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Brief Answers to the Big Questions - Stephen Hawking Cover Art

Brief Answers to the Big Questions

Brief Answers to the Big Questions by Stephen Hawking

#1  NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • The world-famous cosmologist and author of A Brief History of Time leaves us with his final thoughts on the biggest questions facing humankind. “Hawking’s parting gift to humanity . . . a book every thinking person worried about humanity’s future should read.”—NPR NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY Forbes • The Guardian • Wired Stephen Hawking was the most renowned scientist since Einstein, known both for his groundbreaking work in physics and cosmology and for his mischievous sense of humor. He educated millions of readers about the origins of the universe and the nature of black holes, and inspired millions more by defying a terrifying early prognosis of ALS, which originally gave him only two years to live. In later life he could communicate only by using a few facial muscles, but he continued to advance his field and serve as a revered voice on social and humanitarian issues. Hawking not only unraveled some of the universe’s greatest mysteries but also believed science plays a critical role in fixing problems here on Earth. Now, as we face immense challenges on our planet—including climate change, the threat of nuclear war, and the development of artificial intelligence—he turns his attention to the most urgent issues facing us. Will humanity survive? Should we colonize space? Does God exist? ​​These are just a few of the questions Hawking addresses in this wide-ranging, passionately argued final book from one of the greatest minds in history. Featuring a foreword by Eddie Redmayne, who won an Oscar playing Stephen Hawking, an introduction by Nobel Laureate Kip Thorne, and an afterword from Hawking’s daughter, Lucy,  Brief Answers to the Big Questions is a brilliant last message to the world. Praise for Brief Answers to the Big Questions “[Hawking is] a symbol of the soaring power of the human mind.” — The Washington Post “Hawking’s final message to readers . . . is a hopeful one.” —CNN “Brisk, lucid peeks into the future of science and of humanity.” —The Wall Street Journal “Hawking pulls no punches on subjects like machines taking over, the biggest threat to Earth, and the possibilities of intelligent life in space.” —Quartz “Effortlessly instructive, absorbing, up to the minute and—where it matters—witty.” —The Guardian “This beautiful little book is a fitting last twinkle from a new star in the firmament above.” — The Telegraph

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The Body - Bill Bryson Cover Art

The Body

The Body A Guide for Occupants by Bill Bryson

Bill Bryson, bestselling author of A Short History of Nearly Everything , takes us on a head-to-toe tour of the marvel that is the human body. As addictive as it is comprehensive, this is Bryson at his very best, a must-read owner's manual for everybody. Bill Bryson once again proves himself to be an incomparable companion as he guides us through the human body--how it functions, its remarkable ability to heal itself, and (unfortunately) the ways it can fail. Full of extraordinary facts (your body made a million red blood cells since you started reading this) and irresistible Bryson-esque anecdotes, The Body will lead you to a deeper understanding of the miracle that is life in general and you in particular. As Bill Bryson writes, "We pass our existence within this wobble of flesh and yet take it almost entirely for granted." The Body will cure that indifference with generous doses of wondrous, compulsively readable facts and information.

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Atomic Accidents - Jim Mahaffey Cover Art

Atomic Accidents

Atomic Accidents A History of Nuclear Meltdowns and Disasters: From the Ozark Mountains to Fukushima by Jim Mahaffey

A “delightfully astute” and “entertaining” history of the mishaps and meltdowns that have marked the path of scientific progress ( Kirkus Reviews , starred review). Radiation: What could go wrong? In short, plenty. From Marie Curie carrying around a vial of radium salt because she liked the pretty blue glow to the large-scale disasters at Chernobyl and Fukushima, dating back to the late nineteenth century, nuclear science has had a rich history of innovative exploration and discovery, coupled with mistakes, accidents, and downright disasters. In this lively book, long-time advocate of continued nuclear research and nuclear energy James Mahaffey looks at each incident in turn and analyzes what happened and why, often discovering where scientists went wrong when analyzing past meltdowns. Every incident, while taking its toll, has led to new understanding of the mighty atom—and the fascinating frontier of science that still holds both incredible risk and great promise.  

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Higgs Discovery: The Power of Empty Space - Lisa Randall Cover Art

Higgs Discovery: The Power of Empty Space

Higgs Discovery: The Power of Empty Space by Lisa Randall

On July 4, 2012, physicists at the Large Hadron Collider in Geneva madehistory when they discovered an entirely new type of subatomic particle that many scientists believe is the Higgs boson. For forty years, physicists searched for this capstone to the Standard Model of particle physics—the theory that describes both the most elementary components that are known in matter and the forces through which they interact. This particle points to the Higgs field, which provides the key to understanding why elementary particles have mass. In Higgs Discovery, Lisa Randall explains the science behind this monumental discovery, its exhilarating implications, and the power of empty space.

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Letters from an Astrophysicist - Neil de Grasse Tyson Cover Art

Letters from an Astrophysicist

Letters from an Astrophysicist by Neil de Grasse Tyson

New York Times Bestseller A luminous companion to the phenomenal bestseller Astrophysics for People in a Hurry. Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson has attracted one of the world’s largest online followings with his fascinating, widely accessible insights into science and our universe. Now, Tyson invites us to go behind the scenes of his public fame by revealing his correspondence with people across the globe who have sought him out in search of answers. In this hand-picked collection of 101 letters, Tyson draws upon cosmic perspectives to address a vast array of questions about science, faith, philosophy, life, and of course, Pluto. His succinct, opinionated, passionate, and often funny responses reflect his popularity and standing as a leading educator. Tyson’s 2017 bestseller Astrophysics for People in a Hurry offered more than one million readers an insightful and accessible understanding of the universe. Tyson’s most candid and heartfelt writing yet, Letters from an Astrophysicist introduces us to a newly personal dimension of Tyson’s quest to explore our place in the cosmos.

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Lifespan - David A. Sinclair Cover Art

Lifespan

Lifespan Why We Age—and Why We Don't Have To by David A. Sinclair

A NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER A paradigm-shifting book from an acclaimed Harvard Medical School scientist and one of Time ’s most influential people. It’s a seemingly undeniable truth that aging is inevitable. But what if everything we’ve been taught to believe about aging is wrong? What if we could choose our lifespan? In this groundbreaking book, Dr. David Sinclair, leading world authority on genetics and longevity, reveals a bold new theory for why we age. As he writes: “Aging is a disease, and that disease is treatable.” This eye-opening and provocative work takes us to the frontlines of research that is pushing the boundaries on our perceived scientific limitations, revealing incredible breakthroughs—many from Dr. David Sinclair’s own lab at Harvard—that demonstrate how we can slow down, or even reverse, aging. The key is activating newly discovered vitality genes, the descendants of an ancient genetic survival circuit that is both the cause of aging and the key to reversing it. Recent experiments in genetic reprogramming suggest that in the near future we may not just be able to feel younger, but actually become younger. Through a page-turning narrative, Dr. Sinclair invites you into the process of scientific discovery and reveals the emerging technologies and simple lifestyle changes—such as intermittent fasting, cold exposure, exercising with the right intensity, and eating less meat—that have been shown to help us live younger and healthier for longer. At once a roadmap for taking charge of our own health destiny and a bold new vision for the future of humankind, Lifespan will forever change the way we think about why we age and what we can do about it.

