Non-Fiction Catalogue: April 2019
All the books in this catalogue are new books due for release in April 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
World War II: Battle by Battle (general military)
This compact gift book takes thirty of World War II’s most significant clashes, both the famous and the lesser known, and presents their stories in a concise, easy to digest format, accompanied by beautiful Osprey artwork plates in full colour that illuminate a key moment in each battle. World War II was the single greatest conflict the world has ever known, fought in theatres all around the globe, and many of its battles – Stalingrad, Monte Cassino, the Battle of Britain – are household names. While the Western Front in Europe is often what first comes to mind, bitter and bloody battles were also fought in Eastern Europe, Africa, Asia and the Pacific, on land, at sea, and in the air, and their many stories help illuminate both the scale and the varying character of the conflict.
Military history | PBK | $19.99
Russian Soldier vs Japanese Soldier: Manchuria 1904–05 (Combat 39)
Campbell, David & Noon, Steve (illustrator)
At the turn of the 20th century, the region of Manchuria sat atop a potentially catastrophic political fault line; the ancient strength of China was crumbling, leaving opportunities for both Russia and Japan to claw out new territories from the edges of that dying empire. Russian pride would contend with Japanese ambition in a conflict that ushered in the age of massed armies fighting on battlefields that were being redefined by the new tools of war such as newer, larger artillery pieces, and the use of machine guns in pitched battles. The vast, but over-stretched Russian Army was expected to steamroller its far smaller opponent, but the aggressiveness and zeal of the more modern Japanese military confounded expectations. Examining these two armies in detail, this fully-illustrated study tells the story of how these two empires clashed in the Russo-Japanese War, heralding a new phase in modern warfare, as World War I loomed on the horizon.
Military history | PBK | $29.99
RF-101 Voodoo Units in Combat (Combat aircraft 127)
Davies, Peter E & Laurier, Jim (illustrator)
McDonnell’s F-101 Voodoo series was in many ways the most interesting of the ‘Century Series’ fighter programmes of the 1950s, partly because the type’s design and intended mission changed radically during a 40-year career. Originally designed as a fighter-bomber, it was converted to be a reconnaissance aircraft, serving alongside the U-2 and RF-8 Crusaders, during the Cuban Missile Crisis and the Vietnam War. Although it gained a reputation as a difficult aircraft to handle, the jet’s supersonic speed and newly-developed camera suite enabled it to conduct vital low-altitude photo-reconnaissance missions over heavily-defended target areas. In combat, the RF 101 was usually ‘first in, last out’ for strike missions. This made it a ready target, with a solo aircraft flying straight and level to gather target photo evidence at low-altitude offering enemy gunners plenty of opportunity to shoot the Voodoo down. This study tells the combat stories of this extraordinary aircraft, highlighting the difficulty of the missions on which it was sent and the courage of its pilots.
Aviation history | PBK | $29.99
Sniping Rifles on the Eastern Front 1939–45 (Weapon 67)
Pegler, Martin & Gilliland, Alan; Shumate, Johnny (illustrators)
The Soviet Union had developed a significant sniping force by 1939, but the extraordinary skill and cunning displayed by Finnish snipers during the Winter War forced the Soviets to innovate. On the other side, German sniping suffered from a lack of standardisation of weapons and a lack of marksmen deployed at the start of the Great Patriotic War (1941–45). There were few heroes in the conflict, but on both sides, the snipers were idolised – especially on the Soviet side, gaining almost mythical status. As well as traditional bolt-action weapons, both sides used several types of semi-automatic rifle, such as the SVT-38 and the Gew 41. Offering greater firepower at the expense of long-range accuracy, such weapons would be profoundly influential in the post-war world. Fully illustrated, this absorbing study investigates the development of sniping weapons and techniques on World War II’s Eastern Front.
