Popular Science

Get up to speed with the most popular developments in science, with everything from the tiniest atom to the farthest flung findings of the universe, and every scientific discovery in between. Our selection of books in this category will keep you up to date.

Beach Explorer

Beach Explorer

Author: Heather Buttivant Format: Paperback Release Date: 01/04/2021

Beautifully presented, packed with puns, and shot-through with an environmental ethos, Heather Buttivant’s Beach Explorer is the perfect companion for days at the beach, with fifty activities and oceans of facts that are sure to inspire and astound children and adults alike. Highlights of the practical projects include finding fossils, starfish bums and mermaid purses (yes, you read that right!), and the step-by-step instructions for pressing seaweed and making your own plankton net. What’s more, alongside all the “how to make and find” activities, Beach Explorer is packed with facts that are sure to enliven even the most dedicated of beach bums, from finding out about the world’s largest poo (which, by the way, is the “bright-orange rancid-smelling poo” of the mighty blue whale), to discovering how fish camouflage themselves. The book ends with an excellent chapter on how to “Be a Wildlife Champion” that highlights how “humans are creating environmental problems”. Importantly, the author shares lots of ways young eco-minded explorers can help combat these problems through the likes of picking litter and planning climate-friendly beach trips.

How to be Sad

How to be Sad

Author: Helen Russell Format: Hardback Release Date: 04/03/2021

How to be Sad by Helen Russell is part memoir and part exploration of sadness and grief using expert sources. It is split into three parts – looking after ourselves when we’re sad, how to talk about being sad, and what to do when you’re sad (including the benefits of reading). It isn’t an obvious self-help book, focusing a lot on the science and psychology of how and why we feel sad, and why this emotion shouldn’t be a taboo topic. But it’s written in a chatty style and is well researched, featuring interviews with scientists and journalists and with an extensive list of references at the end. Helen Russell discusses key events in her own life that have led to sadness, including the cot death of her baby sister, and how perfectionism and expectations have led to eating disorders and addictions. Her book is personal, reflective and insightful; following her research into happiness for a previous book, she realised that many people are phobic about being sad (or admitting to being sad). Here, her message is that sadness and tears are an important part of life and shouldn’t be held back.

Perimenopause Power

Perimenopause Power

Author: Maisie Hill Format: Paperback Release Date: 04/03/2021

Perimenopause Power is a straight-talking handbook covering everything you may want to know about getting through the perimenopause (and beyond). There’s a lot of medical information packed into its pages, covering perimenopausal symptoms, HRT, lifestyle changes, bone health, and so much more. Maisie Hill admits that she hasn’t yet reached this stage of life, so is unable to provide personal insights about the menopause. Instead, in her book, she explains how your body changes, physically and emotionally, and the different ways to manage troublesome symptoms. Perimenopause Power is based on science and written in a supportive non-patronising tone. There’s a strong emphasis on diet and lifestyle changes, but medication, alternative therapies and psychological treatments are also covered. She discusses the pros and cons of taking HRT, so that you can make an informed choice (with the help of a healthcare professional). You may find it easiest to dip into the chapters you need when you need them, rather than read the book from beginning to end – otherwise it could feel a little overwhelming. This is a useful reference book to help you find the right management approach for you – and may even help to make the menopause a more-positive experience.

The Mutant Project

The Mutant Project

Author: Eben Kirksey Format: Paperback Release Date: 03/03/2021

An anthropologist visits the frontiers of genetics, medicine, and technology to ask: whose values are guiding gene-editing experiments, and what are the implications for humanity? At a conference in Hong Kong in November 2018, Dr. Jiankui He announced that he had created the first genetically modified babies-twin girls named Lulu and Nana-sending shockwaves around the world. A year later, a Chinese court sentenced Dr. He to three years in prison for illegal medical practice. As scientists elsewhere start to catch up with China's vast genetic research programme, gene editing is fuelling an innovation economy that threatens to widen racial and economic inequality. Fundamental questions about science, health, and social justice are at stake. Who gets access to gene-editing technologies? As countries loosen regulations around the globe, can we shape research agendas to promote an ethical and fair society? Professor Eben Kirksey takes us on a groundbreaking journey to meet the key scientists, lobbyists, and entrepreneurs who are bringing cutting-edge genetic modification tools like CRISPR to your local clinic. He also ventures beyond the scientific echo chamber, talking to doctors, hackers, chronically ill patients, disabled scholars, and activists and who have alternative visions of a genetically modified future for humanity. The Mutant Project empowers us to ask the right questions, uncover the truth, and navigate this new era of scientific enquiry.

