Pandemic! by Slavoj Žižek “Passages of beauty… a high-wire juxtaposition of far-left political theory and pop culture, held together by the force of [Žižek’s] rumpled charm.” BuzzFeed Buy it here.
The COVID-19 Catastrophe by Richard Horton “A well-reasoned roar of rage at the failure of many western governments to follow the emerging scientific evidence about the pandemic potential of the novel coronavirus.” The Financial Times Buy it here.
Unusual and Interesting Reads
A History of Solitude by David Vincent From ‘lonely as a cloud’ to the ‘loneliness epidemic’, David Vincent explores how people have conducted themselves in the absence of company over the last three centuries. “[A] beautifully written, nuanced and now topical history.” The Spectator Buy it here.
Smells by Robert Muchembled A rich cultural history of smells that sheds new light on an under-appreciated sense. “Full of disgusting, delicious details. If you’ve ever wondered how living without modern technologies of sanitation might have shaped the surrounding culture, this book is for you.” Slate Buy it here.
The Joy of Missing Out by Svend Brinkmann For anyone who’s given up on their 2021 resolutions before they’ve made them, or who’s secretly glad that this New Year will be a government-mandated ‘quiet one in’, this is the book for you. Buy it here.
Philosophy Smackdown by Douglas Edwards The perfect gift for wrestling fans new to philosophy or for philosophers new to wrestling. “One of the best popular philosophy books I’ve ever read.” Mark D. White, author of Batman and Ethics Buy it here.
Chicken by Paul R. Josephson The irresistible rise and fall of the world’s favourite farm animal, an animal that, arguably, can lay claim to being man’s best friend long before the dog reared its snout or the cat came in from the cold. Buy it here.
Dogs by Mark Alizart A must-have for any dog lover. “Seminal . . . [Alizart] makes a compelling case on why dogs matter and articulates the important lessons they can impart to us.” The Bark Buy it here.
Politics and Modern History
What Is at Stake Now by Mikhail Gorbachev Mikhail Gorbachev warns us of the grave risks we now face and urges us all, political leaders and citizens alike, to take action to address them. “A book that should be read and pondered by every concerned citizen.” Jack F. Matlock, Jr., author of Reagan and Gorbachev: How the Cold War Ended Buy it here.
Bauman by Izabela Wagner “Izabela Wagner’s biography of Bauman is impressively erudite, exquisitely researched, and brings its subject vividly to life…an indispensable book.” Australian Book Review Buy it here.
Pearl Harbor by Takuma Melber Takuma Melber breathes new life into the dramatic events that unfolded before, during and after Pearl Harbor by putting the perspective of the Japanese attackers at the centre of his account. Buy it here.
The Disappearance of Butterflies by Josef H. Reichholf In the last fifty years, our butterfly populations have declined by more than eighty percent. The eminent entomologist and award-winning author Josef H. Reichholf brings a lifetime of scientific experience and expertise to bear on one of the great environmental catastrophes of our time. Buy it here.
Race After Technology by Ruha Benjamin “Ideal for anyone who is unafraid to look at the historical intersections of racial injustice, technology, and where these topics inform possible solutions for the future.” Library Journal Winner of Brooklyn Public Library’s Literary Prize for Nonfiction 2020 Buy it here.
This year we launched our Black Lives Series, which takes the lives of inspirational, important, and courageous black historical figures and outlines why their lives, actions, and ideas matter today. Take a look at the first two in the series:
Frances E. W. Harper by Utz McKnight “It’s rare to read a book that both recovers a brilliant political thinker who has long been neglected, and is filled with luminous insights about contemporary racial politics…This is one of the best books I’ve read in a long time.” Alex Zamalin, University of Detroit-Mercy Buy it here.
History and Travel
Do you miss traveling to new places and learning about their rich histories? Until you can get back out there, check out the Polity Histories series, smart and vibrant pocket histories exploring the major forces and developments that have shaped the contemporary politics of countries across the world.
Latest releases include: France by Emile Chabal France is the most-visited country in the world. It attracts millions of tourists, most of whom come in search of beautiful architecture, good food, and fine art. But appearances can be deceptive. Emile Chabal tells the story of a paradoxical country. Buy it here.
China by Kerry Brown China is poised to become the world’s largest economy in the next decade. But China’s long march to global primacy has been above all an epic fight to renew an ancient country and culture. Kerry Brown traces this quest for renewal through the major moments of China’s modern history. Buy it here.