Cultural and Social Anthropology
Kindred: Neanderthal Life, Love, Death and Art
Kindred
Neanderthal Life, Love, Death and Art
Hardcover      ISBN: 147293749x

Kindred is important reading not just for anyone interested in these ancient cousins of ours, but also for anyone interested in humanity.--The New York Times Book Review

A] bold and magnificent attempt to resurrect our Neanderthal kin.--The Wall Street Journal

In Kindred, Neanderthal expert Rebecca Wragg Sykes shoves aside the clich of the shivering ragged figure in an icy wasteland, and reveals the Neanderthal you don't know, our ancestor who lived across vast and diverse tracts of Eurasia and survived through hundreds of thousands of years of massive climate change. This book sheds new light on where they lived, what they ate, and the increasingly complex Neanderthal culture that researchers have discovered.

Since their discovery 150 years ago, Neanderthals have gone from the losers of the human family tree to A-list hominins. Our perception of the Neanderthal has changed dramatically, but despite growing scientific curiosity, popular culture fascination, and a wealth of coverage in the media and beyond are we getting the whole story? The reality of 21st century Neanderthals is complex and fascinating, yet remains virtually unknown and inaccessible outside the scientific literature.

Based on the author's first-hand experience at the cutting-edge of Palaeolithic research and theory, this easy-to-read but information-rich book lays out the first full picture we have of the Neanderthals, from amazing new discoveries changing our view of them forever, to the more enduring mysteries of how they lived and died, and the biggest question of them all: their relationship with modern humans.
The Unsettlers: In Search of the Good Life in Today's America
The Unsettlers
In Search of the Good Life in Today's America
Paperback      ISBN: 0735216088
"An in-depth and compelling account of diverse Americans living off the grid." --Los Angeles Times

The radical search for the simple life in today's America.

On a frigid April night, a classically trained opera singer, five months pregnant, and her husband, a former marine biologist, disembark an Amtrak train in La Plata, Missouri, assemble two bikes, and pedal off into the night, bound for a homestead they've purchased, sight unseen. Meanwhile, a horticulturist, heir to the Great Migration that brought masses of African Americans to Detroit, and her husband, a product of the white flight from it, have turned to urban farming to revitalize the blighted city they both love. And near Missoula, Montana, a couple who have been at the forefront of organic farming for decades navigate what it means to live and raise a family ethically.

A work of immersive journalism steeped in a distinctively American social history and sparked by a personal quest, The Unsettlers traces the search for the simple life through the stories of these new pioneers and what inspired each of them to look for -- or create -- a better existence. Captivating and clear-eyed, it dares us to imagine what a sustainable, ethical, authentic future might actually look like.
21 Lessons for the 21st Century
21 Lessons for the 21st Century
Paperback      ISBN: 0525512195
#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER - In Sapiens, he explored our past. In Homo Deus, he looked to our future. Now, one of the most innovative thinkers on the planet turns to the present to make sense of today's most pressing issues.

"Fascinating . . . a crucial global conversation about how to take on the problems of the twenty-first century."--Bill Gates, The New York Times Book Review

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY FINANCIAL TIMES AND PAMELA PAUL, KQED

How do computers and robots change the meaning of being human? How do we deal with the epidemic of fake news? Are nations and religions still relevant? What should we teach our children?

Yuval Noah Harari's 21 Lessons for the 21st Century is a probing and visionary investigation into today's most urgent issues as we move into the uncharted territory of the future. As technology advances faster than our understanding of it, hacking becomes a tactic of war, and the world feels more polarized than ever, Harari addresses the challenge of navigating life in the face of constant and disorienting change and raises the important questions we need to ask ourselves in order to survive.

In twenty-one accessible chapters that are both provocative and profound, Harari builds on the ideas explored in his previous books, untangling political, technological, social, and existential issues and offering advice on how to prepare for a very different future from the world we now live in: How can we retain freedom of choice when Big Data is watching us? What will the future workforce look like, and how should we ready ourselves for it? How should we deal with the threat of terrorism? Why is liberal democracy in crisis?

Harari's unique ability to make sense of where we have come from and where we are going has captured the imaginations of millions of readers. Here he invites us to consider values, meaning, and personal engagement in a world full of noise and uncertainty. When we are deluged with irrelevant information, clarity is power. Presenting complex contemporary challenges clearly and accessibly, 21 Lessons for the 21st Century is essential reading.

"If there were such a thing as a required instruction manual for politicians and thought leaders, Israeli historian Yuval Noah Harari's 21 Lessons for the 21st Century would deserve serious consideration. In this collection of provocative essays, Harari . . . tackles a daunting array of issues, endeavoring to answer a persistent question: 'What is happening in the world today, and what is the deep meaning of these events?'"--BookPage (top pick)
A Brief History of China: Dynasty, Revolution and Transformation: From the Middle Kingdom to the People's Republic
A Brief History of China: Dynasty, Revolution and Transformation
From the Middle Kingdom to the People's Republic
Paperback      ISBN: 0804850054
A comprehensive, yet entertaining look at China's history through a modern lens.

