Recommendations for narrative non-fiction books I should pick up, new or older?
Book mentions in this thread
A Short History of Nearly Everything
by Bill BrysonThe author of A Walk in the Woods traces the Big Bang through the rise of civilization, documenting his work with a host of the world's most advanced scientists and mathematicians to explain why things are the way they are. Reprint. 125,000 first printing.
Killers of the Flower Moon
by David GrannWINNER OF THE EDGAR AWARD FOR BEST FACT CRIME SHORTLISTED FOR THE ANDREW CARNEGIE MEDAL FOR EXCELLENCE IN NON-FICTION SHORTLISTED FOR THE CWA ALCS GOLD DAGGER FOR NON-FICTION **SOON TO BE A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE DIRECTED BY MARTIN SCORSESE STARRING LEONARDO DICAPRIO AND ROBERT DE NIRO** ‘A riveting true story of greed, serial murder and racial injustice’ JON KRAKAUER ‘A fiercely entertaining mystery story and a wrenching exploration of evil’ KATE ATKINSON ‘A fascinating account of a tragic and forgotten chapter in the history of the American West’ JOHN GRISHAM From the bestselling author of The Lost City of Z, now a major film starring Charlie Hunnam, Sienna Miller and Robert Pattison, comes a true-life murder story which became one of the FBI’s first major homicide investigations. In the 1920s, the richest people per capita in the world were members of the Osage Indian nation in Oklahoma. After oil was discovered beneath their land, they rode in chauffeured automobiles, built mansions and sent their children to study in Europe. Then, one by one, the Osage began to be killed off. As the death toll climbed, the FBI took up the case. But the bureau badly bungled the investigation. In desperation, its young director, J. Edgar Hoover, turned to a former Texas Ranger named Tom White to unravel the mystery. Together with the Osage he and his undercover team began to expose one of the most chilling conspiracies in American history. ‘David Grann has a razor-keen instinct for suspense’ LOUISE ERDRICH
The Moment of Lift
by Melinda GatesA timely call to action for women's empowerment by the influential co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation identifies the link between women's equality and societal health, sharing uplifting insights by international advocates in the fight against gender bias. --Publisher
The Hot Zone
by Richard PrestonImagine a killer with the infectiousness of the common cold and power of the Black Death. Imagine something so deadly that it wipes out 90% of those it touches. Imagine an organism against which there is no defence. But you don't need to imagine. Such a killer exists: it is a virus and its name is Ebola. The Hot Zone tells what happens when the unthinkable becomes reality: when a deadly virus, from the rain forests of Africa, crosses continents and infects a monkey house ten miles from the White House. Ebola is that reality. It has the power to decimate the world's population. Try not to panic. It will be back. There is nothing you can do...
by AkalaSHORTLISTED FOR THE JAMES TAIT BLACK PRIZE | THE JHALAK PRIZE | THE BREAD AND ROSES AWARD & LONGLISTED FOR THE ORWELL PRIZE FOR POLITICAL WRITING 'This is the book I've been waiting for - for years. It's personal,historical,political, and it speaks to where we are now' Benjamin Zephaniah 'I recommend Natives to everyone' Candice Carty-Williams From the first time he was stopped and searched as a child,to the day he realised his mum was white,to his first encounters with racist teachers - race and class have shaped Akala's life and outlook. In this unique book he takes his own experiences and widens them out to look at the social, historical and political factors that have left us where we are today. Covering everything from the police,education and identity to politics,sexual objectification and the far right, Nativesspeaks directly to British denial and squeamishness when it comes to confronting issues of race and class that are at the heart of the legacy of Britain's racialised empire. Natives is the searing modern polemic and Sunday Times bestseller from the BAFTA and MOBO award-winning musician and political commentator, Akala. 'The kind of disruptive,aggressive intellect that a new generation is closely watching' Afua Hirsch, Observer 'Part biography,part polemic,this powerful,wide-ranging study picks apart the British myth of meritocracy' David Olusoga, Guardian 'Inspiring' Madani Younis, Guardian 'Lucid,wide-ranging' John Kerrigan, TLS 'A potent combination of autobiography and political history which holds up a mirror to contemporary Britain' Independent 'Trenchant and highly persuasive' Metro 'A history lesson of the kind you should get in school but don't' Stylist
by Bill BrowderExpelled from Russia after exposing corruption in Russian companies, an investment broker describes how his attorney was detained, tortured and beaten to death for testifying against Russian law enforcement officers who stole millions in taxes paid to the government. Illustrations. Tour.
