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Book of the Month - November 2018 31 October 2018

Our November Book of the Month is Islamic Law and Human Rights: The Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt by Moataz El Fegiery.

For many, the Muslim Brotherhood was merely part and parcel of the so-called Arab Spring in Egypt; Mohamed Morsi becoming Egypt’s first president to take office following an election in 2012. However, in this courageous and carefully constructed book El Fegiery proposes that the Brotherhood has exacerbated, rather than diminished, the tensions and contradictions between Islamic law and human rights in Egypt. In 340 pages of measured prose, he unfolds an argument that the Muslim Brotherhood’s ideal of the Shari’a state cannot bring the peace and prosperity that the people of Egypt deserve.


The Muslim Brotherhood and its scholars have drawn on hard-line juristic opinions and reinvented certain concepts from Islamic traditions in ways that limit the scope of various human rights, and advocate for Islamic alternatives to international human rights. Their practices in opposition and in power have been consistent with its literature. As an opposition party, it embraced human rights language in its struggle against an authoritarian regime, but advocated for broad restrictions on certain rights. However, its recent and short-lived experience in power provides evidence of its inclination to reinforce restrictions on religious freedom, freedom of expression and association, and the rights of religious minorities, and to reverse previous reforms related to women’s rights. Ultimately, the book explores the prospects for certain constitutional and institutional measures to facilitate an evolutionary interpretation of Islamic law, provide a baseline of human rights and gradually integrate international human rights into Egyptian law.


To find out more, please click here to read a sample extract and contents page.

We are offering all of our readers a generous 60% discount on this important and bold book. To redeem your discount, please enter the promotional code BOMNOV18 during checkout. Please note that this is a time-limited offer that will expire on 1st December 2018.

Books such as this one can draw polarised responses, but see below for some of the praise El Fegiery’s work has received:


"Moataz El Fegiery’s book is a well-researched study that provides useful insights to comprehend the role of Islamists around the world. It is a remarkable treatise that addresses some of the crucial matters with respect to the influence of religious laws on the structure and content of a country’s constitution and analyzes it within a broader international framework of human rights."

--Sania Ismailee, Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi, Middle East Media and Book Reviews Online, 5:12 (2017)

"Offering an important and insightful examination of Egypt's agonizing struggles to define the Islam-state relationship, El Fegiery probes the political and legal dimensions of the powerful Muslim Brotherhood's campaigns for Islamization and their implications for human rights. The Brotherhood's calls for upholding Islamic law are assessed as being misleading, the underlying goal being more a determination to resist Western culture and uphold a distinctive vision of Islamic identity than an actual concern to implement Islamic teachings. The Brotherhood's recent claims to respect human rights are debunked, with El Fegiery citing its attempts when in power in 2012-2013 to impose a retrograde version of Islamic law at the expense of human rights—at the same time that some other Islamic institutions were moving towards accommodating human rights. How can Egypt move beyond a stalemate where liberals and the Brotherhood press irreconcilable agendas, aggravating hostilities and polarization? Offering what is sure to be a controversial proposal, El Fegiery argues that it is counterproductive to insist on secularization or to exclude the Brotherhood from politics, calling for allowing the Brotherhood's continued participation, and he advocates retaining constitutional references to Islam – albeit ones balanced by strong constitutional protections for human rights. For readers in fields like Middle Eastern politics and history, contemporary Islam, constitutionalism in Egypt, and human rights, the assessments are sure to be of great interest."

--Ann Mayer, Associate Professor Emeritus of Legal Studies and Business Ethics, University of Pennsylvania

"Though the focus of this book is on Egypt and on the experience of the Muslim Brotherhood, it is a highly topical and interesting study of interest for all those engaged in the study of democracy and human rights under the conditions of the popular call for the implementation of Shari‘a by Islamist movements. The study of El Fegiery matters to all who try to understand the nature of Islamist movements worldwide."

--Professor Bassam Tibi, University of Goettingen

"This book offers a thorough analysis of the conceptual and theoretical issues about religion and human rights in general and studies major issues such as the supremacy of Sharia, political pluralism, freedom of opinion, minority rights, conversion and apostasy, and family law. [...] The book is a valuable contribution to recent critical analyses of Islamism as it is not linked to its ideology. Taking human rights and Islamic law as the context of the Islamist discourse, it has been able to observe the significant tension between idealism and activism."

--Muhammad Khalid Masud, Former chairman of the Council of Islamic Ideology, Dawn, 26.02.2017

"The Foreword to the book, written by the eminent contemporary political scientist, Bassam Tibi, excellently reflects the crux of Fegiery’s work and endorses both his arguments as well as his findings. The subsequent nine chapters of the book successfully portray the ambivalence in the thought and practice of the world’s most influential Islamist movement towards various aspects of human rights.The significance of the book lies in its examination and exposition of how human rights language is exploited at the hands of Islamists to oppose an existing regime and then violated when they themselves rise to power."

