of our relationship with the cosmos, reinventing the history of astronomy as a new form of astrological calendar. A carefully constructed text in sixty numbered sections, The Space Oracle reinvents the history of astronomy as a new form of astrological calendar.” (adapted from Catalogue)

Simple quilting & stitching – New Craft books at your library!

Discover how to make the quilting process simple and enjoyable! Visit the world of embroidery and find useful ideas and tips how to make your projects come together!

Garden stitch life : 50 embroidery motifs & projects to grow your inspiration / Aoki, Kazuko
“In Garden Stitch Life, embroidery artist Kazuko Aoki invites you into her enchanting world of garden-themed embroidery. You’ll get a glimpse into her creative process, from sketching and selecting thread colors to stitching tips and techniques, as well as a behind-the-scenes look at her atelier, garden, and other inspiring locales. In addition to dozens of botanical motifs, you’ll also find designs based on the author’s favorite things in life: food, travel, and design. Projects include samplers, collages, patches, bags, table linens, and more!”-(Cover).

Mary Thomas’s dictionary of embroidery stitches : the classic guide / Eaton, Jan
”First published in 1934, this indispensable handbook has long been a well-loved favourite of novice and experienced embroiderers alike. This new, redesigned edition includes the internationally-renowned embroiderer Jan Eaton’s revisions to the original text, and a preface by famed embroiderer Mary Corbet.” – (Publisher’s description).

Modern memory quilts : a handbook for capturing meaningful moments : 12 projects + the stories that inspired them / Paquette, Suzanne
“Create modern heirloom quilts! 12 exciting designs for memory keeping, with the stories that inspired them. Learn tips for sewing with clothing to preserve the past and celebrate the future. Make gifts for children, honour a lost loved one, and celebrate your family’s legacy.”–Back cover.

The Kansas City star quilts sampler : 60+ blocks from 1928 to 1961
“Explore the archives of the Kansas City Star newspaper’s quilt-block patterns with the best designs from 1928- Meet the women who brought quilting to the newspaper, as profiled by best-selling author and quilt historian Barbara Brackman.1961”–Back cover.

Simple quilts for the modern home / Soebbing, Stephanie
Bright, fun, and simple-to-stitch quilts for beginning sewers–and everyone who loves modern style. Twelve projects range from lap to king-sized quilts.” “–Back cover.

Austin A40, Teslas and more: New Cars and Transport books

From old cars to the super technological Tesla and various expeditions through space. We have them all for this month’s new books.

Missions to the moon : the story of man’s greatest adventure brought to life with augmented reality / Rod Pyle ; foreword by Gene Kranz.
“With dozens of stunning photographs and fascinating memorabilia track the birth of the space race and Yuri Gagarin’s first space flight, to the many successes and failures of the Apollo mission, all the way to that boots-on-the-ground moment we have come to know so well.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

We had one of those too! / Barnett, Stephen
We Had One of Those Too! celebrates even more motoring memories from New Zealand’s golden age of motoring. Filled with a beautifully illustrated collection of cars, from the 1950s through to the 1970s, that Kiwis loved and drove during that period, this book is literally a nostalgic drive down memory lane.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Electric motorcycles and bicycles : a history including scooters, tricycles, segways and monocycles / Desmond, Kevin
“Since 1881, isolated prototypes of electric tricycles and bicycles were patented and sometimes tested. Limited editions followed in the wartime 1940s, but it was not until the lithium-ion battery became available in the first decade of this century that urban pedelecs and more powerful open-road motorcycles became possible and increasingly popular. The author covers the lives of the innovative engineers who have developed these e-wheelers.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Interplanetary robots : true stories of space exploration / Pyle, Rod
“Exploring the planets has been a goal of America’s space program since the dawn of the space race. This insider’s perspective examines incredible missions of robotic spacecraft to every corner of our solar system and beyond. Award-winning science writer Rod Pyle profiles both the remarkable spacecraft and the amazing scientists and engineers who made them possible.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

The Kaikoura job : rebuilding KiwiRail’s main north line / Merrifield, A. L. R.
“The sea-level mountain railway has a long story of dramatic moments and events. The men who completed it in the 1930s and 1940s always referred to it as ‘The Kaikoura Job’. This is the story of the scenic coastal line, from its early beginnings through to the reconstruction efforts following the devastating 2016 earthquake.” (Catalogue)

Insane mode : how Elon Musk’s Tesla sparked an electric revolution to end the age of oil / McKenzie, Hamish
“Tesla is a car company that stood up against not only the might of the government-backed Detroit car manufacturers, but also the massive power of Big Oil and its benefactors, the infamous Koch brothers. The award-winning Tesla Model 3, a premium mass-market electric car that went on sale in 2018, has reconfigured the popular perception of Tesla and continues to transform the public’s relationship with motor vehicles.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Don’t make me pull over! : an informal history of the family road trip / Ratay, Richard
“In the days before cheap air travel, families didn’t so much take vacations as survive them. Between home and destination lay thousands of miles and dozens of annoyances, and with his family Richard Ratay experienced all of them–from being crowded into the backseat with noogie-happy older brothers, to picking out a souvenir only to find that a better one might have been had at the next attraction, to dealing with a dad who didn’t believe in bathroom breaks.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

