Non-Fiction Catalogue: September 2019
All the books in this catalogue are new books due for release in September 2019.
Because they are new books, we are at the whim of the publishers and, to some extent, the shipping companies – books can sometimes arrive later (or earlier) than, or occasionally be a different retail price, than originally quoted. Because space is a luxury, we bring in limited quantities of books. Prices are subject to change without notice.
Please reserve copies of anything you want, so you don’t miss out – ASAP! If a book has sold out by the time we receive your order, we will back-order and supply, when available. Pulp Fiction has access to thousands of books not shown in our monthly catalogues. We are only too happy to order anything, if we don’t have it on the shelves.
If you can’t make it into the shop, you can post, phone, or e-mail your order. We accept Mastercard, Visa, AMEX, cheques, and Australia Post Money Orders. Approximate current postage (base rate), within Australia, is:
- 1–2 paperbacks (up to 500g), $8.30
- 2–10 paperbacks or any trade paperbacks or hardcovers, within Brisbane, is $10.85
- outside Brisbane metro area (over 500g up to 3kg), $13.40
- anything above 3kg charged at Australia Post rates.
Abbreviations used in this catalogue: PBK = ‘A’ or ‘B’ format (standard size) paperback;TP = ‘B+’ or ‘C’ format (oversize) trade paperback;HC = hardcover or cloth binding.
Until next time, good reading!
New Osprey military history titles
The Medieval Cannon 1326–1494 (New Vanguard 273)
Davies, Jonathan & Shumate, Johnny; Hook, Adam; Walsh, Stephen (illustrators)
The first illustration of a cannon in Europe can be dated, quite precisely, to 1326. This book explores the development of gunpowder, the earliest appearance of cast-bronze cannon in Western Europe, followed by the design and development of the wrought-iron cannon. The wrought-iron, hoop-and-stave method of barrel construction was a system that came to dominate medieval artillery design both large and small – until the end of the 15th century – and saw the cannon used not only as a prestige weapon, but start to be used as a practical and terrifying weapon on the medieval battlefield. In 1453, the Ottomans’ conquest of Constantinople, with their extensive artillery, marked the triumph of medieval firepower. The book will focus on the technology and tactics of early European artillery on both sea and land, and assess its impact on medieval warfare.
Military history | PBK | $24.99
Churchill Infantry Tank (New Vanguard 272)
Fletcher, David & Morshead, Henry (illustrator)
The NVG covers all seven Marks of Churchill gun tank with variations and the curious self-propelled gun of 1941/42, but not the so-called ‘Funnies’ or the armoured recovery vehicle variants. It will begin with the prototype tank A20, which has not been covered in any detail before, then go on to look at all seven Marks of Churchill; in particular, their different guns. This book will also look at the tank’s service in Russia, and later with the Irish, Jordanian and Australian Armies. It will also feature on the disastrous Dieppe raid of August 1942, ending with a brief look at the Black Prince or super Churchill – which was only developed up to the prototype stage at the end of World War II. The Churchill is an interesting tank, quite different from any other British tank of World War II, built outside the normal process of British tanks and the Department of Tank Design. It was built under the watchful eye of the Prime Minister, after whom it was named, by a firm with no previous experience of tank production. Despite being condemned as unsuitable and, more than once, being scheduled to be replaced by a better design this never actually happened. It remained in production and ultimately vindicated itself since, although it was slow and noisy it was found to have superior climbing ability and thicker frontal armour than the vaunted German Tiger. Its classification as an Infantry Tank has been extensively criticised; although, recently one or two authors, notably Americans, seem to have revised their views on this and even Field Marshal Montgomery, who advocated a Universal Tank to fulfil all roles, found the Churchill a useful tank on many occasions, particularly considering its ability to absorb punishment.
Military history | PBK | $24.99
The Arisaka Rifle (Weapon 70)
Harriman, Bill & Dennis, Peter; Gilliland, Alan (illustrators)
Entering service in 1897, the Arisaka family of bolt-action rifles armed Japanese troops and others through two world wars and many other conflicts, including the Russo-Japanese War of 1904–05. Issued in long and short versions – the latter for cavalry and specialists – the Type 30 was the first main Arisaka model, arming Imperial Japan’s forces during the Russo-Japanese War; though, after the war, it was refined into the Type 38, which would still be in use in 1945. The main Arisaka rifle of World War II, though, was the Type 99. Lighter and more rugged than the US M1903 Springfield rifle it would face in the initial battles in the Pacific, it was produced in four main variants, including a sniping model and a take-down parachutist’s rifle. Featuring full-colour artwork, as well as archive and close-up photographs, this is the absorbing story of the rifles arming Imperial Japan’s forces, from the trenches of Mukden in 1905 to the beaches of Okinawa, 40 years later.
