Helen Thomson - Unthinkable - Hodder & Stoughton

Time remaining

  • -- days
  • -- hours
  • -- minutes
  • -- seconds
Other Formats
  • E-Book £P.O.R.
    More information
    • ISBN:9781473611764
    • Publication date:22 Feb 2018
  • Paperback £9.99
    More information
    • ISBN:9781473611771
    • Publication date:10 Jan 2019

Unthinkable

An Extraordinary Journey Through the World's Strangest Brains

By Helen Thomson

  • Hardback
  • £20.00

How the mind works -- everything from memory to emotion, navigation to creativity -- explained in nine extraordinary human stories

'Wonderfully clear, fluent and eye-opening' THE TIMES

'A stirring scientific journey, a celebration of human diversity and a call to rethink the "unthinkable"' NATURE

'An utterly fascinating romp around the nether regions of the human mind' BIG ISSUE


IMAGINE . . . getting lost in a one-room flat; seeing auras; never forgetting a moment; a permanent orchestra in your head; turning into a tiger; life as an out-of-body experience; feeling other people's pain; being convinced you are dead; becoming a different person overnight.

Our brains are far stranger than we think. We take it for granted that we can remember, feel emotion, navigate, empathise and understand the world around us, but how would our lives change if these abilities were dramatically enhanced - or disappeared overnight?

Award-winning science writer Helen Thomson has spent years travelling the world tracking down incredibly rare brain disorders. In Unthinkable she tells the stories of nine extraordinary people. From the man who thinks he's a tiger to the doctor who feels the pain of others just by looking at them, their experiences illustrate how the brain can shape our lives in unexpected and, in some cases, brilliant and alarming ways.

Delving into the rich histories of these conditions, exploring the very latest research and cutting-edge medical techniques, Thomson explains the workings of our consciousness, our emotions, our creativity and even the mechanisms that allow us to understand our own existence.

Story by remarkable story, Unthinkable takes us on an unforgettable journey through the human brain. Discover how to forge memories that never disappear, how to grow an alien limb and how to make better decisions. Learn how to hallucinate and how to make yourself happier in a split second. Find out how to avoid getting lost, how to see more of your reality, even how exactly you can confirm you are alive. Think the unthinkable.

Biographical Notes

Helen Thomson is a writer and consultant with New Scientist. She has also written for the Guardian, Daily Mail, BBC Future and Psychologies and has won various awards for her journalism.

Her research has taken her from coffee with five psychopathic mass murderers in Broadmoor to poking around in the Large Hadron Collider. She has exclusively revealed plans for the world's first head transplant, learned how to rule at roulette, had her fat zapped, scrubbed up for a cutting-edge prostate cancer operation and watched a paralysed man walk for the first time using a mind-controlled exoskeleton. But her greatest fascination remains writing about the brain, especially those that don't look like everyone else's.

Helen has a BSc in Neuroscience and an MSc in Science Communication. She lives in London. This is her first book.

