Carabas Jul-Dec 16 Non-Fiction Picks: Culture, Current Affairs, History, Music & Film

At Carabas we’re about many things: the fantastical certainly, but we’re 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: Alternative & Street Art, Biography, celebrations of David Bowie, MusicCulture, Popular Science (General), Fact Behind the Fiction (our round-up of more Pop Science and more Non-Fiction on fantastical subjects), History, London titles and Ethical Politics / Awareness Raising titles – the vibrant, the quirky, the worthy and the enlightening. There’s something here for everyone…

 

CN - Oct - Street Art World CN - Jul - The Age of Bowie CN - Sep - The Mighty One
CN - Jul - I'm Buffy and You're History
CN - Aug - Scroobius Pip
CN - Aug - This is London
CN - Sep - Another Day in the Death of America

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Art – Alternative & Street

* Mth Author ISBN Bind RRP Pub
CN - Aug - Art of the Street Rio de Janeiro
ART OF THE STREET: RIO DE JANEIRO
Aug
Andy Cantillio Photos
9780993240744
HB
£9.95
Art of Publishing
Street art is ever more weaving its way into the urban landscape, bringing pleasant surprises and little challenges within the ‘day-to-day’ up to bold, rich, evocative multi-storey works to stand back and admire. We’d never heard of the Art of Publishing before but in August they offer up a third collection of street art in a big city, this one covering Rio De Janeiro. Includes work by Wark Rocinha, NATA, Vida One Love, MEMI, Cranio and Panmela Castro. Looking forward to a look at this.
Buy from Waterstones
CN - Sep - 3D Skateboarding
SKATEBOARDING.3D
Sep
Sebastian Denz Photos
9783791382951
HB
£29.99
Prestel
Prestel are exceptionally well known for their art books so we’ve no doubt they’ve put a great deal into something which is something of a departure from the conventional art scene to make sure there’s a real treat for all. Skateboarding 3D is exactly what it sounds like and probably more. Skater and photographer Sebastian Denz built his own large-format camera to take high definition 3D photographs of the Carhartt skate team across Europe in formal and informal skating environments…
Buy from Waterstones
CN - Sep - Street Art Anthology
STREET ART ANTHOLOGY
Sep
Magda Danysz
9788416504459
PB
£19.99
Promopress
Gallery owner Magda Danysz takes us on a journey into the world of street art, looking at how a lesser esteemed and urban focused form has exploded onto the wider streetscape and entered galleries. A “unique, richly illustrated anthology, interspersed with the portraits of the big international names” publishers Promopress promise.
Buy from Waterstones
CN - Sep - In Heroes We Trust
IN HEROES WE TRUST: STREET ARTISTS AND THEIR HEROES
Sep
Neely Shearer (Ed)
9781601068521
PB
£11.95
Knock Knock
Knock Knock and editor Nealy Sheerer have commissioned and collected the thoughts of sixty street artists on heroism, incorporating of course street art from around the world. A smashing and affordable title to gift to yourself and possibly to others.
Buy from Waterstones
CN - Oct - Street Art World
STREET ART WORLD
Oct
Alison Young
9781780236704
PB
£25.00
Reaktion Books
Alison Young’s Street Art World is based on 20 years research, and it could hardly have a better home than with publishers Reaktion who started as an art publisher before branching out and getting a reputation for cultural titles amongst many other areas. Alison examines such questions as are street art and graffiti the same thing, or do they have different histories, meanings and practitioners? Can it be exhibited in a gallery or must it be located on the street? Why have museums started collecting street art? It examines the worldwide market for street art while naturally treating us to a curated gallery of the best of it.
Buy from Waterstones

 

