Best Science Books 2012: Quill & Quire, Bloomberg, Washington Post and more

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:


Quill & Quire: Books of the Year Non-Fiction, Gift Guide

  • Out of the Blue: A Memoir of Workplace Depression, Recovery, Redemption and, Yes, Happiness by Jan Wong
  • My Leaky Body: Tales from the Gurney by Julie Devaney
  • Fatal Flaws: How a Misfolded Protein Baffled Scientists and Changed the Way We Look at the Brain by Jay Ingram
  • The Universe Within: From Quantum to Cosmos by Neil Turok


Bloomberg Gorman Skips Business, Jain Likes Faulks: Best Books of 2012

  • The Signal and the Noise: Why So Many Predictions Fail — but Some Don't by Nate Silver
  • Antifragile: Things That Gain From Disorder by Nassim Nicholas Taleb
  • Wait: The Useful Art of Procrastination by Frank Partnoy
  • The Social Conquest of Earth by Edward O. Wilson


Washington Post Best of 2012: 50 notable works of nonfiction & Graphic novels

  • The Social Conquest of Earth by Edward O. Wilson
  • Marbles: Mania, Depression, Michelangelo, and Me: A Graphic Memoir by Ellen Forney


Minneapolis Star Tribune Holiday books roundup: Biography & History

  • On a Farther Shore: The Life and Legacy of Rachel Carson by William Souder
  • The Ice Balloon: S.A. Andree and the Heroic Age of Arctic Exploration by Alec Wilkinson


Sunday Telegraph Books of the Year 2012

  • The Origins of Sex: A History of the First Sexual Revolution by Faramerz Dabhoiwala
  • Incognito: The Secret Lives of the Brain by David Eagleman


Fast Company The Best Business Books Of 2012

  • Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking by Susan Cain
  • The Signal and the Noise: Why So Many Predictions Fail--but Some Don't by Nate Silver
  • The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business by Charles Duhigg
  • Wait: The Art and Science of Delay by Frank Partnoy


Slate 2012 Books: Slate Staff Picks

  • Why Does the World Exist by Jim Holt


St. Louis Post-Dispatch Our 50 favorite books of 2012

  • Hallucinations by Oliver Sacks


The Kansas City Star Word power: The Star’s top 100 books of 2012

  • Tubes: A Journey to the Center of the Internet by Andrew Blum


Christian Science Monitor 15 best books of 2012 – nonfiction

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


The Chicago Tribune Printers Row picks: Our favorite books of 2012

  • Drop Dead Healthy: One Man's Humble Quest for Bodily Perfection by A.J. Jacobs
  • What A Plant Knows: A Field Guide to the Senses by Daniel Chamovitz


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.

(Sweet mother of the FSM, I think I'm seeing the light at the end of the tunnel here. I'm hoping to be mostly done with these posts by the end of the week and the summary by the end of next week.)


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