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.
This time it's The New York Times 100 Notable Books.
- The Cancer Chronicles: Unlocking Medicine’s Deepest Mystery by George Johnson
- Command and Control: Nuclear Weapons, the Damascus Accident, and the Illusion of Safety by Eric Schlosser
- Five Days at Memorial: Life and Death in a Storm-Ravaged Hospital by Sheri Fink
- Knocking on Heaven's Door: The Path to a Better Way of Death by Katy Butler
- To Save Everything, Click Here: The Folly of Technological Solutionism by Evgeny Morozov
- Wild Ones: A Sometimes Dismaying, Weirdly Reassuring Story About Looking at People Looking at Animals in America by Jon Mooallem
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.
3 other books you may want to look into for your list.
"The Strangest Man: The Hidden Life of Paul Dirac, Mystic of the Atom" by Graham Farmelo
"The Violinist's Thumb: And Other Lost Tales of Love, War, and Genius, as Written by Our Genetic Code " by Sam Kean
"The Idea Factory: Bell Labs and the Great Age of American Innovation" by Jon Gertner