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The Parrot Who Owns Me: The Story of a Relationship
I read this book as part of my library’s summer reading program. It’s not normally a book I’d pick up, but turned out to be really interesting. An orn ...more
Jun 29, 2009
Jun 20, 2009
The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference
After reading The Pluto Files a couple weeks ago and posting about it, I got a comment from a ubiquitous blogger who's on the "pluto IS a planet" side ...more
Feb 26, 2010
Feb 25, 2010
Gulp: Adventures on the Alimentary Canal
Mary Roach’s latest book explores the digestive process, from beginning to end, looking at what scientists think and have thought, what they study, an ...more
Sep 2014
Aug 30, 2014
A Feeling for the Organism: The Life and Work of Barbara McClintock
For Ada Lovelace day this year, I decided to read a book about a female scientist with whom I wasn't familiar. After some searchin--in which I discove ...more
Mar 24, 2010
Mar 18, 2010
What If?: Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions
If you don’t read XKCD or Munroe’s weekly “What If?” column over at, you’re really missing out. This book collects some of the best What If c ...more
Mar 04, 2015
Mar 05, 2015
Bonk: The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex
Bonk penetrates the mysterious and hidden world of sex researchers. Roach exposes the challenges these brave scientists face, challenges to their moti ...more
Feb 02, 2009
Feb 02, 2009
What Technology Wants
Kevin Kelly’s nonfiction treatise explores the question of what we should make of the seemingly-independent course the technological apparatus around ...more
Dec 06, 2011
Dec 06, 2011
What Really Sank the Titanic
**spoiler alert** As you now know, I'm on a Titanic kick this summer. I really enjoyed Titanic's Last Secrets, and have decided to follow up the theor ...more
Jul 06, 2010
Jul 06, 2010
The Poisoner's Handbook
Blum’s non-fiction narrative follows the careers of Charles Norris and Andrew Gettler, two pioneering scientists working as New York’s head Medical Ex ...more
Jun 18, 2012
Jun 19, 2012
Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game
I already wanted to read Moneyball before I saw the film because I like Michael Lewis' The Big Short. After seeing the film, I just knew it would be t ...more
Feb 19, 2012
Feb 19, 2012
Miss Leavitt's Stars: The Untold Story of the Woman Who Discovered How to Measure the Universe
Johnson tells the fascinating story of the debate among astronomers about how big the universe is, and how we should measure it. It turns out that a c ...more
Apr 14, 2011
Apr 13, 2011
SuperFreakonomics: Global Cooling, Patriotic Prostitutes And Why Suicide Bombers Should Buy Life Insurance
Once again, Levitt and Dubner bring their skewed view of incentives and human reaction to wide-ranging questions. There’s a lot in this book to enjoy, ...more
Jun 28, 2011
Jun 26, 2011
Packing for Mars: The Curious Science of Life in the Void
In Packing for Mars, you will learn how much volume of flatus a burrito causes the average human to expel, you will learn that Russian scientists regu ...more
May 16, 2012
May 16, 2012
Bones of the Earth
What would happen if we discovered time travel and gave it only to paleontologists to use to study dinosaurs? This book explores that question quite t ...more
May 08, 2011
May 03, 2011
The Devil & Sherlock Holmes: Tales of Murder, Madness & Obsession
Grann writes very solid, entertaining character sketches of real people. He dives deep into their backgrounds, talking to everyone involved and crafti ...more
Sep 27, 2010
Sep 22, 2010
The Pluto Files: The Rise and Fall of America's Favorite Planet
I remember reading a bit about the Pluto kerfuffle on Boing Boing. The premise of the piece was that the word planet is an outdated term, originally u ...more
Jan 25, 2010
Jan 19, 2010
Poisons: From Hemlock to Botox to the Killer Bean of Calabar
Poisons was an enjoyable read, though not as zesty or engaging as Simon Winchester’s histories tend to be. Organization had a lot to do with it. Macin ...more
Jan 09, 2009
Jan 01, 2009
The Technologists
Set just after the civil war in Boston, Daniel Pearl's The Technologists follows the adventures of several students at the recently-founded Massachuse ...more
Jul 05, 2012
Jun 27, 2012
Blindsight (Firefall, #1)
**spoiler alert** The novel follows the adventures of a Synthesist (someone who observes systems and describes them in ways other people can understan ...more
Oct 13, 2010
Oct 06, 2010
A Geography of Time: The Temporal Misadventures of a Social Psychologist, or How Every Culture Keeps Time Just a Little Bit Differently
Levine's book explores the way that different cultures perceive time and how that correlates to a variety of different facets of society. Levine's res ...more
Apr 06, 2011
Mar 25, 2011
Sway: The Irresistible Pull of Irrational Behavior
Sway is an amazingly good book. It's got lots of great reports about human psychological studies that help illuminate the reasons we act as we do. It ...more
Feb 05, 2009
Jan 24, 2009
The Wave: In Pursuit of the Rogues, Freaks and Giants of the Ocean
For years, sailors have told tales of freak waves, three or four times the size of the surrounding waters. Dozens of ships disappear each year, often ...more
Mar 28, 2012
Mar 15, 2012
Why Evolution Is True
I follow the evolution / ID culture war pretty closely, but it occurred to me a while back that I had very little actual understanding of the science ...more
Apr 12, 2009
Apr 04, 2009
A Short History of Nearly Everything
Once again, Bryson turns his hand to something new (he’s written travel books, history, language, memoir, and now science!). Of course, he does it wit ...more
Jun 18, 2012
Jun 04, 2012
Doctorow weaves a complicated plot in three stages, jumping forward in blips and blurps like Charles' Stross' Accelerando, but reduced in time by a fa ...more
May 31, 2011
May 04, 2011
Death in the Pot: The Impact of Food Poisoning on History
Satin's book was moderately interesting, but written in a pretty dry way. I liked Poisons From Hemlock to Botox to the Killer Bean of Calabar better f ...more
Jun 16, 2009
Jun 10, 2009
Rosalind Franklin: The Dark Lady of DNA
Rosalind Franklin is most remembered now as the unsung fourth contributor who found the evidence for Watson and Crick’s double-helix paper in the earl ...more
Sep 06, 2012
Jul 31, 2012
Inside the Outbreaks: The Elite Medical Detectives of the Epidemic Intelligence Service
Pendergrast documents the storied history of the EIS, the investigative arm of the Centers for Disease Control. The book follows the agency from its e ...more
Oct 30, 2010
Sep 25, 2010
I Am a Strange Loop
Hofstadter explores the brain and the idea of consciousness. What makes us believe ourselves to be conscious? Why do we believe ourselves to be consci ...more
Jun 03, 2010
Apr 20, 2010
The Sun Kings: The Unexpected Tragedy of Richard Carrington and the Tale of How Modern Astronomy Began
Clark explores the history of modern astronomy and its study of the sun, building his tale around Richard Carrington, whose name has been applied to t ...more
Jul 15, 2013
Jun 24, 2013
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