"A wonderful idea, gloriously put into practice. Greg Jenner as is witty as he is knowledgeable." (Tom Holland) Who invented beds? When did we start cleaning our teeth? How old are wine and beer? Which came first: the toilet seat or toilet paper? What was the first clock? Every day, from the moment our alarm clocks wake us in the morning until our heads hit our pillows at night, we all take part in rituals that are millennia old.
"The most enjoyable history lesson you've ever had"
From the Sunday Times top ten best-selling author of The Psychopath Test, a captivating and brilliant exploration of one of our world's most underappreciated forces: shame. "It's about the terror, isn't it?" "The terror of what?" I said. "The terror of being found out." For the past three years, Jon Ronson has travelled the world, meeting recipients of high-profile public shamings. The shamed are people like us - people who, say, made jokes on social media that came out badly or made mistakes at work.
This is a story about madness. It all starts when journalist Jon Ronson is contacted by a leading neurologist. She and several colleagues have recently received a cryptically puzzling book in the mail, and Jon is challenged to solve the mystery behind it. As he searches for the answer, Jon soon finds himself, unexpectedly, on an utterly compelling and often unbelievable adventure into the world of madness.
"Quirky about Psychopaths (mostly)"
Full of incredible characters, amazing athletic achievements, cutting-edge science, and, most of all, pure inspiration, Born to Run is an epic adventure that began with one simple question: Why does my foot hurt? In search of an answer, Christopher McDougall sets off to find a tribe of the world's greatest distance runners and learn their secrets - and in the process shows us that everything we thought we knew about running is wrong.
"Born to Run"
In The Silo Effect, award-winning journalist Gillian Tett examines the structural development of institutions such as UBS, Sony and the Bank of England. While the world is increasingly interlinked in some senses, it remains profoundly fragmented in others. As organisations become larger and more global than ever before, they are apt to be divided and subdivided into numerous different departments to facilitate productivity. However, there is a trap to the inevitability of these silos.
"Good Book Shame about the Narrator"
Bill Bryson was struck one day by the thought that we devote more time to studying the battles and wars of history than to considering what history really consists of: centuries of people quietly going about their daily business. This inspired him to start a journey around his own house, an old rectory in Norfolk, considering how the ordinary things in life came to be.
"More Fact Pact Bryson"
Winner of the British Book Awards, Author of the Year, 2007.Shortlisted for the British Book Awards, Book of the Year, 2007.Shortlisted for the Samuel Johnson Prize, 2007.Winner of the Audiobook Download of the Year, 2007.As the author of many classic works on science and philosophy, Richard Dawkins has always asserted the irrationality of belief in God and the grievous harm it has inflicted on society. He now focuses his fierce intellect exclusively on this subject, denouncing its faulty logic and the suffering it causes.
"Far more than a rant !"
Have you ever found yourself struggling with information overload? Have you ever felt both overworked and underutilised? Do you ever feel busy but not productive? If you answered yes to any of these, the way out is to become an essentialist. In Essentialism, Greg McKeown, CEO of a leadership and strategy agency in Silicon Valley who has run courses at Apple, Google and Facebook, shows you how to achieve what he calls the disciplined pursuit of less.
"I don't usually write reviews."
We've all had the experience of reading about a bloody war or shocking crime and asking, "What is the world coming to?" But we seldom ask, "How bad was the world in the past?" In this startling new book, the best-selling cognitive scientist Steven Pinker shows that the world of the past was much worse. In fact, we may be living in the most peaceable era in our species' existence.
"A Magnum Opus in every sense!"
In this stunning new book, Malcolm Gladwell takes us on an intellectual journey through the world of "outliers"--the best and the brightest, the most famous and the most successful. He asks the question: what makes high-achievers different? His answer is that we pay too much attention to what successful people are like, and too little attention to where they are from: that is, their culture, their family, their generation, and the idiosyncratic experiences of their upbringing.
"Riveting - enjoyed it much more than the paperback"
What did Charles Darwin, middling schoolboy and underachieving second son, do to become one of the earliest and greatest naturalists the world has known? What were the similar choices made by Mozart and by Caesar Rodriguez, the U.S. Air Force's last ace fighter pilot? In Mastery, Robert Greene's fifth book, he mines the biographies of great historical figures for clues about gaining control over our own lives and destinies. Picking up where The 48 Laws of Power left off, Greene culls years of research and original interviews to blend historical anecdote and psychological insight, distilling the universal ingredients of the world's masters.
