Counting the days until TED2013 starts on February 25? In the meantime, curl up with a book by one of the talented, scholarly, funny and wise speakers who will grace the stage in Long Beach, California. These books are organized below by session. And make sure to tune in to the TED Blog starting on the 25th for exclusive — and extensive — live conference coverage.
Books from speakers in Session 1, “Progress Enigma”
- Productivity Growth, Inflation, and Unemployment, by Robert J. Gordon. In this collection of essays, Gordon lays out his views on the major topics of modern macroeconomics.
- Race Against the Machine: How the Digital Revolution is Accelerating Innovation, Driving Productivity, and Irreversibly Transforming Employment and the Economy, by Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee. Brynjolfsson and McAfee argue that technological innovation has changed the economic landscape in ways that are tough for the average worker.
- Flesh and Machines: How Robots Will Change Us, by Rodney Brooks. In this book, Brooks explains the reciprocal connection between humans and robots, and how it’s changing as our machines become even more complex.
- The Blueprint: Reviving Innovation, Rediscovering Risk, and Rescuing the Free Market, by Garry Kasparov, Max Levchin, and Peter Thiel. Speaker Thiel and co-authors Kasparov and Levchin argue that we’re not, in fact, a terribly innovative society: in fact, we’ve become risk-averse.
- 11 Rules for Creating Value in the #SocialEra, by Nilofer Merchant. In this Harvard Business Review digital book, Merchant argues that “social” is a vital component of any business model.
- On the Move, by Bono. In this book based on his speech at the 2006 National Prayer Breakfast, Bono urges us to unite in helping the world’s poor.
Books from speakers in Session 2, “Beautiful Imperfection”
- Other Americas, by Sebastiao Salgado. This photography book features some of Salgado’s work from nearly 20 years ago.
- The Bioluminescence Coloring Book, by Edith Widder. Yup, what it sounds like: a coloring book!
- Ignorance: How It Drives Science, by Stuart Firestein. Firestein argues that science owes its life to ignorance: not knowing propels us.
- Cities in a World Economy , by Saskia Sassen. Now in its fourth edition (the most recent available on Amazon is the third), this book details our new social formation of global cities, financial and environmental crises, and burgeoning technologies.
- Tattoo a Banana: And Other Ways to Turn Anything and Everything into Art, by Phil Hansen. This guide to approaching everyday life creatively shows us how to make art out of even, yes, a banana.
Books from speakers in Session 3, “The Spark”
- Overcoming the Odds: Raising Academically Successful African American Young Women, by Freeman Hrabowski, Kenneth Maton, Monica Greene, and Geoffrey Grief. In this follow-up to their 1998 book Beating the Odds, the authors examine how successful young African American women and their families have flourished despite obstacles.
- The Defining Decade: Why Your Twenties Matter—And How to Make the Most of Them Now, by Meg Jay. Based on academic research and her own work with twentysomething clients and students, the clinical psychologist argues that what we do in our twenties has a big ripple effect.
Books from speakers in Session 4, “Disrupt!”
- The Pattern on the Stone: The Simple Ideas That Make Computers Work, by Danny Hillis. In this book, Hillis breaks down the seemingly incomprehensible mechanisms by which computers work into simple processes.
- Liu Bolin: Chinese Contemporary Photography, by Thircuir (editor) and Liu Bolin (photographer). A compendium of some of speaker Bolin’s performance artwork.
- Evelyn Evelyn, by Amanda Palmer, Jason Webley, and Cynthia von Buhler. Speaker Palmer and co-authors Webley and von Buhler tell the story of a pair of conjoined twins.
- Republic, Lost: How Money Corrupts Congress—and a Plan to Stop It, by Lawrence Lessig. In his most recent book, the legal scholar examines how our democracy has been exploited by outside interests.
Books from speakers in Session 5, “Dream!”
