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210 Featured Titles

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Exam Copy
The Radioactive Boy Scout
The Frightening True Story of a Whiz Kid and His Homemade Nuclear Reactor
Written by Ken Silverstein


Format: Trade Paperback, 240 pages
Publisher: Villard
On Sale: January 11, 2005
Price: $16.00
ISBN: 978-0-8129-6660-2 (0-8129-6660-0)

Growing up in suburban Detroit, David Hahn was fascinated by science. While he was working on his Atomic Energy badge for the Boy Scouts, David’s obsessive attention turned to nuclear energy. Throwing caution to the wind, he plunged into a new project: building a model nuclear reactor in his backyard garden... Read more >
Also available as an eBook.

Exam Copy
Trying Not to Try
The Art and Science of Spontaneity
Written by Edward Slingerland


Format: Hardcover, 304 pages
Publisher: Crown
On Sale: March 4, 2014
Price: $26.00
ISBN: 978-0-7704-3761-9 (0-7704-3761-3)

Why is it always so hard to fall asleep the night before an important meeting? Or to relax into a productive writing zone? In every case, striving seems to backfire. In Trying Not to Try, Edward Slingerland explores the power of spontaneity—a state valued by early Chinese thinkers that modern cognitive... Read more >
Also available as an unabridged audiobook download, eBook and a trade paperback.

Exam Copy
To Touch a Wild Dolphin
A Journey of Discovery with the Sea's Most Intelligent Creatures
Written by Rachel Smolker


Format: Trade Paperback, 304 pages
Publisher: Anchor
On Sale: July 9, 2002
Price: $16.95
ISBN: 978-0-385-49177-8 (0-385-49177-8)

In 1982, Rachel Smolker traveled to Monkey Mia, a remote spot in western Australia where she’d heard wild dolphins regularly interact with people. She had no intention of staying long; she simply wanted to see if the rumors were true. That initial trip changed Smolker’s life; it commenced a fifteen-year scientific... Read more >
Also available as an eBook.

Exam Copy
The Philosophical Breakfast Club
Four Remarkable Friends Who Transformed Science and Changed the World
Written by Laura J. Snyder


Format: Trade Paperback, 456 pages
Publisher: Broadway Books
On Sale: January 17, 2012
Price: $16.00
ISBN: 978-0-7679-3049-9 (0-7679-3049-5)

The Philosophical Breakfast Club recounts the life and work of four men who met as students at Cambridge University: Charles Babbage, John Herschel, William Whewell, and Richard Jones. Recognizing that they shared a love of science (as well as good food and drink) they began to meet on Sunday mornings to... Read more >
Also available as an eBook.

Exam Copy
On a Farther Shore
The Life and Legacy of Rachel Carson, Author of Silent Spring
Written by William Souder


Format: Trade Paperback, 512 pages
Publisher: Broadway Books
On Sale: September 3, 2013
Price: $16.00
ISBN: 978-0-307-46221-3 (0-307-46221-8)

Rachel Carson loved the ocean and wrote three books about its mysteries. But it was with her fourth book, Silent Spring, that this unassuming biologist transformed our relationship with the natural world. Silent Spring was a chilling indictment of DDT and other pesticides that until then had been hailed as safe... Read more >
Also available as an eBook and a hardcover.

Exam Copy
Sharks in Question

Written by V. G. Springer


Format: Trade Paperback, 192 pages
Publisher: Smithsonian Books
On Sale: February 17, 1989
Price: $24.95
ISBN: 978-0-87474-877-2 (0-87474-877-1)

Sharks in Question is a collective response to the thousands of questions about sharks received annually by scientists at Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History. Written in a question-and-answer format accompanied by more than 100 photographs and illustrations, the book provides knowledge for a general audience as well as students of... Read more >

Exam Copy
North American Tree Squirrels

Written by Michael A. Steele and John L. Koprowski


Format: Trade Paperback, 224 pages
Publisher: Smithsonian Books
On Sale: October 17, 2003
Price: $17.95
ISBN: 978-1-58834-100-6 (1-58834-100-3)

Written with clarity and wit by two top scientists, North American Tree Squirrels illuminates the everyday lives of gray and fox squirrels, the two most dominant types of tree squirrels of the eastern United States.

Drawing on more than twenty years of research, Michael A. Steele and John L. Koprowski detail the... Read more >

Exam Copy
Tomorrow Now
Envisioning the Next 50 Years
Written by Bruce Sterling


Format: Trade Paperback, 368 pages
Publisher: Random House Trade Paperbacks
On Sale: December 23, 2003
Price: $16.00
ISBN: 978-0-8129-6976-4 (0-8129-6976-6)

“Nobody knows better than Bruce Sterling how thin the membrane between science fiction and real life has become, a state he correctly depicts as both thrilling and terrifying in this frisky, literate, clear-eyed sketch of the next half-century. Like all of the most interesting futurists, Sterling isn’t just talking about machines... Read more >
Also available as an eBook.

