Some Lists for Science Nerds – Part 1

25 Mar

By Kristy

2010 and the start of 2011 have brought many great books about science, from culinary science to stunning images of the brain, from the story of HeLa cells to the history of mind-altering drugs.  This list will get your Armchair Scientist bookshelf started (recommendations based on my own reading, or multiple positive reviews in the science press):

best books for the nerdy-cook:

** Four Fish: The Future of the Last Wild Food by Paul Greenberg

** Modernist Cuisine: The Art and Science of Cooking, by Nathan Myhrvold, Chris Young, Macime Bilet

** Cooking For Geeks, by Jeff Potter

best books about human health and medical research:

** The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer
by Siddhartha Mukherjee

** The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, by Rebecca Skloot

** The Longevity Project: Surprising Discoveries for Health and Long Life from the Landmark Eight-Decade Study, By Howard S. Friedman and Leslie R. Martin

best books about the intersection of Science and Art:

** Portraits of the Mind:Visualizing the Brain from Antiquity to the 21st Century by Carl Schoonover

** Medicine and Art: Imagining a Future for Life and Love—Leonardo da Vinci, Okyo, Damien Hirst (Mori Art Museum and Heibonsha, Tokyo, 2009)

best books by wonderful science writers:

** Packing for Mars: The Curious Science of Life in the Void by Mary Roach

best books about the practice of science:

** Claude Lévi-Strauss: the Poet in the Laboratory

By Patrick Wilcken

** Everyday Practice of Science: Where Intuition and Passion Meet Objectivity and Logic by Frederick Grinnell

** Don’t Be Such a Scientist. Talking Substance in an Age of Style, by Randy Olson

where science meets everyday life…best books about bizarre and fascinating science:

** The Disappearing Spoon. And Other True Tales of Madness, Love, and the History of the World from the Periodic Table of the Elements, by Sam Kean

** High Society: Mind-altering drugs in history and culture, by Mike Jay (accompanies exhibit of same name at Wellcome Collection, London)

** The Poisoner’s Handbook: Murder and the Birth of Forensic Medicine in Jazz Age New York by Deborah Blum

** Miracle Cures. Saints, Pilgrimage, and the Healing Powers of Belief, by Robert A. Scott

most clever science title this year:

** The Field Guide to Fields. Hidden Treasures of Meadows, Prairies, and Pastures, by Bill Laws

best book from the Only Human? category:

** The Social Animal: The Hidden Sources of Love, Character, and Achievement, by David Brooks

Other great resources for science book reviews:

1) Skepticblog

2) Royal Society

3) NPR

4) AAAS/Science

5) PhysicsWorld


7) Scienceblogs: Confessions of a Science Librarian


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