Weapons history | PBK | $29.99
Borrowed Time: the Science of How and Why We Age
Like ‘time’, everyone knows what ageing is until we try to pin it down. When does it begin? How does it happen and why? What lies ahead for each of us individuals, and would we want to live forever, given the option? The question of how and why organisms age has teased scientists for centuries, yet there is still no agreement. There are myriad competing theories, from the idea that ageing is a simple wear and tear process, like the rusting of a car, to the belief that ageing and death are genetically programmed and controlled. In fact, there is no clearly defined limit to life, and no single, predictable programme playing itself out: different things are happening within and between tissues, and each system or organ accumulates damage at its own pace, according to the kind of insults imposed on it by daily living. Sometime before 2020, the number of people over sixty-five, worldwide, will – for the first time – be greater than the number of 0–4 year olds; and, by 2050, there are likely to be two and a half times as many older people, in the world, as toddlers. With statistics like these, society is understandably preoccupied with the ‘greying of the world’, and there is a huge community of scientists exploring the phenomenon from every angle. Sue Armstrong tells the story of society’s quest to understand ageing through the eyes of the scientists themselves, as well as through the ‘ordinary’ people who exemplify the mysteries of ageing – from those who suffer from the premature ageing condition, Hutchinson-Gilford syndrome, to people still running marathons in their 80s. Borrowed Time will investigate such mind-boggling experiments as transfusing young blood into old rodents, and research into transplanting the first human head, amongst many others. It will explore where science is taking us and what issues are being raised from a psychological, philosophical and ethical perspective, through interviews with, and profiles of, key scientists in the field and the people who represent interesting and important aspects of ageing.
Science | TP | $29.99
Why everything you thought you knew about quantum physics is different
‘I think I can safely say that nobody understands quantum mechanics.’ Richard Feynman wrote this in 1965 – the year he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics, for his work on quantum mechanics. Quantum physics is regarded as one of the most obscure and impenetrable subjects in all of science. But when Feynman said he didn’t understand quantum mechanics, he didn’t mean that he couldn’t do it – he meant that’s all he could do. He didn’t understand what the maths was saying: what quantum mechanics tells us about reality. Over the past decade or so, the enigma of quantum mechanics has come into sharper focus. We now realise that quantum mechanics is less about particles and waves, uncertainty and fuzziness, than a theory about information: about what can be known and how. This is more disturbing than our bad habit of describing the quantum world as ‘things behaving weirdly’ suggests. It calls into question the meanings and limits of space and time, cause and effect, and knowledge itself. The quantum world isn’t a different world: it is our world, and if anything deserves to be called ‘weird’, it’s us. This exhilarating book is about what quantum maths really means – and what it doesn’t mean. ‘This is the book I wish I could have written, but am very glad I’ve read’ – Jim Al-Khalili.
Science | TP | $29.99
Appeasing Hitler: Chamberlain, Churchill and the Road to War
On a wet afternoon in September 1938, Neville Chamberlain stepped off an aeroplane and announced that his visit to Hitler had averted the greatest crisis in recent memory. It was, he later assured the crowd in Downing Street, ‘peace for our time’. Less than a year later, Germany invaded Poland and the Second World War began. Appeasing Hitler is a compelling new narrative history of the disastrous years of indecision, failed diplomacy and parliamentary infighting that enabled Nazi domination of Europe. Beginning with the advent of Hitler in 1933, it sweeps from the early days of the Third Reich to the beaches of Dunkirk. Bouverie takes us into the backrooms of 10 Downing Street and Parliament, where a small group of rebellious MPs, including the indomitable Winston Churchill, were among the few to realise that the only choice was between ‘war now, or war later’. And we enter the drawing rooms and dining clubs of fading imperial Britain, where Hitler enjoyed surprising support among the ruling class and even some members of the Royal Family. Drawing on deep archival research, including previously unseen sources, this is an unforgettable portrait of the ministers, aristocrats and amateur diplomats who, through their actions and inaction, shaped their country’s policy and determined the fate of Europe. Both sweeping and intimate, Appeasing Hitler is not only eye-opening history, but a timeless lesson on the challenges of standing up to aggression and authoritarianism – and the calamity that results from failing to do so.
History | TP | $35.00
D-Day New Guinea: the extraordinary story of the battle for Lae
and the greatest combined airborne and amphibious operation of the Pacific War
‘Java is heaven, Burma is hell, but you never come back alive from New Guinea’ – Japanese military saying. The capture of Lae was the most complex operation for the Australian army in the Second World War. In many ways, it was also a rehearsal for the D-Day invasion of France, with an amphibious landing combined with the first successful large-scale Allied airborne operation of the war. D-Day New Guinea brings together the extraordinary stories of the Australian, American and Japanese participants in this battle, and of the fight against the cloying jungle, the raging rivers and the soaring mountain ranges that made New Guinea such a daunting battlefield. Phillip Bradley brings a compelling clarity, humanity and new insight into a little known but crucial Australian battle of the Pacific War.