Exam Copy
The Order of Days
Unlocking the Secrets of the Ancient Maya
Written by David Stuart


Format: Trade Paperback, 368 pages
Publisher: Three Rivers Press
On Sale: November 27, 2012
Price: $15.00
ISBN: 978-0-385-52727-9 (0-385-52727-6)

David Stuart, the foremost scholar of the Maya and recipient of numerous awards for his work, takes a hard look at the frenzy over 2012 and offers a fascination (and accurate) trip through Mayan culture and belief. Stuart shows how the idea that the "end of the Mayan calendar," which supposedly... Read more >
Also available as an eBook.

Exam Copy
Brainworks
The Mind-bending Science of How You See, What You Think, and Who You Are
Written by Michael S. Sweeney
Foreword by David Copperfield


Format: Hardcover, 224 pages
Publisher: National Geographic
On Sale: September 6, 2011
Price: $27.00
ISBN: 978-1-4262-0757-0 (1-4262-0757-3)

Brainworks is the captivating companion book to the three part National Geographic Channel series. The television program brings together a crack team of scientists and researchers from a wide range of fields, including neurology, psychology, and opthamology. The program makes the viewer the test subject in an array of astonishing challenges... Read more >

Exam Copy
Blind Descent
The Quest to Discover the Deepest Cave on Earth
Written by James M. Tabor


Format: Trade Paperback, 304 pages
Publisher: Random House Trade Paperbacks
On Sale: February 15, 2011
Price: $16.00
ISBN: 978-0-8129-7949-7 (0-8129-7949-4)

The deepest cave on earth was a prize that had remained unclaimed for centuries, long after every other ultimate discovery had been made: both poles by 1912, Everest in 1958, the Challenger Deep in 1961. In 1969 we even walked on the moon. And yet as late as 2000, the earth’s... Read more >
Also available as an unabridged audiobook download and an eBook.

Exam Copy
Fooled by Randomness
The Hidden Role of Chance in Life and in the Markets
Written by Nassim Nicholas Taleb


Format: Trade Paperback, 368 pages
Publisher: Random House Trade Paperbacks
On Sale: August 23, 2005
Price: $17.00
ISBN: 978-0-8129-7521-5 (0-8129-7521-9)

NOW IN PAPERBACK

Set against the backdrop of the most conspicuous forum in which luck is mistaken for skill--the world of business--Fooled By Randomness is an irreverent, iconoclastic, eye-opening, and endlessly entertaining exploration of one of the least understood forces in all of our lives.

Fooled By Randomness…is to conventional Wall Street wisdom... Read more >
Also available as an eBook and a hardcover.

Exam Copy
Seaweeds

Written by David N. Thomas


Format: Trade Paperback, 112 pages
Publisher: Smithsonian Books
On Sale: September 17, 2002
Price: $16.95
ISBN: 978-1-58834-050-4 (1-58834-050-3)

From microscopic organisms on tidal rocks to dense marine forests, seaweeds vary widely in size and are amazingly well adapted to both the Arctic and the tropics. David Thomas presents a detailed look at what seaweeds are, how they live, and why humans value them.

Thomas describes the red, brown, and green... Read more >

Exam Copy
Common Fossil Plants of Western North America, Second Edition

Written by William D. Tidwell


Format: Trade Paperback, 386 pages
Publisher: Smithsonian Books
On Sale: June 22, 2010
Price: $28.95
ISBN: 978-1-56098-758-1 (1-56098-758-8)

Illustrated with more than eight hundred drawings and photographs, this informative, hands-on guide will help amateur fossil collectors identify and assess the significance of their finds. Introductory chapters describe the types of plant preservation and outline the development of such groups as ferns, fern allies, and seed plants including cycads, ginkgos... Read more >

Exam Copy
Phi
A Voyage from the Brain to the Soul
Written by Giulio Tononi


Format: Hardcover, 384 pages
Publisher: Pantheon
On Sale: August 7, 2012
Price: $30.00
ISBN: 978-0-307-90721-9 (0-307-90721-X)

This title is printed in full color throughout.

From one of the most original and influential neuroscientists at work today, here is an exploration of consciousness unlike any other—as told by Galileo, who opened the way for the objectivity of science and is now intent on making subjective experience a part of... Read more >
Also available as an eBook.

Exam Copy
Confluence
A River, the Environment, Politics and the Fate of All Humanity
Written by Nathaniel Tripp
Foreword by Howard Dean


Format: Trade Paperback, 176 pages
Publisher: Steerforth
On Sale: April 18, 2006
Price: $12.95
ISBN: 978-1-58642-106-9 (1-58642-106-9)

We are the river, and the river is us. We carry the same chemicals; pesticides and heavy metals, antibiotics and estrogen in our bloodstreams. From the Mekong River in Vietnam, where he served as platoon leader during the Vietnam War, to the Connecticut River near his farm in St. Johnsbury, Vermont... Read more >

Exam Copy
The Way of Science
Finding Truth and Meaning in a Scientific Worldview
Written by Dennis R. Trumble


Format: Trade Paperback, 375 pages
Publisher: Prometheus Books
On Sale: July 16, 2013
Price: $20.00
ISBN: 978-1-61614-755-6 (1-61614-755-5)

Most people appreciate science on an obvious level. Modern medicine, electric lighting, rapid transportation, and long-distance communication are among the many benefits of science that have made life today healthier and more comfortable than people in earlier eras could have imagined. This book is about a deeper benefit of science, one... Read more >
Also available as an eBook.

