The Summer of the Laboratory Bookshelf
The Laboratory Bookshelf is a periodic feature of our PepTalk blog posts, designed to highlight books that may be of interest to scientists wanting to read something other than the peer-reviewed journals we all know and love.
The Laboratory Bookshelf, which is located here in the northern hemisphere, gets new additions during its summer months, and this time is no different, with five new volumes for your investigations.
An Elegant Defense: The Extraordinary New Science of the Immune System: A Tale in Four Lives - Matt Richtel: From a Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist, this is the story of four lives and the effects that their immune systems had on their health. The quartet, Richtel tells us, “comprise a kind of immunological Goldilocks story: Two people had too powerful an immune system, one had too weak a system, and one’s system was just right.” Read an excerpt here.
Hacking Darwin: Genetic Engineering and the Future of Humanity - By Jamie Metzl: This is a look at the impact of genetic engineering on what it will mean to be a human in the coming years and the ramifications on our identity as humans. You can see a review here.
The Undoing Project: A Friendship That Changed Our Minds - By Michael Lewis: This 2016 account of the work of Israeli psychologists Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky, is by the best-selling author of Moneyball, The Big Short, and other books on topics that often require a great “explainer,” due to their complexity and breadth.
A review published at the time can be found here.
Losing Earth: A Recent History - By Nathaniel Rich: Climate change, long an ignored topic by most of the general populace, has taken on new urgency with the increased severity of weather patterns and disruptions. Yet most of what we know now, we knew decades ago. Rich chronicles the story of scientists that tried to convince the world of the impending catastrophe. You can read an excerpt that was part of The New York Times Magazine’s “Climate Issue,” from April 9, 2019 here.
The New York Times Book of Science: More Than 150 Years of Groundbreaking Scientific Coverage – Edited by David Corcoran: Everyone has those books that they never read straight through - in fact, they really aren’t designed to be consumed that way. Dipping in and out of sections while learning about a broad range of scientific reporting is a fun way to delve into things from a contemporaneous vantage point.
The preceding additions join these previously featured books:
o Weapons of Math Destruction - By Cathy O'Neil
o She Has Her Mother's Laugh - By Carl Zimmer
o Who We Are and How We Got Here - By David Reich
o The Future of Humanity and The Future of the Mind - By Michio Kaku
o Chasing New Horizons: Inside the Epic First Mission to Pluto - by Alan Stern and David Grinspoon
o Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress – Steven Pinker
o Einstein: His Life and Universe - Walter Isaacson
o A Brief History of Time –Stephen Hawking
o The Evolution of Beauty – Richard O. Prum
o Chemistry - Weike Wang
o Blitzed – Norman Ohler
o The Radium Girls – Kate Moore
o The Periodic Table – Primo Levi
o Astrophysics for People in a Hurry - Neil DeGrasse Tyson
o The Smile Stealers: The Fine + Foul Art of Dentistry - Richard Barnett
o Lab Girl – Hope Jahren
o The Invention of Nature - Andrea Wulf
o The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer - Siddhartha Mukherjee
o The Gene: An Intimate History - Siddhartha Mukherjee
o Patient H.M.: A Story of Memory, Madness and Family Secrets - Luke Dittrich
o I Contain Multitudes: The Microbes Within Us and a Grander View of Life -
o The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks - Rebecca Smoot
And for younger readers:
o Women in Science - By Rachel Ignotofsky
o George's Secret Key to the Universe Paperback – by Stephen Hawking, Lucy Hawking (Author), Garry Parsons (Illustrator)
o An Ada Lace Adventure - (5 Book Series) by Emily Calandrelli
That’s all for now – Happy reading!