Best Science Books 2013:

It is time. The season of lists begins again!

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 I can find around the web in various media outlets.

From the beginning it’s been a pretty popular service so I’m happy to continue it.

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.

Last year's winner was Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking by Susan Cain. For 2011, it was Walter Isaacson's Steve Jobs and 2010 it was The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. The last few years the winner have been by quite a margin over the competition, so we’ll see if there are any big winners this year as the lists appear.

In any case, the summary post for 2012 books is here and all the posts for 2012 can be found here.

Today's list is the Editors’ lists and the separate non-fiction list, Computers & Technology, History, Politics & Social Sciences, Professional & Technical, Science & Math.

  • Who Owns the Future? by Jaron Lanier
  • The Juggler's Children: A Journey into Family, Legend and the Genes that Bind Us by Carolyn Abraham
  • Gulp by Mary Roach
  • An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth by Chris Hadfield
  • Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation by Michael Pollan
  • An Appetite for Wonder: The Making of a Scientist by Richard Dawkins
  • Blood: The Stuff of Life by Lawrence Hill
  • Alone On The Ice by David Roberts
  • Salt Sugar Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us by Michael Moss
  • Big Data: A Revolution That Will Transform How We Live, Work, and Think by Viktor Mayer-Schonberger and Kenneth Cukier
  • Mr Selden's Map of China: Decoding the Secrets of a Vanished Cartographer by Timothy Brook
  • The Girls of Atomic City: The Untold Story of the Women Who Helped Win World War II by Denise Kiernan
  • Five Days at Memorial: Life and Death in a Storm-Ravaged Hospital by Sheri Fink
  • The End of Night: Searching for Natural Darkness in an Age of Artificial Light by Paul Bogard
  • The Drunken Botanist: The Plants That Create the World's Great Drinks by Amy Stewart
  • Things Come Apart by Todd McLellan
  • League of Denial: The NFL, Concussions and the Battle for Truth by Mark Fainaru-Wada and Steve Fainaru
  • Seeing Flowers: Discover the Hidden Life of Flowers by Teri Dunn Chace and Robert Llewellyn

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.

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


More like this

The Stardust Revolution by J. Berkowitz. This is the best science book I have ever read and I have read many.

By Robert Haskins (not verified) on 14 Nov 2013 #permalink