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connect with nature

How to connect with nature, by Tristan Gooley

A couple of weeks ago I was out early for a breakfast radio show, and I happened to hear a guy on the radio talking about the art of finding your way in the world without the help of man-made devices. He was an expert on ‘natural navigation’, orienting yourself entirely with the signs and […]

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economics users guide chang

Economics: The User’s Guide, by Ha-Joon Chang

Most people don’t find economics very engaging. Ha-Joon Chang knows this, which is why the first chapter of his new book is about why should you read it, and how. You can skip the boring bits, he says. If you don’t have much time, read the first two chapters and the end. There’s even a […]

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cheaponomics

Book review: Cheaponomics, by Michael Carolan

People have always been suckers for a bargain, but the pressure to deliver cheap prices has become a key driving force of our consumer economy. The prices of many things, from clothes to household appliances, have consistently fallen in recent decades. More and more of us have been able to buy the things we want […]

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rough ride to the future

A rough ride to the future, by James Lovelock

James Lovelock is one of Britain’s most influential scientists. For most of his career he worked independently, a free ranging maverick who could turn his mind to anything that caught his imagination. He came up with Gaia theory, invented the measuring devices that made it possible to detect CFCs in the atmosphere, and built tools […]

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death-of-money-cover

The Death of Money, by James Rickards

Books called ‘the death of’ something or ‘the end of’ are almost never about the literal end of that thing. Money can’t die, after all – if all else fails, we can use ringpulls, or marbles, or spoons. So the book isn’t about the death of money per se. It’s about the decline of the […]

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I spend therefore I am

How to live a non-economic life

A couple of weeks ago I reviewed I Spend, Therefore I Am, by Philip Roscoe. It’s a serious book that deals with how economic language and modes of thinking has crept into everyday life, and what the consequences might be. Philip Roscoe’s guide to a non-economic life is not quite so serious, but it makes […]

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I spend therefore I am

I Spend, Therefore I Am, by Philip Roscoe

I have read a fair amount of economics, and I often experience a certain discomfort with it. There are theories that make perfect sense in the textbook, but just don’t work out in the real world. They don’t reflect the complexity of human experience, or stand up to the slippery reasoning of our decision making. […]

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the_slow_fix-cover

The Slow Fix, by Carl Honore

Several years ago I read In Praise of Slow, Carl Honore’s tour of the slow movement. It’s a book that I really enjoyed, and that inspired my thinking in a few new ways, so I’ve been looking forward to a follow up of some kind. The Slow Fix is a book about problem solving. It’s […]

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A_Guide_for_the_Perplexed_1977

E F Schumacher’s A Guide for the Perplexed

  E F Schumacher was an influential thinker of the last century, a pioneer of the early environmental movement and alternative economics. He founded the development charity Practical Action, inspired the New Economics Foundation, and turned his esoteric mind to all kinds of topics, from education to renewable energy. When he is quoted, which is […]

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the democracy project

My books of 2013

I always enjoy reviewing my reading at the end of the year and choosing a few favourites. In no particular order, here are the five books that stand out most from everything I read in 2013. The Democracy Project, by David Graeber Ostensibly a history and insider perspective of the Occupy movement, The Democracy Project […]

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