  • Other details

  • ISBN: 9781473611740
  • Publication date: 22 Feb 2018
  • Page count: 304
  • Imprint: John Murray
This wonderfully clear, fluent, eye-opening book explores what happens when the mind misbehaves: distance is distorted, memory plays tricks, people hear in colour and see in music. Helen Thomson is the science teacher you wish you'd had at school . . . The unruliness of the misfiring brain is what makes Unthinkable so fascinating and so frightening . . . Thomson's book repays careful reading. Don't skip the science to get on to the well-I-never case histories. You need both together. And when the doctors Thomson interviews conclude, at the end of their examinations, that they simply cannot explain the weird workings of the brain, it isn't a "dunno" of defeat, but of wonder — THE TIMES
A stirring scientific journey, a celebration of human diversity and a call to rethink the 'unthinkable' — NATURE
Imagine turning into a tiger. Or getting permanently lost in your own one bedroom home. It sounds like the stuff of nightmares - but this is the engrossing subject of Thomson's exploration of extraordinary brains. With flair and empathy, the author sees her subjects in the context of their everyday lives, allowing us to marvel at their humanity . . . accessible, well researched, thought-provoking. Like The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat, Unthinkable offers us a wondrous array of rare and weird disorders...This lucid and compelling book not only celebrates the incredible machinery we call the brain, it's also full of insights and invaluable tips. Thomson tells us how to forge memories that never disappear; how to grow an alien limb. And don't forget to make an animal noise next time you turn off the gas hob - it'll help you remember you've switched it off later in the day. We are our brains, and they are stranger than we think — TATLER
Refreshingly personal... humane and often humorous — EVENING STANDARD
Exceptional... From seeing auras and turning into a tiger, to waking up 'dead' and being able to remember every single day of your life in vivid detail, award-winning science journalist Thomson investigates wondrously rare and strange brain disorders in this terrific debut. While acknowledging her debt to the late, great Oliver Sacks, Thomson sets out to do things t differently by meeting her nine subjects not in clinical environments but as they live their daily lives with extraordinary brains. Theirs are mystery stories, spellbinding and true." — BOOKSELLER, Science Book of the Month
By including both clear explanations of research and interviews with her subjects about their lived experience, Thomson shows how our own brains might try to make sense of the world in the same ways, with fun experiments to trick ourselves into hallucinating or even believing we've an alien limb — Press Association
Fun facts are what make popular science popular. Helen Thomson's first book has a ready supply of them, and she is good at giving them context . . . there is much of interest here — Sunday Telegraph
By including both clear explanations of recent research and interviews with her subjects about their lived experience, Thomson show how our own brains might try to make sense of the world — SCOTSMAN
Thomson brings intellectual rigour to each subject, discussing history, causes, treatment and more, in what amounts to an utterly fascinating romp around the nether regions of the human mind — Big Issue
By the end of her journey Helen Thomson had certainly persuaded me to see the world differently — Observer
John Murray Learning

Attitude

Rob Moore
Authors:
Rob Moore

What separates the most successful sportsmen, politicians, businessmen and artists from their peers? Skill and talent are vital components of success but lasting attainments can only be achieved when coupled with a truly focused, flexible and determined mental attitude. Rob Moore, bestselling author of MONEY, takes a deep dive through the history of ambition, entrepreneurship and competition to reveal the secrets behind the beliefs that will change your life forever.

Yellow Kite

Anxiety is your Superpower

Wendy Suzuki
Authors:
Wendy Suzuki
Nicholas Brealey Publishing

Your Brain, Explained

Marc Dingman
Authors:
Marc Dingman

Sleep. Memory. Pleasure. Fear. Language. We experience these things almost every day, but how do our brains create them? Your Brain, Explained is a personal tour around your gray matter. Neuroscientist Marc Dingman gives you a crash course in what goes on in your brain and explains the latest research on the brain functions (and malfunctions) that affect you on a daily basis. You'll also discover what happens in your head when these systems don't work the way they should, causing problems such as insomnia, ADHD, depression or addiction, how neuroscience is working to fix these problems, and how you can build up your defenses against the most common faults of the mind.Along the way you'll find out: ·Why brain training games don't prevent dementia (and what does)· What it's like to remember every day of your life as if it were yesterday· Which mental ailment used to be treated with German rocket fuel· What triggers sleep loss, or lapses in concentrationDrawing on the author's popular YouTube series, 2-minute Neuroscience, this is a friendly, engaging introduction to the human brain and its quirks from the perspective of a neuroscientist - using eye-opening illustrations and real-life examples. Your brain is yours to discover.

Hodder & Stoughton

The Science of Fate

Hannah Critchlow
Authors:
Hannah Critchlow

So many of us believe that we are free to shape our own destiny. But what if free will doesn't exist? What if our lives are largely predetermined, hardwired in our brains - and our choices over what we eat, who we fall in love with, even what we believe are not real choices at all? Neuroscience is challenging everything we think we know about ourselves, revealing how we make decisions and form our own reality, unaware of the role of our unconscious minds. Leading neuroscientist Hannah Critchlow draws vividly from everyday life and other experts in their field to show the extraordinary potential, as well as dangers, which come with being able to predict our likely futures - and looking at how we can alter what's in store for us. Lucid, illuminating, awe-inspiring The Science of Fate revolutionises our understanding of who we are - and empowers us to help shape a better future for ourselves and the wider world.

