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Read the opening extract of the brand new Susan Lanigan book before its publication on 01/09/2014

Read Extract Free Popular Science Book or Novel Online - as well as Sports and Suspense

Popular Science

Popular Science

Featured Books
Curious The Desire to Know and Why Your Future Depends on it
Ian Leslie
This is a book about our extraordinary capacity to take pleasure in discovering, learning and understanding - an analysis of why curiosity makes the world go round.
Format: Paperback - Released: 01/05/2014

The Secret Life of Sleep
Kat Duff
Why do we sleep? Do we know how we cross from waking to sleep? And dreams and nightmares how do they fit in? These questions and more are addressed in The Secret Life of Sleep. For the lucky majority sleep...
Format: Hardback - Released: 03/04/2014

The Day without Yesterday
Stuart Clark
The third in Stuart Clark's accessible and informative Sky's Dark Labyrinth series, where he uses historical fiction to help readers better understand the cosmos. Based on the true story of Albert Einstein and George Lemaître, a devout catholic and physicist...
Format: Paperback - Released: 03/04/2014

This is Improbable, Too Synchronized Cows, Speedy Brain Extractors and More WTF Research
Marc Abrahams
Marc Abrahams is back for more ‘truth really is stranger than fiction’ moments with the second helping of scientifically researched improbability including: can Pizza save your life? how to quickly and successfully remove brains and are lip prints as distinct...
Format: Paperback - Released: 06/03/2014

Gulp Adventures on the Alimentary Canal
Mary Roach
Mary Roach can never resist going just that bit further, searching out the most arcane information on her chosen subject and in Gulp, a story of the physicality of eating, you just know it won’t end there – you know...
Format: Paperback - Released: 06/03/2014

The Day without Yesterday
Stuart Clark
The third in Stuart Clark's accessible and informative Sky's Dark Labyrinth series, where he uses historical fiction to help readers better understand the cosmos. Based on the true story of Albert Einstein and George Lemaître, a devout catholic and physicist...
Format: Hardback - Released: 07/02/2013

The Sensorium of God
Stuart Clark
The 2nd instalment of the exciting Sky's Dark Labyrinth Trilogy explores the life and times of the reclusive and fearsome mathematician Isaac Newton and the adventurous astronomer Edmond Halley. Working together to unravel the mysteries of the universe, they find...
Format: Paperback - Released: 31/01/2013

The Sky's Dark Labyrinth
Stuart Clark
A vivid, thrilling portrayal of the lives and work of Kepler and Galileo and their struggles with the social and political forces around them. It's the first in what will be a fascinating trilogy. Each book bringing to life, through...
Format: Paperback - Released: 17/10/2011

Paranormality : Why We See What Isn't There
Professor Richard Wiseman
Professor Wiseman has a genius for presenting science. Without losing authenticity he is immensely readable, often very funny and a genius at debunking and revealing fraud and bad science. His latest book deals with the Paranormal and by investigating why...
Format: Paperback - Released: 04/03/2011

Incognito : The Secret Lives of the Brain
David Eagleman
April 2011 Non-Fiction Book of the Month. This book grabs you from the first page, tumbling out facts and information in a down to earth and readable way, with a chatty humour which...
Format: Hardback - Released: 07/04/2011

The New North : The World in 2050
Laurence C. Smith
March 2011 Non-Fiction Book of the Month. There are many predictions on the likely future for the...
Format: Paperback - Released: 19/04/2012

The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating
Elisabeth Tova Bailey
The story of how one wild snail (and one of its 118 offspring) came to the aid of Elisabeth Tova Bailey as she recovered from a devastating illness. A friend dug up some violets and found a small snail, thinking...
Format: Hardback - Released: 14/09/2010

Seeing Further: The Story of Science and the Royal Society
Bill Bryson
Across the road from where I live a house has a new plaque, recording that Thomas Bayes, preacher and mathematician lived there. He is, I learn from Bill Bryson’s introduction, his favourite Royal Society fellow. Bayes died in 1761 and...
Format: Hardback - Released: 07/01/2010

