Books can fly us to space, transport us to the Seven Kingdoms or the Underground Railroad, take us on an 11,000 mile hike along the Pacific Crest Trail, and teach us a thing or two about cooking. In the second installment of the “Talks at Google” Keyword series, get to know some of our favorite authors who have stopped by Google over the years:1. Andy Weir, bestselling author of “The Martian”—later adapted into a film—reads aloud the first chapter and shares the extensive research done to maintain scientific accuracy throughout the book.
2. Angela Duckworth, author of “Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance” discusses her unique definition of “talent” and interesting findings from her data on predictors of success.
3. Cheryl Strayed talks about her moments of reckoning on the Pacific Coast Trail, which led to her memoir “Wild.”
I'm glad that I had exactly the experience I did because I learned the hard way, and all of the best things I've learned the hard way.
5. Acclaimed novelist Colson Whitehead chats about the inspiration behind his book, “The Underground Railroad,” narrates excerpts and answers audience questions on topics like gender and race in slavery.
6. George R. R. Martin, author of the epic series, “A Song of Ice and Fire,” which has been turned into HBO’s equally epic “Game of Thrones,” answers fan questions, from the hyper-nerdy (“Is it possible to warg into a dragon?”) to the emotional (“Which character in the series was the hardest to kill off?).
7. Chef Ina Garten shares her journey from budget analyst at the White House, to owner of a specialty food store, to author of a cookbook, to star of a hit cooking show on Food Network.
8. Lucy Kalanithi—wife of Paul Kalanithi whose memoir “When Breath Becomes Air” recounts his battle with cancer in the months before he died—talks about “connecting with people over suffering” and the deep, painful and moving experiences that we all share.
9. In one of his many visits to Google, Salman Rushdie discusses how we can see ourselves in the past and the "interesting things to discover from 400 years ago."
10. Yaa Gyasi, author of “Homegoing,” discusses the book’s strong female characters and how her journey to her mother’s hometown in Abakrampa, Ghana gave her a stroke of inspiration for the book.
When we look at the past, what we see in many ways is ourselves.