Hodder Paperbacks

Growing Pains

Dr Mike Shooter
Authors:
Dr Mike Shooter

'A remarkable, powerful, tender and insightful book that will change lives. I cannot doubt that hundreds - I would hope thousands - of families can be helped by Mike Shooter's profound, careful and utterly convincing insights.' STEPHEN FRY'A unique book . . . The stories [Shooter] tells are poignant and powerful testimonies to the resilience of the human spirit and will fascinate all of us who struggle to make sense of our own and other people's lives.' MARJORIE WALLACE CBE'Brilliant book. Mike Shooter has . . . given us a truly 3D picture of the struggles of growing up.' PROFESSOR DAME SUE BAILEY, Chair of the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges* * * * * * * * * *Child psychiatrist Dr Mike Shooter sheds light on the painful issues and universal experience of growing up, through the stories of his patients and their families.Growing up isn't easy. We can be at our most vulnerable and confused. And the right help isn't always there when we need it most. For over forty years psychiatrist Mike Shooter has listened to children and adolescents in crisis, helping them to find their stories and begin to make sense of their lives. Mike Shooter's own life has been shaped by his battle with depression. It makes him question received wisdom. He knows labels won't always fit and one diagnosis will not work for all. His patients' stories are at the heart of this book. Mike Shooter shares their journey as, through therapy, they confront everything from loss and family breakdown to bullying, grief and illness. We see how children begin to make breakthroughs with depression or anxiety, destructive, even sometimes violent behaviour.Growing Pains is compelling and compassionate - a book to make us wiser and braver, and to help us see how children's stories can find happier endings.

Yellow Kite

Fight

Hazel Gale
Authors:
Hazel Gale

We all do things that we wish we wouldn't in life. We underperform, procrastinate, push people away and say the wrong things. But what if we could find a way to beat our destructive tendencies at their own game? Fight explains the psychology of self-sabotage and offers techniques for taking control of your thoughts, to maximise success and thrive.While training as a competitive boxer and kickboxer, Hazel Gale developed anxiety issues that led to emotional and physical burnout. Cognitive hypnotherapy helped her get back into competition after illness and turn her life around - she felt compelled to spread its profound benefits and is now one of the most sought-after practitioners in the country.Cognitive hypnotherapy understands that the unconscious and conscious minds have different priorities and that the unconscious governs a large percentage of our behaviour. It is this part of the mind that is responsible for self-sabotage and in order to tackle unwanted emotional or behavioural issues, we need to communicate with it. Fight is a one-to-one therapy session with Hazel that will show you how to address the psychological blocks that hold you back, equip you with the tools to manage negative emotions, overcome them and emerge victorious. You'll learn how to battle those inner monsters and let go of limitations, to reach your true potential and live a happier, more fulfilling life.

Two Roads

Outer Order Inner Calm

Gretchen Rubin
Authors:
Gretchen Rubin

Ask yourself - Do I need it? Do I love it? Do I use it? Bestselling author and happiness expert Gretchen Rubin explores one of her key secrets to happiness: that, for most of us, outer order leads to inner calm. A messy desk or a cluttered cupboard might seem like a trivial matter, yet Rubin has found that by simply organising our stuff, we free up space for what we truly value (in our lives and in our homes). This new, beautifully packaged gift book with over 150 concrete ideas approaches the problem of how to best organise our possessions with Gretchen Rubin's characteristic clarity and humour, explaining how to: 'Make Choices', 'Create Order', 'Know Yourself - and Others', 'Cultivate Helpful Habits' and, of course, 'Add Beauty'.Leading on from both Happiness at Home and The Four Tendencies this book is filled with practical insights, clear strategies and sometimes surprising tips, and will help readers find what works best for them to regain control to lead happier, healthier, more productive, and more creative lives.***PRAISE FOR THE FOUR TENDENCIES*** 'There's something rather profound going on here: an advancing of self-knowledge, and mutual human understanding, which could surely be harnessed as a recipe for world peace' Daily Telegraph 'A genius' Guardian'If you want to change anything in your life, you need Gretchen Rubin' Viv Groskop, journalist and Rebel 'I love Gretchen Rubin - she helps me understand both myself and the people around me' Cathy Rentzenbrink, Obliger and bestselling author of The Last Act of Love

