Friday Reads (3/28/14 Edition)

Friday Reads (3/28/14 Edition)

We've got some all-star picks for today's #FridayReads:

WAR! WHAT IS IT GOOD FOR?: Conflict and the Progress of Civilization from Primates to Robots by Ian Morris
“War!.... / What is it good for? / Absolutely nothing,” says the famous song—but archaeology, history, and biology show that war in fact has been good for something. Surprising as it sounds, Morris argues that war has made humanity safer and richer.

“Drawing on the work of Jared Diamond and Steven Pinker and myriads of others, Morris relentlessly develops his thesis, which never decreases in discomfort, though it does become more convincing. A disturbing, transformative text that veers toward essential reading.” — Kirkus Reviews, starred review

“...erudite yet compulsively readable... Throughout this rare mixture of scholarship, stunning insight, and wit, Morris cites the widely divergent opinions of past philosophers and scholars, and, though he makes his case convincingly, future (and, oh yes, the future is projected) students, readers, and critics of this book are likely to continue the fascinating argument Morris raises here. WAR! WHAT IS IT GOOD FOR? appeals to (indeed, may broaden) the large audience that has made Jared Diamond’s GUNS, GERMS, AND STEEL, much quoted in it, a modern classic and should join it on personal and library bookshelves.” — Booklist, starred review 


LIFE OF THE AUTOMOBILE
by Steven Parissien
The first all-encompassing narrative history of how the car—and the flamboyant entrepreneurs, shrewd businessmen, and gifted engineers behind it—shaped the world. 

“This elegant and authoritative work demonstrates the historical links among people, machines, and cultures on a global scale. For readers who enjoy investigations into social, intellectual, business, technological, or transportation history—as well as dedicated car buffs.” Library Journal, starred review

From the Ford Model T to the Chevrolet Volt, Parissien covers every detail, including the sketchy safety and environmental record and a nod to the future of green technology.” Booklist, starred review

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The New York Times’ 100 Notable Books of 2011:

The New York Times’ 100 Notable Books of 2011:

The New York Times has weighed in with their list of 100 Notable Books of 2011 and there are quite a few excellent Macmillan reads in both the fiction and nonfiction sections:

Fiction & Poetry:

THE BARBARIAN NURSERIES by Héctor Tobar
BIG QUESTIONS by Anders Brekhus Nilsen
CANTI by Giacomo Leopardi
THE FREE WORLD by David Bezmozgis
THE LEFTOVERS by Tom Perrotta
LIFE ON MARS by Tracy K. Smith
THE MARRIAGE PLOT by Jeffrey Eugenides
PARALLEL STORIES by Peter Nadas
THE SUBMISSION by Amy Waldman
TALLER WHEN PRONE: Poems by Les Murray
TRAIN DREAMS by Denis Johnson

Nonfiction:

AND SO IT GOES by Charles J. Shields
THE BOY IN THE MOON by Ian Brown
EXAMINED LIVES by James Miller
IS THAT A FISH IN YOUR EAR? by David Bellos
MIDNIGHT RISING by Tony Horwitz
ONE DAY I WILL WRITE ABOUT THIS PLACE by Binyavanga Wainaina
THE ORIGINS OF POLITICAL ORDER by Francis Fukuyama
PULPHEAD by John Jeremiah Sullivan
RIGHTS GONE WRONG by Richard Thompson Ford
THINKING, FAST AND SLOW by Daniel Kahneman
WHY THE WEST RULES—FOR NOW by Ian Morris

See The New York Times' full list of notable books here

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