Related to: 'How to Write a Letter'

Quercus

How to Make Children Laugh

Michael Rosen
Authors:
Michael Rosen

Belching, banana skins, being eaten and bear hunts make children laugh.As do practical jokes, peekaboo, pantomime and poetry that makes no sense.Why and how does this work? And why does it matter?Writer and Professor of Children's Literature Michael Rosen, whose books - from We're Going on a Bear Hunt to Chocolate Cake - have made millions of children rock with laughter, gives us the tools for this greatest of gifts.

Quercus

The Genius Test: Maths

Julia Collins
Authors:
Julia Collins

Can you explain Fermat's Last Theorem? What is the shape of the Universe? And how do you add up to infinity? Challenge yourself with The Genius Test: Maths and learn to think and talk like the world's greatest mathematical geniuses. Taking you on a journey through the mathematical ideas that underpin our world - from imaginary numbers and Turing machines to chaos theory and mathematical paradoxes; from the search for primes and game theory to relativity and the arithmetic of altruism - The Genius Test: Maths demystifies 50 key concepts and provides you with the tools to master the very biggest ideas. Includes: imaginary numbers; the riemann hypothesis; mathematical paradoxes; chaos theory; code breaking; Gödel's incompleteness theorem; topology; the Poincaré conjecture; game theory; the maths of symmetry; calculus; Turing machines; fractals; the prisoner's dilemma; primes; knot theory; probability and statistics; the Monty Hall problem . . . and many more.

riverrun

The Book of Forgotten Authors

Christopher Fowler
Authors:
Christopher Fowler
Quercus

How to Count to Infinity

Marcus du Sautoy
Authors:
Marcus du Sautoy

Do something amazing and learn a new skill thanks to the Little Ways to Live a Big Life books! Birds do it, bees do it, even educated fleas do it... Not falling in love, but counting. Animals and humans have been using numbers to navigate their way through the jungle of life ever since we all evolved on this planet. But this book will help you to do something that humans have only recently understood how to do: to count to regions that no animal has ever reached. By the end of this book you'll be able to count to infinity...and beyond.On our way to infinity we'll discover how the ancient Babylonians used their bodies to count to 60 (which gave us 60 minutes in the hour), how the number zero was only discovered in the 7th century by Indian mathematicians contemplating the void, why in China going into the red meant your numbers had gone negative and why numbers might be our best language for communicating with alien life.But for millennia contemplating infinity has sent even the greatest minds into a spin. Then at the end of the nineteenth century mathematicians discovered a way to think about infinity that revealed that it is a number that we can count. Not only that. They found that there are an infinite number of infinities, some bigger than others. Just using the finite neurons in your brain and the finite pages in this book, you'll have your mind blown discovering the secret of how to count to infinity.

Quercus

How To Understand E =mc²

Christophe Galfard
Authors:
Christophe Galfard

Do something amazing and learn a new skill thanks to the Little Ways to Live a Big Life books! The beginning of the 20th century heralded a scientific revolution: what a few brilliant minds uncovered about our reality in the first twenty years has shaped the history of our species. And one of them in particular stands out: Einstein, with his celebrated E=mc2.In this remarkable and insightful book, Christophe Galfard describes how E=mc2 is a direct consequence of the Theory of Special Relativity, the theory of how objects move and behave, at speeds close to the speed of light. He considers Einstein's legacy in the light of the 21st century, with fresh hindsight, and considers its impact on our vision of reality. The reader will discover that far from being just a formula, it is a brand new understanding of the nature of space and time.Some of the greatest scientific breakthroughs in the history of science have been made by geniuses who managed to merge and unite hitherto separated domains of knowledge. Galfard explores two unifications with Einstein's theories, and looks at the even bigger picture of how E=mc2 has changed our world, and what it entails for the future.Throughout, Galfard takes the reader on an extremely entertaining journey, using simple, jargon-free language to help the reader gain a deeper understanding of science. With humour and patience, he guides us through the world of particles, anti-matter and much more to bring us closer to an ultimate understanding of reality as we understand it today.