--Gowhar Quadir Wani, Aligarh Muslim University, Islam and Civilizational Renewal 9/1 (2018)


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Book of the Month - October 2018 27 September 2018

Our October Book of the Month is Reflections on Contemporary Values, Beliefs and Behaviours: The Adventures of an Enquiring Mind by Prasanna Gautam.

In a previous life, Prasanna Gautam was a distinguished physician and teacher of medicine at the University Group of Hospitals in Aberdeen, Scotland. Now he is pursuing his lifelong interests in Aryan history, ancient Sanskrit, and philosophy, and in March of this year published Reflections on Contemporary Values, Beliefs and Behaviours: The Adventures of an Enquiring Mind with Cambridge Scholars, an extraordinary journey through the deepest and most subtle philosophical crypts. Gautam has also translated the Rig Veda into English, and has written, edited, and translated widely across Nepali, Hindi, Sanskrit, and English.

Although embedded firmly within philosophical traditions, the book is akin to the great musings of Seneca or Marcus Aurelius, one that takes us by the hand and guides us gently through topics such as superstition, religion, sexuality, and happiness. It invites us to consider how we can live better lives, not by telling us what that our lives should be, but by encouraging us to think more deeply about the question ourselves.  


This book is a unique presentation of common but highly important issues that affect us all deeply. These are illustrated with personal anecdotes to which the readers can relate and compare with their own experiences in life. Each chapter is independent and presented in a conversational manner which makes reading easy. The book deals with a wide range of subjects, such as sex and sexuality, euthanasia, self-confidence, superstition, religion, evolution, parenting, conflicts, leadership, and the interpretation of scriptures, among others.

In addition to presenting the essence of many philosophical concepts and contrasting them with scientific evidence, the book asserts that our world has never before been richer and more technically advanced, but that our unthinking brains have precipitated unhappiness, conflicts, poverty, greed, crime and selfishness. A book of huge interest generally, this is also useful as a handy source of information for the students of humanities, the linguists and translators of ancient languages. 


To find out more, please click here to read a sample extract and contents page. 

We are offering all of our readers a generous 60% discount on this book throughout October. To redeem your discount, please enter the promotional code BOMOCT18 during checkout. Please note that this is a time-limited offer that will expire on 1st November 2018.

Please see below for highlights of the praise this book has been receiving:


"This is an impressive book covering a very wide range of topics. In reading this book you will be both entertained and stimulated. The author tries successfully to marry the informal with the formal and succeeds in producing a text which gains your attention and retains your interest. In my view, the overriding objective of the author is to stimulate the reader to think. Yes, he has things to say, points to make and theses to argue for which he thinks are important and hopefully you will agree with, but more fundamentally he wants to ignite enquiring minds, prepared to engage in rational debate and discussion. The author does not want disciples but fellow travellers, who see value in challenging conventions and commonly held beliefs and refuse to live the ‘unthinking life’."

--Dr Terry McKnight, Ulster University

"How often is it that we do things because that was the done thing, followed because everyone else has?  We automatically say or do things without thinking about it and rarely listen with attention. Dr Guatam has asked the questions that have often been at the back of our minds. This well researched book makes us think about the why and the so what. We may not necessarily agree with all the ideas, but they give rise to deeper thinking of our own truths and principles."

--Hema Kamath

"[T]his book is a must to read for everyone who desires to know what life is all about. It is lucid and inspirational."

--Dr. K.S.Sangunni, Former Professor, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore

"What should a good non-fiction book provide?  Interest, information, education (for those willing to accept it), entertainment, food for thought  –  to mention but a few. In this book, Prasanna Gautam meets all the above criteria, and many more, and tackles a formidable bank of questions and themes via such media as personal experience, common sense, history, religion and culture."

--William Burnett

"Once I started reading the book, I had difficulty putting it down. The flow and compelling arguments that Prasanna Gautam has made, chapter after chapter, albeit exploring different issues, makes it informative, interesting and educative. It is filled with knowledge synthesised through the centuries. [...] The author has succeeded in tying many loose ends and wild assumptions about ancient Indian literature and Aryan civilisation. The book makes an interesting reading and a great learning experience particularly because of the way the author entwines his own personal experiences in different phases, different circumstances and different places about many common issues, e.g. sex, paradoxes related to our brain, retirement, superstition, euthanasia, the reality about rebirth and so on." 

