Saturday, June 2, 2012

5 Nonfiction Reads to Look for in June

Looking for some new nonfiction this month? There's a little bit of everything—history, science, commerce and sociology—in this month's list.

Beyond the Blue Horizon: how the earliest mariners unlocked the secrets of the oceans (M) by Brian Fagan (June 26) From the author of 2008's The Great Warming, this book takes a look at the human need to explore and what we have discovered in the depths and the breadths of the seas. Spanning a huge swath of human history and bringing in a similarly large range of topics, this book has something for readers interested not only in the ocean, but in technology, exploration, anthropology and much more.

Dear Zari: hidden stories from women in Afghanistan
(M) by Zarghuna Kargar (June 4th) Previously published in the UK, June marks the Canadian debut for this title that compiles stories of 13 Afghani women. The author was born in Afghanistan but fled as a child, and now lives in the UK. The stories collected in the volume came from Kargar's work on a BBC radio program called Afghan Woman’s Hour.

Overdressed: the shockingly high cost of cheap fashion (M) by Elizabeth L. Cline (June 14). From the publisher: "Like The Omnivore's Dilemma did for food, Overdressed shows us the way back to feeling good about what we wear. Fast fashion and disposable clothing have become our new norms. We buy ten-dollar shoes from Target that disintegrate within a month and make weekly pilgrimages to Forever 21 and H&M. Elizabeth Cline argues that this rapid cycle of consumption isn't just erasing our sense of style and causing massive harm to the environment and human rights-it's also bad for our souls."

Darwin's Ghosts (M) by Rebecca Stott (June 12). You may know Stott as a novelist (Ghostwalk, The Coral Thief) but she has a number of nonfiction titles under her belt as well and now turns her attention to evolutionary history. Although Darwin's On the Origin of the Species is the probably the most widely known work of evolutionary theory, Darwin himself was criticized for failing to acknowledge the work of other scientists in the development of the theory of evolution. With this book, Stott aims to right that omission, chronicling the work and lives of several scientists that preceded or were contemporaries of Darwin's. Stott is also the author of a study of Darwin himself, 2003's Darwin and the Barnacle: the story of one tiny creature and history's most spectacular scientific breakthrough (M) .

Dark Pools: high-speed traders, A.I. bandits, and the threat to the Global Financial System
(M) by Scott Patterson (June 12). A book that sounds more science fiction than you might want from an examination of global trading: an exposé of the trend toward artificial intelligence on the trading floor. Patterson has previously written critiques of Wall Street, his 2010 title The Quants: how a new breed of math whizzes conquered Wall Street and nearly destroyed it (M) was a New York Times bestseller.

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