For millennia, China was the largest and richest nation on earth. Two centuries ago, however, its economy sank into a depression from which it had not fully recovered--until now. China's modern resurgence as the world's largest nation in terms of population and its second-largest economy--where 800 million people have been lifted out of poverty in the space of a few decades--is the greatest untold story of the 21st century.

A Brief History of China tells of the development of a rich and complex civilization where the use of paper, writing, money and gunpowder were widespread in ancient times and where silk, ceramics, tea, metal implements and other products were produced and exported around the globe. It examines the special conditions that allowed a single culture to unify an entire continent spanning 10 billion square kilometers under the rule of a single man--and the unbelievably rich artistic, literary and architectural heritage that Chinese culture has bequeathed to the world. Equally fascinating is the story of China's decline in the 19th and early 20th century--as Europeans and Americans took center stage--and its modern resurgence as an economic powerhouse in recent years.

In his retelling of a Chinese history stretching back 5,000 years, author and China-expert Jonathan Clements focuses on the human stories which led to the powerful transformations in Chinese society--from the unification of China under its first emperor, Qinshi Huangdi, and the writings of the great Chinese philosophers Confucius and Laozi, to the Mongol invasion under Genghis Khan and the consolidation of Communist rule under Mao Zedong. Clements even brings readers through to the present day, outlining China's economic renaissance under Deng Xiaoping and Xi Jinping.

What really separates this book from its counterparts is the focus on women, and modern themes such as diversity and climate change. Chinese history is typically told through the stories of its most famous men, but Clements' telling gives women equal time and research--which introduces readers of this book to equally important, but less commonly-known facts and historical figures.

Often seen in the West in black or white terms--as either a savage dystopia or a fantastical paradise--China is revealed in the book as an exceptional yet troubled nation that nevertheless warrants its self-description as the Middle Kingdom.
Devoured: How What We Eat Defines Who We Are
Devoured
How What We Eat Defines Who We Are
Paperback      ISBN: 0062390996

A provocative look at how and what Americans eat and why--a flavorful blend of The Omnivore's Dilemma, Salt Sugar Fat, and Freakonomics that reveals how the way we live shapes the way we eat.

Food writer and Culinary Institute of America program director Sophie Egan takes readers on an eye-opening journey through the American food psyche, examining the connections between the values that define our national character--work, freedom, and progress--and our eating habits, the good and the bad. Egan explores why these values make for such an unstable, and often unhealthy, food culture and, paradoxically, why they also make America's cuisine so great.

Egan raises a host of intriguing questions: Why does McDonald's have 107 items on its menu? Why are breakfast sandwiches, protein bars, and gluten-free anything so popular? Will bland, soulless meal replacements like Soylent revolutionize our definition of a meal? The search for answers takes her across the culinary landscape, from the prioritization of convenience over health to the unintended consequences of "perks" like free meals for employees; from the American obsession with "having it our way" to the surge of Starbucks, Chipotle, and other chains individualizing the eating experience; from high culture--artisan and organic and what exactly "natural" means--to low culture--the sale of 100 million Taco Bell Doritos Locos Tacos in ten weeks. She also looks at how America's cuisine--like the nation itself--has been shaped by diverse influences from across the globe.

Devoured weaves together insights from the fields of psychology, anthropology, food science, and behavioral economics as well as myriad examples from daily life to create a powerful and unique look at food in America.

Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen
Born to Run
A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen
Paperback      ISBN: 0307279189
The astonishing national bestseller and hugely entertaining story that completely changed the way we run.

An epic adventure that began with one simple question: Why does my foot hurt?

Isolated by Mexico's deadly Copper Canyons, the blissful Tarahumara Indians have honed the ability to run hundreds of miles without rest or injury. In a riveting narrative, award-winning journalist and often-injured runner Christopher McDougall sets out to discover their secrets. In the process, he takes his readers from science labs at Harvard to the sun-baked valleys and freezing peaks across North America, where ever-growing numbers of ultra-runners are pushing their bodies to the limit, and, finally, to a climactic race in the Copper Canyons that pits America's best ultra-runners against the tribe. McDougall's incredible story will not only engage your mind but inspire your body when you realize that you, indeed all of us, were born to run.
The Power of Myth
The Power of Myth
Paperback      ISBN: 0385247745
The Power Of Myth launched an extraordinary resurgence of interest in Joseph Campbell and his work. A preeminient scholar, writer, and teacher, he has had a profound influence on millions of people. To him, mythology was the "song of the universe, the music of the spheres." With Bill Moyers, one of America's most prominent journalists, as his thoughtful and engaing interviewer, The Power Of Myth touches on subjects from modern marriage to virgin births, from Jesus to John Lennon, offering a brilliantcombination of intelligence and wit.
A Brief History of Korea: Isolation, War, Despotism and Revival: The Fascinating Story of a Resilient But Divided People
A Brief History of Korea: Isolation, War, Despotism and Revival
The Fascinating Story of a Resilient But Divided People
Paperback      ISBN: 0804851026

