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Newsletter, Nov11th 2022

The cold is finally here and likely here to stay for the next few months! Bookstores are just the cozy places to warm your heart on a cold afternoon. It still amazes me every time I open a book, the amount of wisdom and thought and research that goes into each book. For a mere 20/30$ we get to partake in the fruit of someone's imagination and years of laborious research! It's priceless! I do believe, books are the most underrated, undervalued, of all the “things” in our lives. Off my high-horse now :)

Preparations are in full swing for our Birthday Party weekend! November 25th is the 1 year anniversary and Nov 26th is Small Business Saturday - encouraging everyone to shop local, shop small. We will continue our celebration both days. We have Authors lined up for meet and greet both days. Cake cutting at noon on Friday! Early bird discounts and all-weekend giveaways! Check it all out.

Speaking of Authors, super excited to be meeting Paul Douglas - Author of Kids Guide To Saving the Planet, Founder and Chief Meteorologist at Praedictix and Climatrends, Star Tribune Meteorologist and Chief Meteorologist at WCCO Radio! He will be hanging out with us from 10-11 on Saturday the 26th.

Upcoming Events

  • Friday 11/11 4p - Another Robotics session with STEM Builders.

  • Friday 11/25 10-7p - Spot Birthday Party Open House

  • Saturday 11/26 10-6p - Small Business Saturday Open House

  • Saturday 11/26 7p - Standup comedy by Matt Kessen - come unwind with us. After a weekend of shopping and chasing deals, this will be just the thing. The topic is “ A Minnesota Bestiary” - The North Country’s rich and diverse imaginary fauna – monsters from Ojibwe and Dakota legends, lumberjack tall tales, the Paul Bunyan stories, and modern cryptozoology and UFOs!

  • Sunday Dec 4 2p - In conversation with Jessica Nordell Author of End of Bias: A beginning

  • Friday Dec 9th 5p - Ben Orlin and Math Game Night is back! Ben is finally seeing light after being buried in finishing his next book and has agreed to host another game night. This will be a fun family holiday evening outing! We will also have all the other board games out for you to check out and someone will be on hand to explain how to play.

Book Clubs

  • Sunday 11/13 4p - Middle Grade Bookclub - meeting to discuss Flush by Carl Hiaasen - that book was a hoot! Can't wait to hear what the kids thought of it! They're tough critics though so we shall see :)

  • Sunday 11/20 2p - Science Book Club - meeting to discuss section 1-3 of Joy of x by Steven Strogatz. I've just started it but one initial observation just blew my mind: Math is the one thing that we humans invented, totally made up, it does not exist outside of our minds and yet, we discover new “rules” about it all the time! Guess everyone knows that but having seen it put that way, it's mind-blowing isn't it?

  • The Master Naturalist Book club meets once a month at the Spot. They are currently reading “Secret Life of Fungi”. Please reach out if you are a master naturalist and interested in joining them.

Science News

It was Carl Sagan's birthday on Nov 9th. Wonder what he would've made of our Mars madness - our scramble to reach Mars. Speaking of Mars, this thing is going to get us to Mars. Yesterday, NASA used a satellite launch to test out its new heat shield. The successful Low-Earth Orbit Flight Test of an Inflatable Decelerator (LOFTID) is a milestone for someday getting humans to Mars.

Book Recs

In addition to new releases and some gift recs below, here's a link to the Midwest Booksellers' Holiday Catalog. Obviously, I only carry a few of these books but you can always order from our Bookshop page. And if you'd like me to order ANY book for pickup in store, just call or email. Please allow 7-10 days for arrival however on any special orders and if you're watching the calendar that puts the last day to special order to guarantee arrival before Christmas at Dec 10th!

Oh and I might've gone a bit crazy on puzzles. There were so many great images and sizes - I couldn't resist! Then there's the Midwest Bookseller roadmap and other puzzle twist puzzles. Puzzles provide hours of pleasure, as a mindfulness break, mental workout or a just an old-fashioned family activity everyone can enjoy! Puzzle Away!

Lastly, we have a “Thanking Tree” setup in one of the windows. This was an idea I heard about from another bookseller and thought what a great way for people to take a moment to express gratitude as they are going about their day. Plus, what a great way to reuse some of that packing material I'm drowning in :). Add a “leaf” with your gratitude next time you're in-store.