The Bastard Brigade
by Sam KeanScientists have always kept secrets. But rarely in history have scientific secrets been as vital as they were during World War II. In the midst of planning the Manhattan Project, the U.S. Office of Strategic Services created a secret offshoot - the Alsos Mission - meant to gather intelligence on and sabotage if necessary, scientific research by the Axis powers. What resulted was a plot worthy of the finest thriller, full of spies, sabotage, and murder. At its heart was the 'Lightning A' team, a group of intrepid soldiers, scientists, and spies - and even a famed baseball player - who were given almost free rein to get themselves embedded within the German scientific community to stop the most terrifying threat of the war: Hitler acquiring an atomic bomb of his very own. While the Manhattan Project and other feats of scientific genius continue to inspire us today, few people know about the international intrigue and double-dealing that accompanied those breakthroughs. The Bastard Brigade recounts this forgotten history, fusing a non-fiction spy thriller with some of the most incredible scientific ventures of all time.
Catch and Kill
by Ronan FarrowIn this instant New York Times bestselling account of violence and espionage, Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter Ronan Farrow exposes serial abusers and a cabal of powerful interests hell-bent on covering up the truth, at any cost. In 2017, a routine network television investigation led Ronan Farrow to a story only whispered about: one of Hollywood's most powerful producers was a predator, protected by fear, wealth, and a conspiracy of silence. As Farrow drew closer to the truth, shadowy operatives, from high-priced lawyers to elite war-hardened spies, mounted a secret campaign of intimidation, threatening his career, following his every move, and weaponizing an account of abuse in his own family. All the while, Farrow and his producer faced a degree of resistance they could not explain -- until now. And a trail of clues revealed corruption and cover-ups from Hollywood to Washington and beyond. This is the untold story of the exotic tactics of surveillance and intimidation deployed by wealthy and connected men to threaten journalists, evade accountability, and silence victims of abuse. And it's the story of the women who risked everything to expose the truth and spark a global movement. Both a spy thriller and a meticulous work of investigative journalism, Catch and Kill breaks devastating new stories about the rampant abuse of power and sheds far-reaching light on investigations that shook our culture. INDIE BOUND #1 BESTSELLERUSA TODAY BESTSELLERWALL STREET JOURNAL BESTSELLER
by A. S. BarwichA pioneering exploration of olfaction that upsets settled notions of how the brain translates sensory information. Decades of cognition research have shown that external stimuli "spark" neural patterns in particular regions of the brain. This has fostered a view of the brain as a space that we can map: here the brain responds to faces, there it perceives a sensation in your left hand. But it turns out that the sense of smell--only recently attracting broader attention in neuroscience--doesn't work this way. A. S. Barwich asks a deceptively simple question: What does the nose tell the brain, and how does the brain understand it? Barwich interviews experts in neuroscience, psychology, chemistry, and perfumery in an effort to understand the biological mechanics and myriad meanings of odors. She argues that it is time to stop recycling ideas based on the paradigm of vision for the olfactory system. Scents are often fickle and boundless in comparison with visual images, and they do not line up with well-defined neural regions. Although olfaction remains a puzzle, Barwich proposes that what we know suggests the brain acts not only like a map but also as a measuring device, one that senses and processes simple and complex odors. Accounting for the sense of smell upsets theories of perception philosophers have developed. In their place, Smellosophy articulates a new model for understanding how the brain represents sensory information.