Military history | PBK | $32.99
T-34 vs StuG III: Finland 1944 (Duel 96)
Zaloga, Steven J & Chasemore, Richard (illustrator)
In the summer of 1944, the Red Army staged a massive armoured assault up the Karelian Isthmus with the intent of eliminating any remaining German and Finnish forces facing the Leningrad region. Most of the Soviet units sent into Finland were new to the region, moving mainly from the fighting in the Leningrad area. As a result, some had the latest types of Soviet equipment including the new T-34-85 tank, fielded alongside the older T-34-76. Germany refused to sell the Finns new tanks without a reinforced military alliance; but, in 1943, began selling them a few dozen StuG III assault guns. This made the StuG III battalion the most modern and powerful element of the Finnish armoured division, and it saw very extensive combat in the June–July summer battles. Featuring specially commissioned artwork and an array of archive photographs, this is the absorbing story of the parts played by Soviet and Finnish armour in the epic battles in Finland during June and July 1944.
Military history | PBK | $32.99
World War II Map by Map
A uniquely-illustrated guide to the Second World War. Trace the epic history of World War 2 across the globe with more than 70 detailed maps. Includes a foreword by Peter Snow, broadcaster and historian. In this stunning visual history book, purpose-made maps tell the story of the Second World War from the rise of the Axis powers to the dropping of the atom bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Each map is rich with detail and graphics, helping you to chart the progress of key events of World War II on land, sea, and air, such as the Dunkirk evacuation, the attack on Pearl Harbor, the D-Day landings, and the siege of Stalingrad. As well as purpose-made maps, historical maps from both Allied and Axis countries offer unique insights into the events. There are also timelines to help you follow the story as it unfolds, while narrative overviews explain the social, economic, political, and technical developments at the time. Fascinating, large-scale pictures introduce topics such as the Holocaust, blitzkrieg, kamikaze warfare, and code breaking. Written by a team of historians in consultation with Richard Overy, World War II Map by Map examines how the deadliest conflict in history changed the face of our world. It is perfect for students, general readers, and military history enthusiasts.
Military history | HC | $49.99
Exoplanets (Ladybird Expert)
Exoplanets is an accessible and authoritative introduction to the hunt for strange new worlds. Written by the celebrated space scientist Maggie Aderin-Pocock, Exoplanets illuminates how scientists are on the technological brink of answering the questions that have been asked for thousands of years: Are there other planets like Earth? Is there life on these planets? And are they common? Inside you’ll learn just how quickly our picture of the universe is changing. In the past 10 years, scientists have estimated about 40 billion potentially Earth-like planets that sit in the habitable zone of stars not dissimilar to our own. This book details not only how scientists are detecting these planets; but asks, if we came across life, would we even recognise it?
Astronomy | HC | $19.99
The Secret World: a History of Intelligence
‘God sent out spies into the land of Canaan.’ The first mention of espionage in world literature is in the Book of Exodus. From there, Christopher Andrew traces shift in the ancient world from divination to what we would recognise as attempts to gather real intelligence in the conduct of military operations; and considers how far ahead of the West – at that time – China and India were. He charts the development of intelligence and security operations and capacity through, amongst others, Renaissance Venice, Elizabethan England, Revolutionary America, Napoleonic France – right up to sophisticated modern activities of which he is the world’s best-informed interpreter. What difference have security and intelligence operations made to course of history? This fascinating book provides the answers.
History of Intelligence | PBK | $26.99
Saving Mona Lisa: the Battle to Protect the Louvre and its Treasures from the Nazis
Monuments Men-style, true story of the men and women of France’s Musees Nationaux in the Second World War. In August 1939, curators at the Louvre nestled the world’s most famous painting into a special red velvet-lined case and spirited her away to the Loire Valley. So began the biggest evacuation of art and antiquities in history. As the Germans neared Paris, in 1940, the French raced to move the masterpieces still further south, then again and again during the war, crisscrossing the southwest of France. Throughout the German occupation, the museum staff fought to keep the priceless treasures out of the hands of Hitler and his henchmen, often risking their lives to protect the country’s artistic heritage. Thus, a story that features as a vignette in the George Clooney film The Monuments Men is given the full-length treatment it demands. The recipient of several independent publishing awards in the United States, and illustrated throughout with nearly 100 photographs, Saving Mona Lisa is a compelling true story of art and beauty, intrigue and ingenuity, and remarkable moral courage in the darkest of times.
History | PBK | $24.99
Blueprint: the Evolutionary Origins of a Good Society
Christakis, Nicholas A
Drawing on advances in social science, evolutionary biology, genetics, neuroscience, and network science, Blueprint shows how and why evolution has placed us on a humane path – and how we are united by our common humanity. For too long, scientists have focused on the dark side of our biological heritage: our capacity for aggression, cruelty, prejudice, and self-interest. But natural selection has given us a suite of beneficial social features, including our capacity for love, friendship, cooperation, and learning. Beneath all our inventions – our tools, farms, machines, cities, nations – we carry with us innate proclivities to make a good society. In Blueprint, Nicholas A Christakis introduces the compelling idea that our genes affect not only our bodies and behaviours, but also the ways in which we make societies, ones that are surprisingly similar worldwide. With many vivid examples – including diverse historical and contemporary cultures, communities formed in the wake of shipwrecks, commune dwellers seeking utopia, online groups thrown together by design or involving artificially intelligent bots, and even the tender and complex social arrangements of elephants and dolphins that so resemble our own – Christakis shows that, despite a human history replete with violence, we cannot escape our social blueprint for goodness. In a world of increasing political and economic polarisation, it’s tempting to ignore the positive role of our evolutionary past. But by exploring the ancient roots of goodness in civilisation, Blueprint shows that our genes have shaped societies for our welfare and that, in a feedback loop stretching back many thousands of years, societies have shaped, and are still shaping, our genes today.