Quercus

How to Land a Plane

Mark Vanhoenacker
Authors:
Mark Vanhoenacker

Do something amazing and learn a new skill thanks to the Little Ways to Live a Big Life books! By the author of the acclaimed international bestseller Skyfaring, the Economist's 'Best book of the Year' and a New York Times 'Notable Book', and a BBC Radio 4 Book of the WeekSo, hello! Welcome! Honestly, you look surprisingly relaxed. That's great to see. Have a seat on the left side of the cockpit - that's the captain's seat. Yes, that's right, you're now the captain, and yes, that's the runway down there. Fasten your seatbelt, order yourself a cup of tea, and let's get cracking.Mark Vanhoenacker, the airline pilot who makes poetry out of the science of flight technology, hands over the controls. Walking and talking us through the nitty-gritty of an approach and touchdown, he builds our understanding of flight from the ground up (or rather from the sky down), offering a new perspective of one of the more challenging and rewarding tasks ever.

Quercus

How to Draw Anything

Do something amazing and learn a new skill thanks to the Little Ways to Live a Big Life books! As children, when we learn to write, we gain an important life skill: a practical means of communicating that we end up using almost every day of our lives, if only to jot down a shopping list or dash out an email. As children, we also know instinctively that drawing is a great way to communicate, but later in life it isn't universally valued and nurtured in the way that writing is. It's not seen as a necessity, it's seen as a specialism. As a result, most of us stop drawing completely, apart from the odd doodling. More than that, we lose all confidence in our ability to draw. Yet drawing is an incredibly prac­tical way of turning what's inside your head into something tangible and useful. It can equip you with new means of solving problems, sharing ideas and telling stories. How to Draw Anything sets out to repair our broken relationship with drawing. It will inspire you to pick up that pencil from where you left it all those years ago and start making pictures again. It will give you back the confidence and joy in drawing you never should have lost. And it will take drawing out of the art world and put it into your world, introducing you to drawing as a practical tool for everyday life that will change the way you work, think and communicate.

riverrun

Spoonbenders

Daryl Gregory
Authors:
Daryl Gregory

*** The BBC Radio 2 Book Club choice ****** Bought for TV by Paramount ***'Funny and charming . . . magical' New York Times Book Review'Hilarious, freewheeling' Guardian'Gloriously imaginative' Cynthia D'Aprix SweeneyThey were the Amazing Telemachus Family, who in the mid-1970s achieved widespread fame for their magic and mind reading act. That is, until the magic decided to disappear one night, live on national television.We encounter this long-forgotten family two decades on, when grandson Matty, born long after the public fall from grace, discovers powers in himself and realises his hugely deflated, heavily indebted family truly are amazing.Spoonbenders is the legacy and legend of a dysfunctional, normal, entirely unique family across three generations of big personalities and socially inept recluses - each cursed with the potential of being something special.

Quercus

How to Play the Piano

James Rhodes
Authors:
James Rhodes

Learn to play one of Bach's most exquisite preludes in just 6 weeks, even if you have never played the piano before.An accessible and inspiring book by the pianist and international bestselling writer James Rhodes, who promises that it gives anyone with two hands, a piano or an electric keyboard and just 45 minutes a day the tools they need to learn to play Bach's Prelude No. 1 in C Major in 6 weeks, even if they know nothing about music and have never even touched a piano before.How often do we convince ourselves that it's just too late - too late to learn how to ride a bike, too late to know how to meditate, too late to travel the world... As we get older and time slips through our fingers like water, we become resigned, almost defeatist, about abandoning our dreams. For James Rhodes, after the inevitable "How many hours a day do you practice?" and "Show me your hands", the most common thing people say to him when they hear he's a pianist is "I used to play the piano as a kid. I really regret giving it up". Where does this mourned and misplaced creativity go? For Rhodes, it's still there to be tapped into by all of us, at any point. This inspirational book gives us the means to do this, by breaking up Bach's seminal Prelude No. 1 from the Well-Tempered Clavier into manageable segments, teaching us the basics of piano playing - how to read music, the difference between the treble and the bass clef, sharp and flat notes, how to practice etc.. - and encouraging personal interpretation in a way that is guaranteed to soothe the mind, feed the soul and unleash creative powers we didn't know we still had. All of this will culminate in an ability to perform one of Bach's masterpieces."If listening to music is soothing for the soul, then playing music is achieving enlightenment. It's going from kicking a ball around with a few pals to playing alongside Ronaldo."

