The Secret Lives of the Elements

$50

In stock


The perfect book to escape our human-sized existence and take a tour of the atomic world instead.’ Helen Arney, science comedian and broadcaster


When we think of the periodic table we picture orderly rows of elements that conform to type and never break the rules. In this book Kathryn Harkup reveals that there are personalities, passions, quirks and historical oddities behind those ordered rows, and shows us that the periodic table is a sprawling family tree with its own black sheep, wayward cousins and odd uncles. The elements in the periodic table, like us, are an extended family – some old, some newborn, some shy and reticent, some exuberant or unreliable.


Dr Harkup tells the weird and wonderful stories of just fifty two members of this family – remarkable tales of discovery, inspiration and revolution, from the everyday to the extraordinary. Some elements are relatively anonymous; others, already familiar, are seen in a new light; and old friends have surprising secrets to share. From our green-fingered friend magnesium to the devil incarnate polonium, this eclectic collection of engaging and informative stories will change the way you see the periodic table for ever.

The Secret Lives of the Elements

$50

In stock

ISBN – 9781529412741
Publisher – Quercus
Format – Hardback
Dimensions – 218mm X 152mm
Categories – Physics Chemistry and Maths

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Josiah Wedgwood The Man Who Designed Britain
Josiah Wedgwood The Man Who Designed Britain


A spectacular new biography of the great designer, entrepreneur, abolitionist and beacon of the Industrial Revolution, from acclaimed historian and Director of the Victoria and Albert Museum, Tristram Hunt

Josiah Wedgwood, perhaps the greatest English potter who ever lived, epitomized the best of his age. From his kilns and workshops in Stoke-on-Trent, he revolutionized the production of ceramics in Georgian Britain by marrying technology with design, manufacturing efficiency and retail flair. He transformed the luxury markets not only of London, Liverpool, Bath and Dublin but of America and the world, and helping to usher in a mass consumer society. Tristram Hunt calls him ‘the Steve Jobs of the eighteenth century’.

But Wedgwood was radical in his mind and politics as well as in his designs. He campaigned for free trade and religious toleration, read pioneering papers to the Royal Society and was a member of the celebrated Lunar Society of Birmingham. Most significantly, he created the ceramic ‘Emancipation Badge’, depicting a slave in chains and inscribed ‘Am I Not a Man and a Brother?’ that became the symbol of the abolitionist movement.

Tristram Hunt’s hugely enjoyable new biography, strongly based on Wedgwood’s notebooks, letters and the words of his contemporaries, brilliantly captures the energy and originality of Wedgwood and his extraordinary contribution to the transformation of eighteenth-century Britain.

$65

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Shadow City
Shadow City A Woman Walks Kabul

One woman’s revelatory journey on foot exploring Kabul’s war-torn past and scarred present

‘A fabulous piece of writing . . . I recommend it unreservedly’ WILLIAM DALRYMPLE

‘A brilliant book’ CHRISTINA LAMB, author of Farewell Kabul

One of the first things I was told when I arrived in Kabul was never to walk…

When journalist Taran Khan arrives in Kabul, she uncovers a place that defies her expectations. Her wanderings with other Kabulis reveal a fragile city in a state of flux- stricken by near-constant war, but flickering with the promise of peace; governed by age-old codes but experimenting with new modes of living.

Her walks take her to the unvisited tombs of the dead, and to the land of the living – like the booksellers, archaeologists, film-makers and entrepreneurs who are remaking this 3,000-year-old city. And as NATO troops begin to withdraw from the country, Khan watches the cycle of transformation begin again.

**Winner of the Stanford Dolman Travel Book of the Year Award 2021**
**Winner of the Tata Literature Live First Book Award for Non-Fiction 2020**

‘Powerfully evocative’ Kapka Kassabova

‘A wonderful journey’ Atiq Rahimi

‘Khan illuminates Kabul’s life-affirming humanity’ TLS

$26

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Calm
Calm

A guide to developing the art of finding serenity, not through meditation, but through understanding the sources of our anxiety and frustrations.
Few life skills are as neglected, yet as important, as the ability to remain calm. Our very worst decisions and interactions are almost invariably the result of a loss of calm – and a descent into anxiety and agitation. Surprisingly, but very fortunately, our power to remain calm can be rehearsed and improved. We don’t have to stay where we are now: our responses to everyday challenges can dramatically alter. We can educate ourselves in the art of keeping calm not through slow breathing or special teas but through thinking. This is a book that patiently unpacks the causes of our greatest stresses and gives us a succession of highly persuasive, beautiful and sometimes dryly comic arguments with which to defend ourselves against panic and fury.

$38

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