Teach Yourself

Your Brain and You

Nicky Hayes
Authors:
Nicky Hayes

Most general knowledge about the brain and its workings is very dated, drawing on studies from the first part of the previous century or even earlier. However, the advent of brain scanning which allows the study of the ordinary working brain, rather than just dead ones or people having brain surgery, has resulted in some amazing new developments that contribute immensely to our general social understanding of people and how they work. Written by Dr Nicky Hayes, bestselling author of Understand Psychology, Your Brain and You is a beginner's guide to neuropsychology. It takes you through every aspect of how your brain works, from nervous systems and brain structures to neural transmission and neural correlates. You will discover how it all began, how it works, how we see, do things, hear and experience the outside world. Explore memories, relationships, emotions, decision-making, sleep, consciousness and common disorders such as dyslexia, dysgraphia & dyscalculia. As with all Teach Yourself books, it is clearly structured, packed full of practical examples, and designed to make it easy to learn the essentials you really need to know.ABOUT THE SERIESPeople have been learning with Teach Yourself since 1938. With a vast range of practical how-to guides covering language learning, lifestyle, hobbies, business, psychology, and self-help, there's a Teach Yourselfbook for everything you want to do. Join more than 60 million people who have reached their goals with Teach Yourself, and never stop learning.

Nicholas Brealey Publishing

Defining You

Fiona Murden
Authors:
Fiona Murden

*Take the online psychometric test and receive a full professional report*Have you ever wondered what a profiling session would tell you about yourself? Fiona Murden helps some of the most successful people in the world to understand their behaviour and improve their performance. Here she guides you through the professional profiling assessment process in private, to help you discover your strengths, understand what really drives you and learn which environments will help you to excel. Step by step you will build your unique personal profile. Take a psychometric test, run a 360 assessment, draw up your early years timeline and enjoy some valuable self-reflection. Fiona then expertly - and sensitively - coaches you through interpreting your results and taking your next steps to fulfil your potential.Our behaviour is at the core of what we do. This is your ultimate self-awareness toolkit to help you understand both your own and other's behaviour and to positively influence it. Along the way you may even start to sleep better, think more clearly and have good moods more often.Defining You opens a window into the elite process of psychological profiling and presents a clear path to improving your effectiveness with immediate actions and tangible tips.

Sceptre

Lost and Found

Jules Montague
Authors:
Jules Montague

*Irish Bestseller**Telegraph bestseller* An unforgettable book for fans of Henry Marsh and Atul Gawande about how we lose ourselves and those around us - and how we can be found again.Who do we become when our minds misbehave? If a loved one changes as a result of a brain disorder, are they still the same person? Could a brain disorder enhance your identity rather than damage it? From dementia and brain injury to sleep disorders, coma, and multiple personality disorder, leading neurologist and journalist Dr Jules Montague explores what remains of the person left behind when the pieces of their mind go missing. Along the way she answers fascinating questions about how we remember, think and behave. Why do some memories endure and others fade? Why do you sometimes forget why you went into a room? And what if rather than losing memories, your mind creates false ones - are they still yours, and do they still make you, you?'This is a book for anyone wanting to understand the human brain and personhood; it is a book for anyone with a loved one with dementia and for those of us who fear dementia... Montague takes the reader on an exquisite journey into the human brain and beyond that, to the metaphysics of personhood... Occasionally we come across a physicist or economist who, despite their subject matter, can stop you in your tracks. They reel you in without you realising. Montague is a neurologist who does exactly that. She has a rare gift: she makes her craft look simple... Throughout this book Montague displays a maturity and wisdom not always observed in clinicians or indeed any other kind of human.' Irish Times'A profoundly moving, revelatory book... Like the late Oliver Sacks, Jules Montague writes about bizarre cases. ...And yet, she is also writing about what it is to be human and the surprising fragility of our sense of self.' Daily Mail