by John Carreyrou'I couldn’t put down this thriller . . . the perfect book to read by the fire this winter.' Bill Gates, '5 books I loved in 2018' WINNER OF THE FINANCIAL TIMES/MCKINSEY BUSINESS BOOK OF THE YEAR AWARD 2018 The full inside story of the breathtaking rise and shocking collapse of Theranos, the multibillion-dollar biotech startup, by the prize-winning journalist who first broke the story and pursued it to the end, despite pressure from its charismatic CEO and threats by her lawyers. In 2014, Theranos founder and CEO Elizabeth Holmes was widely seen as the female Steve Jobs: a brilliant Stanford dropout whose startup "unicorn" promised to revolutionize the medical industry with a machine that would make blood testing significantly faster and easier. Backed by investors such as Larry Ellison and Tim Draper, Theranos sold shares in a fundraising round that valued the company at more than $9 billion, putting Holmes's worth at an estimated $4.7 billion. There was just one problem: The technology didn't work. In Bad Blood, John Carreyrou tells the riveting story of the biggest corporate fraud since Enron, a tale of ambition and hubris set amid the bold promises of Silicon Valley. Now to be adapted into a film, with Jennifer Lawrence to star. 'Chilling . . . Reads like a West Coast version of All the President’s Men.' New York Times Book Review
by Jane MayerLONG-LISTED FOR THE 2016 GOODREADS CHOICE AWARDS, BEST NONFICTION Why is America living in an age of profound economic inequality? Why, despite the desperate need to address climate change, have even modest environmental efforts been defeated again and again? Why have protections for employees been decimated? Why do hedge-fund billionaires pay a far lower tax rate than middle-class workers? The conventional answer is that a popular uprising against ‘big government’ led to the rise of a broad-based conservative movement. But as Jane Mayer shows in this powerful, meticulously reported history, a network of exceedingly wealthy people with extreme libertarian views also played a key role by bankrolling a systematic, step-by-step plan to fundamentally alter the American political system. Jane Mayer spent five years conducting hundreds of interviews-including with several sources within the network-and scoured public records, private papers, and court proceedings in reporting this book. In a taut and utterly convincing narrative, she traces the byzantine trail of the billions of dollars spent by the network and provides vivid portraits of the colourful figures behind the new American oligarchy. Dark Money is a book that must be read by anyone who cares about the future of American democracy. PRAISE FOR JANE MAYER ‘Indispensable.’ The Guardian ‘Persuasive, timely and necessary.’ The New York Times
Tuesdays with Morrie
by Mitch AlbomMaybe it was a grandparent, or a teacher or a colleague? Someone older, patient and wise, who understood you when you were young and searching, and gave you sound advice to help you make your way through it? For Mitch Albom, that person was Morrie Schwartz, his college professor from nearly twenty years ago. Maybe, like Mitch, you lost track of this mentor as you made your way, and the insights faded. Wouldn't you like to see that person again, ask the bigger questions that still haunt you? Mitch Albom had that second chance. He rediscovered Morrie in the last months of the older man's life. Knowing he was dying of ALS - or motor neurone disease - Mitch visited Morrie in his study every Tuesday, just as they used to back in college. Their rekindled relationship turned into one final 'class': lessons in how to live. TUESDAYS WITH MORRIE is a magical chronicle of their time together, through which Mitch shares Morrie's lasting gift with the world. Praise for Tuesdays with Morrie: 'This is a true story that shines and leaves you forever warmed by its afterglow' Amy Tan 'A moving tribute to embracing life' Glasgow Herald 'An extraordinary contribution to the literature of death' Boston Globe 'A beautifully written book of great clarity and wisdom that lovingly captures the simplicity beyond life's complexities' M Scott Peck
by Adam ToozeA New York Times Notable Book of 2018. Winner of the 2019 Lionel Gelber Prize 'Majestic, informative and often delightful ... insights on every page' Yanis Varoufakis, Observer The definitive history of the Great Financial Crisis, from the acclaimed author of The Deluge and The Wages of Destruction. In September 2008 the Great Financial Crisis, triggered by the collapse of Lehman brothers, shook the world. A decade later its spectre still haunts us. As the appalling scope and scale of the crash was revealed, the financial institutions that had symbolised the West's triumph since the end of the Cold War, seemed - through greed, malice and incompetence - to be about to bring the entire system to its knees. Crashed is a brilliantly original and assured analysis of what happened and how we were rescued from something even worse - but at a price which continues to undermine democracy across Europe and the United States. Gnawing away at our institutions are the many billions of dollars which were conjured up to prevent complete collapse. Over and over again, the end of the crisis has been announced, but it continues to hound us - whether in Greece or Ukraine, whether through Brexit or Trump. Adam Tooze follows the trail like no previous writer and has written a book compelling as history, as economic analysis and as political horror story.