Science | PBK | $22.99
RAAF Black Cats: the secret history of the covert Catalina mine-laying operations
to cripple Japan’s war machine
Cleworth, Robert & Linton , John Suter
The secret and dangerous operations of Australia’s Pacific War Catalina crews told, for the first time. In March 1945, Reg Cleworth, a navigator on PBY Catalina seaplanes flying out of Darwin, went missing in action. No details were ever given about the incident that took his life, nor the reason his plane went down. For Reg’s younger brother, Robert, the news came as a fulfilling prophecy. The last time they saw each other, Reg confided in Robert, ‘I don’t think I’m coming back’. Forty years later, Robert decided to investigate what happened to his brother. What he uncovered was an extraordinary story of a covert Australian airborne mine-laying operation, in cooperation with the US Seventh Fleet to disrupt the Japanese supply routes. One of the riskier and more dangerous RAAF undertakings of the Pacific War, secrecy restrictions were imposed on everyone involved. They were never formally lifted. Had it not been for a chance meeting that allowed Robert access to previously unopened files in the US national archives, this remarkable story may never have been untold. What he unearthed revealed the sacrifice and achievements of the RAAF Catalina crews and the vital role they played in MacArthur’s strategic plan for the south-west Pacific. Absorbing, compelling and powerfully told, RAAF Black Cats is an important addition to our understanding of Australia’s role in the Pacific War.
Aviation history | TP | $32.99
A River with a City Problem: a History of Brisbane Floods
When floods devastated South East Queensland in 2011, who was to blame? Despite the inherent risk of living on a floodplain, most residents had pinned their hopes on Wivenhoe Dam to protect them, and when it failed to do so, dam operators were blamed for the scale of the catastrophic events that followed. A River with a City Problem is a compelling history of floods in the Brisbane River catchment, especially those in 1893, 1974, and 2011. Extensively researched, it highlights the force of nature, the vagaries of politics and the power of community. With many river cities facing urban development challenges, Cook makes a convincing argument for what must change to prevent further tragedy.
Science/History | TP | $24.99
Keep Clear: My Adventures with Asperger’s
A wonderfully bittersweet, funnystrange account of living unwittingly with Asperger’s syndrome. It is only after a crack up, at the age of 55, that Tom Cutler gets the diagnosis that allows him to make sense of everything that’s come before, including his weird obsessions with road-sign design, magic tricks, spinning tops, and Sherlock Holmes. The final realisation that he has Asperger’s allows a light to dawn on the riddles of his life: his accidental rudeness, maladroitness, Pan Am smile, and other social impediments. But, like many with Asperger’s, Tom possesses great facility with words, and this shines through this exceptionally warm, bright, and moving memoir, which is alternately strikingly revealing, laugh-out-loud funny, and achingly sad. Tom explores his eccentric behaviour from boyhood to manhood, examines the role of autism in his strange family, and investigates the scientific explanations for the condition. He recounts his anxiety and bewilderment in social situations, his sensory overload, his strange way of dressing, and his particular trouble with girls. He shares his autistic adventures in offices, toyshops, backstage in theatres, and in book and magazine publishing houses, as well as on – or more often off – roads.
Memoir/Psychology | TP | $32.99
Outgrowing God: a Beginner’s Guide
Should we believe in God? In this new book, written for a new generation, the brilliant science writer and author of The God Delusion, explains why we shouldn’t. Should we believe in God? Do we need God in order to explain the existence of the universe? Do we need God in order to be good? In twelve chapters that address some of the most profound questions human beings confront, Dawkins marshals science, philosophy and comparative religion to interrogate the hypocrisies of all the religious systems and explain to readers of all ages how life emerged without a Creator, how evolution works and how our world came into being. For anyone hoping to grapple with the meaning of life, and what to believe, Outgrowing God is a challenging, thrilling and revelatory read.
Philosophy | HC | $32.99
Atlas of Vanishing Places: the lost worlds as they were and as they are today
Imagine what the world once looked like as you discover places that have disappeared from modern atlases. Have you ever wondered about cities that lie forgotten under the dust of newly-settled land? Rivers and seas whose changing shape has shifted the landscape around them? Or, even, places that have seemingly vanished, without a trace? Travis Elborough takes you on a voyage to all corners of the world – in search of the lost, disappearing and vanished. Discover ancient seats of power and long-forgotten civilisations through the Mayan city of Palenque; delve into the mystery of a disappeared Japanese islet; and uncover the incredible hidden sites like the submerged Old Adaminaby, once abandoned but slowly remerging. With beautiful maps and stunning colour photography, Atlas of Vanishing Places shows these places as they once were as well as how they look today: a fascinating guide to lost lands and the fragility of our relationship with the world around us.