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Biography

* Mth Author ISBN Bind RRP Pub
CN - Jul - Truths, Half Truths and Little White Lies
TRUTHS, HALF TRUTHS AND LITTLE WHITE LIES
Jul
Nick Frost
9781473620889
PB
£9.99
Hodder
We just had to include a memoir by one Nick Frost. Loved of course for his buddy roles, this isn’t the happy-go-lucky Hollywood rise tale you might be expecting, but the swings between optimistic and darker times growing up in Essex. As Nick says: ‘No life can really be all black, right? Even during the darkest times, what got me through that bleakness was laughter and time. With enough of both of these things I reckon you could get over just about anything.’ Hodder promise an ‘exhilarating, joyful and unforgettable storytelling and unlike any memoir you’re likely to read’. We believe them. Topseller in the Bookseller’s July selection.
Buy from Waterstones
CN - Aug - Content Provider
CONTENT PROVIDER
Aug
Stewart Lee
9780571329021
PB
£14.99
Faber
We always did like Stewart Lee’s wry, layered comedy but that recent series on BBC2 showed his elevated talent as a comic and elevated his profile, at least amongst the intellectual left. This collection of his Guardian articles in which he attempts to understand modern Britain promises similarly to be “funny, grumpy, provocative, confusing and brilliant”.
Buy from Waterstones
CN - Aug - Empire of Imagination
EMPIRE OF IMAGINATION
Aug
Michael Witwer
9781632862037
PB
£10.99
Bloomsbury (USA)
Even for those of us whose imaginations found a preferable home in other works I can’t imagine anyone failing to appreciate the contribution Gary Gygax’s Dungeons and Dragons made to the worlds of fantasy and gaming. Michael Witwer brings us a narrative biography of this ‘emperor of the imagination’.
Buy from Waterstones
CN - Aug - Scroobius Pip
DISTRACTION PIECES
Aug
Scroobius Pip
9781844039128
HB
£16.99
Octopus Publishing Group
Scroobius Pip has been on our radar for years now. He just keeps popping up in places you just don’t expect. The Hip Hop we knew about, the poetry and the distinctive beard. Then he’s running his own film club at the fabulous Prince Charles Cinema and… you get the idea. Well we weren’t aware of his Itunes-topping Distraction Pieces podcast, though almost all of us would be aware of the likes of Jon Ronson, Howard Marks, Russell Brand, Amanda Palmer and Simon Pegg who’ve appeared on it. Cassell publishers have cannily picked up this title which collects the best of the podcast along with new material on ‘politics, social media, music, comedy and more’ with ‘illustrated by tattoo artist mr heggie (yes that’s all lower case): rather our flavour of non-fiction in other words. Also a Bookseller’s Buyer’s Non-Fiction Highlight.
Buy from Waterstones
CN - Sep - Gilliamesque
GILLIAMESQUE
Sep
Terry Gilliam
9781782111085
PB
£14.99
Canongate
September brought the paperback of Terry Gilliam’s illustrated autobiography Gilliamesque. Not a man we have to introduce and there’s probably not a name in entertainment you can imagine who won’t be in here somewhere. The hardback looked absolutely smashing and there should be some still around if you wanted a deluxe edition…
Buy from Waterstones
CN - Oct - The Princess Diarist
THE PRINCESS DIARIST
Oct
Carrie Fisher
9780593077566
HB
£16.99
Bantam
In prior memoirs Carrie Fisher has told of being a single mother, battling addiction, manic depression and… well much beggars belief but involves the likes of Elizabeth Taylor (brief stepmother to Carrie) and Paul Simon, then Michael Jackson and Ted Kennedy. There’s no official copy just yet but it’s hard to imagine this won’t be a wild ride in its own right and, unsurprisingly, it was a Non-Fiction Highlight in the Bookseller’s Buyer’s Guide.
Buy from Waterstones
CN - Oct - Dances with Limeys
DANCES WITH LIMEYS
Oct
Reginald D Hunter
9781844038862
HB
£20.00
Cassell/Octopus
We do like Mr Reginald D Hunter although trying to define his style of comedy is probably like the much loved American comedian trying to define Britishness – which is, more or less, what he tries to do here. As his sister told him ‘they’re suspicious of optimism’ (quite right and quite right too) but despite falling at the first hurdle (being cheerful and talking to people on the Tube) and disliking our weather our Mr Hunter has stuck with us for the long term. Try and tell us you’re not intrigued as to what he has to say about us…
Buy from Waterstones

 

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Special Music Selection: David Bowie

