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Books to get you ready for TED2014

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At TED2014, astronaut Chris Hadfield and journalist Jon Moollem will give talks, and Sting will perform.

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”

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”

Books from speakers in Session 6, “Wired” 


Also speaking at TED2014—David Epstein, Jennifer Senior and Andrew Solomon.

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”

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