This is Improbable Cheese String Theory, Magnetic Chickens, and Other WTF Research
Marc Abrahams
Usually manna from heaven for certain tabloid newspapers, bizarre research stories often pepper the headlines and here are some you may have heard of but I guarantee many, many even more bizarre stories previously unearthed. WTF indeed. But looking at...
Format: Paperback - Released: 06/09/2012

Wonders of the Universe
Brian Cox, Andrew Cohen
Shortlisted for the Galaxy Popular Non-Fiction Book of the Year Award 2011. Featured on The Book Show on Sky Arts at the Hay Festival on 29 May 2011. Professor Brian Cox is back with another insightful and mind-blowing exploration of space. This...
Format: Hardback - Released: 03/03/2011

59 Seconds How Psychology Can Improve Your Life in Less Than a Minute
Professor Richard Wiseman
A 2014 World Book Night selection. Most people would like to be more creative, more persuasive and more attractive. For years, gurus and 'life coaches' have urged people to improve their lives by changing the way they think and behave, but...
Format: Paperback - Released: 02/04/2010

What a Wonderful World One Man's Attempt to Explain the Big Stuff
Marcus Chown
November 2013 Non-Fiction Book of the Month. A brilliant book that makes you realise, with more than a hint of humour, how much you don’t know. Why do we breathe? What is money?...
Format: Hardback - Released: 03/10/2013

Will We Ever Speak Dolphin?
New Scientist
October 2012 Non-Fiction Book of the Month. The seventh in the phenomenally brilliant and best selling series. Complied from the ‘Last Word’ section of the New Scientist magazine, where readers write in with...
Format: Paperback - Released: 04/10/2012

The Grand Design
Stephen Hawking, Leonard Mlodinow
Once again physics is brought to the masses with general principles being explained in a more accessible way. A good grasp of physics is definitely a help though and generally those with an interest will be the ones to read...
Format: Hardback - Released: 09/09/2010

What a Wonderful World Life, the Universe and Everything in a Nutshell
Marcus Chown
Why do we breathe? What is money? How does the brain work? Why did life invent sex? Does time really exist? How does capitalism work - or not, as the case may be? Where do mountains come from? How do...
Format: Paperback - Released: 04/09/2014

Sapiens A Brief History of Humankind
Yuval Noah Harari
100,000 years ago, at least six human species inhabited the earth. Today there is just one. Us. Homo sapiens. How did our species succeed in the battle for dominance? Why did our foraging ancestors come together to create cities and...
Format: Hardback - Released: 04/09/2014

The Marshmallow Test Understanding Self-control and How to Master it
Walter Mischel
A child is presented with a marshmallow and given a choice: Eat this one now, or wait and enjoy two later. What will she do? And what are the implications for her behaviour later in life? Walter Mischel's now iconic...
Format: Hardback - Released: 25/09/2014

In Search of Lost Frogs
Robin Moore
On August 9, 2010, 33 teams from 21 countries were dispatched to search for the Lost Frogs identified by Conservation International. On their list were a host of species including, in the top ten most wanted, the Rio Pescado Stubfoot...
Format: Hardback - Released: 11/09/2014

The Human Age
Diane Ackerman
In The Human Age award-winning nature writer Diane Ackerman confronts the fact that the human race is now the single dominant force of change on the planet. Humans have 'subdued 75 per cent of the land surface, concocted a...
Format: Hardback - Released: 11/09/2014

The Homing Instinct The Story and Science of Migration
Bernd Heinrich
The story and science of how animals find their way home. Home is the place we long for most, when we feel we have travelled too far, for too long. Since boyhood, acclaimed scientist and author Bernd Heinrich has returned...
Format: Hardback - Released: 14/08/2014

A Buzz in the Meadow
Dave Goulson
In A Buzz in the Meadow Goulson tells the story of how he bought a derelict farm in the heart of rural France, together with 33 acres of surrounding meadow and how, over a decade, he has created a place...
Format: Hardback - Released: 04/09/2014

