New and forthcoming
Why do we do what we do?
Behave is at once a dazzling tour and a majestic synthesis of the whole science of human behaviour. Brought to life through simple language, engaging stories and irreverent wit, it offers the fullest picture yet of the origins of tribalism and xenophobia, hierarchy and competition, morality and free will, war and peace.
Robert Sapolsky’s ingenious method is to move backwards in time from the moment at which a behaviour occurs, layer by layer through the myriad influences that led to it:
- We begin with the split-second reactions of the brain and nervous system…
- Then we consider our response to sight, sound and smell in the minutes and seconds beforehand…
- Next he explains the interactions of hormones, which prime our behaviour in the preceding hours and days…
- He proceeds through the experiences of adolescence, childhood and foetal development that shape us over our lifespans…
- And continues over centuries and millennia through the profound influences of genetic inheritance, cultural context and ultimately the evolutionary origins of our species.
Throughout, Sapolsky considers the most important question: what causes acts of aggression or compassion? What inspires us to terrible deeds and what might help foster our best behaviour?
Wise, humane, often very funny, Behave is a towering achievement, powerfully humanizing, that is unlikely to be surpassed for many years.
It is rare to find a landscape untouched by our lines – the hedges, walls, ditches and dykes built to enclose and separate; and the green lanes, roads, canals, railways and power lines, designed to connect. This vast network of lines has transformed our landscape.
In Linescapes, Hugh Warwick unravels the far-reaching ecological consequences of the lines we have drawn: as our lives and our land were being fenced in and threaded together, so wildlife habitats have been cut into ever smaller, and increasingly unviable, fragments.
Hugh Warwick has travelled across the country to explore this linescape from the perspective of our wildlife and to understand how, with a manifesto for reconnection, we can help our flora and fauna to flourish.
Linescapes offers a fresh and bracing perspective on Britain’s countryside, one that proposes a challenge and gives ground for hope; for while nature does not tend to straight lines and discrete borders, our lines can and do contain a real potential for wildness and for wildlife.
Wish you knew exactly what to say in awkward social situations? Or that you had a formula for charisma?
You need to know how people work.
As a human behaviour investigator, Vanessa Van Edwards studies the hidden forces that drive our behaviour patterns - and she's cracked the code.
In Captivate she shares a wealth of shortcuts, systems and behaviour hacks to help you take charge of your interactions. You'll learn a game plan for navigating any social situation, unique ways to break away from the same old small talk, how to speed-read faces to predict people's emotions, and much more besides.
When you understand the laws of human behaviour you can get along with anyone. With Vanessa's help, you will never interact in the same way again.
Why should you serve red wine with classical music and white wine with pop music?
What is it about a heavier bowl that makes your pudding taste better?
And how can you make your food taste saltier without adding more salt?
If any of these questions has sparked your appetite you need to read Flavour.
New Scientist correspondent Bob Holmes has tasted a lot of things in the name of flavour. He’s travelled all over the world, delved into cutting-edge scientific research, enlisted chefs, psychologists, molecular gastronomists, flavourists and farmers, attended the weirdest conventions, and even received very rare access to one of the world’s few highly secretive flavour houses.
For anyone who wants to be a better cook, get the best restaurant experience no matter where you go, or if you just want to make better decisions in the supermarket or about your diet. Flavour will help you discover a deeper appreciation of what’s on your plate and in your glass.
A fascinating and surprising exploration into a world of high-definition flavour.
A Sunday Times and Financial Times Book of the Year
What happens in our brains when we wake up, savour a meal or a glass of wine, walk the dog, stare at a screen, daydream or sleep? World-renowned neuroscientist Susan Greenfield draws on her own pioneering research to illuminate the mystery of consciousness, and how our brains make us who we are.
'Offers tantalising clues to the universe inside our heads' Rob Kingston, Sunday Times, Science Books of the Year
'One of the few brain researchers making a serious effort to investigate the rich continuum of conscious thoughts and feelings that underlie every moment of our waking lives' Clive Cookson, Financial Times
'An illuminating, engrossing journey' Nature
'Her writing is clear, sharp, devoid of difficult jargon and chatty. The brain's complexity comes across vividly' Anil Ananthaswamy, New Scientist
You don't have to be a genius to achieve extraordinary things.