Geography/History | HC | $39.99
Atlas of the Unexpected: Haphazard discoveries, chance places and unimaginable destinations
In 45 beautiful, unique maps and with evocative photography, Atlas of the Unexpected is a journey to far-off lands, obscure discoveries and unimaginable locations. From the fortuitous discovery of the Dead Sea scrolls by a stray goat, to the wonderfully bizarre beginnings that led to the aptly named Just Enough Room Island and even the royal romance that led shipwrecked lovers to discover Madeira, Travis Elborough takes you on a voyage to some of the world’s most wondrous, improbable and – most of all – unexpected of places.
Geography/History | HC | $39.99
The Ascent of Money: a Financial History of the World
Bread, cash, dosh, dough, loot. Call it what you like, it matters now, more than ever. In The Ascent of Money, Niall Ferguson shows that financial history is the back story, to all history. From the banking dynasty who funded the Italian Renaissance to the stock market bubble that caused the French Revolution, this is the story of booms and busts as it’s never been told before. With the world in the grip of the biggest financial crisis since the Great Depression, there’s never been a better time to understand the ascent – and descent – of money.
History/Economics | PBK | $22.99
Nine Pints: a Journey Through the Mysterious, Miraculous World of Blood
From a prize-winning writer, a fascinating exploration of blood: the stuff of life, the stuff of nightmares, and one of the most expensive liquids on the planet. Most humans contain between nine and twelve pints of blood. Here, Rose George, who probably contains nine pints, tells nine different stories about the liquid that sustains us, discovering what it reveals about who we are. In Nepal, she meets girls challenging the taboos surrounding menstruation; in the Canadian prairies, she visits a controversial plasma clinic; in Wales she gets a tour of the UK’s only leech farm to learn about the vital role the creatures still play in modern surgery; and in a London hospital she accompanies a medical team revolutionising the way we treat trauma. Nine Pints reveals the richness and wonder of the potent red fluid that courses around our bodies, unseen but miraculous.
Science | PBK | $24.99
The Lost Battalions: A battle that could not be won.
An island that could not be defended. An ally that could not be trusted
A little-known story of two Australian battalions abandoned in Java during World War II and the heroes who kept them alive in the worst of Japan’s prisoner of war camps. They were thrown into a hopeless fight against an overwhelming enemy. Later, hundreds died as prisoners of war on the Thai-Burma Railway and in the freezing coal mines of Taiwan and Japan. Through it all, wrote Weary Dunlop, they showed ‘fortitude beyond anything I could have believed possible’. Until now, the story of the 2000 diggers marooned on Java, in February 1942, has been a footnote to the fall of Singapore and the bloody campaign in New Guinea. Led by an Adelaide lawyer, Brigadier Arthur Blackburn VC, and fighting with scrounged weapons, two Australian battalions – plus an assortment of cooks, laundrymen and deserters from Singapore – held up the might of the Imperial Japanese Army, until ordered by their Dutch allies to surrender. Drawing on personal diaries, official records and interviews with two of the last living survivors, this book tells the extraordinary story of the ‘lads from Java’, who laid down their weapons, but refused to give in.
Military history | TP | $32.99
Project Rainfall: the secret history of Pine Gap
Pine Gap is a top-secret American spy base on Australian soil, but how much do we really know about it? At the height of the Cold War, the chief of one of Australia’s spy agencies joined three CIA men at a remote site in Central Australia to toast the success of a top-secret project known in US intelligence circles as Rainfall. The CIA listening station at Pine Gap was officially called the Joint Defence Space Research Facility, but it had nothing to do with research and was joint, in name only: Australians were hired as cooks and janitors; but the first spies were all American. The job of the satellites controlled from Pine Gap was to eavesdrop on Soviet missile tests. While government ministers denied that Australia was a nuclear target, bureaucrats in Canberra secretly planned for Armageddon in the suburbs of Alice Springs. No longer just a listening station, Pine Gap has metamorphosed into a key weapon in the Pentagon’s war on terror, with Australians in frontline roles. Drawing on declassified documents in Australian and US archives, Tom Gilling’s explosive new book tells, for the first time, the uncensored story of Australia’s most secret place.
History of Intelligence | TP | $32.99
The Elements Notecards
Set of 10 notecards and envelopes. Send atomic greetings with one of the ten elemental notecards included in this unique set. Based on Theodore Gray’s bestselling book The Elements, this unique set of notecards features five different designs that spell out messages – like ‘Hi!’ and ‘Hugs + Kisses’ using the elements of the periodic table. The same message is also printed on the inside of the card. Five cards (two of each) also include ‘Miss You’, ‘Thank You’ and a full image of Gray’s complete photographic periodic table with the message inside, ‘I think of you, periodically’.
