Saturday, December 4, 2010

Notable books of 2010 - The New York Times

The Sunday Book Review of the NYT published a list with 100 recommended fiction and non-fiction books. Here is my selection of the books that called my attention and I that I might take a look later. All are non-fiction - or at least try to be - and the links point the respective NYT reviews.
CHRISTIANITY: The First Three Thousand Years. By Diarmaid MacCulloch. (Viking, $45.) MacCulloch traces the faith’s history through classical philosophy and Jewish tradition, fantastical visions and cold calculations, loving sacrifices and imperial ambitions.

COMMON AS AIR: Revolution, Art, and Ownership. By Lewis Hyde. (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, $26.) Hyde draws on the American founders for arguments against the privatization of knowledge.

FOUR FISH: The Future of the Last Wild Food. By Paul Greenberg. (Penguin Press, $25.95.) Even as Greenberg lays out the grim and complicated facts about the ravaging of our seas, he manages to sound some hopeful notes about the ultimate fate of fish.

HITCH-22: A Memoir. By Christopher Hitchens. (Twelve, $26.99.) When the colorful, prolific journalist shares a tender memory, he quickly converts it into a larger observation about politics, always for him the most crucial sphere of moral and intellectual life.

THE HONOR CODE: How Moral Revolutions Happen. By Kwame Anthony Appiah. (Norton, $25.95.) A philosopher traces the demise of dueling and slavery among the British and of foot-binding in China, and suggests how a fourth horrific practice — honor killings in today’s Pakistan — might someday meet its end.

INSECTOPEDIA. By Hugh Raffles. (Pantheon, $29.95.) In this beautifully written, slyly humorous encyclopedia, Raffles seeks to redress the speciesism that has cast insects as creatures to be regarded with distrust and disgust.

THE MIND’S EYE. By Oliver Sacks. (Knopf, $26.95.) In these graceful essays, the neurologist explores how his patients compensate for the abilities they have lost, and confronts his own ocular cancer.

THE PRICE OF ALTRUISM: George Price and the Search for the Origins of Kindness. By Oren Harman. (Norton, $27.95.) Harman surveys 150 years of scientific history to examine the theoretical problem at the core of behavioral biology, sociobiology and evolutionary psychology: Why do organisms sacrifice themselves for the benefit of others?
These are not the only interesting ones, go there and take a look for yourself ;)

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