There’s a Hair in My Dirt! A Worm’s Story by Gary Larson
Once upon a time in a place far away, lived a man named Gary Larson who used to draw cartoons. It was a cartoon that appeared for many years in daily newspapers and was loved by millions. (And was confusing to millions more.) But one day he stopped.
A Primate’s Memoir: A Neuroscientist’s Unconventional Life Among the Baboons by Robert M. Sapolsky
In the tradition of Jane Goodall and Dian Fossey, Robert Sapolsky, a foremost science writer and recipient of a MacArthur Genius Grant, tells the mesmerizing story of his twenty-one years in remote Kenya with a troop of Savannah baboons.
Rocket Boys (The Coalwood Series #1) by Homer Hickam
The #1 New York Times bestselling memoir that inspired the film October Sky, Rocket Boys is a uniquely American memoir—a powerful, luminous story of coming of age at the dawn of the 1960s, of a mother’s love and a father’s fears, of a group of young men who dreamed of launching rockets into outer space . . . and who made those dreams come true.
The Martian Paperback by Andy Weir
Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first people to walk on Mars.
Now, he’s sure he’ll be the first person to die there.
The Maze Runner Book Series (4 Books)
Before WICKED was formed, before the Glade was built, before Thomas entered the Maze, sun flares hit the earth, killing most of the population.
Mark and Trina were there when it happened. They survived. But now a virus is spreading. A virus that fills humans with murderous rage.
They’re convinced that there’s a way to save those who are left—if they can stay alive. Because in this new, devastated world, every life has a price. And to some you’re worth more dead than alive.
The end is only the beginning.
Gulp: Adventures on the Alimentary Canal 1st Edition by Mary Roach
The irresistible, ever-curious, and always best-selling Mary Roach returns with a new adventure to the invisible realm we carry around inside.
Double Helix by Nancy Werlin
Eighteen-year-old Eli discovers a shocking secret about his life and his family while working for a Nobel Prize-winning scientist whose specialty is genetic engineering.
Silent Spring Anniversary Edition by Rachel Carson
Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring was first published in three serialized excerpts in the New Yorker in June of 1962. The book appeared in September of that year and the outcry that followed its publication forced the banning of DDT and spurred revolutionary changes in the laws affecting our air, land, and water. Carson’s passionate concern for the future of our planet reverberated powerfully throughout the world, and her eloquent book was instrumental in launching the environmental movement. It is without question one of the landmark books of the twentieth century.
A Sand County Almanac (Outdoor Essays & Reflections) Mass Market by Aldo Leopold
“We can place this book on the shelf that holds the writings of Thoreau and John Muir.” San Francisco Chronicle
These astonishing portraits of the natural world explore the breathtaking diversity of the unspoiled American landscape — the mountains and the prairies, the deserts and the coastlines. A stunning tribute to our land and a bold challenge to protect the world we love.
The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals by Michael Pollan
What should we have for dinner? Ten years ago, Michael Pollan confronted us with this seemingly simple question and, with The Omnivore’s Dilemma, his brilliant and eye-opening exploration of our food choices, demonstrated that how we answer it today may determine not only our health but our survival as a species. In the years since, Pollan’s revolutionary examination has changed the way Americans think about food. Bringing wide attention to the little-known but vitally important dimensions of food and agriculture in America, Pollan launched a national conversation about what we eat and the profound consequences that even the simplest everyday food choices have on both ourselves and the natural world. Ten years later, The Omnivore’s Dilemma continues to transform the way Americans think about the politics, perils, and pleasures of eating.
Ishmael:A Novel by Daniel Quinn
TEACHER SEEKS PUPIL.
Must have an earnest desire to save the world. Apply in person.
It was just a three-line ad in the personals section, but it launched the adventure of a lifetime.
So begins an utterly unique and captivating novel. In Ishmael, which received the Turner Tomorrow Fellowship for the best work of fiction offering positive solutions to global problems, Daniel Quinn parses humanity’s origins and its relationship with nature, in search of an answer to this challenging question: How can we save the world from ourselves?