The Penguin book of outer space exploration : NASA and the incredible story of human spaceflight
“From Sputnik to SpaceX, the story of that journey is told as never before in The Penguin Book of Outer Space Exploration. Renowned space historian John Logsdon traces the greatest moments in human spaceflight by weaving together essential, fascinating documents from NASA’s history with his expert narrative guidance.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Syndetics book coverWally Funk’s race for space : the extraordinary story of a female aviation pioneer / Sue Nelson.
“In 1961, Wally Funk was among the Mercury 13, the first group of American pilots to pass the ‘Women in Space’ programme. Wally sailed through a series of rigorous physical and mental tests, her scores beating many of the male candidates’, including those of John Glenn, the first American in orbit. But just one week before she was due to enter the final phase of training, the programme was abruptly cancelled. A combination of politics and prejudice meant that none of the women ever flew into space.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Driven : the men who made Formula One / Eason, Kevin
“This colourful and compelling account of the extraordinary flourishing of Formula One explores the quirks and extravagances of the men who converged – in one generation – to shape their sport; disparate characters with a common impulse: they were racers – and they were driven.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Popular Reads: New Non-Fiction

In the wake of a recent scary article from Nature about Climate Change, and the recent IPCC warning document, our leading book this month asks Can democracy handle climate change? It is followed by a book that bemoans the present unwillingness of people to believe in scientific evidence.

Can democracy handle climate change? / Fiorino, Daniel J.
“Global climate change poses an unprecedented challenge for governments across the world. In this incisive book, Daniel Fiorino challenges the assumptions and evidence offered by sceptics of democracy and its capacity to handle climate change. Democracies, he explains, typically enjoy higher levels of environmental performance and produce greater innovation in technology, policy, and climate governance than autocracies. Rather than less democracy, Fiorino calls for a more accountable and responsive politics that will provide democratically-elected governments with the enhanced capacity for collective action on climate and other environmental issues.” (Catalogue (adapted))

Denialism : the dangers of irrational thinking and ignoring science experts / Specter, Michael
“There is so much confusing and conflicting information about the world in which we live that the truth can be impossible to find. The rise of modern scepticism against fake news is to be celebrated, but this cultural shift has led to a world where opinion is as valuable as fact. The existence of climate change; the safety behind eating genetically modified foods; and the effectiveness of herbal remedies over newly developed medicines are all hotly debated subjects and yet the science, rather than the rhetoric, is almost unanimous. Denialism brilliantly exposes the irrational pseudoscience and scare-mongering that increasingly get in the way of the truth and sensible decision-making. Specter demonstrates how key areas of modern life from basic health, to the environment and overall scientific progress are being dangerously misdirected and why facts must be put back to the heart of our judgements and belief.” (Catalogue)

Talking to women / Dunn, Nell
“In 1964, Nell Dunn spoke to nine of her friends over a bottle of wine about men, sex, work, money, babies, freedom and love. Novelist Edna O’Brien remembers being ‘very frightened’ of having her nipples touched. The Pop Artist Pauline Boty says she got married to the ‘first man I could talk very freely to'” (Catalogue (adapted))

No place like home : repairing Australia’s housing crisis / Mares, Peter
“It is generally accepted that Australia is in the grip of a housing crisis. But we are divided – along class, generational and political lines – about what to do about it. Award-winning journalist Peter Mares draws on academic research, statistical data and personal interviews to create a clear picture of Australia’s housing problems and to offer practical solutions. Expertly informed and eminently readable, No Place Like Home cuts through the noise and asks the common-sense questions about why we do housing the way we do, and what the alternatives might be.” (Catalogue (adapted))

Cyberwar : how Russian hackers and trolls helped elect a president : what we don’t, can’t, and do know / Jamieson, Kathleen Hall
“In Cyberwar, the eminent scholar Kathleen Hall Jamieson, who sifted through a vast amount of polling and voting data, is able to conclude with a reasonable degree of certainty that Russian help was crucial in elevating Trump to the Oval Office. The question of how Donald Trump won the 2016 election looms over all of the many controversies that continue to swirl around him to this day. In particular, was his victory the result of Russian meddling in our political system? Up until now, the answer to that has been equivocal at best given how difficult it is to prove.” (Catalogue (adapted))

Disrupt and deny : spies, special forces, and the secret pursuit of British foreign policy / Cormac, Rory
“The untold story of Britain’s covert military and intelligence operations since the end of World War II, and its secret scheming against enemies, as well as friends… In Disrupt and Deny, Rory Cormac tells the remarkable true story of Britain’s secret scheming against its enemies, as well as its friends; of intrigue and manoeuvring within the darkest corridors of Whitehall, where officials fought to maintain control of this most sensitive and seductive work; and, above all, of Britain’s attempt to use smoke and mirrors to mask decline. He reveals hitherto secret operations, the slush funds that paid for them, and the battles in Whitehall that shaped them.” (Catalogue (adapted))

