New and forthcoming

The Art of Being Decent

Lodro Rinzler

Drawing on the Buddhist tradition, The Art of Being Decent is full of entertaining and useful advice on everyday mindfulness, from the Chief Spiritual Officer at MNDFL.

We live in difficult times. When you’re stressed out it’s hard to practice self-care let alone be mindful of the people around you. But being selfish, angry or downright rude isn’t going to make you a happier person. And it isn’t going to help make the world a better place.

The Art of Being Decent is a practical guide to a more mindful relationship with your everyday activities. It's about dealing with the way things are, rather than melting down because they’re not how you think they should be. Using simple mindful techniques taken from the Buddhist tradition, learn how to stay calm in everyday scenarios: from remaining gracious when a waiter delivers the wrong food to keeping your cool when someone cuts in front of you in a queue.

A roadmap for being a kind, compassionate and decent person, this is a little book about being less insulted by the world, and less insulting to the world.

Reasons for Optimism

Lily Cole

A Radical Guide to Thinking Differently About the World and Initiating Change

In 2013, Lily Cole was aware that change was needed in the world - big change. Global warming had reached terrifying heights of severity, human expansion and development had seen the extinction of countless species, and Neoliberalism and led to a destructive divide in wealth and to a polarisation of mainstream politics. And she believed that, in the face of such a gloomy predicament, the answer lay in optimism.

Taking inspiration from altruism-based communities, she launched Impossible, a platform (Impossible People) for people to give their time and skills to help others. Impossible has since evolved into an incubator and innovator, which uses design and technology to help solve social and environmental issues. Reasons for Optimism draws together Lily's knowledge, the experiences which led her to Impossible, and everything she has learned from the enterprise. In it she describes how we can build stronger communities, invest in sustainable solutions and ultimately divest ourselves of the enormous burden represented by capitalism and our current monetary system. Full of practical tips to help you instigate change, from how to build a community library to share books and knowledge, to how to launch a social network like Impossible, Reasons for Optimism is a radical vision for a new and better world.

The Anatomy of Melancholy

Robert Burton (and others)

A new Penguin Classics edition of Burton's masterpiece - ostensibly a guidebook to melancholia or depression, in reality an all-encompassing examination of the human condition.

The Anatomy of Melancholy is the vast and only work by Robert Burton, the 17th-century English priest and scholar. It 'opens and cuts up' the condition of melancholy, or depression as we know it today, and in doing so explores a dizzying range of additional topics, including goblins, beauty, the geography of America, digestion, the passions, alcohol and kissing. Burton believed that reading was a cure for melancholy, and so the book itself - one of the most unique and uncategorisable works of all time - can be seen as a tonic for the very condition it describes.

Live Like A Stoic

Massimo Pigliucci (and others)

The answers to our daily worries and anxieties – big or small – lie at the heart of Stoic philosophy. Live Like a Stoic is the essential guide to help us live the good life.

It offers a year-long programme of 52 weekly exercises aimed at mastering an array of real-life troubles. Full of practical exercises, lessons and journaling sections, it provides all the tools needed to overcome any life obstacles we might face.

Massimo Pigliucci and Gregory Lopez have created a unique, personalised Stoic curriculum for a lifetime of practice, showing how relevant this ancient philosophy is to modern life.

The Nicomachean Ethics

Aristotle (and others)

One of the most important philosophical works of all time, in a new Penguin Classics translation.

Aristotle's classic treatise is based on his famous doctrine of the golden mean, which advocates taking the middle course between excess and deficiency. Reacting against Plato's absolutism, Aristotle insisted that there are no definitive moral standards, and that ethical philosophy must be based on human nature and experience.
Treating such topics as moral worth, intellectual virtue, pleasure, friendship, and happiness, Aristotle's work asks above all: what is the good life and how can we live it?

Walking

Erling Kagge

'Everything moves more slowly when I walk, the world seems softer . . .'

From the bestselling author of Silence comes an illuminating exploration of the joy of walking. From those perilous first steps to great expeditions, from walking to work to walking to the North Pole, Erling Kagge explains that he who walks lives longer, and better.

'After having put my shoes on and let my thoughts wander, I am sure of one thing - to put one foot in front of the other is one of the most important things we do.'

'Erling Kagge is a philosophical adventurer - or perhaps an adventurous philosopher' - New York Times

'Drawing on the experiences of Kagge's extraordinary life in wild places, this is a book of great concentration' - Robert Macfarlane, on Silence

Maoism

Julia Lovell

Since the heyday of Mao Zedong, there has never been a more crucial time to understand Maosim.

Although to Western eyes it seems that China has long abandoned the utopian turmoil of Maoism in favour of authoritarian capitalism, Mao and his ideas remain central to the People’ Republic and the legitimacy of its communist government. As disagreements and conflicts between China and the West are likely to mount, the need to understand the political legacy of Mao will only become more urgent.

