Carabas Jul-Dec 15 Non-Fiction Picks: Culture, History, Music & Film

At Carabas we’re about many things: certainly the fantastical but more generally about championing alternative culture and counter-culture; the marvelous, the wonderful and the creative; and certainly the things that will help bring a bit more understanding into the world.

So here’s our top non-fiction book recommends from titles publishing July to December: Alt Culture & Music, Film & Stage, History & Folklore and Informing Reads / Current Affairs – the vibrant, the quirky, the worthy and the enlightening. There’s something here for everyone…

CB NF - Oct - Gilliamesque reduced
CB NF - Aug - Noam Chomsky
CB - Aug - The Secret History of Wonder Woman CB NF - Oct - Good Night and Good Riddance CB NF - Oct - Absolute Pandemonium reduced CB NF - Aug - But If a Zombie Apocalypse Did Occur CB NF - Jul - Postcapitalism

NB: Title description is from the publisher, in some case here abridged

 

Alternative Culture & Music

* Pub Author ISBN Bind RRP Publisher
CB NF - Jul - Entertain Us
ENTERTAIN US: THE RISE AND FALL OF ALTERNATIVE ROCK IN THE NINETIES
Jul
Craig Schuftan
9780733328848
PB
£14.99
Harper Collins
In 1990 alternative music was where it belonged underground. It left the business of rock stardom to rock stars. But by 1992 alternative rock had spawned a revolution in music and style that transformed youth culture and revived a moribund music industry. Five years later, alternative rock was over, leaving behind a handful of dead heroes, a few dozen masterpieces, and a lot more questions than answers.
What, if anything, had the alternative revolution meant? And had it been possible as so many of its heroes had insisted for it to be both on MTV and under the radar? Had it used the machinery of corporate rock to destroy corporate rock? This is the story of alternative rock the people who made it, the people who loved it, the industry that bought and sold it, and the culture that grew up in its wake in the last decade of the twentieth century.
Buy from Waterstones
CB NF - Aug - Life After Dark
LIFE AFTER DARK: A HISTORY OF BRITISH NIGHTCLUBS & MUSIC VENUES
Aug
Dave Haslam
9780857206985
HB
£20.00
Simon & Schuster
Nightclubs and music venues are often the source of a lifetime’s music taste, best friends and vivid memories. They can define a town, a city or a generation, and breed scenes and bands that change music history. In Life After Dark Dave Haslam reveals and celebrates a definitive history of significant venues and great nights out. Writing with passion and authority, he takes us from vice-ridden Victorian dance halls to acid house and beyond; through the jazz decades of luxurious ballrooms to mods in basement dives and the venues that nurtured the Beatles, the Stones, Northern Soul and the Sex Pistols; from psychedelic light shows to high street discos; from the Roxy to the Hacienda; from the Krays to the Slits; and from reggae sound systems to rave nights in Stoke.
In a journey to dozens of towns and cities, taking in hundreds of unforgettable stories on the way, Haslam explores the sleaziness, the changing fashions, the moral panics and the cultural and commercial history of nightlife. He interviews clubbers and venue owners, as well as DJs and musicians; he meets one of the gangsters who nearly destroyed Manchester’s nightlife and discusses Goth clubs in Leeds with David Peace.
Buy from Waterstones
CB - Aug - The Secret History of Wonder Woman
THE SECRET HISTORY OF WONDER WOMAN
Aug
Jill Lepore
9781925228113
PB
£9.99
Scribe
Like every other superhero, Wonder Woman has a secret identity. Unlike every other superhero, she also has a secret history.
Drawing from an astonishing trove of documents, including never-before-seen private papers, Harvard historian and New Yorker staff writer Jill Lepore reveals the fascinating family story that sparked the invention of the most popular female superhero of all time. Delving into the life of Wonder Woman’s eccentric creator, psychologist William Moulton Marston, Lepore uncovers her feminist origins: from the warrior princesses of the Amazon, to suffragists including Emmeline Pankhurst, and the women Marston shared his life with – his wife and his mistress.
The Secret History of Wonder Woman is at once a riveting work of pop-culture history, and a crucial insight into the struggle for women’s rights in the twentieth century and the troubled place of feminism today.
Buy from Waterstones
CB NF - Nov - 1966
1966: THE YEAR THE DECADE EXPLODED
Nov
Jon Savage
9780571277629
HB
£20
Faber
The pop world accelerated and broke through the sound barrier in 1966. In America, in London, in Amsterdam, in Paris, revolutionary ideas slow-cooking since the late ’50s reached boiling point. In the worlds of pop, pop art, fashion and radical politics — often fueled by perception-enhancing substances and literature — the ‘Sixties’, as we have come to know them, hit their Modernist peak. A unique chemistry of ideas, substances, freedom of expression and dialogue across pop cultural continents created a landscape of immense and eventually shattering creativity. After 1966 nothing in the pop world would ever be the same. The 7 inch single outsold the long-player for the final time. It was the year in which the ever lasting and transient pop moment would burst forth in its most articulate, instinctive and radical way.
Jon Savage’s 1966 is a monument to the year that shaped the pop future of the balance of the century. Exploring canonical artists like The Beatles, The Byrds, Velvet Underground, The Who and The Kinks, 1966 also goes much deeper into the social and cultural heart of the decade through unique archival primary sources.
Buy from Waterstones
CB NF - Sep - Three's a Crowd larger
THREE’S A CROWD: BOOK SLAM ANNUAL VOL III
Sep
Book Slam Productions
9781908615602
HB
£14.99
Book Slam
Three’s A Crowd is the third volume from Book Slam, London’s legendary night of words and music that has reinvigorated the capital’s literary scene like none since Boz.
The latest edition muses on the contemporary author’s life as triangulated through the points of their work and their audience (or any other assemblage thereof – three’s a crowd, see?).
Featuring revealing interviews with some of Book Slam’s favourite alumni including Irvine Welsh, Ben Okri, Caitlin Moran, William Boyd, David Nicholls and many more, it also includes six original essays from some of the finest young writers currently writing in the writersphere – Kamila Shamsie, Nikita Lalwani, Alex Preston, Mark Watson, Matt Haig and Jessie Burton.
Lovingly crafted, beautifully bound and eminently collectable, Three’s A Crowd is essential reading for all would-be, could-be, should-be novelists and the rest of us too.
Featuring exclusive interviews with William Boyd, Ben Okri, Mohsin Hamid & Riz Ahmed, Jon Ronson, Caitlin Moran, Hari Kunzru, Sapphire, Mark Watson, Marina Lewycka, Gary Shteyngart, Will Self, Simon Armitage, Jeremy Dyson, Jonathan Lethem, DBC Pierre, Chuck Palahniuk, Sheila Heti, David Nicholls, Irvine Welsh, Amy Tan and Ben Watt and new essays by Kamila Shamsie, Alex Preston, Nikita Lalwani, Jessie Burton, Mark Watson and Matt Haig
Buy from Waterstones

