Related to: 'This Book Will Blow Your Mind'

John Murray

The Brain

Congratulations! You're the proud owner of the most complex information processing device in the known universe. The human brain comes equipped with all sorts of useful design features, but also many bugs and weaknesses. Problem is you don't get an owner's manual. You have to just plug and play. As a result, most of us never properly understand how our brains work and what they're truly capable of. We fail get the best out of them, ignore some of their most useful features and struggle to overcome their design faults. Featuring witty essays, enlightening infographics and fascinating 'try this at home' experiments, New Scientist take you on a journey through intelligence, memory, creativity, the unconscious and beyond. From the strange ways to distort what we think of as 'reality' to the brain hacks that can improve memory, The Brain: A User's Guide will help you understand your brain and show you how to use it to its full potential.

Sceptre

The Consolations of Physics (or, the Solace of Quantum)

Tim Radford
Authors:
Tim Radford

Hodder & Stoughton

Things My Dog Has Taught Me

Jonathan Wittenberg
Authors:
Jonathan Wittenberg

'A book about faithfulness and constancy in a world where both seem lost - highly recommended for dog lovers and would-be dog lovers - gentle and wise' - Justin WebbIn this book for dog lovers everywhere, Jonathan Wittenberg says his dogs have taught him -- more than anything else -- how to appreciate the wonderful world in which we live, and how to develop better relationships with his friends and families. In this wonderful, warm account of one man and his canine companions, Jonathan shares his inability to resist the big, brown-eyed look which says, 'I'll melt your heart if you even think of going out without me', and the security he feels on a twenty-mile trek across the bleak Scottish Highlands with not a soul for a friend but his border collie.A good read if you enjoy watching Paul O'Grady's ITV series For the Love of Dogs, about the work of Battersea Dogs and Cats Home.

John Murray

The Universe Next Door

John Murray

How to Be Human

If you thought you knew who you were, THINK AGAIN.Did you know that half your DNA isn't human? That somebody, somewhere has exactly the same face? Or that most of your memories are fiction?What about the fact that you are as hairy as a chimpanzee, various parts of your body don't belong to you, or that you can read other people's minds? Do you really know why you blush, yawn and cry? Why 90 per cent of laughter has nothing to do with humour? Or what will happen to your mind after you die? You belong to a unique, fascinating and often misunderstood species. How to be Human is your guide to making the most of it.

John Murray Learning

Where the Universe Came From

How did it all begin? Where is it all going?A little over a century ago, a young Albert Einstein presented his general theory of relativity to the world and utterly transformed our understanding of the universe. His theory changed the way we think about space and time, revealed how our universe has been expanding from a hot dense state called the big bang and predicted black holes. WHERE THE UNIVERSE CAME FROM is a 13.8-billiion-year journey through the cosmos. Discover how Einstein's work explains why the cosmos is the way it is, why 95% of the universe is missing, how physicists go to extraordinary lengths to unlock gravity's secrets and how black holes could hold the key to a theory of everything.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.

John Murray

How to Make a Tornado

Science tells us grand things about the universe: how fast light travels, and why stones fall to earth. But scientific endeavour goes far beyond these obvious foundations. There are some fields we don't often hear about because they are so specialised, or turn out to be dead ends. Yet researchers have given hallucinogenic drugs to blind people (seriously), tried to weigh the soul as it departs the body and planned to blast a new Panama Canal with atomic weapons.Real scientific breakthroughs sometimes come out of the most surprising and unpromising work. How to Make a Tornado is about the margins of science - not the research down tried-and-tested routes, but some of its zanier and more brilliant by-ways. Investigating everything from what it's like to die, to exploding trousers and recycled urine, this book is a reminder that science is intensely creative and often very amusing - and when their minds run free, scientists can fire the imagination like nobody else.

John Murray

Do Polar Bears Get Lonely?

John Murray

How to Fossilise Your Hamster

How can you measure the speed of light with chocolate and a microwave? Why do yo-yos yo-yo? Why does urine smell so peculiar after eating asparagus (includes helpful recipe)? How long does it take to digest different types of food? What is going on when you drop mentos in to cola? 100 wonderful, intriguing and entertaining scientific experiments which show scientific principles first hand - this is science at its most popular.

