By Peter Snow, Ann MacMillan
'Highly readable . . . an intimate and varied account of fascinating stories of people at war' History of WarWar Stories is a fascinating account of ordinary men and women swept up in the turbulence of war. These are the stories - many untold until now - of thirty-four individuals who have pushed the boundaries of love, bravery, suffering and terror beyond the imaginable. They span three centuries and five continents. There is the courage of Edward Seager who survived the Charge of the Light Brigade; the cunning of Krystyna Skarbek, quick-thinking spy and saboteur during the Second World War; the skullduggery of Benedict Arnold, who switched sides in the American War of Independence and the compassion of Magdalene de Lancey who tenderly nursed her dying husband at Waterloo. Told with vivid narrative flair and full of unexpected insights, War Stories moves effortlessly from tales of spies, escapes and innovation to uplifting acts of humanity, celebrating men and women whose wartime experiences are beyond compare.
What is Real?
By Adam Becker
Every physicist agrees quantum mechanics is among humanity's finest scientific achievements. But ask what it means, and the result will be a brawl. For a century, most physicists have followed Niels Bohr's Copenhagen interpretation and dismissed questions about the reality underlying quantum physics as meaningless. A mishmash of solipsism and poor reasoning, Copenhagen endured, as Bohr's students vigorously protected his legacy, and the physics community favoured practical experiments over philosophical arguments. As a result, questioning the status quo long meant professional ruin. And yet, from the 1920s to today, physicists like John Bell, David Bohm, and Hugh Everett persisted in seeking the true meaning of quantum mechanics. What is Real? is the gripping story of this battle of ideas and the courageous scientists who dared to stand up for truth.
We Have No Idea
By Jorge Cham, Daniel Whiteson
In our small corner of the universe, we know how some matter behaves most of the time and what even less of it looks like, and we have some good guesses about where it all came from. But we really have no clue what's going on. In fact, we don't know what about 95% of the universe is made of. So what happens when a cartoonist and a physicist walk into this strange, mostly unknown universe? Jorge Cham and Daniel Whiteson gleefully explore the biggest unknowns, why these things are still mysteries, and what a lot of smart people are doing to figure out the answers (or at least ask the right questions). While they're at it, they helpfully demystify many complicated things we do know about, from quarks and neutrinos to gravitational waves and exploding black holes. With equal doses of humour and delight, they invite us to see the universe as a vast expanse of mostly uncharted territory that's still ours to explore. This is a book for fans of Brian Cox and What If. This highly entertaining highly illustrated book is perfect for anyone who's curious about all the great mysteries physicists are going to solve next.
By Brett Westwood, Stephen Moss
A SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER'Vibrant, fascinating, poetic - a year in living things: all the things we love, all the things we wish we could, all the little things we step over and never know - the best of British wildlife from two superb naturalists and writers' CHRIS PACKHAMFrom blackbirds, beavers and beetles to tawny owls, natterjack toads and lemon slugs. Every day of the year, winter or summer, in every corner of the British Isles, there's plenty to see if you know where - and how - to look. From encounters with the curious black redstart, which winters on our rocky coasts, to the tiny green snowdrop shoots that are the first sign that spring might be round the corner. And from the blossom-time and dawn choruses of April and May into the abundant noisiness of summer, where days start with hawker dragonflies and drowsy bumblebees and end with glow-worms and ghost moths; to autumn when in the early morning mist of London's Richmond Park male red deer lock horns in competition for a mate.Nature is always full of surprises - whether it's the strange behaviour of clothes moths or the gruesome larder of the strike. Distilling two lifetimes' knowledge, expert insight and enthusiasm, award-winning authors and passionate naturalists Brett Westwood and Stephen Moss take us through the year, day by day, sharing the unexpected delights that we can experience in our skies, beaches, rivers, fields, forests and back gardens. There are all kinds of adventures waiting on your doorstep, any day of the year, all you need is Wonderland.
By 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.
Why We Love Music
By John Powell
Did you know that . . .carrying a musical instrument makes you more attractive?music can cure insomnia?music can change the taste of wine?the Mozart effect has nothing to do with Mozart?Barry Manilow songs can be used for crowd control?Why does music affect you so profoundly? It impacts the way you think, talk, feel, behave and even spend money. With his conversational style, humour, and endless knowledge, scientist and musician John Powell showcases fascinating studies - for example that shoppers spend more money in stores that play classical music and, even more astounding, they are more likely to buy German wine in stores playing German music. With chapters on music and emotions, music as medicine, music and intelligence, and much more, Why We Love Music will entertain through to the very last page. A delightful journey through the psychology and science of music, Why We Love Music is the perfect book for anyone who loves a tune.
Why We Die
By Mick Herron
'Herron is a stylish writer with a mordant sensibility and a deadly wit. He s also a tricky plotter' New York Times Book ReviewWhen Zoë Boehm agrees to track down the gang who knocked over Sweeney's jewellery shop, she's just hoping to break even in time for tax season. She certainly doesn't expect to wind up in a coffin. But she's about to become entangled with a strange collection of characters, starting with suicidal Tim Whitby, who's dedicating what's left of his life to protecting the pretty, battered Katrina Blake from her late husband's sociopathic brothers, Arkle and Trent.Unfortunately for Zoë, Arkle has a crossbow, Tim has nothing left to lose, and even Katrina has her secrets. And death, like taxes, can't be avoided forever.