Riveted The Science of Why Jokes Make Us Laugh, Movies Make Us Cry, and Religion Makes Us Feel One with the Universe
Jim Davies
Why do some things pass under the radar of our attention, but other things capture our interest? Why do some religions catch on and others fade away? What makes a story, a movie, or a book riveting? Why do some...
Format: Hardback - Released: 05/08/2014

Invisible The Dangerous Allure of the Unseen
Philip Ball
If you could be invisible, what would you do? The chances are that it would have something to do with power, wealth or sex. Perhaps all three, given the opportunity. But there's no need to feel guilty. Because these impulses,...
Format: Hardback - Released: 31/07/2014

Is There Life on Mars? The 20 Big Universe Questions
Stuart Clark
Is There Life On Mars? will help you start to answer 20 of the most perplexing and fascinating questions about the universe, such as: Why do the planets stay in orbit? Was Einstein right? What is Dark Matter? Are we...
Format: Paperback - Released: 31/07/2014

50 Psychology Ideas You Really Need to Know
Adrian Furnham
How different are men and women's brains? Does altruism really exist? Are our minds blank slates at birth? And do dreams reveal our unconscious desires? Psychology is everywhere in today's society. No crime fiction, documentary, chat show or medical consultation...
Format: Hardback - Released: 31/07/2014

50 Physics Ideas You Really Need to Know
Joanne Baker
We encounter physics before we've even left the house in the morning; an alarm clock tracks time, a mirror reflects light waves and our mobile phones rely on satellites held in their orbit by gravity. Where would we be without...
Format: Hardback - Released: 31/07/2014

50 Maths Ideas You Really Need to Know
Tony Crilly
Who invented zero? Why 60 seconds in a minute? How big is infinity? Where do parallel lines meet? And can a butterfly's wings really cause a storm on the far side of the world? In 50 Maths Ideas You Really...
Format: Hardback - Released: 31/07/2014

Psy-Q Test Your Psychological Intelligence
Ben Ambridge
Psychology is everywhere. Our emotions and desires, the decisions we make on a daily basis - absolutely every aspect of the way we think and feel has been studied by psychologists. Through dozens of interactive puzzles, IQ tests, quizzes, jokes,...
Format: Paperback - Released: 31/07/2014

The Compatibility Gene
Daniel M. Davis
In The Compatibility Gene, leading scientist Daniel M Davis tells the story of the crucial genes that define our relationships, our health and our individuality. We each possess a similar set of around 25,000 human genes. Yet a tiny, distinctive...
Format: Paperback - Released: 28/08/2014

Woman An Intimate Geography
Natalie Angier
WOMAN explores the essence of what it means to be female. In mapping the inner woman - from organs to orgasms - Natalie Angier presents an extraordinary new vision of the female body as an evolutionary masterpiece. 'Anyone living in...
Format: Paperback - Released: 07/08/2014

Life at the Speed of Light From the Double Helix to the Dawn of Digital Life
J. Craig Venter
In 2010, scientists led by J. Craig Venter became the first to successfully create 'synthetic life' -- putting humankind at the threshold of the most important and exciting phase of biological research, one that will enable us to actually write...
Format: Paperback - Released: 07/08/2014

National Birds of the World Avian Emblems of the World
Ron Toft
Birds are one of the most popular and visible forms of all wildlife and are inextricably linked with the development of human cultures all around the world. Over the years some of the most eye-catching species of bird have been...
Format: Hardback - Released: 28/08/2014

Four Fields
Tim Dee
In his first book since the acclaimed The Running Sky Tim Dee tells the story of four green fields. Four fields spread around the world: their grasses, their hedges, their birds, their skies, and their natural and human histories. Four...
Format: Paperback - Released: 28/08/2014

The Science Book

All the big ideas in science, simply explained Part of the popular Big Ideas series, The Science Book explores the history of science, how scientists have sought to explain our incredible universe and how amazing scientific discoveries have been made....
Format: Hardback - Released: 01/08/2014

