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Biology


    Why We Sleep: Unlocking the Power of Sleep and Dreams

    Why We Sleep: Unlocking the Power of Sleep and Dreams Lowest new price: $16.20
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    List price: $27.00
    Author: Matthew Walker PhD

    The first sleep book by a leading scientific expert—Professor Matthew Walker, Director of UC Berkeley’s Sleep and Neuroimaging Lab—reveals his groundbreaking exploration of sleep, explaining how we can harness its transformative power to change our lives for the better.

    Sleep is one of the most important but least understood aspects of our life, wellness, and longevity. Until very recently, science had no answer to the question of why we sleep, or what good it served, or why we suffer such devastating health consequences when we don't sleep. Compared to the other basic drives in life—eating, drinking, and reproducing—the purpose of sleep remained elusive.

    An explosion of scientific discoveries in the last twenty years has shed new light on this fundamental aspect of our lives. Now, preeminent neuroscientist and sleep expert Matthew Walker gives us a new understanding of the vital importance of sleep and dreaming. Within the brain, sleep enriches our ability to learn, memorize, and make logical decisions. It recalibrates our emotions, restocks our immune system, fine-tunes our metabolism, and regulates our appetite. Dreaming mollifies painful memories and creates a virtual reality space in which the brain melds past and present knowledge to inspire creativity.

    Walker answers important questions about sleep: how do caffeine and alcohol affect sleep? What really happens during REM sleep? Why do our sleep patterns change across a lifetime? How do common sleep aids affect us and can they do long-term damage? Charting cutting-edge scientific breakthroughs, and synthesizing decades of research and clinical practice, Walker explains how we can harness sleep to improve learning, mood, and energy levels; regulate hormones; prevent cancer, Alzheimer’s, and diabetes; slow the effects of aging; increase longevity; enhance the education and lifespan of our children, and boost the efficiency, success, and productivity of our businesses. Clear-eyed, fascinating, and accessible, Why We Sleep is a crucial and illuminating book.

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    Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind

    Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind Lowest new price: $17.99
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    List price: $35.00
    Author: Yuval Noah Harari
    Brand: Harari Yuval Noah

    New York Times Bestseller

    A Summer Reading Pick for President Barack Obama, Bill Gates, and Mark Zuckerberg

    From a renowned historian comes a groundbreaking narrative of humanity’s creation and evolution—a #1 international bestseller—that explores the ways in which biology and history have defined us and enhanced our understanding of what it means to be “human.”

    One hundred thousand years ago, at least six different species of humans inhabited Earth. Yet today there is only one—homo sapiens. What happened to the others? And what may happen to us?

    Most books about the history of humanity pursue either a historical or a biological approach, but Dr. Yuval Noah Harari breaks the mold with this highly original book that begins about 70,000 years ago with the appearance of modern cognition. From examining the role evolving humans have played in the global ecosystem to charting the rise of empires, Sapiens integrates history and science to reconsider accepted narratives, connect past developments with contemporary concerns, and examine specific events within the context of larger ideas.

    Dr. Harari also compels us to look ahead, because over the last few decades humans have begun to bend laws of natural selection that have governed life for the past four billion years. We are acquiring the ability to design not only the world around us, but also ourselves. Where is this leading us, and what do we want to become?

    Featuring 27 photographs, 6 maps, and 25 illustrations/diagrams, this provocative and insightful work is sure to spark debate and is essential reading for aficionados of Jared Diamond, James Gleick, Matt Ridley, Robert Wright, and Sharon Moalem.

    An Amazon Best Book of the Month for February 2015: Yuval Noah Harari has some questions. Among the biggest: How did Homo sapiens (or Homo sapiens sapiens , if you’re feeling especially wise today) evolve from an unexceptional savannah-dwelling primate to become the dominant force on the planet, emerging as the lone survivor out of six distinct, competing hominid species? He also has some answers, and they’re not what you’d expect. Tackling evolutionary concepts from a historian’s perspective, Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind, describes human development through a framework of three not-necessarily-orthodox “Revolutions”: the Cognitive, the Agricultural, and the Scientific. His ideas are interesting and often amusing: Why have humans managed to build astonishingly large populations when other primate groups top out at 150 individuals? Because our talent for gossip allows us to build networks in societies too large for personal relationships between everyone, and our universally accepted “imagined realities”--such as money, religion, and Limited Liability Corporations—keep us in line. Who cultivated whom, humans or wheat?. Wheat. Though the concepts are unusual and sometimes heavy (as is the book, literally) Harari’s deft prose and wry, subversive humor make quick work of material prone to academic tedium. He’s written a book of popular nonfiction (it was a bestseller overseas, no doubt in part because his conclusions draw controversy) landing somewhere in the middle of a Venn diagram of genetics, sociology, and history. Throughout, Harari returns frequently to another question: Does all this progress make us happier, our lives easier? The answer might disappoint you. --Jon Foro

