TED2014, our 30th anniversary conference, is less than a month away! If you’re counting the days like we are, get a head start by reading some of the insightful and compelling books by the groundbreaking thinkers who will speak in Vancouver.
Books from speakers in Session 1, “Liftoff”
- Being Digital, by Nicholas Negroponte. This 1995 bestseller grew out of Negroponte’s column exploring technology and explaining new inventions. (New at the time, that is. It’ll make for the perfect nostalgic read.)
- An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth, by Chris Hadfield. In his new book, the astronaut gives an insider’s view on what it’s like to be in space—and the lessons he’s learned from that pursuit. (While you’re at it, check out Earth, Spirit of Place, which features Hadfield’s beautiful photography.)
Books from speakers in Session 4, “Wish”
- Climate Change: Picturing the Science, by Gavin Schmidt and Joshua Wolfe. Schmidt, a climate scientist, teamed up with Wolfe, a photographer, to illustrate the huge impact of shifting weather patterns via visuals of sinking villages, shrinking glaciers, and more.
- Business @ the Speed of Thought, by Bill Gates. In his book, Gates, who will speak with his wife and business partner Melinda, gives a prescient analysis of the ways in which technology can aid businesses, and its potential to transform the business landscape.
- Broken Music, by Sting. The singer-songwriter began penning his memoir when he turned 50. It gives a deep look into his past, from his childhood to the beginning of his success as a musician.
Books from speakers in Session 5, “Us”
- Functional Neuroimaging of Visual Cognition, by Nancy Kanwisher and John Duncan, editors. Kanwisher and Duncan present the accounts of various luminaries in cognitive neuroscience.
- Wild Ones, by Jon Mooallem. Mooallem, a journalist, examines our literal and imaginative relationships with wild animals, focusing on the polar bear, the Lange’s metalmark butterfly, and the whooping crane.
- Constructing the World, by David Chalmers. Chalmers, a philosopher, presents a model for understanding the world.
Books from speakers in Session 6, “Wired”
- Beautifully Unique Sparkleponies, by Chris Kluwe. In this unconventional book, the football punter addresses issues from guns and the Pope’s Twitter feed to time travel and the end of the world.
- xkcd: volume 0, by Randall Munroe. The first xkcd book features selections from Munroe’s geek-oriented, but widely loved, webcomic.
- Manufacturing the Future, by Avi Reichental. In his forthcoming book, Reichental explains the ways in which businesses can benefit from 3D printing technology.
Books from speakers in Session 7, “Why?”
- Evelyn Evelyn, by Jason Webley, Amanda Palmer and Cynthia von Buhler. Two of this book’s author will be at TED2014—Webley will perform during session 7, while Palmer (who gave an incredible talk at last year’s conference) will appear during a special TED All-Stars list. It’s the illustrated story of a pair of conjoined twins’ story.
- Reflections, by Helder Guimarães. In this unfortunately out-of-print book, the magician reflects on his craft.
- Why Does the World Exist?, by Jim Holt. The philosopher explores one of the biggest questions in existence through various lenses by asking experts from physicists to philosophers to novelists.
Books from speakers in Sessions 8, “Hacked,” and Session 9, “Emergent”
- Not Exactly Rocket Science, by Ed Yong. The essays in this book, drawn from Yong’s blog of the same name, look at quirky and fascinating scientific findings.
- The Sports Gene, by David Epstein. What makes a star athlete? Epstein investigates the classic nature-versus-nurture debate as it applies to sports.
- Ant Encounters, by Deborah Gordon. Gordon, an ecologist, explains how ant colonies function (thrive!) without any centralized control or hierarchy.
Books from speakers in Session 11, “Unstress”
- All Joy and No Fun, by Jennifer Senior. Senior, a journalist, delves into the reality of how having children changes parents’ lives, particularly in light of the changes family structures have undergone in recent decades.
- Start with Why, by Simon Sinek. Sinek proposes several qualities that super-influential people share.
Books from speakers in Session 12, “Onward”
- Far from the Tree, by Andrew Solomon. Solomon tells the stories of families with children who have Down syndrome, schizophrenia, deafness, and other qualities that make them exceptional.
- Gabby, by Gabrielle Giffords and Mark Kelly. Congresswoman Giffords was the victim of an assassination attempt in 2011. In this book, she and her husband, Kelly, tell the story of her brain injury and painstaking process of recovery.
- If It’s Not One Thing, It’s Your Mother, by Julia Sweeney. In this memoir, Sweeney explores what it’s like to be a child, and to be a parent.
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