New and forthcoming

Adventures in the Anthropocene

Gaia Vince

PATTERNED PLANET: SPECIAL EDITIONS OF GROUNDBREAKING SCIENCE BOOKS

In recent decades human beings have altered the planet beyond anything it has experienced in its 4.5 billion-year history. We have become a force on a par with earth-shattering asteroids and planet-cloaking volcanoes. As a result, our planet is said to be crossing a geological boundary – from the Holocene into the Anthropocene, or the Age of Man.

Gaia Vince quit her job to travel the world and to explore what all these changes really mean to our daily lives. She discovers the shocking ways in which we have reshaped our living planet and reveals the ingenious solutions we’ve evolved to engineer Earth for the future.

The Origin of Species

Charles Darwin

PATTERNED PLANET: SPECIAL EDITIONS OF GROUNDBREAKING SCIENCE BOOKS

When the eminent naturalist Charles Darwin returned from South America on board the HMS Beagle in 1836, he brought with him the notes and evidence that would form the basis of a world-changing theory: the evolution of species by a process of natural selection. This theory, published as On the Origin of Species in 1859, is the basis of modern biology and the concept of biodiversity. Its publication sparked a fierce scientific, religious and philosophical debate which continues to this day.

Sapiens

Yuval Noah Harari

PATTERNED PLANET: SPECIAL EDITIONS OF GROUNDBREAKING SCIENCE BOOKS

Planet Earth is 4.5 billion years old. In just a fraction of that time, one species among countless others has conquered it. Us. We are the most advanced and most destructive animals ever to have lived. What makes us brilliant? What makes us deadly? What makes us Sapiens?

In this bold and provocative book, Yuval Noah Harari explores who we are, how we got here and where we’re going. Sapiens is a thrilling account of humankind’s extraordinary history – from the Stone Age to the Silicon Age – and our journey from insignificant apes to rulers of the world.

'Unbelievably good. Jaw dropping from the first word to the last' Chris Evans, BBC Radio 2

The Secret Network of Nature

Peter Wohlleben

From the bestselling author of The Hidden Life of Trees and The Inner Life of Animals, a book that explores the invisible connections that maintain the balance of the entire natural world.

Did you know that trees can make clouds?
Or that a change in wolf population can alter the course of a river?
Or that earth worms give wild boar directions?

The natural world is a web of intricate connections, many of which go unnoticed by humans. But it is these connections that maintain nature’s finely balanced equilibrium, and tinkering with one tiny element can set off a chain reaction that affects an entire ecosystem.

In The Secret Network of Nature, forester and bestselling author Peter Wohlleben opens our eyes to surprising connections and unlikely partnerships in nature. We’ll see how different animals, plants, rivers, rocks and weather systems co-operate, and what happens when these delicate systems are unbalanced.

Origins

Lewis Dartnell

Why is the world the way it is?

What forces have forged our planet and how have they in turn governed our evolution, influenced the rise and fall of civilisations through history, and ultimately shaped the story of humanity?

Lying imperceptibly beneath everything we encounter in the modern world is a vast architecture of causal links, chains of consequences that explain why things are the way they are. Origins is the story of this connectivity; it’s not about what we’ve done to our environment, but about what our environment has done to us.

We'll range from the deep roots behind everyday realities, like why do most of us eat cereal for breakfast, to the profound factors that enabled life to make transitions in evolution. These questions and their answers will take us via the make-up of our anatomy and the geography of the Mediterranean coastline, to the production of cocaine and the importance of volcanoes. With unquenchable curiosity, Lewis Dartnell shows us history that goes back far before the existence of historical records, relying instead on scientific clues like the tell-tale signs preserved in ancient rocks, revealed in our genes, or observed through a telescope.

Origins unravels the story of humanity by exposing this vast web of connections that stretch deep into the past, that explain our present and that will inform how we face the challenges of the future.

The Thriving Child

William Stixrud

A hands-off parenting guide to nurture independent thinking and collaboration for happier, smarter and stress-free kids.

