A home-craft-hobbies book recommendation: The Edge: Is the Military Dominance of the West Coming to an End? by Mark Urban

A critic review (source Guardian) can be read at: http://bit.ly/1HU5Wmr.
The framework deal with Iran may be a good omen but The Edge remains a timely warning. The key is effective and realistic deterrence, to assure those who are vulnerable and dissuade those who threaten. This is a neglected but vitally important contemporary conundrum.
Book description from Google Books:
The size of western armed forces, their stocks of weaponry and their readiness for combat are declining. Meanwhile, growing nationalism is hampering international cooperation and fuelling conflict everywhere. The west’s will – as well as its capability – to shape the world is ebbing away. Beset by economic woes, western countries are continuing the post-Cold War process of disarmament at the very moment that many believe a new Cold War is starting. NATO members have compared Vladimir Putin’s foreign policy to that of Adolf Hitler, newly empowered groups such as ISIS, not to mention some governments, are tearing up the rulebook of acceptable international behaviour, and the military prowess that the western world once regarded as its prerogative is being dwarfed by countries like India and China.Tightly argued by Newsnight’s diplomatic and defence editor Mark Urban, The Edge is a sharp polemic that breaks new ground in examining the workings and consequences of these geo-political tectonics, and shows just how rapidly the balance of power has been upended.
The book is rated 3.58/5 at goodreads.com, from 69 ratings. See 9 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/1GNJfcS.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2sBxIig.

A home-craft-hobbies book recommendation: The White Road: Journey into an Obsession by Edmund de Waal

A critic review (source NY Times) can be read at: http://nyti.ms/2dHZJ2P.
“The White Road” eventually becomes a brief against standardized production and industrialization…
Book description from Google Books:
An intimate narrative history of porcelain, structured around five journeys through landscapes where porcelain was dreamed about, fired, refined, collected, and coveted.Extraordinary new nonfiction, a gripping blend of history and memoir, by the author of the award-winning and bestselling international sensation, The Hare with the Amber Eyes. In The White Road, bestselling author and artist Edmund de Waal gives us an intimate narrative history of his lifelong obsession with porcelain, or “white gold.” A potter who has been working with porcelain for more than forty years, de Waal describes how he set out on five journeys to places where porcelain was dreamed about, refined, collected and coveted-and that would help him understand the clay’s mysterious allure. From his studio in London, he starts by travelling to three “white hills”-sites in China, Germany and England that are key to porcelain’s creation. But his search eventually takes him around the globe and reveals more than a history of cups and figurines; rather, he is forced to confront some of the darkest moments of twentieth-century history. Part memoir, part history, part detective story, The White Road chronicles a global obsession with alchemy, art, wealth, craft, and purity. In a sweeping yet intimate style that recalls The Hare with the Amber Eyes, de Waal gives us a singular understanding of “the spectrum of porcelain” and the mapping of desire.
The book is rated 3.77/5 at goodreads.com, from 554 ratings. See 102 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/1I68q2m.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2ySP4gH.

A home-craft-hobbies book recommendation: The White Road: Journey into an Obsession by Edmund de Waal

A critic review (source NY Times) can be read at: http://nyti.ms/2dHZJ2P.
“The White Road” eventually becomes a brief against standardized production and industrialization…
Book description from Google Books:
An intimate narrative history of porcelain, structured around five journeys through landscapes where porcelain was dreamed about, fired, refined, collected, and coveted.Extraordinary new nonfiction, a gripping blend of history and memoir, by the author of the award-winning and bestselling international sensation, The Hare with the Amber Eyes. In The White Road, bestselling author and artist Edmund de Waal gives us an intimate narrative history of his lifelong obsession with porcelain, or “white gold.” A potter who has been working with porcelain for more than forty years, de Waal describes how he set out on five journeys to places where porcelain was dreamed about, refined, collected and coveted-and that would help him understand the clay’s mysterious allure. From his studio in London, he starts by travelling to three “white hills”-sites in China, Germany and England that are key to porcelain’s creation. But his search eventually takes him around the globe and reveals more than a history of cups and figurines; rather, he is forced to confront some of the darkest moments of twentieth-century history. Part memoir, part history, part detective story, The White Road chronicles a global obsession with alchemy, art, wealth, craft, and purity. In a sweeping yet intimate style that recalls The Hare with the Amber Eyes, de Waal gives us a singular understanding of “the spectrum of porcelain” and the mapping of desire.
The book is rated 3.77/5 at goodreads.com, from 554 ratings. See 102 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/1I68q2m.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2ySP4gH.

