Few things in life are more satisfying than beating a rival. We love to win and hate to lose, whether it's on the playing field or at the ballot box, in the office or in the classroom. In this bold new look at human behavior, award-winning journalist and Olympian Matthew Syed explores the truth about our competitive nature: why we win, why we don't, and how we really play the game of life.
"Bad start and end - good middle"
Britain's most famous mathematician takes us to the edge of knowledge to show us what we cannot know. Science is king. Every week headlines announce new breakthroughs in our understanding of the universe, new technologies that will transform our environment, new medical advances that will extend our lives. Science is giving us unprecedented insight into some of the big questions that have challenged humanity ever since we've been able to formulate those questions.
"Embrace the future of of uncertainty!"
The inspiration for the BBC series of the same name. Fresh out of Glasgow Veterinary College, to the young James Herriot 1930s Yorkshire seems to offer an idyllic pocket of rural life in a rapidly changing world. But from his erratic new colleagues, brothers Siegfried and Tristan Farnon, to incomprehensible farmers, herds of semiferal cattle, a pig called Nugent and an overweight Pekingese called Tricki Woo, James find he is on a learning curve as steep as the hills around him.
"Great story and narrator - terrible sound quality"
In one of the most exciting and accessible explanations of The Theory of Relativity in recent years, Professors Brian Cox and Jeff Forshaw go on a journey to the frontier of 21st century science to consider the real meaning behind the iconic sequence of symbols that make up Einstein's most famous equation, exploring the principles of physics through everyday life.
"Good but not suited to an audiobook"
The Gene is the story of one of the most powerful and dangerous ideas in our history, from best-selling, prize-winning author Siddhartha Mukherjee. Spanning the globe and several centuries, The Gene is the story of the quest to decipher the master code that makes and defines humans, that governs our form and function. The story of the gene begins in an obscure Augustinian abbey in Moravia in 1856, where a monk stumbles on the idea of a 'unit of heredity'.
We are constantly bombarded with inaccurate, contradictory and sometimes misleading information - until now. Ben Goldacre masterfully dismantles the dubious science behind some of the great drug trials, court cases and missed opportunities of our time. He also shows us the fascinating story of how we know what we know, and gives us the tools to uncover bad science for ourselves.
"Making science truly entertaining"
An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth is an inspirational memoir of space exploration and hard-won wisdom, from an astronaut who has spent a lifetime making the impossible a reality. Colonel Chris Hadfield has spent decades training as an astronaut and has logged nearly 4,000 hours in space. During this time he has broken into a Space Station with a Swiss army knife, disposed of a live snake while piloting a plane, been temporarily blinded while clinging to the exterior of an orbiting spacecraft, and become a YouTube sensation with his performance of David Bowie's 'Space Oddity' in space.
"More memoir than diary."
Why do we breathe? What is money? How does the brain work? Why did life invent sex? Does time really exist? How does capitalism work - or not, as the case may be? Where do mountains come from? How do computers work? How did humans get to dominate the Earth? Why is there something rather than nothing? In What a Wonderful World, Marcus Chown, best-selling author of Quantum Theory Cannot Hurt You and the Solar System app, uses his vast scientific knowledge and deep understanding of extremely complex processes to answer simple questions.
"So well explained. Very impressive"
What is it really like to be a brain surgeon, to hold someone's life in your hands, to drill down into the stuff that creates thought, feeling and reason? In this brutally honest account, one of the country's top neurosurgeons reveals what it is to play god in life-and-death situations. Henry Marsh gives us a rare insight into the intense drama of the operating theatre and the exquisite complexity of the human brain.
"A Brain surgeon in the 21st century nhs"
Why can your foot move halfway to the brake pedal before you're consciously aware of danger? Why do you notice when your name is mentioned in a conversation that you didn't think you were listening to? Why are people whose name begins with J more likely to marry other people whose name begins with J? Why is it so difficult to keep a secret? Renowned neuroscientist David Eagleman navigates the depths of the subconscious brain to illuminate these surprising mysteries.
"Engaging but not ground breaking"
Life is the most extraordinary phenomenon in the known universe; but how does it work? Even in this age of cloning and synthetic biology, the remarkable truth remains: nobody has ever made anything living entirely out of dead material. Life remains the only way to make life. Are we missing a vital ingredient in its creation? Like Richard Dawkins' The Selfish Gene, which provided a new perspective on how evolution works, Life on the Edge alters our understanding of life's dynamics.
"Tour de force! Excellent."
Was there a beginning of time? Could time run backwards? Is the universe infinite, or does it have boundaries? These are just some of the questions considered in an internationally acclaimed masterpiece by one of the world's greatest thinkers. It begins by reviewing the great theories of the cosmos, from Newton to Einstein, before delving into the secrets which still lie at the heart of space and time, from the big bang to black holes, via spiral galaxies and strong theory.
