Geographical’s Top Ten Books of 2021

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THE POWER OF GEOGRAPHY: Ten Maps Revealing the Future of Our World by Tim Marshall

In the sequel to his bestseller Prisoners of Geography, Tim Marshall returns to explore ten regions that will shape global politics for decades to come. Each of the chapters (focusing on Australia, Ethiopia, Greece, Iran, Sahel, Saudi Arabia, Spain, Turkey, UK, and outer space) introduces the reader to the geographical features that shape each country’s past and present. before he focuses on the future. Addressing key issues such as climate change, religion and access to resources, The power of geography is an accessible, information-rich introduction to current geopolitics.

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DON'T BE BAD

DON’T BE EVIL: The Case Against Great Technology by Rana Foroohar

Journalist Rana Foroohar takes a skeptical look at the tech giants, examining how these once pioneering and sometimes idealistic start-ups became the monopolies they are today, each with enough power to threaten our democracy and the global economy. don’t be badTaking its name from Google’s original business mantra, in-depth explores the dark side of digital technology — surveillance, the loss of privacy, and the spread of misinformation — in a way that might concern readers, but better inform them.

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Under a white sky

UNDER A WHITE SKY: the nature of the future by Elizabeth Kolbert

In Under a white sky, Elizabeth Kolbert explores the myriad ways in which humans attempt to resolve the unintended consequences of our own attempts to control nature. These interventions are innovative and often unbelievable; in a chapter on geoengineering, Kolbert discusses the idea of ​​spraying tiny, sun-reflecting particles high into the sky that would keep the planet cool and turn the sky from blue to white. It’s one of many, sometimes haunting, stories the Pulitzer Prize-winning author shares to illustrate how everything in our ecosystems is interconnected, and how much we’ve already interfered with the natural world.

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Chasing the thrill

HUNTING THE VIBRATION: Obsession, Death and Glory in America’s Most Extraordinary Treasure Hunt by Daniel Barbarisi

When an eccentric millionaire art dealer is diagnosed with cancer and plans to publish a cryptic poem that provides clues to the whereabouts of a hidden chest full of gold, a ten-year treasure hunt begins. In Chasing the thrill, Daniel Barbarisi charts the manic search that led thousands to search the mountains of New Mexico, Colorado and Wyoming, often leading to tragic results. With other historical tales of treasure hunting, this is a full throttle adventure story set against the beautiful backdrop of the beautiful Rocky Mountains.

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FREE Coming of Age Edited

FREE: Growing Up at the End of History by Lea Ypi

In her memoir about her life in Albania, once one of the most isolated countries in the world and the last Stalinist outpost in Europe, Lea Ypi writes about what it was like to grow up in a country that changed almost overnight. As statues topple, Ypi tries to make sense of her new world, while questioning the true nature of this newfound freedom. Free is a rare and nuanced look into Albania’s history, offering the personal perspective of a childhood spent in the shadow of an oppressive regime, and the long and turbulent transition that followed.

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RACE FOR TOMORROW by Simon Mundy

RACE FOR TOMORROW: survival, innovation and profit on the frontline of the climate crisis by Simon Mundy

Simon Mundy’s whirlwind tour of the frontlines of the climate crisis takes us through 26 countries on six continents, introducing the people and communities struggling to adapt to a changing world. Race for tomorrow covers the lesser-known stories alongside stories readers may have heard about elsewhere, with a dedication to highlighting individual voices — even the man behind the faceless, deforestation-driven, meat-packing giant JBS. Mundy’s main tenet is the importance of adaptability, an attitude that will have to be embraced by all of us in the coming years.

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Empireland

EMPIRELAND: How Imperialism Shaped Modern Britain by Sathnam Sanghera

Empireland is a darkly illuminating account of the empire’s often hidden history, and how it continues to shape modern British identity and culture. Sathnam Sanghera’s admission of his own ignorance before starting the book will resonate with many British readers whose historical education was traced back to World Wars and Henry VIII’s wives. In his book, he argues that learning about and accepting our Imperial past, which has influenced everything from the NHS to Brexit, is fundamental to understanding what it means to be British today.

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Iran's heart rate reduced

THE HEARTBEAT OF IRAN: Real Voices of a Country and Its People by Tara Kangarlou

The Heartbeat of Iran presents the colorful and complex, but little-heard stories of the Iranian people, mostly overshadowed by the dark image of the country often portrayed in the news. Tara Kangarlou introduces some of Iran’s more famous residents, including Laleh Seddigh, the country’s first female race car driver, alongside more commoners – the blind Sunni environmentalist and the gay son of an army general. Each story brings together parts of the country’s history, while also portraying modern Iranian life.

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Finding the Mother Tree

FINDING THE MOTHER TREE: Discovering the wisdom and intelligence of the forest by Suzanne Simhard

Suzanne Simard takes on the role of ‘forest detective’, challenging the short-sighted logging and management practices that threaten the long-term survival of forests. Her book, part memoir, part science, reveals the groundbreaking discovery of the vast fungal networks – “mycorrhiza” – that plants use to work and communicate together, and without which many would not survive. Finding the Mother Tree is a passionate and inspiring lecture that shows how storytelling can be used to engage a new audience in science.

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Life on Earth reduced

A (VERY) SHORT HISTORY OF LIFE ON EARTH: 4.6 billion years in 12 chapters by Henry Gee

In A (very) short history of life on Earth, Henry Gee neatly and deftly summarizes the mind-boggling complexity of the last 4.6 billion years of life in an easily digestible 234 pages. Starting 100 million years after the planet first formed, it races through the many evolutionary breakthroughs that follow and, while packed with information, prevents it from ever becoming overwhelming. Gee skillfully outlines the big picture for us as he describes how the many species and environments have shaped each other over time.

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