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Smitty

Recommend me non fiction

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Some stuff I can recommend in the social theory area:

 

Utopia for Realists - Rutger Bregman

The Happiness Industry - William Davies

Democracy and Other Neoliberal Fantasies - Jodi Dean

Mistaken Identity: Race and Class in the Age of Trump - Asad Haider

Seventeen Contradictions and the End of Capitalism - David Harvey

Inventing the Future: Postcapitalism and a World Without Work - Nick Srnicek and Alex Williams

How Will Capitalism End? - Wolfgang Streeck

Kill All Normies - Angela Nagle

Dead Man Working - Carl Cederstrom and Peter Fleming

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Now reading Factfulness, which is fascinating. It's pleasant respite to hear that the world is actually improving in lots of ways - especially when there's so much shit going on right now, and most of the non-fiction i read tends to make me even more concerned about the state of the world.

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Just finished, after quite a while, Vertical by Stephen Graham.

 

It's a kind of political geography book but looking at the world, well, vertically, rather than in the usual horizontal mode of maps and territories. Each chapter takes a different thing - satellites, skyscrapers, mines - and looks at the politics behind it, which generally means showing how a global elite of super rich bastards exploits and monitors everyone else.

 

It's very well researched and full of interesting bits of info about how monumentally the world is being fucked to serve the extreme luxury lifestyles of a few. Like how many people have to work in shitty conditions and die and how much environmental upheaval and pollution is caused and water wasted to build a single vanity-project tower in Dubai that will spend most of its time half-empty because people buy the apartments merely as investments.

 

If you've ever read something like The Shock Doctrine you'll have an idea. Massively depressing and anger inducing, but fascinating and informative at the same time.

 

Edit: And I certainly won't be watching any of the Qatar World Cup having learned how many people are likely to die building its stadiums.

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For some reason I stopped reading books a few years ago and am now finally getting back into the habit.

 

I'm currently reading "What we Cannot Know" by Marcus du Sautoy. It's OK, if a bit dry in places.

Got some sci-fi next to catch up with and I'd then like to get back in to some popular science as it was always a favourite genre of mine.

 

I've probably missed out on loads of classics but I'd rather jump in with something relatively up to date, anyone got anything to recommend?

 

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I'm really enjoying Collusion by Luke Harding. I expect you can guess what it's about. 

 

It really helps to make sense of the whole Trump-Russia thing, and the insights into spying and investigative journalism are interesting too.

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I can’t speak for their quality yet, beyond knowing that they’re well thought of, but three books by Michael Lewis (The Big Short (the book the film is based on), The Undoing Project and Flash Boys) are all in the Kindle Daily Deals for 99p if anyone’s interested.

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