Non-Fiction Catalogue: October 2019
All the books in this catalogue are new books due for release in October 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:
- up to 500g: $8.95
- 500g to 1kg: $12.20
- 1kg to 3 kg: $15.35
- 3kg to 5 kg: $18.50
- anything above 5kg 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
Jet Prototypes of World War II:
Gloster, Heinkel, and Caproni Campini’s wartime jet programmes (X-Planes 11)
Buttler, Tony & Tooby, Adam (illustrator)
While World War II raged, pioneering aircraft and engine designers were busy developing the world’s first practical jet-powered research aircraft to test and prove the new technology. This book examines the aircraft that paved the way for Germany’s Me 262 and Britain’s Meteor – the world’s first jet fighters. Throughout the war, Germany, Italy and Britain engaged in top-secret jet programmes, as they raced to develop the airpower of the future. Various experimental aircraft were trialled in order to achieve the goal of producing an effective engine and fighter that could harness the potential of the jet power. These included the German Heinkel He 178 research aircraft and Heinkel He 280 jet fighter prototype, the famed British E.28/39 research aircraft built by Gloster Aircraft; as well as the stillborn E.5/42 fighter and E.1/44 Ace fighter prototype; and, finally, the remarkable Italian Caproni-Campini N.1/CC 2 research aircraft. Illustrated throughout with full-colour artwork and rare photographs, this fascinating study examines the forerunners to the military jet age.
Aviation history | PBK | $32.99
Dornier Do 17 Units of World War 2 (Combat Aircraft 129)
Goss, Chris & Davey, Chris (illustrator)
Initially designed as a high-speed mail aeroplane and airliner, the Do 17 first made an appearance as a military aircraft in the Spanish Civil War, both as a bomber and in reconnaissance roles. In the early stages of World War II, it, together with the Heinkel He 111, formed the backbone of the German bomber arm over Poland, France, Belgium and the Low Countries, and saw action in almost every major campaign in this period. However, by the start of the Battle of Britain, the Do 17’s limited range and small bomb load meant that it was ripe for replacement by the Ju 88. Though, it performed well at lower altitudes, the model suffered heavy losses during raids, particularly during the Blitz and were increasingly phased out. This fully-illustrated study uses detailed full-colour artwork and authoritative text from an expert author to tell the full operation story of one of Nazi Germany’s best light bombers from the early years of World War II.
Aviation history | PBK | $32.99
Atlas of the Blitzkrieg: 1939–41 (general military)
In September 1939, Nazi Germany launched its infamous Blitzkrieg invasion of Poland, bringing about the outbreak of World War II. Faced with highly-tactical and accelerated attacks aimed at disrupting the line of defence and encircling vulnerable troops, Allied forces broke under pressure. Within the space of a year, France had been invaded and occupied, while the forces of Great Britain had retreated headlong back across the Channel. Further campaigns in the air and at sea sought to subdue the British Isles, while more lightning-fast attacks in 1941 overran Yugoslavia and Greece, leaving the bulk of Continental Europe under Nazi control. Though the dominance of the Blitzkrieg method was to be challenged in the latter part of the war, as Allied forces found methods of disrupting the attacks and dominating the battlefields, its unparalleled success in the early years of the conflict brought Europe to its knees. Featuring 98 detailed maps, this impressive atlas shows, in intricate detail, the fighting and physical challenges faced by the German attackers and Allied defenders. This will be a treasure for World War II enthusiasts and collectors, alike.
Military history | HC | $79.99
British Escort Carriers 1941–45 (New Vanguard 274)
Konstam, Angus & Wright, Paul (illustrator)
In 1941, as the Battle of the Atlantic raged and ship losses mounted, the British Admiralty desperately tried to find ways to defeat the U-Boat threat to Britain’s maritime lifeline. Facing a shortage of traditional aircraft carriers and shore-based aircraft, the Royal Navy, as a stopgap measure, converted merchant ships into small ‘escort carriers’. These were later joined by a growing number of American-built escort carriers, sent as part of the Lend-Lease agreement. The typical Escort Carrier was small, slow and vulnerable, but it could carry about 18 aircraft, which gave the convoys a real chance to detect and sink dangerous U-Boats. Collectively, their contribution to an Allied victory was immense, particularly in the long and gruelling campaigns fought in the Atlantic and Arctic. Illustrated throughout with detailed full-colour artwork and contemporary photographs, this fascinating study explores in detail how these adaptable ships had such an enormous impact on the outcome of World War II’s European Theatre.
