As you all have no doubt noticed over the years, I love highlighting the best science books every year via the various end of year lists that newspapers, web sites, etc. publish. I’ve done it so far in 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013.

And here we are in 2014!

As in previous years, my definition of “science books” is pretty inclusive, including books on technology, engineering, nature, the environment, science policy, history & philosophy of science, geek culture and whatever else seems to be relevant in my opinion.

Today’s list is Kirkus Reviews.

  • The Human Age: The World Shaped by Us by Diane Ackerman
  • On Immunity: An Innoculation by Eula Biss
  • Hacker, Hoaxer, Whistleblower, Spy: The Many Faces of Anonymous by Gabriella Coleman
  • Trespassing on Einstein’s Lawn: A Father, a Daughter, the Meaning of Nothing, and the Beginning of Everything by Amanda Gefter
  • Plato at the Googleplex: Why Philosophy Won’t Go Away by Rebecca Newberger Goldstein
  • The Snowden Files: The Inside Story of the World’s Most Wanted Man by Luke Harding
  • Starlight Detectives: How Astronomers, Inventors, and Eccentrics Discovered the Modern Universe by Alan Hirshfeld
  • The Sea Inside by Philip Hoare
  • Internal Medicine: A Doctor’s Stories by Terrence Holt
  • War of the Whales: A True Story by Joshua Horwitz
  • The Innovators: How a Group of Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution by Walter Isaacson
  • How We Got to Now: Six Innovations That Made the Modern World by Steven Johnson
  • The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History by Elizabeth Kolbert
  • The Lagoon: How Aristotle Invented Science by Armand Marie Leroi
  • The Age of Radiance: The Epic Rise and Dramatic Fall of the Atomic Era by Craig Nelson
  • In the Kingdom of Ice: The Grand and Terrible Polar Voyage of the USS Jeannette by Hampton Sides
  • Pandora’s DNA: Tracing the Breast Cancer Genes Through History, Science, and One Family Tree by Lizzie Stark
  • The Unpersuadables: Adventures with the Enemies of Science by Will Storr
  • Adventures in the Anthropocene: A Journey to the Heart of the Planet We Made by Gaia Vince

And check out my previous 2014 lists here!

Many of the lists I use are sourced via the Largehearted Boy master list.

(Astute readers will notice that I kind of petered out on this project last year and never got around to the end of year summary. The last few years I ended up featuring dozens of lists, virtually every list I could find that had science books on it. While it was kind of cool to be so comprehensive, not to mention that it gave the summary posts a certain statistical weight, it was also way more work than I had really envisioned way back in 2008 or so when I started doing this. As a result, I’m only going to highlight particularly large or noteworthy lists this year and forgo any kind of end of year summary. Basically, all the fun but not so much of the drudgery.)

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