1) Brown, Lester R.. World on the Edge: How to Prevent Environmental and Economic Collapse. 2011. W.W. Norton. Paperback: 240 pages. Price: $15.95 U.S.
SUMMARY: In this urgent time, World on the Edge calls out the pivotal environmental issues and how to solve them now.
We are in a race between political and natural tipping points. Can we close coal-fired power plants fast enough to save the Greenland ice sheet and avoid catastrophic sea level rise? Can we raise water productivity fast enough to halt the depletion of aquifers and avoid water-driven food shortages? Can we cope with peak water and peak oil at the same time? These are some of the issues Lester R. Brown skillfully distills in World on the Edge. Bringing decades of research and analysis into play, he provides the responses needed to reclaim our future.
RECOMMENDATION: A good overview of current environmental problems.
2) Palmer, Dexter. The Dream of Perpetual Motion. 2011. Picador. paperback: 356 pages. Price: $16.00 U.S.
SUMMARY: Imprisoned for life aboard a zeppelin that floats high above a fantastic metropolis, greeting-card writer Harold Winslow pens his memoirs. His only companions are the disembodied voice of Miranda Taligent, the only woman he has ever loved, and the cryogenically frozen body of her father, Prospero, the genius and industrial magnate who drove her insane. As Harold heads toward a last desperate confrontation with Prospero to save Miranda’s life, he finds himself an unwitting participant in the creation of the greatest invention of them all: the perpetual motion machine. Beautifully written, stunningly imagined, and wickedly funny,The Dream of Perpetual Motion is a heartfelt meditation on the place of love in a world dominated by technology.
RECOMMENDATION: For those that enjoy steampunk fiction.