* Mth ISBN Bind RRP Pub
CN - Jul - The Age of Bowie
THE AGE OF BOWIE
Jul
9781471148088
HB
£20.00
Simon & Schuster
We’ve lost some incredible figures in music, film and more and they hardly come more incredible that Mr David Bowie. Paul Morley was one of the team who curated the retrospective V&A exhibition of the man (‘David Bowie is’). This month sees Morley’s reconstruction of the life of possibly our most mercurial artists of all time at each stage in his career, up to and including his Black Star comeback just days before his death.
Buy from Waterstones
CN - Oct - A Portrait of Bowie
A PORTRAIT OF BOWIE
Oct
9781844039272
HB
£25
Cassell/Octopus
Then A Portrait of Bowie, edited by Rolling Stone magazine’s Brian Hiatt, collects text tributes to the mercurial genius alongside photographs and art of the same. A big spend but plenty to treasure. A Bookseller Buyer’s Guide Highlight.
Buy from Waterstones
CN - Oct - Spider from Mars
SPIDER FROM MARS: MY LIFE WITH BOWIE
Oct
9780283072727
HB
£18.99
Sidgwick / Pan Mac
Then you can hardly get a more intimate biography of Bowie than an autobiography by a musician – the drummer in this case – in the Spiders of Mars on his four seminal albums. Woodmansey relates their mutual story and that of the people around them. A big lead from Sidgwick and also a Bookseller Buyer’s Guide Highlight.
Buy from Waterstones
cn-nov-david-bowie-the-last-interview
DAVID BOWIE: THE LAST INTERVIEW
Nov
David Bowie
PB
£11.99
Melville House
In November US indie Melville Press compile a final interview with other conversations with and about Bowie. The collection emphasises his ‘fierce intellectualism, artistry, and the humour behind it all.’
Buy from Waterstones

 

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Music

* Mth Author ISBN Bind RRP Pub
CN - Jul - Original Rockers
ORIGINAL ROCKERS
Jul
Richard King
9780571311804
PB
£10.99
Faber
Richard King’s ORIGINAL ROCKERS is a memoir of working in an independent Bristol record shop in the early 90’s and artists such as Captain Beefheart and Julian Cope. Co-promotion with key independent record shops across the UK. Support bricks and mortar. Support indies. Love Music. Nice one.
Buy from Waterstones
CN - Jul - 1966
1966: THE YEAR THE WORLD EXPLODED
Jul
Jon Savage
9780571277636
PB
£9.99
Faber
And in the same month Faber also published Jon Savage’s 1966 in mass market paperback. It’s of course more generally about sixties culture and counterculture, art, politics and – especially – its music. But it highlights 66 as the year where the lid was lifted and the distinct culture exploded across the western world. Great stuff.
Buy from Waterstones
CN - Jul - Rave
RAVE: RAVE AND ITS INFLUENCE ON ART AND CULTURE
Jul
Nav Haq, Wolfgang Tillmans, Mark Fisher, Kodwo Eshun
9781910433874
PB
£24.95
Black Dog
Whether you lived through the years of Rave – and whether you partook in them – or not, it’s a cultural movement that’s covered less perhaps than we’d expect. Nav Haq and co bring a collection of texts on the scene and its ideologies, aesthetics and influence together, and it’s co-published with Antwerp’s Museum of Modern Art who are currently hosting the first exhibition of the same, ‘Energy Flash: The Rave Movement’ in conjunction with one of the city’s main clubs Ampere (with club nights associated naturally). We wonder if maybe music journalist Mr Simon Reynolds had anything to do with it – after all he’d written probably the first serious book on the subject published by Faber back in 1998, with the title… Energy Flash.
Buy from Waterstones
CN - Aug - Life After Dark
LIFE AFTER DARK
Aug
Dave Haslam
9780857206992
PB
£8.99
Simon & Schuster
Also now in paperback is Dave Haslam’s Life After Dark, his history of nightlife, it’s proprietors, entertainers and punters and shared territory with the illicit underworld from the Victorian Dance Hall to the big clubs of today. It takes in the whole of the country, jazz, the 60’s scene, punk, reggae, acid house, rave and more. What a cracking subject to write about – and to read of course.
Buy from Waterstones
CN - Aug - Foo Fighters Learning to Fly
FOO FIGHTERS
Aug
Mick Wall
9780857206992
PB
£9.99
Orion
Dave Grohl, of Nirvana and Foo Fighters fame, is a really intriguing subject: he’s managed to carve out his own legend as being both solid Rock and one of the most down-to-earth and genuinely nicest guys in the industry. Well we did include Martin James biography of Grohl this time last year but there’s much to say still about the man and the band so we certainly wanted to shout out about Mick Wall’s latest. As Orion puts it: “The unflinching bright sunlight to Cobain’s permanent midnight darkness, Grohl had come from a similar broken home to his erstwhile band leader, but came out of the experience differently – brimming with positivity and a shrewd grasp of opportunities in the music industry.” Distinguished as a literary biog of the group and it’s leader.
Buy from Waterstones
CN - Oct - More Brilliant Than The Sun
MORE BRILLIANT THAN THE SUN
Oct
Kodwo Eshun
9781784786724
PB
£12.99
Verso
And staying with music (while crossing back to the periphery of much of our preferred fiction) Verso are reissuing an updated version of Kodwo Eshun’s More Brilliant than the Sun. On a personal note, having run a large music books department, I was always pleased with how well this sold, not least because it was so wonderfully eclectic. Again it’s a hard enough one to frame so here’s the slightly abridged copy from Verso: “Part manifesto for a militant posthumanism, part journey through the unacknowledged traditions of diasporic science fiction, this book finds the future shock in Afrofuturist sounds from jazz, dub and techno to funk, hip hop and jungle. By exploring the music of such musical luminaries as Sun Ra, Alice Coltrane, Lee Perry, Dr Octagon, Parliament and Underground Resistance, theorist and artist Kodwo Eshun mobilises their concepts in order to open the possibilities of sonic fiction: the hitherto unexplored intersections between science fiction and organised sound.”
Buy from Waterstones