How to Avoid a Climate Disaster

How to Avoid a Climate Disaster

Author: Bill Gates Format: Hardback Release Date: 16/02/2021

In this urgent, authoritative book, Bill Gates sets out a wide-ranging, practical - and accessible - plan for how the world can get to zero greenhouse gas emissions in time to avoid a climate catastrophe. Bill Gates has spent a decade investigating the causes and effects of climate change. With the help of experts in the fields of physics, chemistry, biology, engineering, political science, and finance, he has focused on what must be done in order to stop the planet's slide toward certain environmental disaster. In this book, he not only explains why we need to work toward net-zero emissions of greenhouse gases, but also details what we need to do to achieve this profoundly important goal. He gives us a clear-eyed description of the challenges we face. Drawing on his understanding of innovation and what it takes to get new ideas into the market, he describes the areas in which technology is already helping to reduce emissions, where and how the current technology can be made to function more effectively, where breakthrough technologies are needed, and who is working on these essential innovations. Finally, he lays out a concrete, practical plan for achieving the goal of zero emissions-suggesting not only policies that governments should adopt, but what we as individuals can do to keep our government, our employers, and ourselves accountable in this crucial enterprise. As Bill Gates makes clear, achieving zero emissions will not be simple or easy to do, but if we follow the plan he sets out here, it is a goal firmly within our reach.

Why The F*ck Can't I Change

Why The F*ck Can't I Change

Author: Dr Gabija Toleikyte Format: Ebook Release Date: 21/01/2021

Why the F*ck Can’t I Change? is a scientific look at our emotions and why it can be difficult for us to change our mindset, long-standing habits and productivity. While the title is a sweary one, the book’s contents aren’t sweary at all. This is a fairly academic book on behavioural change, focusing on the biology and anatomy of the human brain. It has been well-researched by its neuroscientist author, using scientific studies and reference books. There are some case studies, self-help advice and practical tips, but it’s not a quick read. The book features some medical jargon so it may not work for everyone, but each chapter has a useful summary at the end. If you’re looking for a book that gives you more than the usual self-help ‘change your life’ advice, because you want to understand the root cause of why you feel, think and behave the way you do, then this book may be the answer. Purchase Why the F*ck Can't I Change from: Amazon Apple Kobo Google

Life In Full Colors

Life In Full Colors

Author: Corry MacDonald Format: Paperback Release Date: 28/12/2020

The Life in Full Colors: Unlock Your Childlike Curosity to Uncover and Activate the Creative Intelligence is a clear, easy read to read book, the book is written in an informal friendly style, like a conversation with a close friend. It’s like a calming voice telling you what to do. There are 7 steps to creating a life in full colour and she talks about Creative Intelligence which we all have but just need to find and activate. I especially like that Corry has a refresh and review which is a bullet point summary of the main things talked about, at the end of each chapter. I find the book is like a gentle step by step guide with lots hugs and reassurances. Maisie Hoang, A LoveReading Ambassador 

Indie Books We Love
Lion

Lion

Author: Mark Adlington Format: Hardback Release Date: 07/12/2020

Click to read our Q&A with Mark Adlington A book to fall totally and irretrievably in love with, Lion is full of the most gorgeous paintings, drawings, and sketches, and is absolutely stunning. The lion, an apex predator, is surely one of the most beautiful sights you can see. When I was 19 I found myself in Kenya, eyes wide, mouth open as I watched a lioness and three cubs at a water hole. It is something that is as clear to me now as it was then, so, when I saw this book was going to be published, I was first in the LoveReading queue. Here we journey together with Mark Adlington as he studies lions in East and Southern Africa. The foreword by the winner of the Prince William Award for Conservation in Africa and Co-Founder and Director of Operations at the Big Life Foundation, Richard Bonham, is effusive in its praise of Mark Adlington. It comes with a warning, that lions do not make good neighbours, and “where humans and wildlife compete, wildlife will surely lose”. However all is not: “doom and gloom… in the Amboseli ecosystem, by 2003 there were only 25 lions left… today, things have changed and the population has clawed itself back to over 200”. Mark has painted the progeny of the lions this programme has saved, and they appear in this dazzlingly impressive book. Mark describes meeting Richard and his wife Tara as a miracle: “I found myself invited to stay ‘in the most beautiful part of Kenya’ by a total stranger on the strength of a little sketch of a lion cub posted on instagram”. Mark also allows us access to his sketchbook musings (oh, the tortoise!), and finishes by saying that a world without the lion is unimaginable. What then follows is page after page of the most beautiful artwork, and this is where my mouth dropped open. Each piece is so full of character and movement, so vibrantly alive, that it brought tears to my eyes. The art is allowed to shine, no page numbers or captions to distract, you can simply sink into the beauty of the lion. So, Lion is a book to take pride of place on your bookshelves, a book to return to and open with wonder, to sit with eyes wide and heart open, to adore. Undoubtedly one of my personal books of the year, Lion just had to join our LoveReading Star Books and is of course one of my Liz Picks of the Month. 

