Via Cocktail Party Physics, a list of popular science books. Rules are simple: Bold those you've read in full, asterisk those you intend to read, add any additional popular science books you think belong on the list (I'll try and do that next weekend, class prep allowing), and link back to Jennifer (who has never read Origin, horror!). Here we go:
- Micrographia, Robert Hooke
- The Origin of Species, Charles Darwin - oh, so many times
- Never at Rest, Richard Westfall
- Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman, Richard Feynman
- Tesla: Man Out of Time, Margaret Cheney
- The Devil's Doctor, Philip Ball
- The Making of the Atomic Bomb, Richard Rhodes - this is great history, highly recommended.
- Lonely Hearts of the Cosmos, Dennis Overbye
- Physics for Entertainment, Yakov Perelman
- 1-2-3 Infinity, George Gamow
- The Elegant Universe, Brian Greene
- Warmth Disperses, Time Passes, Hans Christian von Bayer
- Alice in Quantumland, Robert Gilmore
- Where Does the Weirdness Go? David Lindley
- A Short History of Nearly Everything, Bill Bryson
- A Force of Nature, Richard Rhodes
- Black Holes and Time Warps, Kip Thorne
- A Brief History of Time, Stephen Hawking
- Universal Foam, Sidney Perkowitz
- Vermeer's Camera, Philip Steadman
- The Code Book, Simon Singh
- The Elements of Murder, John Emsley
- Soul Made Flesh, Carl Zimmer
- Time's Arrow, Martin Amis - pop-sci? Not so sure about that.
- The Ten Most Beautiful Experiments, George Johnson
- Einstein's Dreams, Alan Lightman - I've been teaching this one for years now. Excellent stuff. A book to come back to again and again.
- Godel, Escher, Bach, Douglas Hofstadter
- The Curious Life of Robert Hooke, Lisa Jardine
- A Matter of Degrees, Gino Segre
- The Physics of Star Trek, Lawrence Krauss
- E=mc<2>, David Bodanis
- Zero: The Biography of a Dangerous Idea, Charles Seife
- Absolute Zero: The Conquest of Cold, Tom Shachtman
- A Madman Dreams of Turing Machines, Janna Levin
- Warped Passages, Lisa Randall
- Apollo's Fire, Michael Sims
- Flatland, Edward Abbott
- Fermat's Last Theorem, Amir Aczel
- Stiff, Mary Roach
- Astroturf, M.G. Lord
- The Periodic Table, Primo Levi
- Longitude, Dava Sobel
- The First Three Minutes, Steven Weinberg
- The Mummy Congress, Heather Pringle
- The Accelerating Universe, Mario Livio
- Math and the Mona Lisa, Bulent Atalay
- This is Your Brain on Music, Daniel Levitin
- The Executioner's Current, Richard Moran
- Krakatoa, Simon Winchester
- Pythagorus' Trousers, Margaret Wertheim
- Neuromancer, William Gibson
- The Physics of Superheroes, James Kakalios
- The Strange Case of the Broad Street Pump, Sandra Hempel
- Another Day in the Frontal Lobe, Katrina Firlik
- * Einstein's Clocks and Poincare's Maps, Peter Galison
- The Demon-Haunted World, Carl Sagan
- The Blind Watchmaker, Richard Dawkins
- The Language Instinct, Steven Pinker
- An Instance of the Fingerpost, Iain Pears
- Consilience, E.O. Wilson - I actually have to reread this for a workshop in October.
- Wonderful Life, Stephen J. Gould
- Teaching a Stone to Talk, Annie Dillard
- Fire in the Brain, Ronald K. Siegel
- The Life of a Cell, Lewis Thomas
- Coming of Age in the Milky Way, Timothy Ferris
- Storm World, Chris Mooney
- The Carbon Age, Eric Roston
- The Black Hole Wars, Leonard Susskind
- Copenhagen, Michael Frayn
- From the Earth to the Moon, Jules Verne
- Gut Symmetries, Jeanette Winterson
- Chaos, James Gleick - loved this book when I read it back in grad school.
- Innumeracy, John Allen Paulos
- The Physics of NASCAR, Diandra Leslie-Pelecky
- Subtle is the Lord, Abraham Pais - not so sure how "pop-sci" this is.
Pass it along.
(Oh, and yeah, I think *everyone* should read Principia ... or at least get a feel for it)
Basin and Range, John McPhee.
1. "What Evolution Is," 2000 edition, by Ernst Mayr.
2. "Bad Astronomy," by Phil Plait
3. "Death by Black Hole and Other Cosmic Quandaries," by Neil Tyson.
I've only read about 15 of these (hangs head) but I've read dozens of popular science books that aren't on this list. Many by Asimov, many by Gould, a number of dinosaur books ...
wait a minute.
WTF is Neuromancer doing on there? Yeah, it's good fiction, but it's no more 'science' than Lord Of The Rings.
1-2-3 Infinity is a great book. I read that back in elementary school and started my love of science. Gamow explained several concepts lucidly, plus, being a smart ass I loved his explanation of the time it took a photon to move from the center of the sun to the surface....
I am reading Pythagoras' Trousers now. I'm about halfway through and so far I think it's a bunch of crap. Granted, there has been (and is) sexism in science, but her postulating that if women had been more involved in science over the centuries then physics would have softer gentler edges....phaugh.
You pushed a button, I am forgetting a lot of good books but below is my recommended list. I was surprised to see I had only read 9 on your list and only had 4 in my plans. As a historian (mainly of science) I would have guessed bigger numbers. Here goes:
76.Origins Reconsidered, Richard Leakey & Roger Lewin
77.Physics and Philosophy, Werner Heisenberg
78.The Pleasure of Finding things Out, Richard Feynman
79.Charles Darwin, Geologist, Sandra Herbert
80.Ecology and Evolution of Finches, PeterGrant
81.Our Inner Ape, Frans DeWaal
82.This is Evolution, Ernst Mayr
83.Evolution, Carl Zimmer
84.The Canon, Natalie Angier
85.Dr. Tatania's Guide to Sex, Olivia Judson
86.Any Book he has written, Matt Ridley
87.Any book he has written, David Quammen
88.Any book in the Cambridge History of Science series