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need science related book recs

 
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Kayne



Joined: 31 Mar 2007
Posts: 896

PostPosted: Sun May 22, 2011 5:51 pm    Post subject: need science related book recs Reply with quote

I am looking for some good books related to science. Some examples I have read include The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, Flavia de Luce Mysteries, good autobiographies (like Dark Matter, about Newton). I am looking for stories that have a lot of science in them. (not science fiction) Thanks. K
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KarenS



Joined: 23 Mar 2007
Posts: 870
Location: Florida

PostPosted: Mon May 23, 2011 8:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Neal Stephenson's books would qualify for your request.
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Kayne



Joined: 31 Mar 2007
Posts: 896

PostPosted: Mon May 23, 2011 12:09 pm    Post subject: science Reply with quote

KarenS wrote:
Neal Stephenson's books would qualify for your request.


Thanks so much for this rec. Is there one book in particular you would recommend to start with? The description for Zodiac and The Cobweb look intriguing. I ordered the Systems of the World from my library.
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MMcA



Joined: 26 Mar 2007
Posts: 671

PostPosted: Tue May 24, 2011 5:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd second Stephenson. The Baroque Cycle is about 17th scientists and has Newton as a character.
I should confess, I only made it through the first of the trilogy - Quicksilver - the book starts in 1713, shoots back to 1665 and 800 pages later has only made it back as far as 1689. I was a bit disheartened, or something - all that reading and I wasn't yet at the beginning of the story. Never quite got round to the next book.
But it was a really fabulous read, apart from one fairly distressing scene where they experiment on a dog - though, to be fair, it probably was drawn from life.

Edited to add - not fiction, but maybe worth mentioning, Queen of Science - personal recollections of Mary Somerville. I bought it because the bluestocking is such a stock character in Regency Romance that I thought it would be interesting to read about a real life example (she lived from 1780 - 1872) so I was reading it for the history really - I can't recall how much actual scientific content there was.
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KarenS



Joined: 23 Mar 2007
Posts: 870
Location: Florida

PostPosted: Tue May 24, 2011 8:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cryptonomicon takes place between the present and WW2 and it's a stand alone.

Quicksilver, The Confusion, The Systems of the World are three volumes of the Baroque Cycle and should be read in order.

Even though you are not wild about sci-fi consider Anathem which is a science fiction/fantasy story set on parallel earth.
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hannahi



Joined: 28 May 2010
Posts: 65

PostPosted: Thu May 26, 2011 8:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you're looking for more nonfiction (based on your mention of The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks), Mary Roach writes books that are amazingly funny. I also like Diane Ackerman's books such as A Natural History of Love.
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Kayne



Joined: 31 Mar 2007
Posts: 896

PostPosted: Thu May 26, 2011 12:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

hannahi wrote:
If you're looking for more nonfiction (based on your mention of The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks), Mary Roach writes books that are amazingly funny. I also like Diane Ackerman's books such as A Natural History of Love.


I was wondering about Mary Roach. I had seen her fun titles but wasn't sure what to expect. I ordered her Mars book from my library. The Natural History of Love is a unique concept I never had thought of before. Thanks for the recs.
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Minerva



Joined: 05 Jul 2007
Posts: 153

PostPosted: Wed Jun 01, 2011 7:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mary Roach writes incredibly witty books about science. I enjoyed Stiff, but I may just be excessively morbid. Bonk is far more entertaining. (Although it really makes you wonder about who volunteers for these studies about sex!)

I really enjoy books about medical history and can recommend some very good ones.

Atul Gawande has written several excellent books. His books Complications and Better are collections of essays he wrote for the New Yorker. They explore some of the intricacies and fascinomas of medicine is a very human way.

One of the best biographies I have ever read is My Own Country by Abraham Verghese. It focuses on the AIDS epidemic in eastern Tennessee.

I love this topic and would love to see other recommendations.
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Minerva



Joined: 05 Jul 2007
Posts: 153

PostPosted: Wed Jun 01, 2011 7:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

See, give me a minute and I've thought of some more recs!

Emilie du Chatelet is a fascinating real person to read about. She lived during the Enlightenment. She was a brilliant mathematician and was mistress to Voltaire.

There are two good biographies about her - authors are Judith Zinsser and David Bodanis
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