'Sometimes the most helpful thing we can do as parents is to parent our children a little less. This humane, thoughtful book turns the latest brain science into valuable practical advice for parents on how to pull back, when to engage and when to let go. Read it. Your children will thank you.' Paul Tough, New York Times bestselling author of How Children Succeed


As parents we all want the best for our child, but so often we give in to societal pressures which can result in us over-managing every aspect of their lives leaving them overwhelmed, over-scheduled and lacking motivation. This can terrifyingly lead to mental health problems as adolescents and adults. How can we prevent this happening to our child?

Over their combined sixty years of practice, William Stixrud, a clinical neuropsychologist, and Ned Johnson, the founder of an elite tutoring agency, have worked with thousands of children all facing this problem. Together they discovered that the best antidote to stress is to give kids more of a sense of control over their lives. In this ground-breaking book they reveal how you can actively help your child to sculpt a brain that is resilient, stress-proof and ready to take on new challenges.

The Thriving Child offers a combination of cutting-edge brain science, the latest discoveries in behavioural therapy, and case studies drawn from the thousands of kids and teens Bill and Ned have helped over the years. They will teach you how to set your child on the real road to success and share their successful techniques to show you the best ways of helping your child to:

· Reduce their stress and anxiety
· Foster independent thinking
· Find their internal motivation
· Achieve their full potential
· Transform defiance into decision making
· Tame rebellious tendencies


The Thriving Child is essential reading for every parent and demonstrates precisely how nurturing independent thinking, and collaborating with your child rather than micro-managing them, will lead to happier, smarter and stress-free kids.

'This serious and probing look at how to give our children the right kinds of independence shows us how much power we have to ensure they can function optimally. It is a book about how to make our children more meaningfully independent, and to set ourselves free in the process.' Andrew Solomon, author of Far from the Tree

'Compelling, revolutionary, and wise, The Thriving Child empowers parents with the courage, the tools, and the mindset to reduce toxic stress, and to foster our child's capacity for resilience, success, and optimal development. Its message-that we should trust kids to have more control over their own lives-is one every parent needs to hear.' Tina Payne Bryson, PhD, co-author of The Whole Brain Child and The Yes Brain

Consciousness: A Ladybird Expert Book

Hannah Critchlow

Part of the new Ladybird Expert series, Consciousness is a clear, simple and entertaining introduction to one of life's most interesting questions: what does it mean to be conscious?

Written by celebrated neurologist and neuropsychologist Dr Hannah Critchlow, Consciousness will take you on a voyage to discover what allows the grey matter in our skulls to produce such complex emotions, personality traits, thoughts and memories.

Inside you'll learn what held neuroscientists back for so long, how the complex circuit board of the brain could one day be recreated on a computer, and that we do indeed use more than 10% of our brains. Additionally you'll discover how much energy is consumed by the brain, why left-handed people are more creative and that 'internet hats' might one day be on the head of every pupil.

Written by the leading lights and most outstanding communicators in their fields, the Ladybird Expert books provide clear, accessible and authoritative introductions to subjects drawn from science, history and culture.

For an adult readership, the Ladybird Expert series is produced in the same iconic small hardback format pioneered by the original Ladybirds. Each beautifully illustrated book features the first new illustrations produced in the original Ladybird style for nearly forty years.

Genetics

Adam Rutherford

Part of the new Ladybird Expert series, Genetics is an accessible, authoritative and insightful introduction to the code that determines the fate of all living things - DNA.

Written by broadcaster and geneticist Adam Rutherford, Genetics breaks down the DNA code - an alphabet of four letters and twenty-one words - that has been passed down from cell to cell for four billion years.

You'll learn how in the 150 years since DNA was first discovered, we are beginning to understand, and even radically rewrite, the code of life on Earth.

Written by the leading lights and most outstanding communicators in their fields, the Ladybird Expert books provide clear, accessible and authoritative introductions to subjects drawn from science, history, and culture.

For an adult readership, the Ladybird Expert series is produced in the same iconic small hardback format pioneered by the original Ladybirds. Each beautifully illustrated book features the first new illustrations produced in the original Ladybird style for nearly forty years.

Origin Story

David Christian

How did we get from the Big Bang to today's staggering complexity, in which seven billion humans are connected into networks powerful enough to transform the planet? And why, in comparison, are our closest primate relatives reduced to near-extinction?

