New and forthcoming

Skin

Monty Lyman

In Skin, Monty Lyman takes us on a journey around the largest organ in the human body. He first explores the terrain of the physical skin, picking out the facts from the fiction. Does our diet affect our skin? What makes the skin age? Is it possible to prevent hair loss? And then the examines the intriguing hinterland between the skin and the mind, from the pain and pleasure of touch to the effects of stress on the skin.

The skin and the mind are intimate friends and no other organ carries such psychological weight. How our skin is perceived by others — or more specifically, how we think others perceive our skin — affects our mental health. The skin is itself a kind of book, upon which scars, wrinkles and tattoos tell our body's story, but it is not all written in indelible ink.

The skin also works as a wax tablet from which we scrape away old writings to use again and again. Our outer covering is a shifting visual display of our internal emotion, whether subtle facial twitches, blushing or the unwanted eruptions of an underlying physical or psychological condition. This journey will finally take us to the social skin, as Monty examines the subjects of beauty, body art, the gender role of skin and the emotive subject of skin colour.

The skin is simultaneously visible yet invisible. Despite being our largest and most obvious organ, it holds many secrets. It reveals much about who we are as human beings. To understand it is to understand us. As we look at the world through the prism of our enigmatic outer covering, we may just start seeing differently.

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.

Saving Face

James McCaul

Think how much of your identity and sense of self is vested in what you see in the bathroom mirror every morning. Now imagine the face you’ve known all your life being so ravaged by cancer, an accident, a fall, a beating, a car crash or a gunshot wound that it is barely recognisable. And when you leave the house, your disfigurement being met by stares and cruel comments from strangers; even close friends and family members flinching at the sight. Some find this so upsetting that they become virtual recluses.
Now imagine how it might feel, after microsurgery – the person you remember, but had given up all hope of seeing again, looking back at you once more.
Over the years, Jim McCaul has helped countless individuals make this journey. Of course it doesn’t provide the answer to all of life’s confusions and mysteries. But it’s not simply a question of aesthetics or vanity either. It’s not just skin deep. It’s why he became a maxillofacial surgeon. And why he still feesl the same excitement as he approaches the operating theatre today that he did as a trainee twenty years ago...

Hooked

Michael Moss

When is food addictive, and under what circumstances? Why do some people succumb to compulsive overeating more than others? How is it that so many others become vulnerable to food compulsions at critical moments in their lives? And what can be done to cope with or, in the case of kids, avoid food addictions?

As American-style processed foods transform the culture and habits of eating all over the world, Michael Moss explores food addiction and the obesity epidemic. Going behind the scenes of the most important food science experiments being conducted today, this book answers those pressing questions.

From revealing the science of addiction (and its legal implications) to exposing the diet industry, Hooked unveils the shocking true cost of food addiction.

Realtime

Kevin Fong

Within minutes of the crash, you land at the scene. But nothing can prepare you for what you now find. So what do you do?

Professor Kevin Fong flies with the Helicopter Emergency Medical Service, making split-second, life-or-death decisions in the most extreme circumstances. In this gripping blend of memoir and reportage, he confronts a disturbing truth: sometimes even the best trained expert cannot know the right thing to do.

Telling stories of astonishing skill and catastrophic error, he shows that our ability to move at ever greater speeds in ever greater safety comes with a bitter irony: when something goes wrong – as it must – reacting quickly and effectively enough is now beyond human capability. Reflecting on his own dramatic experiences and those of war medics, pilots and surgeons, Fong considers how we might come to terms with the mess and blur of real decisions made in realtime.

F*** You Very Much

Danny Wallace

‘A BRILLIANT BOOK’- JON RONSON

From the bestselling author of Yes Man, a simultaneously fascinating and hilarious investigation into the new culture of rudeness – where it comes from, how it affects us, and what we can do about it.

You're not imagining it: people are getting ruder. From road rage and snarky tweets, to queue-jumpers, victim blamers and fat shamers, we are ruder than we’ve ever been.

A man on a mission, Danny Wallace travels the world visiting our rudest critics. He interviews neuroscientists, psychologists, NASA scientists, barristers, bin men, and bell boys—all to better understand the culture of rudeness that is threatening to overwhelm us. He even joins a Radical Honesty group in Germany, talks to drivers about road rage in LA, and confronts his own online troll in a pub. And in doing so, he brilliantly uncovers hidden truths behind what makes us act the way we do, whether rudeness can be caught, and how one small impolite moment can snowball into disaster.

Want to be part of the solution? Let Danny Wallace be your guide.

