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This article was written on 06 Dec 2018, and is filled under Information/News.

Jarrah’s Picks

 

Jarrah is a lovely young fellow who is undergoing work experience in the shop for the week.

He’s been learning the ins-and-outs of the book trade and learning some new skills.

Here are a few titles that caught his eye!

Australia: What Happened?

Ben Pobjie

When our politicians are too busy playing musical chairs to run the country, our cricketers are doing suspicious things with sandpaper, and a murderous starfish with twenty-one arms roams freely around the Great Barrier Reef it seems about time that we, as a nation, ask a tough question: how the heck did it come to this?

In Australia – What Happened? TV columnist, comedian and history buff Ben Pobjie turns an incredulous eye on the history of Australia to bust open the national mythology, reveal the truth about what it means to be an Australian and work out what happened to all our best-laid plans.

What’s the real story of the Aussie larrikin? How exactly did sheep ruin everything? What impact did the Gold Rush have on Australian culture? And what do you mean ‘murderous starfish’? All these questions and more will be answered in this hilarious and historically accurate account of our wayward nation.

 

Jerusalem: The Biography

Simon Sebag Montefiore

Jerusalem is the universal city, the capital of two peoples, the shrine of three faiths; it is the prize of empires, the site of Judgement Day and the battlefield of today’s clash of civilizations. From King David to Barack Obama, from the birth of Judaism, Christianity and Islam to the Israel-Palestine conflict, this is the epic history of 3,000 years of faith, slaughter, fanaticism and coexistence.

How did this small, remote town become the Holy City, the ‘centre of the world’ and now the key to peace in the Middle East? In a gripping narrative, Simon Sebag Montefiore reveals this ever-changing city in its many incarnations, bringing every epoch and character blazingly to life. Jerusalem’s biography is told through the wars, love affairs and revelations of the men and women – kings, empresses, prophets, poets, saints, conquerors and whores – who created, destroyed, chronicled and believed in Jerusalem.

Drawing on new archives, current scholarship, his own family papers and a lifetime’s study, Montefiore illuminates the essence of sanctity and mysticism, identity and empire in a unique chronicle of the city that many believe will be the setting for the Apocalypse. This is how Jerusalem became Jerusalem, and the only city that exists twice – in heaven and on earth.

 

What would Nietzsche do?

Marcus Weeks

Ever wondered if Schopenhauer could fix your broken heart? How Heraclitus might help you if you lost your phone? Given the chance, would Foucault leave the toilet seat up? With sections on Relationships, Self and Identity, How to Live, Art and Aesthetics, and Politics, there is an answer to each of modern life’s questions here. Each section is comprised of a collection of questions, from ‘Is Shakespeare better than the Simpsons?’ to ‘Should I get a takeaway tonight?’; from little niggling questions, to the great mysteries of human existence. With Marcus Weeks’s illuminating commentary on each philosopher’s answer to the question at hand, you’ll be spouting Socrates and discussing Descartes before you know it. A guide to life, of sorts, and also a fantastic introduction to philosophy for anyone looking to broaden their knowledge of the subject.

 

The Secret Network of Nature: The Delicate Balance of All Living Things

Peter Wohlleben

Did you know that trees can influence the rotation of the earth?
Or that wolves can alter the course of a river?
Or that earthworms control wild boar populations?

The natural world is a web of intricate connections, many of which go unnoticed by humans. But it is these connections that maintain nature’s finely balanced equilibrium.

Drawing on the latest scientific discoveries and decades of experience as a forester and bestselling author, Peter Wohlleben shows us how different animals, plants, rivers, rocks and weather systems cooperate, and what’s at stake when these delicate systems are unbalanced.

The earth’s ecosystems are too complex for us to compartmentalise and draw up simple rules of cause and effect; but The Secret Network of Nature gives us a chance to marvel at the inner workings and unlikely partnerships of the natural world, where every entity has its own distinct purpose.

And the more light that is shed on relationships between species, the more fascinating nature’s web becomes.

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