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Why We Sleep - Matthew Walker Cover Art

Why We Sleep

Why We Sleep Unlocking the Power of Sleep and Dreams by Matthew Walker

A New York Times bestseller and international sensation, this “stimulating and important book” ( Financial Times ) from the director of UC Berkeley’s Center for Human Sleep Science is a fascinating dive into the purpose and power of slumber. As the Guardian said, Walker explains “how a good night's shut-eye can make us cleverer, more attractive, slimmer, happier, healthier, and ward off cancer.” With two appearances on CBS This Morning and Fresh Air 's most popular interview of 2017, Matthew Walker has made abundantly clear that sleep is one of the most important but least understood aspects of our life. Until very recently, science had no answer to the question of why we sleep, or what good it served, or why we suffer such devastating health consequences when it is absent. Compared to the other basic drives in life—eating, drinking, and reproducing—the purpose of sleep remains more elusive. Within the brain, sleep enriches a diversity of functions, including our ability to learn, memorize, and make logical decisions. It recalibrates our emotions, restocks our immune system, fine-tunes our metabolism, and regulates our appetite. Dreaming creates a virtual reality space in which the brain melds past and present knowledge, inspiring creativity. In this “compelling and utterly convincing” ( The Sunday Times ) book, preeminent neuroscientist and sleep expert Matthew Walker provides a revolutionary exploration of sleep, examining how it affects every aspect of our physical and mental well-being. Charting the most cutting-edge scientific breakthroughs, and marshalling his decades of research and clinical practice, Walker explains how we can harness sleep to improve learning, mood and energy levels, regulate hormones, prevent cancer, Alzheimer’s and diabetes, slow the effects of aging, and increase longevity. He also provides actionable steps towards getting a better night’s sleep every night. Clear-eyed, fascinating, and accessible, Why We Sleep is a crucial and illuminating book. Written with the precision of Atul Gawande, Andrew Solomon, and Sherwin Nuland, it is “recommended for night-table reading in the most pragmatic sense” ( The New York Times Book Review ).

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Astrophysics for People in a Hurry - Neil de Grasse Tyson Cover Art

Astrophysics for People in a Hurry

Astrophysics for People in a Hurry by Neil de Grasse Tyson

Over a year on the New York Times bestseller list and more than a million copies sold. The essential universe, from our most celebrated and beloved astrophysicist. What is the nature of space and time? How do we fit within the universe? How does the universe fit within us? There’s no better guide through these mind-expanding questions than acclaimed astrophysicist and best-selling author Neil deGrasse Tyson. But today, few of us have time to contemplate the cosmos. So Tyson brings the universe down to Earth succinctly and clearly, with sparkling wit, in tasty chapters consumable anytime and anywhere in your busy day. While you wait for your morning coffee to brew, for the bus, the train, or a plane to arrive, Astrophysics for People in a Hurry will reveal just what you need to be fluent and ready for the next cosmic headlines: from the Big Bang to black holes, from quarks to quantum mechanics, and from the search for planets to the search for life in the universe.

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The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks - Rebecca Skloot Cover Art

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot

Now an HBO® Film starring Oprah Winfrey and Rose Byrne #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER Her name was Henrietta Lacks, but scientists know her as HeLa. She was a poor black tobacco farmer whose cells—taken without her knowledge in 1951—became one of the most important tools in medicine, vital for developing the polio vaccine, cloning, gene mapping, and more. Henrietta's cells have been bought and sold by the billions, yet she remains virtually unknown, and her family can't afford health insurance. This phenomenal New York Times bestseller tells a riveting story of the collision between ethics, race, and medicine; of scientific discovery and faith healing; and of a daughter consumed with questions about the mother she never knew.

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The God Delusion - Richard Dawkins Cover Art

The God Delusion

The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins

A preeminent scientist—and the world's most prominent atheist—asserts the irrationality of belief in God and the grievous harm religion has inflicted on society, from the Crusades to 9/11. With rigor and wit, Dawkins examines God in all his forms, from the sex-obsessed tyrant of the Old Testament to the more benign (but still illogical) Celestial Watchmaker favored by some Enlightenment thinkers. He eviscerates the major arguments for religion and demonstrates the supreme improbability of a supreme being. He shows how religion fuels war, foments bigotry, and abuses children, buttressing his points with historical and contemporary evidence. The God Delusion makes a compelling case that belief in God is not just wrong but potentially deadly. It also offers exhilarating insight into the advantages of atheism to the individual and society, not the least of which is a clearer, truer appreciation of the universe's wonders than any faith could ever muster.

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Nuclear Physics - W. Heisenberg Cover Art

Nuclear Physics

Nuclear Physics by W. Heisenberg

The Nobel Prize–winning physicist offers a fascinating popular introduction to nuclear physics from early atomic theory to its transformative applications. Theoretical physicist Werner Heisenberg is famous for developing the uncertainty principle, which bears his name, and for his pioneering work in quantum mechanics. A central figure in the development of the atomic bomb and a close colleague of Albert Einstein, Heisenberg wrote Nuclear Physics “for readers who, while interested in natural sciences, have no previous training in theoretical physics.”   Compiled from a series of his lectures on the subject, Heisenberg begins with a short history of atomic physics before delving into the nature of nuclear forces and reactions, the tools of nuclear physics, and its world-changing technical and practical applications. Nuclear Physics is an ideal book for general readers interested in learning about some of the most significant scientific breakthroughs of the twentieth century.  

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Homo Deus - Yuval Noah Harari Cover Art

Homo Deus

Homo Deus A Brief History of Tomorrow by Yuval Noah Harari

Official U.S. edition with full color illustrations throughout. NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER Yuval Noah Harari, author of the critically-acclaimed New York Times bestseller and international phenomenon Sapiens, returns with an equally original, compelling, and provocative book, turning his focus toward humanity’s future, and our quest to upgrade humans into gods. Over the past century humankind has managed to do the impossible and rein in famine, plague, and war. This may seem hard to accept, but, as Harari explains in his trademark style—thorough, yet riveting—famine, plague and war have been transformed from incomprehensible and uncontrollable forces of nature into manageable challenges. For the first time ever, more people die from eating too much than from eating too little; more people die from old age than from infectious diseases; and more people commit suicide than are killed by soldiers, terrorists and criminals put together. The average American is a thousand times more likely to die from binging at McDonalds than from being blown up by Al Qaeda. What then will replace famine, plague, and war at the top of the human agenda? As the self-made gods of planet earth, what destinies will we set ourselves, and which quests will we undertake? Homo Deus explores the projects, dreams and nightmares that will shape the twenty-first century—from overcoming death to creating artificial life. It asks the fundamental questions: Where do we go from here? And how will we protect this fragile world from our own destructive powers? This is the next stage of evolution. This is Homo Deus. With the same insight and clarity that made Sapiens an international hit and a New York Times bestseller, Harari maps out our future.

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The Elephant Whisperer - Lawrence Anthony & Graham Spence Cover Art

The Elephant Whisperer

The Elephant Whisperer My Life with the Herd in the African Wild by Lawrence Anthony & Graham Spence

When South African conservationist Lawrence Anthony was asked to accept a herd of “rogue” wild elephants on his Thula Thula game reserve in Zululand, his common sense told him to refuse. But he was the herd’s last chance of survival: they would be killed if he wouldn’t take them. In order to save their lives, Anthony took them in. In the years that followed he became a part of their family. And as he battled to create a bond with the elephants, he came to realize that they had a great deal to teach him about life, loyalty, and freedom. The Elephant Whisperer  is a heartwarming, exciting, funny, and sometimes sad account of Anthony’s experiences with these huge yet sympathetic creatures. Set against the background of life on an African game reserve, with unforgettable characters and exotic wildlife, it is a delightful book that will appeal to animal lovers and adventurous souls everywhere.