John Murray

Why Don't Penguins' Feet Freeze?

John Murray

Does Anything Eat Wasps

Every year, readers send in thousands of questions to New Scientist, the world's best-selling science weekly, in the hope that the answers to them will be given in the 'Last Word' column - regularly voted the most popular section of the magazine.Does Anything Eat Wasps? is a collection of the best that have appeared, including: Why can't we eat green potatoes? Why do airliners suddenly plummet? Does a compass work in space? Why do all the local dogs howl at emergency sirens? How can a tree grow out of a chimney stack? Why do bruises go through a range of colours? Why is the sea blue inside caves? Many seemingly simple questions are actually very complex to answer. And some that seem difficult have a very simple explanation. New Scientist's 'Last Word' celebrates all questions - the trivial, the idiosyncratic, the baffling and the strange. This selection of the best is popular science at its most entertaining and enlightening.

John Murray

Question Everything

All science begins with questions... - Why is the night sky black, even though it's full of stars? - How do pebbles skim on water? - Why doesn't your own snoring wake you up? - And why is the Large Hadron Collider so ... er ... large? And as these intriguing, imaginative and occasionally bonkers questions and answers drawn from New Scientist magazine's archives show: question everything and you might find your way to amazing, unexpected insights into our minds, bodies and the universe, and the science behind the scenes that keeps them ticking.As you would expect from New Scientist, this is top-flight science at its most accessible, unpredictable and entertaining. This latest mind-bending addition to the No. 1 bestselling series will fascinate 'Last Word' fans and new readers alike.

John Murray

Will We Ever Speak Dolphin?

Why do birds sing at dawn? What's the slowest a plane can fly without stalling and falling out of the sky? And how long can you keep a tiger cub as a pet? Will We Ever Speak Dolphin? has the answers to these questions and many more. By 2012, over two million copies of the New Scientist 'Last Word' series had been sold.

John Murray

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?'.

John Murray

What If?

Randall Munroe
Authors:
Randall Munroe

Jonathan Wittenberg

Jonathan Wittenberg was born in Glasgow in 1957 to a family of German Jewish origin. The family moved to London in 1963, where he attended University College School, specialising in classical and modern languages, subsequently reading English at Cambridge. He trained for the rabbinate at Leo Baeck College London, receiving ordination in 1987. He now lives in London with his wife Nicky and, three children, and his faithful canine companion, Mitzpah.

Randall Munroe

Randall Munroe is the creator of the webcomic xkcd and author of xkcd: Volume 0. Randall was born in Easton, Pennsylvania, and grew up outside Richmond, Virginia. After studying physics at Christopher Newport University, he got a job building robots at NASA Langley Research Center. In 2006 he left NASA to draw comics on the internet full time, and has since been nominated for a Hugo Award three times. The International Astronomical Union recently named an asteroid after him: asteroid 4942 Munroe is big enough to cause mass extinction if it ever hits a planet like Earth.

Stephen Games

Stephen Games writes about architecture and language. He was educated at Magdalene College, Cambridge, made documentaries for BBC Radio 3 and has worked for the Independent, the Guardian, the Los Angeles Times, and was deputy editor of the RIBA Journal. In 2002, he edited the radio talks of Nikolaus Pevsner. He has edited several collections of John Betjeman's work including TRAINS AND BUTTERED TOAST, TENNIS WHITES AND TEACAKES and BETJEMAN'S ENGLAND.

Tim Radford

Tim Radford joined the New Zealand Herald as a reporter aged sixteen and moved to the UK in 1961. He is a freelance journalist and a founding editor of Climate News Network. He worked for the Guardian for thirty-two years, becoming - among other things - letters editor, arts editor, literary editor and science editor. He won the Association of British Science Writers award for science writer of the year four times and a lifetime achievement award in 2005. He is an honorary Fellow of the British Science Association, and a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society. He is the author of The Crisis of Life on Earth: Our Legacy from the Second Millennium and The Address Book: Our Place in the Scheme of Things.

Chapter One

COME SUNDAY, by Isla Morley

Read the first chapter of Isla Morley's COME SUNDAY.