Books

Tide

Hugh Aldersey-Williams

A Sunday Times 'Must Read' book.

Described by the Sunday Times as "a gently studious Bill Bryson crossed with an upbeat and relaxed WG Sebald", Tide is "a superb book... a delight to read. It is profound and powerful, and should win prizes."

From Cnut to D-Day, the history and science of the unceasing tide is explored for the first time.

Half of the world's population lives in coastal regions lapped by tidal waters. Yet how little most of us know about the tide - a key force on our planet that has altered the course of history and will transform our future.

Our ability to predict and understand the tide depends on centuries of science, from the observations of Aristotle and the theories of Newton to today's supercomputer calculations. This story is punctuated here by notable tidal episodes in history, from Caesar's thwarted invasion of Britain to the catastrophic flooding of Venice, and interwoven with a rich folklore that continues to inspire art and literature today.

With Aldersey-Williams as our guide to the most feared and celebrated tidal features on the planet, from the original maelstrøm in Scandinavia to the world's highest tides in Nova Scotia to the crumbling coast of East Anglia, the importance of the tide, and the way it has shaped - and will continue to shape - our civilization, becomes startlingly clear.

Anatomies

Hugh Aldersey-Williams

The Sunday Times Science Book of the Year, Anatomies by Hugh Aldersey-Williams, author of bestseller Periodic Tales, is a splendidly entertaining journey through the art, science, literature and history of the human body.

'Magnificent, inspired. He writes like a latter-day Montaigne. Stimulating scientific hypotheses, bold philosophic theories, illuminating quotations and curious facts. I recommend it to all' Telegraph *****

'Splendid, highly entertaining, chock-full of insights ... It inserts fascinating scientific snippets and anecdotes about our organs into the wider history of our changing understanding of our bodies' Sunday Times

'A relentlessly entertaining cultural history of the human body ... brims with fascinating details, infectious enthusiasm ... the terrain he covers is so richly brought to life' Guardian

'Elegant and informative ... For Aldersey-Williams, [the body] is a thing of wonder and a repository of fascinating facts' Mail on Sunday ****

In Anatomies, bestselling author Hugh Aldersey-Williams investigates that marvellous, mysterious form: the human body. Providing a treasure trove of surprising facts, remarkable stories and startling information drawn from across history, science, art and literature - from finger-prints to angel physiology, from Isaac Newton's death-mask to the afterlife of Einstein's brain - he explores our relationship with our bodies and investigates our changing attitudes to the extraordinary physical shell we inhabit.

'More than a science book - it's also history, biography and autobiography - Anatomies is writing at its most refined, regardless of genre' Sunday Times

Praise for Periodic Tales:

'Science writing at its best ... fascinating and beautiful ... if only chemistry had been like this at school ... to meander through the periodic table with him ... is like going round a zoo with Gerald Durrell ... a rich compilation of delicious tales, but it offers greater rewards, too' Matt Ridley

'Immensely engaging and continually makes one sit up in ­surprise' Sunday Times

'Splendid ... enjoyable and polished' Observer

'Full of good stories and he knows how to tell them well ... an agreeable jumble of anecdote, reflection and information' Sunday Telegraph

'Great fun to read and an endless fund of unlikely and improbable anecdotes ... sharp and often witty' Financial Times

Hugh Aldersey-Williams studied natural sciences at Cambridge. He is the author of several books exploring science, design and architecture and has curated exhibitions at the Victoria and Albert Museum and the Wellcome Collection. His previous book Periodic Tales: The Curious Lives of the Elements was a Sunday Times bestseller and has been published in many languages around the world. He lives in Norfolk with his wife and son.

Periodic Tales

Hugh Aldersey-Williams

The phenomenal Sunday Times bestseller Periodic Tales by Hugh Andersey-Williams, packed with fascinating stories and unexpected information about the building blocks of our universe.

Everything in the universe is made of them, including you.

Like you, the elements have personalities, attitudes, talents, shortcomings, stories rich with meaning.

Here you'll meet iron that rains from the heavens and noble gases that light the way to vice. You'll learn how lead can tell your future while zinc may one day line your coffin. You'll discover what connects the bones in your body with the Whitehouse in Washington, the glow of a streetlamp with the salt on your dinner table.

Unlocking their astonishing secrets and colourful pasts, Periodic Tales is a voyage of wonder and discovery, showing that their stories are our stories, and their lives are inextricable from our own.


'Science writing at its best. A fascinating and beautiful literary anthology, bringing them to life as personalities. If only chemistry had been like this at school. A rich compilation of delicious tales'Matt Ridley, Prospect

'A love letter to the chemical elements. Aldersey-Williams is full of good stories and he knows how to tell them well'Sunday Telegraph

'Great fun to read and an endless fund of unlikely and improbable anecdotes'Financial Times

'The history, science, art, literature and everyday applications of all the elements from aluminium to zinc' The Times

Hugh Aldersey-Williams studied natural sciences at Cambridge. He is the author of several books exploring science, design and architecture and has curated exhibitions at the Victoria and Albert Museum and the Wellcome Collection. He lives in Norfolk with his wife and son.

Panicology

Hugh Aldersey-Williams (and others)

What exactly are your chances of being struck by a meteorite?
Think you're having less sex than the French?
How high will sea levels actually rise?

We live in an increasingly uncertain world. There's so much to worry about it is often hard to know what to really panic about. But stay calm! For Panicology is the perfect answer to the conundrums and questions that bedevil modern life. Putting a lit match to the lies, headlines and statistical twaddle that seeks to frighten us, it explores 40 reasons for worry: from binge-drinking to Frankenstein foods, bird flu to alien abductions - and explores what, if any, effect they will have on your life.

Why worry in ignorance when you can be a happy, informed sceptic?

Biography

Hugh Aldersey-Williams studied natural sciences at Cambridge. He is the author of several books exploring science, design and architecture - including Periodic Tales, Anatomies and The Adventures of Sir Thomas Browne in the 21st Century - and has curated exhibitions at the Victoria and Albert Museum and the Wellcome Collection. He lives in Norfolk with his wife and son.