New York Times bestselling author of The Know-It-All and The Year of Living Biblically, A.J. Jacobs undergoes a hilarious, heartfelt quest to understand what constitutes family—where it begins and how far it goes—and attempts to untangle the true meaning of the “Family of Humankind.”
A.J. Jacobs has received some strange emails over the years, but this note was perhaps the strangest: “You don’t know me, but I’m your eighth cousin. And we have over 80,000 relatives of yours in our database.”
That’s enough family members to fill Madison Square Garden four times over. Who are these people, A.J. wondered, and how do I find them? So began Jacobs’s three-year adventure to help build the biggest family tree in history.
Jacobs’s journey would take him to all seven continents. He drank beer with a US president, found himself singing with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, and unearthed genetic links to Hollywood actresses and real-life scoundrels. After all, we can choose our friends, but not our family.
“Whether he’s posing as a celebrity, outsourcing his chores, or adhering strictly to the Bible, we love reading about the wacky lifestyle experiments of author A.J. Jacobs” (Entertainment Weekly). Now Jacobs upends, in ways both meaningful and hilarious, our understanding of genetics and genealogy, tradition and tribalism, identity and connection. It’s All Relative is a fascinating look at the bonds that connect us all.
The wonders of engineering revealed--by the inspirational female engineer behind The Shard, Western Europe's tallest building.
While our cities are full of incredible engineering feats, most of us live with little idea of what goes into creating the built environment, let alone how a new building goes up, what it is constructed upon, or how it remains standing.
In Built, star structural engineer Roma Agrawal explains how construction has evolved from the mud huts of our ancestors to skyscrapers of steel that reach into the sky. She unearths how humans have tunneled through solid mountains; how we've walked across the widest of rivers, and tamed nature's precious water resources. She tells vivid tales of the visionaries who created the groundbreaking materials used to build the Pantheon and the Eiffel Tower; and explains how careful engineering can minimize tragedies like the collapse of the Quebec Bridge. Interweaving science, history, illustrations, and personal stories, Built offers a fascinating window into a subject that makes up the foundation of our everyday lives.
Clinical psychologist and author of The Defining Decade, Meg Jay takes us into the world of the supernormal: those who soar to unexpected heights after childhood adversity.
Whether it is the loss of a parent to death or divorce; bullying; alcoholism or drug abuse in the home; mental illness in a parent or a sibling; neglect; emotional, physical or sexual abuse; having a parent in jail; or growing up alongside domestic violence, nearly 75% of us experience adversity by the age of 20. But these experiences are often kept secret, as are our courageous battles to overcome them.
Drawing on nearly two decades of work with clients and students, Jay tells the tale of ordinary people made extraordinary by these all-too-common experiences, everyday superheroes who have made a life out of dodging bullets and leaping over obstacles, even as they hide in plain sight as doctors, artists, entrepreneurs, lawyers, parents, activists, teachers, students and readers. She gives a voice to the supernormals among us as they reveal not only "How do they do it?" but also "How does it feel?"
These powerful stories, and those of public figures from Andre Agassi to Jay Z, will show supernormals they are not alone but are, in fact, in good company.
Marvelously researched and compassionately written, this exceptional book narrates the continuing saga that is resilience as it challenges us to consider whether -- and how -- the good wins out in the end.
"An engrossing story of audacious entrepreneurism and big-industry disruption, [this] is a tale for our times." -- Charles Duhigg, author of Smarter Faster Better
An investigative look into a beloved, disruptive, notorious start-up
This is the remarkable behind-the-scenes story of the creation and growth of Airbnb, the online lodging platform that is now the largest provider of accommodations in the world. At first just the wacky idea of cofounders Brian Chesky, Joe Gebbia, and Nathan Blecharczyk, Airbnb has become indispensable to millions of hosts and travelers around the world. Fortune editor Leigh Gallagher presents the first nuanced, in-depth look at the Airbnb phenomenon -- the successes and controversies alike -- and takes us behind the scenes as the company's young CEO steers into increasingly uncharted waters.
"A fast-paced, fun dive into one of the seminal firms of our time; through the tale of Airbnb, Leigh Gallagher shows us how the sharing economy can be a force for emotional connection -- as well as for social and business disruption." -- Rana Foroohar, Financial Times columnist and CNN global economic analyst.
'Read this book thoughtfully. It's fun. And, I think, the shape of some very interesting things to come.' John Sutherland, The Times Nabokov's Favourite Word is Mauve is a playful look at what the numbers have to say about our favourite authors and their classic books. Journalist and statistician Ben Blatt asks the questions that have intrigued curious book lovers for generations: Does each writer have their own stylistic footprint? Do men and women write differently? What are the crutch words our best-loved authors fall back on? Which writer is the most cliched? Spanning from Shakespeare and Jane Austen to fan fiction, JK Rowling and Stephen King, Blatt reveals the quirks and oddities of the world's greatest writers. This is a lighthearted, humorous book that uses numbers to inform our understanding of words to enlighten, to clarify, and, above all, to entertain.
'Thirty-seven years in the force, and if I was allowed to choose just one thing to erase from my mind, what's inside that room would be it.' That's what a LAPD Lieutenant tells Detectives Hunter and Garcia of the Ultra Violent Crimes Unit as they arrive at one of the most shocking crime scenes they have ever attended. In a completely unexpected turn of events, the detectives find themselves joining forces with the FBI to track down a serial killer whose hunting ground sees no borders; a psychopath who loves what he does because to him murder is much more than just killing - it's an art form. Welcome to The Gallery of the Dead.