Naval history | PBK | $24.99
Tempest V vs Fw 190D-9: 1944–45 (Duel 97)
Robert Forsyth & Laurier, Jim; Hector, Gareth (illustrators)
Arguably two of the finest piston-engined fighters ever built, the Tempest V and Fw 190D-9 raised the bar in terms of aircraft design and operational capability during World War II. The long-nosed ‘Dora 9’, designed by Kurt Tank, first appeared in the skies over the Western and Eastern Fronts in the late summer of 1944. Fast, and with an exceptional rate of climb, it quickly bettered almost every fighter that the RAF, USAAF and Soviet Red Air Force could field. The Hawker Tempest V entered service in early 1944, initially proving itself a stalwart performer, when it was deployed to intercept V1 flying bombs over southern England. From the autumn of 1944, the Tempest V also equipped squadrons of the 2nd Tactical Air Force, operating in support of the Allied armies advancing across north-west Europe. It became a potent ground-attack aircraft, armed with underwing rockets, but also a first-class interceptor when pitted against the Luftwaffe’s advanced Fw 190D-9 and Me 262. Featuring full colour artwork, this book describes in fascinating detail combats between the Tempest Vs of No 274 Sqn and the Fw 190D-9s of I. and III./JG 26, between February and April 1945.
Aviation history | PBK | $32.99
Battle of Berlin 1943–44:
Bomber Harris’ gamble to end the war (Air Campaign 11)
Worrall, Richard & Turner, Graham (illustrator)
Throughout late-1943 into early-1944, an epic struggle raged over the skies of Germany between RAF Bomber Command and the Luftwaffe. This campaign had been undertaken by the Commander-in-Chief Bomber Command, Air Chief Marshal Sir Arthur Harris, and was baptised ‘The Battle of Berlin’. The Berlin campaign was a hard, desperate slog. Struggling against dreadful and bitter winter weather, Bomber Command ‘went’ to Berlin a total of sixteen times, suffering increasingly severe losses throughout the winter of 1943/44 in the face of a revitalised German air defence. The campaign remains controversial and the jury, even today, is ultimately undecided as to what it realistically achieved. Illustrated throughout with full-colour artwork depicting the enormous scale of the campaign, this is the story of the RAF’s much debated attempt to win the war through bombing alone.
Aviation history | PBK | $32.99
The Illustrated Encyclopaedia of Ugly Animals
Marvel as you enter the fascinating hidden world of ugly animals in this encyclopaedia of the animal kingdom’s most unusual and beauty-challenged species. It’s time for ugly animals to shine! With more than sixty ugly animals to explore, this compendium of the unusual celebrates the beauty in ‘ugliness’. Children and adults alike will pore over the breathtaking scientific illustrations of unusual animals, debating their relative ugliness and merits, learning about science and nature along the way. Featuring illustrations and facts about the thorniest species the animal kingdom has to offer, from the naked mole rat to the goblin shark, aye-aye, sphinx cat, blobfish and many more ‘ugly’ beauties. This gorgeous hardcover book is illustrated in exquisite detail by exciting new Australian talent, Sami Bayly.
Zoology | HC | $32.99
Stephen Biesty’s More Incredible Cross-Sections
Explore 12 amazing buildings and machines in this updated edition of the cross-section classic. This illustrated book for children shows you how things work. Look inside the human body, explore the magic of Venice, and take a tour around a movie studio – and much more! Part of a unique series that the Guardian, in 2016, voted one of the best illustrated non-fiction books ever, More Incredible Cross-sections is Stephen Biesty at the top of his game. In this updated edition with a refreshed, contemporary style, he gives readers an exploded view of 12 objects, places, landmarks, and modes of transport. But look closer! In every picture is an alien who has lost his way: can you find him? As you pore over Stephen Biesty’s superbly detailed pages, you will also discover loads of awesome facts. Did you know that steam engines were notoriously difficult to stop, leading to frequent accidents? Or that people at an Antarctic research base rely on supplies from an aircraft’s parachute drops during winter? From windmills to cities, airports to space stations, More Incredible Cross-sections is for curious minds of any age interested in finding out how our amazing world works.
History | HC | $29.99
The Myths We Live By: Adventures in Democracy, Free Speech and Other Liberal Inventions
In this witty and mischievous book, philosopher Peter Cave dissects the most controversial disputes today and uses philosophical argument to reveal that many issues are less straightforward than we’d like to believe. Leaving no sacred cow standing, Cave uses ingenious stories and examples to challenge our most strongly held assumptions. Is democracy inherently a good thing? What is the basis of so-called human rights? Is discrimination always bad? Are we morally obliged to accept refugees? In an age of identity politics and so-called ‘fake news’, this book is an essential resource for reinvigorating genuine public debate – and an entertaining challenge to accepted wisdom.