Big History creator David Christian gives the answers in a mind-expanding cosmological detective story told on the grandest possible scale. He traces how, during eight key thresholds, the right conditions have allowed new forms of complexity to arise, from stars to galaxies, Earth to homo sapiens, agriculture to fossil fuels. This last mega-innovation gave us an energy bonanza that brought huge benefits to mankind, yet also threatens to shake apart everything we have created.

This global origin story is one that we could only begin to tell recently, thanks to the underlying unity of modern knowledge. Panoramic in scope and thrillingly told, Origin Story reveals what we learn about human existence when we consider it from a universal scale.

How to Change Your Mind

Michael Pollan

'It's as if we made entering gothic cathedrals illegal, or museums, or sunsets!'

When LSD was first discovered in the 1940s, it seemed to researchers, scientists and doctors as if the world might be on the cusp of psychological revolution. It promised to shed light on the deep mysteries of consciousness, as well as offer relief to addicts and the mentally ill. But in the 1960s, with the vicious backlash against the counter-culture, all further research was banned. In recent years, however, work has quietly begun again on the amazing potential of LSD, psilocybin and DMT. Could these drugs in fact improve the lives of many people? Diving deep into this extraordinary world and putting himself forwardas a guinea-pig, Michael Pollan has written a remarkable history of psychedelics and a compelling portrait of the new generation of scientists fascinatedby the implications of these drugs. How to Change Your Mind is a report from what could very well be the future of human consciousness.

'His approach is steeped in honesty and self-awareness. His cause is just, his thinking is clear, and his writing is compelling' - Washington Post


'An easy-going humane generosity ... mischievous self-regard ... as if Henry David Thoreau had had an encounter with Woody Allen and never been quite the same since' - Simon Schama

Now You're Talking

Trevor Cox

Being able to speak is what makes us human.

If you’ve ever felt the shock of listening to a recording of your own voice, you realise how important your voice is to your personal identity. We judge others – and whether we trust them – not just by their words but by the way they talk: their intonation, their pitch, their accent.

Now You’re Talking explores the full range of our voice – how we speak and how we sing; how our vocal anatomy works; what happens when things go wrong; and how technology enables us to imitate and manipulate the human voice. Trevor Cox talks to vocal coaches who help people to develop their new voice after a gender change; to record producers whose use of technology has transformed the singing voice; and to computer scientists who replicate the human voice in their development of artificial intelligence.

Beginning with the Neanderthals, Now You’re Talking takes us all the way to the digital age – with the frightening prospect that we may soon hear ‘Unexpected item in the bagging area’ more frequently than a friendly ‘Hello, how are you?’ in the street.

All That Remains

Sue Black

Sue Black confronts death every day. As Professor of Anatomy and Forensic Anthropology, she focuses on mortal remains in her lab, at burial sites, at scenes of violence, murder and criminal dismemberment, and when investigating mass fatalities due to war, accident or natural disaster. In All that Remains she reveals the many faces of death she has come to know, using key cases to explore how forensic science has developed, and what her work has taught her.

Do we expect a book about death to be sad? Macabre? Sue’s book is neither. There is tragedy, but there is also humour in stories as gripping as the best crime novel. Our own death will remain a great unknown. But as an expert witness from the final frontier, Sue Black is the wisest, most reassuring, most compelling of guides.

Inventing Ourselves

Sarah-Jayne Blakemore

The brain creates every feeling, emotion and desire we experience, and stores every one of our memories. And yet, until very recently, scientists believed our brains were fully developed in childhood. Now, thanks to imaging technology that enables us to look inside the living human brain at all ages, we know that this isn’t so – that the brain goes on developing and changing right through adolescence into adulthood.

So what makes the adolescent brain different? What drives the excessive risk-taking or the need for intense friendships common to this age group? Why does an easy child become a challenging teenager? And why is it that many mental illnesses – depression, addiction, schizophrenia – begin during these formative years.

Drawing upon her cutting-edge research in her London laboratory, award-winning neuroscientist, Sarah-Jayne Blakemore explains what happens inside the adolescent brain, and what her team’s experiments have revealed about our behaviour, and how we relate to each other and our environment as we ?go through this period of our lives. She shows that while adolescence is a period of vulnerability, it is also a time of enormous creativity – one that should be acknowledged, nurtured and celebrated.

