Launched in 1984 as a conference where technology, entertainment, and design could meet and now embracing a full range of globally significant topics, TED aims to disseminate ideas primarily through focused talks no more than 18 minutes in length. Two annual TED conferences feature major speakers that have ranged from Bill Gates to Jane Goodall to Sting (TEDx supports local, self-organized TED-style events), and the more than 1,700 TED Talk videos now posted at Ted.com have been viewed over two billion times.
Now, TED Conferences LCC has joined with Simon & Schuster to copublish a 12-book collection of TED titles, starting in September 2014. The books will draw on TED speakers past or future but will not replicate their talks. Generally, the author will be invited to expand on his or her topic, offering greater depth than an 18-minute speech would allow. As with the TED talks themselves, the books aim to offer a single, significant idea that TED believes will make a difference for audiences worldwide.
The books will be compact hardcovers, priced at $14.99 and presenting their contents within 120 pages. Simon & Schuster will provide standard publisher services, from design, copyediting, and printing to selling through the accounts and distributing. One nice touch: celebrated designer Chip Kidd, whose Judge This is among the first TED books to be offered, will design the cover art, giving TED books a recognizable look. If this 12-book series shines, more TED books will be forthcoming. Below, a chronological listing through January of TED 2015 titles being released.
Ebrahim, Zak with Jeff Giles. The Terrorist’s Son: A Story of Choice. S. & S. Sept. 2014. 120p. ISBN 9781476784809. $14.99. MEMOIR/POLITICAL SCIENCE
Ebrahim was seven years old when his father, El-Sayed Nosair, killed Rabbi Meir Kahane, founder of the Jewish Defense League; from prison, Nosair subsequently helped plan the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. After a life in hiding, Ebrahim embraces and preaches nonviolence, arguing that, regardless of circumstances, anyone can learn tolerance.
Iyer, Pico. The Art of Stillness: Adventures in Going Nowhere. S. & S. Oct. 2014. 120p. ISBN 9781476784724. $14.99. MEDITATION
A British-born essayist who’s reported on events worldwide from home bases in California and Japan, Iyer is primed to understand the desire to go nowhere—that is, to unplug from the ferocious, cyberlinked, multitasking hecticness we know today.
Knight, Rob with Brendan Buhler. Follow Your Gut: The Enormous Impact of Tiny Microbes. S. & S. Nov. 2014. 120p. ISBN 9781476784748. $14.99. NUTRITION
Professor of Chemistry & Biochemistry and Computer Science in the BioFrontiers at the University of Colorado Boulder and also part of the Computational Biosciences Program at the University of Colorado Denver, Knight lays out the revelatory new science of the millions of microbes dwelling within us—those little critters that can truly affect our health, our weight, and even our mood.
Kidd, Chip. Judge This. S. & S. Dec. 2014. 120p. ISBN 9781476784786. $14.99. ART/DIGITAL
Design matters—it’s our first way of assessing a product or service—so who better to show us how we judge design than Kidd, whose book jackets for Knopf are legendary. There’s fun here, as well as insight.
Petranek, Stephen. How We’ll Live on Mars. S. & S. Jan. 2015. 120p. ISBN 9781476784762. $14.99. SPACE SCIENCE
An award-winning journalist whose credentials range from senior editor for science at Life to editor in chief of Discover, the world’s largest science magazine, Petranek offers a blend of business, science, and human-interest reporting to explain how we will manage to live on Mars in the coming years—and why we’ll have to.