Exam Copy
Our Political Nature
The Evolutionary Origins of What Divides Us
Written by Avi Tuschman


Format: Hardcover, 500 pages
Publisher: Prometheus Books
On Sale: September 3, 2013
Price: $24.95
ISBN: 978-1-61614-823-2 (1-61614-823-3)

Our Political Nature is the first book to reveal the hidden roots of our most deeply held moral values. It shows how political orientations across space and time arise from three clusters of measurable personality traits. These clusters entail opposing attitudes toward tribalism, inequality, and differing perceptions of human nature. Together, these... Read more >
Also available as an eBook.

Exam Copy
The Soul of All Living Creatures
What Animals Can Teach Us About Being Human
Written by Vint Virga, D.V.M.


Format: Trade Paperback, 240 pages
Publisher: Broadway Books
On Sale: July 8, 2014
Price: $14.99
ISBN: 978-0-307-71887-7 (0-307-71887-5)

Based on the author's twenty-five years of experience as a veterinarian and veterinary behaviorist, The Soul of All Living Creatures offers a series of case studies of his relationships with domestic and exotic animals. Virga demonstrates how, by attempting to perceive the world from the perspective of animals, we can enrich our own... Read more >
Also available as an eBook and a hardcover.

Exam Copy
Sealife

Written by Geoffrey Waller


Format: Hardcover, 504 pages
Publisher: Smithsonian Books
On Sale: September 17, 1996
Price: $55.00
ISBN: 978-1-56098-633-1 (1-56098-633-6)

Brimming with illustrations and descriptions of more than six hundred species, SeaLife is the most comprehensive reference available in a single volume to the vast panorama of vertebrate and invertebrate creatures inhabiting the world’s oceans and shores. Topics covered include oceanography and marine biology; biology of marine environments; marine invertebrates; marine... Read more >

Exam Copy
Avoid Boring People
Lessons from a Life in Science
Written by James D. Watson


Format: Trade Paperback, 368 pages
Publisher: Vintage
On Sale: May 4, 2010
Price: $16.95
ISBN: 978-0-375-72714-6 (0-375-72714-0)

From Nobel Prize-winning scientist James D. Watson, a living legend for his work unlocking the structure of DNA, comes this candid and entertaining memoir, filled with practical advice for those starting out their academic careers.

In Avoid Boring People, Watson lays down a life’s wisdom for getting ahead in a competitive world... Read more >
Also available as an eBook.

Exam Copy
Genes, Girls, and Gamow
After the Double Helix
Written by James D. Watson


Format: Trade Paperback, 336 pages
Publisher: Vintage
On Sale: January 7, 2003
Price: $14.00
ISBN: 978-0-375-72715-3 (0-375-72715-9)

In the years following his and Francis Crick’s towering discovery of DNA, James Watson was obsessed with finding two things: RNA and a wife. Genes, Girls, and Gamow is the marvelous chronicle of those pursuits. Watson effortlessly glides between his heartbreaking and sometimes hilarious debacles in the field of love and... Read more >
Also available as an eBook.

Exam Copy
The Whole Hog
Exploring the Extraordinary Potential of Pigs
Written by Lyall Watson


Format: Hardcover, 256 pages
Publisher: Smithsonian Books
On Sale: October 17, 2004
Price: $24.95
ISBN: 978-1-58834-216-4 (1-58834-216-6)

Not all animals are created equal. For a start, pigs have it, sheep don’t; that is, that special quality of intelligence, a sense of play, and a gregariousness that make these tragically misunderstood–yet no less endearing–creatures more like us than any other animal. Best-selling author Lyall Watson takes a delightful look... Read more >

Exam Copy
Phylogenetic Analysis of Morphological Data
Smithsonian Series in Comparative Evolutionary Biology
Written by John J. Wiens


Format: Trade Paperback, 232 pages
Publisher: Smithsonian Books
On Sale: June 17, 2000
Price: $28.95
ISBN: 978-1-56098-816-8 (1-56098-816-9)

In this volume, eleven leading systematists provide an overview of recent advances and controversies in morphological phylogenetics. They summarize new methodological developments–including approaches for analyzing ontogenetic data, fossils, morphometric characters, intraspecific variation, and hybrid taxa–and review published studies to evaluate how morphological phylogenetics has actually been practiced. They also discuss the... Read more >

Exam Copy
Quantum Questions
Mystical Writings of the World's Great Physicists
Edited by Ken Wilber


Format: Trade Paperback, 224 pages
Publisher: Shambhala
On Sale: April 10, 2001
Price: $22.95
ISBN: 978-1-57062-768-2 (1-57062-768-1)

Science and religion are often viewed as antagonists in the quest for truth. It may come as a surprise, then, to find the leading physicists of the twentieth century were sympathetic to a mystical worldview. In this collection, Ken Wilber brings together the writings of eight great scientists—Heisenberg, Schroedinger, Einstein, de... Read more >
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