--Prakash Khanal

"Every now and then in our reading we come across a book which is like no other we have read but makes us pause and become aware that it has changed our perceptions in some way usually for the better. Dr Gautam’s  ”Reflexions on Contemporary Values, Beliefs and Behaviours” is just such a book. [...] The “reflections” which the author expresses are frequently accompanied by questions which invite the reader to answer and perhaps re-exam his own standpoint. Although, for the most part, I agreed with most of Dr Gautam’s views there were times when I encountered those different from mine but I was quietly led to change my views and scarcely noticed it. It is a pleasant “adventure” to do so and a necessary one to embark upon.  As Plato recalls Socrates speech at his trial “The unexamined life is not worth living”."

--Ronald Caie

"Something of an absorption of thought and practice, Reflections on Contemporary Values, Beliefs and Behaviours is a rewarding read. Within its gentle confines, Reflections on Contemporary Values, Beliefs and Behaviours drops us bit by but into a significant bundle of important life events and issues―retirement―euthanasia―healing and violence, among them. The book discusses not just the attitudes of today, but looks far over our shoulders, and most especially into the disparate hymns and other writings from ancient India. Prasanna Gautam does a good job in capturing all that he can in as many light brush strokes as he does, for this must be the only way to try and gather the multifold and endless material that encompasses contemporary and ancient life. The sample size is fair as he covers a lot of ground! That is why the book possibly travels away from the experiences that are more commonly yours and mine―which it does very well―and becomes a more personal journey, the author’s own road to discovery."

--Peter Burnett


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Book of the Month - September 2018 30 August 2018

Our September Book of the Month is Le Corbusier, the Dishonest Architect by Malcolm Millais.

Charles-Édouard Jeanneret (1887-1965), better known as Le Corbusier, is widely considered one of the fathers of modern architecture. No less than seventeen of his constructions have UNESCO World Heritage Site status, and his name is now synonymous with the beginning of the modernist movement in contemporary architecture. However, his work is not without its critics. Indeed, as Malcolm Millais argues in Le Corbusier, the Dishonest Architect, Corbusier was ultimately a failure in both the personal and professional spheres, his work and its influence contributing to the social and economic urban inequality that still haunts the present.

The book exposes the myths that surround Le Corbusier, detailing the endless failures of his proposals and his projects. These were due to his profound dishonesty, both as a person and as an architect. His legacy was an architectural profession that believed, and still believe, they were designing buildings based on logic, functionality and honesty whereas they were doing the opposite.


This is not a book for architects, but for all those that have suffered, consciously and unconsciously, from modern architecture and have wondered how it came about. This was largely due to one man, an architect called Le Corbusier.

For some he was a genius, but the truth is he was a sham, a fake, a charlatan whose only gift was for self-publicity. He was the most influential architect of the second half of the twentieth century; his influence overwhelmed the architectural profession on a global scale, who swallowed his publicity whole, and still hold him in awe. For the rest of the world, the mere mortals, his influence was disastrous, as traditional buildings were destroyed and replaced by featureless boxes of varying sizes, imposing a dreariness hitherto unimagined.

As usual, it was the poor who suffered most as they were herded into tower-blocks. These were often grouped into estates that ringed many towns and cities, which then degenerated into high-rise slums with all the well-known attendant social problems.


To find out more, please click here to read a sample extract and contents page.

We are offering all of our readers a generous 60% discount on this book throughout September. To redeem your discount, please enter the promotional code BOMSEP18 during checkout. Please note that this is a time-limited offer that will expire on 1st October 2018.

Revisionist books such as Millais’ often receive a difficult reception, but the book has been widely acclaimed in architectural circles. Please see below for examples of the praise it has been receiving:


"[This] is a brave book and a necessary book, a vital step toward truth in architecture today. [...] [The] book is chock-a-block with a multitude of examples, each explained in detail from an engineering as well as an architectural perspective. [...] With Le Corbusier, the Dishonest Architect, Malcolm Millais has helped to pull the world, and maybe even the world of architecture, back toward a path of sanity about architecture’s reigning icon."

--David Brussat, Fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts; Member of the Board of the New England chapter of the Institute of Classical Architecture & Art, Architecture Here and There, 05.11.2017

"Le Corbusier, the Dishonest Architect, by structural engineer Dr. Malcolm Millais, is a refreshing analysis of a towering figure who shaped the architecture of our time. [...] This excellent book by Malcolm Millais should have been around for the last fifty years. It might have saved us from architectural and urban design mistakes, now ingrained in architectural and planning cultures. As Millais says, “This is not a book for architects.” No revelation—no matter how shocking—can tarnish this hero’s reputation among architectural true believers. Yet we need to delete Le Corbusier’s ideas from practice if our world is to become healthy once again. I’m glad that a book such as this one is finally available for concerned citizens to read, and then to marvel at (or be appalled by) human credulity."

