Wednesday, 27 August 2014

The plague - Albert Camus


 
The townspeople of Oran are in the grip of a deadly plague, which condemns its victims to a swift and horrifying death. Fear, isolation and claustrophobia follow as they are forced into quarantine. Each person responds in their own way to the lethal disease: some resign themselves to fate, some seek blame, and a few, like Dr Rieux, resist the terror.

An immediate triumph when it was published in 1947, The Plague is in part an allegory of France's suffering under the Nazi occupation, and a story of bravery and determination against the precariousness of human existence.

Capitalism - a graphic guide


 
 
Capitalism now dominates the globe, both in economics and ideology, shapes every aspect of our world and influences everything from laws, wars and government to interpersonal relationships. "Introducing Capitalism" tells the story of its remarkable and often ruthless rise, evolving through strife and struggle as much as innovation and enterprise. Tracing capitalism from its beginning to the present day, Dan Cryan and Sharron Shatil, alongside Piero's brilliant graphics, look at its practical and theoretical impact. They cover the major economic, social and political developments that shaped the world we live in, such as the rise of banking, the founding of America and the Opium Wars.This book explores the leading views for and against, including thinkers like Adam Smith, Karl Marx, Theodor Adorno and Milton Friedman, together with the connections between them and their historical context. Capitalism has influenced everything in the 21st-century world. For anyone who wants to gain a broad understanding of this fascinating subject, this book cuts across narrow academic lines to analyse an all-encompassing feature of modern life.

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Dantes canyon - Josh reynolds



Read it because...

Josh Reynolds is forging a name for himself as the White Scars author of Warhammer 40,000. We’ve already seen him at the helm of this Chapter in the Damocles series and in the audio drama Master of the Hunt. This latest outing is everything you could hope for from a White Scars story – fast, furious and unrelenting.

The Story

In the wastes of Armageddon, a strike force of White Scars Space Marines bait their ork enemies into a deadly trap. Luring the greenskins to a promethium refinery, the White Scars prepare to annihilate their foes. But one amongst the sons of Chogoris has a great destiny to fulfil, and Stormseer Kanim must keep him alive, whatever the cost to themselves or their human allies… and whether his brother wishes it or not.

August 2014 • eBook, digital download - available in 'epub' and 'mobi' formats • ISBN 9781782516477

Thursday, 21 August 2014

The antidote - Oliver Burkeman




For a civilisation so fixated on achieving happiness, we seem remarkably incompetent at the task.

Self-help books don't seem to work. Few of the many advantages of modern life seem capable of lifting our collective mood. Wealth - even if you can get it - doesn't lead to happiness. Romance, family life and work often seem to bring stress as much as joy. We can't even agree on what 'happiness' means.

So are we engaged in a futile pursuit? Or are we just going about it the wrong way? What if it's our constant efforts to feel happy that are making us miserable?

In this fascinating new book, Oliver Burkeman introduces us to an unusual collection of people - experimental psychologists and Buddhists, terrorism experts, spiritual teachers, business consultants, philosophers - who share a single, surprising way of thinking about life. They argue that in our personal lives, and in society at large, it's our constant effort to be happy that is making us miserable. And that there is an alternative, 'negative path' to happiness and success that involves embracing failure, pessimism, insecurity and uncertainty - the very things we spend our lives trying to avoid.

Thought-provoking, counter-intuitive and ultimately uplifting, The Antidote is a celebration of the power of negative thinking.

Monday, 18 August 2014

The eclogues - Virgil



Eclogues, written by legendary author Virgil is widely considered to be one of the greatest classic and historical texts of all time. For many, Virgil: Eclogues is required reading for various courses and curriculums. And for others who simply enjoy reading timeless pieces of classic literature, this gem by Virgil is highly recommended and it should be a part of everyone's personal library.

The undercover economist strikes back - Tim Harford



A million readers bought The Undercover Economist to get the lowdown on how economics works on a small scale, in our everyday lives. Since then, economics has become big news. Crises, austerity, riots, bonuses - all are in the headlines all the time. But how does this large-scale economic world really work? What would happen if we cancelled everyone's debt? How do you create a job? Will the BRIC countries take over the world?
 
Asking - among many other things -- what the future holds for the Euro, why the banks are still paying record bonuses and where government borrowing will take us, in The Undercover Economist Strikes Back, Tim Harford returns with his trademark clarity and wit to explain what's really going on - and what it means for us all.
 
It is interesting that a micro-economist writes a book on Macro-economics, a subject Tim self proclaims to be "witchcraft", but nonetheless, it is well written and enjoyable. I particularly enjoy how we have politics mixed up. Conservatives to fix recessions, Labour in good times. It should be the other way around says Tim. That could be a very interesting experiment, if only we could make that happen in the real world...
 

The origins of totalitarianism - Hannah Arendt



The Origins of Totalitarianism is an indispensable book for understanding the frightful barbarity of the twentieth century. Suspicious of the inevitability so often imposed by hindsight, Hannah Arendt was not interested in detailing the causes that produced totalitarianism. Nothing in the nineteenth century—indeed, nothing in human history—could have prepared us for the idea of political domination achieved by organising the infinite plurality and differentiation of human beings as if all humanity were just one individual. Arendt believed that such a development marked a grotesque departure from all that had come before.

In The Origins of Totalitarianism, Arendt sought to provide an historical account of the forces that crystallised into totalitarianism: The ebb and flow of nineteenth-century anti-Semitism (she deemed the Dreyfus Affair a dress rehearsal for the Final Solution) and the rise of European imperialism, accompanied by the invention of racism as the only possible renationalisation for it. For Arendt, totalitarianism was a form of governance that eliminated the very possibility of political action. Totalitarian leaders attract both mobs and elites, take advantage of the unthinkability of their atrocities, target “objective enemies” (classes of people who are liquidated simply because of their group membership), use terror to create loyalty, rely on concentration camps, and are obsessive in their pursuit of global primacy. But even more presciently, Arendt understood that totalitarian solutions could well survive the demise of totalitarian regimes.

The Origins of Totalitarianism remains as essential a book for understanding our times as it was when it first appeared more than fifty years ago.