bookshelf by year

Radical Evolution: The Promise and Peril of Enhancing Our Minds, Our Bodies — and What It Means to Be Human

April 9, 2009
author |
Joel Garreau
year published |
2005

Washington Post reporter Garreau takes readers on a cross-country trip into the future as he interviews scientists and other thinkers grappling with the implications of our newfound—and, to some, frightening—knowledge of the genome. Highlighting what he calls “the Curve”—the rate of exponential change in technology—Garreau (Edge City: Life on the New Frontier) breaks the central part of his book into four scenarios. In “Heaven,” genetic engineering will… read more

The Empathic Civilization: The Race to Global Consciousness in a World in Crisis

July 8, 2010

The Empathic Civilization cover

author |
Jeremy Rifkin
year published |
2009

Amazon | Never has the world seemed so completely united-in the form of communication, commerce, and culture-and so savagely torn apart-in the form of war, financial meltdown, global warming, and even the migration of diseases.

No matter how much we put our minds to the task of meeting the challenges of a rapidly globalizing world, the human race seems to continually come up short, unable to muster the… read more

Shadows of the Mind: A Search for the Missing Science of Consciousness

July 16, 2010

Shadows of the Mind: A Search for the Missing Science of Consciousness

author |
Roger Penrose
year published |
1996

Amazon | A leading critic of artificial intelligence research returns to the attack, attempting to lay the groundwork for an analysis of the true nature of intelligence. Building on his arguments in The Emperor’s New Mind, Penrose (Mathematics/Oxford) begins by refuting the assertion that true intelligence can be attained–or even adequately simulated–by the strictly computational means to which current computers are ultimately limited. Much of his argument depends closely… read more

The Future of Aging: Pathways to Human Life Extension

December 28, 2010

futureofaging

author |
Gregory M. Fahy
year published |
2010

Amazon | Just as the health costs of aging threaten to bankrupt developed countries, this book makes the scientific case that a biological “bailout” could be on the way, and that human aging can be different in the future than it is today. Here 40 authors argue how our improving understanding of the biology of aging and selected technologies should enable the successful use of many different… read more

The Mind’s Eye

February 8, 2011

The Minds Eye cover

author |
Oliver Sacks
year published |
2010

Amazon | In The Mind’s Eye, Oliver Sacks tells the stories of people who are able to navigate the world and communicate with others despite losing what many of us consider indispensable senses and abilities: the power of speech, the capacity to recognize faces, the sense of three-dimensional space, the ability to read, the sense of sight. For all of these people, the challenge is to adapt to… read more

Visual Complexity: Mapping Patterns of Information

May 18, 2011

Visual Complexity book cover

author |
Manuel Lima
year published |
2011

Amazon | Our ability to generate information now far exceeds our capacity to understand it. Finding patterns and making meaningful connections inside complex data networks has emerged as one of the biggest challenges of the twenty-first century.

In recent years, designers, researchers, and scientists have begun employing an innovative mix of colors, symbols, graphics, algorithms, and interactivity to clarify, and often beautify, the clutter.

From… read more

How Pleasure Works: The New Science of Why We Like What We Like

July 6, 2011

How Pleasure Works book cover

author |
Paul Bloom
year published |
2011

Amazon | “Engaging, evocative. . . . [Bloom] is a supple, clear writer, and his parade of counterintuitive claims about pleasure is beguiling.” — NPR

Why is an artistic masterpiece worth millions more than a convincing forgery? Pleasure works in mysterious ways, as Paul Bloom reveals in this investigation of what we desire and why. Drawing on a wealth of surprising studies, Bloom investigates pleasures noble and… read more

The Instant Physicist: An Illustrated Guide

October 5, 2011

instantphysicist

author |
Richard A. Muller
year published |
2010

Amazon | Wine is radioactive? Organic foods have more poison in them than those grown with pesticides? Best-selling author Richard A. Muller enlightens us.