Never Cry Wolf : Amazing True Story of Life Among Arctic Wolves by Farley Mowat
Hordes of bloodthirsty wolves are slaughtering the arctic caribou, and the government’s Wildlife Service assigns naturalist Farely Mowat to investigate. Mowat is dropped alone onto the frozen tundra, where he begins his mission to live among the howling wolf packs and study their waves. Contact with his quarry comes quickly, and Mowat discovers not a den of marauding killers but a courageous family of skillful providers and devoted protectors of their young. As Mowat comes closer to the wolf world, he comes to fear with them on onslaught of bounty hunters and government exterminators out to erase the noble wolf community from the Arctic. Never Cry Wolf is one of the brilliant narratives on the myth and magical world of wild wolves and man’s true place among the creatures of nature. “We have doomed the wolf not for what it is, but for what we deliberately and mistakenly perceive it to be — the mythological epitome of a savage, ruthless killer — which is, in reality, no more than the reflected image of ourself.” — from the new preface to Never Cry Wolf.
The RIVERKEEPERS: Two Activists Fight to Reclaim Our Environment as a Basic Human Right by John Cronin
A modern-day David and Goliath tale, The Riverkeepers is an impassioned firsthand account by two advocates who have taken on powerful corporate and government polluters to win back the Hudson River. John Cronin and Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., tell us how we too can fight for our fundamental right to enjoy our invaluable natural resources.
The Botany of Desire: A Plant’s-Eye View of the World by Michael Pollan
Every schoolchild learns about the mutually beneficial dance of honeybees and flowers: The bee collects nectar and pollen to make honey and, in the process, spreads the flowers’ genes far and wide. In The Botany of Desire, Michael Pollan ingeniously demonstrates how people and domesticated plants have formed a similarly reciprocal relationship. He masterfully links four fundamental human desires—sweetness, beauty, intoxication, and control—with the plants that satisfy them: the apple, the tulip, marijuana, and the potato. In telling the stories of four familiar species, Pollan illustrates how the plants have evolved to satisfy humankind’s most basic yearnings. And just as we’ve benefited from these plants, we have also done well by them. So who is really domesticating whom?
Earth in the Balance: Forging a New Common Purpose Revised Edition by Al Gore
Al Gore leads the charge against climate change, the world’s greatest threat, in an incendiary new foreword to this timeless classic that launched his environmental career. If you want to know Gore, you need this book!
Man and Nature, Or, Physical Geography as Modified by Human Action by George Perkins Marsh
This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. Purchasers can usually download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated. 1867 edition. Excerpt: … CHAPTER IV. THE WATERS. LAND ARTIFICIALLY WON FROM THE WATERS: O, EXCLUSION OF THE SBA BT DIKING; 6, DRAINING OF LAKES AND MARSHES; •’, GEOGRAPHICAL INFLUENCE OF SUCH OPERATIONS–LOWERING OF LAKES–MOUNTAIN LAKES–CLlIfATIC EFFECTS OF DRAINING LAKES AND MARSHES–GEOGRAPHICAL AND CLIMATIC EFFECTS OF AQUEDUCTS, RESERTOIRB, AND CANALS–SURFACE AND UNDERDRAINING, AND THEIR CLIMATIC AND GEOGRAPHICAL EFFECTS–IRRIGATION AND ITS CLIMATIC AND GEOGRAPHICAL EFFECTS. INUNDATIONS AND TORRENTS: a, RIVER EMBANKMENTS; i, FLOODS OF THE ARDECHE; C, CRUSHING FORCE OF TORRENTS; d, INUNDATIONS OF 1856 IN FRANCE; , REMEDIES AGAINST INUNDATIONS — CONSEQUENCES IF IKS NILE HAD BEEN CONFINED BT LATERAL DIKES. IMPROVEMENTS IN THE TAL DI CHIANA–IMPROVEMENTS IN THE TtTBCAS UABKMME–OBSTRUCTION OF RIVER MOUTHS–SUBTERRANEAN WATERS–ARTESIAN WELLS–ARTIFICIAL SPRINGS–ECONOMIZING PRECIPITATION. Land artificially won from the Waters. Man, as we have seen, has done much to revolutionize the solid surface of the globe, and to change the distribution and proportions, if not the essential character, of the organisms