Philosophy/Society and culture | HC | $29.99
Scientifica Historica: How the world’s great science books chart the history of knowledge
Scientifica Historica is a unique, essay-based review of those books that marked the development of science from classical times to the new millennium. The result is a fascinating chronological exploration of human endeavour within the context of society, politics and even the military, where the twists and turns prove it to be a much longer, messier process than we usually think. By recounting the history of science via its key works – those books written by the keenest minds our world has known – this book reflects the physical results of, brilliant thought manifested in titles that literally changed the course of knowledge, sometimes by increments, and sometimes with revolutionary impact.
Science/History | HC | $39.99
How to Be a Dictator: the Cult of Personality in the Twentieth Century
Mussolini, Hitler, Stalin, Mao Zedong, Kim Il-sung, Ceausescu, Mengistu of Ethiopia, and Duvalier of Haiti. No dictator can rule through fear and violence alone. Naked power can be grabbed and held temporarily, but it never suffices in the long term. A tyrant who can compel his own people to acclaim him will last longer. The paradox of the modern dictator is that he must create the illusion of popular support. Throughout the twentieth century, hundreds of millions of people were condemned to enthusiasm, obliged to hail their leaders even as they were herded down the road to serfdom. In How to Be a Dictator, Frank Dikötter returns to eight of the most chillingly effective personality cults of the twentieth century. From carefully choreographed parades to the deliberate cultivation of a shroud of mystery through iron censorship, these dictators ceaselessly worked on their own image and encouraged the population at large to glorify them. At a time when democracy is in retreat, are we seeing a revival of the same techniques among some of today’s world leaders? This timely study, told with great narrative verve, examines how a cult takes hold, grows, and sustains itself. It places the cult of personality where it belongs, at the very heart of tyranny.
History/Politics | TP | $29.99
Walls: a History of Civilisation
In a colourful narrative of invasions, empires, kings, and khans, David Frye presents a bold new theory of civilisation: walls haven’t just influenced the course of history; they have profoundly shaped the human psyche. For thousands of years, humans have built walls and assaulted them, admired walls and reviled them. Great Walls have appeared on nearly every continent, accompanying the rise of cities, nations, and empires. In Walls, David Frye uncovers a story that is more than just bricks and stone: he reveals the startling link between what we build and how we live, who we are and how we came to be. It is nothing less than the story of civilisation.
History | PBK | $24.99
The Little Book of Lost Words:
Collywobbles, ultracrepidarian, and other surprisingly useful terms worth resurrecting
In The Little Book of Lost Words, history buff Joe Gillard presents a handy guide for expressing yourself with history’s best words. An A–Z collection of some of the most unique words in history, this delightful book deals with surprisingly modern issues – such as sleeping in and procrastination – proving that while our language may change, humans do not! The Little Book of Lost Words presents each term ready for modern-day use, complete with definition, hilarious sample sentence, and cheeky historical art. You’ll learn new words for your favourite cosy space (snuggery), for a dishonest politician (snollygoster), and for a youth who sleeps through the day and doesn’t work (dewdropper). If you like Lost in Translation, Shakespeare Insults Generator, Drunk History, and Roald Dahl – and if you enjoy the way words like blatteroon and flapdoodle roll off the tongue – then you’re the word-lover this book was written for. Want to know what it is to groke or to latibulate? Read this book!
Language | HC | $19.99
Opium: How an Ancient Flower Shaped and Poisoned Our World
Halpern, John & Blistein, David
Salt meets Dopesick, in this fascinating history of the long path to today’s opioid crisis by an esteemed Harvard-trained psychiatrist, an addiction expert working on the frontlines of the epidemic. In 2017, over 60,000 Americans died as the result of opioid overdoses, more than died annually in this country during the peak of the AIDs epidemic, more than die every year from breast cancer, and more Americans than died in the entire Vietnam War. But even though the overdose crisis ravaging our nation seems impossible to ignore, few understand how it came to be. Opium tells the extraordinary and at times harrowing story of how we arrived at today’s crisis, a story that begins at the dawn of human civilisation with enterprising poppy farmers in Mesopotamia, explores the breakthroughs of too-often-forgotten experimental chemists in the Arab world who first refined poppy juice into opium, of colonial powers who spirited opium around the world in the interest of building out empires, of psychiatrists like Freud who ushered opium into modern medicine, and finally the story of the pharmaceutical conglomerates we know today that used opium and its more potent cousin, heroin, as a model for a wave of pills that laid the groundwork for today’s overdose epidemic. Throughout, the book demonstrates how opium has served as a currency that helped develop the global economy. Wielded as a tool with which all kinds of brokers of power – empires like the British Commonwealth setting off China’s Opium Wars, titans of modern medicine, and American drug companies, to name a few – could profit and expand, no matter the human cost, opium has proved both a frequent impetus for and obstacle to improving modern life. In its final chapter, Opium takes us inside the cutting edge of the opiate epidemic, showing how the nation’s top doctors are confronting the crisis head on, in part using the lessons of opium’s complex history.