Keep reading and see you at The Spot soon,


New Titles Recommended For You

The End of Craving

By Mark Schatzker

November 8, 2022 ; Health & Fitness / Diet & Nutrition

The international bestseller from award-winning writer Mark Schatzker that reveals how our dysfunctional relationship with food began—and how science is leading us back to healthier living and eating. For the last fifty years, we have been fighting a losing war on food. We have cut fat, reduced carbs, eliminated sugar, and attempted every conceivable diet only to find that eighty-eight million American adults are prediabetic, more than a hundred million have high blood pressure, and nearly half now qualify as obese. The harder we try to control what we eat, the unhealthier we become. Why? Mark Schatzker has spent his career traveling the world in search of the answer. Now, in The End of Craving, he poses the profound question: What if the key to nutrition and good health lies not in resisting the primal urge to eat but in understanding its purpose? Beginning in the mountains of Europe and the fields of the Old South, Schatzker embarks on a quest to uncover the lost art of eating and living well. Along the way, he visits brain scanning laboratories and hog farms, and encounters cultural oddities and scientific paradoxes—northern Italians eat what may be the world’s most delicious cuisine, yet are among the world’s thinnest people; laborers in southern India possess an inborn wisdom to eat their way from sickness to good health. Schatzker reveals how decades of advancements in food technology have turned the brain’s drive to eat against the body, placing us in an unrelenting state of craving. Only by restoring the relationship between nutrition and the pleasure of eating can we hope to lead longer and happier lives. Combining cutting-edge science and ancient wisdom, The End of Craving is an urgent and radical investigation that “charts a roadmap not just for healthy eating, but for joyous eating, too” (Dan Barber, New York Times bestselling author of The Third Plate).Mark Schatzker is an award-winning writer based in Toronto. He is a writer-in-residence at the Modern Diet and Physiology Research Center at Yale University, and a frequent contributor to The Globe and Mail (Toronto), Condé Nast Traveler, and Bloomberg Pursuits. He is the author of The Dorito Effect: The Surprising New Truth about Food and Flavor and Steak: One Man’s Search for the World’s Tastiest Piece of Beef.

Conversations with Birds

By Kumar Priyanka

November 8, 2022; Nature / Animals / Birds

“Birds are my almanac. They tune me into the seasons, and into myself.”

So begins this lively collection of essays by acclaimed filmmaker and novelist Priyanka Kumar. Growing up at the feet of the Himalayas in northern India, Kumar took for granted her immersion in a lush natural world. After moving to North America as a teenager, she found herself increasingly distanced from more than human life, and discouraged by the civilization she saw contributing to its destruction. It was only in her twenties, living in Los Angeles and working on films, that she began to rediscover her place in the landscape -- and in the cosmos -- by way of watching birds.

Tracing her movements across the American West, this stirring collection of essays brings the avian world richly to life. Kumar’s perspective is not that of a list keeper, counting and cataloguing species. Rather, from the mango-colored western tanager that rescues her from a bout of altitude sickness in Sequoia National Park to ancient sandhill cranes in the Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge, and from the snowy plovers building shallow nests with bits of shell and grass to the white-breasted nuthatch that regularly visits the apricot tree behind her family’s casita in Sante Fe, for Kumar, birds “become a portal to a more vivid, enchanted world.”

At a time when climate change, habitat loss, and the reckless use of pesticides are causing widespread extinction of species, Kumar’s reflections on these messengers from our distant past and harbingers of our future offer luminous evidence of her suggestion that “seeds of transformation lie dormant in all of our hearts. Sometimes it just takes the right bird to awaken us.”

Priyanka Kumar is the author of Conversations with Birds. Her essays and criticism appear in The New York Times, The Washington Post, the Los Angeles Review of Books, The Huffington Post, and High Country News. She is a recipient of the Aldo & Estella Leopold Writing Residency, an Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Award, a New Mexico/New Visions Governor's Award, a Canada Council for the Arts Grant, an Ontario Arts Council Literary Award, and an Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences Fellowship. A graduate of the University of Southern California's School of Cinematic Arts and an alumna of the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference, Kumar wrote, directed and produced the feature documentary The Song of the Little Road, starring Martin Scorsese and Ravi Shankar. Kumar has taught at the University of California Santa Cruz and the University of Southern California, and serves on the Board of Directors at the Leopold Writing Program.