 

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Culture

* Mth Author ISBN Bind RRP Pub
CN - Oct - Goth
GOTH
Oct
Emma Baxter-Wright, Chris Roberts and Hywel Livingstone
9781780978864
PB
£14.99
Carlton Books
On to subculture and authors Baxter-Wright, Roberts and Livingstone are taking us on a tour of Goth, to the ‘dark heart of the ever-adaptable subculture’ through the lens of film, art, music, fiction, even ecclesiastical architecture… and fashion of course. Don’t be surprised if you encounter Dracula, HP Lovecraft, Poe and The Cure. Something for everyone then, quite aside from those who so identify…
Buy from Waterstones
CN - Oct - Bit Rot
BIT ROT
Oct
Douglas Coupland
9781785151026
HB
£20
Heinemann
We figure we’ll let Heinemann explain this one: ‘Bit rot’ is a term used in digital archiving to describe the way digital files can spontaneously and quickly decompose. As Coupland writes, ‘Bit rot also describes the way my brain has been feeling since 2000, as I shed older and weaker neurons and connections and enhance new and unexpected ones’. Bit Rot the book – through Essays and Short Stories – explores the ways humanity tries to make sense of our shifting consciousness. Douglas Coupland’s a smart guy and plenty of people beyond his hardcore fans, pricy as it is, will be keen to read his latest commentary on our cultural state. Published to coincide with the 20th Anniversary of Generation X.
Buy from Waterstones

 

Popular Science

* Mth Author ISBN Bind RRP Pub
CN - Aug - The Cyber Effect
THE CYBER EFFECT
Aug
Mary Aiken
9781473610231
HB
£20
John Murray
Digital technology is both pervasive and something of an obsession no-one recognises because, well, it’s so pervasive. Mary Aiken is here to give a proper look beneath the surface of digital culture, of the dark web, online relationships, deviant behaviour, internet addiction and more. One of the Bookseller’s August Non-Fiction One’s To Watch, it’s a survey of our digital present and a “guide through a new future that it’s not too late to do something about”.
Buy from Waterstones
CN - Oct - How Long is Now
HOW LONG IS NOW? AND 101 OTHER QUESTIONS YOU NEVER THOUGHT TO ASK
Oct
New Scientist
9781473628595
PB
£7.99
John Murray
Nearly mistook this for a book on the Smiths but it’s the latest collection of New Scientist answers to questions readers have asked. The titular question is answered with regards to human consciousness and neuroscience – and reference to meditation – in terms how now is apprehended by the human mind. It’s full of other Q’s from the mundane to the cosmic though the A’s can be equally as bizarre and entertaining. Examples? ‘Why are dog noses wet?’ and ‘what happens when one black hole swallows another?’(!)
Buy from Waterstones

 

