Our brain is a miracle. Throughout our lives, it rises to the challenge of the tasks we have to master. Around 100 billion nerve cells with more than 100 trillion synapses are busy in our heads, creating a world from the information they receive. How do they do that? Barbara Schmutz wanted to find out and talked to 17 neuroscientists. She asked them 300 precise, surprising and provocative questions about the brain.
What’s a brainwave? How are false memories created? Is your gut feeling located in your head? Can we consciously forget? Are the brain and mind the same? Do all people have the same brain at birth? What does the brain do when we daydream?
The answers she received provide an exciting insight into the current discussions on artificial intelligence, chronic pain, memory, epigenetics, dementia and the ageing brain, consciousness, drugs, dreaming, sleeping and learning.
In 1929, Virginia Woolf’s A Room of One’s Own was published. In it, she claimed that five hundred pounds a year and a room of one’s own were the prerequisites for women to be able to produce great literature. Ninety years have passed since then. What is the situation today?
The texts in this anthology describe the pleasure of writing and its price in very different ways. Joan Didion, for example, writes to find out what she thinks. Zadie Smith sees writing as an »escape from the self«. Sheila Heti talks to Elena Ferrante about the pros and cons of motherhood. Anne Tyler recalls a question she was frequently asked: whether she had found a real job or was still »just writing«.
Elif Shafak ponders the consequences of not writing in her mother tongue, and Olivia Sudjic observes how digital technology is changing her craft. Eva Menasse compares her process to a helicopter landing site, and Sybille Berg refers to each finished book a failed attempt.
With contributions by: Eva Menasse · Sybille Berg · Terezia Mora · Antonia Baum · Elfriede Jelinek · Katharina Hagena · Mariana Leky · Elke Schmitter · Siri Hustvedt · Zadie Smith · Deborah Levy · Leila Slimani · Elif Shafak · Olivia Sudjic · Nicole Krauss · Hilary Mantel · Elizabeth Strout · Sheila Heti · Elena Ferrante · Jennifer Egan · Meg Wolitzer · Ann Tyler · Joan Didion · Kathryn Chetkovich
Did you know that the modern era did not just begin with Leonardo da Vinci and Luther, but with Christine de Pizan and Isabella of Castile as well? It is high time to add the forgotten heroines to the world history. This book narrates the history of the world with emphasis on female protagonists. Ideal for teens and young adults, male or female.
The two authors have written a global history where girls and women take center stage. Not just the famous ones such as the Egyptian pharaoh Hatschepsut, who reigned with an artificial beard for twenty years, or the beautiful Kleopatra, the vicious Messalina, the brave Jeanne d’Arc and the notorious Lucrezia Borge but also less famous characters such as the Chinese emperess Wu Zetia, who spread Buddhism through China, the Byzantine emperess Theodora, originally a circus artist, or Mathilde of Canossa, one of the most powerful women in the Middle Ages, are found in this book.
»This book opens an important perspective.« Die Zeit
In Mexican culture, in complete contrast to Europe, death is ever-present and never a taboo. People look forward to the Day of the Dead when their deceased relatives are invited to a lavish family celebration complete with cakes and tequila, gifts and a feast. Milena Moser’s story about the Día de los Muertos is highly personal – her partner Victor-Mario Zaballa is terminally ill. But he is unafraid to face death. Because he knows that the dead are in good spirits.
»Moser approaches this cultural tradition with inquisitiveness and an open mind. Colourfully illustrated by Zaballa, the book offers surprising insights into dealing with death as part of life. An entertaining and informative book.« dpa
How can we prepare our children for the challenges of the 21st century?
We read about children who start school and do their first scientific experiment with chocolate. Or high-school students who spend 48 hours in the forest learning how to brave loneliness. Teachers who care as much about empathy as basic arithmetic and firmly believe they can make a difference in children’s lives. And a school principal who greets each child personally in the morning.
This is how school looks in New Zealand – a country that is at the forefront of educational rankings.
Verena Friederike Hasel lived there with her family. In her moving book, the psychologist and mother of three describes in concrete terms and vivid descriptions how the dream of a better school can also come true in Germany.
»A book about education that doesn’t lecture, but describes in a laid-back way and vividly narrates.« Welt am Sonntag
Every newborn takes a breath in their first minute. From then on, lungs usually work on their own. But chronic lung disease, asthma or sleep apnea have now become widespread. Even healthy people gasp, wheeze, sniff and snort for air.
Writer Jessica Braun, who has some breathing issues herself, sets off to find out how to breathe properly. She accompanies a panting woman giving birth, visits a sleep laboratory, undergoes a breath diagnosis, meditates with an Indian guru, does freediving and watches a dominatrix cut off her client’s oxygen supply. Her research leads her to meet scientists and actors, biathletes and yoga teachers.
This book shows how our breath connects our bodies and souls. And how everyone can change their lives through learning to breathe better.
»Even while reading this book, your own breathing evens out as you become conscious of it.« SPIEGEL Online