- Whole Earth Discipline: Why Dense Cities, Nuclear Power, Transgenic Crops, Restored Wildlands, and Geoengineering Are Necessary, by Stewart Brand. Brand details the crises facing our planet and offers solutions.
Books from speakers in Session 6, “Create!”
- Enterprise 2.0: New Collaborative Tools for Your Organization’s Toughest Challenges, by Andrew McAfee. In this book, McAfee, who also co-wrote Race Against the Machine (above) with speaker Erik Brynjolfsson, focuses on “emergent social software platforms”—technologies like wikis, blogs, prediction markets, Facebook, and Twitter, which form the basis of Web 2.0.
- Taste What You’re Missing: The Passionate Eater’s Guide to Why Good Food Tastes Good, by Barb Stuckey. Stuckey breaks down the science of taste to explain why we like the foods we do.
Books from speakers in Session 7, “Sustain!”
- Holistic Management: A New Framework for Decision Making, by Allan Savory and Jody Butterfield. In this book, speaker Savory and co-author (and co-founder of the Savory Institute) Butterfield argue that environmental degradation results from human mismanagement, and offer a path toward sustainability.
Books from speakers in Session 8, “Coded Meaning”
- Afrikan Alphabets: The Story of Writing in Afrika, by Saki Mafundikwa. The graphic designer presents illustration and analysis of writing systems across the Afrikan continent and the Diaspora, many of which have been suppressed due to colonialism.
- What Language Is (And What It Isn’t and What It Could Be), by John McWhorter. In this book, the linguist gives a tour of languages around the world.
- Dolphin Diaries: My 25 Years with Spotted Dolphins in the Bahamas, by Denise Herzing. Herzing offers an account of her experience as a dolphin researcher.
- Adam Spencer’s Book of Numbers: A Bizarre and Hilarious Journey from 1 to 100, by Adam Spencer. The radio host gives a tour through our first hundred numbers, highlighting fun facts about each.
Books from speakers in Session 9, “Indelicate Conversation”
- The Big Necessity: The Unmentionable World of Human Waste and Why It Matters, by Rose George. An exploration of bodily waste that presents the case for talking about it.
Books from speakers in Session 10, “Secret Voices”
- The Dolphin in the Mirror: Exploring Dolphin Minds and Saving Dolphin Lives, by Diana Reiss. Reiss argues that dolphins are among the smartest creatures on the planet, and deserve our protection.
- Fab: The Coming Revolution on Your Desktop–from Personal Computers to Personal Fabrication, by Neil Gershenfeld. Gershenfeld explains why he thinks the next big technological revolution will be toward personal fabrication: the ability to design and produce your own products in your home.
Books from speakers in Session 11, “Who Are We?”
- The World Until Yesterday: What Can We Learn from Traditional Societies?, by Jared Diamond. Diamond reminds us how humans lived in traditional societies, and what the differences between their lives and ours mean.
- What Is Intelligence?: Beyond the Flynn Effect, by James Flynn. The intelligence researcher explains his view of just what that nebulous term means.
- Sex at Dawn, by Christopher Ryan and Cacilda Jetha. Speaker Ryan and his co-author (and wife) Jetha mine the past to debunk myths about our sexuality and fidelity.
- Fantasies of Flight, by Daniel Ogilvie. Ogilvie argues for a return to older ways of considering personality.
- The Echoing Green, by Joshua Prager. The journalist examines in detail the circumstances and reverberations of a moment in baseball history.
Books from speakers in Session 12, “A Ripple Effect?”
- Charity Case: How the Nonprofit Community Can Stand Up For Itself and Really Change the World, by Dan Pallotta. Pallotta argues for a paradigm shift in the way we think about and approach charity.
- Practical Ethics, by Peter Singer. The third and most recent edition of the philosopher’s introduction to applied ethics.
Tune in to the TED Blog for live coverage of TED2013 beginning on February 25. And read much more about “The Young. The Wise. The Undiscovered” »