Adam Rutherford - The Book of Humans - Orion Publishing Group

Time remaining

  • -- days
  • -- hours
  • -- minutes
  • -- seconds
Other Formats
  • E-Book £P.O.R.
    More information
    • ISBN:9780297609421
    • Publication date:13 Sep 2018
  • Downloadable audio file £P.O.R.
    More information
    • ISBN:9781409170938
    • Publication date:13 Sep 2018

The Book of Humans

The Story of How We Became Us

By Adam Rutherford

  • Hardback
  • £18.99

A thrilling new examination of what sets us apart in the animal kingdom by the popular science broadcaster and author of A BRIEF HISTORY OF EVERYONE WHO EVER LIVED

'Charming, compelling and packed with information. I learned more about biology from this short book than I did from years of science lessons. A weird and wonderful read' PETER FRANKOPAN

We like to think of ourselves as exceptional beings, but is there really anything special about us that sets us apart from other animals? Humans are the slightest of twigs on a single family tree that encompasses four billion years, a lot of twists and turns, and a billion species. All of those organisms are rooted in a single origin, with a common code that underwrites our existence. This paradox - that our biology is indistinct from all life, yet we consider ourselves to be special - lies at the heart of who we are.

In this original and entertaining tour of life on Earth, Adam Rutherford explores how many of the things once considered to be exclusively human are not: we are not the only species that communicates, makes tools, utilises fire, or has sex for reasons other than to make new versions of ourselves. Evolution has, however, allowed us to develop our culture to a level of complexity that outstrips any other observed in nature.

THE BOOK OF HUMANS tells the story of how we became the creatures we are today, bestowed with the unique ability to investigate what makes us who we are. Illuminated by the latest scientific discoveries, it is a thrilling compendium of what unequivocally fixes us as animals, and reveals how we are extraordinary among them.

With illustrations by Alice Roberts

Biographical Notes

Dr Adam Rutherford is a science writer and broadcaster. He studied genetics at University College London, and during his PhD on the developing eye, he was part of a team that identified the first genetic cause of a form of childhood blindness. He has written and presented many award-winning series and programmes for the BBC, including the flagship weekly Radio 4 programme INSIDE SCIENCE and THE CURIOUS CASES OF RUTHERFORD & FRY with Dr Hannah Fry. He is the author CREATION, which was shortlisted for the Wellcome Trust Prize, A BRIEF HISTORY OF EVERYONE WHO EVER LIVED, and most recently, THE BOOK OF HUMANS.

  • Other details

  • ISBN: 9780297609407
  • Publication date: 13 Sep 2018
  • Page count: 272
  • Imprint: W&N
Adam Rutherford is a superb communicator, who eruditely explores the borderlands of history, archaeology, genetics and anthropology in this fascinating tour of our species — DAN SNOW
Charming, compelling and packed with information. I learned more about biology from this short book than I did from years of science lessons. Adam Rutherford has a knack of making complex ideas understandable - and also fun. Our species is a lot stranger than I'd ever realised, but a lot more normal too. A weird and wonderful read — PETER FRANKOPAN
An outstandingly clear and witty account that shows beyond doubt how much we are part of the animal world, and yet at the same time how different we have become — HENRY MARSH
Adam Rutherford is a master storyteller. THE BOOK OF HUMANS is packed to the brim with intriguing tales, clever twists and up-to-the-minute scientific discoveries, offering a completely new perspective on who we are and how we came to be — HANNAH FRY
This delightful and charming book will change the way you see yourself, and your place in the natural world — ED YONG
I've learned more about myself and my species than I thought possible. A beautiful, compassionate book exploring not just human nature but also the human condition. I'm more in love with Adam Rutherford's writing than ever — ANGELA SAINI
If teaching is what makes humans special, then Adam Rutherford is superhuman - the paragon of teachers, a truly gifted transmitter of knowledge: lucid, enlightening, witty and delightful — KATE FOX
Orion

