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  • London: A Traveller's Reader

    By Peter Ackroyd, Thomas Wright
    Authors:
    Peter Ackroyd, Thomas Wright
    Loved and hated in equal measure, London was for centuries the world's greatest city. Its streets, teeming with history, have always worn a variety of influences, reflecting the diverse crowds who have walked them. Its citizens have witnessed everything from pilgrimages, celebrations, acts of heroism and moments of religious contemplation to riots, executions, grisly murders and disastrous plagues and fires. Drawing on letters, diaries and memoirs of London's most interesting inhabitants and visitors, this anthology compiled by acclaimed historian Thomas Wright and with an introduction by Peter Ackroyd tells the story of the city from its earliest years.Here you will find John Evelyn's famous account of the Great Fire in 1666, Dickens's brilliant evocation of the Gordon Riots of 1780, an eyewitness description of the execution of Charles I, and Churchill's recollections of the Blitz. There are also less familiar, though no less vivid, excerpts, which provide an entertaining, sometimes risqué glimpse into the life, customs and morals of this great city.
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    Light

    By Kimberly Arcand, Megan Watzke
    Authors:
    Kimberly Arcand, Megan Watzke
    Light allows us to see everything around us, but humans can only see a sliver of all light, known as the electromagnetic spectrum. Here, Kim Arcand and Megan Watzke present the subject of light as never before. Organized along the order of the electromagnetic spectrum, each chapter focuses on a different type of light. From radio waves, harnessed for telecommunications, to X-rays, which let us peer inside the human body and view areas around black holes in deep space, Arcand and Watzke show us all the important ways light impacts us. An introductory chapter describes what light is and how it behaves, while hundreds of full-color photographs and illustrations demonstrate concepts and make for a stunning book that's a joy to read and browse.

    Life at the Speed of Light

    By J. Craig Venter
    Authors:
    J. Craig Venter
    In 2010, scientists led by J. Craig Venter became the first to successfully create 'synthetic life' -- putting humankind at the threshold of the most important and exciting phase of biological research, one that will enable us to actually write the genetic code for designing new species to help us adapt and evolve for long-term survival. The science of synthetic genomics will have a profound impact on human existence, including chemical and energy generation, health, clean water and food production, environmental control, and possibly even our evolution.In Life at the Speed of Light, Venter presents a fascinating and authoritative study of this emerging field from the inside -- detailing its origins, current challenges and controversies, and projected effects on our lives. This scientific frontier provides an opportunity to ponder anew the age-old question 'What is life?' and examine what we really mean by 'playing God'. Life at the Speed of Light is a landmark work, written by a visionary at the dawn of a new era of biological engineering.
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    Linked

    By Albert-laszlo Barabasi
    Authors:
    Albert-laszlo Barabasi
    A cocktail party. A terrorist cell. Ancient bacteria. An international conglomerate. All are networks, and all are a part of a surprising scientific revolution. In Linked , Albert-László Barabási, the nation's foremost expert in the new science of networks, takes us on an intellectual adventure to prove that social networks, corporations, and living organisms are more similar than previously thought. Barabási shows that grasping a full understanding of network science will someday allow us to design blue-chip businesses, stop the outbreak of deadly diseases, and influence the exchange of ideas and information. Just as James Gleick and the Erdos-Rényi model brought the discovery of chaos theory to the general public, Linked tells the story of the true science of the future and of experiments in statistical mechanics on the internet, all vital parts of what would eventually be called the Barabási-Albert model.

    The Louvre Art Deck

    By Anja Grebe, Erich Lessing
    Authors:
    Anja Grebe, Erich Lessing
    Based on Black Dog's best-selling book The Louvre: All the Paintings, this beautiful, informative card deck is the perfect way to experience the treasures of one of the most spectacular masterpiece collections in the world. The Louvre is the most visited museum in the world. The paintings of the Louvre constitute the richest and grandest collection of European art anywhere.Culled from Black Dog's best-selling book The Louvre: All the Paintings, The Louvre Art Deck distills into 100 6 3/8' x 6 3/8' cards the museum's most iconic and significant paintings. Also included are 10 other masterpieces like The Venus de Milo and I.M. Pei's Pyramid. On the front side of each card is a fullsize photograph of the painting, and on the back is text by art historian Anja Grebe on the key attributes of the work, what to look for when viewing the painting, the artist's inspirations and techniques, biographical information on the artist, and more.The cards are also fully annotated with the name of the painting and artist, the date of the work, the birth and death dates of the artist, the medium that was used, the size of the painting, the Louvre catalogue number, and the room in the Louvre in which the painting can be found.Perfect for students, art lovers, and armchair travelers alike, The Louvre Art Deck is a unique way to enjoy and learn about the greatest works of the great master artists.

