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.

Sex, Drugs & Rock n Roll The Science of Hedonism and the Hedonism of Science

Sex, Drugs & Rock n Roll The Science of Hedonism and the Hedonism of Science

Author: Zoe Cormier Format: Paperback Release Date: 06/08/2015

How can wordless collections of sounds send shivers down our spines and tickle ancient parts of our brains we share with reptiles? How did a chemist's quest to create a drug to ease the pain of childbirth result in the creation of LSD? Why do goats partake in oral sex, and how can a horse (or even a table) make us weak in the knees? And how on earth could the revered 'father of anatomy' not know where the clitoris was? From tortoiseshell condoms to superstar athletes on hallucinogens, these burning questions are explored and dissected, mixed with insights from some of the world's bravest, cleverest and downright weirdest scientist experimenting on the edge - and themselves. It's a sharp shocker, an eye opener, asking the big questions about what it means to be human, about consciousness and happiness. It'll pull you in and gross out.

Your Mental Health Workout

Your Mental Health Workout

Author: Zoë Aston Format: Ebook Release Date: 13/05/2021

Your Mental Health Workout focuses on giving your mind some attention, in the same way you might change your eating or exercise habits to get physically fitter. Think of it as the mental health equivalent of a five-week gym membership, focusing on your thoughts and feelings and how you respond to them. The book was very easy to navigate, with weekly checklists and planners at the beginning to keep me on track (printable copies are available from the author’s website). Everything in the book is very practical and explained in simple terms and a friendly tone. I loved the way Zoe Aston, a psychotherapist, approaches a mental health workout in the same way we would approach a physical one – setting goals, warming up, weekly workouts and daily workouts – with easy exercises to build ‘mental muscle’. There’s even an additional chapter on ‘Physio for your feelings’. A fun and informative way to look after my mental health and keep stress and anxiety at bay. 

eBooks of the Month
Sapiens A Brief History of Humankind

Sapiens A Brief History of Humankind

Author: Yuval Noah Harari Format: Audiobook Release Date: 05/07/2018

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 kingdoms? How did we come to believe in gods, nations and human rights; to trust money, books and laws; and to be enslaved by bureaucracy, timetables and consumerism? And what will our world be like in the millennia to come? In Sapiens, Dr Yuval Noah Harari spans the whole of human history, from the very first humans to walk the earth to the radical - and sometimes devastating - breakthroughs of the Cognitive, Agricultural and Scientific Revolutions. Drawing on insights from biology, anthropology, palaeontology and economics, he explores how the currents of history have shaped our human societies, the animals and plants around us, and even our personalities. Have we become happier as history has unfolded? Can we ever free our behaviour from the heritage of our ancestors? And what, if anything, can we do to influence the course of the centuries to come? Bold, wide-ranging and provocative, Sapiens challenges everything we thought we knew about being human: our thoughts, our actions, our power ...and our future.

Audiobooks of the Month
Homo Deus A Brief History of Tomorrow

Homo Deus A Brief History of Tomorrow

Author: Yuval Noah Harari Format: Hardback Release Date: 08/09/2016

Yuval. Homo Deus explores the projects, dreams and nightmares that will shape the twenty-first century - from overcoming death to creating artificial life. It asks the fundamental questions: Where do we go from here? And how will we protect this fragile world from our own destructive powers? This is the next stage of evolution. This is Homo Deus. War is obsolete. You are more likely to commit suicide than be killed in conflict. Famine is disappearing. You are at more risk of obesity than starvation. Death is just a technical problem. Equality is out - but immortality is in. What does our future hold?

eBooks of the Month
The Marshmallow Test Understanding Self-control and How to Master it

