Book cover of Breathless: The Scientific Race to Defeat a Deadly Virus by David Quammen
Biological Sciences

Breathless: The Scientific Race to Defeat a Deadly Virus

The story of the worldwide scientific quest to decipher the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, trace its source, and make possible the vaccines to fight the Covid-19 pandemic.

Breathless is the story of SARS-CoV-2 and its fierce journey through the human population, as seen by the scientists who study its origin, its ever-changing nature, and its capacity to kill us. […Learn More]

Book cover of Visual Thinking: The Hidden Gifts of People Who Think in Pictures, Patterns, and Abstractions by Temple Grandin
Biological Sciences

Visual Thinking: The Hidden Gifts of People Who Think in Pictures, Patterns, and Abstractions 

A landmark book that reveals, celebrates, and advocates for the special minds and contributions of visual thinkers

A quarter of a century after her memoir, Thinking in Pictures, forever changed how the world understood autism, Temple Grandin—the “anthropologist on Mars,” as Oliver Sacks dubbed her—transforms our awareness of the different ways our brains are wired. Do you have a keen sense of direction, a love of puzzles, the ability to assemble furniture without crying? You are likely a visual thinker. […Learn More]

Book cover of Stolen Focus: Why You Can't Pay Attention--and How to Think Deeply Again by Johann Hari
Computers & Technology

Stolen Focus: Why You Can’t Pay Attention–and How to Think Deeply Again

In the United States, teenagers can focus on one task for only sixty-five seconds at a time, and office workers average only three minutes. Like so many of us, Johann Hari was finding that constantly switching from device to device and tab to tab was a diminishing and depressing way to live. He tried all sorts of self-help solutions—even abandoning his phone for three months—but nothing seemed to work. So Hari went on an epic journey across the world to interview the leading experts on human attention—and he discovered that everything we think we know about this crisis is wrong. […Learn More]

Book cover of An Immense World: How Animal Senses Reveal the Hidden Realms Around Us by Ed Yong
Biological Sciences

An Immense World: How Animal Senses Reveal the Hidden Realms Around Us

In An Immense World, Ed Yong coaxes us beyond the confines of our own senses, allowing us to perceive the skeins of scent, waves of electromagnetism, and pulses of pressure that surround us. We encounter beetles that are drawn to fires, turtles that can track the Earth’s magnetic fields, fish that fill rivers with electrical messages, and even humans who wield sonar like bats. We discover that a crocodile’s scaly face is as sensitive as a lover’s fingertips, that the eyes of a giant squid evolved to see sparkling whales, that plants thrum with the inaudible songs of courting bugs, and that even simple scallops have complex vision. […Learn More]

Book cover of The Rise and Reign of the Mammals: A New History, from the Shadow of the Dinosaurs to Us by Steve Brusatte
Biological Sciences

The Rise and Reign of the Mammals: A New History, from the Shadow of the Dinosaurs to Us

We humans are the inheritors of a dynasty that has reigned over the planet for nearly 66 million years, through fiery cataclysm and ice ages: the mammals. Our lineage includes saber-toothed tigers, woolly mammoths, armadillos the size of a car, cave bears three times the weight of a grizzly, clever scurriers that outlasted Tyrannosaurus rex, and even other types of humans, like Neanderthals. Indeed humankind and many of the beloved fellow mammals we share the planet with today—lions, whales, dogs—represent only the few survivors of a sprawling and astonishing family tree that has been pruned by time and mass extinctions. How did we get here? […Learn More]

Book cover of Eating to Extinction: The World's Rarest Foods and Why We Need to Save Them by Dan Saladino
Food & Wine

Eating to Extinction: The World’s Rarest Foods and Why We Need to Save Them

Dan Saladino’s Eating to Extinction is the prominent broadcaster’s pathbreaking tour of the world’s vanishing foods and his argument for why they matter now more than ever

Over the past several decades, globalization has homogenized what we eat, and done so ruthlessly. The numbers are stark: Of the roughly six thousand different plants once consumed by human beings, only nine remain major staples today. Just three of these—rice, wheat, and corn—now provide fifty percent of all our calories. Dig deeper and the trends are more worrisome still: […Learn More]