Thursday, June 22, 2006

12 Books About Science You Should Read Before You Die

Rex Buchanan has developed a list of “12 books about science you should read before you die.”

A personal friend, Rex is co-author of Roadside Kansas: A Guide to its Geology and Landmarks, editor of Kansas Geology: An Introduction to Landscapes, Rocks, Minerals, and Fossils and associate director for public outreach at the Kansas Geological Survey.

  • Edward Abbey, Desert Solitaire, 1985.
  • Rick Bass, Oil Notes, 1995.
  • Susan Clancy, Abducted: How People Come to Believe They were Kidnapped by Aliens, 2005.
  • Christopher Cokinos, Hope is the Thing with Feathers: A Personal Chronicle of Vanished Birds, 2001.
  • Jared Diamond, Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed, 2005.
  • Stephen Jay Gould, Wonderful Life: The Burgess Shale and the Nature of History, 1990.
  • Barry Lopez, Crossing Open Ground, 1989.
  • Charles Mann, 1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus, 2005.
  • Peter Matthiessen, The Snow Leopard, 1987.
  • David Quammen, The Song of the Dodo: Island Biogeography in an Age of Extinction, 1997.
  • Oliver Sacks, The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat, and other Clinical Tales, 1970.
  • Terry Tempest Williams, Refuge: An Unnatural History of Family and Place, 1992.
I’ve read Oil Notes, Collapse, The Song of the Dodo and Hope is the Thing with Feathers and can recommend these books. In fact, I can recommend just about anything by Bass, although I do prefer his non-fiction to his fiction.

Lopez, Matthiessen and Sacks are also authors who I’ve read and can recommend. Matthiessen is among those rare writers whose fiction is as good as his non-fiction.

1 comment:

  1. And I can recommend Desert Solitaire, 1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus and Refuge: An Unnatural History of Family and Place. I can see I've got lots more to read; and I better hurry as I ain't gettin' any younger!