The Holiday 2019 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 know and love.
The Laboratory Bookshelf, which is located here in the northern hemisphere, usually gets new additions during in the late fall months just in time for gift-giving or taking advantage of extra time off to read. There are four new volumes for your investigations.
The Body: A Guide for Occupants - Bill Bryson: If you are only familiar with Bryson’s travel writing expecting laugh-aloud-on-each-page hilarity, you might be surprised but not disappointed by its absence. While he takes a less humorous approach with his other subjects, the way in which he delivers his information is no less compelling. Did you know you will eat about sixty tons of food in your lifetime?
Midnight in Chernobyl - By Adam Higginbotham: The Chernobyl disaster is one of those stories that seems to be told from almost countless vantage points and still be compelling. This includes the oral history by Nobel laureate Svetlana Alexievich, Voices from Chernobyl, along with HBO television’s miniseries, Chernobyl. Higgingbotham’s perspective is similar in that it draws on many hundred of hours of interviews, but widens the focus by adding letters, unpublished memoirs, and documents from recently-declassified archives to his tapestry.
The Uninhabitable Earth Life After Warming - David Wallace-Wells: Climate change books are increasingly making appearances on bookshelves, along with this list, and have the benefit of delving deeply into their subject, far more than news reports can do. With the most recent United Nations Environment Program Emissions Gap Report just released, and containing some of the most dire predictions to date, this book is a timely and thundering - but literate - call to action.
American Moonshot - Douglas Brinkley: Since it’s 2019, we would be remiss not to include one book chronicling what is arguably one of the greatest achievements ever. The fiftieth anniversary of the lunar landing of Apollo 11 was this past July and the prolific author, historian, and media personality has written a granularly detailed and sweeping look at the politics, leadership, technology, and efforts that went into one of the most daring scientific explorations combined with a storyteller’s ear.
The preceding additions join these previously featured books:
o An Elegant Defense: The Extraordinary New Science of the Immune System: A Tale in Four Lives - Matt Richtel
o Hacking Darwin: Genetic Engineering and the Future of Humanity -By Jamie Metzl
o The Undoing Project: A Friendship That Changed Our Minds -By Michael Lewis
o Losing Earth: A Recent History -By Nathaniel Rich
o The New York Times Book of Science: More Than 150 Years of Groundbreaking Scientific Coverage - Edited by David Corcoran
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!