A home-craft-hobbies book recommendation: Of Cats and Men: Profiles of History’s Great Cat-Loving Artists, Writers, Thinkers, and Statesmen by Sam Kalda

A critic review (source Dear Author) can be read at: http://bit.ly/2ys0tDr.
…was thrilled to learn more about fellow cat lovers as well as charmed by your delightful illustrations.
Book description from Google Books:
A stylish, illustrated gift book profiling notable cat-loving men throughout history. Some of history’s greatest men have been cat lovers, and their cats have contributed to their genius and legacy: the static charge from a cat’s fur sparked young Nikola Tesla’s interest in electricity; Sir Isaac Newton is said to have invited the first cat flap; visitors to Ernest Hemingway and Winston Churchill’s homes still encounter the descendants of their beloved cats; William S. Burroughs and Andy Warhol both wrote books inspired by their feline friends. Stylishly illustrated and full of charming, witty profiles and quotes from history’s most notable “cat men,” Of Cats and Men pays tribute to thirty luminaries and visionaries who have one thing in common: a pure and enduring love of cats.
The book is rated 4.30/5 at goodreads.com, from 81 ratings. See 44 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2xJeppm.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2hOdFt7.

A home-craft-hobbies book recommendation: Close Encounters of the Furred Kind: New Adventures with My Sad Cat & Other Feline Friends by Tom Cox

A critic review (source LA Times) can be read at: http://lat.ms/2dmIWiD.
Cox’s prose about his furry family are what makes his memoir more endearing than a mere repackaging of his cats’ best Twitter material, even to a dog person like me.
Book description from Google Books:
Close Encounters of the Furred Kind is the follow-up to the Sunday Times Top Ten Bestseller The Good, The Bad, and the Furry. Like The Good, The Bad, and the Furry, it tells the story of Tom Cox’s life with his charismatic cats–The Bear, Shipley, Ralph, and recent recruit Roscoe.Close Encounters of the Furred Kind begins with a long, emotional goodbye to Norfolk, and continues with another amazing new lease on life for The Bear, the Benjamin Button of the cat world, among the bluebells and verdant hedgerows of Devon. Readers who became attached to The Bear’s magical, owlish persona during his previous adventures will become more so here as he proves, once again, that he’s a cat with endless secrets and significantly more than nine lives.
The book is rated 4.37/5 at goodreads.com, from 585 ratings. See 98 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2cMtkI6.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2yNnH7s.

A home-craft-hobbies book recommendation: The War on Guns: Arming Yourself Against Gun Control Lies by John R. Lott Jr.

A critic review (source Washington Times) can be read at: http://bit.ly/2eti3KD.
In his new book, “The War on Guns: Arming Yourself Against Gun Control Lies,” John Lott methodically dismantles one popular gun-control myth after another.
Book description from Google Books:
The Second Amendment defender John R. Lott Jr., Ph.D., economist and gun rights advocate, goes beyond philosophical arguments to confront opponents of gun ownership with the facts. Through rigorous research and analysis of data, he has been able to show that increased gun possession can actually make people safer and reduce crime. Terrorists and mass murderers consciously pick targets where they know victims will be unable to defend themselves, and the push for more gun control only makes the types of attacks that we fear more likely to occur. The War on Guns has well-documented data, statistics, practical, legal, and moral arguments to support the natural right to self-defense. He looks into the many ways that anti-gun ‘statistics’ and ‘research’ have been used to perpetrate utter falsehoods and misleading propaganda, using the best evidence available data from natural experiments on the effects of gun regulations to compare the effects of alternative policies. Arrayed against him are the entire public health establishment and much of the media, but he carefully analyzes many of the arguments made against gun ownership and shows using both statistical and anecdotal evidence that they are incorrect. He also shows that wealthy opponents of gun ownership finance much fallacious “public health” research on the effects of guns. This is a valuable guide to a more balanced understanding of the issue of gun control.
The book is rated 4.35/5 at goodreads.com, from 77 ratings. See 9 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2dAHNY2.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2y6cE5L.