The Lagoon How Aristotle Invented Science
Armand Marie Leroi
In the Eastern Aegean lies an island of forested hills and olive groves, with streams, marshes and a lagoon that nearly cuts the land in two. It was here, over two thousand years ago, that Aristotle came to work. Aristotle...
Format: Hardback - Released: 28/08/2014

A Message from Martha The Extinction of the Passenger Pigeon and its Relevance Today
Mark Avery
September 1st, 2014 marked the centenary of one of the best-documented extinctions in history - the demise of the Passenger Pigeon. From being the commonest bird on the planet 50 years earlier, the species became extinct on that fateful day,...
Format: Hardback - Released: 17/07/2014

Adventures in the Anthropocene A Journey to the Heart of the Planet We Made
Gaia Vince
We live in epoch-making times. Literally. The changes we humans have made in recent decades have altered our world beyond anything it has experienced in its 4.5 billion-year history - we have become a force on a par with earth-shattering...
Format: Hardback - Released: 03/07/2014

At the Edge of Uncertainty 11 Discoveries Taking Science by Surprise
Michael Brooks
Through eleven radical new insights, Brooks takes us to the extreme frontiers of what we understand about the world. He journeys from the observations that might rewrite our history of the universe, through the novel biology behind our will to...
Format: Paperback - Released: 26/06/2014

Why Can't a Woman Be More Like a Man
Lewis Wolpert
Why are there two sexes? How different are they and why? Why can't a woman be more like a man? Or should the question be: why can't a man be more like a woman? Controversy rages around sex and gender,...
Format: Hardback - Released: 19/06/2014

The Best of All Possible Worlds
Karen Lord
This is a story of hope. Grace Delarua, a civil servant with the government of Cygnus Beta, remembers when the Sadiri arrived on their planet, a galactic hinterland for pioneers and refugees. This is a story of survival. Dllenahkh, leader...
Format: Paperback - Released: 01/05/2014

The Norm Chronicles Stories and numbers about danger
Michael Blastland, David Spiegelhalter
Meet Norm. He's 31, 5'9 , just over 13 stone, and works a 39 hour week. He likes a drink, doesn't do enough exercise and occasionally treats himself to a bar of chocolate (milk). He's a pretty average kind of...
Format: Paperback - Released: 05/06/2014

Meadowland The Private Life of an English Field
John Lewis-Stempel
What really goes on in the long grass? Meadowland gives an unique and intimate account of an English meadow's life from January to December, together with its biography. In exquisite prose, John Lewis-Stempel records the passage of the seasons from...
Format: Hardback - Released: 22/05/2014

The Maths Handbook Everyday Maths Made Simple
Dr. Richard Elwes
This is the perfect introduction for those who have a lingering fear of maths. If you think that maths is difficult, confusing, dull or just plain scary, then The Maths Handbook is your ideal companion. Covering all the basics including...
Format: Paperback - Released: 05/06/2014

The Hunt for the Golden Mole All Creatures Great and Small, and Why They Matter
Richard Girling
This story is a quest for an animal so rare that a sighting has never been recorded. The Somali golden mole was first described in 1964. It is mentioned in a number of textbooks, but the sole evidence for its...
Format: Hardback - Released: 05/06/2014

Why are Orangutans Orange? Science Puzzles in Pictures - with Fascinating Answers
New Scientist
This 'Classic New Scientist Q&As' - now fully illustrated. Illustrated for the first time, with eighty full-colour photographs showing the beauty, complexity and mystery of the world around us, here is the next eagerly awaited volume of science questions and...
Format: Paperback - Released: 06/10/2011

The Rational Optimist How Prosperity Evolves
Matt Ridley
Matt Ridley, acclaimed author of the classics 'Genome' and 'Nature via Nurture', turns from investigating human nature to investigating human progress. In 'The Rational Optimist' Ridley offers a counterblast to the prevailing pessimism of our age, and proves, however much...
Format: Paperback - Released: 31/03/2011