The Marshmallow Test Understanding Self-control and How to Master it

Author: Walter Mischel Format: Hardback Release Date: 25/09/2014

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 'marshmallow test,' one of the most famous experiments in the history of psychology, proved that the ability to delay gratification is critical to living a successful and fulfilling life: self-control not only predicts higher marks in school, better social and cognitive functioning, and a greater sense of self-worth; it also helps us manage stress, pursue goals more effectively, and cope with painful emotions. But is willpower prewired, or can it be taught? In his groundbreaking new book, Dr. Mischel draws on decades of compelling research and life examples to explore the nature of willpower, identifying the cognitive skills and mental mechanisms that enable it and showing how these can be applied to challenges in everyday life - from weight control to quitting smoking, overcoming heartbreak, making major decisions, and planning for retirement. With profound implications for the choices we make in parenting, education, public policy and self-care, The Marshmallow Test will change the way we think about who we are and what we can be. And since, as Mischel argues, a life with too much self-control can be as unfulfilling as one with too little, this book will also teach you when it's time to ring the bell and enjoy that marshmallow.

The Marshmallow Test Understanding Self-Control and How to Master it

The Marshmallow Test Understanding Self-Control and How to Master it

Author: Walter Mischel Format: Paperback Release Date: 10/09/2015

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 'marshmallow test,' one of the most famous experiments in the history of psychology, proved that the ability to delay gratification is critical to living a successful and fulfilling life: self-control not only predicts higher marks in school, better social and cognitive functioning, and a greater sense of self-worth; it also helps us manage stress, pursue goals more effectively, and cope with painful emotions. But is willpower prewired, or can it be taught? In his groundbreaking new book, Dr. Mischel draws on decades of compelling research and life examples to explore the nature of willpower, identifying the cognitive skills and mental mechanisms that enable it and showing how these can be applied to challenges in everyday life - from weight control to quitting smoking, overcoming heartbreak, making major decisions, and planning for retirement. With profound implications for the choices we make in parenting, education, public policy and self-care, The Marshmallow Test will change the way we think about who we are and what we can be. And since, as Mischel argues, a life with too much self-control can be as unfulfilling as one with too little, this book will also teach you when it's time to ring the bell and enjoy that marshmallow.

eBooks of the Month
Rebugging the Planet

Rebugging the Planet

Author: Vicki Hird Format: Paperback Release Date: 16/09/2021

Imbued with infectious personal passion as it shares expert information and plenty of practical guidance, Vicki Hird’s Rebugging the Planet is a brilliant book for bug-lovers of all ages and, given bugs’ vital importance to the upkeep and well-being of Planet Earth (let’s pause for a moment to acknowledge the fact that bees contribute more to the UK economy than the Queen), it deserves to be enjoyed and implemented far and wide - at home, and in classrooms too. In fact, this is perfect for reading and implementing during longer holidays from school, or over the course of a term, especially chapter four which presents an extensive range of how-to ideas for re-bugging your own patch of the world. But back to the beginning. The book sets out its inspirational stall in the opening chapters by explaining all the vital things bugs do for us, among them pollinating plants, feeding birds, feeding humans, defending our food crops, cleaning our water, controlling pests, and healing us. Maggots, for example, can remove (munch) and disinfect rotting flesh, leeches can stop clots, and the honey made by bees has anti-inflammatory properties. To play a role in the author’s re-bugging initiative, readers might find themselves inspired to build a bug palace, buy bug-friendly food from bug-buddy farmers, and much more. This is packed with plenty of ways to live a bug-better life, which in turn means living on a better planet.

Forensics The Anatomy of Crime

Forensics The Anatomy of Crime

Author: Val McDermid Format: Hardback Release Date: 02/10/2014

February 2015 Non-Fiction Book of the Month. Forensics is the ultimate detective work and has a surprisingly long history with a Chinese textbook detailing forensic cases from as far back as the Thirteenth Century. Val McDermid turns from the fictional forensics to investigate the real thing, giving us a history of the science and the people who make the dead reveal their secrets.   Like for Like Reading Forensic Casebook: The Science of Crime Scene Investigation, N E Genge The Mammoth Book of New CSI Forensic Science in over 30 Crime Scene Investigations, Nigel Cawthorne   Click here to see Val McDermid talk about insect informants.   Click here to see Val McDermid talk about genetic fingerpints and Dr Crippen   Click here to see Val McDermid talk about the importance of humanity

