10 Books to Make You a World Expert
6th April, 2020
Introduce yourself to a completely new subject, or change the way you think about something you thought you knew – get ready to exercise your mind and feel the urge to deliver lectures in the living room.
1. Something Deeply Hidden: Quantum Worlds and the Emergence of Spacetime
by Sean Carroll
Sit down to a lesson by the great genius of modern physics, while he explains why quantum theory makes perfect sense.
‘A wild conceptual ride’ – Sunday Times Books of the Year
Listen to Sean’s discussion with Brian Cox on the BBC Infinite Monkey Cage show
Find out more about Something Deeply Hidden here.
2. William Poundstone Collection, including the bestselling Are you Smart Enough to Work at Google?
Poundstone’s most recent book is How to Predict Everything: The Formula Transforming What We Know About Life and the Universe, hailed by E&T Magazine as ‘Thoroughly entertaining reading – it’s not hard to foresee a future in which readers everywhere will find it impossible to put down.’
Why not learn even more? Immerse yourself in six of William Poundstone’s mind-stretching works, now with a new collection jacket design!
Find out more about How to Predict Everything here.
3. Heaven and Hell: A History of the Afterlife
by Bart D. Ehrman
The bestselling historian of early Christianity takes on two of the most gripping questions of human existence – where did the ideas of heaven and hell come from, and why do they endure?
‘There’s no one I’d rather read on what Christians believe, and why they believe it, than Bart Ehrman. This is a wise and fascinating book.’ – Tom Bissell, author of Apostle
Find out more about Heaven and Hell here.
4. How to Win a Nobel Prize
by Barry Marshall, illustrated by Bernard Caleo
All great scientists start somewhere. If you have time away from school now, why not start planning your big idea? How to Win a Nobel Prize is a time-travelling adventure with interactive experiments for budding young scientists, by Nobel Prize-winning scientist Barry Marshall.
‘Delightful’ – Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell
Find out more about How to Win a Nobel Prize here.
5. Out of Our Minds: What We Think and How We Came to Think It
by Felipe Fernández-Armesto
An extraordinary journey through the history of human imagination, from the dawn of civilisation to the present day.
‘Immensely learned and ambitious…seam-bursting eclecticism and polymathic brio… This is by any standards a significant book and its author deserves high praise.’ – Literary Review
Find out more about Out of Our Minds here.
6. The Truth About Fat: Why Obesity is Not that Simple
by Anthony Warner
There are more diets than ever. So why aren’t we all getting thinner? Anthony Warner, author of The Angry Chef, tackles some big questions about obesity, diets and healthy eating. The science, without the prejudice. It’s time to hear the truth.
‘[Warner] has something important to say and the more people who take him seriously the better.’ – The Times
Find out more about The Truth About Fat here.
7. Underbug: An Obsessive Tale of Termites and Technology
by Lisa Margonelli
Who has the answer to the world’s fuel problems? How can we bring ruined land back to life? Where do roboticists turn when they try to engineer a hive mind? Termites. Saving the world, bug by bug.
‘Turns cutting-edge science into rich narrative by plunging deep into the termite’s world… Margonelli’s masterly book is a timely, thought-provoking exploration of what it means to be human, as much as what it means to be termite, and a penetrating look at the moral challenges of our ongoing technological revolution.’ – New York Times
Find out more about Underbug here.
8. Becoming Wild: How Animals Learn to be Animals
by Carl Safina
We tend to think of culture as being exclusively human, but do animals have it too? The award-winning science writer Carl Safina shows that the better we understand the animals with whom we share this planet, the less different from us they seem.
‘[Safina] is a font of research, his wonder contagious.’ – Elle
Find out more about Becoming Wild here.
9. Some Assembly Required: Decoding Four Billion Years of Life, from Ancient Fossils to DNA
by Neil Shubin
The author of the bestselling Your Inner Fish gives us a brilliant, up-to-date account of the great transformations in the history of life on Earth.
‘A rollicking ride…light of touch, anecdote-rich and funny, and yet…still feels satisfyingly informative… What’s not to love?’ – BBC Wildlife Magazine
Find out more about Some Assembly Required here.
10. A History of Islam in 21 Women
by Hossein Kamaly
Beginning in seventh-century Mecca and Medina, A History of Islam in 21 Women takes us around the globe, through eleventh-century Yemen and Khorasan, and into sixteenth-century Spain, Istanbul and India. From there to nineteenth-century Persia and the African savannah, to twentieth-century Russia, Turkey, Egypt and Iraq, before arriving in present-day Europe and America. Relearn the story of Islam through this celebration of the lives and groundbreaking achievements of these extraordinary women.
‘Here in all their gutsy glory are women whose voices have not received the prominence that is their due within the story of Islam.’ – New York Times
Find out more about A History of Islam in 21 Women here.