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For a hundred and fifty years, between the plod of packhorse trains and the arrival of the railways, canals were the high-tech water machine driving the industrial revolution. Jasper Winn spent a year exploring Britain's waterways in a kayak and on narrowboats. Along a thousand miles of 'wet roads and water streets' he shared journeys with some of the last working boat people and met the anglers, walkers, boaters, activists and eccentrics who have made the waterways their home. In Britain most of us live within five miles of a canal, and Winn's Water Ways shows them in an entirely new light.
For the past two decades, you could cross the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic half a dozen times without noticing. It's frictionless - a feat sealed by the Good Friday Agreement. Before that, watchtowers loomed, military checkpoints dotted the roads, and bridges had been demolished. This is a past that most are happy to have left behind but it may also be the future. With the fate of the border uncertain, Diarmaid Ferriter's The Border is a timely intervention into one of the most contentious and misunderstood political issues of our time.
Schadenfreude - enjoying the pain and failures of others - is an all-too-familiar feeling. In a time of polarised politics, twitter trolls and 'sidebars of shame', it has never been more relevant. Recent studies have shown that we smile more at a rival's loss than at our own success. But why can it be so much fun to witness another's distress? And what, if anything, should we do about it? In Schadenfreude, Tiffany Watt Smith argues that rather than an emotional glitch, Schadenfreude can reveal profound truths about our relationships with others and our sense of who we are.

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