 

* Pub Author ISBN Bind RRP Publisher
CB NF - Jul - Dave Grohl
DAVE GROHL: TIMES LIKE HIS: FOO FIGHTERS, NIRVANA AND OTHER MISADVENTURES
Jul
Martin James
9781784187552
PB
£7.99
Music Press
Foo Fighters emerged from the morass of suicide and potent musical legacy that was Nirvana to establish themselves against all odds as one of the most popular rock bands in the world.
Deflecting early critical disdain, Dave Grohl has single-handedly reinvented himself and cemented his place in the rock pantheon. This is his story, from his pre-Nirvana days in hardcore band Scream to his current status as a festival conquering, Grammy winning, platinum-selling grunge legend.
Across the entire body of Foo Fighters albums, the whole legendary Nirvana tale, the pre-history in the nascent Seattle scene and Grohl’s flirtations with Queens of the Stone Age and his supergroup side-project Them Crooked Vultures, this is an utterly comprehensive, insightful chronicle of Dave Grohl’s remarkable life.
Drawing on new interviews with key figures in the Grohl story, this definitive biography of one of modern rock’s most influential figures includes the stories of the multi-platinum opus Echoes, Silence, Patience and Grace, 2011’s Wasting Light, which saw Grohl reunited with Nirvana producer Butch Vig and Sonic Highways, their ambitious homage to coast-to-coast US classic rock.”
Buy from Waterstones
CB NF - Oct - Good Night and Good Riddance
GOOD NIGHT AND GOOD RIDDANCE: HOW THIRTY-FIVE YEARS OF JOHN PEEL HELPED TO SHAPE MODERN LIFE
Oct
David Cavanagh
9780571302475
HB
£20
Faber
Goodnight and Good Riddance: How Thirty-Five Years of John Peel Helped to Shape Modern Britain is a social history, a diary of a nation’s changing culture, and an in-depth appraisal of one of our greatest broadcasters, a man who can legitimately be called the most influential figure in post-war British popular music.
Without the support of John Peel, it’s unlikely that innumerable artists – from David Bowie to Dizzee Rascal, Jethro Tull to Joy Division – would have received national radio exposure. But Peel’s influence goes much deeper than this. Whether he was championing punk, reggae, jungle or grime, he had a unique relationship with his audience that was part taste-maker, part trusted friend.
The book focuses on some 300 shows between 1967 and 2004, giving a thorough overview of Peel’s broadcasting career and placing it in its cultural and social contexts. Peel comes alive for the reader, as do the key developments that kept him at the cutting edge – the changes in his tastes; the changes in his thinking. Just like a Peel show, Goodnight and Good Riddance is warm, informative and insightful, and wears its enthusiasm proudly.
Buy from Waterstones
CB NF - Oct - M Train
M TRAIN
Oct
Patti Smith
9781408867686
HB
£18.99
Bloomsbury
M Train begins in the tiny Greenwich Village café where Smith goes every morning for black coffee, ruminates on the world as it is and the world as it was, and writes in her notebook. Through prose that shifts fluidly between dreams and reality, past and present, and across a landscape of creative aspirations and inspirations, we travel to Frida Kahlo’s Casa Azul in Mexico; to a meeting of an Arctic explorer’s society in Berlin; to a ramshackle seaside bungalow in New York’s Far Rockaway that Smith acquires just before Hurricane Sandy hits; and to the graves of Genet, Plath, Rimbaud and Mishima.
Woven throughout are reflections on the writer’s craft and on artistic creation. Here, too, are singular memories of Smith’s life in Michigan and the irremediable loss of her husband, Fred Sonic Smith. Braiding despair with hope and consolation, illustrated with her signature Polaroids, M Train is a meditation on travel, detective shows, literature and coffee. It is a powerful, deeply moving book by one of the most remarkable artists at work today.”
Buy from Waterstones
CB NF - Oct - The Who
THE WHO: THE OFFICIAL HISTORY
Oct
Ben Marshall, Pete Townshend, Roger Daltrey
9780753556481
HB
£40
Virgin Books
Featuring personal, never-before-published photographs, fan memorabilia and anecdotes, captions from Pete, newly discovered gems from The Who archive, an introduction by legendary Who manager Bill Curbishley and further contributions from friends, colleagues and family, this landmark illustrated book celebrates 50 years of anthemic, era-defining music and an extraordinary career.
Buy from Waterstones