    The Legend of Broken

    By Caleb Carr
    Authors:
    Caleb Carr
    Some years ago, a remarkable manuscript long rumoured to exist was discovered: The Legend of Broken. It tells of a prosperous fortress city, Broken, where order reigns at the point of a sword - even as scheming factions secretly vie for control of the surrounding kingdom. Meanwhile, outside the city's granite walls, an industrious tribe of exiles known as the Bane forages for sustenance in the wilds of Davon Wood.At every turn, the lives of Broken's defenders and its would-be destroyers intertwine until secretly, and under pressure from their people, four leaders unite. Together, they hope to exact a ruinous revenge on Broken, ushering in a day of reckoning when the mighty walls will be breached forever in a triumph of science over superstition.Breathtakingly profound and compulsively readable, Caleb Carr's long-awaited new book is an action-packed and enthralling masterpiece.
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    Life's Ratchet

    By Peter M. Hoffmann
    Authors:
    Peter M. Hoffmann
    Life is an enduring mystery. Yet, science tells us that living beings are merely sophisticated structures of lifeless molecules. If this view is correct, where do the seemingly purposeful motions of cells and organisms originate? In Life's Ratchet , physicist Peter M. Hoffmann locates the answer to this age-old question at the nanoscale.Below the calm, ordered exterior of a living organism lies microscopic chaos, or what Hoffmann calls the molecular storm,specialized molecules immersed in a whirlwind of colliding water molecules. Our cells are filled with molecular machines, which, like tiny ratchets, transform random motion into ordered activity, and create the purpose" that is the hallmark of life. Tiny electrical motors turn electrical voltage into motion, nanoscale factories custom-build other molecular machines, and mechanical machines twist, untwist, separate and package strands of DNA. The cell is like a city,an unfathomable, complex collection of molecular workers working together to create something greater than themselves.Life, Hoffman argues, emerges from the random motions of atoms filtered through these sophisticated structures of our evolved machinery. We are agglomerations of interacting nanoscale machines more amazing than anything in science fiction. Rather than relying on some mysterious life force" to drive them,as people believed for centuries,life's ratchets harness instead the second law of thermodynamics and the disorder of the molecular storm.Grounded in Hoffmann's own cutting-edge research, Life's Ratchet reveals the incredible findings of modern nanotechnology to tell the story of how the noisy world of atoms gives rise to life itself.

    Lives of the Planets

    By Richard Corfield
    Authors:
    Richard Corfield
    Lives of the Planets is a sweeping tour of our solar system, from the sun and demoted Pluto, to the Kuiper Belt and beyond the edge of the interstellar void. From the Neolithic computer that is Stonehenge to Galileo's telescope to Kepler's latest search for life on other planets, Richard Corfield deftly describes the colourful history of humanity's unfolding discovery of our solar system's secrets. In this era of unprecedented discovery, Lives of the Planets is a comprehensive survey of our growing knowledge and the history of how we got here.

    Learning From the Octopus

    By Rafe Sagarin
    Authors:
    Rafe Sagarin
    Despite the billions of dollars we've poured into foreign wars, homeland security, and disaster response, we are fundamentally no better prepared for the next terrorist attack or unprecedented flood than we were in 2001. Our response to catastrophe remains unchanged: add another step to airport security, another meter to the levee wall. This approach has proved totally ineffective: reacting to past threats and trying to predict future risks will only waste resources in our increasingly unpredictable world. In Learning from the Octopus , ecologist and security expert Rafe Sagarin rethinks the seemingly intractable problem of security by drawing inspiration from a surprising source: nature. Biological organisms have been living- and thriving- on a risk-filled planet for billions of years. Remarkably, they have done it without planning, predicting, or trying to perfect their responses to complex threats. Rather, they simply adapt to solve the challenges they continually face. Military leaders, public health officials, and business professionals would all like to be more adaptable, but few have figured out how. Sagarinargues that we can learn from observing how nature is organized, how organisms learn, how they create partnerships, and how life continually diversifies on this unpredictable planet. As soon as we dip our toes into a cold Pacific tidepool and watch what we thought was a rock turn into an octopus, jetting away in a cloud of ink, we can begin to see the how human adaptability can mimic natural adaptation. The same mechanisms that enabled the octopus's escape also allow our immune system to ward off new infectious diseases, helped soldiers in Iraq to recognize the threat of IEDs, and aided Google in developing faster ways to detect flu outbreaks. While we will never be able to predict the next earthquake, terrorist attack, or market fluctuation, nature can guide us in developing security systems that are not purely reactive but proactive, holistic, and adaptable. From the tidepools of Monterey to the mountains of Kazakhstan, Sagarin takes us on an eye-opening tour of the security challenges we face, and shows us how we might learn to respond more effectively to the unknown threats lurking in our future.