which inhabit the land and even the waters. Besides the influence thus exerted upon the life which peoples the sea, his action upon the land has involved a certain amount of indirect encroachment upon the territorial jurisdiction of the ocean. So far as he has increased the erosion of running waters by the destruction of the forest, he has promoted the deposit of solid matter in the sea, thus reducing its depth, advancing the coast line, and diminishing the area covered by the waters. He has gone beyond this, and invaded the realm of the ocean by con NATtTBAL CHANGE OF COAST LINE. 331 structing within its borders wharves, piers, lighthouses
Moving Mountains: How One Woman and Her Community Won Justice from Big Coal 1st Edition by Penny Loeb
Deep in the heart of the southern West Virginia coalfields, one of the most important environmental and social empowerment battles in the nation has been waged for the past decade. Fought by a heroic woman struggling to save her tiny community through a landmark lawsuit, this battle, which led all the way to the halls of Congress, has implications for environmentally conscious people across the world.
Walden Paperback by Henry David Thoreau
In 1845, Henry David Thoreau moved into a cabin by Walden Pond. With the intention of immersing himself in nature and distancing himself from the distractions of social life, Thoreau sustained his retreat for just over two years. More popular than ever, “Walden” is a paean to the virtues of simplicity and self-sufficiency.
Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life by Barbara Kingsolver
Author Barbara Kingsolver and her family abandoned the industrial-food pipeline to live a rural life—vowing that, for one year, they’d only buy food raised in their own neighborhood, grow it themselves, or learn to live without it. Part memoir, part journalistic investigation, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle is an enthralling narrative that will open your eyes in a hundred new ways to an old truth: You are what you eat.
Eating Dirt: Deep Forests, Big Timber, and Life with the Tree-Planting Tribe by Charlotte Gill
In Eating Dirt, Gill offers up a slice of tree-planting life in all of its soggy, gritty exuberance while questioning the ability of conifer plantations to replace original forests, which evolved over millennia into intricate, complex ecosystems. Among other topics, she also touches on the boom-and-bust history of logging and the versatility of wood, from which we have devised
Extracted: How the Quest for Mineral Wealth Is Plundering the Planet by Ugo Bardi
As we dig, drill, and excavate to unearth the planet’s mineral bounty, the resources we exploit from ores, veins, seams, and wells are gradually becoming exhausted. Mineral treasures that took millions, or even billions, of years to form are now being squandered in just centuries–or sometimes just decades.
Will there come a time when we actually run out of minerals? Debates already soar over how we are going to obtain energy without oil, coal, and gas. But what about the other mineral losses we face? Without metals, and semiconductors, how are we going to keep our industrial system running? Without mineral fertilizers and fuels, how are we going to produce the food we need?
Gaining Ground: A Story Of Farmers’ Markets, Local Food, And Saving The Family Farm by Forrest Pritchard
One fateful day in 1996, after discovering that five freight cars’ worth of glittering corn have reaped a tiny profit of $18.16, young Forrest Pritchard vows to save his family’s farm. What ensues–through hilarious encounters with all manner of livestock and colorful local characters–is a crash course in sustainable agriculture. Pritchard’s biggest ally is his renegade father, who initially questions his son’s career choice and rejects organic foods for sugary mainstream fare. But just when the farm starts to turn heads at local farmers’ markets, his father’s health takes a turn for the worse. With poetry and humor, this inspiring memoir tugs on the heartstrings and feeds the soul long after the last page is turned.
