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non-fiction

Die BRD existiert nicht. Angela Merkel ist Hitlers Tochter. Und Chemtrails sollen uns vergiften. Es ist leicht in der ganzen post-truth Debatte auf die USA zu zeigen und belächelnd den Kopf zu schütteln, wenn mal wieder eine abstruse Verschwörungstheorie auftaucht. Das wir aber gar nicht bis über den Ozean schauen müssen um das Gruseln zu bekommen, zeigen Christian Alt und Christian Schiffer.⁠ Auf ihrer Reise durch ein paranoides Land (es ist tatsächlich Deutschland) treffen sie Verschwörungstheoretiker, Aussteiger und Opfer. Sie decken die psychologischen Mechanismen auf, die zu Verschwörungstheorien führen, erklären, warum das Internet nur zum Teil Schuld hat und tragen 23 goldene Regeln zusammen, mit denen wir den Wahnsinn endlich aufhalten können. Ein aufklärerisches Manifest und ein furioser Road Trip – auf dem sie dann aber einen großen Fehler machen: Sie erfinden eine eigene Verschwörungstheorie. Buy ...

Even though it feels kind of weird that a book about bookstores around the world is inspired by our little shop, it's also kind of cool ; )⁠ And while we still can't believe that we've been in business for more than ten years and perhaps played our part in giving independent publishing a voice, we really want to thank this rich world of print for being part of it and for surprising and inspiring us every day a new. With digital media alone, we would all quickly drown in our own bubble of algorithmic repetition.⁠ But fortunately there are tons of publications that deal with subculture, explore unpopular topics, show visual diversity, make people think, and push the boundaries of print. And fortunately there are independent publishers who are bold and courageous. And fortunately there are independent bookstores that dig through the thousands and thousands of new publications and pick out the unparalleled highlights to bring them to you. And fortunately there are you, too, who are hungry to be surprised and stimulated and astonished and inspired and enthralled.⁠ Happy to be part of this! Buy...

In Morocco, the only acceptable sexual activity is between a woman and her husband. Where all forms of extra-marital sex, homosexuality and prostitution are not only socially frowned upon but also punishable by law, women appear to have two options: be a virgin or be a wife.⁠ The first work of non-fiction in English from the prize-winning and internationally bestselling author Leila Slimani gives voice to young Moroccan women who are grappling with a conservative Arab culture that at once condemns and commodifies sex. By telling their intimate stories, by breaking taboos, by letting us into their thoughts and struggles, these women do not just break the silence, they also show that their lives and their lust matters. Which makes this book political and a vibrant appeal for the universal freedom to be, to love and to desire. ⁠ Buy...

Nowadays humans spend most of their time indoors (and that not only since Covid-19), disconnected from nature. Even though scientific evidence suggests that nature sits at the heart of our psychological wellbeing, we move more and more away from it. Journalist Lucy Jones investigates what happens with our minds as we loose our Eden.⁠ Travelling from forest schools in East London, to the Svalbard Global Seed Vault, Poland's primeval woodlands, Californian laboratories to eco-therapists' couches, Jones explores how and why connecting with the living world can so drastically affect our health.⁠ Delicately observed and rigorously researched, this book makes us understand that we should not only protect and integrate nature into our life for nature's but also for our own sake. Losing Eden is a moving and inspiring call for rewilding our lives to save our mind and bodies.⁠ Buy...

Exceptional situations require exceptional books! Well, at least they can help us to endure these times. As we are thrown back on the minimum of what our lives are made of right now, John Maeda’s book 'The Laws of Simplicity' is such a book. Whether for business, technology, or life in general the graphic designer and professor in MIT’s Media Lab succeeds to break down the principles of simplicity into 10 essential components. By following the doctrine that good design should be equated with sanity, he outlines different methods (even here, he keeps it mesmerising simple by summarising them in acronyms) to offer a framework on how to keep it as simple as possible without lacking complexity, and hence functionality or even meaning. While Law 9 'Failure' is described as „Some things can never be made simple” luckily the 2nd Law 'Organize' comes into play as “The home is usually the first battleground that comes to mind when facing the daily challenge of managing complexity.” Buy...