    London - The Panoramas

    By Mark Denton
    Authors:
    Mark Denton
    Unique panoramic views in true perspective.Shot entirely with a classic panoramic camera, Mark Denton's distinctive photography reveals some of the finest ever wide views of London. This new, revised and updated edition, offers a unique introductions to the city's spectacular architecture and heritage.The majority of the images are taken in the magic hours of dusk and dawn, offering new interpretations of the most recognisable landmarks. Having water determinedly as long as it took to achieve the perfect light and weather conditions, Denton has succeeded in bringing an entirely new perspective to his portraits of this city.Among the extraordinary views here are the high level vistas from Tower 42, the Monuments, the Park Lane Hilton and the London Eye, as well as new images of the great parks and open spaces.In London the past and present go hand in hand. As one of the world's most visited cities, it remains a constant focus of historical and architectural interest and change. In London: The Panoramas, Mark Denton's remarkable images bring out those elements of rich heritage and renewal.

    The Life of Super-Earths

    By Dimitar Sasselov
    Authors:
    Dimitar Sasselov
    In 1543, Nicolaus Copernicus fomented a revolution when he debunked the geocentric view of the universe, proving instead that our planet wasn't central to the universe. Almost five hundred years later, the revolution he set in motion is nearly complete. Just as earth is not the centre of things, the life on it, it appears, is not unique to the planet. Or is it? The Life of Super-Earths is a breathtaking tour of current efforts to answer the age-old question: Are we alone in the universe? Astronomer Dimitar Sasselov, the founding director of Harvard University's Origins of Life Initiative, takes us on a fast-paced hunt for habitable planets and alien life forms. He shows how the search for"super-Earths&rdquo- rocky planets like our own that orbit other stars- may provide the key to answering essential questions about the origins of life here and elsewhere. That is, if we don't find the answers to those questions here first. As Sasselov and other astronomers have uncovered planets with mixes of elements different from our own, chemists have begun working out the heretofore unseen biochemistries that those planets could support. That knowledge is feeding directly into synthetic biology- the effort to build wholly novel forms of life- making it likely that we will first discover truly"alien&rdquo life forms in an earthly lab, rather than on a remote planet thousands of light years away. Sasselov tells the gripping story of a moment of unprecedented potential- a convergence of pioneering efforts in astronomy and biology to peer into the unknown. The Life of Super-Earths offers nothing short of a transformation in our understanding of life and its place in the cosmos.

    The Link

    By Colin Tudge
    Authors:
    Colin Tudge
    The astonishing new discovery that could change everything . . . Lying inside a high-security vault, deep within the heart of one of the world's leading natural history museums, is the scientific find of a lifetime - a perfectly fossilized early primate, older than the previously most famous primate fossil, Lucy, by an astonishing forty-four million years. A secret until now, the fossil - 'Ida'- is the most complete early primate fossil ever found. Forty-seven million years old, Ida rewrites what we've assumed about the earliest primate origins. Her completeness is unparalleled. With exclusive access to the first scientists to study her, the award-winning science writer Colin Tudge tells the history of Ida and her place in the world. The Link offers a wide-ranging investigation into Ida and our earliest origins - and the magnificent, cutting-edge scientific detective story that followed her discovery. At the same time it opens a stunningly evocative window into our past and changes what we know about primate evolution and, ultimately, our own.

    The Letters of Vincent Van Gogh

    By Vincent Van Gogh
    Authors:
    Vincent Van Gogh
    A carefully selected edition of the letters of Van Gogh. For this great artist it is unusually difficult to separate his life from his work. These letters reveal his inner turmoil and strength of character, and provide an extraordinary insight into the intensity and creativity of his artistic life.
  • Lord Of The Changing Winds

    By Rachel Neumeier
    Authors:
    Rachel Neumeier
    The desert winds have come to the village of Minas Ford. Griffins, creatures of fire, have appeared in a burning haze - searing the sky a blinding white and scorching the earth to parched, barren sand. These majestic beasts, half-lion, half-eagle, spread the arid desert wherever they roam.Iaor, the King of Feierabiand, will not tolerate the destruction of his people's farmland. He means to drive the griffins from his domain - whether by negotiation or brute force. But not all those who encounter the griffins fear them. Kes, a timid village girl, is summoned to heal the King of the Griffins himself. She will discover her affinity with these creatures, and come to realise that the menace they flee is even more deadly than the blazing fires of the desert.
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    The Lightness of Being

    By Frank Wilczek
    Authors:
    Frank Wilczek
    Our understanding of nature's deepest reality has changed radically, but almost without our noticing, over the past twenty-five years. Transcending the clash of older ideas about matter and space, acclaimed physicist Frank Wilczek explains a remarkable new discovery: matter is built from almost weightless units, and pure energy is the ultimate source of mass. He calls it The Lightness of Being." Space is no mere container, empty and passive. It is a dynamic Grid,a modern ether, and its spontaneous activity creates and destroys particles. This new understanding of mass explains the puzzling feebleness of gravity, and a gorgeous unification of all the forces comes sharply into focus. The Lightness of Being is the first book to explore the implications of these revolutionary ideas about mass, energy, and the nature of empty space." In it, Wilczek masterfully presents new perspectives on our incredible universe and envisions a new golden age of fundamental physics.