The Spy and the Traitor
by Ben MacintyreThe son of two KGB agents and the product of the best Soviet institutions, Oleg Gordievsky grew to see his nation's communism as both criminal and philistine. He took his first posting for Russian intelligence in 1968 and became the Soviet Union's top man in London, but from 1973 on he was secretly working for MI6. Desperate to keep the circle of trust close, MI6 never revealed Gordievsky's name to its counterparts in the CIA, which in turn grew obsessed with figuring out the identity of Britain's obviously top-level source. The CIA officer assigned to identify him was Aldrich Ames, who would become infamous for secretly spying for the Soviets. -- adapted from jacket.
The Other Side of Success
by Martin SawaThe son of immigrants chases the California Dream in the world of real estate megadeals. Nearly thirty, broke, and with a newborn daughter in tow, Martin Sawa quits his dead-end job and vows to fulfill the aspirations of his Ukrainian parents. Thus begins a relentless pursuit of financial success in the high-stakes world of commercial real estate. Navigating the skyscrapers of San Francisco and the gritty streets of Oakland, Sawa is on the verge of making it. But his world comes crashing down around him when he suffers a devastating personal loss, causing him to reevaluate the meaning of success. In the years before and after the new millennium, Sawa takes the reader through a time of sweeping technological, social, and political change in California. While grappling with apex predators on nine-figure deals in San Francisco real estate, he rides the entrepreneurial roller coaster of prosperity and ruin. Scrambling between boardrooms and juke joints, between priests and psychics, he sets out to realize the deal of a lifetime. The Other Side of Success is the unvarnished account of one man's search for meaning as his professional life is constantly challenged by the impact of love, family, religion, and race. In this intimate memoir, Sawa strives to find home in the truest sense, while struggling with the unforeseen costs of making it.
The Boys in the Boat
by Daniel James BrownTraces the story of an American rowing team from the University of Washington that defeated elite rivals at Hitler's 1936 Berlin Olympics, sharing the experiences of such contributors as their enigmatic coach, a visionary boat builder and a homeless teen rower. By the author of Under a Flaming Sky. Reprint.
by Hilary MantelAssuming the power recently lost by the disgraced Cardinal Wolsey, Thomas Cromwell counsels a mercurial Henry VIII on the latter's efforts to marry Anne Boleyn against the wishes of Rome and many of his people, a successful endeavor that comes with a dangerous price. By the Hawthornden Prize-winning author of Eight Months on Ghazzah Street. 40,000 first printing.
by William DalrympleFrom the bestselling author of Return of a King, the story of how the East India Company took over large swaths of Asia, and the devastating results of the corporation running a country. In August 1765, the East India Company defeated the young Mughal emperor and set up, in his place, a government run by English traders who collected taxes through means of a private army. The creation of this new government marked the moment that the East India Company ceased to be a conventional company and became something much more unusual: an international corporation transformed into an aggressive colonial power. Over the course of the next 47 years, the company's reach grew until almost all of India south of Delhi was effectively ruled from a boardroom in the city of London. The Anarchy tells one of history's most remarkable stories: how the Mughal Empire-which dominated world trade and manufacturing and possessed almost unlimited resources-fell apart and was replaced by a multinational corporation based thousands of miles overseas, and answerable to shareholders, most of whom had never even seen India and no idea about the country whose wealth was providing their dividends. Using previously untapped sources, Dalrymple tells the story of the East India Company as it has never been told before and provides a portrait of the devastating results from the abuse of corporate power.