The Golden Spruce: A True Story of Myth, Madness, and Greed by John Vaillant
When a shattered kayak and camping gear are found on an uninhabited island in the Pacific Northwest, they reignite a mystery surrounding a shocking act of protest. Five months earlier, logger-turned-activist Grant Hadwin had plunged naked into a river in British Columbia’s Queen Charlotte Islands, towing a chainsaw. When his night’s work was done, a unique Sitka spruce, 165 feet tall and covered with luminous golden needles, teetered on its stump. Two days later it fell.
As vividly as John Krakauer puts readers on Everest, John Vaillant takes us into the heart of North America’s last great forest.
Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children From Nature-Deficit Disorder by Richard Louv
“I like to play indoors better ’cause that’s where all the electrical outlets are,” reports a fourth-grader. Never before in history have children been so plugged in-and so out of touch with the natural world. In this groundbreaking new work, child advocacy expert Richard Louv directly links the lack of nature in the lives of today’s wired generation-he calls it nature deficit-to some of the most disturbing childhood trends, such as rises in obesity, Attention Deficit Disorder (Add), and depression. Some startling facts: By the 1990s the radius around the home where children were allowed to roam on their own had shrunk to a ninth of what it had been in 1970. Today, average eight-year-olds are better able to identify cartoon characters than native species, such as beetles and oak trees, in their own community. The rate at which doctors prescribe antidepressants to children has doubled in the last five years, and recent studies show that too much computer use spells trouble for the developing mind. Nature-deficit disorder is not a medical condition; it is a description of the human costs of alienation from nature. This alienation damages children and shapes adults, families, and communities. There are solutions, though, and they’re right in our own backyards. Last child in the Woods is the first book to bring together cutting-edge research showing that direct exposure to nature is essential for healthy childhood development-physical, emotional, and spiritual. What’s more, nature is a potent therapy for depression, obesity, and Add. Environment-based education dramatically improves standardized test scores and grade point averages and develops skills in problem solving, critical thinking, and decision making. Even creativity is stimulated by childhood experiences in nature.
One Man’s Wilderness: An Alaskan Odyssey by Sam Keith and Richard Proenneke
This best-selling memoir from Richard Proenneke’s journals and with firsthand knowledge of his subject and the setting, Sam Keith has woven a tribute to a man who carved his masterpiece out of the beyond. To live in a pristine land unchanged by man . . . to roam a wilderness through which few other humans has passed . . . to choose an idyllic site, cut trees by hand, and build a log cabin. . . to be self-sufficient craftsman, making what is needed from materials available…to be not at odds with the world, but content with one’s own thoughts, dreams and company. Thousands have had such dreams, but Richard Proenneke lived them. This book is a moving account of the day-to-day explorations and activities Dick carried out alone….alone in the wilderness…and the constant chain of nature’s events that kept him company.
A Sanctuary of Trees: Beechnuts, Birdsongs, Baseball Bats, and Benedictions by Gene Logsdon
In this latest book, A Sanctuary of Trees, Logsdon offers a loving tribute to the woods, tracing the roots of his own home groves in Ohio back to the Native Americans and revealing his own history and experiences living in many locations, each of which was different, yet inextricably linked with trees and the natural world. Whether as an adolescent studying at a seminary or as a journalist living just outside Philadelphia’s city limits, Gene has always lived and worked close to the woods, and his curiosity and keen sense of observation have taught him valuable lessons about a wide variety of trees: their distinct characteristics and the multiple benefits and uses they have.
The Fracking Truth:America’s Energy Revolution: America’s Energy Revolution: the Inside, Untold Story by Chris Faulkner
The revolution has already begun. The fracking revolution, that is. The Fracking Truth is a primer on America’s ongoing energy revolution, but it’s also a call to action. The oil and gas industry has failed itself and failed the American public by doing a poor job of educating the public on fracking and related technologies that have created the American energy revolution. Readers will learn about the myths and the truths of the controversial practice of fracking, how the United States is benefitting from the fracking boom, and how fracking can actually help the US and the world achieve climate change goals. The Fracking Truth seeks to bridge the information gap between public perception and an industry that fuels our daily lives, our national economy, and our future. After years of economic devastation and turmoil, the energy boom driven by fracking gives us a second chance at security, prosperity, and global leadership. Let’s hope we get it right.