John Murray

That's What She Said

Joanne Lipman
Authors:
Joanne Lipman

A FINANCIAL TIMES BUSINESS BOOK OF THE MONTH'Urgently needed' Charles Duhigg, bestselling author of THE POWER OF HABIT and SMARTER'Attention, good guys: this book is for you' Adam Grant, bestselling author of ORIGINALS and OPTION B with Sheryl Sandberg 'I know what you're thinking: 'Not another career guide-cum-manifesto, telling us to "woman up" and demand more money.' But that isn't what Lipman says. Instead, she uses data, reams of it, to expose how the system is rigged against women. She then calls for men to join the fight to make the workplace more equal' SUNDAY TIMES STYLE MAGAZINEWomen spend their working lives adapting to an environment set up for men, by men: from altering the way they speak to changing the clothes they wear to power posing. But still the gender gap persists. And once you see it - women being overlooked, interrupted, their ideas credited to men - it's impossible to ignore. But it needn't be this way.Diving deep into the wide range of government initiatives, corporate experiments and social science research Joanne Lipman offers fascinating new revelations about the way men and women work culled from the Enron scandal, from brain research, from transgender scientists and from Iceland's campaign to 'feminise' an entire nation. Packed with fascinating and entertaining examples - from the woman behind the success of Tupperware to how Google reinvented its hiring process - WIN WIN is a rallying cry to both men and women to finally take real steps towards closing the gender gap.Published in the US as THAT'S WHAT SHE SAID.

Teach Yourself

The NLP Workbook

Judy Bartkowiak
Authors:
Judy Bartkowiak

Teach Yourself about Neuro-Lingustic Programming and how it can help you get ahead.Do you want to use the power of NLP to supercharge every aspect of your life? Do you want to understand how to create instant rapport with anyone? Do you want to be able to effectively emulate the skills of the people you respect the most?This Teach Yourself Workbook doesn't just tell you how to use NLP. It accompanies you every step of the way, with diagnostic tools, goal-setting charts, practical exercises, and many more features ideal for people who want a more active style of learning. The book starts by helping you identify your own preferred styles of learning and communication. It then helps you set specific goals to improve on; as you progress through the book, you will be able to keep checking your progress against these goals. Specially created exercises, using the tools and techniques of NLP, will help you boost your skills and communication so that you can reach your potential in any situation.

John Murray Learning

Your Conscious Mind

What is this strange mental world that seems so essential to being human? The conscious mind brings together sensations, perceptions, thoughts and memories to generate the seamless movie of a person's life. It makes us aware of the world around us and our own self. How all this emerges from a kilogram of brain cells is one of the greatest unanswered questions. In Your Conscious Mind leading brain scientists and New Scientist take you on a journey through the mind to discover what consciousness really is, and what we can learn when it goes awry. Find out if we will ever build conscious machines, what animal consciousness can tell us about being human and explore the enigma of free will. ABOUT THE SERIESNew Scientist Instant Expert books are definitive and accessible entry points to the most important subjects in science; subjects that challenge, attract debate, invite controversy and engage the most enquiring minds. Designed for curious readers who want to know how things work and why, the Instant Expert series explores the topics that really matter and their impact on individuals, society, and the planet, translating the scientific complexities around us into language that's open to everyone, and putting new ideas and discoveries into perspective and context.