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Fact Behind the Fiction

* Mth Author ISBN Bind RRP Pub
CN - Jul - The Scientific Secrets of Doctor Who
THE SCIENTIFIC SECRETS OF DOCTOR WHO
Jul
Simon Guerrier & Marek Kukula
9781849909396
PB
£7.99
BBC Books
Science Fiction: Fictional speculations based on science or speculative science that humans are yet to comprehend based in fiction? Or is the more poignant question who cares as long as it’s entertaining? Either way Guerrier and Kukula serve up THE SCIENTIFIC SECRETS OF DR WHO in paperback in July: doubtless enlightening – but more importantly entertaining. Timey-wimey.
Buy from Waterstones
CN - Jul 16 - Once Upon a Time
ONCE UPON A TIME
Jul
Marina Warner
9780198779858
PB
£8.99
OUP
I do keep an eye out for Marina Warner who has a passion many of us share for folklore. As a bookseller back in the late 90’s / early 00’s I remember selling the likes of The Beast and the Blonde, No Go the Bogeyman and Fantastic Metamorphoses and Other Worlds then, as a Sales Rep, having the pleasure of escorting her on a signing tour for Phantasmagoria. Now, again from OUP, she brings us ONCE UPON A TIME in which she surveys the breadth of fairytales as a ‘repository of human understanding and culture’, from the classics to modern interpretations of the same and contemporary mythos such as Pan’s Labyrinth. Great stuff. The Bookseller Magazine’s Editor’s Paperback Choice for July.
Buy from Waterstones
CN - Jul - I'm Buffy and You're History
I’M BUFFY AND YOU’RE HISTORY: BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER AND CONTEMPORARY FEMINISM
Jul
Patricia Pender
9781780767468
PB
£16.99
IB Tauris
We’re not aware of any sites where you can discover not just the best new fantastical fiction but also get the heads up on those more academic works on world class and world changing subjects, books and shows you love. Well that partly why we came up with Carabas! Delayed from earlier this year, July sees the release of Patricia Pender’s I’m Buffy and You’re History: Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Contemporary Feminism. Buffy gave a whole new voice and creative empowerment to a generation quite, aside from the years of entertainment it brought. Pender digs a level deeper into the much-loved series and examines it through the lens of gender and feminist politics…
Buy from Waterstones
CN - Jul - Make way for the Superhumans
MAKE WAY FOR THE SUPERHUMANS: HOW THE SCIENCE OF BIO ENHANCEMENT IS TRANSFORMING OUR WORLD, AND HOW WE NEED TO DEAL WITH IT
Jul
Michael Bess
9781785781018
PB
£14.99
Icon Books
Carabas is about many things and, amongst other angles, we like to keep an eye out for the science of fiction as well as the fiction of science. While we’ve yet to see – and probably quite thankfully – the superhumans of fiction, there are of course real world developments of this nature in cybernetics, genetics and biological and chemical enhancement. And while today body modification comes conventionally in the form of personal style and restorative medicine it’s far within the realms of possibility of being a serious question for the next generation. Science can progress faster than society has the context and maturity to deal with it, a concern expressed in works such as Frankenstein and, more recently, Orphan Black: here Michael Bess takes the lead in looking at what might potentially go wrong and head it off before too little can be done about it.
Buy from Waterstones
CN - Sep - The Mighty One
THE MIGHTY ONE: A LIFE INSIDE THE NERVE CENTRE
Sep
Steve MacManus
9781781084755
PB
£9.99
2000 AD
As everyone knows 2000 AD is edited by Betelgeusian alien Tharg the Mighty, one of whom was Steve MacManus who brought it into what is thought of as its golden age, bringing in – via their creative teams – such classic stories as The Ballad of Halo Jones, Slaine, Bad Company, Rogue Trooper and Nemesis the Warlock. Now he’s written his memoir of his time there in the 70’s and 80’s. So many comic fans will be looking forward to this, not least ourselves.
Buy from Waterstones
CN - Sep - Superwomen Gender Power and Representation
SUPERWOMEN: GENDER, POWER AND REPRESENTATION
Sep
Carolyn Cocca
9781501316579
PB
£19.99
Bloomsbury Academic
In case it wasn’t apparent Carabas is here in part to make sure you get to know about the best of the latest genre fiction in prose and comic form and also non-fiction works on the same, all in one place – so this was an instant inclusion from Bloomsbury Academic. After decades of Anglophone superhero comics being dominated by white male creators and characters we’re finally seeing a commitment to diversity and representation. Carolyn Cocca looks at what has changed and how, what it means more widely and where parity is still to be approached. Examines the likely ladies of DC and Marvel along with those of Star Wars and Buffy.
Buy from Waterstones
CN - Sep - The Science of Game of Thrones
THE SCIENCE OF GAME OF THRONES
Sep
Helen Keen
9781473632318
HB
£14.99
Coronet
“Do dragons actually exist? Can you really kill someone with molten gold? Is it possible to crush a person’s head with your bare hands?” As far as we’re concerned all the answers are yes but science may say something else. Helen Keen asks these questions and more and there’s plenty of fans of the show (and books) who’ll want the definitive answer.
Buy from Waterstones
CN - Oct - Time Travel
TIME TRAVEL
Oct
James Gleick
9780007544431
HB
£16.99
Fourth Estate
Gleick’s a name in popular science and then some, but we’d just have to include a book on Time Travel regardless. This seems more of a cultural history than super-hard science and, while you can expect a little of that, this is very much one for the layperson and interested fans of SF apart from anyone else. From the first work of one HG Wells to Dr Who and works literary, engineered and philosophical between them, Gleick goes on to examine our contemporary ‘instantaneous wired world’ which, in terms of human consciousness, inhabits a larger present and diminishing future – which makes the title of our next highlight somewhat ironic…
Buy from Waterstones
cn-nov-the-2000-ad-script-book
THE 2000AD SCRIPT BOOK
Nov
See below
9781781084670
PB
£19.99
2000 AD
Something a little different from 2000 AD / Rebellion in December – and their publishing has been entirely intriguing over the last few years. History and an inside look at the great stories and scriptwriters of the galaxies greatest comic for the fans but also aspiring writers. Includes scripts by Pat Mills, John Wagner, Peter Milligan, Al Ewing, Rob Williams, Dan Abnett, Emma Beeby, Gordon Rennie, Ian Edginton and Alan Grant…
Buy from Waterstones
cn-nov-aliens
ALIENS: SCIENCE FROM THE OTHER SIDE
Nov
Jim Al-Khalili
9781781256817
TPB
£7.99
Profile Books
Some more ‘fact behind the fiction’: Professor Jim Al-Khalili seeks what might be the truth that’s out there from experts in the field. Taking in exoplanets, speculative biology and psychology and, of course, fiction, there’s twenty short pieces for readers of science fiction and science fact. Not a orifice-specific probe in sight. Probably.
Buy from Waterstones