The mushroom at the end of the world : on the possibility of life in capitalist ruins / Tsing, Anna Lowenhaupt
“A tale of diversity within our damaged landscapes, The Mushroom at the End of the World follows one of the strangest commodity chains of our times to explore the unexpected corners of capitalism. Here, we witness the varied and peculiar worlds of matsutake commerce: the worlds of Japanese gourmets, capitalist traders, Hmong jungle fighters, industrial forests, Yi Chinese goat herders, Finnish nature guides, and more. These companions also lead us into fungal ecologies and forest histories to better understand the promise of cohabitation in a time of massive human destruction.”–Publisher’s description.” (Catalogue)

I’m absolutely fine! : a manual for imperfect women / Rivkin, Annabel
“I’m absolutely fine but I slightly need to pee, I followed the road less travelled and now I don’t know where the hell I am, I may bleed to death shaving my legs, I just ate the fridge, my soul aches, ducking hell, my sock is slipping off inside my shoe, another week has ended without me becoming accidentally rich, I just put my keys in the fridge, my jeans hate me, unexpected object in the bagging area, I haven’t slept since 2012, I’ve got road rage, I’ll have a café mocha vodka valium latte to go please, where’s my phone? My anxieties have anxieties, no… not like that – here, I’ll do it, do I have to do everything? WTF? Is it just me? We gnaw on that, don’t we? Is it just me? Well, look around. Look at the egg-freezing, the brain freezing, the soul freezing, the terror, the Tinder, the rage, the resolution, the ‘hear me roar’, the panic, the power, the regret, the chin hairs, the hyper-connectedness, the divorce, the shame, the empathy, the conversation, the sheer potential. Welcome to Midulthood: a place where we recognise that we are all more alike than we are unalike. Of course it’s not just you. If we’re not in it together, we’re not in it at all…” (Catalogue)

A good time to be a girl : don’t lean in, change the system / Morrissey, Helena
“Five years have passed since women were exhorted to ‘Lean In’. Over that time, the world has transformed beyond all expectations. But why should anyone ‘lean in’ to a patriarchal system that is out of date? Why not change it entirely for the good of us all?” (Catalogue)

The Skripal files : the life and near death of a Russian spy / Urban, Mark
The Skripal Files is the definitive account of how Skripal’s story fits into the wider context of the new spy war between Russia and the West. The Skripal Files explores the time Skripal spent as a spy in the Russian Military Intelligence, how he was turned to work as an agent by MI6, his imprisonment in Russia and his eventual release as part of a spy-swap that would bring him to Salisbury, where on that fateful day he and his daughter found themselves fighting for their lives.” (Catalogue)

The spy and the traitor : the greatest espionage story of the Cold War / Macintyre, Ben
“A thrilling Cold War story about a KGB double agent, by one of Britain’s greatest historians. On a warm July evening in 1985, a middle-aged man stood on the pavement of a busy avenue in the heart of Moscow, holding a plastic carrier bag. In his grey suit and tie, he looked like any other Soviet citizen. The bag alone was mildly conspicuous, printed with the red logo of Safeway, the British supermarket. The man was a spy. A senior KGB officer, for more than a decade he had supplied his British spymasters with a stream of priceless secrets from deep within the Soviet intelligence machine. No spy had done more to damage the KGB. The Safeway bag was a signal: to activate his escape plan to be smuggled out of Soviet Russia. So began one of the boldest and most extraordinary episodes in the history of spying. Ben Macintyre reveals a tale of espionage, betrayal and raw courage that changed the course of the Cold War forever…” (Catalogue)

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)

“Water” you waiting for? Check out these new non-fiction books!

This month: the hot topic of water, and just how lucky are we?

Syndetics book coverThe origin of others / Toni Morrison ; with a foreword by Ta-Nehisi Coates.
“America’s foremost novelist reflects on the themes that preoccupy her work and increasingly dominate national and world politics: race, fear, borders, the mass movement of peoples, the desire for belonging. What is race and why does it matter? What motivates the human tendency to construct Others? Why does the presence of Others make us so afraid? Drawing on her Norton Lectures, Toni Morrison takes up these and other vital questions bearing on identity in The Origin of Others. National Book Award winner Ta-Nehisi Coates provides a foreword to Morrison’s most personal work of nonfiction to date.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverStorming the wall : climate change, migration, and homeland security / Todd Miller.
“In Storming the Wall, Todd Miller travels around the world to connect the dots between climate-ravaged communities, the corporations cashing in on border militarization, and emerging movements for environmental justice and sustainability. Reporting from the flashpoints of climate clashes, and from likely sites of futures battles, Miller chronicles a growing system of militarized divisions between the rich and the poor, the environmentally secure and the environmentally exposed. Stories of crisis, greed and violence are juxtaposed with powerful examples of solidarity and hope in this urgent and timely message from the frontlines of the post-Paris Agreement era.” (Book jacket)