The Globotics Upheaval

Richard Baldwin
Authors:
Richard Baldwin
Orion

Gene Eating

Giles Yeo
Authors:
Giles Yeo

Cambridge geneticist, Dr Giles Yeo, has dedicated over 20 years studying how genes influence our eating habits. Instead of looking at how we have become obese, GENE EATING tackles the question of WHY some people eat more than others. The UK has the biggest waistlines in Western Europe and an enormous problem of other diet-related illnesses. Our modern lifestyle coupled with the food environment, has made weight-loss the biggest public health quest of today; more of us than ever before are desperately bingeing on unreliable promises made online, on food labels or by the recent proliferation of food 'gurus' who are hungry for a slice of the multi-million pound diet industry.Written with his accessible, good-humoured style, GENE EATING unravels this hugely complex answer and argues that understanding our genes and the biology of our food intake is essential if we are to effectively tackle the obesity epidemic and improve our health. This pioneering book is a ray of light in our murky 'post-truth' climate- a celebration of evidence-based science that everyone can digest.Read by Dr Giles Yeo(p) Orion Publishing Group 2018

Gateway

The Walking Shadow

Brian Stableford
Authors:
Brian Stableford

Paul Heisenberg is mysteriously endowed with the ability to jump through time. Together with thousands of eventual followers, he begins a journey that eventually takes him a billion years into the future. The Earth has been devastated by war with an alien race, and the changes that have resulted from the degradation of the world's biosphere force him--and others--to rethink their own humanity. His pilgrim's progress through the coming time is beset by doubts, distractions, and temptations as various voices attempt to distract him from his determination to follow the process through to its end. He eventually witnesses the complete transformation of the Earth, and the evolution of a single omnipotent but mindless Gaean organism. Is intelligence itself just a brief candle, forever doomed to burn out? Or can Paul find some other alternative for his race.

Orion Spring

Let’s Talk about Death (over Dinner)

Michael Hebb
Authors:
Michael Hebb
Orion

The Life Scientific: Explorers

Anna Buckley
Authors:
Anna Buckley

Inside the lives of the scientists who are exploring the world, our universe, the past and ourselves.Based on the interviews broadcast on BBC Radio 4's hugely popular series, The Life Scientific: Explorers takes science out of its box and introduces us to the men and women who make it happen.The explorers featured in this volume include: Michele Dougherty, the mathematician who persuaded the Cassini mission to Saturn to make a diversion; Richard Fortey on his love of trilobites; Monica Grady, Meteorite Lady; neurosurgeon Henry Marsh on slicing through our thoughts; the Director of the British Antarctic Survey, Jane Francis; Brian Cox on quantum mechanics; and Nobel Prize winner John Sulston on why he thought it would be a good idea to sequence the human genome.(p) Orion Publishing Group 2018

W&N

My Father's Wake

Kevin Toolis
Authors:
Kevin Toolis

Death is a whisper in the Anglo-Saxon world. But on a remote island, off the coast of County Mayo, it has a louder voice. The local radio station runs a thrice-daily roll-call of the recently departed. The islanders keep vigil with the corpse and share in the sorrow of the bereaved. The living and the dead are bound together in the oldest rite of humanity. In My Father's Wake, Kevin Toolis gives an intimate, eye-witness account of the death and wake of his father, celebrating the spiritual depth of the Irish Wake and asking if we too can find a better way to deal with our mortality, by living and loving in the acceptance of death.

W&N

Human Errors

Nathan H. Lents
Authors:
Nathan H. Lents

We like to think of ourselves as highly evolved creatures. But if we are evolution's greatest creation, why are we so badly designed? We have retinas that face backward, the stump of a tail, and way too many bones in our wrists. We must find vitamins and nutrients in our diets that other animals simply make for themselves. Millions of us can't reproduce successfully without help from modern science. We have nerves that take bizarre paths, muscles that attach to nothing, and lymph nodes that do more harm than good. And that's just the beginning of the story.As biologist Nathan H. Lents explains, our evolutionary history is a litany of mistakes, each more entertaining and enlightening than the last. As we will discover, by exploring human shortcomings, we can peer into our past, because each of our flaws tells a story about our species' evolutionary history.A rollicking, deeply informative tour of our four-billion-year-long evolutionary saga, Human Errors both celebrates our imperfections - for our mutations are, in their own way, a testament to our species' greatness - and offers an unconventional accounting of the cost of our success.