The hugely powerful Key to Time has been split into six segments, all of which have been disguised and hidden throughout time and space. Now the even more powerful White Guardian wants the Doctor to find the pieces. With the first segment successfully retrieved, the Doctor, Romana and K-9 trace the second segment of the Key to the planet Calufrax. But when they arrive at exactly the right point in space, they find themselves on exactly the wrong planet - Zanak. Ruled by the mysterious 'Captain', Zanak is a happy and prosperous planet. Mostly. If the mines run out of valuable minerals and gems then the Captain merely announces a New Golden Age and they fill up again. It's an economic miracle - so obviously something's very wrong...
Midwinter Break is a work of extraordinary emotional precision and sympathy, about coming to terms - to an honest reckoning - with love and the loss of love, with memory and pain. Full of scenes that are rendered with exquisite accuracy and care, allowing the most detailed physical descriptions to be placed against the possibility of a rich spiritual life, this is a novel of great ambition by an artist at the height of his powers. (Colm Toibin). Sixteen years on from his last novel, Bernard MacLaverty reminds us why he is regarded as one of the greatest living Irish writers. A retired couple, Gerry and Stella Gilmore, fly from their home in Scotland to Amsterdam for a long weekend. A holiday to refresh the senses, to do some sightseeing and generally to take stock of what remains of their lives. Their relationship seems safe, easy, familiar - but over the course of the four days we discover the deep uncertainties which exist between them. Gerry, once an architect, is forgetful and set in his ways. Stella is tired of his lifestyle, worried about their marriage and angry at his constant undermining of her religious faith. Things are not helped by memories which have begun to resurface of a troubled time in their native Ireland. As their midwinter break comes to an end, we understand how far apart they are - and can only watch as they struggle to save themselves. Bernard MacLaverty is a master storyteller, and Midwinter Break is the essential MacLaverty novel: accurate, compassionate observation, effortlessly elegant writing and a tender, intimate, heart-rending story - but it is also a profound examination of human love and how we live together, a chamber piece of real resonance and power. Forty years on from his first book, Bernard MacLaverty has written his masterpiece.
In this supplement to Jonathan Lethem’s novel A Gambler’s Anatomy, the renowned novelist engages in a concerted transatlantic dialogue with cult theorist Laurence A. Rickels, exploring the vicissitudes of popular culture and the profound influence of Philip K. Dick on their respective lines of flight. Foregrounding the introjections between California and Germany, they address a range of ideas, subjects and figures, from B-movies, science fiction, Wile E. Coyote and the Devil to trauma theory, Freud, Hitchcock and German Expressionism. Animating their zone of interrogation is the “blot”—an algorithm of innuendo, an uncanny defamiliarization of reality and “truth” wherein the trajectories of meaning, desire and perception fold into themselves like an origami in flames.
Station Eleven meets The Martian in this brilliantly inventive novel about three astronauts training for the first-ever mission to Mars, an experience that will push the boundary between real and unreal, test their relationships, and leave each of them--and their families--changed forever In an age of space exploration, we search to find ourselves. In four years Prime Space will put the first humans on Mars. Helen Kane, Yoshi Tanaka, and Sergei Kuznetsov must prove they're the crew for the job by spending seventeen months in the most realistic simulation every created. Retired from NASA, Helen had not trained for irrelevance. It is nobody's fault that the best of her exists in space, but her daughter can't help placing blame. The MarsNOW mission is Helen's last chance to return to the only place she's ever truly felt at home. For Yoshi, it's an opportunity to prove himself worthy of the wife he has loved absolutely, if not quite rightly. Sergei is willing to spend seventeen months in a tin can if it means travelling to Mars. He will at least be tested past the point of exhaustion, and this is the example he will set for his sons. As the days turn into months the line between what is real and unreal becomes blurred, and the astronauts learn that the complications of inner space are no less fraught than those of outer space. The Wanderers gets at the desire behind all exploration: the longing for discovery and the great search to understand the human heart.
Fans of Star Wars and Divergent will revel in internationally bestselling author Veronica Roth's stunning new science-fiction fantasy series. On a planet where violence and vengeance rule, in a galaxy where some are favoured by fate, everyone develops a currentgift, a unique power meant to shape the future. While most benefit from their currentgifts, Akos and Cyra do not - their gifts make them vulnerable to others' control. Can they reclaim their gifts, their fates, and their lives, and reset the balance of power in this world? Cyra is the sister of the brutal tyrant who rules the Shotet people. Cyra's currentgift gives her pain and power - something her brother exploits, using her to torture his enemies. But Cyra is much more than just a blade in her brother's hand: she is resilient, quick on her feet, and smarter than he knows. Akos is from the peace-loving nation of Thuvhe, and his loyalty to his family is limitless. Though protected by his unusual currentgift, once Akos and his brother are captured by enemy Shotet soldiers, Akos is desperate to get his brother out alive - no matter what the cost. When Akos is thrust into Cyra's world, the enmity between their countries and families seems insurmountable. They must decide to help each other to survive - or to destroy one another.