The Handmaid's Tale
by Margaret AtwoodKey Features: Study methods Introduction to the text Summaries with critical notes Themes and techniques Textual analysis of key passages Author biography Historical and literary background Modern and historical critical approaches Chronology Glossary of literary terms
My Promised Land
by Ari ShavitAn influential columnist from the Israeli newspaper Haaretz presents a groundbreaking examination of Israel that traces the events that led the country to its current state of conflict through the stories of everyday citizens to illuminate the importance of lesser-known historical events.
by Steven PinkerINSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER A NEW YORK TIMES NOTABLE BOOK OF 2018 ONE OF THE ECONOMIST'S BOOKS OF THE YEAR AND A PERFECT HOLIDAY GIFT "My new favorite book of all time." --Bill Gates If you think the world is coming to an end, think again: people are living longer, healthier, freer, and happier lives, and while our problems are formidable, the solutions lie in the Enlightenment ideal of using reason and science. Is the world really falling apart? Is the ideal of progress obsolete? In this elegant assessment of the human condition in the third millennium, cognitive scientist and public intellectual Steven Pinker urges us to step back from the gory headlines and prophecies of doom, which play to our psychological biases. Instead, follow the data: In seventy-five jaw-dropping graphs, Pinker shows that life, health, prosperity, safety, peace, knowledge, and happiness are on the rise, not just in the West, but worldwide. This progress is not the result of some cosmic force. It is a gift of the Enlightenment: the conviction that reason and science can enhance human flourishing. Far from being a naïve hope, the Enlightenment, we now know, has worked. But more than ever, it needs a vigorous defense. The Enlightenment project swims against currents of human nature--tribalism, authoritarianism, demonization, magical thinking--which demagogues are all too willing to exploit. Many commentators, committed to political, religious, or romantic ideologies, fight a rearguard action against it. The result is a corrosive fatalism and a willingness to wreck the precious institutions of liberal democracy and global cooperation. With intellectual depth and literary flair, Enlightenment Now makes the case for reason, science, and humanism: the ideals we need to confront our problems and continue our progress.
The Ministry for the Future
by Kim Stanley Robinson"From legendary science fiction author Kim Stanley Robinson comes a vision of climate change unlike any ever imagined. Kim Stanley Robinson is one of contemporary science fiction's most acclaimed writers, and with this new novel, he once again turns his eye to themes of climate change, technology, politics, and the human behaviors that drive these forces. But his setting is not a desolate, post-apocalyptic world--rather, he imagines a more hopeful future, one where humanity has managed to overcome our challenges and thrive. It is a novel both immediate and impactful, perfect for his many fans and for readers who crave powerful and thought-provoking sci-fi stories"--
A Promised Land
by Barack ObamaIn this anticipated first volume of his presidential memoirs, Barack Obama tells the story of his improbable odyssey from young man searching for his identity to leader of the free world, describing in personal detail both his political education and the landmark moments of the first term of his historic presidency--a time of dramatic transformation and turmoil.
Midnight in Chernobyl
by Adam HigginbothamA New York Times Best Book of the Year A Time Best Book of the Year A Kirkus Reviews Best Nonfiction Book of the Year 2020 Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence Finalist One of NPR’s Best Books of 2019 Journalist Adam Higginbotham’s definitive, years-in-the-making account of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant disaster—and a powerful investigation into how propaganda, secrecy, and myth have obscured the true story of one of the twentieth century’s greatest disasters. Early in the morning of April 26, 1986, Reactor Number Four of the Chernobyl Atomic Energy Station exploded, triggering history’s worst nuclear disaster. In the thirty years since then, Chernobyl has become lodged in the collective nightmares of the world: shorthand for the spectral horrors of radiation poisoning, for a dangerous technology slipping its leash, for ecological fragility, and for what can happen when a dishonest and careless state endangers its citizens and the entire world. But the real story of the accident, clouded from the beginning by secrecy, propaganda, and misinformation, has long remained in dispute. Drawing on hundreds of hours of interviews conducted over the course of more than ten years, as well as letters, unpublished memoirs, and documents from recently-declassified archives, Adam Higginbotham has written a harrowing and compelling narrative which brings the disaster to life through the eyes of the men and women who witnessed it firsthand. The result is a masterful nonfiction thriller, and the definitive account of an event that changed history: a story that is more complex, more human, and more terrifying than the Soviet myth. Midnight in Chernobyl is an indelible portrait of one of the great disasters of the twentieth century, of human resilience and ingenuity, and the lessons learned when mankind seeks to bend the natural world to his will—lessons which, in the face of climate change and other threats, remain not just vital but necessary.