--Nikos Angelos Salingaros, Professor of Mathematics, University of Texas at San Antonio, New English Review, January 2018

"A book has just been published—Le Corbusier, The Dishonest Architect, by Malcolm Millais—that reads like the indictment of a serial killer who can offer no defense (except, possibly, a psychiatric one). The author shares with me an aesthetic detestation of Jeanneret, and also of his casual but deeply vicious totalitarianism; but, unlike me, the author both has a scholarly knowledge of his subject’s life and writings, of which the perusal of only a few has more than sufficed for me, and is a highly qualified structural engineer. [...] By rights, every architect, town planner, and structural engineer in the world ought to have a copy of Mr. Millais’ book by him, as a vade mecum of architectural, planning, building, and even moral pathology."

--Theodore Dalrymple, Author of Admirable Evasions: How Psychology Undermines Morality, Taki's Magazine, 04.11.2017

"Malcolm Millais' book Le Corbusier, the Dishonest Architect, which appeared in 2017, seems to finally question the mythology of one of the most extolled figures of modern architecture and urbanism of the last century. The author of this extraordinary book is an English architect, an internationally renowned building construction specialist. [...] Malcolm Millais has written a deeply insightful book that should be read by anyone who wants to understand why, in the second half of the 20th century, cities across the world became more and more like cloned ghettos...."

--Almantas Samalavičius, Vilnius Gediminas Technical University, Kultūros barai, 2018 (1)


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Book of the Month - August 2018 31 July 2018

Our August Book of the Month is Intercultural Geopoetics in Kenneth White's Open World by Mohammed Hashas.

Geopoetics is a movement and creative project concerned with reconnecting human beings to the natural world and reinvigorating our understanding of the spaces and places in which we dwell. Largely associated with the Scottish poet Kenneth White and his Scottish Centre for Geopoetics, this project has spawned a vast, interdisciplinary body of scholarship that draws upon science, philosophy, and literary theory to push the latent possibilities of our relationship with the earth, and with each other. 

Amongst this scholarship, Hashas’ book stands out as a landmark contribution. Hashas not only provides a critical overview and analysis of geopoetics, but also shows how White’s writing points us towards a more harmonious, fulfilling future. In the words of Elizabeth Rimmer, poet and member of White’s Scottish Centre for Geopoetics, it is no less than “the book we have been waiting for; a template for taking geopoetics further.”


This work introduces Kenneth White’s geopoetics as a radical, postmodern interdisciplinary and intercultural project that reclaims the return to communication with the earth, nature, wo-man, and the self as part of a cosmic unity approach. It traces geopoetics’ beginnings, key concepts, territories and trajectories, aims, and perspectives. Geopoetics is shown here to be a cosmopolitan project for a more open and harmonious world, which buries narrow-mindedness and offers new horizons.


To find out more, please click here to read a sample extract and contents page.

We are offering all of our readers a generous 60% discount on this book throughout August. To redeem your discount, please enter the promotional code BOMAUG18 during checkout. Please note that this is a time-limited offer that will expire on 1st September 2018.

Please see below for highlights of the praise this book has been receiving from academics, journalists, and government officials alike:


“Hashas’ reading of Kenneth White’s project is a worthwhile contribution to laying the foundation for a better understanding between cultures, namely the Arab-Islamic culture and Western culture.”

--Khalid Hajji, President of the Brussels Forum of Wisdom and World Peace

“White’s geopoetics deserves our attention in this hasty world that is losing values, connectedness, and humanness, and Hashas renders us this service intelligently in this work.”

--Francesca M. Corrao, Professor of Arabic Language and Culture, LUISS Guido Carli University, Rome

“Kenneth White’s exploration of Arabic culture has been less developed than that of Asia and of the Inuit in the West. Hashas, who has been initiated to geopoetics by a former student of Kenneth White, seems naturally destined to pursue the path of the Poet and Thinker as developed also by the International Institute of Geopoetics.”

--Michèle Duclos, Retired Senior Lecturer, Bordeaux Montaigne University, France; author of Kenneth White, nomade intellectual, poète du monde (2006).

“Enthusiasts of White’s ground-breaking synthesis of science, philosophy and poetry have long felt the need of a thorough academic structural outline of his thinking that would not only serve as a commentary on White’s oeuvre, but also provide a template for taking geopoetics further. In Intercultural Geopoetics, Mohammed Hashas has written the book we have been waiting for; it is a considerable achievement.”

--Elizabeth Rimmer, poet and member of the Scottish Centre for Geopoetics

“Intercultural Geopoetics in Kenneth White's Open World represents a valuable contribution to the study of space, intersecting in a homogeneous and harmonious way the different literary, philosophical and geocultural perspectives that a meticulous study of geopoetics requires.”

--Simone Sibilio, Reset, 30/01/2018


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Book of the Month - July 2018 29 June 2018

Our July Book of the Month is Daughters of the Nile: Egyptian Women Changing Their World, edited by Samia I. Spencer.