In this fascinating book, Anders Ericsson and Robert Pool explain that learning new skills doesn't need to be daunting. Musical prodigies, sports stars and leading scientists acquire their special abilities through training – and all of us can do the same.
Based on thirty years of pioneering research, Peak shows that success simply requires the right kind of practice and offers essential advice on setting goals, receiving guidance and motivating ourselves. The astonishing stories prove that whether we're at work or at school, in the music room or on the sports field, we can master almost anything.
'Remarkable...who among us doesn't want to learn how to get better at life?'
Stephen J. Dubner, co-author of Freakonomics
'This book...could truly change the world'
Joshua Foer, author of Moonwalking with Einstein
Daniel Coyle, author of The Talent Code
THE INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLER
'Truly fascinating.' Steve Wright, BBC Radio 2
- Have you ever forgotten the name of someone you’ve met dozens of times?
- Or discovered that your memory of an important event was completely different from everyone else’s?
- Or vividly recalled being in a particular place at a particular time, only to discover later that you couldn’t possibly have been?
We rely on our memories every day of our lives. They make us who we are. And yet the truth is, they are far from being the accurate record of the past we like to think they are. In The Memory Illusion, forensic psychologist and memory expert Dr Julia Shaw draws on the latest research to show why our memories so often play tricks on us – and how, if we understand their fallibility, we can actually improve their accuracy. The result is an exploration of our minds that both fascinating and unnerving, and that will make you question how much you can ever truly know about yourself. Think you have a good memory? Think again.
‘A spryly paced, fun, sometimes frightening exploration of how we remember – and why everyone remembers things that never truly happened.’ Pacific Standard
—The New York Times
Have you ever wished you could just stop eating the cake, even as you put another forkful in your mouth? Have you ever wondered why exactly you are still eating chips when you are definitely full?
This book has the answers.
The Hungry Brain isn’t about denying yourself the food you love, or never eating pudding again, but the bottom line is that we often eat too much and don’t really know why; Guyenet will help the reader to understand exactly why – and more importantly, what to do about it.
‘Many people have influenced my thinking on human nutrition and metabolism, but Stephan is the one person who has completely altered my understanding of why we get fat.’
Robb Wolf, author of the New York Times bestseller The Paleo Solution
'For those interested in the complex science of overeating, it is essential'
The New York Times
A Bricklayer's Guide to the Galaxy . . .
The inspirational memoir of a former brickie who followed his passion for the stars and built his own observatory.
Perfect for readers of Robert Macfarlane, Helen Macdonald and James Rebanks - as well as fans of Brian Cox and the BBC’s Sky at Night
Gary Fildes left school at sixteen, got a trade like most of his mates and was soon married with four kids. His life seemed set. But he had a secret. Something he only practised late at night with a few like-minded friends. Then one day, middle age approaching alarmingly, he acted on his lifelong passion. He finally came out. As an astronomer.
Today, Gary is the founder and lead astronomer of Kielder Observatory, one of the top ten stargazing sites in the world, which he also helped to build. Situated in the beautiful forests of Kielder, Northumberland, within Europe’s largest protected dark sky park, it offers some of the UK's most spectacular views of stars, planets and galaxies.
An Astronomer’s Tale is Gary’s inspirational story: part memoir, part nature writing, part seasonal guide to the night sky. It is a book brimming with passion; and at a time when the world is captivated by space, it will leave you ready to get out there and explore the wonders of the skies for yourself.
‘Clever and entertaining.’ Sunday Times
‘Elegantly written and full of surprises.’ Daily Telegraph
‘Always entertaining and often eye-opening.’ Financial Times
Old ideas that were mocked or ignored for centuries are now storming back to the cutting edge of research and informing the way we lead our lives. In Rethink, Steven Poole explains why today’s chess grandmasters, quantum physicists and psychologists are mining the last 2,000 years of history for answers to the problems of the present. He explores how long-neglected thinkers could transform our everyday lives: from improving the way boardrooms operate, to inspiring grand projects for social and political change. And above all, he shows that by rethinking discarded ideas we can each gain a better understanding of the world – and perhaps be better equipped to change it.
‘A whirlwind of discovery … Among the greatest compliments you can give a book is that it helps you to see things differently.’ Guardian
‘When it comes to describing a complex idea clearly, Poole is one of the best writers around.’ Sunday Times
‘Fascinating … Poole confirms his standing as one of our liveliest and most thought-provoking writers on science and technology.’ Spectator