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Every Tool's a Hammer - Adam Savage Cover Art

Every Tool's a Hammer

Every Tool's a Hammer Life Is What You Make It by Adam Savage

A NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER “An imperative how-to for creativity.” —Nick Offerman Adam Savage—star of Discovery Channel’s Mythbusters and one of the most beloved figures in science and tech—shares his golden rules of creativity, from finding inspiration to following through and successfully making your idea a reality. Every Tool ’ s a Hammer is a chronicle of my life as a maker. It’s an exploration of making and of my own productive obsessions, but it’s also a permission slip of sorts from me to you. Permission to grab hold of the things you’re interested in, that fascinate you, and to dive deeper into them to see where they lead you. Through stories from forty-plus years of making and molding, building and break­ing, along with the lessons I learned along the way, this book is meant to be a toolbox of problem solving, complete with a shop’s worth of notes on the tools, techniques, and materials that I use most often. Things like: In Every Tool There Is a Hammer —don’t wait until everything is perfect to begin a project, and if you don’t have the exact right tool for a task, just use whatever’s handy; Increase Your Loose Tolerance —making is messy and filled with screwups, but that’s okay, as creativity is a path with twists and turns and not a straight line to be found; Use More Cooling Fluid —it prolongs the life of blades and bits, and it prevents tool failure, but beyond that it’s a reminder to slow down and reduce the fric­tion in your work and relationships; Screw Before You Glue —mechanical fasteners allow you to change and modify a project while glue is forever but sometimes you just need the right glue, so I dig into which ones will do the job with the least harm and best effects. This toolbox also includes lessons from many other incredible makers and creators, including: Jamie Hyneman, Nick Offerman, Pixar director Andrew Stanton, Oscar-winner Guillermo del Toro, artist Tom Sachs, and chef Traci Des Jardins. And if everything goes well, we will hopefully save you a few mistakes (and maybe fingers) as well as help you turn your curiosities into creations. I hope this book inspires you to build, make, invent, explore, and—most of all—enjoy the thrills of being a creator.

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American Buffalo - Steven Rinella Cover Art

American Buffalo

American Buffalo In Search of a Lost Icon by Steven Rinella

From the host of the Travel Channel’s “The Wild Within.” A hunt for the American buffalo—an adventurous, fascinating examination of an animal that has haunted the American imagination.   In 2005, Steven Rinella won a lottery permit to hunt for a wild buffalo, or American bison, in the Alaskan wilderness. Despite the odds—there’s only a 2 percent chance of drawing the permit, and fewer than 20 percent of those hunters are successful—Rinella managed to kill a buffalo on a snow-covered mountainside and then raft the meat back to civilization while being trailed by grizzly bears and suffering from hypothermia. Throughout these adventures, Rinella found himself contemplating his own place among the 14,000 years’ worth of buffalo hunters in North America, as well as the buffalo’s place in the American experience. At the time of the Revolutionary War, North America was home to approximately 40 million buffalo, the largest herd of big mammals on the planet, but by the mid-1890s only a few hundred remained. Now that the buffalo is on the verge of a dramatic ecological recovery across the West, Americans are faced with the challenge of how, and if, we can dare to share our land with a beast that is the embodiment of the American wilderness. American Buffalo is a narrative tale of Rinella’s hunt. But beyond that, it is the story of the many ways in which the buffalo has shaped our national identity. Rinella takes us across the continent in search of the buffalo’s past, present, and future: to the Bering Land Bridge, where scientists search for buffalo bones amid artifacts of the New World’s earliest human inhabitants; to buffalo jumps where Native Americans once ran buffalo over cliffs by the thousands; to the Detroit Carbon works, a “bone charcoal” plant that made fortunes in the late 1800s by turning millions of tons of buffalo bones into bone meal, black dye, and fine china; and even to an abattoir turned fashion mecca in Manhattan’s Meatpacking District, where a depressed buffalo named Black Diamond met his fate after serving as the model for the American nickel.  Rinella’s erudition and exuberance, combined with his gift for storytelling, make him the perfect guide for a book that combines outdoor adventure with a quirky blend of facts and observations about history, biology, and the natural world. Both a captivating narrative and a book of environmental and historical significance, American Buffalo tells us as much about ourselves as Americans as it does about the creature who perhaps best of all embodies the American ethos.

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The Art of Logic in an Illogical World - Eugenia Cheng Cover Art

The Art of Logic in an Illogical World

The Art of Logic in an Illogical World by Eugenia Cheng

How both logical and emotional reasoning can help us live better in our post-truth world In a world where fake news stories change election outcomes, has rationality become futile? In The Art of Logic in an Illogical World, Eugenia Cheng throws a lifeline to readers drowning in the illogic of contemporary life. Cheng is a mathematician, so she knows how to make an airtight argument. But even for her, logic sometimes falls prey to emotion, which is why she still fears flying and eats more cookies than she should. If a mathematician can't be logical, what are we to do? In this book , Cheng reveals the inner workings and limitations of logic, and explains why alogic--for example, emotion--is vital to how we think and communicate. Cheng shows us how to use logic and alogic together to navigate a world awash in bigotry, mansplaining, and manipulative memes. Insightful, useful, and funny, this essential book is for anyone who wants to think more clearly.

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Something Deeply Hidden - Sean Carroll Cover Art

Something Deeply Hidden

Something Deeply Hidden Quantum Worlds and the Emergence of Spacetime by Sean Carroll

INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER One of  Publishers Weekly ’s “Most Anticipated Books of the Fall” As you read these words, copies of you are being created.   Sean Carroll, theoretical physicist and one of this world’s most celebrated writers on science, rewrites the history of 20th century physics. Already hailed as a masterpiece, Something Deeply Hidden shows for the first time that facing up to the essential puzzle of quantum mechanics utterly transforms how we think about space and time.  His reconciling of quantum mechanics with Einstein’s theory of relativity changes, well, everything. Most physicists haven’t even recognized the uncomfortable truth: physics has been in crisis since 1927. Quantum mechanics  has always had obvious gaps—which have come to be simply ignored. Science popularizers keep telling us how weird it is,  how impossible it is to understand. Academics discourage students from working on the "dead end" of quantum foundations. Putting his professional reputation on the line with this audacious yet entirely reasonable book, Carroll says that the crisis can now come to an end. We just have to accept that there is more than one of us in the universe. There are many, many Sean Carrolls. Many of every one of us.   Copies of you are generated thousands of times per second. The Many Worlds Theory of quantum behavior says that every time there is a quantum event, a world splits off with everything in it the same, except in that other world the quantum event didn't happen. Step-by-step in Carroll's uniquely lucid way, he tackles the major objections to this otherworldly revelation until his case is inescapably established.   Rarely does a book so fully reorganize how we think about our place in the universe. We are on the threshold of a new understanding—of where we are in the cosmos, and what we are made of.

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The Female Brain - Louann Brizendine, M.D. Cover Art

The Female Brain

The Female Brain by Louann Brizendine, M.D.

Since Dr. Brizendine wrote  The Female Brain  ten years ago, the response has been overwhelming. This New York Times bestseller has been translated into more than thirty languages, has sold nearly a million copies between editions, and has most recently inspired a romantic comedy starring Whitney Cummings and Sofia Vergara. And its profound scientific understanding of the nature and experience of the female brain continues to guide women as they pass through life stages, to help men better understand the girls and women in their lives, and to illuminate the delicate emotional machinery of a love relationship. Why are women more verbal than men? Why do women remember details of fights that men can’t remember at all? Why do women tend to form deeper bonds with their female friends than men do with their male counterparts? These and other questions have stumped both sexes throughout the ages. Now, pioneering neuropsychiatrist Louann Brizendine, M.D., brings together the latest findings to show how the unique structure of the female brain determines how women think, what they value, how they communicate, and who they love. While doing research as a medical student at Yale and then as a resident and faculty member at Harvard, Louann Brizendine discovered that almost all of the clinical data in existence on neurology, psychology, and neurobiology focused exclusively on males. In response to the overwhelming need for information on the female mind, Brizendine established the first clinic in the country to study and treat women’s brain function. In The Female Brain , Dr. Brizendine distills all her findings and the latest information from the scientific community in a highly accessible book that educates women about their unique brain/body/behavior. The result: women will come away from this book knowing that they have a lean, mean, communicating machine. Men will develop a serious case of brain envy.

