These are books that I’ve reviewed here, and would like to recommend that you seriously consider picking up if you are looking for a cool present for someone and you think they should read more science.
I’m including a couple of bird books in this list, but I also recently wrote up a summary of just bird books that you may want to check out.
These are in no particular order, and I’m not paying a lot of attention to publication dates. What matters is that I’ve I’ve put the book in this stack of books I’ve got here that I clean out every year about this time; Some are clearly older than one year but if you’ve not read them or know someone who has not, this simply must be corrected. I’m also not listing anything I’ve reviewed in the last few days because you just saw them. This is more a reminder of what you forgot to read last June or whenever!
And the books are:
Mummies, Cannibals and Vampires. OMG. This is an academic books that has not gotten much hype and probably won’t, but you simply must read it. For the average reasonably well educated person, this book probably has more stuff in it you didn’t know, or even suspect, than most books you’ll ever read.
Bird Migration and Global Change, a new book, and the much older On the Move are significantly contrasting books that make a great pair. One is natural history and accessible the other ore academic and scientific, both are about movement and migration, which will become an increasingly important topic over the next decades as global climate change exerts its rather uncertain influence.
Speaking of climate change and related issues, Shaw Otto’s new book, “Fool Me Twice” is my choice for stocking stuffer of the year. Various relatives and friends will be getting this book from me. Everybody has to read it.
Neil deGrasse Tyson’s Death By Black Hole is not new but I just read it this year so I’m including it. This volume covers all the current cosmic controversies and makes points usually left aside because of NdGT’s specific academic interests in Magnitogorsk and plasma and stuff. The question raised in this book formed part of my strategy for my interview of him.
The other physics book you must read is Jim Kakalios’ The Amazing Story of Quantum Mechanics. There is no math in this book. For those of you who think that is a bad thing, OK, you’ve got extra geekkred. For the rest of you, you will love this book.
If you haven’t read The Science of Kissing then just go read it. Until then, No Kissing For You!
Another stocking stuffer, because of its important message, is Deadly Choices by Paul Offit. This is on the anti-vax movement, and is the perfect gift for your homeopathic cousin in Peoria.
Do you watch birds? Good. Do you now a LOT about birds? No? Then start here!. It’s really bird science disguised as a book for birders. Pretty sneaky.
And now a short list of other books that are much older but that I want to re-recommend. Seriously. If you’ve not read these than you can’t really be my friend:
- 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
- The Periodic Kingdom: A Journey Into The Land Of The Chemical Elements (Science Masters)
- Catching Fire: How Cooking Made Us Human