"Not a revelation"
Them began as a book about different kinds of extremists, but after Jon had got to know some of them - Islamic fundamentalists, neo-Nazis, Ku Klux Klansmen - he found that they had one oddly similar belief: that a tiny, shadowy elite rule the world from a secret room. In Them, Jon sets out, with the help of the extremists, to locate that room. The journey is as creepy as it is comic, and along the way Jon is chased by men in dark glasses, unmasked as a Jew in the middle of a Jihad training camp, and more.
"Well-read, witty and weird"
For over 20 years, psychologist Professor Richard Wiseman has examined the quirky science of everyday life. In Quirkology, he navigates the backwaters of human behavior, discovering the telltale signs that give away a liar, the secret science behind speed dating and personal ads, and what a person's sense of humour reveals about the innermost workings of their mind - all along paying tribute to others who have carried out similarly weird and wonderful work.
Stephen Hawking's worldwide best seller, A Brief History of Time, has been a landmark volume in scientific writing. Its author's engaging voice is one reason, and the compelling subjects he addresses is another: the nature of space and time, the role of God in creation, and the history and future of the universe.
"Excellent book...so so narration"
The marathon tethers runners to their own personal narratives. It is a question of how you grow. Nothing but your own body will get you through; everything you have done in your life until the moment you cross the finishing line is connected to the effort. Two hours to cover 26 miles and 385 yards. It is running's Everest, a feat once seen as impossible for the human body. But now we can glimpse the mountaintop.
Intuition is not some magical property that arises unbidden from the depths of our mind. It is a product of long hours and intelligent design, of meaningful work environments, and particular rules and principles. This audiobook shows us how we can hone our instinctive ability to know in an instant, helping us to bring out the best in our thinking and become better decision-makers in our homes, offices, and in everyday life.
"Enjoyable, but goes in an unexpected direction"
Why did crime in New York drop so suddenly in the mid-90s? How does an unknown novelist end up a best-selling author? Why is teenage smoking out of control, when everyone knows smoking kills? What makes TV shows like Sesame Street so good at teaching kids how to read? Why did Paul Revere succeed with his famous warning?
"Abridged version lacks substance"
No more games; it's time for the truth. I am not the hero in this tale. I am the villain. Do you believe in monogamy? Neil Strauss didn't. The New York Times journalist made a name for himself advocating freedom, sex and opportunity as author of The Game - with intimacy and long-term commitment taking a backseat. That is, until he met the woman who forced him to ask the questions that men and women are asking themselves every day: Is it natural to be faithful to one person for life?
Possibly the only drawback about the best-selling How to Be a Woman was that its author, Caitlin Moran, was limited to pretty much one subject: being a woman. Moranthology is proof that Caitlin can actually be 'quite chatty' about many other things, including cultural, social and political issues which are usually the province of learned professors, or hot-shot wonks - and not a woman who once, as an experiment, put a wasp in a jar, and got it stoned.
Tribes are groups of people aligned around an idea, connected to a leader and to each other. Tribes make our world work, and always have. The new opportunity is that it's easier than ever to find, organize, and lead a tribe. The Web has enabled an explosion of all kinds of tribes - and created shortage of people to lead them. This is the growth industry of our time. Tribes will help you understand exactly what's at stake, and why YOU can and should lead a tribe of your own.
When Communist Party leaders adopted the one-child policy in 1980, they hoped curbing birthrates would help lift China's poorest and increase the country's global stature. But at what cost? Now, as China closes the book on the policy after more than three decades, it faces a population grown too old and too male, with a vastly diminished supply of young workers. Mei Fong has spent years documenting the policy's repercussions on every sector of Chinese society.
In a fit of idealism, Ed Boland left a 20-year career as a nonprofit executive to teach in a tough New York City public high school. But his hopes quickly collided headlong with the appalling reality of his students' lives and a hobbled education system unable to help them: Freddy runs a drug ring for his incarcerated brother; Nee-cole is homeschooled on the subway by her brilliant homeless mother; and Byron's Ivy League dream is dashed because he is undocumented.