Science/History | HC | $45.00
Chastise: the Dambusters Story 1943
Operation Chastise, the overnight destruction of the Möhne and Eder dams in north-west Germany by the RAF’s 617 Squadron, was an epic that has passed into Britain’s national legend. Max Hastings grew up embracing the story, the classic 1955 movie and the memory of Guy Gibson, the 24-year-old wing-commander who won the VC, leading the raid. In the 21st century, however, Hastings urges that we should review the Dambusters in much more complex shades. The aircrew’s heroism was wholly authentic, as was the brilliance of Barnes Wallis, who invented the ‘bouncing bombs’. But commanders who promised their young fliers that success could shorten the war fantasised wildly. What Germans call the Möhnekatastrophe imposed on the Nazi war machine temporary disruption, rather than a crippling blow. Hastings vividly describes the evolution of Wallis’ bomb, and of the squadron which broke the dams at the cost of devastating losses. But he also portrays in harrowing detail those swept away by the torrents. Some 1,400 civilians perished in the biblical floods that swept through the Möhne valley, more than half of them Russian and Polish women, slave labourers under Hitler. Ironically, Air Marshal Sir Arthur ‘Bomber’ Harris gained much of the credit, though he opposed Chastise as a distraction from his city-burning blitz. He also made what the author describes as the operation’s biggest mistake – the failure to launch a conventional attack on the Nazis’ huge post-raid repair operation, which could have transformed the impact of the dam breaches upon Ruhr industry. Chastise offers a fascinating retake on legend by a master of the art. Hastings sets the dams raid in the big picture of the bomber offensive and of the Second World War, with moving portraits of the young airmen, so many of whom died; of Barnes Wallis; the monstrous Harris; the tragic Guy Gibson, together with superb narrative of the action of one of the most extraordinary episodes in British history.
Military history | TP | $34.99
A Short History of London: the Rise, Fall and Rise Again
London: a settlement founded by the Romans, occupied by the Saxons, conquered by the Danes and ruled by the Normans. This unremarkable place – not even included in the Domesday Book – became a medieval maze of alleys and courtyards, later to be chequered with grand estates of Georgian splendour. It swelled with industry and became the centre of the largest empire in history. And rising from the rubble of the Blitz, it is now one of the greatest cities in the world. From the prehistoric occupants of the Thames Valley to the preoccupied commuters of today, Simon Jenkins brings together the key events, individuals and trends in London’s history to create a matchless portrait of the capital. Based in part on his own witness of the events that shaped the post-war city, and with his trademark colour and authority, he shows above all how London has taken shape over more than two thousand years. This is narrative history at its finest, from the most ardent protector of our heritage.
History | HC | $45.00
Menus that Made History
Johnson, Alex & Franklin, Vincent
Over 2000 years of menus from Ancient Egyptian food for the afterlife to Elvis Presley s wedding breakfast… Delve into this captivating collection of the world’s 75 most iconic menus which reveal not just the story of food but periods of history, famous works of literature, notable events, and celebrity figures from prehistoric times up to the modern day. This fascinating miscellany of menus from around the world will educate as well as entertain, delighting both avid foodies and the general reader. Each menu provides an insight into its particular historical moment – from the typical food on offer in a nineteenth-century workhouse to the opulence of George IV’s gargantuan coronation dinner. Some menus are linked with a specific and unforgettable event such as the Hindenburg’s last flight menu; or the variety of meals on offer for first, second and third class passengers, on board RMS Titanic, while others give an insight into sport, such as the 1963 FA Cup Final Dinner; or transport and travel with the luxury lunch on board the Orient Express. Also included are literary occasions like Charles’ Dickens 1868 dinner at Delmonico’s in New York, as well as the purely fictional and fantastical fare of Ratty’s picnic in The Wind in the Willows.
History | HC | $29.99
Poems to honour the periodic table, three lines at a time
Lee, Mary Soon
A fascinating little illustrated series of 118 haiku about the Periodic Table of Elements, one for each element, plus a closing haiku for element 119 (not yet synthesised). Originally appearing in Science magazine, this gifty collection of haiku inspired by the periodic table of elements features all-new poems paired with original and imaginative line illustrations drawn from the natural world. Packed with wit, whimsy, and real science cred, each haiku celebrates the cosmic poetry behind each element, while accompanying notes reveal the fascinating facts that inform it. Award-winning poet Mary Soon Lee’s haiku encompass astronomy, biology, chemistry, history, and physics, such as ‘Nickel, Ni: Forged in fusion’s fire,/flung out from supernovae./Demoted to coins.’ Line by line, Elemental Haiku makes the mysteries of the universe’s elements accessible to all.