Syndetics book coverNomadland : surviving America in the twenty-first century / Jessica Bruder.
“Employers have discovered a new, low-cost labor pool, made up largely of transient older Americans. Finding that social security comes up short, often underwater on mortgages, these invisible casualties of the Great Recession have taken to the road by the tens of thousands in late-model RVs, travel trailers, and vans, forming a growing community of nomads: migrant laborers who call themselves “workampers.” In a secondhand vehicle she christens “Van Halen,” Jessica Bruder hits the road to get to know her subjects more intimately. Bruder tells a compelling, eye-opening tale of the dark underbelly of the American economy–one that foreshadows the precarious future that may await many more of us.” (adapted from book cover)

Syndetics book coverOne another’s equals : the basis of human equality / Jeremy Waldron.
“Waldron argues that there is no single characteristic that serves as the basis of equality. He says the case for moral equality rests on four capacities that all humans have the potential to possess in some degree: reason, autonomy, moral agency, and ability to love. But how should we regard the differences that people display on these various dimensions? And what are we to say about those who suffer from profound disability–people whose claim to humanity seems to outstrip any particular capacities they have along these lines? Waldron, who has worked on the nature of equality for many years, confronts these questions and others fully and unflinchingly.” (adapted from publisher’s description)

Syndetics book coverHit refresh : the quest to rediscover Microsoft’s soul and imagine a better future for everyone / Satya Nadella with Greg Shaw and Jill Tracie Nichols.
Hit Refresh is about individual change, the transformation happening inside Microsoft, and the arrival of the most exciting and disruptive wave of technology humankind has experienced–including artificial intelligence, mixed reality, and quantum computing. It examines how people, organizations, and societies can and must transform, how they must ‘hit refresh’ in their persistent quest for new energy, new ideas, and continued relevance and renewal. Yet at its core, it’s about humans and how one of our essential qualities–empathy–will become ever more valuable in a world where technological advancement will alter the status quo as never before.” (adapted from book cover)

Syndetics book coverAmericana : a 400-year history of American capitalism / Bhu Srinivasan.
“In a winning, accessible style, Bhu Srinivasan boldly takes on four centuries of American enterprise and reveals the unexpected connections that link them. We learn how Andrew Carnegie’s early job as a telegraph messenger boy paved the way for his leadership of the steel empire that would make him one of the nation’s richest men; how the gunmaker Remington reinvented itself in the postwar years to sell typewriters; how the inner workings of the Mafia mirrored the trend of consolidation and regulation in more traditional business; and how a 1950s infrastructure bill triggered a series of events that produced one of America’s most enduring brands: KFC.” (adapted from book cover)

Syndetics book coverWe were eight years in power : an American tragedy / Ta-Nehisi Coates.
“‘We were eight years in power’ was the lament of Reconstruction-era black politicians as the American experiment in multiracial democracy ended with the return of white supremacist rule in the South. In this sweeping collection of new and selected essays, Ta-Nehisi Coates explores the tragic echoes of that history in our own time: the unprecedented election of a black president followed by a vicious backlash that fueled the election of the man Coates argues is America’s ‘first white president.’ This book also examines the new voices, ideas, and movements for justice that emerged over this period–and the effects of the persistent, haunting shadow of our nation’s old and unreconciled history.” (adapted from book jacket)

Syndetics book coverBitch doctrine : essays for dissenting adults / Laurie Penny.
“Smart and provocative, witty and uncompromising, this collection of Laurie Penny’s celebrated essays establishes her as one of the most important and vibrant political voices of our time. Bitch Doctrine takes an unflinching look at the definitive issues of our age, from the shock of Donald Trump’s election and the victories of the far right to online harassment and the transgender rights movement.” (Amazon.com)

Syndetics book coverRefuge : rethinking refugee policy in a changing world / Alexander Betts and Paul Collier.
“Global refugee numbers are at their highest levels since the end of World War II, but the system in place to deal with them, based upon a humanitarian list of imagined “basic needs,” has changed little. In Refuge, Paul Collier and Alexander Betts argue that the system fails to provide a comprehensive solution to the fundamental problem, which is how to reintegrate displaced people into society. The numbers are stark: the average length of stay in a refugee camp worldwide is 17 years. Into this situation comes the Syria crisis, which has dislocated countless families, bringing them to face an impossible choice: huddle in dangerous urban desolation, rot in dilapidated camps, or flee across the Mediterranean to increasingly unwelcoming governments.” (Provided by publisher)