What's Mine is Yours How Collaborative Consumption is Changing the Way We Live
Rachel Botsman, Roo Rogers
In the 20th century humanity consumed products faster than ever, but this way of living is no longer sustainable. This new and important book shows how technological advances are driving forms of 'collaborative consumption' which will change forever the ways...
Format: Paperback - Released: 03/02/2011

The Address Book Our Place in the Scheme of Things
Tim Radford
At the start of each school term, at the age of about 10, I did something that I suppose a million other 10-year-olds have done! The Address Book starts with some of the fundamental questions asked by everyone, in every...
Format: Hardback - Released: 20/04/2009

Being Wrong: Adventures in the Margin of Error
Kathryn Schulz
Shortlisted for the Guardian First Book Award 2010. More than often we like to think we are right, this book shows how very often we can be wrong. It’s in our nature to want to be right but this book looks...
Format: Paperback - Released: 02/09/2010

A Brief History of Time: From the Big Bang to Black Holes
Stephen Hawking
Published over 20 years ago this book is still a best seller, bringing complicated science to the masses. Gravity, black holes, the Big Bang - all kinds of topics are covered in a way that helps the less scientifically gifted...
Format: Paperback - Released: 18/08/2011

An Apple A Day: The Myths, Misconceptions and Truths About the Foods We Eat
Joseph Schwarcz
Without a scientific background it is almost impossible to know the truth behind the media hype surrounding food, one minute we are urged to eat some expensive berry, other times we are urged to avoid a foodstuff like the plague...
Format: Paperback - Released: 01/02/2010

Teenagers: A Natural History
David Bainbridge
For teenagers puzzled and worried about their changing bodies or mood swings, for parents having to cope with teenagers, for anyone wanting to understand why humans have this immense transition phase in their lives. David Bainbridge provides a wise, sympathetic...
Format: Paperback - Released: 07/01/2010

Number Freak: A Mathematical Compendium from 1 to 200
Derrick Niederman
To the mathematically challenged, anything that can make the subject accessible and – dare I say it interesting, is to be welcomed which is why I’ve included Number Freak. Here you will find the maths but also every other aspect...
Format: Hardback - Released: 25/02/2010

13 Things That Don't Make Sense: The Most Intriguing Scientific Mysteries of Our Time
Michael Brooks
If I can only persuade you to read one of these science titles let it be this one, it’s easily the best science book I’ve read in a long time. And in Michael Brooks you have an author who has...
Format: Paperback - Released: 04/02/2010

Poison and Poisoning: A Compendium of Cases, Catastrophes and Crimes
Celia Kellett
There are a lot of surprises in Celia Kellett’s compendium, one that particularly astonished me, the poetry of the poisons – one especially has joined my list of favourite words, orpiment, the very poisonous arsenic trisulphide. There’s a lot of...
Format: Paperback - Released: 16/11/2009

Why Can't Elephants Jump? And 101 Other Tantalising Science Questions
New Scientist
Now well-established in the Christmas market, the latest in the New Scientist series of Science puzzles and trivia. As a concept it never seems to stale, due to the fact that these are readers’ queries and readers’ answers – and...
Format: Paperback - Released: 07/10/2010

The Age of Wonder: How the Romantic Generation Discovered the Beauty and Terror of Science
Richard Holmes
Winner ofthe 2009 Royal Society Prize for Science Books. Richard Holmes describes his book as a relay race, set on the cusp of the 1800’s with discovery following after discovery, our own planet, the sky above us and the universe beyond....
Format: Paperback - Released: 03/09/2009

The God Delusion
Richard Dawkins
By no means the first book by Richard Dawkins delving into the subject of religion, but his first tackling this subject exclusively. This is probably one the best presented arguments for the non-existence of a supernatural god that has ever...
Format: Paperback - Released: 21/05/2007

Your Inner Fish: The Amazing Discovery of Our 375-Million-Year-Old Ancestor
Neil Shubin
Shortlisted for the 2009 Royal Society Prize for Science Books. For anyone wanting to understand evolution – Your Inner Fish is a revelation showing we may be closely related to the apes but further back, fish, anemones, sea-worms – they’re all...
Format: Paperback - Released: 29/01/2009