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Why Trust Science? - Naomi Oreskes & Stephen Macedo Cover Art

Why Trust Science?

Why Trust Science? by Naomi Oreskes & Stephen Macedo

Why the social character of scientific knowledge makes it trustworthy Do doctors really know what they are talking about when they tell us vaccines are safe? Should we take climate experts at their word when they warn us about the perils of global warming? Why should we trust science when our own politicians don't? In this landmark book, Naomi Oreskes offers a bold and compelling defense of science, revealing why the social character of scientific knowledge is its greatest strength—and the greatest reason we can trust it. Tracing the history and philosophy of science from the late nineteenth century to today, Oreskes explains that, contrary to popular belief, there is no single scientific method. Rather, the trustworthiness of scientific claims derives from the social process by which they are rigorously vetted. This process is not perfect—nothing ever is when humans are involved—but she draws vital lessons from cases where scientists got it wrong. Oreskes shows how consensus is a crucial indicator of when a scientific matter has been settled, and when the knowledge produced is likely to be trustworthy. Based on the Tanner Lectures on Human Values at Princeton University, this timely and provocative book features critical responses by climate experts Ottmar Edenhofer and Martin Kowarsch, political scientist Jon Krosnick, philosopher of science Marc Lange, and science historian Susan Lindee, as well as a foreword by political theorist Stephen Macedo.

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A Brief History of Time - Stephen Hawking Cover Art

A Brief History of Time

A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking

#1  NEW YORK TIMES  BESTSELLER A landmark volume in science writing by one of the great minds of our time, Stephen Hawking’s book explores such profound questions as: How did the universe begin—and what made its start possible? Does time always flow forward? Is the universe unending—or are there boundaries? Are there other dimensions in space? What will happen when it all ends? Told in language we all can understand,  A Brief History of Time  plunges into the exotic realms of black holes and quarks, of antimatter and “arrows of time,” of the big bang and a bigger God—where the possibilities are wondrous and unexpected. With exciting images and profound imagination, Stephen Hawking brings us closer to the ultimate secrets at the very heart of creation.

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The Stranger in the Woods - Michael Finkel Cover Art

The Stranger in the Woods

The Stranger in the Woods The Extraordinary Story of the Last True Hermit by Michael Finkel

Many people dream of escaping modern life, but most will never act on it. This is the remarkable true story of a man who lived alone in the woods of Maine for 27 years, making this dream a reality—not out of anger at the world, but simply because he preferred to live on his own.   A  New York Times  bestseller In 1986, a shy and intelligent twenty-year-old named Christopher Knight left his home in Massachusetts, drove to Maine, and disappeared into the forest. He would not have a conversation with another human being until nearly three decades later, when he was arrested for stealing food. Living in a tent even through brutal winters, he had survived by his wits and courage, developing ingenious ways to store edibles and water, and to avoid freezing to death. He broke into nearby cottages for food, clothing, reading material, and other provisions, taking only what he needed but terrifying a community never able to solve the mysterious burglaries. Based on extensive interviews with Knight himself, this is a vividly detailed account of his secluded life—why did he leave? what did he learn?—as well as the challenges he has faced since returning to the world. It is a gripping story of survival that asks fundamental questions about solitude, community, and what makes a good life, and a deeply moving portrait of a man who was determined to live his own way, and succeeded.

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Sapiens and Homo Deus: The E-book Collection - Yuval Noah Harari Cover Art

Sapiens and Homo Deus: The E-book Collection

Sapiens and Homo Deus: The E-book Collection A Brief History of Humankind and a Brief History of Tomorrow by Yuval Noah Harari

Discover humanity’s past and its future in this in this special e-book collection featuring Sapiens—a reading pick of President Barack Obama, Bill Gates, and Mark Zuckerberg—and its acclaimed companion Homo Deus.

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The Demon in the Freezer - Richard Preston Cover Art

The Demon in the Freezer

The Demon in the Freezer A True Story by Richard Preston

“The bard of biological weapons captures the drama of the front lines.”— Richard Danzig, former secretary of the navy The first major bioterror event in the United States-the anthrax attacks in October 2001-was a clarion call for scientists who work with “hot” agents to find ways of protecting civilian populations against biological weapons. In The Demon in the Freezer,  his first nonfiction book since The Hot Zone, a #1 New York Times bestseller, Richard Preston takes us into the heart of Usamriid, the United States Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases at Fort Detrick, Maryland, once the headquarters of the U.S. biological weapons program and now the epicenter of national biodefense. Peter Jahrling, the top scientist at Usamriid, a wry virologist who cut his teeth on Ebola, one of the world’s most lethal emerging viruses, has ORCON security clearance that gives him access to top secret information on bioweapons. His most urgent priority is to develop a drug that will take on smallpox-and win. Eradicated from the planet in 1979 in one of the great triumphs of modern science, the smallpox virus now resides, officially, in only two high-security freezers-at the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta and in Siberia, at a Russian virology institute called Vector. But the demon in the freezer has been set loose. It is almost certain that illegal stocks are in the possession of hostile states, including Iraq and North Korea. Jahrling is haunted by the thought that biologists in secret labs are using genetic engineering to create a new superpox virus, a smallpox resistant to all vaccines. Usamriid went into a state of Delta Alert on September 11 and activated its emergency response teams when the first anthrax letters were opened in New York and Washington, D.C. Preston reports, in unprecedented detail, on the government’ s response to the attacks and takes us into the ongoing FBI investigation. His story is based on interviews with top-level FBI agents and with Dr. Steven Hatfill. Jahrling is leading a team of scientists doing controversial experiments with live smallpox virus at CDC. Preston takes us into the lab where Jahrling is reawakening smallpox and explains, with cool and devastating precision, what may be at stake if his last bold experiment fails.

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The Uninhabitable Earth - David Wallace-Wells Cover Art

The Uninhabitable Earth

The Uninhabitable Earth Life After Warming by David Wallace-Wells

#1  NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • “ The Uninhabitable Earth  hits you like a comet, with an overflow of insanely lyrical prose about our pending Armageddon.”—Andrew Solomon, author of  The Noonday Demon It is worse, much worse, than you think. If your anxiety about global warming is dominated by fears of sea-level rise, you are barely scratching the surface of what terrors are possible—food shortages, refugee emergencies, climate wars and economic devastation. An “epoch-defining book” ( The Guardian ) and “this generation’s Silent Spring ” ( The Washington Post ), The Uninhabitable Earth  is both a travelogue of the near future and a meditation on how that future will look to those living through it—the ways that warming promises to transform global politics, the meaning of technology and nature in the modern world, the sustainability of capitalism and the trajectory of human progress. The Uninhabitable Earth is also an impassioned call to action. For just as the world was brought to the brink of catastrophe within the span of a lifetime, the responsibility to avoid it now belongs to a single generation—today’s. Praise for The Uninhabitable Earth “The Uninhabitable Earth  is the most terrifying book I have ever read. Its subject is climate change, and its method is scientific, but its mode is Old Testament. The book is a meticulously documented, white-knuckled tour through the cascading catastrophes that will soon engulf our warming planet.” —Farhad Manjoo,  The New York Times “Riveting. . . . Some readers will find Mr. Wallace-Wells’s outline of possible futures alarmist. He is indeed alarmed. You should be, too.” —The Economist “Potent and evocative. . . . Wallace-Wells has resolved to offer something other than the standard narrative of climate change. . . . He avoids the ‘eerily banal language of climatology’ in favor of lush, rolling prose.” —Jennifer Szalai,  The New York Times “The book has potential to be this generation’s  Silent Spring .” —The Washington Post “ The Uninhabitable Earth,  which has become a best seller, taps into the underlying emotion of the day: fear. . . . I encourage people to read this book.” —Alan Weisman,  The New York Review of Books