 

Film & Stage

* Pub Author ISBN Bind RRP Publisher
CB NF - Oct - Gilliamesque reduced
GILLIAMESQUE: A PRE-POSTHUMOUS MEMOIR
Oct
Terry Gilliam
9781782111061
HB
£30
Canongate
From his no-frills childhood in the icy wastes of Minnesota, to some of the hottest water Hollywood had to offer, via the cutting edge of ’60s and ’70s counter-culture in New York, LA and London, Terry Gilliam’s life has been as vivid and unorthodox as one of his films.
Telling his story for the first time, the director of Time Bandits, Brazil, The Adventures of Baron Munchausen, The Fisher King, 12 Monkeys and Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas – not to mention co-founder of Monty Python’s Flying Circus – recalls his life so far. Packed with never-before-seen artwork, photographs and commentary, Gilliamesque blends the visual and the verbal with scabrous wit and fascinating insights.
Gilliam’s ‘pre-posthumous memoir’ also features a cast of amazing supporting characters – George Harrison, Robin Williams, Jeff Bridges, Robert De Niro, Brad Pitt, Uma Thurman, Johnny Depp, Heath Ledger and all of the fellow Pythons – as well as cameo appearances from some of the heaviest cultural hitters of modern times, from Woody Allen to Frank Zappa, Gloria Steinem to Robert Crumb, Richard Nixon to Hunter S. Thompson. Gilliam’s encounters with the great and the not-so-good are revealing, funny and hugely entertaining.
This book is an unrestrained look into a unique creative mind and an incomparable portrait of late twentieth-century popular culture.
Buy from Waterstones
CB NF - Oct - Absolute Pandemonium reduced
ABSOLUTE PANDEMONIUM
Oct
Brian Blessed
9780283072314
HB
£20
Sidgwick & Jackson
There is no one quite like Brian Blessed. He’s an actor, film star, trained undertaker, unlikely diplomat, secret romantic, martial artist and mountaineer. He’s also a brilliant storyteller who will – and you must brace yourself – simply leap out of the pages at you.
Ready? Then open Absolute Pandemonium and you’ll be taken on a riotous journey from his childhood, growing up the son of a miner in Goldthorpe, to finding fame in Z-Cars. You’ll see Brian falling for Katharine Hepburn on the set of The Trojan Women, suffering wires strapped round his wotsits as he was hoisted into the heavens on Flash Gordon, almost causing an international incident when meeting the Emperor and Empress of Japan, and winning round George Lucas to get the role of Boss Nass on Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace.
Along the way he takes secret revenge on headmistress Mrs Jarman and her very big bottom, punches Harold Pinter, loves and hates Peter O’Toole, woos his beautiful wife Hildegard Neil and braves the shocking death toll on cosy TV drama My Family and Other Animals. Crammed with anecdotes from his illustrious career, this is a funny, warm-hearted, life-affirming, LOUD and unique memoir from a much-loved figure.
Buy from Waterstones
CB NF - Nov - Sinister Urge
SINISTER URGE: THE LIFE AND TIMES OF ROB ZOMBIE
Nov
Joel McIver
9781617136160
HB
£16.99
Backbeat Books
Sinister Urge is the first in-depth, career-spanning biography of heavy-metal musician and filmmaker Rob Zombie. Born Robert Cummings in 1965, Zombie is now as well known for his movies as he is for his music, which he has released and performed both as a solo artist and as part of his early band White Zombie. In both fields, he imbues his art with the vivid sense of macabre theater that has thrilled his millions of disciples since he and his band first emerged with Soul-Crusherin 1987.
Although he has sold millions of albums and generated many more millions of dollars at the box office, Zombie has never taken the easy option or the predictable route. Indeed, while the music industry-and many of his peers-have fallen to their knees in the last decade or so, Zombie has found a new edge, his work undiluted by success or middle age.
Drawing on original research and new interviews with bandmates and associates, Sinister Urge takes a detailed look at Zombie’s challenging oeuvre, offering close analysis of his albums and films alongside tales of his life and work on and offstage.
Buy from Waterstones
Academic Film: We’re of course here to champion the more popular / trade titles but we just could resist including these in case they happen to be your kind of thing… 🙂
* Pub Author ISBN Bind RRP Publisher
CB NF - Aug - Apocalypse-Cinema
APOCALYPSE-CINEMA: 2012 AND OTHER ENDS OF THE WORLD
Aug
Peter Szendy, Will Bishop
9780823264810
PB
£22.99
Fordham University Press
Apocalypse-cinema is not only the end of time that has so often been staged as spectacle in films like 2012, The Day After Tomorrow, and The Terminator. By looking at blockbusters that play with general annihilation while also paying close attention to films like Melancholia, Cloverfield, Blade Runner, and Twelve Monkeys, this book suggests that in the apocalyptic genre, film gnaws at its own limit.
Apocalypse-cinema is, at the same time and with the same double blow, the end of the world and the end of the film. It is the consummation and the (self-)consumption of cinema, in the form of an acinema that Lyotard evoked as the nihilistic horizon of filmic economy. The innumerable countdowns, dazzling radiations, freeze-overs, and seismic cracks and crevices are but other names and pretexts for staging film itself, with its economy of time and its rewinds, its overexposed images and fades to white, its freeze-frames and digital touch-ups. The apocalyptic genre is not just one genre among others: It plays with the very conditions of possibility of cinema. And it bears witness to the fact that, every time, in each and every film, what Jean-Luc Nancy called the cine-world is exposed on the verge of disappearing.
In a Postface specially written for the English edition, Szendy extends his argument into a debate with speculative materialism. Apocalypse-cinema, he argues, announces itself as cinders that question the “ultratestimonial” structure of the filmic gaze. The cine-eye, he argues, eludes the correlationism and anthropomorphic structure that speculative materialists have placed under critique, allowing only the ashes it bears to be heard.
Buy from Waterstones
CB NF - Aug - But If a Zombie Apocalypse Did Occur
BUT IF A ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE DID OCCUR: ESSAYS ON MEDICAL, MILITARY, GOVERNMENTAL, ETHICAL, ECONOMIC AND OTHER IMPLICATIONS (CONTRIBUTIONS TO ZOMBIE STUDIES)
Aug
Amy L. Thompson, Antonio S. Thompson (Editors)
9780786475506
PB
£27.50
McFarland & Co
The roots of the zombie apocalypse are grounded in modern literature, movies, and mythology and in this book we apply an academic treatment and professional rigor to examine the real-world implications of such an event. Each essay presents a unique perspective that relies on real world, historical, and evidence based examples, as well as those from Hollywood and popular culture. This allows a discussion of the probability of life, behavior, and reaction during an undead invasion. All essays use the zombie apocalypse as a metaphor for real world catastrophes, including a balance of both popular culture and academic references.
Buy from Waterstones
CB NF - Nov - Chinese Martial Arts Cinema
CHINESE MARTIAL ARTS CINEMA: THE WUXIA TRADITION (TRADITIONS IN WORLD CINEMA)
Nov
Stephen Teo
9781474400084
PB
£24.99
Edinburgh University Press
This updated edition is a comprehensive, fully-researched account of the historical and contemporary development of the traditional martial arts genre in the Chinese cinema known as wuxia (literal translation: martial chivalry) – a genre which audiences around the world became familiar with through the phenomenal ‘crossover’ hit Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000). The book unveils rich layers of the wuxia tradition as it developed in early Shanghai cinema in the late 1920s, and from the 1950s onwards, in the Hong Kong and Taiwan film industries.
Buy from Waterstones