Syndetics book coverThey can’t kill us all : the story of the struggle for Black lives / Wesley Lowery.
“A deeply reported book that brings alive the quest for justice in the deaths of Michael Brown, Tamir Rice, and Freddie Gray, offering both unparalleled insight into the reality of police violence in America and an intimate, moving portrait of those working to end it. By posing the question, “What does the loss of any one life mean to the rest of the nation?” Lowery examines the cumulative effect of decades of racially biased policing in segregated neighborhoods with failing schools, crumbling infrastructure and too few jobs.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverTwilight of the money gods : economics as a religion and how it all went wrong / John Rapley.
“Imagine one day you went to a cash-machine and found your money was gone. You rushed to your branch, where a teller said that overnight people had stopped believing in money, and it all vanished. Seem incredible? It happened, and it could happen again. Twilight of the Money Gods is the story of economics, told not as the science it strove to be, but as the religion it became. Today, amid a crisis of faith in their expertise, we must re-imagine an economics for a new era – one filled with both danger and opportunity.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Water: quality and ownership / W.F. Benfield.
“New Zealand is fortunate in having a high quality water resource. It has fuelled an agricultural revolution where production has taken precedence over management of resources. In a world where clean water is becoming a scarce resource, we must protect ours for a nation’s future wellbeing. That is why urgent steps must be taken to address the issue of pollution of water by agricultural contamination and urban waste. The book also covers claims to “ownership” of New Zealand’s waters – from the bottling companies that take water from aquifers to make fortunes selling it overseas to demands by the Iwi Leaders Group to take ownership of a natural resource that falls from the sky. These issues have to be addressed and this book is an important step in that direction. ” (Back cover)

Outside the box: New non fiction

This month featuring rebels, outsiders, activists and the victims of prejudice and discrimination.

Syndetics book coverYou play the girl : on Playboy bunnies, Stepford wives, train wrecks, and other mixed messages / Carina Chocano.
“In this smart, funny, impassioned call to arms, a pop culture critic merges memoir and commentary to explore how our culture shapes ideas about who women are, what they are meant to be, and where they belong. Who is “the girl”? Look to movies, TV shows, magazines, and ads and the message is both clear and not: she is a sexed up sidekick, a princess waiting to be saved, a morally infallible angel with no opinions of her own. She’s whatever the hero needs her to be in order to become himself. She’s an abstraction, an ideal, a standard, a mercurial phantom…” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverHow to resist : turn protest to power / Matthew Bolton.
“”This extraordinary book is the roadmap for a new kind of effective activism.”‘ — Brian Eno
“This book is for people who are angry with the ways things are and want to do something about it; for people who are frustrated with the system, or worried about the direction the country is going. Maybe they’ve been on a march, posted their opinions on social media, or shouted angrily at something they’ve seen on the news but don’t feel like it’s making any difference. It is for people who want to make a change but they’re not sure how.” — Matthew Bolton” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverGalileo’s middle finger : heretics, activists, and the search for justice in science / Alice Dreger.
“An impassioned defense of intellectual freedom and a clarion call to intellectual responsibility, Galileo’s Middle Finger is one American’s eye-opening story of life in the trenches of scientific controversy. For two decades, historian Alice Dreger has led a life of extraordinary engagement, combining activist service to victims of unethical medical research with defense of scientists whose work has outraged identity politics activists. With spirit and wit, Dreger offers in Galileo’s Middle Finger an unforgettable vision of the importance of rigorous truth seeking in today’s America, where both the free press and free scholarly inquiry struggle under dire economic and political threats…” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe rise of the outsiders : how mainstream politics lost its way / Steve Richards.
“Something strange has been happening. All over the world, people are angry and rejecting the establishment like never before. …In this landmark book, political journalist Steve Richards provides a captivating account of the defining political phenomenon of this decade. Telling the riveting story of how eccentrics, ideologues, and strong men are breaking the political rules, he asks why they’re gaining support and examines the frightening implications of this new global rise in anti-establishment sentiment. Are we approaching a new age of populism, where democracy is eroded?” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverGirl up : kick ass, claim your woman card, and crush everyday sexism / Laura Bates.
“Already an international bestseller, this empowering survival guide provides no-nonsense advice on sex, social media, mental health, and sexism that young women face in their everyday life — from one of the emerging leaders in the feminist movement.” (Amazon.com)

