Best Science Books 2012: Audubon Magazine

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.

This post includes the following: Audubon Magazine’s 2012 List of Notable Books.

  • In the Field, Among the Feathered: A History of Birders and Their Guides by Thomas R. Dunlap
  • Bird Sense: What It's Like to Be a Bird by Tim Birkhead
  • How to Be a Better Birder by Derek Lovitch
  • Feathers: The Evolution of a Natural Miracle by Thor Hanson
  • City of Ravens: London, The Tower and Its Famous Birds by Boria Sax
  • The Armchair Birder Goes Coastal: The Secret Lives of Birds on the Southeastern Shore by John Yow
  • Horseshoe Crabs and Velvet Worms: The Story of the Animals and Plants That Time Has Left Behind by Richard Fortey
  • Mr. Hornaday's War: How a Peculiar Victorian Zookeeper Waged a Lonely Crusade for Wildlife That Changed the World by Stefan Bechtel
  • Among the Islands: Adventures in the Pacific by Tim Flannery
  • Nature Wars: The Incredible Story of How Wildlife Comebacks Turned Backyards Into Battlegrounds by Jim Sterba
  • When Women Were Birds: Fifty-Four Variations on Voice by Terry Tempest Williams
  • The Black Rhinos of Namibia: Searching for Survivors in the African Desert by Rick Bass
  • The Ocean of Life: The Fate of Man and the Sea by Callum Roberts
  • Decade of the Wolf, revised and updated edition: Returning the Wild to Yellowstone by Douglas W. Smith and Gary Ferguson
  • The Maximum of Wilderness: The Jungle in the American Imagination by Kelly Enright
  • Life Everlasting: The Animal Way of Death by Bernd Heinrich
  • What a Plant Knows: A Field Guide to the Senses by Daniel Chamovitz
  • How Not to Be Eaten: The Insects Fight Back by Gilbert Waldbauer
  • The Man Who Planted Trees: Lost Groves, Champion Trees, and an Urgent Plan to Save the Planet by Jim Robbins
  • Mushroom by Nicholas P. Money
  • Love, Life, and Elephants: An African Love Story by Dame Daphne Sheldrick
  • How to Walk a Puma: And Other Things I Learned While Stumbling Through South America by Peter Allison
  • The Species Seekers: Heroes, Fools, and the Mad Pursuit of Life on Earth by Richard Conniff
  • The Dolphin in the Mirror: Exploring Dolphin Minds and Saving Dolphin Lives by Diana Reiss
  • Let Them Paddle: Coming of Age on the Water by Alan Kesselheim
  • Calls Beyond Our Hearing: Unlocking the Secrets of Animal Voices by Holly Menino
  • Before the Lights Go Out: Conquering the Energy Crisis Before It Conquers Us by Maggie Koerth-Baker
  • Tropic of Chaos: Climate Change and the New Geography of Violence by Christian Parenti
  • Climate Wars: What People Will Be Killed for In the 21st Century by Harald Welzer
  • Harvest the Wind: America's Journey to Jobs, Energy Independence, and Climate Stability By Philip Warburg
  • The Beekeeper’s Lament: How One Man and Half a Billion Honey Bees Help Feed America by Hannah Nordhaus
  • The Mindful Carnivore: A Vegetarian's Hunt for Sustenance by Tovar Cerulli
  • A Glorious Enterprise by Robert McCracken Peck, Patricia Tyson Stroud, and Rosamond Purcell
  • Audubon's Aviary by Roberta J.M. Olson
  • Petrochemical America by Kate Orff and Richard Misrach

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.

And if you wish to support my humble list-making efforts, run on over to Amazon, take a look at Steve Jobs or The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks or maybe even something else from today's list.


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