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5 big new books on Axios Future's reading list

It's spring and soon will be summer. Five new and forthcoming books are already on our reading list. Let us know what's on yours.

1. Big Business: A Love Letter to an American Anti-Hero, by Tyler Cowen (out today)

  • Cowen's productivity astonishes, starting with his must-read blog Marginal Revolution. An economics professor at George Mason, Cowen again goes against the grain with a spirited defense of big business.

2. The Adventures of Alexander von Humboldt, by Andrea Wulf (out April 2)

  • Wulf follows up her gorgeous The Invention of Nature, a page-turner on Humboldt and the conceptual invention of a living Earth, with a graphic work on the 19th century explorer's life.

3. Upheaval: Turning Points for Nations in Crisis, by Jared Diamond (out May 7)

  • At a time of intense anxiety over our multiple simultaneous crises, Diamond — the Pulitzer-winning geographer-historian — documents how societies through time have overcome theirs, and then assesses our current predicaments.

4. Dignity: Seeking Respect in Backrow America, by Chris Arnade (out June 4)

  • Several years ago, Arnade quit his job on Wall Street to wander U.S. backwaters — especially McDonald's — and deliver his findings and photos on his must-read Twitter feed. Now, he delivers his work at book-length.

5. The Technology Trap: Capital, Labor, and Power in the Age of Automation, by Carl Frey (out June 18)

  • In 2013, Frey and Oxford collaborator Michael Osborne created automation studies as we know them today with a paper asserting that 47% of U.S. jobs are vulnerable to robots. Now, he argues that — if the new age of automation turns out as "well" as prior tech cycles, as optimists predict — we should be truly worried.

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