 

History & Folklore: General, London, Victoriana…

* Pub Author ISBN Bind RRP Publisher
CB NF - Sep - Subterranean London reduced
SUBTERRANEAN LONDON: CRACKING THE CAPITAL – EXPANDED EDITION
Sep
Bradley L Garrett
9783791381886
PB
£16.99
Prestel
Now available in a new expanded edition, this collection of extraordinary images from beneath London s streets will fascinate anyone interested in what lies under the surface of one of the world s greatest cities.
Peel back the layers under a London street and you ll discover a haunting, dreamlike world of hand-laid brick sewers, forgotten tube stations, World War II evacuation shelters, secret government bunkers, and tunnel boring machines laying new sewer, communication and transport grids. Bradley L. Garrett has worked with explorers of subterranean London to collect an astonishing array of images documenting forbidden infiltrations into the secret bowels of the city. This book takes readers through progressively deeper levels of London s historical and contemporary architecture below the streets. Beautifully designed to allow for detailed viewing and featuring bespoke illustrations by artist Stephen Walter, Subterranean London reveals the locations few dare to go, and even fewer succeed in accessing.
Buy from Waterstones
CB NF - Oct - Lost Britain
LOST BRITAIN: AN A-Z OF FORGOTTEN LANDMARKS AND LOST TRADITIONS
Oct
David Long
9781782434399
PB
£9.99
Michael O’Mara
From lost villages and Victorian theatres, to Tudor alleyways and medieval churches, Lost Britain takes you on a journey through some of the extraordinary features of Britain’s history which have been forgotten over the centuries.
The book shines a light on the hidden corners of Britain’s history, exploring medieval ghost villages, former architectural masterpieces, the purported resting place of Anne Boleyn’s heart, England’s Atlantis, God’s Gift, a German war cemetery, the hamlet of Lost in Aberdeenshire, the old Welsh railway run on seven different forms of power and a missing fort in County Down, not to mention how Britain used to be connected to mainland Europe. Exploring the history of the lost parts of Britain, author David Long both mourns their loss and celebrates the achievements of the engineers and architects of past generations, revealing some extraordinary features of this nation’s history that should not be forgotten.
Buy from Waterstones
CB - Oct - The Victorian Treasury
THE VICTORIAN TREASURY
Oct
Lucinda Dickens Hawksley
9780233004778
HB
£9.99
Andre Deustch
The Victorian age was an era that witnessed enormous changes around Britain and affected vast swathes of the globe. It was a time of great invention, social upheaval, medical breakthroughs, religious fervour, brutal legislation, terrifying crimes and excessive hypocrisy. With intriguing facts and stories, The Victorian Treasury looks at the minutiae of everyday life, as well as the major events that changed the world. It uncovers what it was like to live during the time of Queen Victoria’s long reign from 1837 to 1901 and reveals: Urban legends such as Spring Heeled Jack, the notorious crimes of Jack the Ripper and Constance Kent, the building of the London Underground, how a Victorian maid spend her leisure time, and, the experience of travelling on a steam train for the first time.
Buy from Waterstones
CB NF - Oct - More London's Strangest Tales
MORE LONDON’S STRANGEST TALES
Oct
Tom Quinn
9781849549189
PB
£12.99
Robson Press
Why did Winston Churchill ask to be lowered in a bucket to smoke a cigar in the sewers of London? How did the sale of human teeth become such a booming industry? Why is the name George so important to a certain London members’ club?
As with many old cities, a wealth of bizarre and astonishing tales make up the history of London: subjects ranging from its churches and streets to the incredible behaviour of monarchs and mavericks.
In this follow-up to his bestselling London’s Strangest Tales, Tom Quinn delves even deeper into the city’s endlessly beguiling past, and once more uncovers the quirkiest tales that characterise one of the world s greatest capitals.
From the king who enjoyed cross-dressing to the schoolboys who play football with a real pancake, the prestigious department store that once sold cocaine over the counter and the reason Napoleon’s nose is built into the structure of Admiralty Arch, More London’s Strangest Tales is an incredible collection of all things mindboggling and, quite simply, mad about our fair city.
Buy from Waterstones
CB - NF - Winter is Coming reduced
WINTER IS COMING
Dec
Carolyne Larrington
9781784532567
PB
£12.99
I.B. Tauris
Game of Thrones is a phenomenon. As Carolyne Larrington reveals – in this essential companion to George R R Martin’s fantasy novels and the HBO mega-hit series based on them – the show is the epitome of water-cooler TV. It is the subject of intense debate in national newspapers; by PhD students asking why Westeros has yet to see an industrial revolution, or whether astronomy explains the continent’s climatic problems and unpredictable solstices (‘winter is coming’); and by bloggers and cultural commentators contesting the series’ startling portrayals of power, sex and gender.
Yet no book has divulged how George R R Martin constructed his remarkable universe out of the Middle Ages. Discussing novels and TV series alike, Larrington explores – among other topics – sigils, giants, dragons and direwolves in medieval texts; ravens, old gods and the Weirwood in Norse myth; and a gothic, exotic orient in the eastern continent, Essos. From the White Walkers to the Red Woman, from Casterley Rock to the Shivering Sea, this is an indispensable guide to the twenty-first century’s most important fantasy creation.
Buy from Waterstones

