No Need for Geniuses
By Steve Jones
Paris at the time of the French Revolution was the world capital of science. Its scholars laid the foundations of today's physics, chemistry and biology. They were true revolutionaries: agents of an upheaval both of understanding and of politics. Many had an astonishing breadth of talents. The Minister of Finance just before the upheaval did research on crystals and the spread of animal disease. After it, Paris's first mayor was an astronomer, the general who fought off invaders was a mathematician while Marat, a major figure in the Terror, saw himself as a leading physicist. Paris in the century around 1789 saw the first lightning conductor, the first flight, the first estimate of the speed of light and the invention of the tin can and the stethoscope. The metre replaced the yard and the theory of evolution came into being. The city was saturated in science and many of its monuments still are. The Eiffel Tower, built to celebrate the Revolution's centennial, saw the world's first wind-tunnel and first radio message, and first observation of cosmic rays.Perhaps the greatest Revolutionary scientist of all, Antoine Lavoisier, founded modern chemistry and physiology, transformed French farming, and much improved gunpowder manufacture. His political activities brought him a fortune, but in the end led to his execution. The judge who sentenced him - and many other researchers - claimed that 'the Revolution has no need for geniuses'. In this enthralling and timely book Steve Jones shows how wrong this was and takes a sideways look at Paris, its history, and its science, to give a dazzling new insight into the City of Light.
No.4 Imperial Lane
By Jonathan Weisman
A sweeping debut novel by New York Times reporter Jonathan Weisman, NO. 4 IMPERIAL LANE tells of a little-known chapter of colonial history in a unique and moving coming-of-age story.In Thatcher's England, American David Heller is nearing the end of his year abroad in Brighton, where kids sport mohawks and light up to the Cocteau Twins. Not thrilled with having to leave his British girlfriend-or face his tragedy-wracked home-David takes a job working for Hans Bromwell, a helpless quadriplegic and fallen aristocrat. As David befriends Hans, his sister Elizabeth, and her daughter Cristina, the details behind the family's staggering fall from grace are exposed: How Elizabeth's love affair with a Portuguese physician carried the young, English girl right into the bloody battlefields of colonial Africa, where an entire continent bellowed for independence, and a single event left a family broken forever.
By Svante Pääbo
ONE OF AMAZON'S TOP 100 BOOKS OF 2014 Neanderthal Man tells the story of geneticist Svante Pääbo's mission to answer this question: what can we learn from the genomes of our closest evolutionary relatives? Beginning with the study of DNA in Egyptian mummies in the early 1980s and culminating in the sequencing of the Neanderthal genome in 2010, Neanderthal Man describes the events, intrigues, failures, and triumphs of these scientifically rich years through the lens of the pioneer and inventor of the field of ancient DNA. We learn that Neanderthal genes offer a unique window into the lives of our hominid relatives and may hold the key to unlocking the mystery of why humans survived while Neanderthals went extinct. Pääbo's findings have not only redrawn our family tree, but recast the fundamentals of human history,the biological beginnings of fully modern Homo sapiens , the direct ancestors of all people alive today.
A Night Like This
By Julia Quinn
Anne Wynter's job as governess to three highborn young ladies can be a challenge - in a single week she finds herself hiding in a closet full of tubas, playing an evil queen in a play and tending to the wounds of the oh-so-dashing Earl of Winstead. After years of dodging unwanted advances, he's the first man who has truly tempted her, and it's getting harder and harder to remind herself that a governess has no business flirting with a nobleman.Daniel Smythe-Smith might be in mortal danger, but that's not going to stop the young earl from falling in love. And when he spies a mysterious woman at his family's annual musicale, he vows to pursue her. But Daniel has an enemy, one who has vowed to see him dead. And when Anne is thrown into peril, he will stop at nothing to ensure their happy ending . . .New York Times bestselling author Julia Quinn's enchanting second novel in the Smythe-Smith quartet is guaranteed to make you laugh out loud and tug at your heartstrings in equal measures.
No Impact Man
By Colin Beavan
In the growing debate over eco-friendly living, it seems that everything is as bad as everything else. Do you do more harm by living in the country or the city? Is it better to drive a thousand miles or take an airplane? In NO IMPACT MAN, Colin Beavan tells the extraordinary story of his attempt to find some answers - by living for one year in New York City (with his wife and young daughter) without leaving any net impact on the environment. His family cut out all driving and flying, used no air conditioning, no television, no toilets. . .They went from making a few concessions to becoming eco-extremists. The goal? To determine what works and what doesn't, and to fashion a truly 'eco-effective' way of life. Beavan's radical experiment makes for an unforgettable and humorous memoir in an attempt to answer perhaps the most important question of all: What is the sufficient individual effort that it would take to save the planet? And what is stopping us?
By Elizabeth Hoyt
Their lives were perfect . . . until they met each other.Lady Hero Batten is perfect, well-mannered and beautiful with an impeccable pedigree. After years of waiting for a gentleman to sweep her off her feet, she has decided to do her duty and settle for a proper society marriage to Thomas Remmington, the Marquess of Mandeville. True, the marquis is a trifle dull and lacks a sense of humour, but he is handsome and rich.Griffin Remmington, Lord Greyson, the Marquess' younger brother, is not at all perfect. In fact, some have called him the most notorious rake in London. When Griffin meets Hero he thinks that she is much too intelligent for society, let alone his brother. Their duel of words soon sparks a fire in them both, despite the fact that Hero's marriage to Thomas is drawing ever nearer. . .
Not Even Wrong
By Peter Woit
When does physics depart the realm of testable hypothesis and come to resemble theology? Peter Woit argues that string theory isn't just going in the wrong direction, it's not even science. Not Even Wrong shows that what many physicists call superstring theory" is not a theory at all. It makes no predictions, not even wrong ones, and this very lack of falsifiability is what has allowed the subject to survive and flourish. Peter Woit explains why the mathematical conditions for progress in physics are entirely absent from superstring theory today, offering the other side of the story.
Not Quite A Lady
By Loretta Chase
Darius Carrington is a spectacularly handsome rake with a rare intelligence and no heart. A man of science, he divides his time between bedding loose-moralled women and writing scholarly papers about livestock breeding. He finds the eligible ladies of the ton thoroughly dull. That is until he meets Lady Charlotte Hayward...Lady Charlotte is so beautiful, charming, and gracious that no one has noticed what an expert she is at Not Getting Married. Early on, she learned a hard and painful lesson about trust... and temptation. In the years since, she's built impentrable defences that no man has overcome. She's devoted to life to being everything she ought to be- and she's not about to let a man like Carsington entice her to anything she shouldn't.But the rules of attraction can easily overpower the rules of manners and morals, and sometimes even the best behaved girl has to follow her instincts, even if it does mean risking everything.
By Ian Stewart
"It appears to us that the universe is structured in a deeply mathematical way. Falling bodies fall with predictable accelerations. Eclipses can be accurately forecast centuries in advance. Nuclear power plants generate electricity according to well-known formulas. But those examples are the tip of the iceberg. In Nature's Numbers , Ian Stewart presents many more, each charming in its own way.. Stewart admirably captures compelling and accessible mathematical ideas along with the pleasure of thinking of them. He writes with clarity and precision. Those who enjoy this sort of thing will love this book."- Los Angeles Times