What We Are Reading Today: Neuropedia: A Brief Compendium of Brain Phenomena

What We Are Reading Today: Neuropedia: A Brief Compendium of Brain Phenomena
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Updated 24 November 2022

What We Are Reading Today: Neuropedia: A Brief Compendium of Brain Phenomena

What We Are Reading Today: Neuropedia: A Brief Compendium of Brain Phenomena

Author: Eric H. Chudler

Neuropedia journeys into the mysteries and marvels of the three pounds of tissue between your ears—the brain.

Eric Chudler takes you on a breathtaking tour of the nervous system with dozens of entries that explore the structure and function of the brain and cover topics such as the spinal cord and nerve cells, the methods of neuroscientific research, and the visionary scientists who have dedicated their lives to understanding what makes each of us who we are.

The brain has fascinated and puzzled researchers, physicians, and philosophers for thousands of years and captivated us with each new discovery.


What We Are Reading Today: A Pocket Guide to Birds of Galapagos

What We Are Reading Today: A Pocket Guide to  Birds of Galapagos
Updated 06 December 2022

What We Are Reading Today: A Pocket Guide to Birds of Galapagos

What We Are Reading Today: A Pocket Guide to  Birds of Galapagos

Author: Tui De Roy

A lifelong resident of Galápagos, Tui De Roy has been observing, studying, and photographing the islands’ astonishing birdlife for 60 years.

In A Pocket Guide to Birds of Galápagos, she distills everything she has learned to create a one-of-a-kind field guide that every birder visiting the archipelago will want to carry with them wherever they go.

A compact yet comprehensive combination of field guide and natural history, the book features more than 600 of De Roy’s superb photographs and is packed with detailed, easy-to-access information in bullet-point format. 


Biggest Mideast bookstore in Europe to shut amid price surges

Biggest Mideast bookstore in Europe to shut amid price surges
Updated 06 December 2022

Biggest Mideast bookstore in Europe to shut amid price surges

Biggest Mideast bookstore in Europe to shut amid price surges
  • London’s Al Saqi Books closing after 44 years
  • Shop was founded by three Lebanese expatriates in 1978

LONDON: Europe’s biggest Middle Eastern bookstore is set to close after 44 years of business, The Guardian reported.

Al Saqi Books in London blamed a surge in prices of Arabic-language books as well as the economic effects of Brexit.

The bookstore, established in 1978, sells a wide range of literature covering the Middle East and North Africa, as well as Arabic-language books from all categories.

Al Saqi Books will close on Dec. 31, said director Salwa Gaspard, who opened the shop together with Andre Gaspard and Mai Ghoussoub after leaving Lebanon.

The move was a “difficult decision that had to be made because of recent economic challenges, such as the sharp increases in Arabic-language book prices,” she added.

The shop sourced most of its titles from Lebanon, but the country’s economic crisis has led to a surge in prices and difficulty importing books, Gaspard said.

She added: “Publishers have had to raise them (prices) to stay in business, as paper and shipping have effectively doubled in cost.

“Another factor is the exchange rate, which is no longer favorable to us — we used to pay in US dollars.

“Then, of course, there is the rise in the UK cost of living. The costs associated with operating the bookshop have become too high.

“We used to sell many books to the EU, which is no longer feasible because of duties and such (as a result of Brexit).

“Arabic libraries in the UK — another important part of our business — are buying far fewer books. And we have lost a large part of our customer base as Arab visitors from overseas are not visiting in the same numbers.

“There is a generational issue there, as well: Younger people do not stop by as often as their parents did.”

Despite the closure, Al Saqi Books’ small publishing wings Saqi Books and Dar Al Saqi will stay operational.

In a statement, the bookstore described itself as a “leading light not only for Middle Eastern expatriates, but for visitors from across the region keen to obtain works banned in their own countries.”


What We Are Reading Today: Parasites: The Inside Story

What We Are Reading Today: Parasites: The Inside Story
Updated 05 December 2022

What We Are Reading Today: Parasites: The Inside Story

What We Are Reading Today: Parasites: The Inside Story

Authors: Scott Lyell Gardner, Judy Diamond, and Gabor R. Racz

This book looks at the weird and wonderful world of parasites, the most abundant form of life on Earth. Parasites come in all forms and sizes and inhabit every free-living organism. Parasitism is now, and always has been, a way to survive under changing environmental conditions.

From arctic oceans to tropical forests, Scott Gardner, Judy Diamond, and Gabor Racz investigate how parasites survive and evolve, and how they influence and provide stability to ecosystems.

Taking readers to the open ranges of Mongolia, the Sandhills of north-central Nebraska, the Andes of Bolivia, and more, the authors examine the impact parasites have on humans and other animals. 

 


What We Are Reading Today: The Altruism Equation: Seven Scientists Search for the Origins of Goodness

What We Are Reading Today: The Altruism Equation:  Seven Scientists Search for the Origins of Goodness
Updated 04 December 2022

What We Are Reading Today: The Altruism Equation: Seven Scientists Search for the Origins of Goodness

What We Are Reading Today: The Altruism Equation:  Seven Scientists Search for the Origins of Goodness

Author: Lee Alan Dugatkin

In a world supposedly governed by ruthless survival of the fittest, why do we see acts of goodness in both animals and humans? This problem plagued Charles Darwin in the 1850s as he developed his theory of evolution through natural selection.

Indeed, Darwin worried that the goodness he observed in nature could be the Achilles heel of his theory.

Ever since then, scientists and other thinkers have engaged in a fierce debate about the origins of goodness that has dragged politics, philosophy, and religion into what remains a major question for evolutionary biology.


What We Are Reading Today: The Future Is Asian

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Photo/Supplied
Updated 03 December 2022

What We Are Reading Today: The Future Is Asian

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Author: Parag Khanna

In the 19th century, the world was Europeanized. In the 20th century, it was Americanized. Now, in the 21st century, the world is being Asianized.
In this book, the writer tries to claim that the “Asian Century” is even bigger than you think. Far greater than just China, the new Asian system taking shape is a multi-civilizational order spanning Saudi Arabia to Japan, Russia to Australia, Turkey to Indonesia — linking 5 billion people through trade, finance, infrastructure, and diplomatic networks that together represent 40 percent of global GDP.

China has taken a lead in building the new Silk Roads across Asia, but it will not lead it alone. Rather, Asia is rapidly returning to the centuries-old patterns of commerce, conflict, and cultural exchange that thrived long before European colonialism and American dominance.

Asians will determine their own future — and as they collectively assert their interests around the world, they will determine ours as well, according to a review on goodreads.com.