Yet during Mao’s lifetime and beyond, the power and appeal of Maoism has always extended beyond China. Across the globe, Maoism was a crucial motor of the Cold War: it shaped the course of the Vietnam War (and the international youth rebellion it triggered) and brought to power the murderous Khmer Rouge in Cambodia; it aided, and sometimes handed victory to, anti-colonial resistance movements in Africa; it inspired terrorism in Germany and Italy, and wars and insurgencies in Peru, India and Nepal, some of which are still with us today – more than forty years after the death of Mao.

In this new history, acclaimed historian Julia Lovell revaluates Maoism, analysing both China’s engagement with the movement and its legacy on a global canvas. It’s a story that takes us from the tea plantations of north India to the sierras of the Andes, from Paris’s 5th Arrondissement to the fields of Tanzania, from the rice paddies of Cambodia to the terraces of Brixton.

Starting from the movement’s birth in northwest China in the 1930s and unfolding right up to its present-day violent rebirth, this is the definitive history of global Maoism.

The School of Life

Alain de Botton

Alain de Botton considers how to live wisely and well in the twenty-first century

From the bestselling author of The Consolations of Philosophy, The Art of Travel and The Course of Love - a comprehensive guide to the modern art of emotional intelligence

Emotional intelligence affects every aspect of the way we live, from romantic to professional relationships, from our inner resilience to our social success. It is arguably the single most important skill for surviving the twenty-first century. But what does it really mean?

One decade ago, Alain de Botton founded The School of Life, an institute dedicated to understanding and improving our emotional intelligence. Now he presents the gathered wisdom of those ten years in a wide-ranging and innovative compendium of emotional intelligence. Using his trademark mixture of analysis and anecdote, philosophical insight and practical wisdom, he considers how we interact with each and with ourselves, and how we can do so better.

From the reigning master of popular philosophy, The School of Life is an essential look at the skill set that defines our modern lives.

Praise for Alain de Botton:

'What he has managed to do is remarkable: to help us think better so that we may live better lives' Irish Times

'A serious and optimistic set of practical ideas that could improve and alter the way we live' Jeanette Winterson, The Times

'Alain de Botton likes to take big, complex subjects and write about them with thoughtful and deceptive innocence' Observer

Plato's Republic

Angie Hobbs

Part of the new Ladybird Expert series, Plato's Republic is an accessible, authoritative, and timely introduction to the influential dialogue that helped shape all Western literature and philosophy.

Written by distinguished philosopher and professor Angie Hobbs, Plato's Republic explores the age old dilemma: Why should I be just? What is a just society, and how can it be created?

With strikingly relevant questions such as: How can women's potential be actualized? How are democracies subverted by demagogues and tyrants? How dangerous are 'alternative facts' and what can we do about them? This text is still essential reading.

Written by the leading lights and most outstanding communicators in their fields, the Ladybird Expert books provide clear, accessible and authoritative introductions to subjects drawn from science, history and culture.

For an adult readership, the Ladybird Expert series is produced in the same iconic small hardback format pioneered by the original Ladybirds. Each beautifully illustrated book features the first new illustrations produced in the original Ladybird style for nearly forty years.

Chinese Thought

Roel Sterckx

We are often told that the twenty-first century is bound to become China's century. Never before has Chinese culture been so physically, digitally, economically or aesthetically present in everyday life in the Western world. But how much do we really know about its origins and key beliefs, especially compared to the many histories of Western philosophy? How did the ancient Chinese think about the world?

In this enlightening book, Roel Sterckx, one of the foremost experts in Chinese thought, takes us through centuries of Chinese history, from Confucius to Daoism to the Legalists. With evocative examples from philosophy, literature and everyday life, he shows us how the ancient Chinese have shaped the thinking of a civilization that is now influencing our own.

Happy Ever After

Paul Dolan

Be ambitious; find everlasting love; look after your health ... There are countless stories about how we ought to live our lives. These narratives can make our lives easier, and they might sometimes make us happier too. But they can also trap us and those around us.

In Happy Ever After, bestselling happiness expert Professor Paul Dolan draws on a wealth of evidence to bust the common myths about our sources of happiness and shows that there can be many unexpected paths to lasting happiness. Some of these might involve not going into higher education, choosing not to marry, rewarding acts rooted in self-interest and caring a little less about living forever.

By freeing ourselves from the myth of the perfect life, we might each find a life worth living.

The Joyous Science

Friedrich Nietzsche (and others)

The Joyous Science is a liberating voyage of discovery as Nietzsche's realization that 'God is dead' and his critique of morality, the arts and modernity give way to an exhilarating doctrine of self-emancipation and the concept of eternal recurrence. Here is Nietzsche at his most personal and affirmative; in his words, this is a book of 'exuberance, restlessness, contrariety and April showers'. With its unique voice and style, its playful combination of poetry and prose, and its invigorating quest for self-emancipation, The Joyous Science is a literary tour de force and quite possibly Nietzsche's best book.