Military history | TP | $32.99
The Death of Hitler:
the Final Word on the Ultimate Cold Case – the Search for Hitler’s Body
Brisard, Jean-Christophe & Parshina, Lana
A dramatic and revelatory new account of the final days in Hitler’s bunker, based on new access to previously unseen Soviet archives. After two years of nonstop negotiations with the Russian authorities, Jean-Christophe Brisard and Lana Parshina were granted access to secret files detailing the Soviets’ incredible hunt to recover Hitler’s body: the layout of the bunker, plans for escaping, eyewitness accounts of the Fuhrer’s final days, and human remains – a bit of skull with traces of the lethal bullet and a fragment of jaw bone. For the first time, the skull, teeth and other elements were analysed by a medical examiner with modern equipment. The authors use these never-before-seen documents, to reconstruct the events in fascinating new detail.
History | PBK | $22.99
The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs: the Untold Story of a Lost World
Sixty-six million years ago, the dinosaurs were wiped from the face of the earth. Today, a new generation of dinosaur hunters, armed with cutting-edge technology, is piecing together the complete story of how the dinosaurs created a hugely-successful empire that lasted for around 150 million years. In this hugely ambitious and engrossing story of how dinosaurs rose to dominate the planet, using the fossil clues that have been gathered using state-of-the-art technology, Steve Brusatte, one of the world’s leading palaeontologists, follows these magnificent creatures from the Early Triassic period at the start of their evolution, through the Jurassic period to their final days in the Cretaceous, and the legacy that they left behind. Along the way, Brusatte introduces us to the cast of new dinosaur hunters and gives an insight into what it’s like to be a palaeontologist – whose job it is to hunt for dinosaurs. He offers thrilling accounts of some of the remarkable discoveries he has made, including primitive, human-sized tyrannosaurs, monstrous carnivores even larger than T. rex, and feathered, raptor dinosaurs preserved in lava from China. At a time, when Homo sapiens has existed for less than 200,000 years and we are already talking about planetary extinction, The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs is a timely reminder of what humans can learn from the magnificent creatures who ruled the earth before us.
Palaeontology | PBK | $19.99
Cohen, Andrew & Cox, Brian
Our solar system as we’ve never seen it before. We’re living through an extraordinary time of exploration. A fleet of space probes are continually beaming data back to Earth. Hidden in this stream of code are startling new discoveries about the worlds we share with the Sun. We will piece together these remarkable findings, to tell the greatest science story of them all – the life and times of the Solar System. What emerges is a dramatic tale of planetary siblings. Born from violence, they grow up together, in time becoming living, breathing worlds, only to fade away, one by one, as they age. Along the way we will meet all eight of the major planets, plus a supporting cast of moons, asteroids and comets, and a mysterious, as-yet-unseen world – way out beyond the Kuiper belt.
Science | HC | $39.99
the Rise of Silicon Valley and a Political Powerhouse and Social Wrecking Ball
Silicon Valley’s embrace of disruption and a rampant libertarian ideology is fracturing America and taking the rest of us with it. But it began as an idealistic quest, in an obscure department of Stanford University, to create an artificial intelligence that would contribute to a profound betterment of society. The provost didn’t see why his university and its members shouldn’t profit from their brilliant ideas. Sure, the lab wasn’t great at including women or minorities, and its head of department rejected the very idea of authority. But, really – what could go wrong? The Know-It-Alls is the first full history of Silicon Valley, from the sleepy orchards of the nineteenth century through to the corporate titans, who are now remaking our world.
Social history | PBK | $24.99
History of Architecture in 100 Buildings
Journeying through time and place, from the ancient Egyptian pyramids to the soaring skyscrapers of Manhattan, renowned architectural historian Dan Cruickshank explores the most impressive and characterful creations in world architecture. His selection includes many of the world’s best-known buildings that represent key or pioneering moments in architectural history… such as the Pantheon in Rome, Hagia Sophia in Turkey, the Taj Mahal in India, and the Forbidden City in China. But the book also covers less obvious and more surprising structures, the generally unsung heroes of an endlessly fascinating story. Buildings like Oriel Chambers in Liverpool, and the Narkomfin Apartment Building in Moscow. Dan Cruickshank has visited nearly all the buildings in the book, many in locations that are now inaccessible and under serious threat. A History of Architecture in 100 Buildings is an eloquent and often moving testimony to the power of great architecture to shape, and be shaped by, world history.
