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    • shortbooks David Brooks, author of The Social Animal and New York Times columnist, is in London this week, promoting the UK launch of his book. He spoke to journalist Ben Rogers about the thinking behind the book that is causing ripples across from the White House to Downing Street. 1 of 2 parts.
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    Learning birdsong is not just a way to become a better bird-spotter. It is tuning in: a way of hearing the soundtrack of the planet...
    • helpthefox Truly, this just shows how precious bird song, and being able to get close to nature, to wildlife, greenery, is to our health. I am forced to endure the sound of shooters shooting birds, which can be heard from even within my house-it is like living next to Auschwitz, and the cost to the health service has been extreme
    • helpthefox the best medicine possible-throw away the pills and listen to this. Should be available at the windows of every hospital, every house. Feed the birds!
    • buddhamagnet Lovely. I'm doing a bushcraft course with woodland-ways.co.uk and they recommended this book. A new universe.
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    • shortbooks Britain and America have a new word to describe their relationship: ‘essential’ has now been replaced by ‘special’. Justin Webb would prefer all adjectives to be abandoned in an effort to tell the real story. Notes on Them & Us is a wry account of the transatlantic friendship as it actually exists today – how Americans see us, how we Brits see them – and Webb, presenter on Radio 4’s Today programme and formerly the BBC’s North American editor for eight years, is perfectly placed to comment. An amusing, myth-breaking, unflinchingly honest read, this is not an attack on either the English or the Americans. Webb concludes that there is a fault line in the long-standing marriage between these two great nations, a cultural divide that separates us. And he argues that recognising this divide, even celebrating it, is the key to a rich future collaboration.