Best Science Books 2012: The Millions, Chamber Four, The Armchair General, The Book Lady and more

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:

The Millions: Jami Attenberg, Geoff Dyer

  • Brain on Fire: My Month of Madnessby Susannah Cahalan
  • Marbles: Mania, Depression, Michelangelo, and Me: A Graphic Memoirby Ellen Forney
  • The Social Conquest of Earthby Edward O. Wilson
  • The Making of the Atomic Bomb: 25th Anniversary Edition by Richard Rhodes

Chamber Four: The Best Books of 2012

  • Dinosaur Art edited by Steve White

The Armchair General Holiday Shopping Guide 2012

  • Military History: The Definitive Visual Guide to the Objects of Warfare by Gareth Jones, Senior Editor

The Book Lady’s 10 Best Books of 2012

  • Breasts: A Natural and Unnatural Historyby Florence Williams
  • Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking by Susan Cain

New York Daily News: Books of 2012

  • The Wisdom of Psychopaths : What Saints, Spies and Serial Killers Can Teach Us About Successby Kevin Dutton
  • Smoke Signals: A Social History of Marijuana — Medical, Recreational and Scientificby Martin A. Lee
  • The Undead: Organ Harvesting, the Ice-Water Test, Beating-Heart Cadavers — How Medicine Is Blurring the Line Between Life and Death by Dick Teresi

New Humanist Best books of the year

  • On The Modern Cult of Factish Gods by Bruno Latour

Elizabeth Norris Best Books of 2012

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

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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Wrong year in the title o'the post.

By Joe you know who (not verified) on 05 Jan 2013 #permalink

Fixed. Thanks. I think I'm doing way too many of these...

I'd like to nominate Darwin a Biography by Paul Johnson as the worst book of the year. After I read the book, a Wikipedia search revealed his Sarah palin type frame of reference and I was able to discount most /all of his dubious statements. Any suggestions on a "factual" unbiased bio about Charlie?

Hi Jeffrey, I'm afraid Darwin isn't my speciality but the Janet Browne bio from a few years ago got good reviews.

When one Facebook or myspace member liked thuh web page or organization profile, contacts of that member will also see thuh activity

By micro jobs online (not verified) on 26 May 2013 #permalink