Architecture | PBK | $22.99
Fothergill, Alastair; Scholey, Keith; Pearce, Fred
Featuring some of the world’s rarest creatures and previously unseen parts of the Earth – from deep oceans to remote forests to ice caps – Our Planet takes nature-lovers deep into the science of our natural world. Revealing the most amazing sights on Earth in unprecedented ways, alongside stories of the ways humans are affecting the world’s ecosystems – from the wildebeest migrations in Africa to the penguin colonies of Antarctica – this book captures in one concise narrative a fundamental message: What we do in the next twenty years will determine the future of not just the natural world, but humanity itself. If we don’t act now to protect and preserve our planet, the beauty we’re lucky enough to witness on these pages will have disappeared… With a foreword by Sir David Attenborough, breathtakingly-beautiful still photography, specially-commissioned maps and graphics, and compelling text, expanding on the remarkable TV stories, and giving the reader a depth of information that is impossible on screen; this companion to the ground-breaking Netflix series presents a whole new view of the place, we call home.
Science | HC | $49.99
Seven Types of Atheism
‘When you explore older atheisms, you will find some of your firmest convictions – secular or religious – are highly questionable. If this prospect disturbs you, what you are looking for may be freedom from thought.’ For a generation, now, public debate has been corroded by a shrill, narrow derision of religion in the name of an often very vaguely understood ‘science’. John Gray’s stimulating and extremely enjoyable new book describes the rich, complex world of the atheist tradition, a tradition which he sees as in many ways as rich as that of religion itself, as well as being deeply intertwined with what is so often crudely viewed as its ‘opposite’. The result is a book that sheds an extraordinary and varied light on what it is to be human, and on the thinkers – who have, at different times and places, battled to understand this issue.
Philosophy of religion | PBK | $24.99
Sun and Moon: a Story of Astronomy, Photography and Mapping
From the beginning of time, human beings have looked up at the stars and speculated on other worlds. Published to mark the fiftieth anniversary of the first moon landing, Sun and Moon tells the story of that burning human need to comprehend the universe, from Neolithic observatories that mark the solstice to the latest space telescopes. It shows, for the first time, how the development of photography and cartography; the means of documenting other worlds; is linked indelibly to the charting of the heavens, from the first image on a glass plate to the Hubble Space Telescope.
Science/Photography | HC | $120.00
Big Week: the Biggest Air Battle of World War Two
It was to be the battle to end the air war, once and for all. During the third week of February 1944, the combined Allied air forces launched their first-ever round-the-clock bomber offensive against Germany. The aim was to smash the main factories and production centres of the Luftwaffe and at the same time draw the German fighter force up into the air and into battle. Big Week is the knife-edge story of bomber against flak gun and fighter, but also, crucially, fighter against fighter. Following the fortunes of pilots and aircrew from both sides, this is a blistering narrative of one of the most critical periods of the entire war. Big Week was the largest air battle ever witnessed, but it has been largely forgotten – until now.
Aviation history | PBK | $22.99
Defeating the Ministers of Death: the Compelling History of Vaccination
The compelling story of vaccination. We may fear terrorist attacks… but, in truth, humans have always had far more to fear from infections. In 1919, Spanish flu killed over 50 million people, more than died in both world wars combined. In 1950, an estimated 50 million people caught smallpox worldwide, of whom 10 million died. In 1980, before measles vaccine was widely used, an estimated 2.6 million children died of measles, every year. Less than 100 years ago, losing a child to an infection like diphtheria or polio was a dreaded but almost inevitable sorrow faced by all parents, from the richest to the poorest. Today, these killer diseases are almost never seen in industrialised countries, thanks to the development of vaccines. Immunisation has given modern parents peace of mind their ancestors could not imagine. The history of vaccination is rich with trial, error, sabotage and success. It encompasses the tragedy of lives lost, the drama of competition and discovery, the culpability of botched testing, and the triumph of effective, lifelong immunity. Yet with the eradication in the first world of some of humanity’s deadliest foes, complacency has set in. We forget the power of these diseases at our peril. This is a book for everyone who wants to understand our past – and cares about our future.
Science | TP | $34.99
Australian Toys: a Collection
Australian Toys is an illustrated history of Australian manufactured toys from 1900–65, drawing on the author’s authoritative collection. The book documents the production of each toy with beautiful colour photographs accompanied by relevant text about the toy and manufacturer. Luke Jones’ carefully structured collection has been assembled with passion and commitment over a period of more than thirty years and is unrivalled for its breadth and quality. It provides an ideal platform to illustrate a history of twentieth century Australian manufactured toys, a history which has yet to be substantially documented in any form. This book will make an important contribution to the recorded history of Australian society, childhood, family, and manufacturing.
