While political discussions fill the air and various social corners of the web, my mind has wandered back onto science. Today's post is a list of my favorite science-related books. I'm always finding new books at Half Price Books, but this will be my current list and will only feature books from my personal library. I Highly recommend each one!
Lightning In His Hand: The Life Story of Nikola Tesla
"Lightning in his Hand" is somewhat of a rare book. When I found it about 5 years ago in a Half Price Books, their systems weren't even aware they had it on the shelves. They gave it to me for a much lower price than it was actually worth. This book is a great introduction to Tesla as a scientist, an inventor, and a human being like no other. This book inspired me to further my studies in electricity or rather, 'sparked' a curiosity in a subject that I didn't previously have.
The Incredible Unlikeliness of Being: Evolution and the Making of Us
This is a more recent addition to my library. In it, Alice Roberts goes in depth about the many complicated processes that make us all and the stories of their discoveries. It opens with a particularly interesting walk-through of how sperm and an egg translate into becoming a human being. Some of the earlier ideas are just plain insane/sexist.
About Time: Einsteins Unfinished Revolutions
About Time: Einstein's Unfinished Revolution, was the book that sparked my fascination in space and in science. I'd love to say that I first got that feeling while I was in school, but sadly, the school I attended didn't teach actual science. This book was my introduction to Einstein and the scientific theories he put forth. As such, this will always be one of my favorite books.
A Brief History of Time
I feel as though this is probably a staple in anyone's book collection, but I thought it would be worth it to add it in. Stephen Hawking's "A Brief History of Time" was the clarification I needed on a wide variety of questions that I had and ones I hadn't yet thought of. If ever there was a starting place for beginning to understand what we know about the universe, this would be it.
Darwin: The Origin of Species
This is a book all of us have heard of, but a lot of people have not read. To be completely honest, I had taken a Berkeley online course on Evolution before I ever touched or owned this book. I also read a biography on Darwin beforehand. I think it was partly due to the fact that this book intimidated me for some odd reason. I can only say I wish I had read it sooner. Darwin lays out the foundation that would become one of the greatest scientific breakthroughs of all time: our origins and the origins of every living thing on this planet.
The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark
Nothing will make you question your faith more than Carl Sagan's The Demon-Haunted World. I read through this one incredibly fast. Sagan breaks down aliens, superstitions, major religions, and more. He shows why a lot of the stories you hear are just that: stories. Whatever side of the fence you stand on with these issues, it's always good to read opposing views. (Though it's just as fun to read along with one of your heroes, as i did!)
As most of you know, Carl Sagan hosted the original Cosmos show. As a companion to the series, he published "Cosmos". I found this book for $1 at a Goodwill, which is probably my best book find to date. Although some of the information in this book has been updated since, it's still a great read, with great visuals as well.
Pale Blue Dot
We finally come to my favorite book of all, "Pale Blue Dot". I truly believe that partnered with Sagan's "Demon Haunted World", the world would be a better place having read them. My favorite quote of all time resides in this book, within the first chapter. Below, I'll post a video of the quote being read by him so you can get a grasp for how amazing this book really is, and that's just the beginning. Nothing will humble you and make you appreciate life more, than this book. If you ignore all of the other books I've had in this list, pick this one up. You will not have wasted your time.