By Jacqueline Mroz
As typical as donor-conceived children have become, with at least a million such children in the US alone, their experiences are still unusual in many ways. In Scattered Seeds, journalist and writer Jacqueline Mroz looks at the growth of sperm donation and assisted reproduction and how it affects the children who are born, the women who buy and use the sperm to have kids, and the sperm donors who donate their genetic material to help others procreate. With empathy and in-depth analysis, Scattered Seeds explores the sociology, psychology, and anthropology surrounding those connected with fertility procedures today and looks back at the history that brought us to this point.The personal stories in this book will put a human face on the issues and help to illuminate this country's controversial and troubling unregulated fertility industry-an industry that has been compared to the Wild, Wild West, where anything goes. What is the human cost of our country's unregulated fertility industry? How are the lives of sperm-donor families changed? Scattered Seeds will answer those questions, considering carefully the social and psychological dynamics surrounding those connected with fertility procedures today.
The Mammoth Book of Superstition
By Roy Bainton
Rather than providing a dictionary of superstitions, of which there are already numerous excellent, exhaustive and, in many cases, academic works which list superstitions from A to Z, Bainton gives us an entertaining flight over the terrain, landing from time to time in more thought-provoking areas. He offers an overview of humanity's often illogical and irrational persistence in seeking good luck and avoiding misfortune. While Steve Roud's two excellent books - The Penguin Dictionary of Superstitions and his Pocket Guide - and Philippa Waring's 1970 Dictionary concentrate on the British Isles, Bainton casts his net much wider. There are many origins which warrant the full back story, such as Friday the thirteenth and the Knights Templar, or the demonisation of the domestic cat resulting in 'cat holocausts' throughout Europe led by the Popes and the Inquisition. The whole is presented as a comprehensive, entertaining narrative flow, though it is, of course, a book that could be dipped into, and includes a thorough bibliography. Schoenberg, who developed the twelve-tone technique in music, was a notorious triskaidekaphobe. When the title of his opera Moses und Aaron resulted in a title with thirteen letters, he renamed it Moses und Aron. He believed he would die in his seventy-sixth year (7 + 6 = 13) and he was correct; he also died on Friday the thirteenth at thirteen minutes before midnight.As Sigmund Freud wrote, 'Superstition is in large part the expectation of trouble; and a person who has harboured frequent evil wishes against others, but has been brought up to be good and has therefore repressed such wishes into the unconscious, will be especially ready to expect punishment for his unconscious wickedness in the form of trouble threatening him from without.'
Half The Sky
By Nicholas D. Kristof, Sheryl WuDunn
Pulitzer Prize-winning reporting team, husband and wife Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn, take us on a journey through Africa and Asia to meet an extraordinary array of exceptional women struggling against terrible circumstances. More girls have been killed in the last fifty years, precisely because they are girls, than men were killed in all the wars of the twentieth century combined. More girls are killed in this routine 'gendercide' in any one decade than people were slaughtered in all the genocides of the twentieth century. In the nineteenth century, the central moral challenge was slavery. In the twentieth, it was totalitarianism. In the twenty-first, Kristof and WuDunn demonstrate, it will be the struggle for gender equality in the developing world. Fierce, moral, pragmatic, full of amazing stories of courage and inspiration, HALF THE SKY is essential reading for every global citizen.
