Annual Science Reads for the Holidays

Got someone on your holiday list who needs a book? Trick question. Of course you do, everyone needs books! Here are a few new science reads worth giving — or keeping for yourself.

By Gemma Tarlach|Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Nine Pints: A Journey Through the Money, Medicine, and Mysteries of Blood
By Rose George
Don’t be squeamish about picking up this lively investigation of everything from medicinal leeches to blood-borne pathogens to profiting off plasma. George’s sanguine writing is flush with fascinating details.


Einstein’s Monsters: The Life and Times of Black Holes
By Chris Impey
Astronomer Impey’s accessible approach breaks down complex scientific concepts with ease and flair, name-checking everyone from Edgar Allen Poe to Pink Floyd as he lays out what we think we know about black holes — and what remains mysterious.


Turned On: Science, Sex and Robots
By Kate Devlin
A chance conversation in a pub while attending a conference led Devlin down what might sound like a dark alley: the world of sex robots. But the AI researcher’s quest is full of humor and candor as she searches for answers to all the questions you’re probably asking right now. Yes, even that one.


How to Love the Universe: A Scientist’s Odes to the Hidden Beauty Behind the Visible World
By Stefan Klein
Physicist Klein weaves together scientific discovery and whimsy on topics ranging from entanglement to forecasting the weather in this delightful collection of ruminations on life, the universe and everything else.

Wit’s End: What Wit Is, How It Works, and Why We Need It
By James Geary
“Puns are not wit’s lowest form, but its highest expression,” argues Geary at the start of his playful, occasionally chaotic road trip through comedy’s links to innovation and creativity.

Dreaming in Turtle: A Journey Through the Passion, Profit, and Peril of Our Most Coveted Prehistoric Creatures
By Peter Laufer
Despite an ancient significance to cultures around the world and a backstory that predates dinosaurs, turtles are often overlooked. Laufer gives the threatened animals their due in this thoughtful, irresistible read.

End of the Megafauna: The Fate of the World’s Hugest, Fiercest, and Strangest Animals
By Ross D.E. MacPhee
Dire wolves and woolly mammoths, along with many other outsized animals, are no more, but researchers disagree on why. MacPhee re-creates their lost world, threatened by a changing climate and new predator (us), to test leading hypotheses.

Searching for the Lost Tombs of Egypt
By Chris Naunton
Perfect for the armchair Indiana Jones in your life, archaeologist Naunton digs deep to find new clues that could lead to the resting places of a few famously unfound people, including the ever-elusive Nefertiti.

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