Best Science Books 2012: The Smithsonian, The Atlantic Wire, San Francisco Book Review, Oprah

Another bunch of lists 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:


The Smithsonian

  • The Social Conquest of Earthby E.O. Wilson
  • Zoobiquity: What Animals Can Teach Us About Health and the Science of Healingby Barbara Natterson-Horowitz and Kathryn Bowers
  • American Canopy: Trees, Forests, and the Making of a Nation by Eric Rutkow

The Atlantic Wire: The Books We Loved in 2012

  • Brain On Fire: My Month of Madness by Susannah Cahalan

San Francisco Book Review Staff Picks

  • The Last Viking: The Life of Roald Amundsen by Stephen R. Brown

Oprah Best Books 2012

  • Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking by Susan Cain

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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