    Limey Gumshoe

    By Will Randall
    Authors:
    Will Randall
    House-sitting in Boston one winter, Will Randall picks up with one of his more disreputable travel buddies, Jack J. Makepeace, and life gets a great deal more exciting.Makepeace introduces Randall to his current employers, Chestnut Investigations, and soon Will finds himself appointed apprentice Private Investigator. He tails mongrels and errant husbands, attends a seminar on Blood Spatter and is recruited in a lapdancing club by an anti-government go-go girl. Then emotional stakes are suddenly raised when Will Randall, unlikely Limey Gumshoe, finds himself investigating the disappearance of a sixteen-year-old girl from her affluent home, and fighting to save a vulnerable boy from the housing projects from a miscarriage of justice.With his latest adventures in Limey Gumshoe, Will Randall gives us an often hilarious, sometimes scary, eye-opening perspective on the bizarre world of private investigation.
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    Long Way Down

    By Charley Boorman, Ewan McGregor
    Authors:
    Charley Boorman, Ewan McGregor
    After their fantastic trip round the world in 2004, fellow actors and bike fanatics Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman couldn't shake the travel bug. And after an inspirational UNICEF visit to Africa, they knew they had to go back and experience this extraordinary continent in more depth. And so they set off on their 15,000-mile journey with two new BMWs loaded up for the trip. Joining up with producer/directors Russ Malkin and David Alexanian and the Long Way Round team, their route took them from John O'Groats at the northernmost tip of Scotland to Cape Agulhas on the southernmost tip of South Africa. Riding through spectacular scenery, often in extreme temperatures, Ewan and Charley faced their hardest challenges yet. With their trademark humour and honesty they tell their story - the drama, the dangers and the sheer exhilaration of riding together again, through a continent filled with magic and wonder.
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    Long Cloud Ride

    By Josie Dew
    Authors:
    Josie Dew
    After two months on board a Russian container ship sailing 15,000 miles across the world, Josie finally arrives in New Zealand with her bike. Over the next nine months she cycles 10,000 kilometres all over North and South Islands while experiencing the wettest, windiest and stormiest year on record. During this time Josie was spat at, shouted at, honked at, and both run off and blown off the road. She got soaked, sunburnt, hailed on and snowed on and was alternately starved and over-fed, over-charged and under-charged. Then there was the wildlife: the possums (both dead and alive): exotic birds such as moreporks (with their eerie call) and fantails (who decided to follow); the ostriches, who liked to chase English cyclists and the harriers, who liked to dive bomb them; the more familiar but no less frustrating farm animals, who provided sheep-jams and cow-blocks to slow Josie down. In Long Cloud Ride, Josie brings New Zealand brilliantly to life. Warm, witty and acutely observed as ever, her latest adventure is sure to delight old and new fans alike.
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    A Land Gone Lonesome

    By Dan O'Neill
    Authors:
    Dan O'Neill
    In his square-sterned canoe, Alaskan author Dan O'Neill set off from Dawson, Yukon Territory, onetime site of the Klondike gold rush, to trace the majestic Yukon River. His journey downriver to Circle City, Alaska, is an expedition into the history of the river and its land, and a record of the inimitable and little known inhabitants of the region. With the distinct perspective of an insider, A Land Gone Lonesome gives us an intelligent, rhapsodic-and ultimately, probably the last-portrait of the Yukon and its authentic inhabitants.

    Long Way Round

    By Ewan McGregor, Charley Boorman
    Authors:
    Ewan McGregor, Charley Boorman
    'A highly readable and spiritually uplifting book about a dream come true' Wanderlust 'Touching and memorable ... one for armchair travellers and bike freaks' Daily MailFrom London to New York, Ewan and Charley chased their shadows through Europe, the Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Mongolia and Russia, across the Pacific to Alaska, then down through Canada and America. But as the miles slipped beneath the tyres of their big BMWs, their troubles started. Exhaustion, injury and accidents tested their strength. Treacherous roads, unpredictable weather and turbulent politics challenged their stamina. They were chased by paparazzi in Kazakhstan, courted by men with very large guns in the Ukraine, hassled by the police, and given bulls' testicles for supper by Mongolian nomads. And yet despite all these obstacles they managed to ride more than twenty thousand miles in four months, changing their lives forever in the process. As they travelled they documented their trip, taking photographs, and writing diaries by the campfire. Long Way Round is the result of their adventures - a fascinating, frank and highly entertaining travel book about two friends riding round the world together and, against all the odds, realising their dream.
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