When Galaxies Were Born

By Richard S. Ellis

November 8, 2022; Science / Space Science / Astronomy

One of today’s leading astronomers takes readers inside the decades-long search for the first galaxies and the origin of starlight Astronomers are like time travelers, scanning the night sky for the outermost galaxies that first came into being when our universe was a mere fraction of its present age. When Galaxies Were Born is Richard Ellis’s firsthand account of how a pioneering generation of scientists harnessed the world’s largest telescopes to decipher the history of the universe and witness cosmic dawn, the time when starlight first bathed the cosmos and galaxies emerged from darkness. In a remarkable career spanning more than forty years, Ellis has made some of the most spectacular discoveries in modern cosmology. He has traveled the world to conduct observations in locales as beautiful and remote as the Australian outback, the Canary Islands, Hawaii, and the Chilean desert. In this book, he brings to life a golden age of astronomy, describing the triumphs and the technical setbacks, the rivalries with competing teams, and the perennial challenge of cloudy nights. Ellis reveals the astonishing progress we have made in building ever larger and more powerful telescopes, and provides a tantalizing glimpse of cosmic dawn. Stunningly illustrated with a wealth of dramatic photos, When Galaxies Were Born is a bold scientific adventure enlivened by personal insights and anecdotes that enable readers to share in the thrill of discovery at the frontiers of astronomy.

Richard S. Ellis is professor of astrophysics at University College London and a world-renowned observational astronomer who has made numerous discoveries about the nature and evolution of the universe. He lives in Cambridge, UK.

The Whale in the Living Room

By John Ruthven

November 1, 2022; Nature / Environmental Conservation & Protection

The Whale in the Living Room follows the thrilling adventures of film-maker, John Ruthven, as he travels the globe, dives into our oceans and passionately recounts his life-affirming experiences. What creatures could remain undiscovered in the 95 per cent of the seas that have not been thoroughly explored? How vast, really, are our oceans? The surface of Mars and Venus are better known to us than Earth's seabed. Yet to map the world's ocean to even 100-metre blocks of accuracy, something that environmentalists say is essential for its protection, could take another 300 years. Even creatures that are known to us, like the giant squid, have proved too difficult to accurately capture on film. Quite literally immersed in his subject, John can help readers understand the magnitude of our planet's oceans and why it is so important for us to protect our seas and the creatures that inhabit them. He is the only producer to have worked full-time on both series of Blue Planet, as well as nearly fifty other films about the sea. Through his first-hand experience, John shows us the loneliness of whale calves in the deep blue, the fear of seals as they dodge great white sharks near the coast, or the curiosity of octopus staring back at us through the camera. His book takes us through the blue rings of South Pacific coral atolls, on submarine rides into the abyss with ancient life forms, and up close and personal encounters with singing humpback whales that make you feel the water around you. The Whale in the Living Room, like the proverbial 'elephant in the room', is also about how, until recently, we have been largely blind to our polluting of the seas. John, for example, explores how plastic 'went wild' in the ocean; tries to understand how we got into this mess; and see if we can ever untangle the oceans from its grip.

JOHN RUTHVEN's passion is to engage people through film and all forms of electronic media, to tell great stories. Having completed a PhD in Zoology, he began his career as a professionally-trained BBC sound engineer. Over the years he has written, produced and directed audience-engaging and award-winning shows for BBC, Discovery, National Geographic, PBS and many other well-known broadcasters. In 2015 he received an Emmy for best environmental film in the USA, producing and directing Mysteries of the Coral Canyon for PBS, which explored the inter-connected life on the extraordinary underwater corals of French Polynesia, known as the 'rainforests of the sea'. He also produced the widely acclaimed Singapore Wild City, commissioned for the 50th anniversary of Singapore and narrated by Sir David Attenborough, a series that won Best Asian TV Documentary, 2016. His most recent work is on Blue Planet II, for which he produced the episode on the open oceans, 'Big Blue', overcoming the difficult logistics of filming hundreds of miles offshore and keeping teams safe. Among the ground-breaking moments were the first ever images of mother and calf sperm whales diving into the abyss, using custom-made camera systems attached to the whales. This was a complex engineering project that he managed through an extensive technical knowledge of filming in the deep sea. In addition he wrote the script for David Attenborough on the main show, and the many other digital formats. His hope was that the team would take the viewer on an emotionally engaging journey through the world's seas and BBC-verified audience figures suggest they succeeded. The first transmission held an audience of 14 million in the UK, with nearly 50 per cent audience share, and the simulcast in China was watched by over 300 million. It is therefore among the most widely seen of all wildlife films. Following a scene in which a pilot whale mother held a dead calf (which he wrote) the programme was mentioned by the Prime Minister and the Secretary of State for the Environment in parliament the next day, for engaging people with the issue of plastic pollution. The series won the 2018 Impact award for television after a public vote in the UK. From producing iconic images across the original Emmy Award-winning first Blue Planet series to directing actors inside a Second World War U-boat or following venomous snakes throughout Asia, John has a broad genre experience, including blue- chip natural history, drama, presenter led science shows and the web. He has written commissioned story outlines and scripts for the producer of Lord of the Rings, Barry Osborne, background stories to a prestigious international exhibition at the London Natural History Museum, and made several series of short films for various clients including conservation films for the UAE Expo 2012 silver-medal winning exhibit in South Korea. He has recently given acclaimed talks on Blue Planet II, the latest to a 1,000-plus audience at the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham. Other highlights in audience engagement include a live TV transmission into the Smithsonian Museum, Washington, from the deck of a ship in the Galapagos, during World Ocean Day, 2012, and co-leading 200 people on a month long tourist experience across Baffin Island, Canada, in August 2014.


