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Rare Earth

Rare Earth

Why Complex Life Is Uncommon in the Universe

by Peter Douglas Ward, Donald Brownlee and Donadl Brownlee

Paperback, 335 pages, Springer Verlag, $16.95, published December 1 2003 | purchase
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  • Rare Earth
  • Why Complex Life Is Uncommon in the Universe
  • Peter Douglas Ward, Donald Brownlee, et al

Argues that, while primitive organisms such as microbes are likely abundant in the universe, advanced life and multicellular organisms are incredibly rare, as they require a myriad of special circumstances to survive.

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A Tear at the Edge of Creation

A Tear at the Edge of Creation

A Radical New Vision for Life in an Imperfect Universe

by Marcelo Gleiser

Paperback, 289 pages, Univ Pr of New England, $18.95, published August 6 2013 | purchase
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  • A Tear at the Edge of Creation
  • A Radical New Vision for Life in an Imperfect Universe
  • Marcelo Gleiser

A physics and philosophy professor challenges modern beliefs about the definable nature of the cosmos, arguing that all things exist because of random imperfections, primordial asymmetries and outright accidents, in a report that also cites the importance of caring for the planet.

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Apocalyptic Planet

Apocalyptic Planet

Field Guide to the Everending Earth

by Craig Childs

Hardcover, 343 pages, Random House Inc, $27.95, published October 2 2012 | purchase
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  • Apocalyptic Planet
  • Field Guide to the Everending Earth
  • Craig Childs

This narrative discusses the Earth's inherent instability and susceptibility toward violent natural disasters and climate extremes, and challenges beliefs about apocalyptic inevitability while revealing how to change humanity's place within the planet's cycles.

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Mind and Cosmos

Mind and Cosmos

Why the Materialist Neo-Darwinian Conception of Nature Is Almost Certainly False

by Thomas Nagel

Hardcover, 130 pages, Oxford Univ Pr, $24.95, published September 26 2012 | purchase
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  • Mind and Cosmos
  • Why the Materialist Neo-Darwinian Conception of Nature Is Almost Certainly False
  • Thomas Nagel
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The Generals

The Generals

American Military Command from World War II to Today

by Thomas E. Ricks

Hardcover, 558 pages, Penguin Group USA, $32.95, published October 30 2012 | purchase
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  • The Generals
  • American Military Command from World War II to Today
  • Thomas E. Ricks

The Generals describes the values, strategic thinking and leadership qualities of military leaders from World War II to the present day and how the widening separation between performance and accountability has not resulted in any recent Marshalls, Eisenhowers or Pattons.

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Dangerous Work

Dangerous Work

Diary of an Arctic Adventure

by Arthur Conan Doyle, Jon Lellenberg and Daniel Stashower

Hardcover, 368 pages, Univ of Chicago Pr, $35, published October 1 2012 | purchase
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  • Dangerous Work
  • Diary of an Arctic Adventure
  • Arthur Conan Doyle, Jon Lellenberg, et al
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Relics

Relics

Travels in Nature's Time Machine

by Piotr Naskrecki and Cristina Goettsch Mittermeier

Hardcover, 342 pages, Univ of Chicago Pr, $45, published November 15 2011 | purchase
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  • Relics
  • Travels in Nature's Time Machine
  • Piotr Naskrecki and Cristina Goettsch Mittermeier

Combines text with colorful photographs to chronicle the species of animals and plants that are biological relics of a bygone era.

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Hallucinations

Hallucinations

by Oliver Sacks

Paperback, 326 pages, Random House Inc, $15.95, published July 2 2013 | purchase
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  • Hallucinations
  • Oliver Sacks

Oliver Sacks investigates the types, physiological sources and cultural resonances of hallucinations, tracing everything from intoxication to the manifestations of injury and illness.NPR Bestseller

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The Violinist's Thumb

The Violinist's Thumb

And Other Lost Tales of Love, War, and Genius, As Written by Our Genetic Code

by Sam Kean

Hardcover, 400 pages, Little Brown & Co, $25.99, published July 17 2012 | purchase
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  • The Violinist's Thumb
  • And Other Lost Tales of Love, War, and Genius, As Written by Our Genetic Code
  • Sam Kean

The best-selling author of The Disappearing Spoon discusses DNA, the building block of life, describing how genes can explain why JFK's skill was bronze, Einstein was a genius and why people with exceptional thumb flexibility can become world-class violinists.

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Spillover

Spillover

Animal Infections and the Next Human Pandemic

by David Quammen

Hardcover, 592 pages, W. W. Norton & Company, $28.95, published October 1 2012 | purchase
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  • Spillover
  • Animal Infections and the Next Human Pandemic
  • David Quammen

David Quammen examines the emergence and causes of new diseases all over the world, describing a process called "spillover," where illness originates in wild animals before being passed to humans. He discusses the potential for the next huge pandemic.