Syndetics book coverKill all normies : the online culture wars from Tumblr and 4chan to the alt-right and Trump / Angela Nagle.
“Recent years have seen a revival of the heated culture wars of the 1990s, but this time its battle ground is the internet. On one side the alt right ranges from the once obscure neo-reactionary and white separatist movements, to geeky subcultures like 4chan. The feminist side of the online culture wars has its equally geeky subcultures right through to its mainstream expression. Kill All Normies explores some of the cultural genealogies and past parallels of these styles and subcultures, drawing from transgressive styles of 60s libertinism and conservative movements, to make the case for a rejection of the perpetual cultural turn.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverIs racism an environmental threat? / Ghassan Hage.
“The ecological crisis is the most overwhelming to have ever faced humanity and its consequences permeate every domain of life. This trenchant book examines its relation to Islamophobia as the dominant form of racism today, showing how both share roots in domination, colonialism, and the logics of capitalism. Ghassan Hage proposes that both racism and humanity’s destructive relationship with the environment emanate from the same mode of inhabiting the world. The aim is to move beyond what makes us see otherness, whether human or nonhuman, as something that exists solely to be managed.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverHave Black lives ever mattered? / Mumia Abu-Jamal.
“In Have Black Lives Ever Mattered? Mumia gives voice to the many people of color who have fallen to police bullets or racist abuse, and offers the post-Ferguson generation advice on how to address police abuse in the United States. This collection of his radio commentaries on the topic features an in-depth essay written especially for this book to examine the history of policing in America, with its origins in the white slave patrols of the antebellum South and an explicit mission to terrorize the country’s Black population.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe crisis of multiculturalism in Europe : a history / Rita Chin.
“In 2010, the leaders of Germany, Britain, and France each declared that multiculturalism had failed in their countries. Over the past decade, a growing consensus in Europe has voiced similar decrees. But what do these ominous proclamations, from across the political spectrum, mean? From the influx of immigrants in the 1950s to contemporary worries about refugees and terrorism, The Crisis of Multiculturalism in Europe examines the historical development of multiculturalism on the Continent.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverTokyo geek’s guide : manga, anime, gaming, cosplay, toys, idols & more / Gianni Simone.
“Tokyo is ground zero for Japan’s popular “geek” or otaku culture–a phenomenon that has now swept across the globe. This is the most comprehensive Japan travel guide ever produced which features Tokyo’s geeky underworld. It provides a comprehensive run-down on each major Tokyo district where geeks congregate, shop, play and hang out–from hi-tech Akihabara and trendy Harajuku to newer and lesser-known haunts like chic Shimo-Kita and working-class Ikebukuro…” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverBitch doctrine : essays for dissenting adults / Laurie Penny.
“Smart and provocative, witty and uncompromising, this collection of Laurie Penny’s celebrated essays establishes her as one of the most important and vibrant political voices of our time. Bitch Doctrine takes an unflinching look at the definitive issues of our age, from the shock of Donald Trump’s election and the victories of the far right to online harassment and the transgender rights movement. This darkly comic, often biting yet empathic, revelatory collection will inform, challenge, and engage, and give readers hope and tools for change.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverSurvivor café : the legacy of trauma and the labyrinth of memory / Elizabeth Rosner.
“Elizabeth Rosner organizes her book around three trips with her father to Buchenwald concentration camp–in 1983, in 1995, and in 2015–each journey an experience in which personal history confronts both commemoration and memorialization. She explores the echoes of similar legacies among descendants of African American slaves, descendants of Cambodian survivors of the Killing Fields, descendants of survivors of the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and the effects of 9/11 on the general population. Examining current brain research, Rosner depicts the efforts to understand the intergenerational inheritance of trauma, as well as the intricacies of remembrance in the aftermath of atrocity.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

10 new self-help books to get you through August

It’s August and there is a light at the end of that winter tunnel! Have a bit of a laugh in the face of winter and explore life lessons from Making Your Bed all the way through to Adulthood for Beginners. We have a wide range of hilarious and upbeat books to help get you through those winter blues!