 

* Pub Author ISBN Bind RRP Publisher
CB NF - Aug - Trolls
TROLLS: AN UNNATURAL HISTORY
Aug
John Lindow
9781780235653
PB
£10.00
Reaktion Books
Trolls are everywhere. They lurk on the internet; they fill the pages of popular fantasy literature; they are hunted in Norwegian film. They are the homeless in California; they are comforting or threatening characters in children’s books; they are amusing dolls.
Although trolls are ubiquitous today, for centuries they were confined to the landscape of Scandinavia. They were beings in nature, and their environment was a pre-industrial world in which people lived by farming and fishing on a small scale. This book is a history of trolls from their first appearances in folk tales – some people reported actual encounters with trolls, and others found such encounters plausible even if they were not sure – and follows a natural transition from folklore to trolls in other domains of popular culture. Indeed, trolls would not be interesting had they not made this jump, first to illustrations in the Nordic book market, then on to Scandinavian literature and drama, and far beyond.
Since then they have never gone away, and in their various guises they continue to appeal to the imagination around the world. From the Vikings to the Moomins, the Brothers Grimm and the Three Billy Goats Gruff, this book explores the panoply of trolls and their history and their continuing presence today.
Buy from Waterstones
CB NF - Aug - Zombies A Cultural History
ZOMBIES: A CULTURAL HISTORY
Aug
Roger Luckhurst
9781780235288
HB
£16.00
Reaktion Books
The zombie has shuffled with dead-eyed, remorseless menace from its beginnings in obscure folklore and primitive superstition to become the dominant image of the undead today. In contemporary visions of global apocalypse, such as the films 28 Days Later, I Am Legend and World War Z and the phenomenally successful TV series The Walking Dead, the zombie has reached its apotheosis. Zombies have infected the cinema of nearly every nation, from France to Australia, Argentina and Brazil to China and Japan.
This absorbing history tracks zombies from their emergence in nineteenth-century writings about the Caribbean, through their slow transmission and mutation into the popular pulp fictions of America in the 1920s and ’30s, to the arrival of the cinematic zombie, and reveals how after 1945 the walking dead swarmed into comics, pulp novels, B-movie cinema, horror fiction and video games.
Roger Luckhurst sifts materials from anthropology, folklore, travel writing, colonial histories, long-forgotten pulp literature, B-movies, medical history and cultural theory to give a definitive short introduction to the zombie, exploring the manifold meanings of this compelling, slow-moving yet relentless monster.
Buy from Waterstones
CB NF - Aug - The Land of the Green Man
THE LAND OF THE GREEN MAN: A JOURNEY THROUGH THE SUPERNATURAL LANDSCAPES OF THE BRITISH ISLES
Aug
Carolyne Larrington
9781780769912
HB
£20.00
IB Tauris
Beyond its housing estates and identikit high streets there is another Britain. This is the Britain of mist-drenched forests and unpredictable sea-frets: of wraith-like fog banks, druidic mistletoe and peculiar creatures that lurk, half-unseen, in the undergrowth, tantalising and teasing just at the periphery of human vision.
How have the remarkably persistent folkloric traditions of the British Isles formed and been formed by the identities and psyches of those who inhabit them? In her sparkling new history, Carolyne Larrington explores the diverse ways in which a myriad of imaginary and fantastical beings has moulded the cultural history of the nation. Fairies, elves and goblins here tread purposefully, sometimes malignly, over an eerie, preternatural landscape that also conceals brownies, selkies, trows, knockers, boggarts, land-wights, Jack o’Lanterns, Bargests, the sinister Nuckalavee, or water-horse, and even Black Shuck: terrifying hell-hound of the Norfolk coast with eyes of burning coal.
Focusing on liminal points where the boundaries between this world and that of the supernatural grow thin – those marginal tide-banks, saltmarshes, floodplains, moors and rock-pools wherein mystery lies – the author shows how mythologies of mermen, Green Men and Wild Men have helped and continue to help human beings deal with such ubiquitous concerns as love and lust, loss and death and continuity and change.
Evoking the Wild Hunt, the ghostly bells of Lyonesse and the dread fenlands haunted by Grendel, and ranging the while from Shetland to Jersey and from Ireland to East Anglia, this is a book that will captivate all those who long for the wild places: the mountains and chasms where Gog, Magog and their fellow giants lie in wait.
Buy from Waterstones