Everybody wants someone to love and spend time with, and searching for your ideal partner is a natural and healthy human tendency. Just about everyone dates at some point in their life, yet few really understand what they're doing or how to get the best results. In Wired for Dating, psychologist and relationship expert Stan Tatkin - author of Wired for Love - offers powerful tips based in neuroscience and attachment theory to help you find a compatible mate and go on to create a fabulous relationship.
With new and resurgent diseases resulting from unregulated immigration and a politicized public health system, Michael Savage sees the need for some changes - starting with the president and the Centers for Disease Control telling us the truth. Savage makes his case for the government to enforce travel bans, the use of quarantines, and the importance of proper border screenings. However, these are not cures or treatments for any of these diseases.
Beginning in Africa and ending in Europe, Incarceration Nations is a first-person odyssey through the prison systems of the world. Baz Dreisinger, a professor, a journalist, and the founder of the Prison-to-College Pipeline, looks into the human stories of incarcerated men and women and those who imprison them, creating a jarring, poignant view of a world to which most are denied access.
It is clear that many of the things the author talks about in this book are things that most black people would be afraid to talk about in America. However, these are issues that all Americans must have an understanding of. There are many other books that talk about what racial relations in America are like today, but they do not reflect on the long history of racial relations in America. The author brings new insight into the way America was built. It is clear that America has tried to rewrite its history so that people are not aware of all the horrible acts that took place.
Host philosophers Ken Taylor and John Perry invite you to join them in conversation on a wide variety of issues, ranging from popular culture to our most deeply held beliefs about science, morality, and the human condition. Philosophy Talk challenges listeners to identify and question their assumptions and to think about things in new ways.
After thousands of years of pondering it, we still find death one of life's most perplexing mysteries. Many cultures view death as a window into the true meaning of life. These 24 lectures looking at this often feared subject are an uplifting, meaningful, and multidisciplinary exploration of life's only certainty.
Think about this: How would you address a group of two or more people? Would you say: "you", "you all", "yous", "you lot", "y'all", "you guys", "you'uns", "yinz", or something else? Would that change depending on whom you were talking to or where you were? Your answers can provide revealing insights into who you are, where you grew up or live now, and your social, economic, and educational background. Welcome to the enthralling world of linguistics.
In Modern Families, Joshua Gamson brings us extraordinary family creation tales - his own included - that illuminate this changing world of contemporary kinship. Combining personal memoir and ethnographic storytelling, Modern Families tells a variety of unconventional family-creation tales - adoption and assisted reproduction, gay and straight parents, coupled and single, and multi-parent families - set against the social, legal, and economic contexts in which they were made.
Ever wonder why glum rock à la Nirvana became popular in the immediate aftermath of the Cold War, or why gastropubs that serve organic kumquat have replaced all-American chain restaurants like Applebee's as the trendiest dining establishments? Can the tennis rivalry between John McEnroe and Björn Borg shed light on the type of sadness inherent to success? And what's the connection between the music of the bands Weezer and the Presidents of the United States of America?
Published by sociologist and historian W. E. B. Du Bois in 1903, this series of essays addresses the plight of African Americans facing everyday racism in the United States at the turn of the 20th century. It has become one of the most important works on race and identity across the world. Du Bois sets out to explain how black interaction with a white world has caused psychological anguish and argues that blacks should demand total equality in their daily realities.
The discovery of the Americas around AD 1500 was an extraordinary watershed in human experience. It gave rise to the modern period of human ecology, a phenomenon global in scope that set in motion profound changes in almost every society on Earth. This new period, which saw the depletion of the lands of the New World, proved tragic for some, triumphant for others, and powerfully affecting for all.
David and Goliath is the dazzling and provocative new book from Malcolm Gladwell, best-selling author of The Tipping Point, Blink, Outliers and What the Dog Saw. Why do underdogs succeed so much more than we expect? How do the weak outsmart the strong? In David and Goliath Malcolm Gladwell takes us on a scintillating and surprising journey through the hidden dynamics that shape the balance of power between the small and the mighty.