Under the Banner of Heaven
by Jon KrakauerTraces the events that surrounded the 1984 murder of a woman and her child by fundamentalist Mormons Ron and Dan Lafferty, exploring the belief systems and traditions, including polygamy, that mark the faith's most extreme factions and what their practices reflect about the nature of religion in America. Reader's Guide available. Reprint. 300,000 first printing.
Born a Crime
by Trevor Noah#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER * The compelling, inspiring, and comically sublime story of one man's coming-of-age, set during the twilight of apartheid and the tumultuous days of freedom that followed NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY Michiko Kakutani, New York Times * USA Today * San Francisco Chronicle * NPR * Esquire * Newsday * Booklist Trevor Noah's unlikely path from apartheid South Africa to the desk of The Daily Show began with a criminal act: his birth. Trevor was born to a white Swiss father and a black Xhosa mother at a time when such a union was punishable by five years in prison. Living proof of his parents' indiscretion, Trevor was kept mostly indoors for the earliest years of his life, bound by the extreme and often absurd measures his mother took to hide him from a government that could, at any moment, steal him away. Finally liberated by the end of South Africa's tyrannical white rule, Trevor and his mother set forth on a grand adventure, living openly and freely and embracing the opportunities won by a centuries-long struggle. Born a Crime is the story of a mischievous young boy who grows into a restless young man as he struggles to find himself in a world where he was never supposed to exist. It is also the story of that young man's relationship with his fearless, rebellious, and fervently religious mother--his teammate, a woman determined to save her son from the cycle of poverty, violence, and abuse that would ultimately threaten her own life. The stories collected here are by turns hilarious, dramatic, and deeply affecting. Whether subsisting on caterpillars for dinner during hard times, being thrown from a moving car during an attempted kidnapping, or just trying to survive the life-and-death pitfalls of dating in high school, Trevor illuminates his curious world with an incisive wit and unflinching honesty. His stories weave together to form a moving and searingly funny portrait of a boy making his way through a damaged world in a dangerous time, armed only with a keen sense of humor and a mother's unconventional, unconditional love. Praise for Born a Crime "[A] compelling new memoir . . . By turns alarming, sad and funny, [Trevor Noah's] book provides a harrowing look, through the prism of Mr. Noah's family, at life in South Africa under apartheid. . . . Born a Crime is not just an unnerving account of growing up in South Africa under apartheid, but a love letter to the author's remarkable mother."--Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times "[An] unforgettable memoir."--Parade "What makes Born a Crime such a soul-nourishing pleasure, even with all its darker edges and perilous turns, is reading Noah recount in brisk, warmly conversational prose how he learned to negotiate his way through the bullying and ostracism. . . . What also helped was having a mother like Patricia Nombuyiselo Noah. . . . Consider Born a Crime another such gift to her--and an enormous gift to the rest of us."--USA Today "[Noah] thrives with the help of his astonishingly fearless mother. . . . Their fierce bond makes this story soar."--People
by Robert KursonRecounts the 1991 discovery of a sunken German U-boat by two recreational scuba divers, tracing how they devoted the following six years to researching the identities of the submarine and its crew, correcting historical texts, and breaking new grounds in the world of diving along the way. Reprint. 200,000 first printing.