 

Informing Reads / Current Affairs

* Pub Author ISBN Bind RRP Publisher
CB NF - Jul - Finding Home
FINDING HOME
Jul
Emily Dugan
9781848318649
PB
£12.99
Icon
Award-winning reporter Emily Dugan’s Finding Home follows the tumultuous lives of a group of immigrants, all facing intense challenges in their quest to live in the UK.
Syrian refugee Emad set up the Free Syrian League and worked illegally in the UK to pay for his mother to be smuggled across the Mediterranean on a perilous trip from Turkey. Even if she survives the journey, Emad knows it will be an uphill struggle to get her into Britain.
Australian therapist Harley risks deportation despite serving the NHS for ten years and being told by the Home Office she could stay.
Teaching assistant Klaudia is one of thousands of Polish people now living in Boston, Lincolnshire – a microcosm of poorly managed migration.
Aderonke, a leading Manchester LGBT activist, lives in a tiny B&B room in Salford with her girlfriend, Happiness, and faces deportation and persecution.
Dugan’s timely and acutely observed book reveals the intense personal dramas of ordinary men and women as they struggle to find somewhere to call home. It shows that migration is not about numbers, votes or opinions: it is about people.
Buy from Waterstones
CB NF - Jul - Empire of Fear
EMPIRE OF FEAR
Jul
Andrew Hosken
9781780748061
PB
£12.99
Oneworld
In June 2014 Islamic State launched an astonishing blitzkrieg which saw them seize control of an area in the Middle East the size of Britain. The news was soon filled with their relentless acts of savagery, yet nobody seemed to know who they were or where they’d come from.
Now BBC reporter Andrew Hosken delivers the inside story on Islamic State. Through extensive first-hand reporting, Hosken builds a comprehensive picture of IS, their brutal ideology and exterminationist methods. Equally compelling and horrifying, Empire of Fear reveals how Islamic State came to be, explores how they might be defeated and asks a frightening question – if they were brought down, could we stop another group emerging to replace them?
Buy from Waterstones
CB NF - Jul - Postcapitalism
POSTCAPITALISM: A GUIDE TO OUR FUTURE
Jul
Paul Mason
9781846147388
HB
£16.99
Allen Lane
From Paul Mason, the award-winning Channel 4 presenter, Postcapitalism is a guide to our era of seismic economic change, and how we can build a more equal society.
Over the past two centuries or so, capitalism has undergone continual change – economic cycles that lurch from boom to bust – and has always emerged transformed and strengthened. Surveying this turbulent history, Paul Mason wonders whether today we are on the brink of a change so big, so profound, that this time capitalism itself, the immensely complex system by which entire societies function, has reached its limits and is changing into something wholly new.
At the heart of this change is information technology: a revolution that, as Mason shows, has the potential to reshape utterly our familiar notions of work, production and value; and to destroy an economy based on markets and private ownership – in fact, he contends, it is already doing so. Almost unnoticed, in the niches and hollows of the market system, whole swathes of economic life are changing.. Goods and services that no longer respond to the dictates of neoliberalism are appearing, from parallel currencies and time banks, to cooperatives and self-managed online spaces. Vast numbers of people are changing their behaviour, discovering new forms of ownership, lending and doing business that are distinct from, and contrary to, the current system of state-backed corporate capitalism.
In this groundbreaking book Mason shows how, from the ashes of the recent financial crisis, we have the chance to create a more socially just and sustainable global economy. Moving beyond capitalism, he shows, is no longer a utopian dream. This is the first time in human history in which, equipped with an understanding of what is happening around us, we can predict and shape, rather than simply react to, seismic change.
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CB NF - Aug - Discontent and its Civilisations
DISCONTENT AND ITS CIVILIZATIONS: DISPATCHES FROM LAHORE, NEW YORK AND LONDON
Aug
Moshin Hamid
9780241146323
PB
£9.99
Hamish Hamilton
Discontent and its Civilizations collects the best of Mohsin Hamid’s writing on subjects as diverse and wide-ranging as Pakistan; fatherhood; the death of Osama Bin Laden and the writing of The Reluctant Fundamentalist.
Unified by the author’s humane, clear-headed and witty voice, the book makes a compelling case for recognizing our common humanity while relishing our diversity – both as readers and citizens; for resisting the artificial mono-identities of religion or nationality or race; and for always judging a country or nation by how it treats its minorities, as ‘Each individual human being is, after all, a minority of one’
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CB NF - Aug - Noam Chomsky
BECAUSE WE SAY SO
Aug
Noam Chomsky
9780241188354
HB
£12.99
Hamish Hamilton
Because We Say So is Noam Chomsky’s essential counter punch to American hegemony.
In 1962, the eminent statesman Dean Acheson enunciated a principle that has dominated global politics ever since: that no legal issue arises when the United States responds to a challenge to its ‘power, position, and prestige’. In short, whatever the world may think, U.S. actions are legitimate because they say so.
Spanning the impact of Edward Snowden’s whistleblowing and Palestinian-Israeli relations to deeper reflections on political philosophy and the importance of a commons to democracy, Because We Say So takes American imperialism head on.
‘Noam Chomsky is one of a small band of individuals fighting a whole industry. And that makes him not only brilliant, but heroic’ Arundhati Roy
‘The world’s greatest public intellectual’ Observer”
