Most Anticipated October Reads

From the late great Stephen Hawking to first-time authors, covering topics on astronomy, quantum, and anatomy, here is a personal selection of the most exciting new releases this month:


Brief Answers to the Big Questions by Stephen Hawking

51tKIte03fL._SY291_BO1,204,203,200_QL40_This is Stephen Hawking’s final thoughts on the biggest questions facing humankind: Will humanity survive? Should we colonize space? Does God exist? Featuring a foreword by Eddie Redmayne, who won an Oscar playing Stephen Hawking, an introduction by Nobel Laureate Kip Thorne, and an afterword from Hawking’s daughter, Lucy, Brief Answers to the Big Questions is a brilliant last message to the world. (October 16, Bantam)

Also available on audio.


Everything You Know About the Human Body Is Wrong by Matt Brown




From Matt Brown’s enjoyable myth debunking book series Everything You Know Is Wrong, this book tackles all the “facts” we’ve taken for granted about the human body since we were children: Does giving kids sugar make them hyperactive? Is there such a thing as being double-jointed? And is it actually dangerous to swim after eating? Hilarious, surprising, and approachable. (October 2, Batsford)


Einstein’s Shadow: A Black Hole, a Band of Astronomers, and the Quest to See the Unseeable by Seth Fletcher


51Z4ZeSutjL._SX329_BO1,204,203,200_Photographing a black hole sounds impossible, a contradiction in terms. But Shep Doeleman and a global coalition of scientists are on the cusp of doing just that. With exclusive access to the team, Scientific American editor Seth Fletcher follows the elite scientists on their historic mission to take the first picture of a black hole, putting Einstein’s theory of relativity to its ultimate test and helping to answer our deepest questions about space, time, the origins of the universe, and the nature of reality. (October 9, Ecco)

Kirkus Reviews (starred review) says, “With stakes this high and writing this lucid, readers will be drawn into the narrative as easily as matter being drawn toward the event horizon itself… This is scientific storytelling at its best.”


Beyond Weird: Why Everything You Thought You Knew about Quantum Physics Is Different by Philip Ball


51IhgYqMGjL._SX321_BO1,204,203,200_An exhilarating tour of the contemporary quantum landscape, Beyond Weird is a book about what quantum physics really means—and what it doesn’t. Science writer Philip Ball offers an up-to-date, accessible account of the quest to come to grips with the most fundamental theory of physical reality, and to explain how its counterintuitive principles underpin the world we experience. (October 2, University of Chicago Press)

The Washington Post says, “Beyond Weird is easily the best book I’ve read on the subject.”


The Skeptics’ Guide to the Universe: How to Know What’s Really Real in a World Increasingly Full of Fake by Steven Novella


51dtzu92q7L._SX329_BO1,204,203,200_With an obvious nod to Douglas Adams, podcast host and academic neurologist Steven Novella debunks some of the biggest scientific myths, fallacies, and conspiracy theories-from anti-vaccines to homeopathy, UFO sightings to N- rays. Pseudoscientists beware! This book is a map through the modern age of misinformation, bias, myths, deception, and flawed knowledge, teaching the difference between science and pseudoscience, essential critical thinking skills, ways to discuss conspiracy theories with that crazy co- worker of yours, and how to combat sloppy reasoning, bad arguments, and superstitious thinking. (October 2, Grand Central)

Richard Wiseman says it’s “the perfect primer for anyone who wants to separate fact from fiction.”


Under the Knife: A History of Surgery in 28 Remarkable Operations by Arnold van de Laar


51PA2+UnJwL._SX327_BO1,204,203,200_Surgeon Arnold van de Laar uses his own experience and expertise to tell this engrossing history of surgery through 28 famous operations―from Louis XIV and Einstein to JFK and Houdini, from the story of the desperate man from seventeenth-century Amsterdam who grimly cut a stone out of his own bladder to Bob Marley’s deadly toe. With stories spanning the dark centuries of bloodletting and amputations without anaesthetic through today’s sterile, high-tech operating rooms, Under the Knife is both a rich cultural history, and a modern anatomy class for us all. (October 2, St. Martin’s Press)

Publishers Weekly calls it “fast-paced and lucid.”

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