June 5, 2016

Popular science; the best of the best

After having devoured truckloads of books, I am now finding it increasingly difficult to score new reading material. Not that there's a shortage of books out there, it's just that I've primarily been reading the well known stuff and only now have to start looking at the more obscure work. I am hoping you guys (and girls) can help me out here by pointing me towards some new books and writers who might not be well known but should be.

I've done my homework, I've scoured the internet for bestsellers, poll winners, and suggestions from famous scientists and in doing so I've managed to uncover a few more guaranteed good ones but not nearly enough to keep me busy for the many decades I plan to spend on this lovely planet of ours. Because I've been reading the well known stuff, my digital excavation work has uncovered a list that looks insanely similar to my bookshelf which isn't really all that useful to me. Maybe it is to you? I've compiled this list from my favorites and my digging around so you can rest assured, I as well as the entire internet vouch for the awesomeness of every single book on this list.

The list is somewhat skewed towards physics but that's not my doing as there really are way more popular science books being written on physics than on just about anything else. High energy physics and cosmology seem to be especially popular while condensed matter physics gets almost no love at all.

I call upon my fellow geeks to help out a reader in need. I would love to hear about your suggestions and particular personal favorites. Personally I hope to pick up some new books that deal with non physics related fields, books that unravel the history of specific fields of science, biographies of famous scientist that focus in detail on how they arrived at their finds, ... anything really. If it's good, I want to know about it! :)

Alan Guth - The Inflationary Universe
Alan Holden - The Nature of Solids
Albert Einstein - Relativity
Brian Cox & Jeff Forshaw - The Quantum Universe
Brian Greene - The Elegant Universe
Brian Greene - The Fabric of the Cosmos
Charles Seife - Alpha & Omega
Charles Seife - Sun in a Bottle
Dave Goldberg - The Universe in the Rearview Mirror
David Bodanis - E=mc²
George Gamow - One Two Three... Infinity
John Gribbin - In Search of Schrödinger's Cat
John Gribbin - Schrödinger's Kittens
Kip Thorne - Black Holes & Time Warps
Leonard Susskind - The Black Hole War
Leonard Susskind - Quantum Mechanics
Lee Smolin - Three Roads to Quantum Gravity
Lee Smolin - The Trouble with Physics
Marcus Chown - The Never-Ending Days of Being Dead
Marcus Chown - We Need to Talk about Kelvin
Marcus Chown - Quantum Theory Cannot Hurt You
Michio Kaku - Hyperspace
Manjit Kumar - Quantum
Martin Rees - Just Six Numbers
Richard Feynman - QED
Richard Feynman - Six Easy Pieces
Richard Feynman - Six Not So Easy Pieces
Richard Feynman - The Character of Physical Law
Richard Panek - The 4% Universe
Roger Penrose - Road to Reality (pop science... lol :p)
Simong Singh - Big Bang
Stephen Hawking - A Brief History of Time
Stephen Hawking - The Universe in a Nutshell
Walter Lewin - For the Love of Physics

John Emsley - Nature's Building Blocks
Sam Kean - The Disappearing Spoon
Theodore Gray - The Elements

Anthony Serafini - The Epic History of Biology
Armand Marie Leroi - Mutants
Aubrey de Grey - Ending Aging
Carl Zimmer - A Planet of Viruses
Carl Zimmer - Microcosm
Carl Zimmer - Parasite Rex
Craig Venter - Life at the Speed of Light
George Church - Regenesis
Jerry Coyne - Why Evolution is True
Mary Roach - Gulp
Matt Ridley - Genome
Matt Ridley - Nature via Nurture
Matt Ridley - The Red Queen
Neil Shubin - Your Inner Fish
Nessa Carey - The Epigenetics Revolution
Paul De Kruif - Microbehunters
Richard Dawkins - The Blind Watchmaker
Richard Dawkins - The Selfish Gene
Richard Dawkins - The Greatest Show on Earth
Rebecca Skloot - The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
Stephen Jay Gould - Structure of Evolutionary Theory
Stephen Jay Gould - Wonderful Life
Siddhartha Mukherjee - The Emperor of all Maladies

Ted Nield - Supercontinent
Marcia Bjornerud - Reading the Rocks

Charles Seife - Decoding the Universe
Erik Brynjolfsson & Andrew McAfee - Race Against Machine
James Barrat - Our Final Invention
James Gleick - The Information
Roger Penrose - The Emperor's New Mind

Benoît Mandelbrot - The Fractal Geometry of Nature
Charles Seife - Zero
Eli Maor - e: the story of a number
James Gleick - Chaos
Marcus Du Sautoy - The Music of the Primes
Petr Beckmann - A History of Pi
Paul J. Nahin - An Imaginary Tale
Simon Singh - Fermat's Enigma
William Dunham - Journey Through Genius

Cordelia Fine - Delusions of Gender
Cordelia Fine - A Mind of its Own
Daniel Dennett - Consciousness Explained
Daniel Dennett - Darwin's Dangerous Idea
Daniel Dennett - Freedom Evolves
Daniel Dennett & Douglas Hofstadter - The Mind's I
Daniel Kahneman - Thinking, Fast and Slow
David Eagleman - Incognito
Douglas Hofstadter - Gödel, Escher, Bach
Douglas Hofstadter - I Am a Strange Loop
Friedrich Nietzsche - Thus Spoke Zarathustra
Guy Deutscher - Through the Language Glass
Oliver Sacks - An Anthropologist on Mars
Oliver Sacks - The Man Who Mistook His Wife For A Hat
Steven Pinker - The Blank Slate
Steven Pinker - The Stuff of Thought
Steven Pinker - The Language Instinct
V.S. Ramachandran - The Tell-Tale Brain
V.S. Ramachandran - Phantoms in the Brain

Andrew Robinson - The Last Man Who Knew Everything (Young)
Barbara Goldsmith - Obsessive Genius (Curie)
Basil Mahon - The Man Who Changed Everything (Maxwell)
Graham Farmelo - The Strangest Man (Dirac)
John Derbyshire - Prime Obsession (Riemann)
Paul Hoffman - The Man Who Loved Only Numbers (Erdos)

Alvin Toffler - Future Shock
Alvin Toffler - The Third Wave
Bill Bryson - A Short History of Nearly Everything
Carl Sagan - Cosmos
Carl Sagan - Demon-Haunted World
Carl Sagan - Pale Blue Dot
David Deutsch - The Beginning of Infinity
David Deutsch - The Fabric of Reality
Daniel Boorstin - The Discoverers
Eric Drexler - Engines of Creation
Erwin Schrodinger - What is Life?
Edge - This Will Change Everything
Edge - This Explains Everything
Edge - This Will Make You Smarter
Edge - What Is Your Dangerous Idea?
Edge - What Have You Changed Your Mind About?
Edge - What Should We Be Worried About?
Edge - What We Believe but Cannot Prove
Jared Diamond - Guns, Germs, and Steel
Jon Gertner - The Idea Factory (Bell Labs)
John Horner - Digging Dinosaurs
Martin Ford - The Lights in the Tunnel
Michael Hiltzik - Dealers of Lightning (Xerox Parc)
Mary Roach - Packing for Mars
Mary Roach - Stiff
Nigel Calder - Magic Universe
Ray Kurzweil - The Singularity is Near
Richard Feynman - Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman!
Richard Holmes - The Age of Wonder
Robert Bakker - The Great Dinosaur Debate
Richard Rhodes - The Making of the Atomic Bomb
Stephen Jay Gould - The Mismeasure of Man
Timothy Ferris - Coming of Age in the Milky Way
Thomas Kuhn - Structure of Scientific Revolutions

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