By Jackie Higgins

November 1, 2022; Nature / Animals

Perfect for fans of The Soul of an Octopus and The Genius of Birds, this “revelatory book” (Sy Montgomery, New York Times bestselling author) explores how we process the world around us through the lens of the incredible sensory capabilities of thirteen animals, revealing that we are not limited to merely five senses. There is a scientific revolution stirring in the field of human perception. Research has shown that the extraordinary sensory powers of our animal friends can help us better understand the same powers that lie dormant within us. From the harlequin mantis shrimp with its ability to see a vast range of colors, to the bloodhound and its hundreds of millions of scent receptors; from the orb-weaving spider whose eyes recognize not only space but time, to the cheetah whose ears are responsible for its perfect agility, these astonishing animals hold the key to better understanding how we make sense of the world around us. “An appealingly written, enlightening, and sometimes eerie journey into the extraordinary possibilities for the human senses” (Kirkus Reviews, starred review), Sentient will change the way you look at humanity.Jackie Higgins is a graduate of Oxford University with an MA in zoology and has worked for Oxford Scientific Films for over a decade, along with National Geographic, PBS Nova, and the Discovery Channel. She has also written, directed, and produced films at the BBC Science Department. She lives in London.

Being Seen

By Elsa Sjunneson

November 1, 2022; Biography & Autobiography / Personal Memoirs

A Deafblind writer and professor explores how the misrepresentation of disability in books, movies, and TV harms both the disabled community and everyone else. As a Deafblind woman with partial vision in one eye and bilateral hearing aids, Elsa Sjunneson lives at the crossroads of blindness and sight, hearing and deafness—much to the confusion of the world around her. While she cannot see well enough to operate without a guide dog or cane, she can see enough to know when someone is reacting to the visible signs of her blindness and can hear when they’re whispering behind her back. And she certainly knows how wrong our one-size-fits-all definitions of disability can be. As a media studies professor, she’s also seen the full range of blind and deaf portrayals on film, and here she deconstructs their impact, following common tropes through horror, romance, and everything in between. Part memoir, part cultural criticism, part history of the Deafblind experience, Being Seen explores how our cultural concept of disability is more myth than fact, and the damage it does to us all.Elsa Sjunneson, seven-time Hugo Award finalist, is a Deafblind speculative fiction writer living in Seattle, Washington. She has been published in CNN Opinion, The Boston Globe, Metro UK, and Tor. Her work has been praised as “eloquence and activism” in lockstep and can be found all over the internet. Elsa writes and edits speculative fiction and nonfiction. She has been a finalist for the Best Fan Writer and Best Semiprozine Hugo Awards, a winner of the D. Franklin Defying Doomsday Award, and a finalist for the Best Game Writing Nebula Award. As an activist for disability rights, she has worked with New Jersey 11th for Change and the New York Disability Pride Parade. And as an educator and public speaker she has presented work at the University of Chicago and The Henry Art Gallery, and taught workshops with Clarion West, Writing the Other, and various Science Fiction conventions.

The Hand Book

By Magda Gargulakova

November 8, 2022; Science & Nature / Anatomy & Physiology ; Ages 9 And Up

Handy hands. What a unique tool! Explore the hand from a range of expected and unexpected aspects. Did you know that sign language varies from country to country? Have you ever wondered why some of us are left-handed while others are right-handed? Can you imagine how the hand of a sculptor differs from that of a pianist or a bricklayer? Sure you can't applaud with one hand, but there are still many things you can manage with just one hand. Find out in this book with original design and tactile cover.

