20% OFF* selected non-fiction titles in August
From artificial intelligence to microbiomes, economics to architecture, revolutionary mathematicians to renegades of the Silicon Valley, here is a selection of some of our favourite ground-breaking titles to inspire, to challenge and to delight.
We are now on the doorstep of a fourth change brought about by two technologies: AI and robotics. The Fourth Age provides extraordinary background information on how we got to this point, and how – rather than what – we should think about the topics we’ll soon all be facing: machine consciousness, automation, employment, creative computers, radical life extension, artificial life, AI ethics, the future of warfare, superintelligence, and the implications of extreme prosperity.
By asking questions like “Are you a machine?” and “Could a computer feel anything?”, Reese leads you through a discussion along the cutting edge in robotics and AI, and, provides a framework by which we can all understand, discuss, and act on the issues of the Fourth Age, and how they’ll transform humanity.
AIQ: How artificial intelligence works and how we can harness its power for a better world
by Nick Polson and James Scott
Dozens of times per day, we all interact with intelligent machines that are constantly learning from the wealth of data now available to them. These machines, from smart phones to talking robots to self-driving cars, are remaking the world in the twenty first century in the same way that the Industrial Revolution remade the world in the nineteenth.
AIQ is based on a simple premise: if you want to understand the modern world, then you have to know a little bit of the mathematical language spoken by intelligent machines. AIQ will teach you that language but in an unconventional way, anchored in stories rather than equations.
The Secret Life of Your Microbiome : Why Nature and Biodiversity Are Essential to Health and Happiness
by Susan L. Prescott and Alan C. Logan
For too long our bodies have been viewed as capsules, sealed off and protected from ‘bugs’ by our immune systems and an arsenal of antibiotics, pesticides, processed foods, and antibacterial soaps. The more insulated from nature, the better.
The Secret Life of Your Microbiome shatters this deeply held myth, presenting a revolutionary new paradigm, backed by vast science; we’re deeply connected to the biodiversity of nature through our microbiomes, the rich microbial ecosystem of our guts and skin, and this connection is essential to health and happiness.
Every part of your body affects every other part of your body, and if any one area is not functioning properly, other systems will feel it, too. There is a fundamental connection between the brain, the gut, the microbiome, and the thyroid – which Dr Raphael Kellman calls ‘the whole brain’. In this lively, accessible book, he reveals how this system works in tandem to keep us healthy, and how, by making small changes, we can use it to heal mood and mental disorders without drugs.
With a practical guide featuring meal plans, an exercise program, and a program of daily meditations and affirmations, The Whole Brain Diet will benefit people diagnosed with depression or anxiety, and those who just want to feel better in themselves.
Capital in the Twenty-First Century
by Thomas Piketty
What are the grand dynamics that drive the accumulation and distribution of capital?
Questions about the long-term evolution of inequality, the concentration of wealth, and the prospects for economic growth lie at the heart of political economy. But satisfactory answers have been hard to find for lack of adequate data and clear guiding theories. In Capital in the Twenty-First Century, Thomas Piketty analyzes a unique collection of data from twenty countries, ranging as far back as the eighteenth century, to uncover key economic and social patterns. His findings will transform debate and set the agenda for the next generation of thought about wealth and inequality.
Muhammad Yunus is the Bangladeshi economist who invented microcredit, founded Grameen Bank, and earned a Nobel Peace Prize for his work towards alleviating poverty. Here, he argues that the capitalist system is broken. In its current form, it inevitably leads to rampant inequality, massive unemployment, and devastating environmental destruction. To save humankind and the planet, we need a new economic system based on a more realistic vision of human nature – one that recognises altruism and generosity as driving forces that are just as fundamental and powerful as self-interest.
A World of Three Zeroes describes the new civilisation that is emerging from the economic experiments Yunus’ work has helped to inspire, and offers a challenge to young people, business and political leaders, and ordinary citizens to embrace his mission and improve the world for everyone.