We hear much about Egyptian queens and princesses in popular culture. From the glistening figure of Cleopatra, whose legacy survives in countless forms of contemporary art, theatre, and literature, to the goddess Isis, worshipped by Egyptians and Greeks alike for her solemn role shepherding souls to the afterlife, ancient Egyptian history is awash with women. Yet in the modern age, we hear far more of Gamal Abdel Nasser, founder of contemporary Egypt, and Hosni Mubarak, who was famously deposed in the Arab Spring. This book asks a simple question: what of ordinary Egyptian women, and how do they navigate and transform both their country and the world? Daughters of the Nile: Egyptian Women Changing Their World is the vivid and timely story of the lives and experiences of modern Egyptian women – told from their own perspective in a reflective and passionate way.To find out more, please click here to read a sample extract and contents page. 

To find out more, please click here to read a sample extract and contents page.

We are offering all of our readers a generous 60% discount on both the hardback and paperback versions of the book throughout July, taking the price of the paperback to only £14.99. To redeem your discount, please enter the promotional code BOMJUL18 during checkout. Please note that this is a time-limited offer that will expire on 1st August 2018.

Please see below for highlights of the praise this book has been receiving from academics, journalists, and government officials alike:


"The vividly narrated chapters, all in the first-person, hold many memorable phrases and much candour. The story in each becomes not only that of the individual woman narrating her experience but also the history of a society and a country. Through the eyes and documents of these women, we see pressing Egyptian issues coming to the fore. [...] For those interested in Egypt or women’s progress, or those who enjoy engaging and well-written autobiography, this book is a must."

--Aziza Sami, Al-Ahram Weekly, 03.03.2017

"This book is long overdue. It is high time that modern Egyptian women stand side-by-side with their brilliant ancestors."

--Yvette Roudy, France’s Minister of Women’s Rights (1981-1986)

"This outstanding book is a must-read. Many influential Egyptians share personal, telling stories about their achievements, shattering stale myths about Egyptian women. In their marvelously detailed narratives, they strive to make the world a better place, resulting in a much-needed Egyptian humanity. Their stories warmed my heart; so much so that I want to meet and thank each and every one of them for their passion, wit and courage."

--Jack G Shaheen, Author of Reel Bad Arabs: How Hollywood Vilifies a People

"Working on Rule of Law programs, in Egypt and Jordan, with judges from the region, I observed first-hand the valuable contribution women make to the discussion of today’s important issues. So for me, the professional achievements chronicled in this book, although remarkable are not surprising. Narratives that mothers and daughters can read together, and that all of us can admire. What fine examples the authors set for women everywhere!"

--Justice Joseph P. Nadeau, New Hampshire Supreme Court (Retired)

"Stereotypes are unidimensional stories about a category of other, largely devoid of fact. The strongest antidote to stereotyping are stories that offer counter-narratives about real people living rich, full lives of substance. This book is a wonderful example of just such counter-narratives."

--Mary Ellen Kondrat, Dean and Retired Professor, University of Kansas School of Social Welfare

"This book is a stark and important reminder of the power of women, their accomplishments against many odds, and their resilience to overcome, lead, and be a force to reckon with in their country and beyond. Egyptian women have a strong and rich tradition of leadership, and this is yet another example of their strength—an excellent and inspiring read."

--Mohammad Naciri Regional Director, Arab States Regional Office, UN Women, Cairo, Egypt



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Book of the Month - June 2018 31 May 2018

Our June Book of the Month is An Introduction to Cultural Anthropology by C. Nadia Seremetakis.

“Culture is the subject matter of anthropology”, reads the first sentence of the book. Since the birth of the discipline in the second half of the nineteenth century anthropologists have strove to investigate the relationships between people, place, and culture across the world. However, the original mission of anthropology was interwoven with colonialism and its privileged, Eurocentric ways of looking at the ‘uncivilised’ parts of the globe, and it has since changed beyond recognition to the vibrant field it is today. Seremetakis’ book is a critical introduction to all of this and more, and is an essential resource for anyone seeking to understand the state of cultural anthropology today.    


This book engages young scholars, teachers and students in a critical dialogue with past and present directions in cultural-historical studies. More particularly, it prepares prospective anthropologists, as well as readers interested in human cultures for understanding basic theoretical and methodological ethnographic principles and pursuing further what has been known as cultural anthropological perspectives. The book discusses key, field-based studies in the discipline and places them in dialogue with related studies in social history, linguistics, philosophy, literature, and photography, among others.


To find out more, please click here to read a sample extract and contents page.

We are offering all of our readers a generous 60% discount on this essential text in both its hardback and paperback versions, an offer which takes the paperback price to £18.80. To redeem your discount, please enter the promotional code BOMJUN18 during checkout. Please note that this is a time-limited offer that will expire on 1st July 2018.