Walden Warming: climate change comes to Thoreau’s woods
In his meticulous notes on the natural history of Concord, Massachusetts, Henry David Thoreau records the first open flowers of highbush blueberry on May 11, 1853. If he were to look for the first blueberry flowers in Concord today, mid-May would be too late. In the 160 years since Thoreau’s writings, warming temperatures have pushed blueberry flowering three weeks earlier, and in 2012, following a winter and spring of record-breaking warmth, blueberries began flowering on April 1—six weeks earlier than in Thoreau’s time. The climate around Thoreau’s beloved Walden Pond is changing, with visible ecological consequences.
The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History by Elizabeth Kolbert
Over the last half-billion years, there have been Five mass extinctions, when the diversity of life on earth suddenly and dramatically contracted. Scientists around the world are currently monitoring the sixth extinction, predicted to be the most devastating extinction event since the asteroid impact that wiped out the dinosaurs. This time around, the cataclysm is us. In prose that is at once frank, entertaining, and deeply informed, New Yorker writer Elizabeth Kolbert tells us why and how human beings have altered life on the planet in a way no species has before. Interweaving research in half a dozen disciplines, descriptions of the fascinating species that have already been lost, and the history of extinction as a concept, Kolbert provides a moving and comprehensive account of the disappearances occurring before our very eyes. She shows that the sixth extinction is likely to be mankind’s most lasting legacy, compelling us to rethink the fundamental question of what it means to be human.
Diet for a Small Planet (20th Anniversary Edition) by Frances Moore Lappe
Here again is the extraordinary bestselling book that taught America the social and personal significance of a new way of eating– one that remains a complete guide for eating well in the 90s. Featuring: simple rules for a healthy diet; a streamlined, easy-to-use format; delicious food combinations of protein-rich meals without meat; hundreds of wonderful recipes, and much more.
Breakthrough: How One Teen Innovator Is Changing the World by Jack Andraka
For the first time, teen innovator and scientist Jack Andraka tells the story behind his revolutionary discovery. When a dear family friend passed away from pancreatic cancer, Jack was inspired to create a better method of early detection. At the age of fifteen, he garnered international attention for his breakthrough: a four-cent strip of paper capable of detecting pancreatic, ovarian, and lung cancers four hundred times more effectively than the previous standard.
A Long Walk to Water: Based on a True Story by Linda Sue Park
The New York Times bestseller A Long Walk to Water begins as two stories, told in alternating sections, about two eleven-year-olds in Sudan, a girl in 2008 and a boy in 1985. The girl, Nya, is fetching water from a pond that is two hours’ walk from her home: she makes two trips to the pond every day. The boy, Salva, becomes one of the “lost boys” of Sudan, refugees who cover the African continent on foot as they search for their families and for a safe place to stay. Enduring every hardship from loneliness to attack by armed rebels to contact with killer lions and crocodiles, Salva is a survivor, and his story goes on to intersect with Nya’s in an astonishing and moving way.
The Age of Miracles: A Novel by Karen Thompson Walker
With a voice as distinctive and original as that of The Lovely Bones, and for the fans of the speculative fiction of Margaret Atwood, Karen Thompson Walker’s The Age of Miracles is a luminous and unforgettable debut novel about coming of age set against the backdrop of an utterly altered world.
Hidden Figures Young Readers’ Edition by Margot Lee Shetterly
This edition of Margot Lee Shetterly’s acclaimed book is perfect for young readers. It is the powerful story of four African-American female mathematicians at NASA who helped achieve some of the greatest moments in our space program. Now a major motion picture starring Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, Janelle Monae, Kirsten Dunst, and Kevin Costner.