A home-craft-hobbies book recommendation: Cutaway Colouring 1960 onwards (all makes and models) by Editors of Haynes Manuals

A critic review (source Guardian) can be read at: http://bit.ly/1INg2qs.
Haynes, famous for its maintenance manuals, has now brought out a book of them. And, as if that’s not exciting enough, the idea is that you can colour in the diagrams, too.
Book description from Google Books:
The enthusiasm for adult ‘colouring-in’ has resulted in numerous titles being published over recent months, covering subjects such as flowers, animals and decorative patterns, with links to mindfulness and art therapies. The one area that hasn’t been targeted is the more structured and mechanical approach, which would appeal to the male market. The Haynes classic cutaways fit the bill perfectly, and the variety of cars included in the owners’ colouring manual have wide appeal across all ages. Cutaway Colouring contains over 180 cutaways, along with a brief history about the classic Haynes Manual.
The book is rated 2.67/5 at goodreads.com, from 3 ratings.
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A home-craft-hobbies book recommendation: The Moth Presents All These Wonders: True Stories About Facing the Unknown by Catherine Burns

A critic review (source NY Times) can be read at: http://nyti.ms/2xgFVx7.
Some are heartbreakingly sad; some laugh-out-loud funny; some momentous and tragic; almost all of them resonant or surprising. They are stories that attest to the startling varieties and travails of human experience…
Book description from Google Books:
“Wonderful.” –Michiko Kakutani, New York Times Celebrating the 20th anniversary of storytelling phenomenon The Moth, 45 unforgettable true stories about risk, courage, and facing the unknown, drawn from the best ever told on their stages Carefully selected by the creative minds at The Moth, and adapted to the page to preserve the raw energy of live storytelling, All These Wonders features voices both familiar and new. Alongside Louis C.K., Tig Notaro, John Turturro, and Meg Wolitzer, readers will encounter: an astronomer gazing at the surface of Pluto for the first time, an Afghan refugee learning how much her father sacrificed to save their family, a hip-hop star coming to terms with being a “one-hit wonder,” a young female spy risking everything as part of Churchill’s “secret army” during World War II, and more. High-school student and neuroscientist alike, the storytellers share their ventures into uncharted territory–and how their lives were changed indelibly by what they discovered there. With passion, and humor, they encourage us all to be more open, vulnerable, and alive.
The book is rated 4.50/5 at goodreads.com, from 1149 ratings. See 205 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2wCb7mV.
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A home-craft-hobbies book recommendation: This New Noise: The Extraordinary Birth and Troubled Life of the BBC by Charlotte Higgins

A critic review (source Guardian) can be read at: http://bit.ly/2cMEak4.
If it is to survive in anything like a recognisable form – and it would be a national tragedy if it did not – the BBC needs to reinvent itself again. It also needs its friends to make their voices heard, and in this context Higgins’s informative, educational and entertaining book makes a powerful contribution.
Book description from Google Books:
Charlotte Higgins, the Guardian’s chief culture writer, steps behind the polished doors of Broadcasting House and investigates the BBC. Based on her hugely popular essay series, this personal journey answers the questions that rage around this vulnerable, maddening and uniquely British institution. Questions such as, what does the BBC mean to us now? What are the threats to its continued existence? Is it worth fighting for? Higgins traces its origins, celebrating the early pioneering spirit and unearthing forgotten characters whose imprint can still be seen on the BBC today. She explores how it forged ideas of Britishness both at home and abroad. She shows how controversy is in its DNA and brings us right up to date through interviews with grandees and loyalists, embattled press officers and high profile dissenters, and she sheds new light on recent feuds and scandals. This is a deeply researched, lyrically written, intriguing portrait of an institution at the heart of Britain.
The book is rated 3.53/5 at goodreads.com, from 58 ratings. See 8 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/1IFuVJz.
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A home-craft-hobbies book recommendation: The Gardens of the British Working Class by Margaret Willes

A critic review (source Guardian) can be read at: http://bit.ly/1MpGV2P.
…in this wonderfully rich study, Margaret Willes reveals the forgotten history of Britain’s working-class horticulturalists, from Philip Miller, who took over the Chelsea Physic Garden in 1722, to the proud owners of postwar prefabs with their tea roses and garden gnomes.
Book description from Google Books:
This magnificently illustrated people’s history celebrates the extraordinary feats of cultivation by the working class in Britain, even if the land they toiled, planted, and loved was not their own. Spanning more than four centuries, from the earliest records of the laboring classes in the country to today, Margaret Willes’s research unearths lush gardens nurtured outside rough workers’ cottages and horticultural miracles performed in blackened yards, and reveals the ingenious, sometimes devious, methods employed by determined, obsessive, and eccentric workers to make their drab surroundings bloom. She also explores the stories of the great philanthropic industrialists who provided gardens for their workforces, the fashionable rich stealing the gardening ideas of the poor, alehouse syndicates and fierce rivalries between vegetable growers, flower-fanciers cultivating exotic blooms on their city windowsills, and the rich lore handed down from gardener to gardener through generations. This is a sumptuous record of the myriad ways in which the popular cultivation of plants, vegetables, and flowers has played—and continues to play—an integral role in everyday British life.
The book is rated 4.12/5 at goodreads.com, from 8 ratings. See 1 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/1MpGWDS.
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