Science | Stationery | $22.99
Our Man in New York: the British Plot to Bring America into the Second World War
The gripping story of a propaganda campaign like no other: the covert British operation to manipulate American public opinion and bring the US into the Second World War. When William Stephenson – ‘our man in New York’ – arrived in the United States towards the end of June 1940 with instructions from the head of MI6 to ‘organise’ American public opinion, Britain was on the verge of defeat. Surveys showed that just 14% of the US population wanted to go to war against Nazi Germany. But, soon, that began to change… Those campaigning against America’s entry into the war, such as legendary aviator Charles Lindbergh, talked of a British-led plot to drag the US into the conflict. They feared that the British were somehow flooding the American media with ‘fake news’, infiltrating pressure groups, rigging opinion polls and meddling in US politics. These claims were shocking and wild: they were also true. That truth is revealed here for the first time by bestselling author Henry Hemming, using hitherto private and classified documents, including the diaries of his own grandparents, who were briefly part of Stephenson’s extraordinary influence campaign that was later described – in the Washington Post – as ‘arguably the most effective in history’. Stephenson – who saved the life of Hemming’s father – was a flawed maverick, full of contradictions, but one whose work changed the course of the war, and whose story can now be told, in full.
History | TP | $32.99
Dominion: the Making of the Western Mind
A revisionist, controversial account of Western history, sure to be widely reviewed and debated. Christianity is the most enduring and influential legacy of the ancient world, and its emergence the single most transformative development in Western history. Even the increasing number in the West today who have abandoned the faith of their forebears, and dismiss all religion as pointless superstition, remain recognisably its heirs. Seen close up, the division between a sceptic and a believer may seem unbridgeable. Widen the focus, though, and Christianity’s enduring impact upon the West can be seen in the emergence of much that has traditionally been cast as its nemesis: in science, in secularism, and yes, even in atheism. That is why Dominion will place the story of how we came to be what we are, and how we think the way that we do, in the broadest historical context. Ranging in time from the Persian invasion of Greece in 480 BC to the ongoing migration crisis in Europe today, and from Nebuchadnezzar to the Beatles, it will explore just what it was that made Christianity so revolutionary and disruptive; how completely it came to saturate the mindset of Latin Christendom; and why, in a West that has become increasingly doubtful of religion’s claims, so many of its instincts remain irredeemably Christian. The aim is twofold: to make the reader appreciate just how novel and uncanny were Christian teachings when they first appeared in the world; and to make ourselves, and all that we take for granted, appear similarly strange in consequence. We stand at the endpoint of an extraordinary transformation in the understanding of what it is to be human: one that can only be fully appreciated by tracing the arc of its parabola over millennia.
History | TP | $34.99
The Cult of Mac (second edition)
It’s been nearly fifteen years since Apple fans raved over the first edition of the critically-acclaimed The Cult of Mac. This long-awaited second edition brings the reader into the world of Apple today, while also filling in the missing history since the 2004 edition, including the creation of Apple brand loyalty, the introduction of the iPhone, and the death of Steve Jobs. As with any powerful subculture, Apple fans have their own customs, obsessions, and rites of passage – from waiting in line to spend thousands of dollars on the newest Apple product, to attending Macworld year after year. This thoroughly-revised edition of The Cult of Mac takes us into the world of today’s Apple fan with sections covering things like an opera based on the life of Steve Jobs, repurposing old Macs for creative expression, professional photography taken with iPhones, Mac Museums created by fans around the world, as well as how Apple Inc and its public face has changed following the death of Steve Jobs.
Technology | TP | $69.99
Am I Dreaming? the New Science of Consciousness and How Altered States Reboot the Brain
A scientific travel guide, to altered states of consciousness – and what we can learn from them. When a computer goes wrong, we are told to turn it off and on again. In Am I Dreaming?, science journalist James Kingsland reveals how the human brain is remarkably similar. By rebooting our hard-wired patterns of thinking – through so-called ‘altered states of consciousness’ – we can gain new perspectives into ourselves and the world around us. From shamans in Peru to tech workers in Silicon Valley, Kingsland provides a fascinating tour through lucid dreams, mindfulness, hypnotic trances, virtual reality and drug-induced hallucinations. An eye-opening insight into perception and consciousness, this is also a provocative argument for how altered states can significantly boost our mental health.
Science | TP | $29.99
The Literary Witches Oracle
Kitaiskaia, Taisia & Horan, Katy (illustrator)
If you seek wisdom from strong, creative women, this oracle deck – which features 30 prominent female writers from literary history – will give you what you seek. The female visionaries in this deck will inform answers to questions about your creative life and spiritual journey. In addition to the portraits of literary heroes, such as Virginia Woolf and Toni Morrison, and lesser-known trailblazers, such as Yumiko Kurahashi and Mirabai, the deck features 40 symbol cards bearing illustrations of potent spiritual icons to enhance your reading. A small guidebook will act as an interpreter, helping you find meaning in the cards based on your specific intentions, the writers’ dominant traits, and the spiritual symbols at play. A 70-card deck and guidebook.
Inspiration | Kit | $32.99
On Fire: the Burning Case for a Green New Deal
The fight for a green world is the fight of our lives. And with On Fire, Naomi Klein gives us the ammunition to do it. In frank, personal terms, she shows us how the only way forward out of a polluted world of our own making is only through policy reform – a concrete set of actions to combat the mounting threat of total environmental catastrophe. What’s needed, she argues, is something with radical verve and guaranteed protections: in other words, a New Deal. On Fire finds Klein at her most canny and prophetic, and the stakes of our imperilled global situation higher than ever before. In wide-ranging essays reporting from varying stages of ecological crisis – from prescient clarion calls from years ago to our panicked present – Klein wakes us up from our environmental sleepwalk and sets us on a course of potent, necessary action.
