Everybody loves to give or to get a book as a present, right? They are small, interesting, there is a wide selection in every price range. As gift giver, it is a way you can impose your will on others, which is always true for gifts, but specially so with books. As a recipient, you can easily get rid of it by claiming that you loaned it to your cousin Leo who just moved to Borneo.
Also, books are very easy to order on line. Well, you can order anything on line, but with books you know what you are getting.
The following is a list of books that I happen to have on hand (or recently held in my hands) that have something to do withs science, are good, and are current. If you are the author of a recent science book and you don’t see yours listed here, that is probably because you or your publisher were too cheap to send me a review copy (shame on you). Some but not all are already reviewed on this blog (here).
The first one on the list is by my friend and colleague Mark Borrello. I’ve just started reading it, and it’s quite good. It is extremely well written and very important, a scholarly work that is quite accessible to those with an interest in the subject: Evolutionary Restraints: The Contentious History of Group Selection
The next book, also written by a friend of mine (don’t worry, I only list good books … which means books written by friends that suck are probably books written by former friends, but whatever). This is NOT the type of book one sees on a list like this, as it is a textbook. This first year college or AP biology textbook is a completely new text, and thus has certain advantages over the usual tired old workhorses most people are accustom to. If you are interested in biology and stuff, having a good, current textbook hand is a good thing. I recommend, for this purpose, What Is Life? by Jay Phelan. Maybe you can find a cheap used copy.
One of the most important books to come out this year for readers of this blog is Genie Scott’s Evolution vs. Creationism: An Introduction, 2nd Edition. Well, maybe it came out last year, I can’t remember. In any event, there’s probably a new paperback edition. If you engage in the Evolution-Creation debate it is a must-have-on-your-shelf book.
There is sort of an order to the rest of the books, having to do with greatness of the book, how recent it is, how relevant I think it might be to the average reader of this blog (as if any reader of this blog would be ‘average’!) and so on.
- The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
- Newton and the Counterfeiter: The Unknown Detective Career of the World’s Greatest Scientist
- Mothers and Others: The Evolutionary Origins of Mutual Understanding (Belknap Press)
- Storms of My Grandchildren: The Truth About the Coming Climate Catastrophe and Our Last Chance to Save Humanity
- Bonobo Handshake: A Memoir of Love and Adventure in the Congo
- Triassic Life on Land: The Great Transition (The Critical Moments and Perspectives in Earth History and Paleobiology)
- Evolution’s Rainbow: Diversity, Gender, and Sexuality in Nature and People
- The Age of Wonder: The Romantic Generation and the Discovery of the Beauty and Terror of Science (Vintage)
- Unscientific America: How Scientific Illiteracy Threatens our Future (new paperback version)
- Reading in the Brain: The Science and Evolution of a Human Invention
- How Pleasure Works: The New Science of Why We Like What We Like
- Seeds, Sex, and Civilization: How the Hidden Life of Plants Has Shaped Our World
- The Wave: In Pursuit of the Rogues, Freaks and Giants of the Ocean
- The Curious World of Bugs: The Bugman’s Guide to the Mysterious and Remarkable Lives of Things That Crawl
- Stones & Bones (a kids book)
- Why the Wind Blows: A History of Weather and Global Warming
What am I missing?