Another list for your reading, gift-giving and collection development pleasure.
Every year for the last bunch of years I’ve been linking to and posting about all the “year’s best sciencey books” lists that appear in various media outlets and shining a bit of light on the best of the year.
All the previous 2012 lists are here.
- Wait: The Art and Science of Delay by Frank Partnoy
- Visit Sunny Chernobyl: And Other Adventures in the World's Most Polluted Places by Andrew Blackwell
- Full Body Burden: Growing Up in the Nuclear Shadow of Rocky Flats by Kristen Iversen
- God's Hotel: A Doctor, a Hospital, and a Pilgrimage to the Heart of Medicine by Victoria Sweet
- Quiet: The Power of Introverts In a World that Can't Stop Talking by Susan Cain
- The Last Viking: The Life of Roald Amundsen by Stephen R. Bown
- On a Farther Shore: The Life and Legacy of Rachel Carson by William Souder
- City: A User's Guide to the Past, Present, and Future of Urban Life by P.D. Smith
- Nature Wars: The Incredible Story of How Wildlife Comebacks Turned Backyards into Battlegrounds by Jim Sterba
- Far from the Tree: Parents, Children and the Search for Identity by Andrew Solomon
- The Old Ways: A Journey on Foot by Robert Macfarlane
- Spillover: Animal Infections and the Next Human Pandemic by David Quammen
- Surviving Survival: The Art and Science of Resilience by Laurence Gonzales
- The Violinist's Thumb: And Other Lost Tales of Love, War, and Genius, as Written by Our Genetic Code by Sam Kean
- Darwin's Ghosts: The Secret History of Evolution by Rebecca Stott
- The Story of Earth: The First 4.5 Billion Years, from Stardust to Living Planet by Robert M. Hazen
- The Social Conquest of Earth by Edward O. Wilson
- Masters of the Planet: The Search for Our Human Origins by Ian Tattersall
- The Forest Unseen: A Year's Watch in Nature by David George Haskell
- Turing's Cathedral: The Origins of the Digital Universe by George Dyson
I'm always looking for recommendations and notifications of book lists as they appear in various media outlets. If you see one that I haven't covered, please let me know at jdupuis at yorku dot ca or in the comments.
I am picking up most of my lists from Largehearted Boy.
For my purposes, I define science books pretty broadly to include science, engineering, computing, history & philosophy of science & technology, environment, social aspects of science and even business books about technology trends or technology innovation. Deciding what is and isn’t a science book is squishy at best, especially at the margins, but in the end I pick books that seem broadly about science and technology rather than something else completely. Lists of business, history or nature books are among the tricky ones.
I would recommend, "Why is There Something Rather Than Nothing," by Lawrence Krauss, theoretical physicist; exploring how nothing is unstable and can create something rendering god unneccesary, but not impossible.