Best Science Books 2012: Wall Street Journal

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: Wall Street Journal Science, Business, Travel, Military History, Non-Fiction.

  • Spillover: Animal Infections and the Next Human Pandemic by David Quammen
  • Horseshoe Crabs and Velvet Worms: The Story of the Animals and Plants That Time Has Left Behind by Richard Fortey
  • Hallucinations by Oliver Sacks
  • The Disappearing Spoon: And Other True Tales of Madness, Love, and the History of the World from the Periodic Table of the Elements by Sam Kean
  • The Annotated and Illustrated Double Helix by James D. Watson, Alexander Gann and Jan Witkowski
  • The Structure of Scientific Revolutions: 50th Anniversary Edition by Thomas S. Kuhn and Ian Hacking
  • On a Farther Shore: The Life and Legacy of Rachel Carson by William Souder
  • The Color Revolution by Regina Lee Blaszczyk
  • The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do and How to Change It by Charles Duhigg
  • Turing's Cathedral: The Origins of the Digital Universe by George Dyson
  • The Idea Factory: Bell Labs and the Great Age of American Innovation by Jon Gertner
  • The Signal and the Noise: Why Most Predictions Fail but Some Don't by Nate Silver
  • The Dawn of Innovation: The First American Industrial Revolution by Charles R. Morris
  • To the River by Olivia Laing
  • Freedom's Forge: How American Business Produced Victory in World War II by Arthur Herman
  • Connectome: How the Brain's Wiring Makes Us Who We Are by Sebastian Seung
  • A Man and His Ship: America's Greatest Naval Architect and His Quest to Build the S.S. United States by Steven Ujifusa

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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