History/Collecting/Australiana | HC | $59.99
On the Trail of Stardust:
the Guide to Finding Micrometeorites: Tools, Techniques, and Identification
Stardust – also known as micrometeorites – is the oldest matter, anywhere. Nothing has travelled farther to reach Earth. For a century, scientists have searched everywhere for stardust, but only found it in remote areas like Antarctica and, more recently, outer space. Author and citizen scientist extraordinaire Jon Larsen was the first to find them, in populated areas. With this book, you too can discover stardust as near as your own rooftop! Following his successful debut, In Search of Stardust (HC, $29.99), Larsen turns his attention from explaining the formation and various kinds of stardust to revealing his methods and techniques for finding micrometeorites in a compact, durable guide. Larsen covers everything from the origins and formation of micrometeorites to assembling the simple array of gear needed to get out there and find stardust in your own neighbourhood, rooftop, or rain gutters. Larsen explains the best places to look and offers step-by-step photo sequences of the techniques he has developed to assemble his collection of 1,500-plus verified micrometeorites (and counting). And you don’t need a multi-million-dollar scanning electron microscope to document your collection; Jon shows how to assemble a serviceable photo setup from easily accessible equipment. The book is capped off with a field guide of sorts that offers a taxonomy of the various types of micrometeorites, along with sample images, as well as the kinds of manmade and terrestrial spherules that stardust hunters are likely to encounter and how to identify them as imposters. Once thought to exist only, at the bottoms of oceans and atop polar ice, it turns out that stardust is everywhere… and On the Trail of Stardust is your indispensable tool to finding it for yourself.
Science | PBK | $29.99
To the Edges of the Earth: 1909, the Race for the Three Poles,
and the Climax of the Age of Exploration
Larson, Edward J
Antarctica: Ernest Shackleton: the South Pole. The Arctic: Robert Peary: the North Pole. The Himalayas: the Duke of the Abruzzi: K2. From the Pulitzer Prize–winning historian, an entwined narrative of the most adventurous year of all time, when three expeditions simultaneously raced to the top, bottom, and heights of the world. As 1909 dawned, the greatest jewels of exploration – set at the earth’s frozen extremes – lay unclaimed: the North and South Poles, and the so-called Third Pole, ‘the Pole of Altitude’, located in the unexplored heights of the Himalayas. Before the calendar turned, three expeditions had faced death, mutiny, and the harshest conditions on the planet to raise flags at the farthest edges of the earth. In the course of one extraordinary year, Americans Robert Peary and Matthew Henson were hailed worldwide as the discoverers of the North Pole; Britain’s Ernest Shackleton had set a new geographic farthest-south record, while his expedition-mate, Australian Douglas Mawson had reached the south magnetic pole; and at the roof of the world, Italy’s Duke of the Abruzzi had attained an altitude record that would stand for a generation, the result of the first major mountaineering expedition to the Himalayas’ eastern Karakoram – where the daring aristocrat attempted K2 and established the standard route up the most notorious mountain on the planet. Drawing on extensive archival and on-the-ground research, Edward J Larson weaves these narratives into one thrilling adventure story. Larson, author of the acclaimed polar history An Empire of Ice, draws on his own voyages to the Himalayas; the Arctic; and the ice sheets of the Antarctic – where he, himself, reached the South Pole and lived in Shackleton’s Cape Royds hut, as a fellow in the National Science Foundation’s Antarctic Artists and Writers Program. These three legendary expeditions – overlapping in time, danger, and stakes – were glorified on their return, their leaders celebrated as the preeminent heroes of their day. Stripping away the myth, Larson, a master historian, illuminates one of the great overlooked tales of exploration, revealing the astonishing human achievement at the heart of these journeys.