W&N

Blue

John Sutherland
Authors:
John Sutherland
W&N

Istanbul

Bettany Hughes
Authors:
Bettany Hughes
W&N

Istanbul

Bettany Hughes
Authors:
Bettany Hughes

THE SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER'Life-filled and life-affirming history, steeped in romance and written with verve' GUARDIAN'Richly entertaining and impeccably researched' Peter FrankopanIstanbul has always been a place where stories and histories collide and crackle, where the idea is as potent as the historical fact. From the Qu'ran to Shakespeare, this city with three names - Byzantium, Constantinople, Istanbul - resonates as an idea and a place, and overspills its boundaries - real and imagined. Standing as the gateway between the East and West, it has served as the capital of the Roman, Byzantine, Latin and Ottoman Empires. For much of its history it was known simply as The City, but, as Bettany Hughes reveals, Istanbul is not just a city, but a story. In this epic new biography, Hughes takes us on a dazzling historical journey through the many incarnations of one of the world's greatest cities. As the longest-lived political entity in Europe, over the last 6,000 years Istanbul has absorbed a mosaic of micro-cities and cultures all gathering around the core. At the latest count archaeologists have measured forty-two human habitation layers. Phoenicians, Genoese, Venetians, Jews, Vikings, Azeris all called a patch of this earth their home. Based on meticulous research and new archaeological evidence, this captivating portrait of the momentous life of Istanbul is visceral, immediate and scholarly narrative history at its finest.

W&N

Goodbye Europe

Various
Authors:
Various

This is not a book about politics. It is a book about what makes us British, and what makes us European.Spend time with some of your favourite writers and artists in this truly unique collection spanning everything from art, language, food, music and movies, to war, literature, driving, nudity, geography, smoking and nature.Featuring pieces of exceptional quality from some of our most treasured novelists, historians, journalists, poets and artists, including: Jessie Burton, Richard Herring, Alain de Botton, Tom Bradby, Val McDermid, Matt Haig, Afua Hirsch, Lionel Shriver, Sarah Perry, Sanjeev Bhaskar, Ian Rankin, Owen Jones, Mark Kermode, Robert Macfarlane, Chris Riddell, Former Prime Minister Jim Hacker and many more.A must-read for anyone who wants to understand the times we live in, our relationship with the continent, and ourselves.* * * * *INCLUDES PIECES BY:Yasmin Alibhai-Brown, Sanjeev Bhaskar, Tom Bradby, Jessie Burton, Ben Collins (aka The Stig), Colonel Tim Collins, Robert Crampton, Adam Dant, Alain de Botton, Kate Eberlen, Matt Frei, Nicci French, Simon Garfield, Jonathan Lynn writing as Former Prime Minister Jim Hacker, Matt Haig, Richard Herring, Jennifer Higgie, Afua Hirsch, Owen Jones, Oliver Kamm, Alex Kapranos, Mark Kermode, Hari Kunzru, Olivia Laing, Marie Le Conte, Amy Liptrot, Robert Macfarlane, Henry Marsh, Val McDermid, Ian McEwan, Hollie McNish, Kate Mosse, Jenni Murray, Sarah Perry, Ian Rankin, Jacob Rees-Mogg, Cathy Rentzenbrink, Chris Riddell, Andrew Roberts, Will Self, David Shrigley, Lionel Shriver, Sunny Singh, Ece Temelkuran, Rob Temple, Bee Wilson, Sarah Winman

W&N

Bringing in the Sheaves

Richard Coles
Authors:
Richard Coles

After a life of sex, drugs and the Communards, recounted in his acclaimed memoir Fathomless Riches, the Reverend Richard Coles devoted himself to God and Christianity. So what is life like for the parson in Britain today? From his ordination, through Advent and Christmas to Lent and Easter, Reverend Coles gives us a unique insight into his daily experience in the ministry, with all the joy, hope, drama and difficulty that entails. Written with extraordinary charm and compassion, Bringing in the Sheaves will inspire and inform all who read it.'All the humour, quirky characters and incidents that life - and death- serve up' Mail on Sunday

W&N

From Here to Eternity

Caitlin Doughty, Landis Blair
Contributors:
Caitlin Doughty, Landis Blair

As a practising mortician, Caitlin Doughty has long been fascinated by our pervasive terror of dead bodies. In From Here to Eternity she sets out in search of cultures unburdened by such fears. With curiosity and morbid humour, Doughty introduces us to inspiring death-care innovators, participates in powerful death practices almost entirely unknown in the West and explores new spaces for mourning - including a futuristic glowing-Buddha columbarium in Japan, a candlelit Mexican cemetery, and America's only open-air pyre. In doing so she expands our sense of what it means to treat the dead with 'dignity' and reveals unexpected possibilities for our own death rituals.