eBooks of the Month
Forensics The Anatomy of Crime

Forensics The Anatomy of Crime

Author: Val McDermid Format: Hardback Release Date: 02/10/2014

October 2014 Non-Fiction Book of the Month. Forensics is the ultimate detective work and has a surprisingly long history with a Chinese textbook detailing forensic cases from as far back as the Thirteenth Century. Val McDermid turns from the fictional forensics to investigate the real thing, giving us a history of the science and the people who make the dead reveal their secrets   Like for Like Reading Forensic Casebook: The Science of Crime Scene Investigation, N E Genge The Mammoth Book of New CSI Forensic Science in over 30 Crime Scene Investigations, Nigel Cawthorne   Click here to see Val McDermid talk about insect informants.   Click here to see Val McDermid talk about genetic fingerpints and Dr Crippen   Click here to see Val McDermid talk about the importance of humanity

eBooks of the Month
Forensics The Anatomy of Crime

Forensics The Anatomy of Crime

Author: Val McDermid Format: Paperback Release Date: 05/02/2015

February 2015 Non-Fiction Book of the Month. Forensics is the ultimate detective work and has a surprisingly long history with a Chinese textbook detailing forensic cases from as far back as the Thirteenth Century. Val McDermid turns from the fictional forensics to investigate the real thing, giving us a history of the science and the people who make the dead reveal their secrets.   Like for Like Reading Forensic Casebook: The Science of Crime Scene Investigation, N E Genge The Mammoth Book of New CSI Forensic Science in over 30 Crime Scene Investigations, Nigel Cawthorne   Click here to see Val McDermid talk about insect informants.   Click here to see Val McDermid talk about genetic fingerpints and Dr Crippen   Click here to see Val McDermid talk about the importance of humanity

eBooks of the Month
Forensics The Anatomy of Crime

Forensics The Anatomy of Crime

Author: Val McDermid Format: Paperback Release Date: 05/02/2015

October 2014 Non-Fiction Book of the Month. Forensics is the ultimate detective work and has a surprisingly long history with a Chinese textbook detailing forensic cases from as far back as the Thirteenth Century. Val McDermid turns from the fictional forensics to investigate the real thing, giving us a history of the science and the people who make the dead reveal their secrets   Like for Like Reading Forensic Casebook: The Science of Crime Scene Investigation, N E Genge The Mammoth Book of New CSI Forensic Science in over 30 Crime Scene Investigations, Nigel Cawthorne   Click here to see Val McDermid talk about insect informants.   Click here to see Val McDermid talk about genetic fingerpints and Dr Crippen   Click here to see Val McDermid talk about the importance of humanity

eBooks of the Month
50 Maths Ideas You Really Need to Know

50 Maths Ideas You Really Need to Know

Author: Tony Crilly Format: Hardback Release Date: 31/07/2014

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 Need to Know, Professor Tony Crilly explains in 50 clear and concise essays the mathematical concepts - ancient and modern, theoretical and practical, everyday and esoteric - that allow us to understand and shape the world around us. Packed with diagrams, examples and anecdotes, this book is the perfect overview of this often daunting but always essential subject. For once, mathematics couldn't be simpler. Contents include: Origins of mathematics, from Egyptian fractions to Roman numerals; Pi and primes, Fibonacci numbers and the golden ratio; What calculus, statistics and algebra can actually do; The very real uses of imaginary numbers; The Big Ideas of relativity, Chaos theory, Fractals, Genetics and hyperspace; The reasoning behind Sudoku and code cracking, Lotteries and gambling, Money management and compound interest; Solving of Fermat's last theorem and the million-dollar question of the Riemann hypothesis.

eBooks of the Month