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Science Book Challenge ’09

December 16, 2008

sciencebookLast year, the Science Book Challenge was one of my favourites, so I was very excited to see it’s being hosted again by the always polite and erudite Jeff (who is not a book blogger, but runs Ars Hermeneutica which is devoted to making science popular). Isn’t the button this year stunning? It’s the best challenge button I’ve seen so far! You can read all about the challenge, and I encourage you to sign up: you have all year to read three books related to science and “nature’s wonders,” which Jeff helpfully explained further when I asked:

“Nature’s Wonders” is pretty broad, but I wanted it
to be broad. I want people to see “science reading” as almost
anything that is (usually) nonfiction, and takes an analytical and
rational viewpoint, so I think it could include just about everything
except the “supernatural”–unless the author takes a skeptical stance
about that topic.

I’ve decided to attempt to read and review at least one science book a month this year, because I did win a best nonfiction award, which gives me a lot to live up to! And I’m hoping you’ll see all these great science books and be inspired to join. ;) If you want to read about the awesome science books I’ve reviewed, just use that Categories tab over the right…under non-fiction reviews, you’ll find a science category. Non-reviewed ones I’d recommend include: The Voyage of the Turtle by Carl Safina, Genome by Matt Ridley, Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors by Carl Sagan, and Guns, Germs, and Steel by Jared Diamond. Now on to the pool of potentials: because I’m me, and I love lists, I might have gone a little overboard. It’s a big list (42 titles), so I’ve broken it down into sections named for this years theme: The Wonder of…Elements (chem.), Animals (bio.), Evolution (bio.), Plants (bio.), Our Brain (bio.), the Skies (physics), Numbers (math) and Random Wonders (I couldn’t categorise everything!).

The Wonder of Elements

The Wonder of Animals

The Wonder of Evolution

The Wonder of Plants

The Wonder of Our Brain

The Wonder of the Skies

The Wonder of Numbers

Random Wonders

13 Comments leave one →
  1. December 16, 2008 11:51 am

    Wow, Eva, between you and Jeff I’ll never have to search for another science book again! I loved “Miss Leavitt’s Stars” by the way. There are quite a few in your massive list here that I now want to read desperately — if only I had a full time job consisting of reading!!

  2. December 16, 2008 12:58 pm

    Oh, no. This one looks good, too. I’ve got to STOP reading about these challenges…

  3. December 16, 2008 2:10 pm

    I think The Ancestor’s Tale just may be Rich’s all-time favorite book. In fact, he uses it as his “textbook” for the evolution class he teaches. And A Primate’s Memoir is definitely another of his favorites. He’s told me Dr. Tatiana’s Sex Advice is really good, too.

    You know how I was so excited after reading your review of The Wisdom of Bones? I went right over to Amazon to order it, but decided I’d better go check to make sure he didn’t already have it. Turns out he did. :-( Figures.

  4. December 16, 2008 3:16 pm

    What a great list. I am going to mark this with a star on my googlereader! I never read as many nonfiction as I’d like, but I can try.

    I read The Trouble with Physics this year, and have bought The Elegant Universe to read about String Theory. We’ll have to compare after we have each read the other book. They really need to be read together I think?

  5. December 16, 2008 3:21 pm

    I wasn’t going to join anymore challenges, but if it’s just three books, it can’t hurt, right?

  6. December 16, 2008 7:29 pm

    This is a fantastic list of titles, Eva, and I don’t mean only the ones with book notes either (although you’ve picked some that I just know you’re going to enjoy).

    And look at all these people you’re motivating! We know they’ll blame you but they’ll enjoy themselves if they try some of these titles — or others. There are an abundance of good books about science around these days. It’s nice to know that people are reading and enjoying it; it looks like it’s going to be a good year for science reading!

  7. December 17, 2008 6:29 am

    what an awesome list of titles to read! I have about a third of them on my list, and now I’m adding the others. I love nonfiction as well, and this is an awesome list of ideas.

  8. December 19, 2008 10:39 pm

    Melanie, I’m glad you loved Miss Leavitt’s Stars. And I’m totally w/ you on reading as a full time job: wouldn’t that be delicious?!

    Care, lol!!

    Debi, awesome-I definitely want to get to it. I’m sorry he already had The Wisdom of the Bones. :( One day you’ll find another one for him!!

    RaiderGirl, thanks so much-I’m glad you liked it. I read The Elegant Universe three years ago, but I still have it on my shelf so I’m sure I’ll refer back to it while reading The Trouble W/ Physics.

    Jessi, exactly!

    Jeff, thanks. :)

    Rebecca, I’m glad it helps you!

  9. December 26, 2008 10:28 pm

    I just bought Song for the Blue Ocean to read for this challenge. Thanks for recommending it! :)

  10. January 8, 2009 6:20 pm

    Eva, I hate to be so mercenary — well, I don’t hate it that much, actually — but I thought I’d point out, in view of all those Amazon links, that if people buy at Amazon (or lots of other places) through Goodshop and specify “Ars Hermeneutica (Bowie, MD)” as their chosen cause, we get a kick-back and those pennies add up for us.

    (While you’re there feel free to search using GoodSearch with Ars Hermeneutica as your cause–we’ve been getting about 3 cents / search for more than the last 2 years).


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