reading room3 shrunk

Books written by our members

Wally Funk’s Race for Space is the first book to cover the true story of a female pilot who led the way for women in space

Published by The Westbourne Press in Hardback, 4th October 2018, £14.99

'An extraordinary, quirky book ... A global Thelma and Louise-style adventure ... It's a great story, and it throws fascinating light on the story of female space travel.' Daily Mail Book of the Week

'Fascinating story ... Wally Funk's character leaps off the page ... she is fantastic and so inspirational. ... if you want to see someone with spunk and determination, that is the book to read.' Naga Munchetty, BBC Breakfast

'Wally Funk's story is a textbook study in indefatigable, American, can-do spirit.' The Guardian

Moore's Law: The Life of Gordon Moore, Silicon Valley's Quiet Revolutionary by ABSW member Rachel Jones

Published by Basic Books, 2015

Buy the book through Amazon  

Our world today — from the phone in your pocket to the car you drive, the allure of social media to Pentagon strategy — has been shaped irrevocably by the technology of silicon transistors. For more than half a century, these tiny switches have enabled ever-more startling capabilities. Their proliferation has altered the course of human history as dramatically as any political or social revolution. 

A Better World is Possible: The Gatsby Charitable Foundation and Social Progress by ABSW member Georgina Ferry

Publisher: Profile Books, 2017 (1st edition)

The Gatsby Foundation has spent around £50m annually on charitable activities, and by its 50th anniversary in 2017 it will have spent over £1bn on programmes that range from reducing poverty in Africa to raising the standard of technical education, investigating how plants fight disease, and finding out how the brain works. But despite Gatsby's wide reach and the level of its donations, it has always functioned discreetly and out of the public eye. Georgina Ferry's in-depth account reveals its achievements and invites us to question how the super-rich - and even the moderately affluent - might spend their money more wisely and for the common good.

Webpage where this book can be bought:

Web page for further information:


The Philip's Essential Guide to Space by Paul Sutherland

Published by Philip's 2016

A stimulating guide detailing recent developments in space exploration written by Paul Sutherland.

  • Rockets, spacecraft and satellites - the first steps into space.
  • The race to the Moon - and future lunar exploration.
  • Exploring the Solar System - up-to-date information about human and robotic spaceflight.
  • Making space home - living and working on the International Space Station.
  • Observatories in space - looking for other planetary systems and measuring the Universe.

Illustrated throughout with stunning photographs and colourful artworks.

Outside the Research Lab Volume 1: Physics in the arts, architecture, and design by Sharon Ann Holgate

Published by Morgan & Claypool as part of IOP Concise Physics, 2017    

This book is a testament to the fact that the physics taught to high school and university students IS used in the real world. It is a fascinating insight into the use of physics and technology in the arts, architecture, and design. Outside the Research Lab is a path to discovering how professionals from different sectors – including sculpture, music, TV sound recording, and shoe design – use physics to help them in their work. Stunning images throughout the book and clear, understandable writing are supplemented by offset detail boxes which take the physics concepts to higher levels.


Publisher: Quad Books, 2017

Buy the book here:


Physics in 50 Milestone Moments is a lively, accessible, and thought-provoking introduction to physics, its history, and its practitioners.

Uniquely, it is structured around a timeline of landmark events that vividly brings to life the evolution of this most fundamental science; from the Stone Age, through the classical era and the Renaissance, to the present day. As well as offering a comprehensive guide to physics, this book helps make the big ideas intelligible to us by placing them in their real-world contexts.

Sex, Lies, and Brain Scans: How fMRI reveals what really goes on in our minds by Julia Gottwald (ABSW member) & Barbara Sahakian
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Edition: 1    
Year of publication: 2017

The recent explosion of neuroscience techniques has been game-changing in terms of understanding the human brain. One of the key techniques is functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), which allows us to observe brain activity in real time. Already fMRI has been used to detect conscious activity in some patients who had all indications of being in a vegetative state, and even enabled us to communicate with some of them. This is just one of the many striking areas in which fMRI can be used to 'read minds'.

Bring Back the King: The New Science of De-extinction by Helen Pilcher

Published by Bloomsbury Sigma, 2016 (1st edition)

Buy the book:

If you could bring back just one animal from the past, what would you choose? It can be anyone or anything from history, from the King of the Dinosaurs, T. rex, to the King of Rock 'n' Roll, Elvis Presley, and beyond.

De-extinction - the ability to bring extinct species back to life - is fast becoming reality. Around the globe, scientists are trying to de-extinct all manner of animals, including the woolly mammoth, the passenger pigeon and a bizarre species of flatulent frog. But de-extinction is more than just bringing back the dead. It's a science that can be used to save species, shape evolution and sculpt the future of life on our planet.

In Bring Back the King, scientist and comedy writer Helen Pilcher goes on a quest to identify the perfect de-extinction candidate. Along the way, she asks if Elvis could be recreated from the DNA inside a pickled wart, investigates whether it's possible to raise a pet dodo, and considers the odds of a 21st century Neanderthal turning heads on public transport.

Pondering the practicalities and the point of de-extinction, Bring Back the King is a witty and wry exploration of what is bound to become one of the hottest topics in conservation - if not in science as a whole - in the years to come. READ THIS BOOK - the King commands it.