Quercus

How to Play the Piano

James Rhodes
Authors:
James Rhodes

Learn to play one of Bach's most exquisite preludes in just 6 weeks, even if you have never played the piano before.An accessible and inspiring book by the pianist and international bestselling writer James Rhodes, who promises that it gives anyone with two hands, a piano or an electric keyboard and just 45 minutes a day the tools they need to learn to play Bach's Prelude No. 1 in C Major in 6 weeks, even if they know nothing about music and have never even touched a piano before.How often do we convince ourselves that it's just too late - too late to learn how to ride a bike, too late to know how to meditate, too late to travel the world... As we get older and time slips through our fingers like water, we become resigned, almost defeatist, about abandoning our dreams. For James Rhodes, after the inevitable "How many hours a day do you practice?" and "Show me your hands", the most common thing people say to him when they hear he's a pianist is "I used to play the piano as a kid. I really regret giving it up". Where does this mourned and misplaced creativity go? For Rhodes, it's still there to be tapped into by all of us, at any point. This inspirational book gives us the means to do this, by breaking up Bach's seminal Prelude No. 1 from the Well-Tempered Clavier into manageable segments, teaching us the basics of piano playing - how to read music, the difference between the treble and the bass clef, sharp and flat notes, how to practice etc.. - and encouraging personal interpretation in a way that is guaranteed to soothe the mind, feed the soul and unleash creative powers we didn't know we still had. All of this will culminate in an ability to perform one of Bach's masterpieces."If listening to music is soothing for the soul, then playing music is achieving enlightenment. It's going from kicking a ball around with a few pals to playing alongside Ronaldo."

Quercus

50 Maths Ideas You Really Need to Know

Tony Crilly
Authors:
Tony Crilly
Quercus

50 Philosophy of Science Ideas You Really Need to Know

Gareth Southwell
Authors:
Gareth Southwell

The key philosophy of science ideas - accessible and essential reading.Science first began as a branch of philosophy, but it has since grown up and moved out of the family home, and its successes have put its parent in the shade. Thanks to scientific knowledge we have walked on the Moon, cured once-fatal illnesses, and even identified the very building blocks of life and the universe. But it is these very successes that underline the need for philosophy. How much should we trust the pronouncements of scientists that we read in the media? What are the ethical implications of our delving into the foundations of our DNA, reproductive treatments, or artificially prolonging life? And are there limits to what science can tell us about the world we think we know? In straightforward and accessible terms, 50 Philosophy of Science Ideas You Really Need to Know explains the key philosophical questions that continue to lie at the heart of the nature and practice of science today. The ideas explored include: Appearance and reality; Knowledge; Anti-realism; Metaphysics; Science and gender; Phenomenology and science.

Quercus

Maths 1001

Dr Richard Elwes
Authors:
Dr Richard Elwes

The ultimate smart reference to the world of mathematics - from quadratic equations and Pythagoras' Theorem to chaos theory and quantum computing.Maths 1001 provides clear and concise explanations of the most fascinating and fundamental mathematical concepts. Distilled into 1001 bite-sized mini-essays arranged thematically, this unique reference book moves steadily from the basics through to the most advanced of ideas, making it the ideal guide for novices and mathematics enthusiasts. Whether used as a handy reference, an informal self-study course or simply as a gratifying dip-in, this book offers - in one volume - a world of mathematical knowledge for the general reader. Maths 1001 is an incredibly comprehensive guide, spanning all of the key mathematical fields including Numbers, Geometry, Algebra, Analysis, Discrete Mathematics, Logic and the Philosophy of Maths, Applied Mathematics, Statistics and Probability and Puzzles and Mathematical Games. From zero and infinity to relativity and Godel's proof that maths is incomplete, Dr Richard Elwes explains the key concepts of mathematics in the simplest language with a minimum of jargon. Along the way he reveals mathematical secrets such as how to count to 1023 using just 10 fingers and how to make an unbreakable code, as well as answering such questions as: Are imaginary numbers real? How can something be both true and false? Why is it impossible to draw an accurate map of the world? And how do you get your head round the mind-bending Monty Hall problem? Extensive, enlightening and entertaining, this really is the only maths book anyone would ever need to buy.