Syndetics book coverAdulthood for beginners : all the life secrets nobody bothered to tell you / Andy Boyle
“Many of us spend a decade or more figuring out how the world works through a humbling process of trial and error that by age 30 we’re hoping no one who was there remembers. Does Boyle have everything figured out? Of course not. But the breezy and funny advice, lists, jokes, and other helpful tidbits in this engaging book will help readers get through the hard parts faster!” (Adapted Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverLifetonic : a modern toolkit to help you heal your life and soothe your soul / Jody Shield.
LifeTonic engages you in a revolutionary experience designed to transform your soul at the highest level and shift you up a gear. Let Jody guide you safely through her powerful self-help tools and ‘tonics’ in order to overcome the negativity, fear and anxiety and issues that are holding you back from fulfilling your true potential. Learn how meditation can change your brain and can be easily integrated into your daily life.” (Adapted Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverLovelands / Dr Debra Campbell.
“Nothing is more important to us than love, yet nothing is more painful than love gone wrong. During the course of our lives, we can develop dangerous faultlines and crevasses in our inner emotional landscapes due to past hurts, losses and disappointments. Lovelands is psychologist Dr Debra Campbell’s map for traversing the treacherous terrain of love and cultivating the wisdom and self-compassion for healthy love relationships.” (Adapted Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverBarking up the wrong tree : the surprising science behind why everything you know about success is (mostly) wrong / Eric Barker.
“Much of the advice we’ve been told about achievement is logical, earnest…and downright wrong. By looking at what separates the extremely successful from the rest of us, we learn what we can do to be more like them, and find out in energsome cases why it’s good that we aren’t.” ( Adapted Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe zen of you & me : a guide to getting along with just about anyone / Diane Musho Hamilton.
“The people who get under your skin the most can in fact be your greatest teachers. It’s not a matter of overlooking differences, but of regarding those difficult aspects of the relationship with curiosity and compassion, for those very differences offer a path to profound connection. This practical, reality-based guide to living harmoniously with even your most irritating fellow humans, shows that “getting along” is really a matter of discovering that our differences are nothing other than an expression of our even deeper shared unity.” (Adapted Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverMicro-resilience : minor shifts for major boosts in focus, drive and energy / Bonnie St. John, Allen P. Haines.
“Leadership consultants and executive trainers, Bonnie St. John and Allen Haines heard the same story from clients for years; periodic burnout, lack of focus and low energy. So they dug into the latest research looking for big answers. Instead they found that small adjustments in daily routines, including thought patterns, food and drink, rest and movement can fight the forces that sap our energy and store focus and drive. They call these amazing efficient restorative techniques ‘micro-resilience.'” (Adapted Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverA colorful way of living : how to be more, create more, do more the Vera Bradley way / Barbara Bradley Baekgaard.
“From the co-founder of the Vera Bradley empire, a practical and inspiring book that shows women how to awaken their full potential, at any age. A Colorful Way of Living offers practical, inspiring advice to empower women to navigate life by the values that provide the foundation of the Vera Bradley empire. In this highly readable book, Barbara Bradley Baekgaard shares the values that have helped her to thrive in business, health, and relationships” (Adapted Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverEgo is the enemy / Ryan Holiday.
Ego Is the Enemy draws on a vast array of stories and examples, from literature to philosophy to his­tory. We meet fascinating figures such as George Marshall, Jackie Robinson, Katharine Graham, Bill Belichick, and Eleanor Roosevelt, who all reached the highest levels of power and success by con­quering their own egos. In an era that glorifies social media, reality TV, and other forms of shameless self-promotion, the battle against ego must be fought on many fronts. ” (Adapted Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe art of people : 11 simple people skills that will get you everything you want / Dave Kerpen.
“In a world where we are constantly connected, it’s those with the best people skills who win the day. Those who truly understand and connect with their colleagues, their customers, their partners. Those who others like, respect and trust. The Art of People reveals the 11 people skills that will get you more of what you want at work, at home and in life. Accessible, easy to execute and often counter-intuitive, Kerpen will show you how to charm and win over anyone, no matter who you are or what profession you’re in.” (Adapted Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverMake your bed : little things that can change your life… and maybe the world / Admiral William H. McRaven (U.S. Navy retired).
“If you want to change the world, start off by making your bed. On May 17, 2014, Admiral William H. McRaven addressed the graduating class of the University of Texas at Austin on their Commencement day. The original speech went viral with over 10 million views. Building on the core tenets laid out in his speech, McRaven provides simple wisdom, practical advice, and words of encouragement that will inspire readers to achieve more, even in life’s darkest moments.” (Adapted Syndetics summary)

New non-fiction: a biography of Elizabeth Warren, race and racism in Britain, & more

This month we have a wide range of titles in our new non-fiction, from a biography of rising American academic and politician Elizabeth Warren, to climate change and the future of the planet, as well as a look at the CIA, and issues of race and racism in Britain.

Syndetics book coverThis fight is our fight : the battle to save working people / Elizabeth Warren.
“Senator Elizabeth Warren has long been an outspoken champion of working people, and by the time the people of Massachusetts elected her in 2012, she had become one of the country’s leading progressive voices. Warren grew up in Oklahoma, and she’s never forgotten how difficult it was for her mother and father to hold on at the ragged edge of the lower middle class. An educational system that offered opportunities for all made it possible for her to achieve her dream of going to college, becoming a teacher, and, later, attending law school. But now, for many, these kinds of opportunities are gone, and a government that once looked out for working families is instead captive to the rich and powerful…” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe CIA as organized crime : how illegal operations corrupt America and the world / by Douglas Valentine.
“Author of three books on CIA operations, Valentine’s research into CIA activities began when CIA Director William Colby gave him free access to interview CIA officials who had been involved in various aspects of the Phoenix program in South Vietnam. It was a permission Colby was to regret. The CIA would rescind it, making every effort to impede publication of The Phoenix Program, which documented the CIA’s elaborate system of population surveillance, control, entrapment, imprisonment, torture and assassination in Vietnam. While researching Phoenix, Valentine learned that the CIA allowed opium and heroin to flow from its secret bases in Laos, to generals and politicians on its payroll in South Vietnam…” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverWhy I’m no longer talking to white people about race / Reni Eddo-Lodge.
“In 2014, award-wining journalist Reni Eddo-Lodge wrote on her blog about her frustration with the way that discussions of race and racism in Britain were being led by those who weren’t affected by it. Her words hit a nerve. The post went viral and comments flooded in from others desperate to speak up about their own experiences. Galvanised, she decided to dig into the source of these feelings. Exploring issues from eradicated black history to the inextricable link between class and race, Reni Eddo-Lodge has written a searing, illuminating, absolutely necessary examination of what it is to be a person of colour in Britain today.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverToo late : how we lost the battle with climate change / Geoffrey Maslen.
“In Too late, Geoffrey Maslen paints a sobering picture of the state of our planet and discusses how successive governments have failed to initiate change. Drawing on the work of leading climate scientists, this book is an urgent reminder that we have reached the point of no return. It is essential reading for anyone who cares about our planet’s future and what we leave for the generations to come”–Back cover.

