GOOD Books is a weekly round-up of what we're reading and what we wish we were reading.
This has been the year of riots, from the earliest days of the Arab Spring in mid-January to the events in London over the past week. But riots are hardly a 21st-century invention: people across the world have rioted throughout history when they conclude they can't get the government's attention any other way.
Tell all your friends to spread the word far and wide: The Telecomix News Agency, an organization dedicated to informing the public about internet freedom issues, is now providing dial-up modem service to Egypt. Yesterday, the embroiled nation's government shut down all high-speed web service when it was discovered that protesters were galvanizing via e-mail and social networking sites.
The number is +46850009990, and Telecomix is also asking anyone able to provide more modem service to do so. Go here to find out how.
On Wednesday, we told you that world food price levels had entered "danger territory," according to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization. The cost of a basket of sugar, grain, and oilseed reached a new high in December, surpassing previous records set in 2008.
In the announcement, two days ago, FAO economist Abdolreza Abbassian was careful to downplay fears that high prices could once again spark food riots, as they did in 2008. However, yesterday brought news of rioters in Algeria chanting "Bring us sugar" while setting fire to tires and smashing street lamps. Simultaneously, the Mexican government invested heavily in maize futures in order to stabilize prices through the third quarter of 2011, in response to the threat of industrial action by the powerful National Union of Millers and Tortilla Makers.