Please see below for highlights of the praise this book has been receiving:


"This invaluable textbook introduces cultural anthropology while also setting this American approach within a global context where there are competing national traditions of anthropology. Still more importantly, American-trained, yet intimately familiar with Europe, professor and fieldworker Seremetakis is both an insider and an outsider to Cultural Anthropology proper, and this makes her presentation unusual and most insightful."

—Charles Stewart, Professor of Anthropology at University College London, UK

"This book is a stunningly original and important introduction to contemporary cultural anthropology. Written in clear and compelling prose, this work places anthropology squarely within its powerful historical context. Seremetakis demonstrates powerfully how prominent anthropologists from Franz Boas to Michael Taussig have variously told the tale of social and cultural differences that have made a difference in our comprehension of the human condition. In these troubled times, Seremetakis has produced a work that shows students how anthropologists produce works that mark a path toward a better life, a path toward wisdom."

—Paul Stoller, Professor of Anthropology at West Chester University, USA, and the recipient of the 2013 Anders Retzius Gold Medal Laureate in Anthropology

"Exceptionally well written, organized, and presented, An Introduction to Cultural Anthropology would well serve as a basic text book for introductory courses in cultural anthropology and is to be considered as an essential, core addition to community, college, and university library Anthropology collections and supplemental studies reading lists."

Midwest Book Review, Library Bookwatch Volume 12, Number 9 (September 2017)


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Book of the Month - May 2018 27 April 2018

Our May Book of the Month is The Medusa Gaze in Contemporary Women’s Fiction: Petrifying, Maternal and Redemptive by Gillian M. E. Alban.

The Greek monster Medusa is arguably the original stuff of nightmares – countless venomous snakes for hair and a gaze that turned all who looked at her to pure stone. Her legend lives on in fiction, poetry, film, and art. Yet as this book by Gillian M.E. Alban suggests, the figure of Medusa is one that helps reveal much about the contemporary desires and frustrations of women.


This book offers striking insights into the desires and frustrations of women through the narratives of impressive contemporary novelists. Crafting its analysis on the gaze as presented by Lacan and Sartre, the book demonstrates how the subject creates her own ego against her alter egos or hostile others in the mirrors facing her, offering insight into women’s powers and weaknesses. The first two chapters trace the women stalking its pages under a panoptic gaze, as they learn how to revert their look defiantly back onto others. Some win assurance through their own assertive gaze; others are stared down, reduced to psychic trauma, madness and even suicide. The book then goes on to show how androcentric views such as Freud’s perceive Medusa mothers as monstrous, splintering them from their daughters in the Electra syndrome. The efforts of mothers to nurture their children may be slighted as inadequate, with the mother’s nurture condemned as devouring. The following pair of chapters present Medusa and inspiring goddesses motivating and reverting evil through the ‘evil eye’ of their powerful gaze or inspirational force. These literary discussions illuminate women’s force in the writings of Angela Carter, Toni Morrison, Sylvia Plath, Margaret Atwood, and others.


To find out more, please click here to read a sample extract and contents page.

We are offering all of our readers a generous 60% discount on this best-selling title in both its hardback and paperback versions. To redeem your discount, please enter the promotional code BOMMAY18 during checkout. Please note that this is a time-limited offer that will expire on 1st June 2018.

Please see below for highlights of the praise this book has been receiving:


"This book offers many insights as the reader is taken through multiple literary works. It could be a journey through hellish places you have been, or quandaries you have known, and how your spirit intuitively coped, put strategies in place to ensure your survival. [...] The Medusa Gaze is an empowering reflection on the complexities of woman’s situation, across diverse cultural experiences and personal particularities, gazing as it is from within female eyes, thus speaking a truth – which could change the world, as small particles may."

—Glenys Livingstone, PhD, co-editor of Re-visioning Medusa: from Monster to Divine Wisdom

"This book demonstrates how a focus on the various interpretations of what one is tempted to call, in formalist terms, the Medusa function, can be applied to enrich our readings of literary works. In such discussions one may find a woman character who is presented as, for example, a producer of the Medusa gaze, as a ‘monstrous and terrifying Medusa’ or as an ‘icon of worship’. This book introduces, explores and persuasively argues about the significance of the conflicting, troubling, powerful and fascinating Medusa roles of women in modern and contemporary fiction."

—Margaret J-M Sönmez, Middle East Technical University

"[O]ver time, there have been many interpretations of Medusa that have emerged and invite further examination. Enter Gillian Alban whose research and writing are creating a dialogue that extends beyond [the] narrow viewpoint of the Medusa woman as monstrous and petrifying, to include a spectrum of attributes from maternal to redemptive. [...] For such a multi-layered subject, the book is a very accessible and portable read."