Dr Richard Elwes

Dr Richard Okura Elwes is a writer, teacher, and researcher in mathematics and a Senior Teaching Fellow at University of Leeds, UK. He is the author of the books How to Build a Brain, The Maths Handbook, Maths in 100 Key Breakthroughs, and Chaotic Fishponds and Mirror Universes (all published by Quercus), and has written for New Scientist and Plus Magazine. His research interests include mathematical logic and random processes.

Gareth Southwell

Gareth Southwell is a freelance philosopher, author and illustrator, and the curator of philosophyonline.co.uk. He is the author of an ongoing series of introductory philosophy books, including A Beginner's Guide to Descartes' Meditations and A Beginner's Guide to Nietzsche's Beyond Good and Evil. He lives in Swansea with his wife and children.

James Rhodes

James Rhodes was born in London in 1975. A keen piano player, at eighteen he was offered a scholarship at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, but went to Edinburgh University instead. James stopped playing the piano entirely and dropped out after a year. He ended up working in the City for five years. After a devastating mental breakdown that led him to be institutionalised, he took the piano up again. He is now a professional and applauded concert pianist, writer and TV presenter. His memoir, Instrumental, was published to great critical acclaim and became an international bestseller, as did his short book How To Play the Piano.

Julia Collins

Julia Collins has a PhD in 4-dimensional Knot Theory from the University of Edinburgh, where she spent five years as the Mathematics Engagement Officer, with a remit to lecture and spread an appreciation of mathematics. She is now Outreach Officer at the Australian Mathematical Sciences Institute. Julia's writing has been published in Nature and in Princeton University Press' anthology The Best Writing on Mathematics. She is a winner of the How to Talk Maths in Public competition, has been nominated for the London Mathematical Society's Anne Bennett prize, and organised the world's first Maths Craft Festival.

Marcus du Sautoy

Marcus du Sautoy is Professor of Mathematics at the University of Oxford where he holds the prestigious Simonyi Chair for the Public Understanding of Science and is a Fellow of New College.Du Sautoy has received a number of awards for his work including the London Mathematical Society's Berwick Prize for outstanding mathematical research and the Royal Society of London's Michael Faraday Prize for 'excellence in communicating science'. He has been awarded an OBE for his services to science and was recently elected a Fellow of the Royal Society.His mathematical research has covered a great many areas including group theory, number theory and model theory, but he has been equally successful in his promotion of mathematics to the general public. He has published a number of best-selling, non-academic books and appears regularly on television and radio.

Shaun Usher

Shaun Usher's obsession with old-fashioned correspondence began when he fell in love with his future wife, Karina, by letter in 2002. This ultimately led to the 2009 launch of Letters of Note, an online museum of "correspondence deserving of a wider audience" which to date has been visited more than 100 million times. Four years later, his website spawned a much-anticipated book of the same name, the first of three books "of note" to be crowdfunded with Unbound; it was published in 2013 to widespread acclaim, has since become an international bestseller, and inspired Letters Live, a star-studded live show in which these letters are brought to life on stage.Shaun lives in Manchester with Karina and their two sons

Tony Crilly

Tony Crilly is Reader in Mathematical Sciences at Middlesex University, having previously taught at the University of Michigan, the City University in Hong Kong, and the Open University. His principal research interest is the history of mathematics, and he has written and edited many works on fractals, chaos and computing. He is the author of the acclaimed biography of the English mathematician Arthur Cayley.