    Features:

    • Sapiens A Brief History of Humankind

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    The Anatomy Coloring Book

    The Anatomy Coloring Book Lowest new price: $16.00
    Lowest used price: $7.41
    List price: $27.20
    Author: Wynn Kapit
    Brand: Kapit Wynn

    Why use this coloring book?

     

    For more than 35 years, The Anatomy Coloring Book has been the #1 best-selling human anatomy coloring book! A useful tool for anyone with an interest in learning anatomical structures, this concisely written text features precise, extraordinary hand-drawn figures that were crafted especially for easy coloring and interactive study. Organized according to body systems, each of the 162 two-page spreads  featured in this book includes an ingenious color-key system where anatomical terminology is linked to detailed illustrations of the structures of the body. When you color to learn with The Anatomy Coloring Book, you make visual associations with key terminology, and assimilate information while engaging in kinesthetic learning. Studying anatomy is made easy and fun!

     

    The Fourth Edition features user-friendly two-page spreads with enlarged art, clearer, more concise text descriptions, and new boldface headings that make this classic coloring book accessible to a wider range of learners.

     


    Features:

    • The Anatomy Coloring Book

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    Dr. Gundry's Diet Evolution: Turn Off the Genes That Are Killing You and Your Waistline

    Dr. Gundry's Diet Evolution: Turn Off the Genes That Are Killing You and Your Waistline Lowest new price: $9.98
    Lowest used price: $6.84
    List price: $15.99
    Author: Steven R. Gundry
    Brand: Three Rivers Press CA

    "Dr. Gundry has crafted a wise program with a powerful track record.”
    –Mehmet Oz, M.D.

    Does losing weight and staying healthy feel like a battle? Well, it’s really a war. Your enemies are your own genes, backed by millions of years of evolution, and the only way to win is to outsmart them. Renowned surgeon and founder of Gundry MD, Dr. Steven Gundry’s revolutionary book shares the health secrets other doctors won’t tell you:

    • Why plants are “good” for you because they’re “bad” for you, and meat is “bad” because it’s “good” for you
    • Why plateauing on this diet is actually a sign that you’re on the right track
    • Why artificial sweeteners have the same effects as sugar on your health and your waistline
    • Why taking antacids, statins, and drugs for high blood pressure and arthritis masks health issues instead of addressing them

    Along with the meal planner, 70 delicious recipes, and inspirational stories, Dr. Gundry’s easy-to-memorize tips will keep you healthy and on course.

    Features:

    • Three Rivers Press CA

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    The Hacking of the American Mind: The Science Behind the Corporate Takeover of Our Bodies and Brains

    The Hacking of the American Mind: The Science Behind the Corporate Takeover of Our Bodies and Brains Lowest new price: $16.48
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    List price: $27.00
    Author: Robert H. Lustig

    "Explores how industry has manipulated our most deep-seated survival instincts."—David Perlmutter, MD, Author, #1 New York Times bestseller, Grain Brain and Brain Maker

    The New York Times–bestselling author of Fat Chance reveals the corporate scheme to sell pleasure, driving the international epidemic of addiction, depression, and chronic disease.

     
    While researching the toxic and addictive properties of sugar for his New York Times bestseller Fat Chance, Robert Lustig made an alarming discovery—our pursuit of happiness is being subverted by a culture of addiction and depression from which we may never recover.
               