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Reality Is Not What It Seems - Carlo Rovelli, Simon Carnell & Erica Segre Cover Art

Reality Is Not What It Seems

Reality Is Not What It Seems The Journey to Quantum Gravity by Carlo Rovelli, Simon Carnell & Erica Segre

“The man who makes physics sexy . . . the scientist they’re calling the next Stephen Hawking.” — The Times Magazine From the  New York Times –bestselling author of  Seven Brief Lessons on Physics and The Order of Time , a closer look at the mind-bending nature of the universe. What are the elementary ingredients of the world? Do time and space exist? And what exactly is reality? Theoretical physicist Carlo Rovelli has spent his life exploring these questions. He tells us how our understanding of reality has changed over the centuries and how physicists think about the structure of the universe today. In elegant and accessible prose, Rovelli takes us on a wondrous journey from Democritus to Albert Einstein, from Michael Faraday to gravitational waves, and from classical physics to his own work in quantum gravity. As he shows us how the idea of reality has evolved over time, Rovelli offers deeper explanations of the theories he introduced so concisely in  Seven Brief Lessons on Physics . This book culminates in a lucid overview of quantum gravity, the field of research that explores the quantum nature of space and time, seeking to unify quantum mechanics and general relativity. Rovelli invites us to imagine a marvelous world where space breaks up into tiny grains, time disappears at the smallest scales, and black holes are waiting to explode—a vast universe still largely undiscovered.

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The Beginning of Infinity - David Deutsch Cover Art

The Beginning of Infinity

The Beginning of Infinity Explanations That Transform the World by David Deutsch

The New York Times bestseller: A provocative, imaginative exploration of the nature and progress of knowledge “Dazzling.” – Steven Pinker, The Guardian In this groundbreaking book, award-winning physicist David Deutsch argues that explanations have a fundamental place in the universe—and that improving them is the basic regulating principle of all successful human endeavor. Taking us on a journey through every fundamental field of science, as well as the history of civilization, art, moral values, and the theory of political institutions, Deutsch tracks how we form new explanations and drop bad ones, explaining the conditions under which progress—which he argues is potentially boundless—can and cannot happen. Hugely ambitious and highly original, The Beginning of Infinity explores and establishes deep connections between the laws of nature, the human condition, knowledge, and the possibility for progress.

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Jacobson's Organ: And the Remarkable Nature of Smell - Lyall Watson Cover Art

Jacobson's Organ: And the Remarkable Nature of Smell

Jacobson's Organ: And the Remarkable Nature of Smell by Lyall Watson

Nothing is more memorable than a smell. So why do we persist in dismissing the nose as a blunt instrument? Smell is our most seductive and provocative sense, invading every domain of our lives. We can identify our relatives, detect the availability of a potential mate, sniff out danger, and distinguish between good and bad food just with our noses. In this surprising and delightful book, Lyall Watson rescues our most unappreciated sense from obscurity. He brings to light new evidence concerning Jacobson's Organ: an anatomical feature discovered high in the nose in 1811 and dismissed for centuries as a vestigial ghost. Yet recent research has shown Jacobson's Organ to be an incredibly influential pheromonal mechanism that feeds the area of the brain affecting our awareness, emotional states, and sexual behavior. Following the seven classes of smell devised by the pioneering botanist Carl Linnaeus in his Odores Medicamentorum, Watson examines the roles of smell and pheromones in humans, plants, and animals. He reveals the curious ways in which trees communicate their distress, the olfactory abilities of feral children, the bond we have with our offspring, the psychosexual effects of perfume, and the link between smell and memory formation. Jacobson's Organ unlocks the door to the strange world of this mysterious sense.

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To Speak for the Trees - Diana Beresford-Kroeger Cover Art

To Speak for the Trees

To Speak for the Trees My Life's Journey from Ancient Celtic Wisdom to a Healing Vision of the Forest by Diana Beresford-Kroeger

Canadian botanist, biochemist and visionary Diana Beresford-Kroeger's startling insights into the hidden life of trees have already sparked a quiet revolution in how we understand our relationship to forests. Now, in a captivating account of how her life led her to these illuminating and crucial ideas, she shows us how forests can not only heal us but save the planet. When Diana Beresford-Kroeger--whose father was a member of the Anglo-Irish aristocracy and whose mother was an O'Donoghue, one of the stronghold families who carried on the ancient Celtic traditions--was orphaned as a child, she could have been sent to the Magdalene Laundries. Instead, the O'Donoghue elders, most of them scholars and freehold farmers in the Lisheens valley in County Cork, took her under their wing. Diana became the last ward under the Brehon Law. Over the course of three summers, she was taught the ways of the Celtic triad of mind, body and soul. This included the philosophy of healing, the laws of the trees, Brehon wisdom and the Ogham alphabet, all of it rooted in a vision of nature that saw trees and forests as fundamental to human survival and spirituality. Already a precociously gifted scholar, Diana found that her grounding in the ancient ways led her to fresh scientific concepts. Out of that huge and holistic vision have come the observations that put her at the forefront of her field: the discovery of mother trees at the heart of a forest; the fact that trees are a living library, have a chemical language and communicate in a quantum world; the major idea that trees heal living creatures through the aerosols they release and that they carry a great wealth of natural antibiotics and other healing substances; and, perhaps most significantly, that planting trees can actively regulate the atmosphere and the oceans, and even stabilize our climate.      This book is not only the story of a remarkable scientist and her ideas, it harvests all of her powerful knowledge about why trees matter, and why trees are a viable, achievable solution to climate change. Diana eloquently shows us that if we can understand the intricate ways in which the health and welfare of every living creature is connected to the global forest, and strengthen those connections, we will still have time to mend the self-destructive ways that are leading to drastic fires, droughts and floods.

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Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors - Carl Sagan & Ann Druyan Cover Art

Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors

Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors by Carl Sagan & Ann Druyan

"Dazzling...A feast. Absorbing and elegantly written, it tells of theorigins of life on earth, describes its variety and charaacter, and culminates in a discussion of human nature and teh complex traces ofhumankind's evolutionary past...It is an amazing story masterfully told." FINANCIAL TIMES (LONDON) World renowned scientist Carl Sagan and acclaimed author Ann Druyan have written a ROOTS for the human species, a lucid and riveting account of how humans got to be the way we are. It shows with humor and drama that many of our key traits--self-awareness, technology, family ties, submission to authority, hatred for those a little different from ourselves, reason, and ethics--are rooted in the deep past, and illuminated by our kinship with other animals. Astonishing in its scope, brilliant in its insights, and an absolutely compelling read, SHADOWS OF FORGOTTEN ANCESTORS is a triumph of popular science.

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Long for This World - Jonathan Weiner Cover Art

Long for This World

Long for This World The Strange Science of Immortality by Jonathan Weiner

“[A] searching and surprisingly witty look at the scientific odds against tomorrow.” —Timothy Ferris Jonathan Weiner—winner of the  Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Critics Circle Award, and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, and one of the most distinguished popular science writers in America—examines “the strange science of immortality” in Long for This World. A fast-paced, sure-to-astonish scientific adventure from “one of our finest science journalists” (Jonah Lehrer), Weiner’s Long for This World addresses the ageless question, “Is there a secret to eternal youth?” And has it, at long last, been found?