Star Books
Kay's Anatomy

Kay's Anatomy

Author: Adam Kay Format: Hardback Release Date: 15/10/2020

The hilarious first children's book from the UK's bestselling non-fiction author. Do you ever think about your body and how it all works? Like really properly think about it? The human body is extraordinary and fascinating and, well . . . pretty weird. Yours is weird, mine is weird, your maths teacher's is even weirder. This book is going to tell you what's actually going on in there, and answer the really important questions, like: Are bogeys safe to eat? Look, if your nose is going to all that effort of creating a snack, the least we can do is check out its nutritional value. (Yes, they're safe. Chew away!) And . . . How much of your life will you spend on the toilet? About a year - so bring a good book. (I recommend this one.) So sit back, relax, put on some rubber gloves, and let a doctor take you on a poo (and puke) filled tour of your insides. Welcome to Kay's Anatomy*. *a fancy word for your body. See, you're learning already.

A Life on Our Planet

A Life on Our Planet

Author: David Attenborough Format: Audiobook Release Date: 01/10/2020

See the world. Then make it better. I am 93. I've had an extraordinary life. It's only now that I appreciate how extraordinary. As a young man, I felt I was out there in the wild, experiencing the untouched natural world - but it was an illusion. The tragedy of our time has been happening all around us, barely noticeable from day to day - the loss of our planet's wild places, its biodiversity. I have been witness to this decline. A Life on Our Planet contains my witness statement, and my vision for the future - the story of how we came to make this, our greatest mistake, and how, if we act now, we can yet put it right. We have the opportunity to create the perfect home for ourselves and restore the wonderful world we inherited.

Audiobooks of the Month
Underland

Underland

Author: Robert Macfarlane Format: Paperback Release Date: 27/08/2020

This is a totally unique and breathtaking introduction to what lies beneath us, to the earth below our feet. Let this very special and beautiful book take you by the hand and lead you through the sunlit fields to the place where the underland begins, a place most human thoughts shy from in fear and confusion. This is a sequel to The Old Ways, yet you can begin here without concern, you can trust and join Robert Macfarlane as he explores the underland. I will admit that I am in love with the writing, the words, the vision that allows you to see and feel in darkness. I haven’t ever considered our deep connection to this stunning underworld in the way you are encouraged to here. Robert Macfarlane meets and shares experiences with people who have chosen to explore, to look beyond the obvious. I absolutely adored how much he shares, how accessible Underland is, his words reached out and connected with my thoughts and feelings, altering, reshaping, transforming. While there is plenty to fear for our future, all the time there are humans with this amount of love for our natural world, there is also hope. Underland is one of my picks of the month, and also one of our star books - it is quite simply stunning.

Star Books
Sense

Sense

Author: Russell Jones Format: Hardback Release Date: 20/08/2020

AS HEARD ON THE CHRIS EVANS SHOW A fascinating and revelatory look at how we can unlock the true potential of our five senses and use them to vastly improve every single part of our lives. How can colour prime you for creative thinking? What kind of music helps you run faster? Which scents can help you fall asleep? Our senses have a powerful effect on how we think, feel and behave; yet we don't use them to their full potential. For over a decade, multi-sensory marketing expert Russell Jones has been using the science of the senses to design products, brands and retail environments that tantalise our senses in revolutionary ways. In this incredible new book, Jones takes research from the worlds of neuroscience, experimental and behavioural psychology and beyond, and shows you how to live more multi-sensorially; paying attention to the sounds, scents, colours, objects, shapes and textures that constantly surround you, to profoundly impact and improve every aspect of your life. Whether it's helping you feel energised in the morning, get the most from your work-out, be efficient at the office, avoid getting caught in the traps of savvy retailers or creating the perfect sensory background to enjoy your food with. And, finally, he helps you have the most restful evening and night's sleep you possibly can. Sense is a fascinating and revelatory look at how you can use your senses in a way you never have before.