    Dopamine is the “reward” neurotransmitter that tells our brains we want more; yet every substance or behavior that releases dopamine in the extreme leads to addiction. Serotonin is the “contentment” neurotransmitter that tells our brains we don’t need any more; yet its deficiency leads to depression. Ideally, both are in optimal supply. Yet dopamine evolved to overwhelm serotonin—because our ancestors were more likely to survive if they were constantly motivated—with the result that constant desire can chemically destroy our ability to feel happiness, while sending us down the slippery slope to addiction. In the last forty years, government legislation and subsidies have promoted ever-available temptation (sugar, drugs, social media, porn) combined with constant stress (work, home, money, Internet), with the end result of an unprecedented epidemic of addiction, anxiety, depression, and chronic disease. And with the advent of neuromarketing, corporate America has successfully imprisoned us in an endless loop of desire and consumption from which there is no obvious escape.
               
    With his customary wit and incisiveness, Lustig not only reveals the science that drives these states of mind, he points his finger directly at the corporations that helped create this mess, and the government actors who facilitated it, and he offers solutions we can all use in the pursuit of happiness, even in the face of overwhelming opposition. Always fearless and provocative, Lustig marshals a call to action, with seminal implications for our health, our well-being, and our culture.

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    Behave: The Biology of Humans at Our Best and Worst

    Behave: The Biology of Humans at Our Best and Worst Lowest new price: $15.98
    Lowest used price: $22.49
    List price: $35.00
    Author: Robert M. Sapolsky
    Brand: PENGUIN PRESS

    A New York Times Bestseller.

    "Hands-down one of the best books I’ve read in years. I loved it."— Dina Temple-Raston, The Washington Post

    “It’s no exaggeration to say that Behave is one of the best nonfiction books I’ve ever read.” —David P. Barash, The Wall Street Journal


    From the celebrated neurobiologist and primatologist, a landmark, genre-defining examination of human behavior, both good and bad, and an answer to the question: Why do we do the things we do?

    Sapolsky's storytelling concept is delightful but it also has a powerful intrinsic logic: he starts by looking at the factors that bear on a person's reaction in the precise moment a behavior occurs, and then hops back in time from there, in stages, ultimately ending up at the deep history of our species and its evolutionary legacy.
     
    And so the first category of explanation is the neurobiological one. A behavior occurs--whether an example of humans at our best, worst, or somewhere in between. What went on in a person's brain a second before the behavior happened? Then Sapolsky pulls out to a slightly larger field of vision, a little earlier in time: What sight, sound, or smell caused the nervous system to produce that behavior? And then, what hormones acted hours to days earlier to change how responsive that individual is to the stimuli that triggered the nervous system? By now he has increased our field of vision so that we are thinking about neurobiology and the sensory world of our environment and endocrinology in trying to explain what happened.

    Sapolsky keeps going: How was that behavior influenced by structural changes in the nervous system over the preceding months, by that person's adolescence, childhood, fetal life, and then back to his or her genetic makeup? Finally, he expands the view to encompass factors larger than one individual. How did culture shape that individual's group, what ecological factors millennia old formed that culture? And on and on, back to evolutionary factors millions of years old. 

    The result is one of the most dazzling tours d'horizon of the science of human behavior ever attempted, a majestic synthesis that harvests cutting-edge research across a range of disciplines to provide a subtle and nuanced perspective on why we ultimately do the things we do...for good and for ill. Sapolsky builds on this understanding to wrestle with some of our deepest and thorniest questions relating to tribalism and xenophobia, hierarchy and competition, morality and free will, and war and peace. Wise, humane, often very funny, Behave is a towering achievement, powerfully humanizing, and downright heroic in its own right.

    Features:

    • PENGUIN PRESS

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    Life 3.0: Being Human in the Age of Artificial Intelligence

    Life 3.0: Being Human in the Age of Artificial Intelligence Lowest new price: $16.00
    Lowest used price: $14.00
    List price: $28.00
    Author: Max Tegmark

    New York Times Best Seller

    How will Artificial Intelligence affect crime, war, justice, jobs, society and our very sense of being human? The rise of AI has the potential to transform our future more than any other technology—and there’s nobody better qualified or situated to explore that future than Max Tegmark, an MIT professor who’s helped mainstream research on how to keep AI beneficial.

     
    How can we grow our prosperity through automation without leaving people lacking income or purpose? What career advice should we give today’s kids? How can we make future AI systems more robust, so that they do what we want without crashing, malfunctioning or getting hacked? Should we fear an arms race in lethal autonomous weapons? Will machines eventually outsmart us at all tasks, replacing humans on the job market and perhaps altogether? Will AI help life flourish like never before or give us more power than we can handle?
     