Why Can't Elephants Jump?
Well, why not? Is it because elephants are too large or heavy (after all, they say hippos and rhinos can play hopscotch)? Or is it because their knees face the wrong way? Or do they just wait until no one's looking? Read this brilliant new compilation to find out.This is popular science at its most absorbing and enjoyable. That is why the previous titles in the New Scientist series have been international bestsellers and sold over two million copies between them. Like Does Anything Eat Wasps? (2005), Why Don't Penguins' Feet Freeze? (2006) and Do Polar Bears Get Lonely? (2008), this is another wonderful collection of wise, witty and often surprising answers to a staggering range of science questions, from 'why is frozen milk yellow?' to 'what's the storage capacity of the human brain in gigabytes?'.
Why Are Orangutans Orange?
The 2011 'Last Word' collection featured, for the first time, 108 full-colour photographs showing the beauty, complexity and mystery of the world around us. From ripples in glass to 'holograms' in ice, the natural world's wonders are unravelled by the magazine's knowledgeable readers. The book presents more resourceful, wry and well-informed answers to a remarkable range of baffling science questions.
By Laszlo Bock
A New York Times and Wall Street Journal BestsellerDaily Telegraph, Huffington Post & Business Insider Top Business Book to Read 'Every year, 2 million people apply for a job at Google - so what's the secret?' GuardianA compelling manifesto with the potential to change how we work and live, Work Rules! offers both a philosophy of the new world of work and a blueprint for attracting the most spectacular talent and ensuring the brightest and best prosper. The way we work is changing - are you?
By Randall Munroe
THE SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLERFrom the creator of the wildly popular xkcd.com, hilarious and informative answers to important questions you probably never thought to ask.Millions visit xkcd.com each week to read Randall Munroe's iconic webcomic. Fans ask him a lot of strange questions: How fast can you hit a speed bump, driving, and live? When (if ever) did the sun go down on the British Empire? When will Facebook contain more profiles of dead people than living? How many humans would a T Rex rampaging through New York need to eat a day?In pursuit of answers, Munroe runs computer simulations, pores over stacks of declassified military research memos, solves differential equations and consults nuclear reactor operators. His responses are masterpieces of clarity and hilarity, complemented by comics. They often predict the complete annihilation of humankind, or at least a really big explosion.
When Paris Went Dark
By Ronald Rosbottom
In May and June 1940 almost four million people fled Paris and its suburbs in anticipation of a German invasion. On June 14, the German Army tentatively entered the silent and eerily empty French capital. Without one shot being fired in its defence, the Occupation of Paris had begun. When Paris Went Dark tells the extraordinary story of Germany's capture and Occupation of Paris, Hitler's relationship with the City of Light, and its citizens' attempts at living in an environment that was almost untouched by war, but which had become uncanny overnight. Beginning with the Phoney War and Hitler's first visit to the city, acclaimed literary historian and critic Ronald Rosbottom takes us through the German Army's almost unopposed seizure of Paris, its bureaucratic re-organization of that city, with the aid of collaborationist Frenchmen, and the daily adjustments Parisians had to make to this new oppressive presence. Using memoirs, interviews and published eye-witness accounts, Rosbottom expertly weaves a narrative of daily life for both the Occupier and the Occupied. He shows its effects on the Parisian celebrity circles of Pablo Picasso, Simone de Beauvoir, Colette, Jean Cocteau, and Jean-Paul Sartre, and on the ordinary citizens of its twenty arrondissements. But Paris is the protagonist of this story, and Rosbottom provides us with a template for seeing the City of Light as more than a place of pleasure and beauty.
When Britain Burned the White House
By Peter Snow
As heard on BBC Radio 4's Book of the Week.Shortlisted for the Paddy Power Political History Book of the Year Award 2014.In August 1814 the United States' army is defeated in battle by an invading force just outside Washington DC. The US president and his wife have just enough time to pack their belongings and escape from the White House before the enemy enters. The invaders tuck into the dinner they find still sitting on the dining-room table and then set fire to the place. 9/11 was not the first time the heartland of the United States was struck a devastating blow by outsiders. Two centuries earlier, Britain - now America's close friend, then its bitterest enemy - set Washington ablaze before turning its sights to Baltimore. In his compelling narrative style, Peter Snow recounts the fast-changing fortunes of both sides of this extraordinary confrontation, the outcome of which inspired the writing of the 'Star-Spangled Banner', America's national anthem. Using a wealth of material including eyewitness accounts, he also describes the colourful personalities on both sides of these spectacular events: Britain's fiery Admiral Cockburn, the cautious but immensely popular army commander Robert Ross, and sharp-eyed diarists James Scott and George Gleig. On the American side: beleaguered President James Madison, whose young nation is fighting the world's foremost military power, his wife Dolley, a model of courage and determination, military heroes such as Joshua Barney and Sam Smith, and flawed incompetents like Army Chief William Winder and War Secretary John Armstrong. When Britain Burned the White House highlights this unparalleled moment in American history, its far-reaching consequences for both sides and Britain's and America's decision never again to fight each other.