Poetry of Science | HC | $24.99
The World in Six Songs: How the Musical Brain Created Human Nature
In an astonishing blend of art and science, Daniel Levitin describes how music played a pivotal role in the creation of human culture and society. Dividing the sum total of human musical achievement, from Beethoven to The Beatles, Busta Rhymes to Bach, into just six fundamental forms, Levitin illuminates, through songs of friendship, joy, comfort, knowledge, religion and love, how music has been instrumental in the evolution of language, thought and culture. And how, far from being a bit of a song and dance, music is at the core of what it means to be human. A one-time record producer, now a leading neuroscientist, Levitin has composed a catchy and startlingly ambitious narrative that weaves together Darwin and Dionne Warwick, memoir and biology, anthropology and a jukebox of anecdote to create nothing less than the ‘soundtrack of civilisation’.
Science/Music | PBK | $19.99
Where Soldiers Lie: the Quest to Find Australia’s Missing War Dead
What drives veterans, military experts and forensic investigators to dedicate years to search for and identify the remains of fallen warriors? What does it mean to the families of the dead to be able to lay them to rest? Over thirty-five thousand Australian soldiers and airmen are still listed as Missing In Action from the wars of the 20th century. Telling the moving story of the determination and skill of the searchers who apply old-fashioned detective work and cutting-edge science to solve the mysteries of the missing and bring peace of mind and solace to their families and to all those who serve, Where Soldiers Lie follows these investigators and scientists on their mission to locate and identify unrecovered war casualties and to unlock their secrets. From the jungles of Vietnam, where one man led a decade-long battle to recover and bring home the final six, to Korea, Papua New Guinea and the fields of the Somme, Flanders, and Fromelles… Where Soldiers Lie is a deeply-human story of perseverance, luck and resolution, a story of incredible determination against difficult odds, of exacting forensic analysis and painstaking detective work, to uncover and identify the remains of Australian soldiers, in battlefield over the decades, and to bring their remains home. Powerful, moving, and compelling reading.
Military history | HC | $39.99
Anzac and Aviator:
the remarkable story of Sir Ross Smith and the 1919 England to Australia air race
Raised on a remote sheep station in the dying days of Australia’s colonial frontier, there was little in Ross Smith’s childhood that suggested a future as one of the world’s great pioneering aviators. He went to war in 1914, serving with the light horse at Gallipoli and in the Sinai, before volunteering for the fledgling Australian Flying Corps. In a new dimension of warfare, Ross Smith survived two gruelling years of aerial combat over Palestine to emerge as one of the most skilled and highly-decorated Australian pilots of the war. In 1919, he was a pilot on the first ever mission to survey an air route from Cairo to the East Indies, before gaining international fame as the winner of the government’s £10,000 prize for leading the first aircrew to fly from England to Australia. His attempt to exceed this, by circumnavigating the world by air in 1922, would end in disaster. Drawing on the rich and extensive collection of Ross Smith’s private papers, Anzac and Aviator tells, for the first time, the gripping story of a remarkable aviator, the extraordinary times in which he lived and the air race that changed the world.
Aviation history | TP | $32.99
First You Write a Sentence: the Elements of Reading, Writing… and Life
A style guide by stealth – how anyone can write well (and can enjoy good writing). Advanced maths has no practical use, and is understood by few. A symphony can be widely appreciated, but created only by a genius. Good writing, however, can be written (and read) by anyone, if we give it the gift of our time. And a sentence might be as near as many of us will get to orchestrating beauty. Enter universally praised historian Professor Joe Moran. Using minimal technical terms, First You Write a Sentence is his unpedantic explanation of how the most ordinary words can be turned into verbal constellations of extraordinary grace. With examples from the Bible and Shakespeare to Orwell and Diana Athill, and with support from scientific studies of what most fires people’s minds, he shows how we can all write in a way that is vivid, clear and engaging. With chapters from tools of the trade (from typewriters to texting and the impact this has on the craft); and writing and the senses (how to make the world visible and touchable); to how to find the ideal word, build a sentence, and construct a paragraph, First You Write a Sentence informs by light example. It’s an elegant gem in praise of the English sentence.
