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, public health, history & philosophy of science, geek culture and whatever else seems to be relevant in my opinion.
Today’s list is The Guardian Robin McKie’s best science books of 2016, History, Nature.
- The Life Project: The Extraordinary Story of Our Ordinary Lives by Helen Pearson
- Timekeepers: How the World Became Obsessed With Time by Simon Garfield
- A Brief History of Everyone Who Ever Lived: The Stories in Our Genes by Adam Rutherford
- The Gene: An Intimate History by Siddhartha Mukherjee
- Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow by Yuval Noah Harari
- Reality Is Not What it Seems by Carlo Rovelli
- A Farewell to Ice: A Report from the Arctic by Peter Wadhams
- I Contain Multitudes: The Microbes Within Us and a Grander View of Life by Ed Yong
- When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi
- The Voices Within: The History and Science of How We Talk to Ourselves by Charles Fernyhough
- Tide: The Science and Lore of the Greatest Force on Earth by Hugh Aldersey-Williams
- Blitzed: Drugs in Nazi Germany by Norman Ohler
- Being a Beast: Adventures Across the Species Divide by Charles Foster
- The Ethical Carnivore: My Year Killing to Eat by Louise Gray
- Orison for a Curlew: In Search for a bird on the edge of extinction by Horatio Clare
- Shallow Seas by Peter J. Hayward
- Falcons by Richard Sale
- Slugs and Snails by Robert Cameron
- The Most Perfect Thing: Inside (and Outside) a Bird’s Egg by Tim Birkhead
- The Nature of Autumn by Jim Crumley
- Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter, each edited by Melissa Harrison
- Arboreal: A Collection of New Woodland Writing edited by Adrian Cooper
- A Tale of Trees: The Battle to Save Britain’s Ancient Woodland by Derek Niemann
- The Wood for the Trees by Richard Fortey
- Knowing Your Place: Wildlife in Shingle Street by Jeremy Mynott
- The Big Cat Man: An Autobiography by Jonathan Scott
- No Way But Gentlenesse: A Memoir of How Kes, My Kestrel, Changed My Life by Richard Hines
- A Kestrel for a Knave by Barry Hines
- The Outrun by Amy Liptrot
- Fingers in the Sparkle Jar: A Memoir by Chris Packham
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.)