Exploration/History | TP | $32.99
Clear Bright Future: a Radical Defence of the Human Being
Our world order is under pressure, as never before. From new authoritarian regimes in the US, Turkey and Russia, to the imminent break-up of the European Union and a social media awash with intolerance, things look set to fall apart just as abruptly as the Soviet Union did, some thirty years ago. How did we get here, and what do we do, now? In this searching new exploration of our crisis, Paul Mason argues that, at its heart, lies an attack on the idea of humanity itself. As the free-market system reduced us to two-dimensional consumers, genetics has stripped us of our belief in humans as agents of change. And, now, the dystopian forces of the authoritarian right are pushing the world towards a pre-modern understanding of the human being: one that aims to destroy the very concept of universal human rights, and create a new world in which we are biologically destined to form hierarchies based on ethnicity and gender, and to obey the demands of religious conformity. If these forces are not stopped, Mason warns, we will relive something even worse than the 1930s. In response, he demands a radical defence of the human being: a reinvention of humanism; a re-assertion of the universality of human rights; and a struggle for a society where biologically determined hierarchies are abolished. We have the power to imagine and design a better system. We must, Mason concludes, reach deep into the history and experience of resistance in order to be our own saviours.
Philosophy | TP | $35.00
Exploring the Britannic:
the life, last voyage and wreck of Titanic’s tragic twin
Launched in 1914, two years after the ill-fated voyage of her sister ship, RMS Titanic, the Britannic was intended to be superior to her tragic twin, in every way. But war intervened and, in 1915, she was requisitioned as a hospital ship. Just one year later, while on her way to collect troops wounded in the Balkans campaign, she fell victim to a mine laid by a German U-boat; and tragically sank, in the middle of the Aegean Sea. There her wreck lay, at a depth of 400 feet, until it was discovered 59 years later by legendary explorer Jacques Cousteau. In 1996, the wreck was bought by the author of this book, Simon Mills. Exploring the Britannic tells the complete story of this enigmatic ship: her construction, launch and life, her fateful last voyage, and the historical findings resulting from the exploration of the well-preserved wreck, over a period of 40 years. With remarkable sonar scans and many never-before-seen photographs of the wreck, plus the original Harland & Wolff ship plans, not previously published in their entirety, Exploring the Britannic finally details how the mysteries surrounding the 100-year-old enigma were laid to rest, and what the future might also hold for her.
Nautical history | HC | $49.99
Humans: a Brief History of How We F*cked It All Up
An exhilarating journey through the most creative and catastrophic f*ck ups in human history, from our very first ancestor falling out of that tree, to the most spectacular fails of the present day. In the seventy thousand years that modern human beings have walked this earth, we’ve come a long way. Art, science, culture, trade – on the evolutionary food chain, we’re real winners. But, frankly, it’s not exactly been plain sailing, and sometimes – just occasionally – we’ve managed to really, truly, quite unbelievably f*ck things up. From Chairman Mao’s Four Pests Campaign, to the American Dustbowl; from the Austrian army attacking itself, one drunken night; to the world’s leading superpower electing a reality TV mogul, as President… it’s pretty safe to say that, as a species, we haven’t exactly grown wiser with age. So, next time you think you’ve really f*cked up, this book will remind you: it could be so much worse…
Science/History/Humour | PBK | $22.99
A Woman of No Importance:
the Untold Story of WWII’s Most Dangerous Spy, Virginia Hall
The incredible untold story of Virginia Hall, an American woman with a wooden leg who infiltrated Occupied France for the SOE and became the Gestapo’s most wanted Allied spy, written by acclaimed biographer Sonia Purnell. In 1942, the Gestapo would stop at nothing to track down a mysterious ‘limping lady’ who was fighting for the freedom of France. The Nazi chiefs issued a simple but urgent command: ‘She is the most dangerous of all Allied spies. We must find and destroy her.’ The Gestapo’s target was Virginia Hall, a glamorous American with a wooden leg who broke through the barriers against her gender and disability to be the first woman to infiltrate Vichy France for the SOE. In so doing, she helped turn the course of the intelligence war. This is the epic tale of an heiress who determined that a hunting accident would not define her existence; a young woman who gambled her life to fight for the freedoms she believed in; an espionage novice who helped to light the flame of French Resistance. Based on new and extensive research, Sonia Purnell has for the first time uncovered the full secret life of Virginia Hall, an astounding and inspiring story of heroism, spy-craft, resistance, and personal triumph over shocking adversity.