Language/Writing | PBK | $22.99
The Mystery of the Exploding Teeth and Other Curiosities from the History of Medicine
Horrible histories for adults, these gruesome, bizarre and often hilarious medical case histories trace the evolution of modern medicine and the astonishing resilience of human life, both in body and spirit! A mysterious epidemic of dental explosions… A teenage boy who got his wick stuck in a candlestick… A remarkable woman who, like a human fountain, spurted urine from virtually every orifice… These are just a few of the anecdotal gems that have, until now, lain undiscovered in medical journals for centuries. This fascinating collection of historical curiosities explores some of the strangest cases that have perplexed doctors across the world. From seventeenth-century Holland to Tsarist Russia, from rural Canada to a whaler in the Pacific, many are monuments to human stupidity – such as the sailor who swallowed dozens of penknives to amuse his shipmates, or the chemistry student who, in 1850, arrived at a hospital in New York with his penis trapped inside a bottle, having unwisely decided to relieve himself into a vessel containing highly reactive potassium. Others demonstrate exceptional surgical ingenuity long before the advent of anaesthesia – such as a daring nineteenth-century operation to remove a metal fragment from beneath a conscious patient’s heart. We also hear of the weird, often hilarious remedies employed by physicians of yore – from crow’s vomit to port-wine enemas – the hazards of such everyday objects as cucumbers and false teeth, and miraculous recovery from apparently terminal injuries. Blending fascinating history with lacerating wit, The Mystery of the Exploding Teeth will take you on a tour of some of the funniest, strangest and most wince-inducing corners of medical history.
History of Science | PBK | $19.99
The Skeptics’ Guide to the Universe:
How to Know What’s Really Real in a World Increasingly Full of Fake
In this tie-in to their popular The Skeptic’s Guide to the Universe podcast, Steven Novella, along with ‘Skeptical Rogues’ Bob Novella, Cara Santa Maria, Jay Novella, and Evan Bernstein explain the tenets of sceptical thinking and debunk some of the biggest scientific myths, fallacies and conspiracy theories (anti-vaccines, homeopathy, UFO sightings, and many more.) They’ll help us try to make sense of what seems like an increasingly crazy world using powerful tools like science and philosophy. The Skeptics’ Guide to the Universe is your guide through this maze of modern life. It covers essential critical thinking skills, as well as giving insight into how your brain works and how to avoid common pitfalls in thinking. They discuss the difference between science and pseudoscience, how to recognise common science news tropes, how to discuss conspiracy theories with that crazy colleague of yours, and how to apply all of this to everyday life. As fascinating as it is entertaining, this page turner is your essential guide to seeing through the fake news and media manipulation in our increasingly confusing world.
Science | PBK | $22.99
The Golden Tarot (kit)
The Tarot is much more than mere pictures on cards, the pictures are physical symbols for spiritual concepts. The images are symbolic representation of archetypal forces and/or beings which have always existed and have been identified and passed on to us by ancient initiates and which provide a focus for us to use in self-initiation, spiritual development, and the perception of hidden wisdom. The tarot deck included in this beautiful set was commissioned around 1451, by the Visconti and Sforza families, and it is one of the oldest tarot decks in existence. The images on the cards have been faithfully recreated, showing members of the Sforza and Visconti families in period garments. The borders of the elegant cards are adorned with gold metallic ink. The accompanying book provides a history of Visconti-Sforza cards, 35 of which are now in the collection of the Pierpont Morgan Library in New York City. The symbolism of the different cards is described, along with explanations of different ways to arrange the cards when seeking information about different aspects of life. This beautiful gift box holds the book and card deck side by side, with a purple satin reading cloth folded and placed underneath the book.
Divination | Kit | $35.00
Get your geek on. English is full of beauty and surprises, yet despite being the lingua franca of the globalisation world, it has a reputation for being difficult to learn because its grammar has also so many quirks and contradictions. Did you know: ‘Terry loves yogurt’ is an example of illeism; preposition stranding is a bogus rule; sometimes it’s acceptable to begin a sentence with ‘but’ or ‘and’; ‘Could you pass the salt?’ is ‘whimperative’; and it’s okay to boldly split infinitives? Many of us don’t even know the basics, so not only does Grammar Geek reveal obscure grammar rules and bogus ones you can safely ignore, it’s also a handy primer; so, in the future, you’ll have no excuse for dangling a modifier or misplacing a semicolon.
Language | HC | $16.99
It’s time to get your nerd on. The English language is full of beauty and surprises. If you’re a lover of the weird and wonderful, from fascinating etymology to the ten most overused and useless English phrases, this book isn’t averse to a peppering of persiflage! Did you know: pilots and air traffic controllers at major air international airports have to speak English; the hashtag symbol is an ‘octothorpe’; ‘bumfiddle’ means to spoil a piece of paper or document; the word ‘noon’ originally meant 3pm; and the literal meaning of ‘bamboozle’ is to make a baboon out of someone? This book contains a boatload of things you didn’t know about the English language and it’s a guaranteed prolix-free zone.