Syndetics book coverI was toId to come alone : my journey behind the lines of Jihad / Souad Mekhennet.
“For her whole life, Souad Mekhennet, a reporter for the Washington Post who was born and educated in Germany, has had to balance the two sides of her upbringing – Muslim and Western. She has also sought to provide a mediating voice between these cultures, which too often misunderstand each other. In this compelling and evocative memoir, we accompany Mekhennet as she journeys behind the lines of jihad, starting in the German neighbourhoods where the 9/11 plotters were radicalised and the Iraqi neighbourhoods where Sunnis and Shia turned against one another, and culminating on the Turkish/Syrian border region where ISIS is a daily presence…” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverNo free lunch : can New Zealand feed the world sustainably? / volume editor: Barbara Burlingame ; series editor: Claire Massey.
“The world needs nutrition-driven agriculture that operates within planetary boundaries. But how do we engage the agriculture, health and environment sectors to address the pressing local and global problems that have taken us to the edge of — and beyond — the planet’s limits to growth? What are the solutions? Do they involve short-term hardship in order to not put future generations in peril? Twenty experts give their view on how New Zealand can lead the way with robust policies and best practice for sustainable food consumption and production.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe IRA / Tim Pat Coogan.
“This updated edition of the best-selling history of the IRA now includes behind-the-scenes information on the recent advances made in the peace process. With clarity and objectivity, Coogan examines the IRA’s origins, its foreign links, bombing campaigns, hunger strikes and sectarian violence and its role in the latest attempts to bring peace to Northern Ireland. Meticulously researched and featuring interviews with past and present members of the organization, this is a compelling account of modern Irish history.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverPost-truth : why we have reached peak bullshit and what we can do about it / Evan Davis.
“Low-level dishonesty is rife everywhere, in the form of exaggeration, selective use of facts, economy with the truth, careful drafting – from Trump and the Brexit debate to companies that tell us ‘your call is important to us’. How did we get to a place where bullshit is not just rife but apparently so effective that it’s become the communications strategy of our times? This brilliantly insightful book steps inside the panoply of deception employed in all walks of life and assesses how it has come to this. It sets out the surprising logic which explains why bullshit is both pervasive and persistent. Why are company annual reports often nonsense? Why should you not trust estate agents? And above all, why has political campaigning become the art of stretching the truth? Drawing on behavioural science, economics, psychology and of course his knowledge of the media, Evan ends by providing readers with a tool-kit to handle the kinds of deceptions we encounter every day, and charts a route through the muddy waters of the post-truth age.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverSugar : the world corrupted, from slavery to obesity / James Walvin.
“The story of mankind’s love of sweetness – the need to consume honey, cane sugar, beet sugar and chemical sweeteners – has important historical origins. To take a simple example, two centuries ago, cane sugar was vital to the burgeoning European domestic and colonial economies. For all its recent origins, today’s obesity epidemic – if that is what it is – did not emerge overnight, but instead evolved from a complexity of historical forces which stretch back centuries…” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverPedagogy of the oppressed / Paulo Freire ; translated by Myra Bergman Ramos
“This text argues that the perceived passivity of the poor is the direct result of economic, social and political domination. The book suggests that in some countries the oppressors use the ‘piggy bank’ system – treating students as passive, empty vessels – to preserve their authority and maintain a culture of silence. Through cooperation and dialogue, Freire suggests, the authoritarian teacher-pupil model can be replaced with critical thinking so that the student becomes co-creator of knowledge. Crucial to Freire’s argument is the belief that every human being, no matter how impoverished or illiterate, can develop an awareness of self, and the right to be heard.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverRadicals : outsiders changing the world / Jamie Bartlett.
“…From dawn raids into open mines to the darkest recesses of the internet, Radicals introduces us to some of the most secretive and influential movements today: techno-futurists questing for immortality, far-right groups seeking to close borders, militant environmentalists striving to save the planet’s natural reserves by any means possible, libertarian movements founding new countries, autonomous cooperatives in self-sustaining micro-societies, and psychedelic pioneers attempting to heal society with the help of powerful hallucinogens…” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverJournalism and climate crisis : public engagement, media alternatives / edited by Robert A. Hackett, Susan Forde, Shane Gunster, Kerrie Foxwell-Norton.
Journalism and Climate Crisis: Public Engagement, Media Alternatives recognizes that climate change is more than an environmental crisis. This book enquires into which approaches to journalism, as a particularly important form of public communication, can best enable humanity to productively address climate crisis. Bringing together perspectives from the fields of environmental communication and journalism studies, the authors argue for forms of journalism that can encourage public engagement and mobilization to challenge the powerful interests vested in a high-carbon economy… Ultimately, the book argues for a fundamental rethinking of relationships between journalism, publics, democracy and climate crisis.” (Syndetics summary)

8 Non-Fiction Health Books worth checking out in August

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

New non-fiction books

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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