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Coming of Age at the End of Nature - Julie Dunlap & Susan A. Cohen Cover Art

Coming of Age at the End of Nature

Coming of Age at the End of Nature A Generation Faces Living on a Changed Planet by Julie Dunlap & Susan A. Cohen

Coming of Age at the End of Nature explores a new kind of environmental writing. This powerful anthology gathers the passionate voices of young writers who have grown up in an environmentally damaged and compromised world. Each contributor has come of age since Bill McKibben foretold the doom of humanity’s ancient relationship with a pristine earth in his prescient 1988 warning of climate change, The End of Nature . What happens to individuals and societies when their most fundamental cultural, historical, and ecological bonds weaken—or snap? In Coming of Age at the End of Nature , insightful millennials express their anger and love, dreams and fears, and sources of resilience for living and thriving on our shifting planet. Twenty-two essays explore wide-ranging themes that are paramount to young generations but that resonate with everyone, including redefining materialism and environmental justice, assessing the risk and promise of technology, and celebrating place anywhere from a wild Atlantic island to the Arizona desert, to Baltimore and Bangkok. The contributors speak with authority on problems facing us all, whether railing against the errors of past generations, reveling in their own adaptability, or insisting on a collective responsibility to do better.

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Genesis: The Deep Origin of Societies - Edward O. Wilson Cover Art

Genesis: The Deep Origin of Societies

Genesis: The Deep Origin of Societies by Edward O. Wilson

Forming a twenty-first-century statement on Darwinian evolution, one shorn of “religious and political dogma,” Edward O. Wilson offers a bold work of scientific thought and synthesis. Asserting that religious creeds and philosophical questions can be reduced to purely genetic and evolutionary components, and that the human body and mind have a physical base obedient to the laws of physics and chemistry, Genesis demonstrates that the only way for us to fully understand human behavior is to study the evolutionary histories of nonhuman species. Of these, Wilson demonstrates that at least seventeen—among them the African naked mole rat and the sponge- dwelling shrimp—have been found to have advanced societies based on altruism and cooperation. Whether writing about midges who “dance about like acrobats” or schools of anchovies who protectively huddle “to appear like a gigantic fish,” or proposing that human society owes a debt of gratitude to “postmenopausal grandmothers” and “childless homosexuals,” Genesis is a pithy yet path-breaking work of evolutionary theory, braiding twenty-first-century scientific theory with the lyrical biological and humanistic observations for which Wilson is known.

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The Body Toxic - Nena Baker Cover Art

The Body Toxic

The Body Toxic How the Hazardous Chemistry of Everyday Things Threatens Our Health and Well-being by Nena Baker

We are running a collective chemical fever that we cannot break. Everyone everywhere now carries a dizzying array of chemical contaminants, the by-products of modern industry and innovation that contribute to a host of developmental deficits and health problems in ways just now being understood. These toxic substances, unknown to our grandparents, accumulate in our fat, bones, blood, and organs as a consequence of womb-to-tomb exposure to industrial substances as common as the products that contain them. Almost everything we encounter—from soap to soup cans and computers to clothing—contributes to a chemical load unique to each of us. Scientists studying the phenomenon refer to it as "chemical body burden," and in The Body Toxic , the investigative journalist Nena Baker explores the many factors that have given rise to this condition—from manufacturing breakthroughs to policy decisions to political pressure to the demands of popular culture. While chemical advances have helped raise our standard of living, making our lives easier and safer in many ways, there are costs to these conveniences that chemical companies would rather consumers never knew about. Baker draws back the curtain on this untold impact and assesses where we go from here.

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The Age of Genomes - Steven Monroe Lipkin & Jon Luoma Cover Art

The Age of Genomes

The Age of Genomes Tales from the Front Lines of Genetic Medicine by Steven Monroe Lipkin & Jon Luoma

A leading geneticist explores what promises to be one of the most transformative advances in health and medicine in history Almost every week, another exciting headline appears about new advances in the field of genetics. Genetic testing is experiencing the kind of exponential growth once seen with the birth of the Internet, while the plummeting cost of DNA sequencing makes it increasingly accessible for individuals and families. Steven Lipkin and Jon Luoma posit that today’s genomics is like the last century’s nuclear physics: a powerful tool for good if used correctly, but potentially dangerous nonetheless. DNA testing is likely the most exciting advance in a long time for treating serious disease, but sequencing errors, complex biology, and problems properly interpreting genetic data can also cause life-threatening misdiagnoses of patients with debilitating and fatal genetic diseases. DNA testing can also lead to unnecessary procedures and significantly higher health-care costs. And just around the corner is the ability to cure genetic diseases using powerful gene-editing technologies that are already being used in human embryo research. Welcome to the Age of Genomes! The Age of Genomes immerses readers in true stories of patients on the frontier of genomic medicine and explores both the transformative potential and risks of genetic technology. It will inform anxious parents increasingly bombarded by offers of costly new prenatal testing products, and demonstrate how genetic technology, when deployed properly, can significantly improve the lives of patients who have devastating neurological diseases, cancer, and other maladies. Dr. Lipkin explains the science in depth, but in terms a layperson can follow.

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CliffsNotes Statistics Quick Review, 2nd Edition - Scott Adams, Peter Z Orton & David H Voelker Cover Art

CliffsNotes Statistics Quick Review, 2nd Edition

CliffsNotes Statistics Quick Review, 2nd Edition by Scott Adams, Peter Z Orton & David H Voelker

Inside the Book: • Graphic displays • Numerical measures • Probability • Sampling • Principles of testing • Univariate inferential tests • Bivariate relationships • Review questions • Resource center • Glossary • Common mistakes • Tables Why CliffsNotes? • Go with the name you know and trust • Get the information you need-fast! CliffsNotes Quick Review guides give you a clear, concise, easy-to-use review of the basics. Introducing each topic, defining key terms, and carefully walking you through sample problems, this guide helps you grasp and understand the important concepts needed to succeed. Access 500 additional practice questions at www.cliffsnotes.com/go/quiz/statistics Master the Basics–Fast • Complete coverage of core concepts • Easy topic-by-topic organization • Access hundreds of practice problems at www.cliffsnotes.com/go/quiz/statistics

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How Evolution Shapes Our Lives - Jonathan B. Losos & Richard E. Lenski Cover Art

How Evolution Shapes Our Lives

How Evolution Shapes Our Lives Essays on Biology and Society by Jonathan B. Losos & Richard E. Lenski

It is easy to think of evolution as something that happened long ago, or that occurs only in "nature," or that is so slow that its ongoing impact is virtually nonexistent when viewed from the perspective of a single human lifetime. But we now know that when natural selection is strong, evolutionary change can be very rapid. In this book, some of the world's leading scientists explore the implications of this reality for human life and society. With some twenty-three essays, this volume provides authoritative yet accessible explorations of why understanding evolution is crucial to human life—from dealing with climate change and ensuring our food supply, health, and economic survival to developing a richer and more accurate comprehension of society, culture, and even what it means to be human itself. Combining new essays with essays revised and updated from the acclaimed Princeton Guide to Evolution , this collection addresses the role of evolution in aging, cognition, cooperation, religion, the media, engineering, computer science, and many other areas. The result is a compelling and important book about how evolution matters to humans today. The contributors are Dan I. Andersson, Francisco J. Ayala, Amy Cavanaugh, Cameron R. Currie, Dieter Ebert, Andrew D. Ellington, Elizabeth Hannon, John Hawks, Paul Keim, Richard E. Lenski, Tim Lewens, Jonathan B. Losos, Virpi Lummaa, Jacob A. Moorad, Craig Moritz, Martha M. Muñoz, Mark Pagel, Talima Pearson, Robert T. Pennock, Daniel E. L. Promislow, Erik M. Quandt, David C. Queller, Robert C. Richardson, Eugenie C. Scott, H. Bradley Shaffer, Joan E. Strassmann, Alan R. Templeton, Paul E. Turner, and Carl Zimmer.