Ideology | TP | $29.99
This is Your Brain on Music: Understanding a Human Obsession
This is the first book to offer a comprehensive explanation of how humans experience music and to unravel the mystery of our perennial love affair with it. Using musical examples from Bach to the Beatles, Levitin reveals the role of music in human evolution, shows how our musical preferences begin to form even before we are born and explains why music can offer such an emotional experience. Music is an obsession at the heart of human nature, even more fundamental to our species than language.
Science | PBK | $24.99
Board Games in 100 Moves
Move through a history of board games from ancient games to modern classics. This is a Golden Age for board games. More people are playing games such as chess, Monopoly, Risk and Scrabble, than ever before! But how did these games, and so many others, come to be invented? Discover the compelling stories behind the creation of the board games we know and love to play: stories that have touched every aspect of people’s lives down the ages. Our journey starts 5,000 years ago and takes you right up to the present day. On the way, each game will reveal the fascinating secrets of its origin and its lasting appeal. More than 100 games are explored chronologically, from the most ancient to the most modern, allowing you to see how similar types of games relate to each other. Each feature traces the story of a particular game, or a group of games. revealing origins, gameplay, and cultural impact and legacy. All kinds of board games are included: games from ancient times (Senet, chess, mah jong, mancala); Victorian race games (ludo, snakes & ladders); modern classics (Cluedo, Ticket to Ride, Exploding Kittens); action games (Mouse Trap, Jenga); war games (Risk, Axis & Allies, Diplomacy) fantasy games (HeroQuest, Warhammer, Dungeons & Dragons), and much more. Delving into this fascinating book will immeasurably add to the pleasure and fun every time you open the box of your favourite game, take out the board, arrange the pieces, and start to play!
Social history | HC | $34.99
A landmark account of the race to save the planet, by one of the world’s foremost experts on climate science. At the current rate of carbon pollution, we are we are likely to see the first wave of global catastrophes as a result of carbon dioxide levels within the next twenty to twenty-five years. As a result, a group of scientists from around the world, backed by billionaires, oligarchs and dictators, are attempting to find other, more drastic solutions. The science of manipulating the earth’s climate (and nature itself) is known as ‘geoengineering’, and is looked to, by many, as the only way to save our planet. Current schemes include the creation of artificial sulphate clouds to cool the temperatures of regions; the dispersal of millions of tons of seawater into the atmosphere via aeroplane; and the sending of thousands of light-reflecting mirrors into space. All would, scientists claim, immediately lower the earth’s temperature, and slow (or stop) our current trajectory. But each also presents incalculable and possibly catastrophic risks. Dominion is the first exploration of the race to save the planet – providing an authoritative examination of the history, science and mechanics of the various geoengineering schemes, their possible implications, and the extraordinary cast of characters – scientists, entrepreneurs, despots, ecologists, politicians – involved. It also points to what might save us from destruction: a new era of cooperation, and possibly the next stage in our evolution as a species. Instructive, explosive and more urgent now than ever before, Dominion is an essential guide to our present and future, from one of the great scientific minds and communicators of this century.
Science/Politics | TP | $35.00
We Need New Stories: Challenging the Toxic Myths Behind Our Age of Discontent
A radical and thought-provoking polemic which examines the foundational myths at the centre of current culture wars. It is becoming clear that the old frames of reference are not working, that the narratives used for decades to stave off progressive causes are being exposed as falsehoods. Six myths have taken hold, ones which are at odds with our lived experience and in urgent need of revision. Has freedom of speech become a cover for promoting prejudice? Has the concept of political correctness been weaponised to avoid ceding space to those excluded from power? Does white identity politics pose an urgent danger? These are some of the questions at the centre of Nesrine Malik’s radical and compelling analysis that challenges us to find new narrators whose stories can fill the void and unite us behind a shared vision.
Society and culture | TP | $32.99
Animal Languages: the secret conversations of the living world
A fascinating and philosophical exploration of animal intelligence and the way animals communicate with each other, and us. Dolphins and parrots call each other by their names. Fork tailed drongos mimic the calls of other animals to scare them away and then steal their dinner. In the songs of many species of birds, and in skin patterns of squid, we find grammatical structures… If you are lucky, you might meet an animal that wants to talk to you. If you are even luckier, you might meet an animal that takes the time and effort to get to know you. Such relationships can teach us not only about the animal in question, but also about language and about ourselves. From how prairie dogs describe intruders in detail – including their size, shape, speed and the colour of their hair and t-shirts – to how bats like to gossip, to the impressive greeting rituals of monogamous seabirds, Animal Languages is a fascinating and philosophical exploration of the ways animals communicate with each other, and with us. Researchers are discovering that animals have rich and complex languages with grammatical and structural rules that allow them to strategise, share advice, give warnings, show love and gossip amongst themselves. Animal Languages will reveal this surprising hidden social life and show you how to talk with the animals.