 

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Zombies (Special Selection)

* Mth Author ISBN Bind RRP Pub
CN - Sep - Zombies A Cultural History
ZOMBIES: A CULTURAL HISTORY
Sep
Roger Luckhurst
9781780236698
PB
£9.99
Reaktion Books
From a series of current inordinate popularity to the same for a genre-spanning trope and / or a subgenre in its own right. Robert Kirkman’s The Walking Dead – at least the TV adaptation thereof has elevated the zombie to mainstream stardom alongside Game of Thrones itself. In September Reaktion bring the affordably priced paperback of Roger Luckhurst’s Zombies: A Cultural History so the more casual reader can enjoy the macabre cultural reality (if not the scientific one as above) of the undead celebrity from mythos to mass media. Quite a neat jacket too in our opinion.
Buy from Waterstones
CN - Oct - The Penguin Book of the Undead
THE PENGUIN BOOK OF THE UNDEAD
Oct
Scott G Bruce (Ed)
9780143107682
PB
£11.99
Penguin
And we round off Non-Fiction with a pair of titles that are certainly apt for the last day of the month (or any day of the year for many of us, especially if we happen to be picking up that Goth title we touted earlier). First up Penguin – their Classics department to be specific – are unleashing their latest compilation which happens to be on the undead, taking on ghosts and corporeal revenants from the Levant to Northernmost Europe there’s a truly macabre treat for those who choose to open these pages.
Buy from Waterstones
CN - Oct - Zombies Run
ZOMBIES, RUN! KEEPING FIT AND LIVING WELL IN THE CURRENT ZOMBIE EMERGENCY
Oct
Naomi Alderman
9780241256442
PB
£14.99
Penguin
And then it’s Naomi Alderman’s Zombie’s Run! from Penguin general, based on the bestselling app of the same name which she co-created. I confess the app and her name are new to me (enjoying SFF / creating websites and being a card-carrying late-adopting luddite are, it might surprise you, in no respect mutually exclusive). But aside from ZR! the app she’s an Orange Prize winner, Professor of Creative Writing and, amongst other books, has a Dr Who novel under her belt. Actually what she and London-based indie games developer Six to Start have done here and are doing with this and their other games is really pretty cool. It’s a narrative app which, from your selection of a number of genres, frames your exercise in a mission or task. In other words a business based in encouraging health through entertainment – brilliant stuff. Perhaps unsurprisingly in this era of zombie fandom ZR! is the world’s most successful smartphone fitness game ever and the book will readily find a readership in this era and from this accolade. Still this luddite is rather intrigued by their apps (no promises mind), the next of which, The Walk, is a thriller to appeal to a wider audience which has been funded by the UK Department of Health and designed with and for the NHS. Again, brilliant stuff guys…
Buy from Waterstones