Language | HC | $16.99
That Will Never Work: the Birth of Netflix and the Amazing Life of an Idea
Netflix co-founder and first CEO shares the behind-the-scenes origin story of the major international brand that has changed everything about how we consume TV and film. Once upon a time, brick-and-mortar video stores were king. Late fees were ubiquitous, video streaming unheard of, and widespread DVD adoption seemed about as imminent as flying cars. These were the widely accepted laws of the land in 1997, when Marc Randolph had an idea. It was a simple thought – leveraging the internet to rent movies – and was just one of many more proposals, like personalised baseball bats and a shampoo delivery service, that Randolph would pitch to his business partner, Reed Hastings, on their commute to work each morning. But Hastings was intrigued, and the pair – with Hastings as the primary investor and Randolph as the CEO – founded a company. Now, with over 150 million subscribers, Netflix’s triumph feels inevitable; but the twenty-first century’s most disruptive start-up began with few believers and calamity at every turn. From having to pitch his own mother on being an early investor, to the motel conference room that served as a first office, to server crashes on launch day, to the now-infamous meeting when they pitched Blockbuster to acquire them, Marc Randolph’s transformational journey exemplifies how anyone with grit, gut instincts and determination can change the world – even with an idea that many think will never work. What emerges, however, isn’t just the inside story of one of the world’s most iconic companies. Full of counter-intuitive concepts and written in binge-worthy prose, it answers some of our most fundamental questions about taking that leap of faith in business or in life: How do you begin? How do you weather disappointment and failure? How do you deal with success? What even is success? From idea generation to team building to knowing when it’s time to let go, That Will Never Work is not only the ultimate follow-your-dreams parable, but also one of the most dramatic and insightful entrepreneurial stories of our time.
Technology | TP | $32.99
Factfulness (illustrated edition)
Rosling, Hans; Rosling, Ola; Ronnlund, Anna Rosling
Timely, short and essential, Factfulness reveals the power of facts in a post-truth world, by late international sensation Hans Rosling, and his long-term collaborators Ola and Anna. ‘A hopeful book about the potential for human progress when we work off facts rather than our inherent biases.’ – Barack Obama. Now in a larger format, featuring illustrative colour images.
Philosophy | HC | $55.00
Where Power Stops: the Making and Unmaking of Presidents and Prime Ministers
David Runciman grapples with how character defines and limits the holders of the highest offices in the UK and America. Lyndon Baines Johnson, Margaret Thatcher, Bill Clinton, Tony Blair, Barack Obama, Gordon Brown, Theresa May, and Donald Trump: each had different motivations, methods, and paths, but they all sought the highest office. And, yet, when they reached their goal, they often found that the power they had imagined was illusory. Their sweeping visions of reform faltered. They faced bureaucratic obstructions, but often the biggest obstruction was their own character. However, their personalities could help them as much as hurt them. Arguably the most successful of them, LBJ showed little indication that he supported what he is best known for – the Civil Rights Act – but his grit, resolve, and brute political skill saw him bend Congress to his will. David Runciman tackles the limitations of high office and how the personal histories of those who achieved the very pinnacles of power helped to define their successes and failures in office. These portraits show what characters are most effective in these offices. Could this be a blueprint for good and effective leadership, in an age lacking good leaders?
Politics | HC | $32.99
Why You Should Read Children’s Books, Even Though You Are So Old and Wise
Katherine Rundell – Fellow of All Souls College, Oxford, and prize-winning author of five novels for children – explores how children’s books ignite, and can re-ignite, the imagination; how children’s fiction, with its unabashed emotion and playfulness, can awaken old hungers and create new perspectives on the world. This delightful and persuasive essay is for adult readers.
Reading | HC | $12.99
Human Compatible: AI and the Problem of Control
Russell, Stuart J
Humans dream of super-intelligent machines. But what happens if we actually succeed? Creating superior intelligence would be the biggest event in human history. Unfortunately, according to the world’s pre-eminent AI expert, it could also be the last. In this ground-breaking book on the biggest question facing humanity, Stuart Russell explains why he has come to consider his own discipline an existential threat to his own species, and lays out how we can change course before it’s too late. There is no one better placed to assess the promise and perils of the dominant technology of the future than Russell, who has spent decades at the forefront of AI research. Through brilliant analogies and crisp, lucid prose, he explains how AI actually works, how it has an enormous capacity to improve our lives – but why we must ensure that we never lose control of machines more powerful than we are. Here Russell shows how we can avert the worst threats by reshaping the foundations of AI to guarantee that machines pursue our objectives, not theirs. Profound, urgent and visionary, Human Compatible is the one book everyone needs to read to understand a future that is coming sooner than we think.
Artificial intelligence | HC | $45.00
Flight is the story of humankind’s most ambitious undertaking. From thousand-year-old flying machines and the trailblazing ‘birdmen’ who risked their lives to test them, to the Wright brothers’ legendary first flight and the iconic spacecraft of the modern era, Flight weaves together the extraordinary history of aviation with an in-depth look at the mechanics of how planes work. Spellbinding, sumptuously illustrated, and written by a former RAF technician, this is the definitive guide to how we conquered the skies.
