The newest book that I've read is "Mauve: How One Man Invented a Color That Changed the World" by Simon Garfield about how the discovery of aniline mauve dye changed fashion, industry, and science.
I have sort of mixed emotions about the book. While the majority of the book focuses on the dye industry and how it relates the fashion industry, the first few chapters of the book are very heavy with chemical terminology and I found them a bit dry. But once you get to the discover of mauve by William Perkin in 1859, the book really delves into how it revolutionized the world, going into discussions about education, industry, fashion, and law (aniline dyes led to lots of legal battles between companies regarding patents, and it was difficult to sort through legally because determining one shade of a color from another was often difficult and chemical analysis was in its infancy).
While the social, economic, and political aspects were all interesting, I found it a bit distracting that about a quarter of the way through the book, Garfield starts to alternate between discussing events in mid-late 1800's and discussing events in the late 1990's/early 2000's. While I feel there is a relevant connection to be made between the two time periods, I would have been much more satisfied if the book had been written more chronologically. What makes these parts distracting is that he focuses more on the fiber than the color (specifically the marketing of Tencel), and when color is discussed, mauve is not the main idea: it's color itself.
Needless to say, despite the title, the book is less about the color and it's effects on the world and more about how Perkin changed the dye industry and how that subsequently influenced the course of history. I was slightly disappointed, but the history of synthetic dyes presented in the book was still interesting. For instance, I didn't realize Bayer developed aspirin from a byproduct of dye synthesis.
Despite the slightly misleading title and it's out of chronological telling, I would still recommend this book to anyone interested in the textile industry (or chemistry, for that matter) because we tend to overlook certain aspects of history, especially the ones we take for granted.