The curious history of Irish dogs

There are nine breeds of dog that are native to Ireland: four terriers, three gun dogs, and two hounds. In The Curious History of Irish Dogs, David Blake Knox tells the remarkable stories of each of the nine breeds, and reveals how they have become inextricably linked with the people …

Testosterone Rex : unmaking the myths of our gendered minds

Rec’d back in Feb by Aarti on Twitter. Testosterone Rex brings together evolutionary science, psychology, neuroscience and social history to move beyond old ‘nature versus nurture’ debates, and to explain why it’s time to unmake the tyrannical myth of Testosterone Rex. (Testosterone Rex: Unmaking the Myths of Our Gendered Minds …

The truth about stories

From what I remember I bought this book a few years ago because of Aarti’s A More Diverse Universe reading challenge. I didn’t get around to reading it then, but for some reason it popped out at me when I went to shelve a different book. So I picked it …

The History Thieves : secrets, lies and the shaping of a modern nation

In 1889, the first Official Secrets Act was passed and created offences of ‘disclosure of information’ and ‘breach of official trust’. It limited and monitored what the public could, and should, be told. Since then, Britain’s governments and civil service have been engaged in the greatest identity fraud of all …

The Girl who beat isis

In August 2014, Farida, like any ordinary teenage girl, was enjoying the summer holidays before her last year at school. But Farida lived in the mountains of northern Iraq — and what happened next was unimaginable. Her village was an ISIS target. In Ireland we forget sometimes just how good …

Between the world and me

Ta-Nehisi Coates is a name that has floated around me for a while now. Often in discussions on Metafilter about racism and America and what it is to be black, or what it is to think yourself white in the US. But I’ve never really read his work before, so …

Jane Eyre’s Sisters

Don’t you just love it when you pick up a book at random thinking it looks vaguely interesting and then you devour it? That is what happened me with this book. I spotted it among the new books at the library and almost didn’t pick it up, mainly because I …

The Genius of Dogs

“Brian Hare, dog researcher, evolutionary anthropologist, and founder of the Duke Canine Cognition Center, and Vanessa Woods offer revolutionary new insights into dog intelligence and the interior lives of our smartest pets.” Obviously this book is aimed more at dog lovers than at any more general reader, so if you …

A Slip of the Keyboard

A week or two before Terry Pratchett died A slip of the keyboard and A blink of the screen arrived for me from amazon. I added them to the bookshelves, thinking I’ll get to them in a bit. And then came the news that Pterry had died. It was strange …

Cracked not broken

When he was nineteen years old Kevin Hines jumped from the Golden Gate bridge in San Francisco to what he thought would be his death. As he fell he found himself changing his mind. And luckily for him he survived. Severely injured, but he was pulled from the water alive. …