Aviation history | HC | $49.99
Scrapers: a Visual Guide to Extraordinary Buildings
With this exquisite illustrative masterpiece, Zack Scott explores in stunning detail the majestic constructions that humans have created on the surface of our own planet. This is Scrapers, a visual history of man’s endeavours to reach higher and higher, through the construction of mind-blowing new buildings. Zack Scott takes us on an illustrative journey from humankind’s first attempts to touch the sky with their creations, to the modern masterpieces of architecture and engineering standing proudly across the globe. From Stonehenge to the Burj Khalifa; the Taj Mahal to the Shard, Zack shares the little-known facts and fascinating human stories behind the most incredible buildings in the world. In gorgeous graphic style, Scrapers opens our eyes – and our minds – to these true marvels of human architecture.
Engineering/architecture | HC | $39.99
Smith, Richard MacLean
Maybe, some things are better left unexplained… Based on the ‘world’s spookiest podcast’ of the same name comes Unexplained: a book of ten real-life mysteries which might be best left unexplained… What can a case of demonic possession in 1970s’ Germany teach us about free will? What might we learn about how we construct reality from the case of a poltergeist in the Fens? And what can a supposed instance of reincarnation in Middlesbrough tell us about how we develop a concept of the self? Taking incidents once thought of as supernatural or paranormal and questioning whether radical ideas in science might provide a new but equally extraordinary explanation, Unexplained asks what real-life unexplained events can reveal of our unique human experience.
Science | PBK | $22.99
On This Day in History
Three thousand years of the most important stories from the past, in 365 days – from the Ides of March to D-Day, from Britain’s favourite historian. On which day was history’s shortest war waged and won (in roughly 40 minutes)? How was Napoleon bested by a group of rabbits in 1807? Why did a dispute about beer in an Oxford pub lead to over 100 deaths and 470 years of penance? Why in 1752 did Britain go to bed on 2nd September and wake up on the 14th? How did a women’s march in 1917 set off the Russian Revolution? On This Day in History brings to life a key event that happened on each day of the year. From the most important British battle that you’ve never heard of (20 May 685) to the first meeting of Lennon and McCartney (6 July 1957), and from why Julius Caesar should have been wary of the Ides of March (15 March 44BC) to the day Jeanne de Clisson became a pirate and single-handedly declared war on the King of France (2 August 1343), history is full of unlikely heroes and fascinating turning points. In this book, Dan Snow shows us how each day offers a different and unexpected insight into our past. And story by gripping story, this year grows into a vivid, very human history of the world. Now in paperback.
History | PBK | $22.99
Letters from an Astrophysicist
Tyson, Neil deGrasse
Neil deGrasse Tyson is arguably the most influential, acclaimed scientist on the planet. As director of the Hayden Planetarium, and host of Cosmos and StarTalk, he has dedicated his life to exploring and explaining the mysteries of the universe. Every year, he receives thousands of letters – from students to prisoners, scientists to priests. Some seek advice, others yearn for inspiration; some are full of despair, others burst with wonder. But they are all searching for understanding, meaning and truth. His replies are by turns wise, funny, and mind blowing. In this, his most personal book by far, he covers everything from God to the history of science, from aliens to death. He bares his soul – his passions, his doubts, his hopes. The big theme is everywhere in these pages: what is our place in the universe? The result is an awe-inspiring read and an intimate portal into an incredible mind, which reveals the power of the universe to start conversations and inspire curiosity in all of us.
Science | TP | $29.99
Soonish: Emerging Technologies That Will Improve and/or Ruin Everything
From a top scientist and the creator of the hugely-popular web comic Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal, an illustrated investigation into future technologies. 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.
Technology | PBK | $22.99
The Age of Surveillance Capitalism:
the Fight for a Human Future at the New Frontier of Power
The challenges to humanity posed by the digital future, the first detailed examination of the unprecedented form of power called ‘surveillance capitalism’, and the quest by powerful corporations to predict and control us. The heady optimism of the Internet’s early days is gone. Technologies that were meant to liberate us have deepened inequality and stoked divisions. Tech companies gather our information online and sell it to the highest bidder, whether government or retailer. Profits now depend not only on predicting our behaviour but modifying it too. How will this fusion of capitalism and the digital shape our values and define our future? Shoshana Zuboff shows that we are at a crossroads. We still have the power to decide what kind of world we want to live in, and what we decide now will shape the rest of the century. Our choices: allow technology to enrich the few and impoverish the many, or harness it and distribute its benefits. The Age of Surveillance Capitalism is a deeply-reasoned examination of the threat of unprecedented power free from democratic oversight. As it explores this new capitalism’s impact on society, politics, business, and technology, it exposes the struggles that will decide both the next chapter of capitalism and the meaning of information civilisation. Most critically, it shows how we can protect ourselves and our communities and ensure we are the masters of the digital rather than its slaves.
Technology/Economics | PBK | $24.99