Exploring Korean history from its ancient roots to the present day, A Brief History of Korea is the story of a people with a rich and united culture that has become two Koreas in modern times--one isolated and secretive and the other among the world's most successful economies. Korean culture developed on a 600-mile-long peninsula, bordered on the north by mountains and three sides by the sea, set apart from the Asian mainland.

Korea was one of the last countries in Asia to be visited by Westerners and its borders have remained largely unchanged since it was unified in the seventh century. Though it is one of the world's oldest and most ethnically homogeneous states, Korea was not born in a vacuum. Geographically isolated, the country was heavily influenced by powerful China and was often used as a bridge to the mainland by Japan.

Calling themselves as "a shrimp among whales," Koreans borrowed elements of government, culture and religion all the while fiercely fighting to maintain independence from powerful neighbors. This fascinating book tells the story of Korean domestic dynasties, empires and states, as well as foreign conquest, occupation and division. Today, the two Koreas are starkly different--North Korea a nation closed to the world and South Korea an economic powerhouse and center of Asian democracy.

Chronicling significant events right up through 2018's Singapore Summit, author Michael J. Seth presents a relevant, interesting and important history of Korea within a larger global context. Korea's history is a turbulent one, but ultimately the story of a resistant and resourceful people in search of lasting peace.
Thrive: Finding Happiness the Blue Zones Way
Thrive
Finding Happiness the Blue Zones Way
Paperback      ISBN: 1426208189

What makes us happy? It's not wealth, youth, beauty, or intelligence, says Dan Buettner. In fact, most of us have the keys within our grasp. Circling the globe to study the world's happiest populations, Buettner has spotted several common principles that can unlock the doors to true contentment with our lives. Working with leading researchers, Buettner identifies the happiest region on each of four continents. He explores why these populations say they are happier than anyone else, and what they can teach the rest of us about finding contentment. His conclusions debunk some commonly believed myths: Are people who have children happier than those who don't? Not necessarily-in Western societies, parenthood actually makes the happiness level drop. Is gender equality a factor? Are the world's happiest places to be found on tropical islands with beautiful beaches? You may be surprised at what Buettner's research indicates. Unraveling the story of each "hotspot" like a good mystery, Buettner reveals how he discovered each location and then travels to meet folks who embody each particular brand of happiness. He introduces content, thriving people in Denmark, in Singapore, in northeastern Mexico, and in a composite "happiest place in America." In addition, he interviews economists, psychologists, sociologists, politicians, writers, and other experts to get at what contributes to each region's happiness, from the Danish concept of hygge, which translates to creating a feeling of coziness, to the Mexican love of a good joke. Buettner's findings result in a credible, cross-cultural formula and a practical plan to help us stack the deck for happiness and get more satisfaction out of life. According to Buettner's advisory team, the average person can control about forty percent of his or her individual happiness by optimizing life choices. These aren't unreasonable demands on a person's lifestyle, and they often require only slight changes. They fall into three categories that make up the way we live our lives: the food we eat, the way we exercise, and the social networks we foster. It's all about nourishing the body and the spirit. Heeding the secrets of the world's happiness all-stars can help us make the right choices to find more contentment in our own lives and learn how to thrive.

Embroidering Within Boundaries: Afghan Women Creating a Future
Embroidering Within Boundaries
Afghan Women Creating a Future
Paperback      ISBN: 0998452300
Winner, Silver Medal in the Multicultural Category, 2018 IBPA Benjamin Franklin Awards

Fifteen years ago, Rangina Hamidi decided to dedicate her life to helping rebuild her native Kandahar, Afghanistan. The Taliban had been driven out by American forces following 9/11, but Kandahar was a shambles. Tens of thousands of women, widowed by years of conflict, struggled to support themselves and their families. Rangina started an entrepreneurial enterprise, using the exquisite traditional embroidery of Kandahar, to help women work within the cultural boundaries of Pashtunwali to earn their living and to find a degree of self-determination. Thus Kandahar Treasure was born. This book traces the converging paths of traditional khamak embroidery and the 300 brave women who have found in it a way to build their lives. The late, award-winning photojournalist Paula Lerner was dedicated to telling the stories of women in Afghanistan. Her remarkable images throughout the book show Afghan women's profound struggle, strength, and beauty.