—Monisha Kar, Lale: Magazine of the International Women of Istanbul

"Filled with beautiful original artwork, The Medusa Gaze threads together several marvelous and diverse women authors, providing a sustained and attentive close reading of the female characters’ lives and psyches as girls, friends, lovers, and mothers. In so doing, the book invites a wholesale re-evaluation of the power and beauty of the ancient Medusa myth. If some of the works examined seem to beg for further analysis or investigation into the function or purpose of this mythical figure in contemporary literature, this leaves the door open to future scholars to take up the lens Alban has offered and see what insights about the feminine it may reveal."

—Misty Urban, femmeliterate


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Book of the Month - April 2018 28 March 2018

Our April Book of the Month is This Deep Pierian Spring: An Account of the Human Quest for Meaning by M.F. Sia and S. Sia.

Questions about the meaning of life and the nature of our being are as old as philosophy itself. In this acclaimed work M.F. Sia and S. Sia entwine philosophical themes with a narrative, storytelling approach to probe these longstanding questions.


Picture of This Deep Pierian Spring

Fundamental questions about life arise in various contexts, making us wonder about the real worth of living. However, it is certainly a sign of our times when one is alerted to the fundamental question about the meaning and significance of life by an ominous text message. The main character of this book, Professor Enrique de los Reyes, receives such a warning: the onset of super-typhoon Haiyan, the strongest ever to hit landfall, and the impending danger to his friend and his relatives in the Philippines. As he anxiously awaits more news, he recalls and reviews in the context of this tragedy his philosophical wanderings throughout a long academic career in pursuit of the meaning of life. He wonders how these could now be reconciled with the urgent need for him to attend to this particular situation. The response to his query comes from a most unexpected source as he assesses Alexander Pope’s advice to drink deeply from the Pierian spring and realises its import for one’s conduct in life.


To find out more, please click here to read a sample extract and contents page. 

We are offering all of our readers a generous 60% discount on this best-selling title. To redeem your discount, please enter the promotional code BOMAPR18 during checkout. Please note that this is a time-limited offer that will expire on 1st May 2018.

Please see below for highlights of the praise this book has been receiving:


“It draws the reader into such an interesting world of literature and ideas, into the lives of the fictional characters and into the imaginative contexts in which the authors place them […] a narrative of a journey: the one which we all must take, from being an observer of things, to becoming, in some sense, co-creator of all human values.”

—Rev. Dr Celia G. Kenny, Research Associate, Centre for Law and Religion, Cardiff University, UK


“What is the meaning of it all? What is life all about? The authors know how to address these questions and how to bring them to life. They do it with great candour and mildness — and with a philosophical depth only a life-long search, both professionally and personally, can bring forth. A brilliant philosophical novel!”

—Emeritus Professor André Cloots, Philosophy, Katholieke Universiteit, Leuven, Belgium


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Book of the Month - March 2018 28 February 2018

Our March Book of the Month is Architectural Voices of India: A Blend of Contemporary and Traditional Ethos by Apurva Bose Dutta.


The field of architecture has gradually evolved from being a mere profession to becoming a representation of the society in which we live. Architects form the voice of this profession, and an in-depth discussion with them allows a greater understanding of their theories, visions for architecture, and contributions towards the field, and how they are managing the non-linear societal evolution in a comprehensive manner.

The book will appeal to architectural and building industry practitioners and students of architecture, as well as the general reader, as it speaks about architecture as an integral part of building a nation. It traverses the architecture journey in India, and bestows a clarity on the directions still to be taken.


To find out more, please click here to read a sample extract and contents page. 

We are offering all of our readers a generous 60% discount on this best-selling title. To redeem your discount, please enter the promotional code BOMMAR18 during checkout. Please note that this is a time-limited offer that will expire on 2nd April 2018.

Please see below for highlights of the praise this book has been receiving:


“Architectural Voices contains the first-ever frank and honest narration made by the featured Indian architects about their journey and understanding of the profession and architectural practice, which is sure to go a long way in helping and directing the younger generation of architects in making appropriate choices in the profession. It must find appropriate place and should form an integral part of academic circles of the profession, especially the libraries of the architecture schools.”

—Professor Jit Kumar Gupta, Founder Director of College of Architecture, IET, Bhaddal


“Conducted and edited by Ar. Apurva Bose Dutta, this new publication offers a kaleidoscopic overview of post-independence architecture of India and a nearer view into the last three decades. [...] A must read for all students and young architects who are in need of direction for their own careers, this book can provide studied insights and critical thoughts.”

—Professor Sathya Prakash Varanashi, RV College of Architecture


“Architects and planners, being in a creative field in which imagination has no boundaries, reveal much diversity in their building genres, philosophies, theories, specialisations, visions and handling of core issues of architecture. This book not only celebrates this diversity but also builds a framework in which architecture and its various facets - its role, education standards, trending themes, the social responsibility of architects and the way forward - can be discussed.”

