Comment »Posted on Saturday 30 August 2008 at 7:12 am by Jacob Aron
In Education

Bit of a cheat this post, as most of the work has been done by someone else, but as I’m just about to leave for the Science Blogging conference I thought I’d quickly through this up. I’ll give a full recap of the days events tomorrow, and probably bump the weekly roundup to Monday. Ok? Now, on to the post:

Jennifer Ouellette is putting together a list of the top pop-sci books. Here are the rules:

1. Highlight those you’ve read in full
2. Asterisk those you intend to read
3. Add any additional popular science books you think belong on the list

1. Micrographia, Robert Hooke
2. *The Origin of the Species, Charles Darwin
3. Never at Rest, Richard Westfall
4. *Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman, Richard Feynman
5. Tesla: Man Out of Time, Margaret Cheney
6. The Devil’s Doctor, Philip Ball
7. The Making of the Atomic Bomb, Richard Rhodes
8. Lonely Hearts of the Cosmos, Dennis Overbye
9. Physics for Entertainment, Yakov Perelman
10. 1-2-3 Infinity, George Gamow
11. The Elegant Universe, Brian Greene
12. Warmth Disperses, Time Passes, Hans Christian von Bayer
13. Alice in Quantumland, Robert Gilmore (I haven’t read it, but it sounds very much in the vein of The Time And Space of Uncle Albert by Russel Stannard, an excellent introduction to quantum mechanics for children.)
14. Where Does the Weirdness Go? David Lindley
15. *A Short History of Nearly Everything, Bill Bryson
16. A Force of Nature, Richard Rhodes
17. Black Holes and Time Warps, Kip Thorne
18. A Brief History of Time, Stephen Hawking
19. Universal Foam, Sidney Perkowitz
20. *Vermeer’s Camera, Philip Steadman
21. The Code Book, Simon Singh
22. *The Elements of Murder, John Emsley
23. Soul Made Flesh, Carl Zimmer
24. Time’s Arrow, Martin Amis
25. The Ten Most Beautiful Experiments, George Johnson
26. Einstein’s Dreams, Alan Lightman
27. Godel, Escher, Bach, Douglas Hofstadter
28. The Curious Life of Robert Hooke, Lisa Jardine
29. *A Matter of Degrees, Gino Segre
30. The Physics of Star Trek, Lawrence Krauss
31. E=mc<2>, David Bodanis
32. Zero: The Biography of a Dangerous Idea, Charles Seife
33. Absolute Zero: The Conquest of Cold, Tom Shachtman
34. A Madman Dreams of Turing Machines, Janna Levin
35. Warped Passages, Lisa Randall
36. Apollo’s Fire, Michael Sims
37. *Flatland, Edward Abbott
38. Fermat’s Last Theorem, Amir Aczel (no, but I have read the book of the same name by Simon Singh
39. *Stiff, Mary Roach
40. Astroturf, M.G. Lord
41. The Periodic Table, Primo Levi
42. Longitude, Dava Sobel
43. The First Three Minutes, Steven Weinberg
44. The Mummy Congress, Heather Pringle
45. The Accelerating Universe, Mario Livio
46. *Math and the Mona Lisa, Bulent Atalay
47. This is Your Brain on Music, Daniel Levitin
48. The Executioner’s Current, Richard Moran
49. Krakatoa, Simon Winchester
50. *Pythagoras’ Trousers, Margaret Wertheim
51. Neuromancer, William Gibson
52. The Physics of Superheroes, James Kakalios
53. The Strange Case of the Broad Street Pump, Sandra Hempel
54. Another Day in the Frontal Lobe, Katrina Firlik
55. Einstein’s Clocks and Poincare’s Maps, Peter Galison
56. *The Demon-Haunted World, Carl Sagan
57. *The Blind Watchmaker, Richard Dawkins
58. The Language Instinct, Steven Pinker
59. An Instance of the Fingerpost, Iain Pears
60. *Consilience, E.O. Wilson
61. Wonderful Life, Stephen J. Gould
62. Teaching a Stone to Talk, Annie Dillard
63. Fire in the Brain, Ronald K. Siegel
64. The Life of a Cell, Lewis Thomas
65. Coming of Age in the Milky Way, Timothy Ferris
66. Storm World, Chris Mooney
67. *The Carbon Age, Eric Roston
68. The Black Hole Wars, Leonard Susskind
69. Copenhagen, Michael Frayn
70. From the Earth to the Moon, Jules Verne
71. Gut Symmetries, Jeanette Winterson
72. *Chaos, James Gleick
73. *Innumeracy, John Allen Paulos
74. The Physics of NASCAR, Diandra Leslie-Pelecky
75. Subtle is the Lord, Abraham Pais

I’m feeling a little under read with only 6 out 75 titles, but at least I now have an extensive reading list ahead of me! I’m going to play the “I did a maths degree, that’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it” card with these few additions:

The Man Who Loved Only Numbers by Paul Hoffman
The Music of the Primes by Marcus Du Sautoy
Freakonomics by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner
The Emperor’s New Mind, Roger Penrose


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