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Hemp - B. B. Robinson Cover Art

Hemp

Hemp by B. B. Robinson

HEMP is a fiber used in making twines and light cordage. It is also used as an extender for imported cordage fibers, particularly abaca, sisal, and henequen, when supplies of these are not adequate to meet domestic demands. The size of the hemp industry, therefore, is greatly influenced by the availability of imported cordage fibers. Hemp is not a hard crop to grow. It should be planted on the most productive land on the farm—land that would make 50 to 70 bushels of corn per acre. The crop is planted with a grain drill and harvested with special machinery rented from hemp mills. It is allowed to lie on the ground until the outer part of the stalks has rotted, freeing the fibers. This process is called dew retting.

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Rattling The Cage - Steven Wise & Jane Goodall Cover Art

Rattling The Cage

Rattling The Cage Toward Legal Rights For Animals by Steven Wise & Jane Goodall

Rattling the Cage explains how the failure to recognize the basic legal rights of chimpanzees and bonobos in light of modern scientific findings creates a glaring contradiction in our law. In this witty, moving, persuasive, and impeccably researched argument, Wise demonstrates that the cognitive, emotional, and social capacities of these apes entitle them to freedom from imprisonment and abuse.

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Gold Panning California - Garret Romaine Cover Art

Gold Panning California

Gold Panning California A Guide to the Area’s Best Sites for Gold by Garret Romaine

Gold Panning California is the premiere reference source for anyone who is interested in getting started or continuing their gold prospecting in California. Containing accurate, up-to-date prospecting information for all known panning areas in California. The write-ups for each locale include driving directions, GPS coordinates, historical information, land ownership restrictions, full-color photos, and geological background.

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Relativity - Roger Penrose & Albert Einstein Cover Art

Relativity

Relativity The Special and the General Theory by Roger Penrose & Albert Einstein

Robert Geroch builds on Einstein's work with commentary that addresses the ideas at the heart of the theory, bringing a modern understanding of relativity to the text. He elucidates how special relativity is a reconciliation of the contradictions between the nature of light and the principle of relativity; he expands on Einstein's treatment of the geometry of space-time and the fundamental notion of an "event"; he explains in detail, but without technical language, the equivalence of inertial and gravitational mass, a cornerstone of general relativity.

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The Sixth Extinction - Elizabeth Kolbert Cover Art

The Sixth Extinction

The Sixth Extinction An Unnatural History by Elizabeth Kolbert

ONE OF THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW'S 10 BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR A major book about the future of the world, blending intellectual and natural history and field reporting into a powerful account of the mass extinction unfolding before our eyes Over the last half a billion years, there have been five mass extinctions, when the diversity of life on earth suddenly and dramatically contracted. Scientists around the world are currently monitoring the sixth extinction, predicted to be the most devastating extinction event since the asteroid impact that wiped out the dinosaurs. This time around, the cataclysm is us. In The Sixth Extinction , two-time winner of the National Magazine Award and New Yorker writer Elizabeth Kolbert draws on the work of scores of researchers in half a dozen disciplines, accompanying many of them into the field: geologists who study deep ocean cores, botanists who follow the tree line as it climbs up the Andes, marine biologists who dive off the Great Barrier Reef. She introduces us to a dozen species, some already gone, others facing extinction, including the Panamian golden frog, staghorn coral, the great auk, and the Sumatran rhino. Through these stories, Kolbert provides a moving account of the disappearances occurring all around us and traces the evolution of extinction as concept, from its first articulation by Georges Cuvier in revolutionary Paris up through the present day. The sixth extinction is likely to be mankind's most lasting legacy; as Kolbert observes, it compels us to rethink the fundamental question of what it means to be human.

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The Disappearing Spoon - Sam Kean Cover Art

The Disappearing Spoon

The Disappearing Spoon And Other True Tales of Madness, Love, and the History of the World from the Periodic Table of the Elements by Sam Kean

From New York Times bestselling author Sam Kean comes incredible stories of science, history, finance, mythology, the arts, medicine, and more, as told by the Periodic Table. Why did Gandhi hate iodine (I, 53)? How did radium (Ra, 88) nearly ruin Marie Curie's reputation? And why is gallium (Ga, 31) the go-to element for laboratory pranksters?* The Periodic Table is a crowning scientific achievement, but it's also a treasure trove of adventure, betrayal, and obsession. These fascinating tales follow every element on the table as they play out their parts in human history, and in the lives of the (frequently) mad scientists who discovered them. THE DISAPPEARING SPOON masterfully fuses science with the classic lore of invention, investigation, and discovery--from the Big Bang through the end of time. *Though solid at room temperature, gallium is a moldable metal that melts at 84 degrees Fahrenheit. A classic science prank is to mold gallium spoons, serve them with tea, and watch guests recoil as their utensils disappear.

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Moonwalking with Einstein - Joshua Foer Cover Art

Moonwalking with Einstein

Moonwalking with Einstein The Art and Science of Remembering Everything by Joshua Foer

The blockbuster phenomenon that charts an amazing journey of the mind while revolutionizing our concept of memory An instant bestseller that is poised to become a classic, Moonwalking with Einstein recounts Joshua Foer's yearlong quest to improve his memory under the tutelage of top "mental athletes." He draws on cutting-edge research, a surprising cultural history of remembering, and venerable tricks of the mentalist's trade to transform our understanding of human memory. From the United States Memory Championship to deep within the author's own mind, this is an electrifying work of journalism that reminds us that, in every way that matters, we are the sum of our memories.

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Behave - Robert M. Sapolsky Cover Art

Behave

Behave The Biology of Humans at Our Best and Worst by Robert M. Sapolsky

Why do we do the things we do? Over a decade in the making, this game-changing book is Robert Sapolsky's genre-shattering attempt to answer that question as fully as perhaps only he could, looking at it from every angle. Sapolsky's storytelling concept is delightful but it also has a powerful intrinsic logic: he starts by looking at the factors that bear on a person's reaction in the precise moment a behavior occurs, and then hops back in time from there, in stages, ultimately ending up at the deep history of our species and its genetic inheritance. And so the first category of explanation is the neurobiological one. What goes on in a person's brain a second before the behavior happens? Then he pulls out to a slightly larger field of vision, a little earlier in time: What sight, sound, or smell triggers the nervous system to produce that behavior? And then, what hormones act hours to days earlier to change how responsive that individual is to the stimuli which trigger the nervous system? By now, he has increased our field of vision so that we are thinking about neurobiology and the sensory world of our environment and endocrinology in trying to explain what happened. Sapolsky keeps going--next to what features of the environment affected that person's brain, and then back to the childhood of the individual, and then to their genetic makeup. Finally, he expands the view to encompass factors larger than that one individual. How culture has shaped that individual's group, what ecological factors helped shape that culture, and on and on, back to evolutionary factors thousands and even millions of years old. The result is one of the most dazzling tours de horizon of the science of human behavior ever attempted, a majestic synthesis that harvests cutting-edge research across a range of disciplines to provide a subtle and nuanced perspective on why we ultimately do the things we do...for good and for ill. Sapolsky builds on this understanding to wrestle with some of our deepest and thorniest questions relating to tribalism and xenophobia, hierarchy and competition, morality and free will, and war and peace. Wise, humane, often very funny, Behave is a towering achievement, powerfully humanizing, and downright heroic in its own right.