—L'Avenir Elevator Digest, December 2017


“The design dialogue between the author and the eminent design personalities makes an interesting read for not only those that are part of the design fraternity but also for a layman to understand the nuances of architecture and the scenario of urban development across the country. The language is fluid and easy to understand for the reader. [...] Architecture is indeed an integral part of everyone's daily life and irrespective of the on-going discussion on whether architecture shapes the society or the society influences the architects, the idea of writing about the architects who unlike their western counterparts seldom write about themselves or their work is worth appreciating.”

—BuildoTech, October-December 2017


“Apurva needs to be complimented on taking the road less travelled. Very few young architects would like to make a profession out of architectural writing—here is to a determined one!”

—Rajnish Wattas, Former Principal of Chandigarh College of Architecture


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Book of the Month - February 2018 31 January 2018

Our February Book of the Month is Land Writings: Excursions in the Footprints of Edward Thomas by James Riding.

Whilst out walking one day in the shade at the age of thirty-six, with the First World War looming, Edward Thomas decided to become a poet. In the few years that followed, believing he belonged nowhere, he tramped across rolling chalk downland, stitching himself to the landscape. Gently slanting from the door of his stone cottage, the South Downs – a range of chalk hills that extend across the southeastern coastal counties of England from Hampshire in the west to Sussex in the east – became day by day the mainspring of his poetry. As a perennial poet and essayist of the South Downs, Edward Thomas remains an enduring presence a century later in the downland he trampled daily, treading and documenting a series of paths around the village of Steep, East Hampshire, where he lived until enlisting. Arranging itself around a number of journeys in pursuit of the early twentieth century poet and nature writer, this book provides a personal and moving tale of encountering literature in landscape, retreading Edward Thomas’s footprints from the beginning of his epically creative final four years, to the site where he died in 1917, during the Battle of Arras.


To find out more, please click here to read a sample extract and contents page. 

We are offering all of our readers a generous 60% discount on this best-selling title. To redeem your discount, please enter the promotional code BOMFEB18 during checkout. Please note that this is a time-limited offer that will expire on 28th February 2018.

Please see below for highlights of the praise this book has been receiving:


“Elegant, scrupulous and excitingly experimental, James Riding’s walking-acts find new ways back into – and out from – Edward Thomas’s life and work. His book, Land Writings, sets out the political worth of being artistic in an era when the humanities are under widespread pressure.”

—Robert Macfarlane, Reader in Literature and the Geohumanities, University of Cambridge


“Riding offers us a strikingly original take on Thomas, and at the same time delivers a very different way of writing geography imaginatively. Journeying by stages and phases, the worlds his words evoke are anguished, eloquent, tormented, candid, addled, claustrophobic, schizoid, snarky, scabrous, enigmatic, dizzying, difficult, daring, grotty, crotchety, conversational, melancholic, sensational, and magical. And that’s not the half of it.”

—Hayden Lorimer, Professor of Cultural Geography, University of Glasgow


“This is a complex, rich and risk-taking piece of work - a fascinating read. It is memorable, 'gets you', and makes theoretical arguments current in human geography about landscape, poetics, authorship, embodiment, memory and experience. What really struck me was its swooping quality, whether it was swooping through Thomas' poetry and life from tranquil rural England to the hell of trench warfare, being swept through the streets of central London in a peaceful protest met by police violence, or just freewheeling down a hill on a bike at dangerous speed.”

—Ian Cook, Associate Professor of Geography, University of Exeter


“As he trails Edward Thomas and leads us hand in hand, James Riding’s questing and questioning reflections in, on and about the British landscape - personal, sceptical, celebratory, performative - help to refashion our attitudes to notions of place once more. A significant and provocative addition to new writing in geography, in a challenging range of registers that wear their scholarship easily.”

—Mike Pearson, Emeritus Professor of Performance Studies, Aberystwyth University


“As he journeys in imaginary fellowship with Thomas, Riding goes to the heart of a landscape methodos: a mode of thinking about place that is also a way of travelling through it, linking the walk to the peripatetics of memory and mood, intimation and association. A quiet and beautiful book, Thomas’s poetry is never far away from this most personal of engagements.”

—Jessica Dubow, Reader in Cultural Geography, University of Sheffield


“In this breakthrough text, James Riding establishes himself as a significant land writer and voice in contemporary cultural geography. Riding’s work arrives at a time when there is much discussion and debate regarding ‘creative turns’ in cultural geography. In this context, Land Writings offers a sustained, full-throttle engagement with traditions of narrating landscape, selfhood, memory and travel, and one that is notably shorn of the timidity and qualifying that often accompanies academic ventures into creative registers. From the start, you hear a confident, original voice, and as the chapters unfold, so does a story quite different from the one you might imagine.”

—John Wylie, Professor of Cultural Geography, University of Exeter


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