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The End of Illness

The End of Illness

by David B. Agus, M.D.

Paperback, 351 pages, Free Press, $15.99, published October 16 2012 | purchase
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  • The End of Illness
  • David B. Agus, M.D.

Dr. David B. Agus — one of the nation's leading authorities on cancer treatment — addresses modern misconceptions about illness and wellness. Agus makes some surprising claims, asserting that a sedentary lifestyle can be worse than smoking, that vitamin supplements may do more harm than help and that poorly designed footwear factors into the development of heart disease.NPR Bestseller

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A More Perfect Heaven

A More Perfect Heaven

How Copernicus Revolutionised the Cosmos

by Dava Sobel

Paperback, 273 pages, Walker & Company, $16, published October 16 2012 | purchase
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  • A More Perfect Heaven
  • How Copernicus Revolutionised the Cosmos
  • Dava Sobel

In her elegant, compelling style, Dava Sobel chronicles, as nobody has, the conflicting personalities and extraordinary discoveries that shaped the Copernican Revolution.

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The Viral Storm

The Viral Storm

The Dawn of a New Pandemic Age

by Nathan Wolfe

Paperback, 304 pages, St. Martin's Griffin, $15.99, published October 16 2012 | purchase
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  • The Viral Storm
  • The Dawn of a New Pandemic Age
  • Nathan Wolfe

Reveals the origins of some of the world's most deadly viruses while explaining the link between modern life and global pandemic threats and shares insights into how developing technologies may counter potential threats.

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Alone Together book cover

Alone Together

Why We Expect More from Technology and Less from Each Other

by Sherry Turkle

Paperback, 384 pages, Perseus Books Group, $16.99, published October 2 2012 | purchase
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  • Alone Together
  • Why We Expect More from Technology and Less from Each Other
  • Sherry Turkle

In Alone Together, MIT technology and society professor Sherry Turkle explores the power of our new tools and toys to dramatically alter our social lives. It's a nuanced exploration of what we are looking for — and sacrificing — in a world of electronic companions and social networking tools, and an argument that, despite the hand-waving of today's self-described prophets of the future, it will be the next generation who will chart the path between isolation and connectivity.

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The Ghost Map

The Ghost Map

by Steven Johnson

Paperback, 299 pages, Penguin Group USA, $16, published October 2 2007 | purchase
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  • The Ghost Map
  • Steven Johnson

A historical chronicle of Victorian London's worst cholera outbreak traces the day-by-day efforts of Dr. John Snow, who put his own life on the line in his efforts to prove his previously dismissed contagion theory about how the epidemic was spreading. Reprint.

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Mind in Life

Mind in Life

Biology, Phenomenology, and the Sciences of Mind

by Evan Thompson

Paperback, 543 pages, Harvard Univ Pr, $26, published September 30 2010 | purchase
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  • Mind in Life
  • Biology, Phenomenology, and the Sciences of Mind
  • Evan Thompson
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Out of Our Heads

Out of Our Heads

Why You Are Not Your Brain, and Other Lessons from the Biology of Consciousness

by Alva Noe

Paperback, 214 pages, Farrar Straus & Giroux, $15, published February 2 2010 | purchase
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  • Out of Our Heads
  • Why You Are Not Your Brain, and Other Lessons from the Biology of Consciousness
  • Alva Noe

A noted philosopher and member of the Institute for Cognitive and Brain Science examines flaws in current understandings about consciousness while proposing a radical solution that argues that consciousness must not be limited to the confines of the brain.

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God's Hotel

God's Hotel

A Doctor, a Hospital, and a Pilgrimage to the Heart of Medicine

by Victoria Sweet

Paperback, 416 pages, Penguin Group USA, $16, published April 2 2013 | purchase
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  • God's Hotel
  • A Doctor, a Hospital, and a Pilgrimage to the Heart of Medicine
  • Victoria Sweet

San Francisco's Laguna Honda Hospital is the last almshouse in the country, a descendant of the Hotel-Dieu (God's Hotel) that cared for the sick during the Middle Ages. It's also where Dr. Victoria Sweet learned a kind of attentive medicine that has almost vanished. God's Hotel chronicles the more than 20 years Sweet spent working at the hospital.

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MP3

MP3

The Meaning of a Format

by Jonathan Sterne

Paperback, 341 pages, Duke Univ Pr, $24.95, published August 6 2012 | purchase
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  • MP3
  • The Meaning of a Format
  • Jonathan Sterne
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