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, 2013,2014 and 2015.
And here we are in 2016!
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.
- Lab Girl by Hope Jahren
- Chaos Monkeys: Obscene Fortune and Random Failure in Silicon Valley by Antonio Garcia Martinez,
- The Industries of the Future by Alec Ross
- The Third Wave: An Entrepreneur’s Vision of the Future by Steve Case
- The Winter Fortress: The Epic Mission to Sabotage Hitler’s Atomic Bomb by Neal Bascomb
- The Hour of Land: A Personal Topography of America’s National Parks by Terry Tempest Williams
- Eruption: The Untold Story of Mount St. Helens by Steve Olson
- The Hidden Life of Trees: What They Feel, How They Communicate—Discoveries from a Secret World by Peter Wohlleben and Tim Flannery
- Welcome to the Universe: An Astrophysical Tour by Neil deGrasse Tyson and Michael A. Strauss
- The Gene: An Intimate History by Siddhartha Mukherjee
- Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race by Margot Lee Shetterly
- Seven Brief Lessons on Physics by Carlo Rovelli
- Algorithms to Live By: The Computer Science of Human Decisions by Brian Christian and Tom Griffiths
- The Big Picture: On the Origins of Life, Meaning, and the Universe Itself by Sean Carroll
- Now: The Physics of Time by Richard A. Muller
- Grunt: The Curious Science of Humans at War by Mary Roach
- Rise of the Rocket Girls: The Women Who Propelled Us, from Missiles to the Moon to Mars by Nathalia Holt
- What a Fish Knows: The Inner Lives of Our Underwater Cousins by Jonathan Balcombe
- How to Make a Spaceship: A Band of Renegades, an Epic Race, and the Birth of Private Spaceflight by Julian Guthrie and Richard Branson
- Patient H.M.: A Story of Memory, Madness, and Family Secrets by Luke Dittrich
- Half-Earth: Our Planet’s Fight for Life by Edward O. Wilson
- The Speed of Sound: Breaking the Barriers Between Music and Technology: A Memoir by Thomas Dolby
- Venomous: How Earth’s Deadliest Creatures Mastered Biochemistry by Christie Wilcox
- This Is Your Brain on Parasites: How Tiny Creatures Manipulate Our Behavior and Shape Society by Kathleen McAuliffe
- Black Hole Blues and Other Songs from Outer Space by Janna Levin
- Sun Moon Earth: The History of Solar Eclipses from Omens of Doom to Einstein and Exoplanets by Tyler Nordgren
- Sex in the Sea: Our Intimate Connection with Sex-Changing Fish, Romantic Lobsters, Kinky Squid, and Other Salty Erotica of the Deep by Marah J. Hardt
And check out my previous 2016 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 a couple of years ago and never got around to the end of year summary since then. Before loosing steam, I ended up featuring dozens and 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.)