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February 1, 2016 BOOKLIST
Find more Top 10 Sci-Tech Books
The obsessions of this stellar group of science writers—including polar bears, a missing aviator, dawn, computer programming, dogs, and antimatter—inspired a year’s worth of significant and intriguing books.
Chasing Molecules: Poisonous Products, Human Health, and the Promise of Green. By Elizabeth Grossman. 2009. Island, $26.95 (9781597263702).
Grossman tracks hazardous synthetic, petroleum-based molecules emitted by pesticides, plastics, and everyday products as they poison the environment and our bodies.
Dawn Light: Dancing with Cranes and Other Ways to Start the Day. By Diane Ackerman. 2009. Norton, $23.95 (9780393061734).
Ackerman contemplates the many faces of dawn, writing of birds and spiders, milkweed and lotuses, rain and rust, and matching scientific fact with spirited observations and exquisite descriptions.
The End of the Long Summer: Why We Must Remake Our Civilization to Survive on a Volatile Earth. By Dianne Dumanoski. 2009. Crown, $24.95 (9780307396075).
Dumanoski lucidly explains the facts about the unusually “long summer” of climate stability humankind has benefited from; why and how our climate is changing; and what we can do about it.
Grace Hopper and the Invention of the Information Age. By Kurt W. Beyer. 2009. MIT, $27.95 (9780262013109).
In Beyer’s fascinating mix of biography and technological history, Grace Hopper comes vividly to life as a navy admiral who launched the art of computer programming.
On Thin Ice: The Changing World of the Polar Bear. By Richard Ellis. 2009. Knopf, $27.95 (9780307270597).
Ellis, the dean of marine writers, turns his thoughtful gaze to the polar bear, a magnificent carnivore reliant on arctic ice, and now the poster child of global warming.
The Sound of Wings: The Life of Amelia Earhart. By Mary S. Lovell. 2009. St. Martin’s, $17.99 (9780312587338).
Lovell portrays aviator Amelia Earhart in full, from her relationships with her difficult family and manager husband, publisher George P. Putnam, to her soaring ambition, alluring mystique, and hotly debated fate.
The Strangest Man: The Hidden Life of Paul Dirac, Mystic of the Atom. By Graham Farmelo. 2009. Basic, $29.95 (9780465018277).
In this first-rate scientific biography of Paul Dirac a founder of quantum mechanics, Farmelo illuminates Dirac’s withdrawn personality and renowned findings pertaining to the electron and antimatter.
The Weeping Goldsmith: Discoveries in the Secret Land of Myanmar. By W. John Kress. 2009. Abbeville, $45 (9780789210326).
A visually stunning and involving chronicle of Smithsonian botanist Kress’ daunting and revelatory explorations and discoveries in Myanmar, a land of beauty and tyranny, imperiled biodiversity and resilience.
The Wolf in the Parlor: The Eternal Connection between Humans and Dogs. By Jon Franklin. 2009. Holt, $25 (9780805090772).
Franklin investigates the long, mutually influential relationship between dogs and humans in this impossible-to-put-down book.
You Are Here: A Portable History of the Universe. By Christopher Potter. 2009. HarperCollins, $26.99 (9780061137860).
Potter sets the cosmic stage for a magical blue-green planet on which evolved a curious hominid uniquely endowed with the capacity to contemplate its own place among the stars.
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