Want to know more about science, but were afraid to ask? Never fear, we have a reading list for you! All of the following books are fun, intelligent reads that will get you thinking about the world around you in new ways.
Time Travel and Warp Drives: A Scientific Guide to Shortcuts through Time and Space
By Allen Everett
Lays out what humans really know about time and space and how to bend it to our will, and explains just how close we are to some of the ideas of science fiction novels.
Brain Wars: The Scientific Battle Over the Existence of the Mind and Proof that will Change the Way We Live our Lives
By Mario Beauregard
Filled with extraordinary stories of the mind’s abilities, a prominent neuroscientist captures a major shift in our understanding of the age-old mind/body debate, proves that humans are more than complex biological machines.
Design in Nature: How the Constructal Law Governs Evolution in Biology, Physics, Technology, and Social Organization
By Adrian Bejan
Reveals how recurring patterns in nature are accounted for by a single governing principle of physics, explaining how all designs in the world from biological life to inanimate systems evolve in a sequence of ever-improving designs that facilitate flow.
Boltzmann’s Tomb: Travels in Search of Science
By Bill Green
Green describes his evolution as a scientist as he travels throughout the world to visit sites where important scientific discoveries were made.
The Compass of Pleasure: How our Brains Make Fatty Foods, Orgasm, Exercise, Marijuana, Generosity, Vodka, Learning and Gambling Feel so Good
By David Linden
The neurobiology of pleasure, exploring how pleasures can become addictions, and how the pursuit of pleasure has become a central drive of the human mind.
The Disappearing Spoon and Other True Tales of Madness, Love, and the History of the World from the Periodical Table of the Elements
By Sam Kean
Intriguing tales about every element of the periodic table, sharing their parts in human history, finance, mythology, war, evil, love, the arts, and the lives of the colorful scientists who discovered them.
Also available in Audiobook and eBook
Big Data: a revolution that will transform how we live, work and think
By Viktor Mayer-Schonberger
Big data is our new found ability to crunch vast amounts of information, analyze it instantly and draw profound and surprising conclusions from it. Mayer-Schonberger discusses how it will change our lives and what we can do to protect ourselves from its hazards.
Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation
By Michael Pollan
Pollan discovers the enduring power of the four classical elements–fire, water, air, and earth–to transform the stuff of nature into delicious things to eat and drink. In the course of his journey, he discovers that the cook occupies a special place in the world, standing squarely between nature and culture.
The Life of Super-Earths: How the Hunt for Alien Worlds and Artificial Cells will Revolutionize Life on Our Planet
By Dimitar Sasselov
An astronomy professor at Harvard University discusses the possibilities of finding other worlds that sustain alien life forms, citing recent breakthroughs in biology and exoplanetary astronomy, including the recent discovery of arsenic-based bacteria in a California lake.
Connectome: How the Brain’s Wiring Makes Us Who We Are
By Sebastian Seung
A mind-bending adventure story of neuroscience. Seung believes that our identity lies not in our genes, but in the connections between our brain cells, our particular wiring. Mapping these connections is a monumental effort, but if successful will uncover the basis of personality, identity, intelligence, memory, and perhaps disorders such as autism and schizophrenia.
Packing for Mars: The Curious Science of Life in the Void
By Mary Roach
Describes the weirdness of space travel, answers questions about the long-term effects of living in zero gravity on the human body, and explains how space simulations on Earth can provide a preview to life in space.
Also available in Audiobook and eAudiobook
Theoretical Minimum: What You Need to Know to Start Doing Physics
By Leonard Susskind
This is a book for anyone who has ever regretted not taking physics in college, or who simply wants to know how to think like a physicist. In this unconventional introduction, physicist Leonard Susskind and hacker-scientist George Hrabovsky offer a first course in physics and associated math for the ardent amateur.
Don’t forget! We have lots of reading suggestions in our online catalog under Staff Picks.