Drawing upon a lifetime of scientific expertise and an abiding love of nature, Richard Fortey uses his small wood to tell a wider story of the ever-changing British landscape, human influence on the countryside over many centuries and the vital interactions between flora, fauna and fungi. The trees provide a majestic stage for woodland animals and plants to reveal their own stories.
Discover the fascinating and cutting-edge science behind the greatest question of all: is there life beyond Earth? For millennia, we have looked up at the stars and wondered whether we are alone in the universe. In the last few years, scientists have made huge strides towards answering that question. In The Aliens Are Coming!, comedian and best-selling science writer Ben Miller takes us on a fantastic voyage of discovery, from the beginnings of life on Earth to the very latest search for alien intelligence.
"TOE explained without the formula."
The fourth volume of memoirs from the author who inspired the BBC series All Creatures Great and Small. Finally home from London after his wartime service in the RAF, James Herriot is settling back into life as a country vet. While the world has changed after the war, the blunt Yorkshire clients and menagerie of beasts with weird and wonderful ailments remain the same.
The enchanted island of Corfu was home to Gerald Durrell and his family for five years before the Second World War. For the passionate young zoologist, Corfu was a natural paradise, teeming with strange birds and beasts that he could collect watch and care for. But life was not without its problems - Gerald's family often objected to his animal-collecting activities, especially when the beasts wound up in the family's villa or even worse - the fridge.
"This is a great book."
The science delusion is the belief that science already understands the nature of reality. The fundamental questions are answered, leaving only the details to be filled in. In this book, Dr Rupert Sheldrake, one of the world's most innovative scientists, shows that science is being constructed by assumptions that have hardened into dogmas. The sciences would be better off without them: freer, more interesting, and more fun.
"A Metaphysics of Science - on Acid (or Ayahuascua)"
Alexander von Humboldt (1769-1859) is the great lost scientist: more things are named after him than anyone else. There are towns, rivers, mountain ranges, the ocean current that runs along the South American coast; there's a penguin, a giant squid - even the Mare Humboldtianum on the moon. His colourful adventures read like something out of a Boy's Own story.
"Humboldt ‘read’ plants as others did books"
The unabridged, downloadable audiobook edition of Moonwalking with Einstein: The Art and Science of Remembering Everything, Joshua Foer's part-memoir, part-guide on mastering your memory. Read by Mike Chamberlain. On average, people squander forty days annually trying to remember things they've forgotten. Joshua Foer used to be one of those people. But after a year of training, he found himself in the finals of the U.S.
"A very interesting listen"
In this brilliant exploration of our cosmic environment, the renowned particle physicist and New York Times best-selling author of Warped Passages and Knocking on Heaven's Door uses her research into dark matter to illuminate the startling connections between the farthest reaches of space and life here on Earth.
"science at it's most appealing"
The world of maths can seem mind-boggling, irrelevant and, let's face it, boring. This groundbreaking book reclaims maths from the geeks. Mathematical ideas underpin just about everything in our lives: from the surprising geometry of the 50p piece to how probability can help you win in any casino. In search of weird and wonderful mathematical phenomena, Alex Bellos travels across the globe and meets the world's fastest mental calculators in Germany and a startlingly numerate chimpanzee in Japan.
"A wonderful journey through mathematics"
Have you ever wondered why ice floats and water is such a freaky liquid? Or why chilis and mustard are both hot but in different ways? Or why microwaves don't cook from the inside out? In this fascinating scientific tour of household objects, The One Show presenter and all-round science bloke Marty Jopson has the answer to all of these and many more baffling questions about the chemistry and physics of the everyday stuff we use every day.
Adored by children and adults alike, tyrannosaurus is the most famous dinosaur in the world, one that pops up again and again in pop culture, often battling other beasts such as King Kong, triceratops, or velociraptors in Jurassic Park. But despite the hype, tyrannosaurus and the other tyrannosaurs are fascinating animals in their own right and are among the best-studied of all dinosaurs.
Flash crashes. Speed dating. Instant messaging. From the devices we carry to the lives we lead, everything is getting faster, faster. But where did this great acceleration come from? And where will it lead? In this vitally important new audiobook, Robert Colvile explains how the cult of disruption in Silicon Valley, the ceaseless advance of technology and our own fundamental appetite for novelty and convenience have combined to speed up every aspect of daily life.
The atom. The big bang. DNA. Natural selection. All ideas that have revolutionised science - and that were dismissed out of hand when they first appeared. The surprises haven't stopped: here, Michael Brooks, best-selling author of 13 Things That Don't Make Sense, investigates the new wave of unexpected insights that are shaping the future of scientific discovery. Through 11 radical new insights, Brooks takes us to the extreme frontiers of what we understand about the world.