Two Roads

The Four Tendencies

Gretchen Rubin
Authors:
Gretchen Rubin

THE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER'I love Gretchen Rubin - she helps me understand both myself and the people around me' Cathy Rentzenbrink, 'Obliger' and author of The Last Act of Love'If you want to change anything in your life you need Gretchen Rubin.' Viv Groskop 'Rebel'OBLIGER? REBEL? QUESTIONER? UPHOLDER? Which one are you? Everyone falls into 1 of 4 personality types and knowing yours could make you happier and more successful. During her investigation to understand human nature, explored most recently in her bestselling Better Than Before, Gretchen Rubin realised that by asking the seemingly dry question 'How do I respond to expectations?' we gain life changing self-knowledge.She discovered that based on their answer, people fit into Four Tendencies: Upholders, Questioners, Obligers, and Rebels. Our Tendency shapes every aspect of our behaviour, so using this framework allows us to make better decisions, meet deadlines, suffer less stress, and engage more effectively.More than 800,000 people have taken her online quiz, and managers, doctors, teachers, spouses, and parents already use the framework to help people make significant, lasting change. The Four Tendencies hold practical answers if you've ever thought...- People can rely on me, but I can't rely on myself- How can I help someone to follow good advice?- People say I ask too many questions- How do I work with someone who refuses to do what I ask - or who keeps telling me what to do?With sharp insight, compelling research, and hilarious examples, The Four Tendencies will help you get happier, healthier, more productive, and more creative.

John Murray Learning

Confidence 2.0

Rob Yeung
Authors:
Rob Yeung

Yellow Kite

Unf*ck Yourself

Gary John Bishop
Authors:
Gary John Bishop
John Murray Learning

How Your Brain Works

Ever wondered what's going on inside your head?You are your brain. Everything that makes you you, and all your experiences of the world, are somehow conjured up by 1.4 kilograms of grey matter inside your skull. That might seem impossible, but science has advanced so much that we now understand not just its structures and inner workings but also how it can give rise to perception, consciousness, emotions, memories, intelligence, sleep and more. HOW YOUR BRAIN WORKS explores the amazing world inside your head. Discover the evolution and anatomy of the brain. Learn how we can peer inside it and watch it at work, and how the latest technology can allow us to control our minds and those of others. ABOUT THE SERIESNew Scientist Instant Expert books are definitive and accessible entry points to the most important subjects in science; subjects that challenge, attract debate, invite controversy and engage the most enquiring minds. Designed for curious readers who want to know how things work and why, the Instant Expert series explores the topics that really matter and their impact on individuals, society, and the planet, translating the scientific complexities around us into language that's open to everyone, and putting new ideas and discoveries into perspective and context.

Yellow Kite

A Beginner's Guide to Losing Your Mind

Emily Reynolds
Authors:
Emily Reynolds

A funny and moving memoir from a girl with bipolar, including down-to-earth, practical advice for young people and those who love them.Emily Reynolds is mad. After years of trying - and failing - to cope with her symptoms, she was finally diagnosed as bipolar in her early twenties. Since then Emily has been on a mission to find the best way to live with her illness, and now she wants to share that knowledge with you. Living with mental illness is isolating, infuriating and painful - but also very boring and, sometimes, kind of gross. A Beginner's Guide to Losing Your Mind is a companion to make the journey feel a little less lonely. A Beginner's Guide to Losing Your Mind offers advice on:How to deal with exam pressure at school and universityHandling self-harm and suicidal thoughtsAdvice for your family and friends Tips for dating when you are mentally ill (and what to expect when you're on the other side) Learning how to navigate the internet and the online mental health communityAdvice on diagnosis, treatment and maintaining your mental healthA blackly funny, deeply compassionate and extremely practical book, A Beginner's Guide to Losing Your Mind is a candid exploration of mental illness that is both a personal account of what it's like to live with mental illness and a guide to dealing with and understanding it.(P)2017 Hodder & Stoughton

Hodder & Stoughton

Soulfulness

Brian Draper
Authors:
Brian Draper

The beauty of mindfulness is that it's incredibly simple both to 'get' and to practice. And the results - increasingly backed by neuro-scientific evidence -- are priceless: calmness and reduced stress, more creativity, greater awareness, compassion. . . And yet there's a danger that mindfulness can be used in a purely consumerist and self-serving way to help people to become better adapted cogs in a still-toxic model of work and life. Brian Draper challenges us to live not just mindfully but soulfully. Not merely to be less stressed, but to flourish, dynamically and creatively - to be present - through living intentionally and compassionately.

Hodder Paperbacks

The Wisdom House

Rob Parsons
Authors:
Rob Parsons