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If you're a fan of science and technology, keeping pace with the latest developments can be a dizzying process.
Gizmodo UK is part of Future plc, an international media group and leading digital publisher. Meanwhile, at the Melbourne Writers Festival, one-time prime ministerial aspirant Mark Latham mouthed off about, well, everything a€“ to the profit and delight of those who take punditry seriously.
Marlon James's A Brief History of Seven Killings, written in reggae rhythms, deservedly won the 2015 Man Booker Prize.
He has been compared to James Baldwin for his ability to marry activism with compelling literary style. Barbara Walters made a great list this year, but there was a startling lack of amazing animals. Part memoir and part travelogue, Peter Pomerantsev’s captivating look at modern Russia is based on 10 years he spent in the country from the turn of the millennium working in the TV industry.
What emerges is a vibrant, violent country enthralled with strong, abusive father figures (see Ivan the Terrible, Joseph Stalin and Vladimir Putin), that is most definitely on the rise.
It’s all in here, including the shocking use of collagen extracts from slaughterhouse carcasses to bulk out cheap meats.
No one does it better on the Irish satirical landscape at calling out our foibles than the scabrous Waterford Whispers News, which published the second collection of highlights from its website in book form in the autumn. It comes as a welcome surprise to those familiar only with his smart-alecky public persona to discover Elvis Costello is a self-effacing man.
Kevin Barry brings John Lennon to life in his freewheeling novel about a fictional visit the old Beatle makes to Clew Bay, Co Mayo in 1978.
There are 218 years that separate the youngest (Eimear Ryan) and the oldest (Maria Edgeworth) writers in this collection from 30 of the finest Irish, female practitioners of the short story genre. Anne Tyler writes brilliantly about the internal dynamics of families, particularly the dysfunctional elements. The analogy he uses is that if you had a computer that had information you wanted you wouldn’t hit it with a hammer because that would affect its recall. It’s about a community and how they all respond to this disappearance, how it touches each family in a totally different way. If you feel deprived you no doubt belong to the teeming hordes stripping bookshop shelves of adult colouring books. Meanwhile, the Nobel Prize committee did not disappoint, awarding the literature prize to Svetlana Alexievich, someone few outside of Belarus had ever heard of.After 20 years of compiling the books page for The AFR Magazine, it is time to park the quill. His failed novelist character Charles Blenheim, whose big book has been coruscated as "bloated and immensely disagreeable", rails against the "plague of literary Jonathans" peopling The New York Times Book Review. Writers like George Saunders extolled the virtues of a story which flouts narrative convention but the subject matter a€“ paedophilia and domestic violence a€“ has turned off some readers. Coates's hybrid of memoir and reimagined history is not incendiary like Baldwin's The Fire Next Time, but it makes for just as uncomfortable reading. Horses and their riders, whose names and colours were once broadcast endlessly on radio, unlocked the young writer's imagination.
BOYS IN THE TREES, CARLY SIMONThe men, the music, the pain that came with fame – Simon's smart, frank memoir is impossible to resist. Want to know why cut apple pieces in fruit salads don’t turn brown after 21 days exposure?
From a scientific point of view, even before getting into the morality, it is just ineffective. Given free rein by a succession of wonderful editors, it has been a privilege to share my love of books with readers of this title.
If you can imagine Amy Shumer in literary mode, then you might get some inkling of the boundaries being pushed here. It does not take too great a leap of the imagination, for instance, to envisage a world where home might be your car and corporations exist to prey on the vulnerable.
We congratulate ourselves for our enlightened attitudes to race when we don't know the half of it. The winds were so high on the morning of the launch that German paratroopers were blown into the propellers of following aircraft.