 

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History

* Mth Author ISBN Bind RRP Pub
 CN - Aug - 24 Hours at Agincourt
24 HOURS AT AGINCOURT
Aug
Michael Jones
9780753555460
PB
£9.99
W H Allen
Of all the days in history, few could hold a torch to what would happen in 24 hours in Agincourt on St Crispin’s Day, the 25th October 1415. Henry V of England looks out to an army that dwarfs his own, made up of France’s knightly elite and professional crossbowmen aside from everyone else. Michael Jones narrates the happenings of this time through eyewitness accounts and other evidence. We’ve got four words for you: Low. Born. English *. Longbowmen.
* (and Welsh. Six words)
 Buy from Waterstones
CN - Aug - Strange Victoriana
STRANGE VICTORIANA: TALES OF THE CURIOUS, THE WEIRD AND THE UNCANNY FROM OUR VICTORIAN ANCESTORS
Aug
Jan Bondeson
9781445658858
HB
£20.00
Amberley
Aside from appeal from general curiosity and to readers of quirky history we do like to include titles that would be of interest to the steampunk crowd which very much partakes of a sense of ‘Victoriana’ so this virtually went in on its title alone, even if the cover is rather on the grotesque side. Drawing from private archives of ‘Illustrated Police News’ of the period herein you can discover: Dog-Faced Men, the Sleeping Frenchman of Soho, Reincarnated Cats, the Jumping Spectre of Peckham, the Fighting Ghost of Tondu, a beer-swilling white gorilla and the hammer-wielding Rat-Killing Monkey of Manchester – and much more. You’re very welcome.
 Buy from Waterstones
 CN - Aug - The Illustrated Guide to Viking Martial Arts
THE ILLUSTRATED GUIDE TO VIKING MARTIAL ARTS
Aug
Antony Cummins
9780750967457
PB
£14.99
The History Press
From earlier in the broader reaches of the same period we just had to include this from Antony Cummins. The last decade has seen the rise of Historical European Martial Arts and there’s no little interest and practice of those of the Vikings. Here Cummins has assembled a manual through “a feat of textual interpretation” from the sagas, including moves we’d all like to know like knocking down a spear in mid-flight and the shield cleave.
 Buy from Waterstones

 

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London (Special Selection)

* Mth  Title Author ISBN Bind RRP Pub
 CN - Aug - This is London
THIS IS LONDON
Aug
THIS IS LONDON
Ben Judah
9781447276272
PB
£9.99
Picador
A big shout out also to Mr Ben Judah who’s This is London arrives in paperback in August. This was The Bookseller Magazine’s (Non-Fiction) Book of the Month for January in HB and unsurprisingly is in their August paperback highlights. It’s the story of the hidden new face of the big city through its diverse immigrants, the author having “had dinner with oligarchs and meetings with foreign royalty, spent nights streetwalking and sleeping rough”.
 Buy from Waterstones
CN - Sep - The Tunnel Through Time
THE TUNNEL THROUGH TIME
Sep
THE TUNNEL THROUGH TIME
Gillian Tindall
9780701188658
HB
£20.00
Chatto
The Tunnel Through Time is, we gather, a zoom in to the history of London along the route of Crossrail, bringing in lives led along it as clarified by archaeological research from its construction. The Bookseller Editor is a fan of Tindall’s, including this in their Editor’s Choice selections, “for her unexpected and exquisite microcosmic approaches to history”. Looking forward to dipping in to this if not consuming it entirely.
Buy from Waterstones

 

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Ethical Politics and Awareness Raising