Before John Glenn orbited the earth, or Neil Armstrong walked on the moon, a group of dedicated female mathematicians known as “human computers” used pencils, slide rules, and adding machines to calculate the numbers that would launch rockets, and astronauts, into space.
This book brings to life the stories of Dorothy Vaughan, Mary Jackson, Katherine Johnson, and Christine Darden, who lived through the Civil Rights era, the Space Race, the Cold War, and the movement for gender equality, and whose work forever changed the face of NASA and the country.
Your Inner Fish: A Journey into the 3.5-Billion-Year History of the Human Body by Neil Shubin
By examining fossils and DNA, he shows us that our hands actually resemble fish fins, our heads are organized like long-extinct jawless fish, and major parts of our genomes look and function like those of worms and bacteria. Your Inner Fish makes us look at ourselves and our world in an illuminating new light. This is science writing at its finest—enlightening, accessible and told with irresistible enthusiasm.
Cry of the Kalahari by Mark James Owens (Author), Cordelia Dykes Owens (Author)
This is the story of the Owens’ travel and life in the Kalahari Desert. Here they met and studied unique animals and were confronted with danger from drought, fire, storms, and the animals they loved. This best-selling book is for both travelers and animal lovers.
Lab Girl by Hope Jahren
Geobiologist Hope Jahren has spent her life studying trees, flowers, seeds, and soil. Lab Girl is her revelatory treatise on plant life—but it is also a celebration of the lifelong curiosity, humility, and passion that drive every scientist. In these pages, Hope takes us back to her Minnesota childhood, where she spent hours in unfettered play in her father’s college laboratory. She tells us how she found a sanctuary in science, learning to perform lab work “with both the heart and the hands.” She introduces us to Bill, her brilliant, eccentric lab manager. And she extends the mantle of scientist to each one of her readers, inviting us to join her in observing and protecting our environment. Warm, luminous, compulsively readable, Lab Girl vividly demonstrates the mountains that we can move when love and work come together.
Things Not Seen by Andrew Clements
Bobby Phillips is an average fifteen-year-old-boy. Until the morning he wakes up and can’t see himself in the mirror. Not blind, not dreaming-Bobby is just plain invisible. There doesn’t seem to be any rhyme or reason to Bobby’s new condition; even his dad the physicist can’t figure it out. For Bobby that means no school, no friends, no life. He’s a missing person. Then he meets Alicia. She’s blind, and Bobby can’t resist talking to her, trusting her. But people are starting to wonder where Bobby is. Bobby knows that his invisibility could have dangerous consequences for his family and that time is running out. He has to find out how to be seen again-before it’s too late.
The Killing Sea by Richard Lewis
Two teens find each other surrounded by the destruction left in the wake of the most devastating tsunami the world has ever seen: Ruslan, a native of Aceh, in search of his missing father, whom he hopes has not been added to the fallen; and Sarah, an American girl, who has already lost her mother and is now struggling to find medical treatment for her sick brother.
Only together can they find what they’re searching for.
The Everglades: River of Grass by Marjory Stoneman Douglas (Author), Robert Fink (Illustrator)
The Everglades: River of Grass, first published in 1947, begins with the famous passage: “There are no other Everglades in the world,” and continues with a fascinating look at the natural and human history of the Florida Everglades. The book portrays, in layperson’s terms, the ecology of the Everglades, its important plant and animal life, its long Native American history, the coming of the Spanish, its early settlements, and the modern attempts of drainage and development, typically with disastrous results. This landmark book redefined public opinion of the Everglades from that of ‘worthless swamp’ to one in which the Everglades are valued as a unique ecological treasure of vital importance to the health of southern Florida. The Everglades: River of Grass remains essential reading for anyone interested in the history and conservation of this vast wilderness. Included are 2 maps.
Pi in the Sky by Wendy Mass
Joss is the seventh son of the Supreme Overlord of the Universe. His older brothers help his dad rule the cosmos, but all Joss gets to do is deliver pies. That’s right: pies. Of course, these pies actually hold the secrets of the universe between their buttery crusts, but they’re still pies.