Cringeworthy

Melissa Dahl

Have you ever said goodbye to someone, only to discover that you're both walking in the same direction? Or had your next thought fly out of your brain in the middle of a presentation? Or accidentally liked an old photo on someone's Instagram or Facebook, thus revealing yourself to be a creepy social media stalker?

Melissa Dahl, New York magazine's "Science of Us" editor, has experienced all of those awkward situations, and many more. Now she offers a thoughtful, original take on what it really means to feel awkward. She invites you to follow her into all sorts of mortifying moments, drawing on personal experience and in-depth psychological research to answer questions you've probably pondered at some point, such as:

* Why are situations without clear rules most likely to turn awkward?

* Are people really judging us as harshly as we think they are?

* Does anyone ever truly outgrow their awkward teenage self?

If you can learn to tolerate life's most awkward situations -- networking, difficult conversations, hearing the sound of your own terrible voice -- your awkwardness can be a secret weapon to making better, more memorable impressions. When everyone else is pretending to have it under control, you can be a little braver and grow a little bigger.

AIQ

Nick Polson (and others)

Dozens of times per day, we all interact with intelligent machines that are constantly learning from the wealth of data now available to them. These machines, from smart phones to talking robots to self-driving cars, are remaking the world of the 21st century in the same way that the Industrial Revolution remade the world of the 19th century.
In the face of all these changes, we believe that there is a simple premise worth keeping in mind. If you want to understand the modern world, then you have to know a little bit of the mathematical language spoken by intelligent machines. Our book will teach you that language—but in an unconventional way, anchored around stories rather than mathematics.
You will meet a fascinating cast of historical characters who have a lot to teach you about data, probability, and better thinking. Along the way, you'll see how these same ideas are playing out in the modern age of big data and intelligent machines—and how these technologies will soon help you to overcome some of your built-in cognitive weaknesses, giving you a chance to lead a happier, healthier, more fulfilled life.

Speech Odyssey

Trevor Cox

Trevor Cox has been described by the Observer as ‘a David Attenborough of the acoustic realm’. In Speech Odyssey he takes us on a journey through the wonders of human speech, starting with the evolution of language and our biological capability to speak (and listen), and bringing us up to date with the latest computer technology that seeks to record, transform and mimic the human voice.

Language is what makes us human, and how we speak is integral to our personal identity. But with the invention of sound recording and the arrival of the electrified voice, human communication changed forever; now advances in computer science and artificial intelligence are promising an even greater transformation. And with it come the possibilities to reproduce, manipulate and replicate the human voice – sometimes with disturbing consequences.

Speech Odyssey is the fascinating story of our ability to converse. It takes us back to the core of our humanity, asking important questions about what makes us human and how this uniqueness might be threatened. On this illuminating tour we meet vocal coaches and record producers, neuroscientists and computer programmers, whose experience and research provide us with a deeper understanding of something that most of us take for granted – our ability to talk and listen.

The Order of Time

Carlo Rovelli

The bestselling author of Seven Brief Lessons on Physics is back with a thrilling exploration of time

Time is a mystery that does not cease to puzzle us. Philosophers, artists and poets have long explored its meaning while scientists have found that its structure is different from the simple intuition we have of it. From Boltzmann to quantum theory, from Einstein to loop quantum gravity, our understanding of time has been undergoing radical transformations. Time flows at a different speed in different places, the past and the future differ far less than we might think, and the very notion of the present evaporates in the vast universe.

With his extraordinary charm and sense of wonder, bringing together science, philosophy and art, Carlo Rovelli unravels this mystery, inviting us to imagine a world where time is in us and we are not in time.

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.

The Neuroscientist Who Lost Her Mind

Barbara K.Lipska

All we think, feel and dream, how we move, if we move, everything that makes us who we are, comes from the brain. We are the brain. So what happens when the brain fails? What happens when we lose our mind?

In January 2015 renowned neuroscientist Barbara Lipska's melanoma spread to her brain. It was, in effect, a death sentence. She had surgery, radiation treatments and entered an immunotherapy clinical trial. And then her brain started to play tricks on her. The expert on mental illness - who had spent a career trying to work out how the brain operates and what happens when it fails - experienced what it is like to go mad.

She began to exhibit paranoia and schizophrenia-like symptoms. She became disinhibited, completely unaware of her inappropriate behaviour. She got lost driving home from work, a journey she did every day. She couldn't remember things that had just happened to her. Small details like what she was having for breakfast became an obsession, but she ignored the fact that she was about to die. And she remembers every moment with absolute clarity.

Weaving the science of the mind and the biology of the brain into her deeply personal story, this is the dramatic account of Dr Lipska's own brilliant brain gone awry.