Magda Gargulakova has a degree in Art History and she is a co-founder and also curator of the OFF/FORMAT gallery in Brno, which exhibits and promotes contemporary progressive art, mostly by young artists. She worked for a time in marketing, but her love affair with books is a long one. For the gallery, she has edited and published several art publications. Since 2019, she have added to this experience as an editor of literature for very young readers at Albatros Media, using her two daughters for quality control.

Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening

By Robert Frost

November 8, 2022; Ages 4 to 8, Grades P to 3

Just in time for its centennial, Robert Frost's cherished poem is showcased in a beautiful keepsake edition illustrated by the award-winning P.J. Lynch. The woods are lovely, dark and deep, But I have promises to keep, And miles to go before I sleep, And miles to go before I sleep. Whether memorized by schoolchildren or used to eulogize a president, “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening,” written in 1922 and published in 1923, has found a place as one of the best-loved and best-known American poems of the last hundred years. Now, six decades after the passing of its author, Robert Frost, celebrated artist P.J. Lynch brings this classic to new life with exquisitely detailed illustrations, evoking its iconic moments and wintry setting on the outskirts of a small village.

Robert Frost (1874–1963) was an American poet whose work typically depicted rural early-twentieth-century New England. His most well-known poems include “Acquainted with the Night,” “After Apple-Picking,” “Birches,” “Fire and Ice,” “Mending Wall,” “The Road Not Taken,” and “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening,” which the poet once called “my best bid for remembrance.” During his lifetime, Robert Frost received the Congressional Gold Medal, was a four-time recipient of the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry, and was nominated thirty-one times for the Nobel Prize in Literature. P.J. Lynch is the author-illustrator of The Haunted Lake and The Boy Who Fell Off the Mayflower, or John Howland’s Good Fortune. Meticulous research informs all of his illustration work, which includes such acclaimed picture books as The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey by Susan Wojciechowski, A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, ’Twas the Night Before Christmas by Clement C. Moore, and When Jessie Came Across the Sea by Amy Hest. P.J. Lynch has received the Kate Greenaway Medal twice and the Christopher Medal three times. He lives in Dublin, Ireland.

The Sour Grape

By Jory John

November 1, 2022; Social Themes / Manners & Etiquette; Ages 4 to 8, Grades P to 3

The 6th picture book in the #1 New York Times bestselling Food Group series by Jory John and Pete Oswald.

Meet the Sour Grape! Here to join the Bad Seed, the Good Egg, the Cool Bean, the Couch Potato, and the Smart Cookie is a grape with a bunch of grudges who learns there’s a sweeter way to roll.

The Sour Grape holds grudges for every reason under the sun. Lime never returned a scarf they borrowed? Grudge! Orange never called back? Grudge! But when a friend holds a grudge against Sour Grape without listening to an explanation, Sour Grape realizes how unfair grudges can be. Could forgiveness be enough to turn a sour grape sweet?

Readers of all ages will burst out in laughter as they learn alongside their new best bud that life is sweetest when filled compassion and gratitude.

Jory John is a #1 New York Times bestselling author and two-time E. B. White Read Aloud Honor recipient. His books have won numerous state book awards and have been translated into more than twenty languages. Jory’s work includes the New York Times bestselling picture books The Bad Seed, The Good Egg, The Cool Bean, The Couch Potato, The Smart Cookie, the award-winning Goodnight Already! series, That’s What Dinosaurs Do, the popular picture books Penguin Problems and Giraffe Problems, and many other books. He lives in Portland, OR. You can visit him online at

Pete Oswald is the #1 New York Times bestselling illustrator of The Smart Cookie, The Couch Potato, The Cool Bean, The Good Egg, and The Bad Seed, written by Jory John. The bestselling duo also created That’s What Dinosaurs Do together. Pete’s author debut, Hike, was shortlisted for the CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal. In addition to making picture books, he works on numerous highly successful animated franchises as a character designer, concept artist, and production designer. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife and three sons. Visit Pete online at



October 25, 2022; Science & Nature / Earth Sciences / Geography; Ages 7 to 9, Grades 2 to 4

The Galapagos islands is one of the most amazing, biologically diverse, nature-rich places on Earth. This beautifully illustrated and photographic tour of the flora, fauna, and geology of the Galapagos islands will cover everything that makes them one of the most unique places on the planet. An illustrated and photographic tour of the flora, fauna and geology of the Galapagos islands (13 major islands, 6 smaller islands, 40 islets), this is the ultimate book on these incredible islands. Featuring spreads on the formation of the islands, the animals, the plants, the unique evolutionary traits, amazing habitats, conservation, and more.