When the New Yorker staff writer, Lillian Ross, met ‚le petite Truffaut‘, the French cinéaste, author, critic and pioneering film director of La Nouvelle Vague the fifth time in 1976, his English was surprisingly “terrific!”. Truffaut who seemed throughout resistant to pick up any English word far into his career, announced proudly that he had taken an intensive language course - which was basically reading the newspaper and watching the Watergate hearings on TV. Overwhelmed by the charming pronunciation Ross transcribed most of what he had to say phonetically for the magazine section 'Talk of Town': “To ze best of my recollection at zis point in time.” He could read books in English. “I read ‚Ze final Days,‘” he told us. “Extraordinaire!“ I also read 'I remember Eet Well,’ by Vincente Minelli. But cannot read ze novels in English. Ze vocabulaire! Ver-ee difficult!” The beautifully written texts by Lilian Ross, shifting between interview and portrait, give you a very personal, touching sight of this extraordinary filmmaker. During these five encounters, they talk about his latest movies, but also how he spends his vacation (mostly he sits by the pool of the Beverly Hills Hotel, not going into the pool, not playing tennis, just sitting there or, visiting his long-time friend Jean Renoir from time to time), life in general, while he regularly updates the incredible number of movies he has seen (by the time they caught up in 1976 Truffaut had watched 5450 movies from the age of 11 years!). This small pocket book of grand journalism leaves you with only one desire: that this should never end! Also you probably will have difficulties to decide who to love more: Lillian Ross or François Truffaut? Frankly, maybe it doesn't really have to end, find more of the Film Desk Books here. Buy...

"Saving the planet begins at breakfast" states the subtitle of "We are the Weather", the latest book of Jonathan Safran Foer. And while we chew on our Sunday brunch, we might initially take a defensive state - Really? Now Foer tells us that even our most favorite Sunday habit is a threat to life? - But stay calm, this book is not about food and eating habits. On the other hand it is also not meant to calm you. So we take that back.⁠ In the first part of the book, titled "The Unbelievable", Foer tells shortly historical turning points and personal stories, which all lead to the suspicion that the human mind is unable to emotionally engage with something that is terrifying by the facts but invisible in every day life and therefor not shaking our emotions. Like the climate crisis. "Our alarm systems are not built for conceptual threats." Which seems one of the reasons why we know about climate change and the threat it is to human life but are unable to take actions. And even though Foer just concluded that we are somehow immune to the devastating facts, he presents us with them nonetheless - through bullet-point lists. Arranged in small size bites and still far from being easily digestible.⁠ ⁠But instead of now presenting us with tools or action plans, what one might expect, to overcome our paralysis, we will read impressions and anecdotes of what means "Home" followed by a inner monologue titled "Dispute with the soul". And latest now it dawns us. What the hard facts are unable to do, Foer is trying (and succeeds at) - he emotionally shake us.⁠ ⁠ May that be the wake up call we all needed to finally take the steps necessary to safe our biotope, our home.⁠ Buy ...

If not already convinced that social media is negatively influencing your life, many of us are quite sceptical about its benefits, and the poorly checked role of culprits like Facebook and Google. Click delete to save your soul is the main message of Silicon Valley pioneer and web rebel, Jaron Lanier. In “Ten Arguments for Deleting your Social Media Accounts” Lanier warns about how algorithms are predicated on triggering negative emotions and manipulating our behaviours. “The evidence suggests”, he says, social media “is making us sadder, angrier, less empathetic, more fearful, more isolated and more tribal.” and as such there will be not solution if we do not take part in the solution. “Quitting is the only way to learn what can replace our grand mistake.” Buy...

Here's a meticulous compilation of some historically invaluable dialogues made between photographers, writer, critics, curators, editors, and artists from 1985 to the present day. Released by Aperture, the New York based photography quarterly journal, these dialogues are collected from previous publications of the journal, based on their originality and historical merit. This includes conversations between more than 50 emerging artists and more established ones who openly spoke about the state of affairs and future destiny of photography. Some of the discussed topics include: the relationship between Instagram and storytelling, the story behind why French humanist photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson nearly had a posthumous exhibition while still alive, how did Stephen Shore ended up working with colour...