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15 April 2009 @ 01:02 pm
Do you read popular sciencewriting? Like Stiff or The Secret Life of Dust or Dr. Tatiana's Sex Advice for All Creation? Or others?

If so, could you recommend some to me? (I've read all of the above.)
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I'm feeling: happyhappy
Lizrazil on April 15th, 2009 05:12 pm (UTC)
Have you read Cod? (His other book, Salt, not nearly as good.) Secret Life of Lobsters was also fun. Hmm, I sense a theme...
ruthless compassion: happyaroraborealis on April 15th, 2009 05:35 pm (UTC)
I loved Cod! And I agree about Salt. Have not read the lobsters one, though! Thanks!
(no subject) - signsoflife on April 15th, 2009 06:32 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - aroraborealis on April 15th, 2009 08:54 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - dancingwolfgrrl on April 15th, 2009 05:40 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - coraline on April 15th, 2009 05:42 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - signsoflife on April 15th, 2009 06:31 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - coraline on April 16th, 2009 08:07 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - aroraborealis on April 15th, 2009 08:55 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - laurenhat on April 17th, 2009 03:14 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - hissilliness on April 15th, 2009 06:04 pm (UTC) (Expand)
... in a handbasketinahandbasket on April 15th, 2009 05:12 pm (UTC)
Year Million.
Was a birthday present from my sister, excellent reading so far.
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ruthless compassion: laughteraroraborealis on April 15th, 2009 05:35 pm (UTC)
*laugh* Don't you hate that?
unintentionally intimidatingcoraline on April 15th, 2009 05:19 pm (UTC)
the "best american science writing" and "best american science and nature writing" series' is awesome

oliver sacks has a newish book out (musicophilia)

also, things by atul gawande and jerome groopman are very good -- i'm trying to remember more authors i've liked -- i knw i've read a bunch recently and they're not coming to mind.
Boring Nerd: gradingsignsoflife on April 15th, 2009 08:07 pm (UTC)
_Complications_, by Gawande. Very good stuff. When I was teaching lab bio, my last assignment to the students was to go to www.gawande.com and choose an article to read, and write a reaction paper. I mostly did this because they were 100% "pre-{med}", and I want my doctors to read Gawande.
(no subject) - coraline on April 16th, 2009 08:05 pm (UTC) (Expand)
sol3sol3 on April 15th, 2009 05:23 pm (UTC)
I'm currently reading The Stuff of Thought: Language as a Window Into Human Nature.

(oddly enough, it might be work related some day ;)
Scheherazade is my patron saint.a_kosmos on April 15th, 2009 05:24 pm (UTC)
I love that genre! Mutants: On Genetic Variety and the Human Body was really interesting. David Quammen is always a good choice.... trying to think of others.

I'm going to have to read the dust book.
ruthless compassion: martini handsaroraborealis on April 15th, 2009 05:35 pm (UTC)
I just finished the dust one, and really enjoyed it!
(no subject) - signsoflife on May 11th, 2009 02:02 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - a_kosmos on May 11th, 2009 02:09 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - signsoflife on May 11th, 2009 02:11 am (UTC) (Expand)
Mouseketeer Stigmatatrom on April 15th, 2009 05:53 pm (UTC)
Bill Bryson's a Short History of Everything is awesome.

Coal, by I forget not so much
Words of Fire on the Surface of the Worldinfinitehotel on April 15th, 2009 06:03 pm (UTC)
They're slightly more historical than scientific but I really liked Eric Larson's Devil in the White City and Thunderstruck. The first parallels the scientific and historical advances that led up to the Chicago World Fair with the history of HH Holmes, one of the creepiest of American serial killers who ran a "horror hotel" in Chicago during that same period. Combines crime, history, architecture, and science into a really satisfying package. Thunderstruck is about Guglielmo Marconi and the race to develop wireless transatlantic telegraphy, with a lot of detail about the science of radio and the trial and error that led to finally making it work. I think I read both on airplanes which gives you an idea of their relative heft, but still, fun reading.

Boring Nerd: readsignsoflife on April 15th, 2009 06:27 pm (UTC)
_The Selfish Gene_ (One of those books that people talk about a lot without actually having read, and without knowing what it actually says.)

_Silent Spring_ (ditto.)

_On the Origin of Species_ (I'm sensing a theme.)

_Power, Sex, Suicide: Mitochondria and the Meaning of Life_. (This is pretty technical going at times, but, well, I found it deeply fascinating, and don't need to professionally caveat at all.) Nick Lane has another book, _Oxygen_, which is also technical but I don't see as having the same breadth of appeal.

_Dr Tatiana's. . . oh, wait.

Boring Nerd: edgebindingsignsoflife on April 15th, 2009 06:34 pm (UTC)
OH: Victoria Finlay! _Color_ is better; _Jewels_ is still quite good. _Color_ contains some genuinely remarkable travel stories as well.
(no subject) - a_kosmos on April 15th, 2009 06:48 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - signsoflife on April 15th, 2009 08:13 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - aroraborealis on April 15th, 2009 08:57 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - signsoflife on April 17th, 2009 07:02 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Beahbeah on April 15th, 2009 06:34 pm (UTC)
I really liked Genome, though it's out of date by now.

If you haven't read Botany of Desire, by Michael Pollan, you absolutely should. As far as I'm concerned, it's a far better-written book than any of his others.

The Hot Zone is about Ebola, and reads like a thriller, but could also be called science writing.

I've very much enjoyed what I've read of Oliver Sacks, and could loan you Anthropologist on Mars if you'd like.

I have heard good things about, but not read, Stumbling on Happiness. Likewise, lots of folks liked Guns, Germs, and Steel, though I couldn't get into it.

Edited at 2009-04-15 06:35 pm (UTC)
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(no subject) - signsoflife on April 15th, 2009 08:05 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - keyne on April 16th, 2009 01:42 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - laurenhat on April 17th, 2009 03:15 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Beowabbit: Misc: spines of old booksbeowabbit on April 15th, 2009 07:13 pm (UTC)
Culled from my quotes file, here are some things I’ve enjoyed reading:

Jared Diamond, Why Is Sex Fun?

Gil Reavill, Aftermath, Inc.: Cleaning Up After CSI Goes Home (not actually science writing, but kind of interesting anyway)

Oh. I thought I had a whole bunch more than that. I must have a bunch that I didn’t jot down any quotes from.

I enjoyed Bonk and Guns, Germs, and Steel a lot. I’ll let you know if I can remember any of the many others.
Cute Signing Geologist Musician Diver: Marilyn Willendorfpiemancer on April 15th, 2009 07:37 pm (UTC)
I found Shubin's Your Inner Fish to be a delectable morsel.
Will O'the Wispwotw on April 15th, 2009 10:23 pm (UTC)
The Selfish Gene above all.

Anything by Steven Pinker.

Consciousness Explained by Dan Dennett

Quantum Reality by Nick Herbert

If math counts as science, then Journey Through Genius
(by William Dunham) is one of the best popular science books
mirandamissionista on April 15th, 2009 11:57 pm (UTC)
I'm reading one right now called Dragon Hunter. It's not purely popular science. It is also biography and travel--it's about Roy Chapman Andrews, the guy (affiliated with AMNH) who organized the scientific missions to the Gobi desert in the 1920's. These missions are known for being the ones that brought back dinosaur fossils and bones. Pretty cool so far.
lazyzlazyz on April 16th, 2009 01:57 am (UTC)
Anything by Richard Feinman?