Science | HC | $35.00
Liquid: the Delightful and Dangerous Substances That Flow Through Our Lives
Sometimes explosive, often delightful, occasionally poisonous, but always fascinating: the secret lives of liquids, from one of our best-known scientists. By the author of the bestselling, prize-winning Stuff Matters. This fascinating new book by the bestselling scientist and engineer Mark Miodownik is an expert tour of the world of the droplets, heartbeats and ocean waves that we come across every day. Structured around a plane journey which sees encounters with substances from water and glue to coffee and wine, he shows how these liquids can bring death and destruction as well as wonder and fascination. From Laszlo Biro’s revolutionary pen and Abraham Gesner’s kerosene to cutting-edge research on self-repairing roads and liquid computers, Miodownik uses his winning formula of scientific storytelling to bring the everyday to life. He reveals why liquids can flow up a tree but down a hill, why oil is sticky, how waves can travel so far, and how to make the perfect cup of tea. Here are the secret lives of substances that we rely on but rarely understand.
Science | PBK | $22.99
The Day It Finally Happens: Alien Contact, Dinosaur Parks, Immortal Humans
– and Other Possible Phenomena
If you live on planet Earth, you’re probably scared about the future. Terrorism, complicated international relations, global warming, and a raft of other issues make it hard not to be. But how close are we to the end? And what can we expect, when we finally reach it? In this hilarious, enlightening and often terrifying book, Pearl gives us a glimpse of the potential end of the world scenarios that could happen sooner than we think – from nuclear war to the end of antibiotics, discovering distant life to the realisation that all cemeteries are full. Weaving together his own research, alongside interviews with scientists and political thinkers, and visiting ‘preppers’, Pearl investigates how close we really are to the end of the world – and what we can expect, when it finally happens…
Future studies | TP | $32.99
Beowulf (Ladybird Expert)
Beowulf is an accessible, authoritative, and entertaining introduction to the Anglo-Saxon epic.
English literature | HC | $19.99
Consider the Platypus: Evolution through Biology’s Most Baffling Beasts
Sandford, Maggie Ryan & Prato, Rodica
Consider the Platypus explores the history and features of more than 50 animals to provide insight into our current understanding of evolution. Using Darwin’s theory as a springboard, Maggie Ryan Sandford details scientists’ initial understanding of the development of creatures and how that has expanded in the wake of genetic sequencing, including the: Peppered Moth, which changed colour based on the amount of soot in the London air; California Two-Spotted Octopus, which has the amazing ability to alter its DNA/RNA – not over generations, but during its lifetime; miniscule tardigrade, which is so hearty it can withstand radiation, lack of water and oxygen, and temperatures as low as –328 F and as high as 304 F; and, of course, the platypus, which has so many disparate features, from a duck’s bill to venomous spur to mammary patches, that scientists originally thought it was a hoax. Surprising, witty, and impeccably researched, Sandford describes each animal’s significant features and how these have adapted to its environment, such as the zebra finch’s beak shape, which was observed by Charles Darwin and is a cornerstone of his Theory of Evolution. With scientifically accurate but charming art by Rodica Prato, Consider the Platypus showcases species as diverse as the sloth, honey bee, cow, brown kiwi, and lungfish, to name a few, to tackle intimidating concepts in an accessible way.
Science | HC | $39.99
The Life-Changing Magic of Numbers: How Maths Shapes Everyday Life
Long before his rise to cult fandom on University Challenge, Bobby Seagull was obsessed with numbers. They were the keys that unlocked the randomness of football results, the beauty of art and the best way to get things done. In his absorbing book, Bobby tells the story of his life through numbers and shows the incredible ways maths can make sense of the world around us. From magic shows to rap lyrics, from hobbies to outer space, from fitness to food – Bobby’s infectious enthusiasm for numbers will change how you think about almost everything. Told through fascinating stories and insights from Bobby’s life, and with head-scratching puzzles in every chapter, you’ll never look at numbers the same way again.
Science | PBK | $24.99
Don’t Believe a Word: the Surprising Truth About Language
Over the past few decades, we have reached new frontiers of linguistic knowledge. Linguists can now explain how and why language changes, describe its structures, and map its activity in the brain. But most of us know as much about language today as we did about physics before Galileo, and the little we know is still largely based on folklore, instinct or hearsay. In Don’t Believe A Word, linguist David Shariatmadari takes us on a mind-boggling journey through the science of language, urging us to abandon our prejudices in a bid to uncover the (far more interesting) truth about what we do with words. Exploding nine widely-held myths about language, while introducing us to some of the fundamental insights of modern linguistics, David Shariatmadari is an energetic guide to the beauty and quirkiness of humanity’s greatest achievement.
Language | TP | $32.99
Space: 10 Things You Should Know
Oxford University astrophysicist Dr Becky Smethurst presents what you need to know about the universe, in ten beautifully-crafted essays for people short on time. This book is for anyone who wants to easily understand the mind-blowing fundamentals of our extraordinary, expanding universe. Written by Oxford astrophysicist Dr Becky Smethurst and composed of ten captivating, simple essays, it guides you swiftly through the galaxies, explaining the mysteries of black holes, dark matter and what existed before the Big Bang, presenting the evidence as to whether we really are alone, illuminating what we still don’t know, and much more, besides. If you have big questions about Space, this book will provide you with the answers in an engaging and succinct way. ‘A lot of astrophysics is packed into this neat little book… I guarantee you will come away knowing your dark matter from your supermassive black holes’ – Jim Al-Khalili.
