The Laboratory Bookshelf at the Beach House!
It’s time for another installment of The Laboratory Bookshelf, a periodic feature designed to highlight books that may be of interest of scientists wanting to read something other than the peer-reviewed journals we know and love. While these are not the typical “beach reads”, they are interesting enough to hold a reader’s attention anywhere.
- Chemistry: A Novel – is a multiple award-winning book by Weike Wang, a trained chemist herself. The protagonist is a young woman working towards her PhD, immersed in a volatile mix of scholastic pressure, parental expectations, and relationship stress. The chemical reaction these catalysts cause upon her lead to discoveries and change. Another look: The Washington Post
- The Evolution of Beauty – Richard O. Prum’s recent fascinating book, “draws on decades of study, hundreds of papers, and a lively, literate, and mischievous mind,” says the New York Times Book Review. They continue, that it is “a delicious read, both seductive and mutinous... Prum’s attention never strays far from nature, and his writing [about birds] is minutely detailed, exquisitely observant, deeply informed, and often tenderly sensual.”
Another look: penguinrandomhouse.com
- A Brief History of Time –The late Stephen Hawking is probably one of the most celebrated cosmologists of our time. His first book still makes many “best science books” lists and was a primer aimed at the non-specialist for many of the mind-blowing concepts he and his predecessors, such as Einstein, first theorized.
Another look: The Guardian
- Einstein: His Life and Universe – Speaking of the archetypical genius, Walter Isaacson presents an in-depth, but accessible look at the 20th century’s preeminent theoretical physicists and the model of an engaged activist scientist as well.
Another look: The New York Times
- Enlightenment Now The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress – Steven Pinker does in this book exactly what the title describes. With seventy-five graphs and supporting arguments, he asserts that the world is actually improving and that the Enlightenment is the main reason. This is a strong defense for science in a time it needs it, and the continued progress it promises. Another look: The Washington Post
The preceding five additions join these previously featured books:
Blitzed - Norman Ohler
The Radium Girls – Kate Moore
The Periodic Table – Primo Levi
Astrophysics for People in a Hurry - Neil DeGrasse Tyson
The Smile Stealers: The Fine + Foul Art of Dentistry - Richard Barnett
Lab Girl – Hope Jahren
The Invention of Nature - Andrea Wulf
The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer - Siddhartha Mukherjee
The Gene: An Intimate History - Siddhartha Mukherjee
Patient H.M.: A Story of Memory, Madness and Family Secrets - Luke Dittrich
I Contain Multitudes: The Microbes Within Us and a Grander View of Life - Ed Yong
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks - Rebecca Smoot
That’s all for now – happy reading!