Tom Jackson is a leading natural history writer based in the United Kingdom. As an author and contributor he has worked on more than 60 books. A zoology graduate from the University of Bristol, he has also worked as a zookeeper and in safari parks in Zimbabwe. [foreword writer] Steve Backshall MBE is a BAFTA-winning British explorer, naturalist, TV host, and writer. Chervelle Fryer is an illustrator hailing from the Welsh capital of Cardiff. Chervelle's style is unique and she loves the use of texture. She finds inspiration in flora, fauna, and traditional brush styles.

Unstoppable Us, Volume 1: How Humans Took Over the World

By Yuval Noah Harari

October 18, 2022; History / Prehistoric; Ages 10 And Up, Grades 5 And Up

From world-renowned historian and philosopher Yuval Noah Harari, the bestselling author of Sapiens, comes an exciting, illustrated book for middle school readers that looks at the early history of humankind. "Gripping and thought-provoking." —The New York Times Even though we'll never outrun a hungry lion or outswim an angry shark, humans are pretty impressive and the most dominant species on the planet. So, how did we become "unstoppable"? The answer to that is one of the strangest tales you’ll ever hear. And it’s a true story. From learning to make fire and using the stars as guides to cooking meals in microwaves and landing on the moon, prepare to uncover the secrets and superpowers of how we evolved from our first appearances millions of years ago. Acclaimed author Yuval Noah Harari has expertly crafted an extraordinary story of how humans learned to not only survive but also thrive on Earth, complete with maps, a timeline, and full-color illustrations that bring his dynamic, unputdownable writing to life.

Prof. Yuval Noah Harari is a historian, a philosopher, and the bestselling author of Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind, Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow, 21 Lessons for the 21st Century, and Sapiens: A Graphic History. His books have sold over 35 million copies in 65 languages, and he is considered one of the world’s most influential public intellectuals today. / Twitter @harari_yuval / Instagram: @yuval_noah_harari Author Residence: Tel Aviv, Israel Ricard Zaplana Ruiz is an artist and illustrator with over twenty years of experience. He has worked as a story artist for animation, commercials, and live action films. His artwork for children's books has been published worldwide since 2013. He was born and still resides in Barcelona, Spain. Illustrator Residence:Barcelona, Spain


By Theodore Gray

October 11, 2022; Science / Mechanics;

The international bestselling author of How Things Work and The Elements Trilogy turns his focus to a visual exploration of the inner workings and functionality of the marvelous machines that run our world—from the first steam engines to giant turbines to today's tiny electrical engines. In Engines, the always entertaining and informative Theodore Gray explores the glorious guts and intricate innards of dozens of impressive machines. Through his engaging and unexpected stories and Nick Mann’s trademark gorgeous photography, Gray takes us on a journey from ancient Greek steam engines to our most sophisticated twenty-first-century machinery. We take time to appreciate the detailed functionality of the internal combustion engine, the connection between magnetism and electric motors, as well as hydraulics, robotics, and more. Each chapter builds on the previous, illuminating the evolution of engines and revealing the ingenuity brought to bear as humans invented and perfected these marvelous mechanical systems. Along the way, Gray regales us with tales of his own experiences working with and collecting these machines. For fans of how things are made and how they work, Engines is a loving tribute to the mechanical world.

Theodore Gray is the author of How Things Work, The Elements, Molecules, and Reactions, as well as Theodore Gray’s Completely Mad Science. He is the creator of the bestselling iPad apps “Elements” and “Molecules,” which have both been named App of the Week by Apple, and he was the director of “Disney Animated” (also honored by Apple as iPad App of the Year). Gray appeared onstage with Steve Jobs several times in his capacity as a software creator. He also co-founded Wolfram Research, Inc., makers of the widely used software Mathematica and the Wolfram Alpha website. He lives in Urbana, Illinois. Nick Mann is a photographer specializing in taking beautiful photos of inanimate objects on black backgrounds. His other work includes The Elements, Molecules, Reactions, and How Things Work. In his other life he designs and makes specialized note- taking fieldwork equipment, as well as working in the quality control department for a large automotive company. He lives with his wife and stepson in Urbana, Illinois.

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