The Silo Effect
By Gillian Tett
Ever since civilised society began, we have felt the need to classify, categorise and specialise. It can make things more efficient, and help give the leaders of any organisation a sense of confidence that they have the right people focusing on the right tasks. But it can also be catastrophic, leading to tunnel vision and tribalism. Most importantly it can create a structural fog, with the full picture of where an organisation is heading hidden from view. It is incredibly widespread: the chances are these 'silos' are rife in any organisation or profession, whether your business, or your local school or hospital.Across industries and cultures, as this brilliant and penetrating book shows, silos have the power to collapse companies and destabilise financial markets, yet they still dominate the workplace. They blind and confuse us, often making modern institutions act in risky, silly and damaging ways.Gillian Tett has spent years covering financial markets and business, but she's also a trained anthropologist, having completed a doctorate at Cambridge University and conducted field work in Tibet and Tajikistan. She's no stranger to questioning the assumptions and practices of a culture. Those in question - financial trading desks, urban police forces, surgical teams within medical clinics, software debuggers and consumer product engineers - have practices and rituals as ordered and intricate as those of any far-flung tribe.In The Silo Effect, she uses an anthropological lens to explore how individuals, teams and whole organisations often work in silos of thought, process and product. With examples drawn from a range of fascinating areas - the New York Fire Department and Facebook to the Bank of England and Sony - these narratives illustrate not just how foolishly people can behave when they are mastered by silos but also how the brightest institutions and individuals can master them. The Silo Effect is a sharp, visionary and inspiring work with the insight, prescriptions and power to remove our organisational blinders and transform the way we think for the better.
The Tainted Source
By John Laughland
An ideology is sweeping Europe and the world which threatens democracy and the rule of law. The post-national ideology, which posits that nation-states are no longer capable of running their own affairs in a modern, interdependent economy, confuses the constitution of a state with the power of its government, and ignores the importance of the sense of community essential to any democratic debate. A rigorous synthesis of historical and philosophical arguments, THE TAINTED SOURCE is a powerful appeal in favour of the constitutional foundations of the liberal order. Post-national structures - multinational companies, 'region-states' and supranational organisations such as the European Union - are corrosive of liberal values, to such an extent that John Laughland makes it devastatingly clear that the post-national ideology formed a crucial core of Nazi economic and political thinking. Like the European ideology of today, it was predicted on dissolving the nation-state and the liberal order.
By Georgia Gould
Young people growing up in Britain today face a narrowing job market, high housing costs and the prospect of a lifetime of hard work with less reward. The ideas of social responsibility that arose after the Second World War are straining under the demands of a globalised world. Too often public debate divides Britain's youth into the 'feral rats' of the London riots and the 'posh boys' of Eton. Business leaders rail at the entitled and unemployable young people they are asked to give jobs to, politicians complain about apathetic teens and commentators devote endless column inches to the issue of a 'self-obsessed' generation.Georgia Gould travelled across the UK to uncover the values, aspirations and challenges of young Brits, from job seekers in Bradford and working-class families in Glasgow's Easterhouse estate, to student protesters at Sussex University and young entrepreneurs in London such as YouTube sensation Jamal Edwards. If we show young people that we trust them with the future of our country, we will find that they are ready to rise to the challenge. This timely work points the way towards a new social contract and gives a voice to young Britain.http://bit.ly/YoungBritain
The Devil's Highway
By Luis Alberto Urrea
The author of 'Across the Wire' offers brilliant investigative reporting of what went wrong when, in May 2001, a group of 26 men attempted to cross the Mexican border into the desert of southern Arizona. Only 12 men came back out. 'Superb . . . Nothing less than a saga on the scale of the Exodus and an ordeal as heartbreaking as the Passion . . . The book comes vividly alive with a richness of language and a mastery of narrative detail that only the most gifted of writers are able to achieve. - Los Angeles Times Book Review.
Cancel The Apocalypse
By Andrew Simms
Ever get the feeling that things are falling apart? You're not alone. From bad banks to global warming it can all look hopeless, but what if everything could turn out, well, even better than before? What if the only thing holding us back is a lack of imagination and a surplus of old orthodoxies? In fascinating and iconoclastic detail - on everything from the cash in your pocket to the food on your plate and the shape of our working lives - Cancel the Apocalypse describes how the relentless race for economic growth is not always one worth winning, how excessive materialism has come at a terrible cost to our environment, and hasn't even made us any happier in the process. Simms believes passionately in the human capacity for change, and shows how the good life remains in our grasp. While global warming and financial meltdown might feel like modern day horsemen of the apocalypse, Simms shows how such end of the world scenarios offer us the chance for a new beginning.
