Essential Reads 2021 – Part One

We’ve put together a collection of books that we’re recommending as essential reading for 2021. These new and forthcoming releases offer a general audience a depth of understanding and some fresh approaches across a wide range of important subjects. More than that, we feel the selection highlights the unique and diverse publishing offered by the University Presses we represent. Read on to find out which books we’ve chosen, and our reasons for choosing them.

The Actual True Story of Ahmed and Zarga

Why we chose it: This novel will draw you into a special world and place. We enjoyed the sense of life stripped back to essentials, the rituals of life for the desert dwelling Bedouin, the spiritual element and the wisdom imparted in the tradition of the best fables. The adventures Ahmed has, mixed with the dreams and reflections on what he has learnt from his grandmother, make for a wonderful blend of storytelling.

Ohio University Press

Virulent Zones
Animal Disease and Global Health at China’s Pandemic Epicenter

Why we chose it: We chose Virulent Zones, researched and written before the Covid-19 pandemic, as it promises to be an important work exploring the broader context of virus ecologies beyond the current crisis.

Duke University Press

The Migrant Diaries

Why we chose it: The Migrant Diaries is necessary reading to understand the events of the migrant crisis, the people involved and, crucially, to think about how we can help. 

Fordham University Press

Averting Catastrophe
Decision Theory for COVID-19, Climate Change, and Potential Disasters of All Kinds

Why we chose it: Averting Catastrophe is an important and timely insight into decision making in crisis situations, required reading at a time when decision making has been so scrutinised and hotly debated.

New York University Press

Design, Control, Predict
Logical Governance in the Smart City

Why we chose it: An essential book which explores the potential pitfalls of the using data-driven technologies to govern urban life. Indispensable reading at a time when powerful advocates see them as the infallible answer to all our problems, rather than as tools which can be used selectively.

University of Minnesota Press

Trans Medicine
The Emergence and Practice of Treating Gender

Why we chose it: As debate around transgender rights in the UK becomes increasingly toxic, the informed, scholarly work of books like this are needed more than ever. 

New York University Press

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