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Darwin's Doubt - Stephen C. Meyer Cover Art

Darwin's Doubt

Darwin's Doubt The Explosive Origin of Animal Life and the Case for Intelligent Design by Stephen C. Meyer

When Charles Darwin finished The Origin of Species, he thought that he had explained every clue, but one. Though his theory could explain many facts, Darwin knew that there was a significant event in the history of life that his theory did not explain. During this event, the “Cambrian explosion,” many animals suddenly appeared in the fossil record without apparent ancestors in earlier layers of rock.   In Darwin’s Doubt, Stephen C. Meyer tells the story of the mystery surrounding this explosion of animal life—a mystery that has intensified, not only because the expected ancestors of these animals have not been found, but because scientists have learned more about what it takes to construct an animal. During the last half century, biologists have come to appreciate the central importance of biological information—stored in DNA and elsewhere in cells—to building animal forms. Expanding on the compelling case he presented in his last book, Signature in the Cell, Meyer argues that the origin of this information, as well as other mysterious features of the Cambrian event, are best explained by intelligent design, rather than purely undirected evolutionary processes.

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Factfulness - Hans Rosling, Anna Rosling Rönnlund & Ola Rosling Cover Art

Factfulness

Factfulness Ten Reasons We're Wrong About the World--and Why Things Are Better Than You Think by Hans Rosling, Anna Rosling Rönnlund & Ola Rosling

INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER “One of the most important books I’ve ever read—an indispensable guide to thinking clearly about the world.” – Bill Gates “Hans Rosling tells the story of ‘the secret silent miracle of human progress’ as only he can. But Factfulness does much more than that. It also explains why progress is so often secret and silent and teaches readers how to see it clearly.” — Melinda Gates " Factfulness by Hans Rosling, an outstanding international public health expert, is a hopeful book about the potential for human progress when we work off facts rather than our inherent biases." - Former U.S. President Barack Obama Factfulnes s: The stress-reducing habit of only carrying opinions for which you have strong supporting facts. When asked simple questions about global trends— what percentage of the world’s population live in poverty; why the world’s population is increasing; how many girls finish school —we systematically get the answers wrong. So wrong that a chimpanzee choosing answers at random will consistently outguess teachers, journalists, Nobel laureates, and investment bankers. In Factfulness , Professor of International Health and global TED phenomenon Hans Rosling, together with his two long-time collaborators, Anna and Ola, offers a radical new explanation of why this happens . They reveal the ten instincts that distort our perspective —from our tendency to divide the world into two camps (usually some version of us and them ) to the way we consume media (where fear rules) to how we perceive progress (believing that most things are getting worse). Our problem is that we don’t know what we don’t know, and even our guesses are informed by unconscious and predictable biases. It turns out that the world, for all its imperfections, is in a much better state than we might think. That doesn’t mean there aren’t real concerns. But when we worry about everything all the time instead of embracing a worldview based on facts, we can lose our ability to focus on the things that threaten us most. Inspiring and revelatory, filled with lively anecdotes and moving stories, Factfulness is an urgent and essential book that will change the way you see the world and empower you to respond to the crises and opportunities of the future. --- “This book is my last battle in my life-long mission to fight devastating ignorance…Previously I armed myself with huge data sets, eye-opening software, an energetic learning style and a Swedish bayonet for sword-swallowing. It wasn’t enough. But I hope this book will be.” Hans Rosling, February 2017.

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The Soul of an Octopus - Sy Montgomery Cover Art

The Soul of an Octopus

The Soul of an Octopus A Surprising Exploration into the Wonder of Consciousness by Sy Montgomery

Finalist for the National Book Award for Nonfiction * New York Times Bestseller * Starred Booklist and Library Journal Editors’ Spring Pick * A Huffington Post Notable Nonfiction Book of the Year * One of the Best Books of the Month on Goodreads * Library Journal Best Sci-Tech Book of the Year * An American Library Association Notable Book of the Year “Sy Montgomery’s The Soul of an Octopus does for the creature what Helen Macdonald’s H Is for Hawk did for raptors.” — New Statesman , UK “One of the best science books of the year.” — Science Friday , NPR Another New York Times bestseller from the author of The Good Good Pig , this “fascinating…touching…informative…entertaining” ( Daily Beast ) book explores the emotional and physical world of the octopus—a surprisingly complex, intelligent, and spirited creature—and the remarkable connections it makes with humans. In pursuit of the wild, solitary, predatory octopus, popular naturalist Sy Montgomery has practiced true immersion journalism. From New England aquarium tanks to the reefs of French Polynesia and the Gulf of Mexico, she has befriended octopuses with strikingly different personalities—gentle Athena, assertive Octavia, curious Kali, and joyful Karma. Each creature shows her cleverness in myriad ways: escaping enclosures like an orangutan; jetting water to bounce balls; and endlessly tricking companions with multiple “sleights of hand” to get food. Scientists have only recently accepted the intelligence of dogs, birds, and chimpanzees but now are watching octopuses solve problems and are trying to decipher the meaning of the animal’s color-changing techniques. With her “joyful passion for these intelligent and fascinating creatures” ( Library Journal Editors’ Spring Pick), Montgomery chronicles the growing appreciation of this mollusk as she tells a unique love story. By turns funny, entertaining, touching, and profound, The Soul of an Octopus reveals what octopuses can teach us about the meeting of two very different minds.

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The Undoing Project: A Friendship That Changed Our Minds - Michael Lewis Cover Art

The Undoing Project: A Friendship That Changed Our Minds

The Undoing Project: A Friendship That Changed Our Minds by Michael Lewis

“Brilliant. . . . Lewis has given us a spectacular account of two great men who faced up to uncertainty and the limits of human reason.” —William Easterly, Wall Street Journal Forty years ago, Israeli psychologists Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky wrote a series of breathtakingly original papers that invented the field of behavioral economics. One of the greatest partnerships in the history of science, Kahneman and Tversky’s extraordinary friendship incited a revolution in Big Data studies, advanced evidence-based medicine, led to a new approach to government regulation, and made much of Michael Lewis’s own work possible. In The Undoing Project, Lewis shows how their Nobel Prize–winning theory of the mind altered our perception of reality.

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Seven Brief Lessons on Physics - Carlo Rovelli Cover Art

Seven Brief Lessons on Physics

Seven Brief Lessons on Physics by Carlo Rovelli

The New York Times bestseller from the author of The Order of Time and Reality Is Not What It Seems “One of the year’s most entrancing books about science.” —The Wall Street Journal “Clear, elegant...a whirlwind tour of some of the biggest ideas in physics.” — The New York Times Book Review   This playful, entertaining, and mind-bending introduction to modern physics briskly explains Einstein's general relativity, quantum mechanics, elementary particles, gravity, black holes, the complex architecture of the universe, and the role humans play in this weird and wonderful world. Carlo Rovelli, a renowned theoretical physicist, is a delightfully poetic and philosophical scientific guide. He takes us to the frontiers of our knowledge: to the most minute reaches of the fabric of space, back to the origins of the cosmos, and into the workings of our minds. The book celebrates the joy of discovery.  “Here, on the edge of what we know, in contact with the ocean of the unknown, shines the mystery and the beauty of the world,” Rovelli writes. “And it’s breathtaking.”

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Falter - Bill McKibben Cover Art

Falter

Falter Has the Human Game Begun to Play Itself Out? by Bill McKibben

Thirty years ago Bill McKibben offered one of the earliest warnings about climate change. Now he broadens the warning: the entire human game, he suggests, has begun to play itself out. Bill McKibben’s groundbreaking book The End of Nature -- issued in dozens of languages and long regarded as a classic -- was the first book to alert us to global warming. But the danger is broader than that: even as climate change shrinks the space where our civilization can exist, new technologies like artificial intelligence and robotics threaten to bleach away the variety of human experience. Falter tells the story of these converging trends and of the ideological fervor that keeps us from bringing them under control. And then, drawing on McKibben’s experience in building 350.org, the first truly global citizens movement to combat climate change, it offers some possible ways out of the trap. We’re at a bleak moment in human history -- and we’ll either confront that bleakness or watch the civilization our forebears built slip away. Falter is a powerful and sobering call to arms, to save not only our planet but also our humanity.

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