History | TP | $32.99
Factfulness: Ten Reasons We’re Wrong About the World
and Why Things are Better Than You Think
Rosling, Hans; Rosling, Ola; Ronnlund, Anna Rosling
‘This book is my last battle, in my lifelong mission to fight devastating ignorance, and my final attempt at making an impact on the world. It has been my daily inspiration and joy. In my previous battles, I armed myself with huge data sets, beautiful software, an energetic lecturing style and a Swedish bayonet for sword swallowing. It wasn’t enough. But I hope that this book will be.’ When you ask people simple questions about global trends, they systematically get the answers wrong. How many young women go to school? What’s the average life expectancy across the world? What will the global population will be in 2050? Do the majority of people live in rich or poor countries? In Factfulness, Hans Rosling and his two lifelong collaborators, Ola Rosling and Anna Rosling-Ronnlund, show why this happens. Based on a lifetime’s work promoting a fact-based worldview, they reveal the ten dramatic instincts, and the key preconceptions, that lead to us consistently misunderstanding how the world really works. Inspiring and revelatory, Factfulness is a book of stories by a late legend, for anyone who wants to really understand the world.
Philosophy | PBK | $22.99
Hitler in Los Angeles:
How Jews Foiled Nazi Plots Against Hollywood and America
Ross, Steven J
No American city was more important to the Nazis than Los Angeles, home to Hollywood, the greatest propaganda machine in the world. The Nazis plotted to kill the city’s Jews and to sabotage the nation’s military installations: plans existed for hanging twenty prominent Hollywood figures, such as Al Jolson, Charlie Chaplin, and Samuel Goldwyn; for driving through Boyle Heights and machine-gunning as many Jews as possible; and for blowing up defence installations and seizing munitions from National Guard armouries along the Pacific Coast. US law enforcement agencies were not paying close attention – preferring to monitor Reds, rather than Nazis – and only Leon Lewis and his daring ring of spies stood in the way. From 1933 until the end of World War II, attorney Leon Lewis – the man Nazis would come to call, ‘the most dangerous Jew in Los Angeles’ – ran a spy operation comprised of military veterans and their wives, who infiltrated every Nazi and fascist group in Los Angeles. Often rising to leadership positions, this daring ring of spies uncovered and foiled the Nazi’s disturbing plans for death and destruction.
History (20th century) | PBK | $22.99
The Order of Time
Time is a mystery that does not cease to puzzle us. Philosophers, artists and poets have long explored its meaning while scientists have found that its structure is different, from the simple intuition we have of it. From Boltzmann to quantum theory, from Einstein to loop quantum gravity, our understanding of time has been undergoing radical transformations. Time flows at a different speed in different places, the past and the future differ far less than we might think, and the very notion of the present evaporates in the vast universe.
Science | PBK | $19.99
Octopuses (Ladybird Expert)
Octopuses is a clear, authoritative and entertaining introduction to these eight-armed, ink-making, soft-bodied wonders. There’s something strange about octopuses, something that makes them quite unlike any other animals on Earth. With their suckered arms they reach into our imaginations, grab hold, and don’t let go. Sometimes, the octopuses we conjure are charming and companionable. Ringo Starr invited us beneath the waves, to the welcoming seclusion of an Octopuses’ Garden. More often, the fictional octopuses we invite into our world are far more frightening – Jules fearsome pack of poulpes in 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea; Octopussy, and her gang of female gangsters, encountered by James Bond; and, of course, H P Lovecraft’s Cthulhu. Written by celebrated marine biologist and documentarian Dr Helen Scales, Octopuses reveals how our familiarity with all these fun and formidable octopuses has, at least until recently, been at odds with our understanding of the real, living creatures. Gradually, we’re discovering that fact is, often, far stranger than fiction.
Marine biology | HC | $19.99
the Extraordinary Life and Career of Britain’s Foremost Forensic Pathologist
‘The dead do not hide the truth and they never lie. Through me the dead can speak…’ Dr Richard Shepherd is the UK’s foremost forensic pathologist, his job to understand the deaths which may have no natural cause. From crime scene to court room, his findings are crucial to the pursuit of justice. His work has seen killers put behind bars, exonerated the innocent, and turned open and shut cases on their heads. Shepherd’s obsession with revealing the secrets of the dead is personal. At medical school, while performing his first autopsy, he held the heart of the patient in his hand and thought of his late mother, taken too early by heart disease. He became driven by the challenge of finding the truth, of seeing justice, and by compassion: sometimes for the dead, but always for those they have left behind. Thoughtful, revealing, chilling, sometimes bizarre and always unputdownable, Unnatural Causes is the true-crime book of the year.
