Bad science: why you should really put down the hopi ear candles (p.6) and homeopathy (p.28) and the fascinating world of the placebo effect (p.63).
Science magpie: just what is PH? (p.42), where some loud sounds are on the decibel level (p.92), real molecules with silly names (p.133).
Check out what is near you that you never knew about with the ‘OS historical map of ancient Britain’
‘The modern antiquarian’ Julian Cope’s guide to megalithic sites in Britain. Interesting essays in the first half and a colour coded guide in the second.
Counter Culture through the ages: Taoism (p.62), Sufi (p. 100), troubadours (p.118), 20th Century counter culture (p.246), things get heavy (p. 283).
Read the excellent introduction to ‘revolution in the head’ for an understanding of why the sixties hippy dream crashed and burned (or did it?).
People’s eye witness accounts: Spanish civil war: ‘Blood of Spain’. Julius Caesar conquering Gaul and what he found. Camera in conflict: civil disturbance goes from the earliest photo of a protest (the Chartists in 1848) to the sixties bringing events vividly to life.
Dr Tatiana’s sex advice for all of creation: why do lionesses want sex every half hour for five days and nights? (p.33), sponge louse sneaky males infiltrate bigger males harems pretending to be females (p.77), marine iguana’s and their two penises and why they masturbate so frequently (p.88), strategies for making love to a cannibal (p.95), female green spoon worms over 200 000 times bigger than the males. They inhale the males and then keep them inside for their whole life (p.199).
Ever wondered what it was like being a transvestite in Stuart England? Wonder no more with ‘travesties and transgressions in Tudor and Stuart England’ (p.92).
Bonk: Dip into the history of studying human sexual behaviour including impotence trials (p.149), testicle implants (p.157) and spontaneous orgasms (p.237).
Rent: A graphic novel using author’s experience of being a prostitute.
Bury me standing: gypsies’ experiences across Europe
Persepolis: a graphic novel around one person living in Tehran before, during and after the Iranian Revolution.
Brassai: photos from ‘the secret life of paris in the 30s’ feels like an insider glimpse into a vanished underground.
Love of liberty
On Liberty J.S. Mill sums up the argument that if you are not hurting anyone else then your activities are your own business.
Orgasms of history: various historical attempts to live differently and freely.
Come read the bits they didn’t seem to go into much at school:
12 Noah gets drunk and damns a son to perpetual slavery for having seen him naked.
21 Lot and his daughters and their re-population plans…
Understand how the bible uneasily comprises of different tribes creation myths in the history of ‘the bible’ by Karen Armstrong.
Check out what the Greeks believed in ‘Children of the gods’ or find your most local folklore in ‘folklore myths and legends of Britain’
To re-inspire you around the wonders of existence and love read some Rumi.
Write down a new recipe for easily foraged booze in ‘Booze for free’
Fend off a shark (p.46), Escape Killer Bees (p.60), Quicksand (p.18), perform a tracheotomy (p.88), malfunctioning parachute (p.137) in ‘Worst case Scenarios’.
Still using the same old paper aeroplane design? Get some new ideas from ‘paper aeroplanes’
Brush up your skills with the ‘SAS survival guide handbook’ on testing unknown plants (p.57), and building an igloo (p.123).
Learn how to do your own loft conversion in ten easy illustrated steps with the ever optimistic ‘Complete DIY Manual’
Finish that song or poem you’ve been struggling with using the ‘rhyming dictionary’.
Work out what’s going wrong with yours in: ‘backyard composting’.
The idiocy of using drinking water to flush away nutrients, learn about the broken nutrient cycle (p.42) and other uses for urine in ‘Liquid Gold’.
Humanure handbook: How to make compost toilets, arm yourself with the facts around how the composting process deals with all potential pathogens (p.127) rendering them completely harmless within two years and leaving enviable compost.
Learn a skill around going off grid seventies style with: ‘the mother earth news almanac’.
Learn the basics and plan your own solar array in the solar handbook
The world around you
See what is growing at this time of year in the ‘illustrated wild flower finder’s calendar’ and then learn more about it in the ‘the new herbal and encyclopaedia of medicinal plants’.
Look at the animal tracks and signs book to see what has been creeping round your yard.
Borrow the star finder and put in today’s date to see what will be up tonight.
Any part of Caitlin Moran’s ‘How to be a woman’ is funny. Just one example is what to call female genitalia (p.57).
Hitchhikers guide to the galaxy series will have you chuckling on most pages.
Pick any show out of Bill Hicks ‘Love all the people’ and re-remember how needed he still is.
A reprint of 1946 ‘guidance to US servicemen’ gives a short, wry look at US/UK differences (two nations divided by a common language indeed).
Trouble sleeping? A quick browse through ‘the observer guide to grasses, sedges and rushes’ should see you right!
MISC: Hunderwasser: the need for buildings to incorporate trees. As colourful in his architecture as his art.