Hidden Figures: The Untold Story of the African American Women Who Helped Win the Space Race
by Margot Lee Shetterly
Set amid the civil rights movement, the never-before-told true story of NASA’s African-American female mathematicians who played a crucial role in America’s space program. Before Neil Armstrong walked on the moon, a group of professionals worked as ‘Human Computers’, calculating the flight paths that would enable these historic achievements. Among these were a coterie of bright, talented African-American women. Segregated from their white counterparts, these ‘coloured computers’ used pencil and paper to write the equations that would launch rockets, and astronauts, into space. Moving from World War II through NASA’s golden age, touching on the civil rights era, the Space Race, the Cold War, and the women’s rights movement, Hidden Figures interweaves a rich history of mankind’s greatest adventure with the intimate stories of five courageous women whose work forever changed the world.
by Lloyd Kahn and Bob Easton
Shelter is many things – a visually dynamic, oversized compendium of organic architecture past and present; a how-to book that includes over 1,250 illustrations; and a Whole Earth Catalog-type sourcebook for living in harmony with the earth by using every conceivable material. First published in 1973, Shelter remains a source of inspiration and invention. Including the nuts-and-bolts aspects of building, the book covers such topics as dwellings from Iron Age huts to Bedouin tents to Togo’s tin-and-thatch houses; nomadic shelters from tipis to “housecars”; and domes, dome cities, sod iglus, and even treehouses.
The authors recount personal stories about alternative dwellings that illustrate sensible solutions to problems associated with using materials found in the environment – with fascinating, often surprising results.
An Unfinished Experiment in Living : Australian Houses 1950-65
by Geoffrey London, Philip Goad, Conrad Hamann
Architect-designed houses of the period 1950-65 proposed an innovative response to the social, economic, and climatic conditions of post-war Australia. At the same time they embraced the aesthetic, technological, and egalitarian aspirations of modern architecture.
An Unfinished Experiment in Living traces the emergence of this architectural phenomenon in Australia, documenting the full range of its expression: from the postwar optimism of the early 1950s through to the affluence of the 1960s.
Twenty-one Australian Architects, Breaking New Ground
by Karen McCartney
Australian artists are designing some of the most innovative residential homes in the world. To celebrate this incredible Australian talent, Belle has teamed up with acclaimed architectural and design editor Karen McCartney – author of the popular Iconic Australian Houses series and Superhouse to present Twenty-one Australian Architects, Breaking New Ground.
The stylish cloth bound tome takes a comprehensive look at 21 Australian architectural practices that are leading the way today. The fabulously photographed volume is an exciting design journey which introduces readers to the cutting-edge architects currently working in Australia and discusses their design philosophy and inspiration alongside examples of their work. Projects from the likes of John Wardle, William Smart, Kennedy Nolan, Matt Gibson, Hannah Tribe, Rob Mills, Clare Cousins, and many more are sure to inspire.
by Brad Stone
Ten years ago, the idea of getting into a stranger’s car, or walking into a stranger’s home, would have seemed bizarre and dangerous, but today it’s as common as ordering a book online. Uber and Airbnb are household names: redefining neighbourhoods, challenging the way governments regulate business and changing the way we travel.
In the spirit of iconic Silicon Valley renegades like Steve Jobs and Bill Gates, a new generation of entrepreneurs is sparking yet another cultural upheaval through technology. They are among the Upstarts, idiosyncratic founders with limitless drive and an abundance of self-confidence. Young, hungry and brilliant, they are rewriting the traditional rules of business, changing our day-to-day lives and often sidestepping serious ethical and legal obstacles in the process.
The Upstarts is the definitive account of a dawning age of tenacity, creativity, conflict and wealth. In Brad Stone’s highly anticipated and riveting account of the most radical companies of the new Silicon Valley, we find out how it all started, and how the world is wildly different than it was ten years ago.
* Not in conjunction with any other offer. Discount applies to selected marked titles only until 31st August 2018.