Edward “Ed” Cooke is a British Entrepreneur and author of Remember, Remember: Learn the Stuff You Thought You Never Could. He is also a Grand Master of Memory and the co-founder of Memrise, a free online educational platform that uses memory techniques to optimise learning.

  • In Praise of Idleness

    In Praise of Idleness and Other Essays is a 1935 collection of essays by the philosopher Bertrand Russell.

  • Maxims and Reflections

    Goethe was probably the last true ???Renaissance Man???. Although employed as a Privy Councillor at the Duke of Weimar???s court, where he helped oversee major mining, road-building and irrigation projects, he also painted, directed plays, carried out research in anatomy, botany and optics ??? and still found time to produce masterpieces in every literary genre. His 1,413 maxims and reflections reveal not only some of his deepest thought on art, ethics, literature and natural science, but also his immediate reactions to books, chance encounters or his administrative work. With a freshness and immediacy which vividly conjure up Goethe the man, they make an ideal introduction to one of the greatest of European writers.

  • The Age of Wonder

    The Age of Wonder is a colorful and utterly absorbing history of the men and women whose discoveries and inventions at the end of the eighteenth century gave birth to the Romantic Age of Science. ,When young Joseph Banks stepped onto a Tahitian beach in 1769, he hoped to discover Paradise. Inspired by the scientific ferment sweeping through Britain, the botanist had sailed with Captain Cook in search of new worlds. Other voyages of discovery???astronomical, chemical, poetical, philosophical???swiftly follow in Richard Holmes’s thrilling evocation of the second scientific revolution. Through the lives of William Herschel and his sister Caroline, who forever changed the public conception of the solar system; of Humphry Davy, whose near-suicidal gas experiments revolutionized chemistry; and of the great Romantic writers, from Mary Shelley to Coleridge and Keats, who were inspired by the scientific breakthroughs of their day, Holmes brings to life the era in which we first realized both the awe-inspiring and the frightening possibilities of science???an era whose consequences are with us still.

  • The Joyous Cosmology

    A classic account of the psychedelic experience.,The Joyous Cosmology is Alan Watts???s exploration of the insight that the consciousness-changing drugs LSD, mescaline, and psilocybin can facilitate ???when accompanied with sustained philosophical reflection by a person who is in search, not of kicks, but of understanding.??? More than an artifact, it is both a riveting memoir of Watts???s personal experiments and a profound meditation on our perennial questions about the nature of existence and the existence of the sacred.,Includes Watts???s article ???Psychedelics and Religious Experience???

  • The Sorrows of Young Werther

    This is Goethe’s first novel, published in 1774. Written in diary form, it tells the tale of an unhappy, passionate young man hopelessly in love with Charlotte, the wife of a friend – a man who he alternately admires and detests. ‘The Sorrows of Young Werther’ became an important part of the ‘Sturm und Drang movement, and greatly influenced later ‘Romanticism’. The work is semi-autobiographical – in 1772, two years before the novel was published, Goethe had passed through a similar tempestuous period, when he lost his heart to Charlotte Buff, who was at that time engaged to his friend Johann Christian Kestner.

  • Theory of Colours

    By the time Goethe’s “Theory of Colours” appeared in 1810, the wavelength theory of light and color had been firmly established. To Goethe, the theory was the result of mistaking an incidental result for an elemental principle. Far from pretending to a knowledge of physics, he insisted that such knowledge was an actual hindrance to understanding. He based his conclusions exclusively upon exhaustive personal observation of the phenomena of color.,Of his own theory, Goethe was supremely confident: “From the philosopher, we believe we merit thanks for having traced the phenomena of colours to their first sources, to the circumstances under which they appear and are, and beyond which no further explanation respecting them is possible.”,Goethe’s scientific conclusions have, of course, long since been thoroughly demolished, but the intelligent reader of today may enjoy this work on quite different grounds: for the beauty and sweep of his conjectures regarding the connection between color and philosophical ideas; for an insight into early nineteenth-century beliefs and modes of thought; and for the flavor of life in Europe just after the American and French Revolutions.,The work may also be read as an accurate guide to the study of color phenomena. Goethe’s conclusions have been repudiated, but no one quarrels with his reporting of the facts to be observed. With simple objects — vessels, prisms, lenses, and the like — the reader will be led through a demonstration course not only in subjectively produced colors, but also in the observable physical phenomena of color. By closely following Goethe’s explanations of the color phenomena, the reader may become so divorced from the wavelength theory — Goethe never even mentions it — that he may begin to think about color theory relatively unhampered by prejudice, ancient or modern.

  • Touching the Rock

    Touching the Rock is a unique exploration of that distant, infinitely strange ???other world??? of blindness. John Hull writes of odd sounds and echoes, of people without faces, of a curious new relationship between waking and dreaming, of a changed perception of nature and human personality. He reveals a world in which every human experience ??? eating and lovemaking, playing with children and buying drinks in the bar ??? is transformed. ???The incisiveness of Hull???s observation, the beauty of his language, make this book poetry; the depth of his reflection turns it into phenomenology or philosophy.???