Books tagged "non-fiction"

Basic Income - Cover
November 28, 2021
by Philippe van Parijs, Yannick Vanderborght

This is the first book I've read on basic income, so I learned some quite interesting things. The most interesting, to my mind, was the history, and present, philosophical justification for a universal basic income. The justification they give is at first a Christian one; i.e. God gave the land to us all, so we should profit from it. I found this rough justification quite problematic really. I did find most of the way they presented their argument mostly pretty good; but I certainly found other parts of the book moderately problematic, especially some parts discussing immigration. Overall, I think it's a nice entrypoint into the theory and field; but I think we have a long way to go yet.

economics, non-fiction, philosophical
No Friend but the Mountains - Cover
November 21, 2021
by Behrouz Boochani, Omid Tofighian

Another amazing book, this one was written by a refugee who was imprisoned at the time. It is about his experience in the prison; something that had been totally covered up by the Australian government. At the time the book was published he was still in prison! It's exceptionally readable, interesting and engaging, but it does have some quite traumatic sections. It's has a beautifully written style interspersed with sections of poetry. You will certainly leave with very strong feelings for what people like this have been put through by our governments. I really gained a lot from reading it.

activism, non-fiction, personal, poetry, racism, traumatic
White Tears Brown Scars - Cover
November 19, 2021
by Ruby Hamad

Definitely the best book on "white feminism" that I've ever read. This book has a particular focus on Australia, but is astonishingly good at gathering together different reactions to racism, in particular in the feminist community, and showing the impact that this has had on people of colour. What remains particularly memorable for me is how white people (of which I'm one) get particularly upset at being *called* racist, and how this can oftentimes trump actual experienced racism on the part of people of colour. Many terrible examples are recounted. Read this book now if you are at all interested in feminism and racism more generally; but be prepared, it is not easy reading. It's an amazing book.

feminism, non-fiction, racism
The Mushroom at the End of the World - Cover
November 7, 2021
by Anna Lowenhaupt Tsing

Definitely a new favourite book. This one has a really nice, poetic, personal, engaging style and explores topics in economics through a very interesting lens: the mushroom. It presents lots of interesting conceptual discussions around commercial boundaries, what makes a product into something that can be sold, and has a nice journey into particular mushroom markets and what meaning they have for capitalism and communities in general. I wish more economics books were written in such a style! Certainly well worth reading if you're into challenging thoughts in this space!

economics, non-fiction, quirky
Feminist Antifascism - Cover
August 22, 2021
by Ewa Majewska

I found this book very interesting. One concept it introduced to me was the idea of "solidarity" instead of "support", in social causes. She makes the argument that it's better to stand in "solidarity" with one other, and for "me" to "support" you. Her argument, in part, is because relationships don't work strictly one-directionally. This spoke to me a lot. The bulk of the book is concerned with looking at how "counter-publics" - places where the public can be involved politically, but not necessarily supported by the government - work, examples of them, and how we can and should embrace them. I really like it; but it might be a bit "theory"-dense for some. Recommended reading, though, if you're interested in how people are being politically-active and how feminism should sit at the center of anti-fascism; also particularly interesting to get a Polish perspective on this idea; as it's not one I've heard before.

feminism, informative, non-fiction, philosophical
Circe - Cover
August 15, 2021
by Madeline Miller

Not knowing anything about the Greek mythology around Circe is not a pre-requisite for this book. I really quite enjoyed it; it's a simple, interesting story and a nice excursion around this particular set of Greek characters. I'll definitely read more by Madelline Miller.

feminism, fun, non-fiction
Semicolon - Cover
August 1, 2021
by Cecelia Watson

I absolutely loved this book. I love semicolons and I use them all the time. But the important things I learned from this book was how malleable grammar used to be; and that people used to think of grammar as a form of self-expression, instead of a strict set of rules, as we consider it now. It's also written in a very fun and engaging way with plenty of jokes. The best book you're ever likely to read on grammar!

history, informative, non-fiction, short-read

On the shelf — Newly obtained but not yet reviewed ...

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