"In the tradition of Erik Larson's Isaac's Storm, a riveting narrative about the biggest earthquake in recorded history in North America—the 1964 Alaskan earthquake that demolished the city of Valdez and obliterated the coastal village of Chenega—and the scientist sent to look for geological clues to explain the dynamics of earthquakes, who helped to confirm the then controversial theory of plate tectonics. On March 27, 1964, at 5:36 p.m., the biggest earthquake ever recorded in North America—and the second biggest ever in the world, measuring 9.2 on the Richter scale—struck Alaska, devastating coastal towns and villages and killing more than 130 people in what was then a relatively sparsely populated region. In a riveting tale about the almost unimaginable brute force of nature, New York Times science journalist Henry Fountain, in his first trade book, re-creates the lives of the villagers and townspeople living in Chenega, Anchorage, and Valdez; describes the sheer beauty of the geology of the region, with its towering peaks and 20-mile-long glaciers; and reveals the impact of the quake on the towns, the buildings, and the lives of the inhabitants. George Plafker, a geologist for the U.S. Geological Survey with years of experience scouring the Alaskan wilderness, is asked to investigate the Prince William Sound region in the aftermath of the quake, to better understand its origins. His work confirmed the then controversial theory of plate tectonics that explained how and why such deadly quakes occur, and how we can plan for the next one"—
A round-the-globe journey through the periodic table explains how the air people breathe reflects the world's history, tracing the origins and ingredients of the atmosphere to explain air's role in reshaping continents, steering human progress, and powering revolutions.
This book sifts through today's misinformation to counsel parents on how to understand the actual risks and benefits of the human body's microbiome system, explaining its role in disease and health so that caregivers can make informed choices for their children.
A major reevaluation of how evolutionary forces work examines how mating preferences, what Darwin termed, "the taste for the beautiful," have driven adaptive evolution and created an extraordinary range of aesthetic and elaborate ornament in the animal world.
The best-selling author of The Accidental Billionaires traces the pioneering work of a group of young scientists under the guidance of brilliant geneticist George Church, who sequenced the DNA of a frozen woolly mammoth harvested from the Arctic circle to resurrect the extinct species as part of a larger effort to slow the advances of global warming.
A medical memoir by a pediatric surgeon presents a case for treating children differently from adults, tracing decades of advancement in pediatrics to offer advice on how to recognize the unique health needs and healing potential of young patients.
A software engineer and a graphic designer combine forces to depict the lost art of logic as demonstrated by illustrations of cute and whimsical animals having nonsensical arguments including the "false dilemma" and the "appeal to ignorance."
A first book by the physician behind the blog The Nephrologist describes her decision to donate a kidney to a man who is now her husband and the journey that led to her becoming a kidney specialist.
A riveting account of a landmark expedition that left only one survivor, now back in print for the first time in decades. Arabia Felix is the spellbinding true story of a scientific expedition gone disastrously astray.
A guide for loving couples who are looking to renew sexual passion in their lives explains how societal taboos and ideals about domestic equality have compromised the healthy expression of eroticism in today's relationships, in a resource that explains how to overcome personal constraints for greater intimacy. Reprint. 25,000 first printing.
The actor and founder of the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science traces his personal quest to understand how to relate and communicate better, from practicing empathy and using improv games to storytelling and developing better intuitive skills.
An anthology of personal and historical anecdotes collected by the popular actor explores the remarkable impact of horses on human culture while reflecting on the work of his annual Hollywood Charity Horse Show.
Documents the efforts of three late-19th-century scientists to observe the rare total solar eclipse of 1878, citing how the respective ambitions of James Craig Watson, Maria Mitchell and Thomas Edison, juxtaposed against the challenges of the Wild West, helped America's early pursuits as a scientific superpower.
A Surgeon in the Village tells the inspiring story of doctors who, through a "train-forward" philosophy, changed the health care of an African nation. The story exposes a major and largely neglected global-health issue—the shortage of surgeons. "A lyrical, inspirational and altogether rewarding account of first- and third-world surgeons working together to perform neurosurgery miracles in the heart of Africa." —Tom Brokaw.
Describes the astounding 2013 discovery in a difficult-to-reach South African underground cave of hundreds of prehistoric bones, judged to be about two million years old, that represented a heretofore unknown humanoid species they named Homo naledi.
"Engaging, unusual essays written over the last two decades, on matters literary, social, cultural, and personal—from the explosive date rape debates of the '90s to the ubiquitous political adultery of the '00s, from Anton Chekhov to Celine Dion. Here is Mary Gaitskill the essayist: witty, direct, penetrating to the core of each issue, personality, or literary trope (On Updike: "It is as if [he] has entered a tiny window marked 'Rabbit,' and, by some inverse law, passed into a universe of energies both light and dark, expanded and contracted, infinite and workaday." On Elizabeth Wurtzell: "If this kooky, foot-stamping, self-loathing screed is meant to be, as it claims, a defense of 'difficult women,' i.e. women who 'write their own operating manuals' . . . all I can say is, bitches best duck and run for cover.") Gaitskill writes about the ridiculous and poetic ambition of Norman Mailer, about the socio-sexual cataclysm embodied by porn star Linda Lovelace, and, in the deceptively titled "Lost Cat," about how power and race can warp the most innocent and intimate of relationships. Appearing in chronological order, the essays offer their thoughts and reactions, always with the heat-seeking, revelatory understanding for which we value the author's fiction"—