Science | HC | $24.99
Rage Inside the Machine: the Prejudice of Algorithms,
and How to Stop the Internet Making Bigots of Us All
Smith, Robert Elliott
We live in a world increasingly ruled by technology; we seem as governed by technology as we do by laws and regulations. Frighteningly often, the influence of technology in and on our lives goes completely unchallenged by citizens and governments. We comfort ourselves with the soothing refrain that technology has no morals and can display no prejudice, and it’s only the users of technology who distort certain aspects of it. But is this statement actually true? Dr Robert Smith thinks it is dangerously untrue in the modern era. Having worked in the field of artificial intelligence for over 30 years, Smith reveals the mounting evidence that the mechanical actors in our lives do indeed have, or at least express, morals: they’re just not the morals of the progressive modern society that we imagined we were moving towards. Instead, as we are just beginning to see – in the US elections and Brexit to name but a few – there are increasing incidences of machine bigotry, greed and the crass manipulation of our basest instincts. It is easy to assume that these are the result of programmer prejudices or the product of dark forces manipulating the masses through the network of the Internet. But what if there is something more fundamental and explicitly mechanical at play, something inherent within technology itself? This book demonstrates how non-scientific ideas have been encoded deep into our technological infrastructure. Offering a rigorous, fresh perspective on how technology has brought us to this place, Rage Inside the Machine challenges the long-held assumption that technology is an apolitical and amoral force. Shedding light on little-known historical stories and investigating the complex connections between scientific philosophy, institutional prejudice and new technology, this book offers a new, honest and more truly scientific vision of ourselves.
Technology | TP | $29.99
Rise and Fall: a History of the World in Ten Empires
A dazzling new history of the world through ten major empires. Rise and Fall opens with the Akkadian Empire, which ruled over a vast expanse of the region of ancient Mesopotamia, then turns to the immense Roman Empire, where we trace back our western and eastern roots. Next, Strathern describes how a great deal of western classical culture was developed in the Abbasid and Umayyid Caliphates. Then, while Europe was beginning to emerge from a period of cultural stagnation, it almost fell to a whirlwind invasion from the East, at which point we meet the Emperors of the Mongol Empire… Combining breathtaking scope with masterful concision, Paul Strathern traces connections across four millennia and sheds new light on these major civilisations – from the Mongol Empire and the Yuan Dynasty to the Aztec and Ottoman, through to the most recent and biggest Empires: the British, Russo-Soviet, and American. Charting 5,000 years of global history in ten succinct chapters, Rise and Fall makes comprehensive and inspiring reading to anyone fascinated by the history of the world.
History | TP | $32.99
On a Wing and a Prayer: the Race that Stopped the World
In 1934, Melbourne’s Lord Mayor announced a London-to-Melbourne air race to celebrate his city’s centenary. The audacious plan captured imaginations across the globe: newspapers and magazines everywhere were filled with it; the world’s pilots scrambled to get sponsorship; and the organisers scrambled to get the rules straight and permission to fly in foreign air space. Sixty-four entrants from eleven countries signed up, but only twenty planes eventually took off on 20 October 1934. The winner arrived in Melbourne seventy-one hours later – but three planes crashed, and two pilots died, in the attempt. The world followed the progress and applauded the winners, Britain’s Grosvenor House (outright) and The Netherlands’ Uiver (on handicap), but the real climax of the story is the astonishing efforts by the town of Albury; in saving the Uiver, as it battled through a fierce thunderstorm with no navigational aids – guiding the tiny plane to an emergency landing in the middle of the town, with the most quick-thinking, imaginative response to its terrifying predicament. This heroic race, considered the greatest single sporting event in the history of aviation, is a tale of eccentric characters, daring deeds and sublime courage. Di Websdale-Morrissey’s page-turning account will have readers holding their breaths, just as the world did eighty-five years ago.
Aviation history | TP | $32.99
The Maths of Life and Death
Maths is the story of the world around us, and the wisdom it gives us can be the difference between success and disaster. We are all doing maths all the time, from the way we communicate with each other to the way we travel, from how we work to how we relax. Many of us are aware of this. But few of us really appreciate the full power of maths – the extent to which its influence is not only in every office and every home, but also in every courtroom and hospital ward. In this eye-opening and extraordinary book, Yates explores the true stories of life-changing events in which the application – or misapplication – of mathematics has played a critical role: patients crippled by faulty genes and entrepreneurs bankrupted by faulty algorithms; innocent victims of miscarriages of justice and the unwitting victims of software glitches. We follow stories of investors who have lost fortunes and parents who have lost children, all because of mathematical misunderstandings. Along the way, Yates arms us with simple mathematical rules and tools that can help us make better decisions in our increasingly quantitative society. You will discover why it’s always sensible to question a statistic, often vital to ask for a second opinion, and sometimes surprisingly handy to stick to the 37% rule…
Science | TP | $29.99