Richard A. Muller demonstrated in his recent bestseller, Physics for Future Presidents, that he has a unique talent for delivering the “aha” moment — making difficult topics accessible. In The Instant Physicist he shows his ability to entertain, too, by presenting the best of the scientific… read more

Theo Gray’s Mad Science: Experiments You Can do At Home – But Probably Shouldn’t

March 1, 2012

MadScience

author |
Theodore Gray
year published |
2011

Amazon | In Mad Science, Theodore Gray launches a toy rocket using the energy released from an Oreo cookie, ignites a phosphorus sun by suspending half a gram of white phosphorus in a globe filled with pure oxygen and creates a homemade hot tub by adding 500 pounds of quicklime to water. These are just a few of the 54 experiments included in this astonishing book that demonstrates essential scientific principles… read more

Amped: A Novel

June 4, 2012

amped

author |
Daniel H. Wilson
year published |
2012

Technology makes them superhuman. But mere mortals want them kept in their place. The New York Times bestselling author of Robopocalypse creates a stunning, near-future world where technology and humanity clash in surprising ways. The result? The perfect summer blockbuster.

As he did in Robopocalypse, Daniel Wilson masterfully envisions a frightening near-future world. In Amped, people are implanted with a device that makes them capable of… read more

Lorenzo and His Parents

November 5, 2012

lorenzo2

author |
Augusto Odone
year published |
2012

In 1984, six-year-old Lorenzo Odone was diagnosed with adrenoleukodystrophy — an incurable genetic disease which destroys the brains of young boys.

His parents, Augusto and Michaela, refused to give up hope and with great determination set out to research the disease and find a cure. Within only a couple of years they had discovered an oil which was able to halt the progress of the disease… read more

The Visioneers: How a Group of Elite Scientists Pursued Space Colonies, Nanotechnologies, and a Limitless Future

January 29, 2013

The Visioneers

author |
W. Patrick McCray
year published |
2012

In 1969, Princeton physicist Gerard O’Neill began looking outward to space colonies as the new frontier for humanity’s expansion. A decade later, Eric Drexler, an MIT-trained engineer, turned his attention to the molecular world as the place where society’s future needs could be met using self-replicating nanoscale machines. These modern utopians predicted that their technologies could transform society as humans mastered the ability to create new worlds, undertook atomic-scale… read more

The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Cognitive Science

July 9, 2013

Oxford Handbook

author |
Eric Margolis, Richard Samuels, Stephen P. Stich
year published |
2012

The philosophy of cognitive science is concerned with fundamental philosophical and theoretical questions connected to the sciences of the mind. How does the brain give rise to conscious experience? Does speaking a language change how we think? Is a genuinely intelligent computer possible? What features of the mind are innate? Advances in cognitive science have given philosophers important tools for addressing these sorts of questions; and cognitive scientists have,… read more

Neutrino Hunters: The Thrilling Chase for a Ghostly Particle to Unlock the Secrets of the Universe

January 7, 2014

book-neutrino-hunters

author |
Ray Jayawardhana
year published |
2013

A Publisher’s Weekly Best Science Book of the Season

An Amazon Best Book of the Month

A Book to Watch Out For in December, The New Yorker’s Page—Turner Blog

A Los Angeles Times Gift Guide Selection

One of the Best Physics Books of 2013, Cocktail Party Physics Blog, Scientific American

Detective thriller meets astrophysics in this adventure into neutrinos and the… read more

The Peripheral

March 31, 2014
author |
William Gibson
year published |
2014

William Gibson returns with his first novel since 2010’s New York Times–bestselling Zero History.

Where Flynne and her brother Burton live, jobs outside the drug business are rare. Fortunately, Burton has his veteran’s benefits, for neural damage he suffered from implants during his time in the USMC’s elite Haptic Recon force. Then one night Burton has to go out, but there’s a job he’s supposed to do—a job Flynne… read more

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