W&N

Titans of History

Simon Sebag Montefiore
Authors:
Simon Sebag Montefiore
W&N

A Brief History of Everyone Who Ever Lived

Adam Rutherford
Authors:
Adam Rutherford
W&N

Outside the Asylum

Lynne Jones
Authors:
Lynne Jones

What happens if the psychiatric hospital in which you have lived for ten years is bombed and all the staff run away? What is it like to be a twelve-year-old and see all your family killed in front of you? Is it true that almost everyone caught up in a disaster is likely to suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder? What can mental health professionals do to help? How does one stay neutral and impartial in the face of genocide? Why would a doctor support military intervention?Outside the Asylum is Lynne Jones's personal exploration of of humanitarian psychiatry and the changing world of international relief; a memoir of more than twenty-five years as a practising psychiatrist in war and disaster zones around the world. From her training in one of Britain's last asylums, to treating traumatised soldiers in Gorazde after the Bosnian war, helping families who lost everything in the earthquake in Haiti, and learning from traditional healers in Sierra Leone, Lynne has worked with extraordinary people in extraordinary situations. This is a book that shines a light on the world of humanitarian aid, and that shows us the courage and resilience of the people who have to live, work and love in some of the most frightening situations in the world.

W&N

Scale

Geoffrey West
Authors:
Geoffrey West
W&N

Deviate

Beau Lotto
Authors:
Beau Lotto

Perception is the foundation of human experience, but few of us understand how our own perception works. By revealing the startling truths about the brain and perception, Beau Lotto shows that the next big innovation is not a new technology: it is a new way of seeing.In his first major book, Beau Lotto draws on over a decade of pioneering research to show how our brains play tricks on us. With an innovative combination of case studies and optical and perception illusion exercises, DEVIATE will revolutionise the way you see the world. With this new understanding of how the brain works and its perceptive trickery, we can apply these insights to every aspect of life and work. DEVIATE is not just an engaging look into the neuroscience of thought, behaviour and creativity: it is a call to action, enlisting readers in their own journey of self-discovery.

W&N

The Ascent of Gravity

Marcus Chown
Authors:
Marcus Chown

The Sunday Times Science Book of the Year 2017'Entertaining and at times mind-boggling guide to the weakest of nature's fundamental forces, which also controls the fate of the universe' Manjit Kumar, The TimesGravity is the weakest force in the everyday world yet it is the strongest force in the universe. It was the first force to be recognised and described yet it is the least understood. It is a 'force' that keeps your feet on the ground yet no such force actually exists.Gravity, to steal the words of Winston Churchill, is 'a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma'. And penetrating that enigma promises to answer the biggest questions in science: what is space? What is time? What is the universe? And where did it all come from?Award-winning writer Marcus Chown takes us on an unforgettable journey from the recognition of the 'force' of gravity in 1666 to the discovery of gravitational waves in 2015. And, as we stand on the brink of a seismic revolution in our worldview, he brings us up to speed on the greatest challenge ever to confront physics.

W&N

Stranger Than We Can Imagine

John Higgs
Authors:
John Higgs

'An illuminating work of massive insight' Alan Moore'A sensational book. Heartily recommended' Rufus HoundIt is the century about which we know too much, yet understand too little. With disorientating ideas such as relativity, cubism, the id, existentialism, chaos mathematics and postmodernism to contend with, the twentieth century, John Higgs argues, cannot fit easily into a traditional historical narrative. Time, then, for a new perspective. Higgs takes us on a refreshingly eclectic journey through the knotty history of the strangest of centuries. In the company of radical artists, scientists, geniuses and eccentrics, he shows us how the elegant, clockwork universe of the Victorians became increasingly woozy and uncertain; and how in the twentieth century we discovered that our world is not just stranger than we imagine, but 'stranger than we can imagine'.