    What sort of future do you want? This book empowers you to join what may be the most important conversation of our time. It doesn’t shy away from the full range of viewpoints or from the most controversial issues—from superintelligence to meaning, consciousness and the ultimate physical limits on life in the cosmos.

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    The Hidden Life of Trees: What They Feel, How They Communicate―Discoveries from a Secret World

    The Hidden Life of Trees: What They Feel, How They Communicate―Discoveries from a Secret World Lowest new price: $15.74
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    List price: $24.95
    Author: Peter Wohlleben
    Brand: imusti

    The first of a three-part series investigating the wonders of nature by New York Times bestselling author Peter Wohlleben. Watch for Book 2, The Inner Life of Animals, coming November 2017

    Are trees social beings? In this international bestseller, forester and author Peter Wohlleben convincingly makes the case that, yes, the forest is a social network. He draws on groundbreaking scientific discoveries to describe how trees are like human families: tree parents live together with their children, communicate with them, support them as they grow, share nutrients with those who are sick or struggling, and even warn each other of impending dangers. Wohlleben also shares his deep love of woods and forests, explaining the amazing processes of life, death, and regeneration he has observed in his woodland.

    After learning about the complex life of trees, a walk in the woods will never be the same again.

    Includes a Note From a Forest Scientist, by Dr.Suzanne Simard

    Features:

    • Greystone Books

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    Coyote Peterson’s Brave Adventures: Wild Animals in a Wild World

    Coyote Peterson’s Brave Adventures: Wild Animals in a Wild World Lowest new price: $11.88
    Lowest used price: $10.10
    List price: $19.95
    Author: Coyote Peterson

    #1 Bookscan in Juvenile Non-fiction


    Be Brave… Stay Wild!


    Animal Stories for Kids: Coyote Peterson's Brave Adventures: Wild Animals in a Wild World chronicles some of the wildest encounters Coyote Peterson has had over the course of his travels. The stories begin with his first snapping turtle catch as a kid and lead down a trail of incredible moments he and his camera crew have had while filming their Brave Wilderness shows. From a giant alligator that nearly caught Coyote in its bone crushing jaws, to an 800 pound Grizzly Bear that helped him teach the audience what to do and NOT do if you ever encounter one of these enormous predators in the wild, every tale is laced with fast paced action and daring adventure. With the presence of danger often looming for Coyote, each story reminds the reader that animals rule the wild places of this planet, and if we respect them from a safe distance, even the most frightening creatures are more likely to be afraid of us than we should ever be of them.


    Exciting animal stories for kids of all ages, this collection of short stories aims to give the reader a first-person perspective into some of Coyote’s most harrowing and heartwarming adventures.

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    American Wolf: A True Story of Survival and Obsession in the West

    American Wolf: A True Story of Survival and Obsession in the West Lowest new price: $12.94
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    List price: $28.00
    Author: Nate Blakeslee

    The enthralling story of the rise and reign of O-Six, the celebrated Yellowstone wolf, and the people who loved or feared her
     
    Before men ruled the earth, there were wolves. Once abundant in North America, these majestic creatures were hunted to near extinction in the lower 48 states by the 1920s. But in recent decades, conservationists have brought wolves back to the Rockies, igniting a battle over the very soul of the West.

    With novelistic detail, Nate Blakeslee tells the gripping story of one of these wolves, O-Six, a charismatic alpha female named for the year of her birth. Uncommonly powerful, with gray fur and faint black ovals around each eye, O-Six is a kind and merciful leader, a fiercely intelligent fighter, and a doting mother. She is beloved by wolf watchers, particularly renowned naturalist Rick McIntyre, and becomes something of a social media star, with followers around the world.

    But as she raises her pups and protects her pack, O-Six is challenged on all fronts: by hunters, who compete with wolves for the elk they both prize; by cattle ranchers who are losing livestock and have the ear of politicians; and by other Yellowstone wolves who are vying for control of the park’s stunningly beautiful Lamar Valley.

    These forces collide in American Wolf, a riveting multigenerational saga of hardship and triumph that tells a larger story about the ongoing cultural clash in the West—between those fighting for a vanishing way of life and those committed to restoring one of the country’s most iconic landscapes.

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