Science and medicine/True crime | PBK | $19.99
Einstein’s Unfinished Revolution:
the Search for What Lies Beyond the Quantum
Quantum physics has been, ever since its inception, the golden child of science. It is the basis of our understanding of everything from elemental particles to the behaviour of materials. Yet is has also been a troubled child, beset by controversy and raging disagreement over which formulation best describes our world. It has helped physicists agree that atoms and radiation behave differently to rocks and cats, but often not on much else. The simple reason quantum physics is unsolvable, Lee Smolin argues, is that the theory is incomplete. In this radical new theory of reality, he aims to go beyond quantum mechanics to find a description of the world that makes sense to everyone: an alternative theory, based on the one that nature uses. In doing so, he takes away the mystery and confusion, and presents the quantum world in a way that is accessible to all – specialist and non-specialist, alike. Einstein’s Unfinished Revolution is a fresh take on the big questions of our universe.
Science | HC | $29.99
The Uninhabitable Earth: a story of the future
The signs of climate change are unmistakable, even today, but the real transformations have hardly begun. We’ve been taught that warming would be slow – but, barring very dramatic action, each of these impacts is likely to arrive within the length of a new mortgage, signed this year. What will it be like to live on a pummelled planet? What will it do to our politics, our economy, our culture and sense of history? And what explains the fact we have done so little to stop it? These are not abstract questions but immediate and pressing human dramas, dilemmas and nightmares. In The Uninhabitable Earth, David Wallace-Wells undertakes a new kind of storytelling and a new kind of social science to explore the era of human history, on which we have just embarked.
Climate change | TP | $29.99
Emerging Technologies That Will Improve and/or Ruin Everything
Weinersmith, Kelly & Zach
What will the world of tomorrow be like? How does progress happen? And why don’t we have a lunar colony already? In this witty and entertaining book, Kelly and Zach Weinersmith give us a snapshot of the transformative technologies that are coming next – from robot swarms to nuclear-fusion-powered toasters – and explain how they will change our world, in astonishing ways. By weaving together their own research, interviews with pioneering scientists, and Zach’s trademark comics, the Weinersmiths investigate why these innovations are needed, how they would work, and what is standing in their way.
(witty) Futurism | PBK | $22.99
Why Will No-One Publish My Novel?
A book of wise, witty advice for budding writers from literary lioness and creative writing tutor, Fay Weldon. You’ve written a book, triumphantly typed ‘The End’, but now, it seems, no-one wants to publish it. What do you do next? Author of over thirty novels, stories and screenplays, and tutor on the prestigious creative writing course at Bath Spa, Fay Weldon has a lifetime of wisdom to impart on the art of writing. Why Will No-One Publish My Novel? will delight and amuse, but it isn’t just another how-to-write handbook: it shows you how not to write, if you want to get published. ‘Tips and emotional support for the would-be novelist’ – Sunday Times.
Writing | PBK | $22.99
Genesis: on the Deep Origin of Societies
Wilson, Edward O
Asserting that religious creeds and philosophical questions can be reduced to purely genetic and evolutionary components, and that the human body and mind have a physical base obedient to the laws of physics and chemistry, Genesis demonstrates that the only way for us to fully understand human behaviour is to study the evolutionary histories of nonhuman species. Of these, Wilson demonstrates that, at least, seventeen – among them the African naked mole rat and the sponge-dwelling shrimp – have been found to have advanced societies based on altruism and cooperation. Whether writing about midges who ‘dance about like acrobats’ or schools of anchovies who protectively huddle ‘to appear like a gigantic fish’, or proposing that human society owes a debt of gratitude to ‘postmenopausal grandmothers’ and ‘childless homosexuals’, Genesis is a pithy yet path-breaking work of evolutionary theory, filled with the lyrical biological and humanistic observations, for which Wilson is known.
Science/Society and culture | HC | $39.99
The Great Economists: How Their Ideas Can Help Us Today
What can the ideas of history’s greatest economists tell us about the most important issues of our time? Renowned broadcaster and economist Linda Yueh explains, in an insightful yet accessible way, the key thoughts of history’s greatest economists, how our lives have been influenced by their ideas and how they could help us with the policy challenges that we face today. Exploring the thoughts of economists from Adam Smith and David Ricardo to contemporary academics Douglass North and Robert Solow, Yueh asks, for example, what do the ideas of Karl Marx tell us about the future of the Chinese economy? What would John Maynard Keynes say about state intervention? And, with globalisation in trouble, what can we learn about handling Brexit and Trumpism?
Economics/History | PBK | $22.99