Yale psychologist Paul Bloom presents a striking new vision of the pleasures of everyday life. The thought of sex with a virgin is intensely arousing for many men. The average American spends over four hours a day watching television. Abstract art can sell for millions of dollars. Young children enjoy playing with imaginary friends and can be comforted by security blankets. People slow their cars to look at gory accidents and go to movies that make them cry.
All life as we know it is carbon-based and reliant on sources of liquid water and energy for its survival; it is also, of course, known from just one planet: the Earth, a world perfectly suited to host life. But across a universe of at least 100 billion habitable, earthlike worlds, life cannot be restricted to just this one place. Or can it?
The first insider account of the work at the Large Hadron Collider at CERN, the discovery of the Higgs particle - and what it all means for our understanding of the laws of nature. The discovery of the Higgs boson made headlines around the world. Two scientists, Peter Higgs and François Englert, whose theories predicted its existence, shared a Nobel Prize. The discovery was the culmination of the largest experiment ever run, the ATLAS and CMS experiments at CERN's Large Hadron Collider.
What is science? Is there a real difference between science and myth? Is science objective? Can science explain everything? This Very Short Introduction provides a concise overview of the main themes of contemporary philosophy of science. Beginning with a short history of science to set the scene, Samir Okasha goes on to investigate the nature of scientific reasoning, scientific explanation, revolutions in science, and theories such as realism and anti-realism.
"A sleeper hit"
Why is red meat red? How do they decaffeinate coffee? Do you wish you understood the science of food but don't want to plough through dry, technical books? In What Einstein Told His Cook, University of Pittsburgh chemistry professor emeritus and award-winning Washington Post food columnist Robert L. Wolke provides reliable and witty explanations for your most burning food questions, while debunking misconceptions and helping you interpret confusing advertising and labelling.
"Informal and chatty style"
Despite the overwhelming diversity of life on Earth, one theme has dominated its evolution: the apparently simple act of moving from one place to another. Restless Creatures is the first book for a general audience telling the incredible story of locomotion in human and animal evolution.
The latest developments in physics have the potential to radically revise our understanding of the world: its makeup, its evolution, and the fundamental forces that drive its operation. Knocking on Heaven's Door is an exhilarating and accessible overview of these developments and an impassioned argument for the significance of science. There could be no better guide than Lisa Randall. The best-selling author of Warped Passages is an expert in both particle physics and cosmology.
Forensic expert Wagner has crafted a volume that stands out from the plethora of recent memoirs of contemporary scientific detectives. By using the immortal and well-known Sherlock Holmes stories as her starting point, Wagner blends familiar examples from Doyle's accounts into a history of the growth of forensic science, pointing out where fiction strayed from fact.
"Eclectic voyage through the history of crime."
Was love invented by European poets in the Middle Ages, or is it part of human nature? Will winning the lottery really make you happy? Is it possible to build robots that have feelings? These are just some of the intriguing questions explored in this guide to the latest thinking about the emotions. Drawing on a wide range of scientific research, from anthropology and psychology to neuroscience and artificial intelligence, Emotion takes the listener on a fascinating journey into the human heart.
We've been tantalised by the idea of eternal youth since time immemorial. We're always asking how we can live longer and better. Or, to put it another way, why can't we all be like Madame Calment, who cycled till she was 100, smoked till she was 117 and died at the wonderfully old age of 122? Join veteran reporter Bill Gifford for a rip-roaring ride along the trail to the fountain of youth.
"No magic bullet"
Have you ever been reminded to take off your coat indoors or you won't "feel the benefit" when you leave? That what you need to cool down is a nice cup of tea? And that you have to let that red wine breathe to improve its taste? Tackling the facts we all think we know, one-by-one, award-winning science writer David Bradley's clear and witty writing examines the science behind the statements to reveal why what you thought was right...is wrong.
"Sooooo boring, despite a good topic"
This thrilling exploration of some of the greatest breakthroughs in science reveals the extreme lengths some scientists go to in order to make their theories public. Fraud, suppressing evidence, and unethical or reckless PR games are sometimes necessary to bring the best and most brilliant discoveries to the world's attention. Inspiration can come from the most unorthodox of places, and Brooks introduces us to Nobel laureates who get their ideas through drugs, dreams, and hallucinations. .
"Entertaining for non-scientists"
In response to on-going questions from readers of his nationally syndicated Washington Post column, "Food 101", Wolke debunks misconceptions with reliable, common sense logic. And for exceptionally inquisitive cooks and scientists, he offers "Sidebar Science" features, which dig more deeply into the chemical processes that underlie food and cooking. Above all, What Einstein Kept under His Hat provides indispensable information that will make listeners better shoppers, cooks, and eaters.
"Practical and interesting kitchen science"