* Mth Author ISBN Bind RRP Pub
CN - Aug - Co-operatives Confront Capitalism
CO-OPERATIVES CONFRONT CAPITALISM: CHALLENGING THE NEOLIBERAL ECONOMY
Aug
Peter Ranis
9781783606498
PB
£18.99
Zed Books
Meanwhile Zed Books offer more of a grass roots approach to positive change in Co-operatives Confront Capitalism, in which Peter Ranis tours the co-operative scene across the globe to see how they’ve adapted to the economic  crisis. ‘Combining the work of key radical theorists, including Marx, Gramsci, and Luxemburg, with that of contemporary political economists, such as Block, Piketty, and Stiglitz, Cooperatives Confront Capitalism provides what is perhaps the most far-reaching analysis yet of the ideas, achievements, and wider historical context of the cooperative movement.’ Interesting stuff.
Buy from Waterstones
CN - Aug - The Alternative
THE ALTERNATIVE: TOWARDS A NEW PROGRESSIVE POLITICS
Aug
Lisa Nandy, Caroline Lucas, Chris Bowers
9781785900495
HB
£12.99
Biteback
Whatever any given person’s political persuasion it’s hard to imagine anyone believing that, at time of writing, that anything’s particularly all right in the world of politics and governance so here’s a couple of titles that offer a potentially more helpful angle on the same or even hope that things can change for the better. Biteback Publishing – ‘Britain’s leading publisher of political and current affairs titles’ offer ‘The Alternative’ which proposes a new progressive politics around which like-minded politicians from across the spectrum can unite and deliver genuine change. Includes contributions by Sian Berry, Mhairi Black, Frances O’Grady, Tim Farron, Peter Hain, Carys Afoko, Yasmin Alibhai-Brown, Zoe Williams and Neal Lawson.
Buy from Waterstones
CN - Aug - Generation M (final)
GENERATION M
Aug
Shelina Janmohamed
9781780769097
TPB
£12.99
IB Tauris
It might well come as a surprise to some but the current generation of Western Muslims – quite aside from those elsewhere – share a generational identity of faith alongside modernity. Award-winning author Shelina Janmohamed delivers a book that arguably should be a compulsory read for any politician and something that should be of real interest to people generally, exploring ‘this growing cultural phenomenon, at a time where understanding the mindset of Muslim youths, and what drives them, is critical.’ A Non-Fiction Highlight in the Bookseller Magazine’s July to December Buyer’s Guide.
Buy from Waterstones
CN - Sep - Called to Account
CALLED TO ACCOUNT
Sep
Margaret Hodge
9781408708071
HB
£18.99
Little Brown
Then Margaret Hodge, former chair of the Pubic Accounts Committee, calls out the politicians whose incompetence has wasted billions in public money. Written in a conversational tone it sounds like a very readable title on an aspect of government that really ought to be in the public eye, especially when a government starts on programmes of cuts of public services… In The Bookseller’s Ones to Watch.
Buy from Waterstones
CN - Sep - Another Day in the Death of America
ANOTHER DAY IN THE DEATH OF AMERICA
Sep
Gary Younge
9781783351015
HB
£16.99
Guardian Faber
A little too on the nose but we felt it too important not to include. In a country where there are still enough people with significant enough voices supporting the right to carry lethal weapons, apparently seven children / teens are killed by guns every day. The author randomly picked a day – Saturday November 23rd – and sought out the families of the ten children so killed on it to tell their stories, not one of which made the national news. Also a Bookseller Editor’s Choice.
Buy from Waterstones
CN - Sep - Creating Freedom
CREATING FREEDOM: POWER CONTROL AND THE FIGHT FOR OUR FUTURE
Sep
Raul Martinez
9781782111818
HB
£20.00
Canongate
If Young and Hodge are bringing to light important realities Raul Martinez is delivering something which seems hugely important in reworking our understanding of politics and society in an era where, regardless of political persuasions, it’s painfully clear that things are not alright. Creating Freedom takes the premise that the political – also economic – dimension of society is built around ensuring freedom though, whether we’re aware of it or not, doesn’t necessarily fulfil this purpose. It’s about how the world shapes us, including ‘the consent-manufacturing influence of concentrated wealth and power’, and how we can create the truer freedom we deserve as individuals and societies if we can only work together. This could be one of the most significant works of our time and if it only half-delivers on its promise it’s still a title that should be on everyone’s radars if not their shelves. Helpfully also from solid, successful independent publisher Canongate.
Buy from Waterstones
cn-dec-sos-alternatives-to-capitalism
SOS ALTERNATIVES TO CAPITALISM (2nd Ed)
Nov
Richard Swift
9781780263748
PB
£9.99
New Internationalist
Differently in the real world and Richard Swift has revised his SOS Alternatives to Capitalism for New Internationalist, previously having been the magazine’s editor. Originally published in 2014, reflecting in part on the financial crisis, a new edition so soon is perhaps evidence of how much is still going wrong that embracing alternatives might well put right. In part a historical guide, also ‘an inspirational manifesto for the future’.
Buy from Waterstones

 

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You can check out our complete highlights of previous months this year via the links below…

JULY AUGUST SEPTEMBER OCTOBER NOVEMBER & DECEMBER

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JANUARY FEBRUARY MARCH APRIL MAY JUNE

 

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