Our adolescence provides a lens through which we can see ourselves anew. It is fundamental to how we invent ourselves.

Elastic

Leonard Mlodinow

'Timely and engrossing. . . a fascinating exploration of one of the most important topics: how the human mind deals with change' - Charles Duhigg, author of The Power of Habit

'A book of sparkling intelligence, written with humour and grace. If you read only one book of accessible science this year, let this be the one' - Mark Williams, author of Mindfulness

The bestselling author of The Drunkard's Walk and Subliminal unlocks the secrets of flexible thinking.

What do Pokémon Go and Mary Shelley's Frankenstein have in common?
Why do some businesses survive, and others fail at the first sign of change?
What gives the human brain the edge over computers?

The answer: Elastic Thinking. It's an ability we all possess, and one that we can all learn to hone in order to succeed, at work and in our everyday lives.

Here Leonard Mlodinow, whose own flexible thinking has taken him from physics professor to TV scriptwriter and bestselling author, takes us on a revelatory exploration of how elasticity works. He draws on cutting-edge neuroscience to show how, millennia ago, our brains developed an affinity for novelty, idea generation and exploration. He discovers how flexible thinking enabled some of the greatest artists, writers, musicians and innovators to create paradigm shifts. He investigates the organisations that have demonstrated an elastic ability to adapt to new technologies. And he reveals how you can test your own brain power and increase your capacity for elastic thinking.

By uncovering the secrets of our flexible minds, Elastic explains how to thrive in an endlessly dynamic world, at a time when an ability to adapt is more important than ever before.

Brain Food

Lisa Mosconi

'One of the most exciting reads on brain health that I have ever come across ... I cannot recommend this book enough' - Dr Rupy Aujla, author of The Doctor's Kitchen

We often talk about how our diets affect our fitness - but we don't discuss how they affect the hungriest organ in the body, the brain. And it has surprising dietary needs that differ from the rest of our body.

Brain Food uses cutting-edge research to highlight the connection between nutrition and our brain's health, busting through pseudoscience and demonstrating how we can all change our diet most effectively. Based partly on her own discoveries, and using emerging science, for example on the connection between the brain and the gut, Dr Lisa Mosconi, an expert in both neuroscience and nutrition, reveals the foods and drinks that can prevent dementia, stress, cognitive decline and memory loss - no matter how old we are.

Innovative and timely, and with accompanying brain-boosting recipes and lists of what to eat and what to avoid, Brain Food provides the ultimate plan for maximising our brain power.

'A critically important book. If you want to keep and save your brain you have to get your food right. Brain Food will help you do just that in a delicious, easy way' - Daniel G. Amen, author of Memory Rescue

The Beautiful Cure

Daniel M Davis

'One of those books that makes you look at everything human in a new, challenging and thrilling way' Stephen Fry
'Brilliantly conveys the excitement of scientific discovery' Bill Bryson

The immune system holds the key to human health. In The Beautiful Cure, leading immunologist Professor Daniel Davis describes the scientific quest to understand how it works – and how it is affected by stress, sleep, age and our state of mind – and explains how this knowledge is now unlocking a revolutionary new approach to medicine and well-being.

The body's ability to fight disease and heal itself is one of the great mysteries and marvels of nature. But within the last few years painstaking research has resulted in major advances in our understanding of this breathtakingly beautiful inner world: a vast and intricate network of specialist cells, regulatory proteins and dedicated genes that are continually protecting our bodies. Far more powerful than any medicine ever invented, it also plays a crucial role in our daily lives. Already we have found ways to harness these natural defences to create breakthrough drugs and so-called immunotherapies that help us fight cancer, diabetes, arthritis and many age-related diseases, and we are starting to understand whether or not activities such as mindfulness might play a role in enhancing our physical resilience.

Written by an expert at the forefront of this adventure, The Beautiful Cure tells a dramatic story of detective work and discovery, of puzzles solved and of the mysteries that remain, of lives sacrificed and saved, introducing the reader to this revelatory new understanding of the human body and what it takes to be healthy.