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Summer reads for everyone

As the summer heat creeps in, are you looking for a book you can't put down as you spend your time indoors? Here's a list of some of the latest releases that will keep you engrossed.


  • An Abundance of Wild Roses by Feryal Ali-Gauhar

In the 'Black Mountains of Pakistan', the discovery of an unconscious, unknown man is the first snowball in an avalanche of chaos. The head of the village is beset with problems - including the injured stranger - and failing to find his way out. His daughter receives a love letter and incurs her father's wrath. A lame boy foretells disaster, but nobody is listening. Trapped in terrible danger, a wolf-dog is battling ice and death to save a soldier's life. Beaten by her addict husband for bearing him only daughters, a woman is pregnant again - but can this child save her?

All the while, the spirits of the mountains keep a baleful eye on the doings of the humans. In a land woven with myth, chained with tradition and afflicted by ongoing conflict and the march of progress, can the villagers find a way to co-exist with nature that doesn't destroy either of them?


  • Co-Intelligence: Living and Working with AI

'Co-Intelligence is the very best book I know about the ins, outs, and ethics of generative AI. Drop everything and read it cover to cover now,' says Angela Duckworth, American author and psychologist. Consumer AI has arrived. And with it, inescapable upheaval as we grapple with what it means for our jobs, lives and the future of humanity. Cutting through the noise of AI evangelists and AI doom-mongers, Wharton professor Ethan Mollick has become one of the most prominent and provocative explainers of AI, focusing on the practical aspects of how these new tools for thought can transform our world. In the book, he urges us to engage with AI as co-workers, co-teachers and coaches. Wide-ranging, hugely thought-provoking and optimistic, it reveals the promise and power of this new era.


  • The Road to Freedom: Economics and the Good Society

A major reappraisal, by the Nobel-prizewinning economist, of the relationship between capitalism and freedom. Despite its manifest failures, the narrative of neoliberalism retains its grip on the public mind and the policies of governments all over the world. By this narrative, less regulation and more ‘animal spirits’ capitalism produces not only greater prosperity but more freedom for individuals in society - and is therefore morally better.

But, in 'The Road to Freedom' Stiglitz asks, whose freedom are we – should we be – thinking about? What happens when one person’s freedom comes at the expense of another’s? Should the freedoms of corporations be allowed to impinge upon those of individuals in the ways they now do?

Taking on giants of neoliberalism such as Hayek and Friedman and examining how public opinion is formed, Stiglitz reclaims the language of freedom from the right to show that far from ‘free’ – unregulated – markets promoting growth and enterprise, they reduce it, lessening economic opportunities for majorities and siphoning wealth from the many to the few – both individuals and countries. He shows how neoliberal economics and its implied moral system have impacted our legal and social freedoms in surprising ways, from property and intellectual rights to education and social media.

Stiglitz’s eye, as always, is on how we might create true human flourishing which should be the great aim of our economic and social system, and offers an alternative to that prevailing today. The Road to Freedom offers a powerful re-evaluation of democracy, economics and what constitutes a good society―and provides a roadmap of how we might achieve it.


  • Age of Revolutions: Progress and Backlash from 1600 to the Present

The international best-selling author explores the revolutions, past and present that define the chaotic, polarized and unstable age in which we live.

Fareed Zakaria first warned of the threat of “illiberal democracy” two decades ago. Now comes Age of Revolutions: Progress and Backlash from 1600 to the Present. A decade in the making, the book is based on deep research and conversations with world leaders from Emmanuel Macron to Lee Kuan Yew. In it Zakaria sets our era of populist chaos into the sweep of history.

Age of Revolutions tells the story of progress and backlash, of the rise of classical liberalism and of the many periods of rage and counter-revolution that followed seismic change. It begins with the upstart Dutch Republic, the first modern republic and techno-superpower where refugees and rebels flocked for individual liberty. That haven for liberalism was almost snuffed out by force – until Dutch ideas leapt across the English Channel in the so-called “Glorious Revolution.” Not all revolutions were so glorious, however. The French Revolution shows us the dangers of radical change that is imposed top-down. Lasting change comes bottom-up, like the Industrial Revolution in Britain and the United States, which fueled the rise of the world’s modern superpowers and gave birth to the political divides we know today. Even as Britain and America boomed, technology unsettled society and caused backlash from machine-smashing Luddites and others who felt threatened by this new world.

In the second half of the book, Zakaria details the revolutions that have convulsed our times: globalization in overdrive, digital transformation, the rise of identity politics, and the return of great power politics with a vengeful Russia and an ascendant China. Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping see a world upended by liberalism – and want to turn back the clock on democracy, women’s rights, and open societies. Even more dangerous than aggression abroad is democratic decay at home. This populist and cultural backlash that has infected the West threatens the very foundations of the world that the Enlightenment built – and that we all take too easily for granted.

The book warns us that liberalism’s great strength has been freeing people from arbitrary constraints—but its great weakness has been leaving individuals isolated, to figure out for themselves what makes for a good life. This void – the hole in the heart – can all too easily be filled by tribalism, populism, and identity politics. Today’s revolutions in technology and culture can even leave people so adrift that they turn against modernity itself.

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