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CB NF - Aug - Gods of Metal
GODS OF METAL
Aug
Eric Schlosser
9780141982267
PB
£1.99
Penguin
* Pocket-sized short read reportage from the author of Fast Food Nation
Sitting not far below my feet, there was a thermonuclear warhead about twenty times more powerful than the bomb that destroyed Hiroshima, all set and ready to go. The only sound was the sound of the wind.’
Seventy years after the bombing of Hiroshima, Eric Schlosser’s powerful, chilling piece of journalism exposes today’s deadly nuclear age. Originally published in the New Yorker and now expanded, this terrifying true account of the 2012 break-in at a high-security weapons complex in Tennessee is a masterly work of reportage.
‘Schlosser’s reportage is as good as it gets’ GQ
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***New Internationalist are relaunching four titles in their NoNonsense series with new cover designs, layout and logo.
CB NF - Sep - NoNonsense Globalization
NONONSENSE GLOBALIZATION: BUYING AND SELLING THE WORLD
Sep
Wayne Ellwood
9781780262376
PB
£7.99
New Internationalist
Globalization has shrunk the world in the name of free trade and broken down many of the boundaries between peoples. But it has also been a powerful driver of inequality, over-consumption and corporate control. This fully updated edition unpacks the complexities of globalization, examines the forces in whose interests it works, and provides the critical analysis for re-appraising the system.
Completely revised and updated, previous editions of the No-Nonsense Guide to Globalization have, for a number of years, consistently ranked in the most accessible and useful titles in their subject category. Combines thorough research with excellent writing and critical analysis to provide an incisive, compelling introduction for students and general readers alike.
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CB NF - Sep - NoNonsense International Development
NONONSENSE INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT: ILLUSIONS AND REALITIES
Sep
Maggie Black
9781780262390
PB
£7.99
New Internationalist
‘Development’ is often misunderstood and can embrace everything from building a large dam to planting trees. The idea can often mask confusion, contradiction, deceit and corruption. This book is essential reading for anyone wanting to know what development actually is. It covers all the key themes and critically suggests ways to bring the poor and marginalised into the process.
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CB NF - Sep - NoNonsense The Money Crisis
NONONSENSE THE MONEY CRISIS: HOW BANKERS GRABBED OUR MONEY – AND HOW WE CAN GET IT BACK
Sep
Peter Stalker
9781780262413
PB
£7.99
New Internationalist
Bankers and speculators build castles in the air but when they come crashing down ordinary people have to pick up the tab. How we’ve made such a mess of our money system is explained, from the earliest banks right through to ‘collateralized debt obligations’. Suggests the framework for a fairer financial world: the practical ideas, steps and real-life examples.
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CB NF - Sep - NoNonsense Renewable Energy
NONONSENSE RENEWABLE ENERGY
Sep
Danny Chivers
9781780262437
PB
£7.99
New Internationalist
Few people doubt the threat of climate change and the urgent need to conquer fossil fuel addiction. But can renewable sources of energy ever be sufficient to provide modern societies with a decent quality of life? This book is clear they can, covering all the latest technologies and a roadmap to powering the world, not just sustainably, but democratically.
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CB NF - Oct - Shami Chakrabar
ON LIBERTY
Oct
Shami Chakrabarti
9780141976310
PB
£7.99
Penguin
On Liberty is the story of today’s threats to our freedoms and a highly personal, impassioned plea in defence of fundamental rights, from Shami Chakrabarti, the director of the advocacy group Liberty
On 11 September 2001, our world changed. The West’s response to 9/11 has morphed into a period of exception. Governments have decided that the rule of law and human rights are often too costly. In On Liberty, Shami Chakrabarti – who joined Liberty, the UK’s leading civil rights organisation, on 10 September 2001 – explores why our fundamental rights and freedoms are indispensable. She shows, too, the unprecedented pressures those rights are under today. Drawing on her own work in high-profile campaigns, from privacy laws to anti-terror legislation, Chakrabarti shows the threats to our democratic institutions and why our rights are paramount in upholding democracy.
‘Probably the most effective public affairs lobbyist of the past 20 years’ – David Aaronovitch, The Times
‘The undaunted freedom fighter’ – Observer
‘The most dangerous woman in Britain’ – Sun
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CB NF - Nov - Soda Politics
SODA POLITICS: TAKING ON BIG SODA AND WINNING
Nov
Dr. Marion Nestle (Author) with Mark Bittman & Dr. Neal Baer (Contributors)
9780190263430
HB
£19.99
OUP USA
Sodas are astonishing products. Little more than flavored sugar-water, these drinks cost practically nothing to produce or buy, yet have turned their makers – principally Coca-Cola and PepsiCo – into multibillion dollar industries with global recognition, distribution, and political power. So how did something so cheap come to mean so much and to have such devastating health and food policy consequences?
Soda Politics is a story of the American food system at work, written by the incomparable NYU scholar and public health champion Marion Nestle. It is the first book to focus on the history, politics, nutrition, and health impact of soda, asking how we created this system, what its problems are, and what we can do to change things. Coke and Pepsi spend billions of dollars a year on advertising and lobbying to prevent any measures to limit soda, a product billed as “refreshing,” “tasty,” “crisp,” and “the real thing” that also happens to be a major cause of health problems, from obesity to Type II diabetes. They target minorities, poor people, and children, and are involved in land and water grabs in underdeveloped countries, where they also have redoubled their efforts at building their market share.
