These days I am swallowing one good science book after another. 2010 seems to be a great year for science book publishing!
But I have also noticed that almost all of these books are written by science bloggers (or at least active Twitterers)! Some are writers first, and started blogging later. Others started as bloggers, and decided to also write a book.
Some use their blogs as writing labs, putting out ideas, getting feedback, honing the message, then collecting, fine-tuning and editing a couple of years of blog material into a book.
Others keep the two worlds pretty much apart – book covers one topic, the blog is on something else, but it is nice, once the book gets published, to have a few thousands loyal blog readers who are natural buyers of the book, will spread the word about it to their friends, review the book on their own blogs, or organize readings and signings in their hometowns (now that publishers have no money to do much promotion for any authors but the biggest stars).
So I decided to make a little list here of science books by science bloggers, focusing on the 2010 year, but also some of the older and some yet to be written.
Please make corrections and additions in the comments. And if a non-blogger is publishing a good science book in 2010, you can also add that in the comments – sooner or later a book author will have to learn how to use the Web for promotion if they want anyone to hear about their work at all, so perhaps you can show them this post
And if you are one of the authors I listed here and have something to add, perhaps about the way you use the blog as part of your book-writing or marketing, or a book we don’t know yet you are writing, add that in the comments as well.
Bonobo Handshake: A Memoir of Love and Adventure in the Congo (website, my review, amazon.com) by Vanessa Woods (website, old blog, new blog, Twitter, ABATC interview, previous books include It’s Every Monkey for Themselves)
On the Grid: A Plot of Land, An Average Neighborhood, and the Systems that Make Our World Work (website, my report from a reading, my review, amazon.com) by Scott Huler (website, blog, Twitter, ABATC interview, previous books include Defining the Wind)
Superbug: The Fatal Menace of MRSA (website, blog, Twitter, amazon.com) by Maryn McKenna (old blog, new blog, Twitter, previous book – Beating Back the Devil: On the Front Lines with the Disease Detectives of the Epidemic Intelligence Service)
The Poisoner’s Handbook: Murder and the Birth of Forensic Medicine in Jazz Age New York (website, amazon.com) by Deborah Blum (website, old blog, new blog, Twitter, previous books include A Field Guide for Science Writers, The Monkey Wars, Sex on the Brain, Love at Goon Park and Ghost Hunters)
The Calculus Diaries: How Math Can Help You Lose Weight, Win in Vegas, and Survive a Zombie Apocalypse (amazon.com) by Jennifer Ouellette (blog, Twitter, ABATC interview, previous books: Black Bodies and Quantum Cats: Tales from the Annals of Physics and The Physics of the Buffyverse)
Dinosaurs Life Size: Discover How Big They Really Were (amazon.com) by Darren Naish (blog, previous books include The Great Dinosaur Discoveries, Encyclopedia of Dinosaurs and Prehistoric Life and ‘Walking with Dinosaurs: The Evidence – How Did They Know That?)
From Eternity to Here (website, amazon.com) by Sean Carroll (blog, Twitter, previous book – Spacetime and Geometry: An Introduction to General Relativity)
Intelligent Design and Religion as a Natural Phenomenon (website, amazon.com) by John Wilkins (blog, Twitter, Species: A History of the Idea and Defining Species: A Sourcebook from Antiquity to Today)
2009 and older
Newton and the Counterfeiter: The Unknown Detective Career of the World’s Greatest Scientist (amazon.com) by Tom Levenson (blog, Twitter, ABATC interview, previous books include Measure for Measure: A Musical History of Science, Einstein in Berlin, and Ice Time: Climate Science and Life on Earth)
Reef Madness: Charles Darwin, Alexander Agassiz, and the Meaning of Coral (amazon.com) by David Dobbs (website, blog, Twitter, previous books include The Great Gulf: Fishermen, Scientists, and the Struggle to Revive the World’s Greatest Fishery and The Northern Forest and the forthcoming book is The Orchid and the Dandelion)
The Vision Revolution (website, amazon.com) by Mark Changizi (wesbite, blog 1, blog 2, Twitter, previous book – The Brain from 25,000 Feet: High Level Explorations of Brain Complexity, Perception, Induction and Vagueness, next book – Harnessed)
The Science of Middle Earth (amazon.com) by Henry Gee (website, blog 1, blog 2, Twitter, ABATC interview, previous books include Jacob’s Ladder: The History of the Human Genome, In Search of Deep Time and A Field Guide to Dinosaurs)
The Department of Mad Scientists: How DARPA Is Remaking Our World, from the Internet to Artificial Limbs (amazon.com) by Michael Belfiore (website, blog, Twitter, previous books include The Way People Live – Life Aboard a Space Station and Rocketeers: How a Visionary Band of Business Leaders, Engineers, and Pilots is Boldly Privatizing Space)
Death from the Skies!: These Are the Ways the World Will End . . . (amazon.com) and Bad Astronomy: Misconceptions and Misuses Revealed, from Astrology to the Moon Landing “Hoax” (amazon.com) by Phil Plait (blog, Twitter)
2011 and beyond
The Science of Kissing: What Our Lips Are Telling Us (amazon.com) by Sheril Kirshenbaum (website, blog, Twitter, ABATC interview, previous book: Unscientific America with Chris Mooney) will be out on January 2011.
I am assuming that most of the above authors will try to come to ScienceOnline2011 next January, so we should organize some kind of book-centered activity – sale, contests for free copies, book readings/signings, and of course sessions about pitching, writing, publishing and promoting books on the Web.