The River of Doubt
by Candice MillardAt once an incredible adventure narrative and a penetrating biographical portrait, The River of Doubt is the true story of Theodore Roosevelt’s harrowing exploration of one of the most dangerous rivers on earth. The River of Doubt—it is a black, uncharted tributary of the Amazon that snakes through one of the most treacherous jungles in the world. Indians armed with poison-tipped arrows haunt its shadows; piranhas glide through its waters; boulder-strewn rapids turn the river into a roiling cauldron. After his humiliating election defeat in 1912, Roosevelt set his sights on the most punishing physical challenge he could find, the first descent of an unmapped, rapids-choked tributary of the Amazon. Together with his son Kermit and Brazil’s most famous explorer, Cândido Mariano da Silva Rondon, Roosevelt accomplished a feat so great that many at the time refused to believe it. In the process, he changed the map of the western hemisphere forever. Along the way, Roosevelt and his men faced an unbelievable series of hardships, losing their canoes and supplies to punishing whitewater rapids, and enduring starvation, Indian attack, disease, drowning, and a murder within their own ranks. Three men died, and Roosevelt was brought to the brink of suicide. The River of Doubt brings alive these extraordinary events in a powerful nonfiction narrative thriller that happens to feature one of the most famous Americans who ever lived. From the soaring beauty of the Amazon rain forest to the darkest night of Theodore Roosevelt’s life, here is Candice Millard’s dazzling debut.
by Yuval Noah HarariOne hundred thousand 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, Professor 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, paleontology, and economics, and incorporating full-color illustrations throughout the text, 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 behavior from the legacy 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 integrates history and science to challenge everything we thought we knew about being human: our thoughts, our actions, our heritage...and our future.
The Fifth Risk
by Michael Lewis'Will set your hair on end' Telegraph, Top 50 Books of the Year 'Life is what happens between Michael Lewis books. I forgot to breathe while reading The Fifth Risk' Michael Hofmann, TLS, Books of the Year The phenomenal new book from the international bestselling author of The Big Short 'The election happened ... And then there was radio silence.' The morning after Trump was elected president, the people who ran the US Department of Energy - an agency that deals with some of the most powerful risks facing humanity - waited to welcome the incoming administration's transition team. Nobody appeared. Across the US government, the same thing happened: nothing. People don't notice when stuff goes right. That is the stuff government does. It manages everything that underpins our lives from funding free school meals, to policing rogue nuclear activity, to predicting extreme weather events. It steps in where private investment fears to tread, innovates and creates knowledge, assesses extreme long-term risk. And now, government is under attack. By its own leaders. In The Fifth Risk, Michael Lewis reveals the combustible cocktail of wilful ignorance and venality that is fuelling the destruction of a country's fabric. All of this, Lewis shows, exposes America and the world to the biggest risk of all. It is what you never learned that might have saved you.
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
by Rebecca SklootDocuments the story of how scientists took cells from an unsuspecting descendant of freed slaves and created a human cell line that has been kept alive indefinitely, enabling discoveries in such areas as cancer research, in vitro fertilization and gene mapping. Includes reading-group guide. Reprint. A best-selling book.
Hidden Valley Road
by Robert KolkerThe heartrending story of a midcentury American family with twelve children, six of them diagnosed with schizophrenia, that became science's great hope in the quest to understand the disease. Don and Mimi Galvin seemed to be living the American dream. After World War II, Don's work with the Air Force brought them to Colorado, where their twelve children perfectly spanned the baby boom: the oldest born in 1945, the youngest in 1965. In those years, there was an established script for a family like the Galvins--aspiration, hard work, upward mobility, domestic harmony--and they worked hard to play their parts. But behind the scenes was a different story: psychological breakdown, sudden shocking violence, hidden abuse. By the mid-1970s, six of the ten Galvin boys, one after the other, were diagnosed as schizophrenic. How could all this happen to one family? What took place inside the house on Hidden Valley Road was so extraordinary that the Galvins became one of the first families to be studied by the National Institutes of Mental Health. Their story offers a shadow history of the science of schizophrenia, from the era of institutionalization, lobotomy, and the schizophrenogenic mother, to the search for genetic markers for the disease, always amidst profound disagreements about the nature of the illness itself. And unbeknownst to the Galvins, samples of their DNA informed decades of genetic research that continues today, offering paths to treatment, prediction, and even eradication of the disease for future generations. With clarity and compassion, bestselling and award-winning author Robert Kolker uncovers one family's unforgettable legacy of suffering, love and hope.