Science Nonfiction Book Top Picks
Are you looking for a good read? Perhaps a book about science that you can both learn from and enjoy reading? Well, the staff at Science Connected spend a lot of time writing about science, but we spend even more time reading books about it! At the moment, we’re really excited about environmental science, wildlife preservation, astrophysics, and genetics. These books are our staff’s current top picks for science nonfiction.
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1. Hope for Animals and Their World: How Endangered Species Are Being Rescued from the Brink by Jane Goodall
“I am currently reading Hope for Animals and Their World: How Endangered Species Are Being Rescued from the Brink by Jane Goodall. I enjoy reading this book because it can be easy to focus on the negatives, and this book (like the title suggests) gives me hope for the future. It discusses several species that have been brought back from near extinction and the great lengths people will go to to save them. I especially enjoyed learning about the black footed ferret and the rufous-hare wallaby.” —Kelly Derham, Science Connected Development Specialist
2. The Death and Life of the Great Lakes by Dan Egan
“As a Michigander, I feel a deep connection to and investment in the Great Lakes. But this book is for anyone who enjoys a well-researched rollercoaster of a story — especially one that impacts all of us. I was astonished by some of the things lawmakers and even scientists have experimented with in 20 percent of the world’s surface freshwater. Egan’s book took me deeper into issues I’ve already heard of (hi, zebra mussels) and introduced me to entirely new aspects of the Great Lakes. It made me grateful for the scientific advancements we’ve made, and even more grateful for this precious resource!” —Mackenzie Myers Fowler, Science Connected Staff Journalist
3. Letters from an Astrophysicist by Neil deGrasse Tyson
“I am not an astrophysicist, nor any kind of physicist for that matter, but I love learning about space from the point of view of a layperson (and as a science journalist), so I attend Dr. Tyson’s lectures whenever he’s in town. The last one I went to pre-pandemic was part of the tour to promote this book. Dr. Tyson receives a lot of letters, so this book is a collection of his replies to those letters. It’s not only informative about astrophysics, but also reminds readers that scientists are people, not mysterious beings in lab coats. It combines space, humanity, good communication, and a healthy reminder of our tiny place in a big, big universe.” —Kate Stone, Science Connected Editor in Chief.
4. Pleased to Meet Me: Genes, Germs, and the Curious Forces That Make Us Who We Are by Bill Sullivan
“Published back in 2019, my top science nonfiction pick for 2021 is Pleased to Meet Me. So much working from home. So much time for introspection. I love how Dr. Sullivan explains so much about genetics (spoiler alert: they do a lot more than many people realize) and does it with a sense of humor. It’s kind of like being in a class with a really cool professor, except at home in your comfy pants. Humor also helps with memory, so it’s a double win!” —Mia Beaufort, Science Connected Editorial Assistant
More science nonfiction book reviews
Animals, Alive and Extinct
BOOK REVIEW: WORLD WITHOUT FISH
BOOK REVIEW: BRING BACK THE KING
WILD SEX: THE SCIENCE BEHIND MATING IN THE ANIMAL KINGDOM
SECRETS OF THE SEAS: A JOURNEY INTO THE HEART OF THE OCEAN
GALAPAGOS: PRESERVING DARWIN’S LEGACY
THE TYRANNOSAUR CHRONICLES: THE BIOLOGY OF THE TYRANT DINOSAURS
Astronomy and Space Exploration
SPACEMAN: AN ASTRONAUT’S UNLIKELY JOURNEY TO UNLOCK THE SECRETS OF THE UNIVERSE
CITIZEN SCIENCE: PUBLIC PARTICIPATION IN ENVIRONMENTAL RESEARCH
REFLECTING ON THE LIFE OF A CITIZEN SCIENTIST
FIELD GUIDE TO CITIZEN SCIENCE
Technology and Communications
WHEN WE ARE NO MORE: HOW DIGITAL MEMORY IS SHAPING OUR FUTURE
RHETORIC AND CITIZEN SCIENCE IN THE DIGITAL AGE
CHANGING METHODS OF SCIENCE COMMUNICATION ONLINE
SCIENCE AND THE CITY: THE MECHANICS BEHIND THE METROPOLIS
MY SUPER SCIENCE HEROES: MARIE CURIE AND ALAN TURING
Do you have a new or favorite book about science that you’d like to recommend? We’d like to know about it!