Evelyn Conlon’s The Meaning of Missing is an interesting tack on the theme of emigration.
There is a row in the house, he leaves and the next time she brings him back is three years later. The FBI said the best technique is to get clever interrogators who are good at forming bonds. So here's our pick of the top 10 best science and tech books of 2015, to add some brain food to a geeky Christmas stocking. When founding editor William Fraser established the magazine in 1995, he was determined that it set the benchmark for newspaper magazines in Australia. While his characters do have a tendency to go on in the American manner of self-analysis, Purity is never disagreeable.
The inventory of new stories by Don DeLillo, Lydia Davis, George Saunders and Zadie Smith in this volume is impressive.
Your heart sinks when you think of somebody in their early 20s, when they’ve fucked off and not contacted the family for three years.
Best Science and Tech Books 2015 Misbehaving: The Making of Behavioural Economics - Richard Thaler How does psychology change the way we think about money? Goo goo ga ga to you too.Elsewhere in 2015, the small tsunami of titles dealing with the Gallipoli centenary required no colouring-in, since the historians and pundits had done it for us a€“ in blood red and deepest black.
As his protagonist Purity Tyler goes in search of the father she never knew, Franzen takes us from Denver to the former German Democratic Republic, from California to Bolivia. But there is a quid pro quo: they must alternate as prison guards at the local penitentiary. The joy of such a selection, however, is the discovery of new talent: check out SaA?d Sayrafiezadeh or NoViolet Bulawayo. He will never convince the deniers, so Flannery cleverly offers practical solutions rather than another jeremiad about climate change. Thata€™s the question at the centre of Misbehaving in which Richard Thaler, who is one of the pioneers of the field of behavioural economics, tells the story of how his nascent discipline turned traditional economics on its head.
Along the way we meet redneck mavericks of the military-industrial complex, Stasi operatives, and the self-proclaimed heroes of the hackerverse who work for the Sunshine Project, led by the charismatic Andreas Wolf. For example, how come wea€™ll travel 10 miles out of our way to save A?10 on a cheap toaster, yet we wouldna€™t do the same to save a tenner when buying an expensive TV?
It is a heady ride through an online dreamscape where truth is up for grabs and idealism can look very like trolling.
Witnessing the destruction of the local Indigenous people, young Hester Finch wonders at the nature of the transplanted civilisation of which her own family are emissaries. Existential in the most confronting sense of the term, Lispector's tales demonstrate that while posthumous recognition of her gift outside of Brazil might have come late, it is well earned. A favourite of book clubs, this ginormous Booker-shortlisted novel has for its inspiration that staple of the publishing industry, the "misery memoir". How does being told a bottle of beer was bought from a hotel or a grocery store change our perception of its value? Unusually for the publishing industry, which thrives by allowing half an idea to go viral on a petri dish, there have been few imitators. Meanwhile, inA 2015 the writer du jour was Elena Ferrante, whose prose imbued fusty book clubs with Neapolitan ochres and the wine-dark Mediterranean.Despite all prognostications to the contrary a€“ and yes, we say this every year a€“ the book as physical object is in rude health.
The younger Lish's tale of a damaged Iraq war veteran connecting with an illegal immigrant from China touches raw nerves in the American psyche, while at the same time restoring some of that old scuzzy charm to a gentrified New York. As a reviewer slowly being evicted from his living space before an emergency run to the local op shop becomes imperative, it can sometimes make you nostalgic for book burning. Bisexual, left-leaning, iconoclastic, Vidal not only tapped into the Zeitgeist, he seemed to be the Zeitgeist. Fowler suggests that the roots of the campaign against independent journalism by transnational interests and executive government lie in the media's own co-operation with these entities in return for access to information.
In the story of Alice Liddell, who inspired Lewis Caroll's Alice in Wonderland, Charles Dodgson's relationship with the Liddell family was less troubling. There are so many titles on offer that former prime minister Tony Abbott, or the luminati empanelled to decide the Prime Minister's Literary Awards, could not distinguish for the December 2014 fiction gong between Richard Flanagan's The Narrow Road to the Deep North and Steven Carroll's Forever Young, so gave it to both.

It comes as something of a reality check to learn this sharp-tongued gadfly was a nasty narcissist.
However the collision of old notions of childhood and sexuality with those of the modern world leave you a little uncomfortable nonetheless.
It explains Tetlocka€™s Good Judgment Project, in which he recruited thousands of people, asked them to make forecasts on questions of huge geopolitical importance - and aggregated together, theya€™re better than the experts.
His occasionally eye-popping memoir makes you wonder why he is more footnote than main item in the cultural inventory. There are on-set photos and pre-production designs and stunning stills from the finished product, which at this distance is still able to inspire both wonder and trepidation.
This view of nature though isna€™t Graffina€™s, and in Population Wars puts forward the thesis that nature could equally be viewed as a symphony of cooperation - with different plants and species reliant on each other for survival. Of particular note are those sketches by Brian Sanders, whose recent work has included posters for Mad Men.
The book sets out this worldview at a leisurely pace, as Graffin describes spending time in his garden, his lawn-mower buying habit, and tells anecdotes from his youth growing up and his time in music. It's 1996 and Bill Clinton has just been re-elected, but for Porter, who has lately lost his wife, there is no optimism.
Channel 4 News economics editor Paul Mason argues that in a world of ubiquitous information, where information-businesses hoard information rather than compete, we need to rethink how we organise society from the ground up. It is only when a girl is murdered that Porter rediscovers his campaigning spirit of the Civil Rights era. For example, take Wikipedia - a website that despite paying its contributors no money, has managed to singlehandedly destroy the market for encyclopaedias. Similarly sharing economy services like AirBNB, though currently operating within a capitalist framework, point to a future where sharing and cooperation replaces the drive for profits.
And what are we going to do when technology means there literally isna€™t any jobs for people to do? Billy Graves has been exiled to night duty, and in Gotham City that can equate to a circle of hell. It might be a distortion in the Earth's magnetic field but in these parts the moral compass veers wildly from true north.
Jon Ronson meets and profiles the victims of various social media assaults after their actions have gone viral. For example, perhaps the best known tale from the book is that of Justine Sacco, who boarded an international flight after making a poor-taste joke about AIDS. By the time she had landed, half of the internet had shared her tweet, it had made its way onto a number of blogs and she had been sacked from her job.
Ronson meets her, and others like her to see what happened after the initial furore died down - and paints most of them as surprisingly sympathetic characters. Happily, Text has come to the rescue and this is its latest in the restoration of Elizabeth Harrower.
Goldacre is a master of explaining complex science succinctly and simply, so that us normal people can understand - and by then end youa€™ll be fuelled by righteous anger about the amount of bullshit in the world, and full of a passion for the scientific method which exposes it. Half the stories are new but the other half are seeing the light of day for the first time in many years.
The controversial biologist and celebrity atheist this year published the second volume of his autobiography covering everything that happened from the Selfish Gene until today. The elevation in 1859 of a lowly infantry lieutenant to the nobility sets him and his descendants on a collision course with the 20th century.
Rob Brotherton is a psychologist by training and has written the definitive guide to understanding the mind of conspiracy theorist. Ancillary Mercy follows earlier books Ancillary Justice and Ancillary Sword and the third in the series follows fleet captain Breq confronting her nemesis, trying to protect the downtrodden who live in a space station and her crew.

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