In fact, the marketing practices of soda companies are eerily similar to that of cigarette companies – both try to sell as much as possible, regardless of the health consequences, in any way that they can. And the public is starting to scrutinize sugary sodas in the same way that they do cigarettes. Soda consumption is falling, and Americans are only partially replacing soda with other sugary drinks. This did not happen accidentally: the fall in soda sales is a result of successful food advocacy. Soda Politics provides the overwhelming evidence to keep up pressure on all those involved in the production, marketing, sales, and subsidization of soda.
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CB NF - Nov - The Shifts and the Shocks
THE SHIFTS AND THE SHOCKS: WHAT WE’VE LEARNED – AND HAVE STILL TO LEARN – FROM THE FINANCIAL CRISIS
Nov
Martin Wolf
9780718197964
PB
£12.99
Allen Lane
There have been many books that have sought to explain the causes and courses of the financial and economic crisis which began in 2007-8. The Shifts and the Shocks is not another detailed history of the crisis, but the most persuasive and complete account yet published of what the crisis should teach us about modern economies and economics.
The book identifies the origin of the crisis in the complex interaction between globalization, hugely destabilizing global imbalances and our dangerously fragile financial system. In the eurozone, these sources of instability were multiplied by the tragically defective architecture of the monetary union. It also shows how much of the orthodoxy that shaped monetary and financial policy before the crisis occurred was complacent and wrong. In doing so, it mercilessly reveals the failures of the financial, political and intellectual elites who ran the system.
The book also examines what has been done to reform the financial and monetary systems since the worst of the crisis passed. ‘Are we now on a sustainable course?’ Wolf asks. ‘The answer is no.’ The Shifts and the Shocks matches impressive analysis with no-holds-barred criticism and persuasive prescription for a more stable future. It is a book no-one with an interest in global affairs will want to neglect.
“Martin Wolf is unsurpassed in the world of economic journalists. His superb book may be the best of all those spawned by the Great Recession. It is analytical and rigorous without ever succumbing to fatalism or complacency” Lawrence Summers
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CB NF - Nov - Masters of Mankind
MASTERS OF MANKIND: ESSAYS AND LECTURES, 1969-2013
Nov
Noam Chomsky
9780241972786
PB
£8.99
Penguin
In this collection of essays from 1969-2013, many in book form for the first time, Noam Chomsky exposes the real nature of state power. With unrelenting logic, he holds the arguments of empire up to critical examination and shatters the myths of those who protect the power and privilege of the few against the interests and needs to the many.
Covering subjects like ‘Human Intelligence and the Environment’, ‘Terror, Justice and Self-Defence’ and ‘The Welfare-Warfare state’, this is an indispensable compilation of searing insights into the state of our modern world.
‘Arguably the most important intellectual alive’ New York Times on Noam Chomsky
‘Noam Chomsky is a global phenomenon . . . he may be the most widely read American voice on the planet today’ NYT Book Review
‘Will there ever again be a public intellectual who commands the attention of so many across the planet?’ New Statesman
‘The west’s most prominent critic of US imperialism . . . the closest thing in the English-speaking world to an intellectual superstar’ Guardian”
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CB NF - Nov - Trouble in Paradise
TROUBLE IN PARADISE: FROM THE END OF HISTORY TO THE END OF CAPITALISM
Nov
Slavoj Zizek
9780141979540
PB
£9.99
Penguin
In Trouble in Paradise, Slavoj Žižek, one of our most famous, most combative philosophers, explains how by drawing on the ideas of communism, we can find a way out of the crisis of capitalism.
There is obviously trouble in the global capitalist paradise. But why do we find it so difficult to imagine a way out of the crisis we’re in? It is as if the trouble feeds on itself: the march of capitalism has become inexorable, the only game in town.
Setting out to diagnose the condition of global capitalism, the ideological constraints we are faced with in our daily lives, and the bleak future promised by this system, Slavoj Žižek explores the possibilities – and the traps – of new emancipatory struggles.
Drawing insights from phenomena as diverse as Gangnam Style to Marx, The Dark Knight to Thatcher, Trouble in Paradise is an incisive dissection of the world we inhabit, and the new order to come.
‘The most dangerous philosopher in the West’ – Adam Kirsch, New Republic
‘The most formidably brilliant exponent of psychoanalysis, indeed of cultural theory in general, to have emerged in many decades’ – Terry Eagleton
‘Žižek leaves no social or cultural phenomenon untheorized, and is master of the counterintuitive observation’ – New Yorker”
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Our Jan-Jun 16 Non-Fiction page is (as of Dec 2015, time of update) in progress but you can check out the latest here!

And if you’ve yet to check out our recommends of fantastical and speculative fiction from July to December, here’s our ‘portal page’ from which you can go onto month-by-month top recommendations and discover the broader output from publishers individually…