The Drunkard's Walk: How Randomness Rules Our Lives
Leonard Mlodinow
Shortlisted for the 2009 Royal Society Prize for Science Books. A sharp and occasionally very funny guide to the effects Randomness has on our lives showing how our need to find patterns in the external world can lead us astray. Leonard...
Format: Paperback - Released: 02/04/2009

Decoding the Heavens : Solving the Mystery of the World's First Computer
Jo Marchant
Shortlisted for the 2009 Royal Society Prize for Science Books. Found in a shipwreck on the rocky coast of Greece, a corroded lump of bronze has intrigued and obsessed archaeologists and scientists for over 100 years. Now the whole truth about...
Format: Paperback - Released: 18/04/2009

What the Nose Knows: The Science of Scent in Everyday Life
Avery Gilbert
Shortlisted for the 2009 Royal Society Prize for Science Books. Our noses hoover up an amazing range of scents yet sense of smell and its place in our sensory life is still something of a mystery. Avery Gilbert takes a tour...
Format: Hardback - Released: 01/06/2008

Bad Science
Ben Goldacre
Shortlisted for the 2009 Royal Society Prize for Science Books. Ben Goldacre targets medical charlatans, quacks, frauds and cons with great relish. His medical expertise allowing him to dissect each one proving the case against them, pulling no punches, his often...
Format: Paperback - Released: 02/04/2009

Tweeting the Universe Tiny Explanations of Very Big Ideas
Marcus Chown, Govert Schilling
In 140 pages, two masterly popularisers present 140 explanations of the biggest questions in physics - in the form of 10 or so tweets per page. They set themselves the challenge of boiling down what is essential on each subject...
Format: Hardback - Released: 03/11/2011

The Map That Changed the World: A Tale of Rocks, Ruin and Redemption
Simon Winchester
This was first published in 2001 but I’ve included it here as it is one of the very best books that followed the Longitude method of science writing, homing in on one small step in history, showing how one man’s...
Format: Paperback - Released: 04/07/2002

The World Without Us
Alan Weisman
What if humankind disappeared from the face of the world – overnight? What would happen, how long would the world take to recover, how long before evidence of our existence disappears beneath the vegetation? There are many different answers to...
Format: Paperback - Released: 03/04/2008

Dry Store Room No.1 : The Secret Life of the Natural History Museum
Richard Fortey
Featured on The Book Show on Sky Arts on 8 January 2009. As close to a virtual tour as you can get without moving pictures. Richard Fortey is the tour-guide, taking us down the dark, echoing passages of the Natural History...
Format: Paperback - Released: 01/09/2008

How Many Socks Make a Pair? Surprisingly Interesting Everyday Maths
Rob Eastaway
Surprising, amusing and even amazing maths from Rob Eastaway who reveals that mathematical precision can be found in the most mundane of places, including your sock drawer. Start here for a book to take away fear of maths and change...
Format: Paperback - Released: 29/05/2014

Nightwalk A Journey to the Heart of Nature
Chris Yates
Chris Yates, one of Britain's most insightful and lyrical writers, raises his gaze from his beloved rivers and ponds and takes us on a mesmerizing tour of the British countryside. Last November, the sudden appearance of a hundred wintering ravens...
Format: Hardback - Released: 26/04/2012

The Magic of Reality : How We Know What's Really True
Richard Dawkins
Featured on The Book Show on Sky Arts on 1 December 2011. What are things made of? What is the sun? Why is there night and day, winter and summer? Why do bad things happen? Are we alone? Have you heard...
Format: Hardback - Released: 15/09/2011

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About this category

Do you feel like asking your brain cells to work a little harder whilst at the same time learn something new and all from the comfort of the armchair?

All the books in this Popular Science category are titles designed to be read by the lay reader rather than the scientist. 


The list is wide-ranging and the titles all highly accessible in their writing style. 


Quite simply, they are an ideal starting point into the realms of science for an enquiring mind.  Enjoy.

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