"Swing and a miss"
Virtually all human societies were once organized tribally, yet over time most developed new political institutions which included a central state that could keep the peace and uniform laws that applied to all citizens. Some went on to create governments that were accountable to their constituents. We take these institutions for granted, but they are absent or are unable to perform in many of today's developing countries-with often disastrous consequences for the rest of the world.
"Interesting political narative"
It is now 100 years since drugs were first banned in the United States. On the eve of this centenary, journalist Johann Hari set off on an epic three-year, 30,000-mile journey into the war on drugs. What he found is that more and more people all over the world have begun to recognize three startling truths: Drugs are not what we think they are. Addiction is not what we think it is. And the drug war has very different motives to the ones we have seen on our TV screens for so long.
"Captivating and thought provoking"
A major new collection from "arguably the most important intellectual alive" (The New York Times). Noam Chomsky is universally accepted as one of the preeminent public intellectuals of the modern era. Over the past thirty years, broadly diverse audiences have gathered to attend his sold-out lectures. Now, in Understanding Power, Peter Mitchell and John Schoeffel have assembled the best of Chomsky's recent talks on the past, present, and future of the politics of power.
"Listen to this book and awake from the dream"
Many scientific and philosophical ideas are so powerful that they can be applied to our lives at home, work, and school to help us think smarter and more effectively about our behavior and the world around us. Surprisingly, many of these ideas remain unknown to most of us. In Mindware, the world-renowned psychologist Richard Nisbett presents these ideas in clear and accessible detail, offering a tool kit for better thinking and wiser decisions.
Empowerment, liberation, choice. Once the watchwords of feminism, these terms have now been co-opted by a society that sells women an airbrushed, highly sexualised and increasingly narrow vision of femininity. Drawing on a wealth of research and personal interviews, Living Dolls is a straight-talking, passionate, and important book that makes us look afresh at women and girls, at sexism and femininity - today.
"This book made me squeal with excitement!"
In the tradition of The Power of Habit and Thinking, Fast and Slow comes a practical, playful, and endlessly fascinating guide to what we really know about learning and memory today - and how we can apply it to our own lives. From an early age, it is drilled into our heads: Restlessness, distraction, and ignorance are the enemies of success.
In Strategy: A History, Sir Lawrence Freedman, one of the world's leading authorities on war and international politics, captures the vast history of strategic thinking, in a consistently engaging and insightful account of how strategy came to pervade every aspect of our lives.
"OMG. What a total waste of time..."
From elicitation, pretexting, influence and manipulation all aspects of social engineering are picked apart, discussed and explained by using real world examples, personal experience and the Science & Technology behind them to unraveled the mystery in social engineering. Kevin Mitnick - one of the most famous social engineers in the world - popularized the term social engineering. He explained that it is much easier to trick someone into revealing a password than to exert the effort of hacking.
"YOU MUST READ THIS BOOK... OR YOU WILL DIE"
From batting averages and political polls to game shows and medical research, the real-world application of statistics continues to grow by leaps and bounds. How can we catch schools that cheat on standardized tests? How does Netflix know which movies you'll like? What is causing the rising incidence of autism? As best-selling author Charles Wheelan shows us in Naked Statistics, the right data and a few well-chosen statistical tools can help us answer these questions and more.
"Great intro to stats"
The bestselling classic that redefined our view of the relationship between beauty and female identity. In today's world, women have more power, legal recognition, and professional success than ever before. Alongside the evident progress of the women's movement, however, writer and journalist Naomi Wolf is troubled by a different kind of social control, which, she argues, may prove just as restrictive as the traditional image of homemaker and wife.
"Frightening, insightful and uplifting."
In the book that he was born to write, provocateur and best-selling author Christopher Hitchens inspires future generations of radicals, gadflies, mavericks, rebels, angry young (wo)men, and dissidents. Who better to speak to that person who finds him or herself in a contrarian position than Hitchens, who has made a career of disagreeing in profound and entertaining ways.
"Get God is Not Great"
Who volunteers? Why? What are you willing to do? This title presents the hilarious, heartwarming adventures of a volunteering cynic. Do the feel-good rewards commensurate with the time and effort involved? When Seb Hunter accidentally picks up the phone to a charity Fundraiser one day, he faces a moment of reckoning. It isn't so much that he lacks a social conscience; but he can no longer assuage it by buying the odd copy of the Big Issue and eating Fairtrade chocolate.