By Alan Weisman
Every four days there are a million more people on the planet. More people and fewer resources. In this timely work, Alan Weisman examines how we can shrink our collective human footprint so that we don't stomp any more species - including our own - out of existence. The answer: reducing gradually and non-violently the number of humans on the planet whose activities, industries and lifestyles are damaging the Earth. Defining an optimum human population for the Earth is an explosive concept. Weisman, one of the most brilliant environmental writers, will travel the globe, from the settlements of Israel and the plains of Mexico to the bustling streets of Pakistan and the teeming cities of the UK. In his search for answers, he will speak to religious leaders, demographers, ecologists, economists, engineers and agriculturalists in what promises to be an international classic.
Population 10 Billion
By Danny Dorling
Before May 2011 the top demographics experts of the United Nations had suggested that world population would peak at 9.1 billion in 2100, and then fall to 8.5 billion people by 2150. In contrast, the 2011 revision suggested that 9.1 billion would be achieved much earlier, maybe by 2050 or before, and by 2100 there would be 10.1 billion of us. What's more, they implied that global human population might still be slightly rising in our total numbers a century from now. So what shall we do? Are there too many people on the planet? Is this the end of life as we know it?Distinguished geographer Professor Danny Dorling thinks we should not worry so much and that, whatever impending doom may be around the corner, we will deal with it when it comes. In a series of fascinating chapters he charts the rise of the human race from its origins to its end-point of population 10 billion. Thus he shows that while it took until about 1988 to reach 5 billion we reached 6 billion by 2000, 7 billion eleven years later and will reach 8 billion by 2025. By recording how we got here, Dorling is able to show us the key issues that we face in the coming decades: how we will deal with scarcity of resources; how our cities will grow and become more female; why the change that we should really prepare for is the population decline that will occur after 10 billion.Population 10 Billion is a major work by one of the world's leading geographers and will change the way you think about the future. Packed full of counter-intuitive ideas and observations, this book is a tool kit to prepare for the future and to help us ask the right questions
Time To Start Thinking
By Edward Luce
On its present course, the US faces a world of rising new countries that will compete with it ever more fiecely as its own power is declining. In order to slow and improve this steady leakage of power, the US must change course internationally, economically and domestically. It must also restructure to remain the world's most competitive economy. And it must address quality of life issues and fairness at home. But American politics is broken - competing forces and interests have led to stasis. With change so tough, where now for a country where the middle classes are suffering as they have never suffered before, the pensions crisis is growing, the deficit out of sight, and radicalism waiting in the wings?
Weird And Wonderful Christmas
By Joey Green
Holiday trivia from best-selling author of the arcane, Joey Green, who has been called "a connoisseur of unconventionality." Priced and sized to fit perfectly in a stocking. The perfect gift for the Christmas-obsessedChristmas compiles the mishaps, the mayhem, the hideous sweaters and inedible fruitcakes, the momentous births and untimely deaths, and the crimes and catastrophes that have taken place on Christmas. Where else would you learn that Werner Erhard send out 62,824 personal greeting cards? Or that 5,000 people dressed as Santa Claus descended on the town of Porto, Portugal to break a world record? Chapters detail all things weird, from traditions to trees, festivities to tidings. The quirky design is illustrated by the Tim Burton-esqe artwork of Lisa K. Weber.In Christmas, Joey Green has unearthed stockings-full of juicy holiday curiosities for an offbeat look at a heartfelt tradition-and a one-size-fits-all Christmas present no one will ever return!
Growing Up Brave
By Donna B. Pincus
With social and academic pressures at an all-time high, one in five children today suffers from a diagnosed anxiety disorder and many others go undiagnosed. More children than ever are being prescribed psychotropic drugs. In GROWING UP BRAVE, nationally recognized childhood anxiety expert Dr. Donna Pincus demonstrates that excessive anxiety is manageable and even preventable when parents learn how to identify and understand it and respond by using convenient and simple parenting techniques. The book's effective tools teach parents how to promote a warm, secure attachment with their child in only five minutes a day, develop routines that help ward off anxiety, implement Dr. Pincus's "bravery ladder," and much more. GROWING UP BRAVE is an empowering and valuable guide that will leave parents equipped to help their child regain confidence and happiness.