Joss is happy to let his older brothers shine. He has plenty to keep his hands full: attempting to improve his bowling score; listening to his best friend, Kal, try (and fail) to play the drums; and exploring his ever-changing home, The Realms. But when Earth suddenly disappears, Joss is tasked with the seemingly impossible job of bringing it back. With the help of Annika, an outspoken girl from Earth, he embarks on the adventure of a lifetime…and learns that the universe is an even stranger place than he’d imagined.
Escaping the Giant Wave by Peg Kehret
The Worst Vacation Ever!
Thirteen-year-old Kyle thought spending a vacation on the Oregon coast with his family would be great. He’d never flown before, and he’d never seen the Pacific Ocean.
One evening Kyle is left in charge of his younger sister, BeeBee, while his parents attend an adults-only Salesman of the Year dinner on an elegant yacht.
Then the earthquake comes — starting a fire in their hotel! As Kyle and BeeBee fight their way out through smoke and flame, Kyle remembers the sign at the beach that said after an earthquake everyone should go uphill and inland, as far from the ocean as possible. Giant tsunami waves — three or four stories high can ride in from the sea and engulf anyone who doesn’t escape fast enough.
Kyle and BeeBee flee uphill as a tsunami crashes over the beach, the hotel, and the town. The giant wave charges straight up the hillside and through the woods where the children are running for their lives. The perfect vacation has become a nightmare! Somehow Kyle and BeeBee have to outwit nature’s fury and save themselves from tsunami terror.
Cosmic by Frank Cottrell Boyce
Liam has always had trouble keeping his feet on the ground. Being 239,000 miles from earth doesn’t make it any easier.
The Poisoner’s Handbook: Murder and the Birth of Forensic Medicine in Jazz Age New York by Deborah Blum
A fascinating Jazz Age tale of chemistry and detection, poison and murder, The Poisoner’s Handbook is a page-turning account of a forgotten era. In early twentieth-century New York, poisons offered an easy path to the perfect crime. Science had no place in the Tammany Hall-controlled coroner’s office, and corruption ran rampant. However, with the appointment of chief medical examiner Charles Norris in 1918, the poison game changed forever. Together with toxicologist Alexander Gettler, the duo set the justice system on fire with their trailblazing scientific detective work, triumphing over seemingly unbeatable odds to become the pioneers of forensic chemistry and the gatekeepers of justice.
Ashfall (Ashfall Trilogy) by Mike Mullin
Under the bubbling hot springs and geysers of Yellowstone National Park is a supervolcano. Most people don’t know it’s there. The caldera is so large that it can only be seen from a plane or satellite. It just could be overdue for an eruption, which would change the landscape and climate of our planet.
For Alex, being left alone for the weekend means having the freedom to play computer games and hang out with his friends without hassle from his mother. Then the Yellowstone supervolcano erupts, plunging his hometown into a nightmare of darkness, ash, and violence. Alex begins a harrowing trek to seach for his family and finds help in Darla, a travel partner he meets along the way. Together they must find the strength and skills to survive and outlast an epic disaster.
Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers 1st Edition by Mary Roach
Stiff is an oddly compelling, often hilarious exploration of the strange lives of our bodies postmortem. For two thousand years, cadavers―some willingly, some unwittingly―have been involved in science’s boldest strides and weirdest undertakings. In this fascinating account, Mary Roach visits the good deeds of cadavers over the centuries and tells the engrossing story of our bodies when we are no longer with them.
The Disappearing Spoon: And Other True Tales of Madness, Love, and the History of the World from the Periodic Table of the Elements by Sam Kean
Why did Gandhi hate iodine (I, 53)? How did radium (Ra, 88) nearly ruin Marie Curie’s reputation? And why is gallium (Ga, 31) the go-to element for laboratory pranksters?*
The Periodic Table is a crowning scientific achievement, but it’s also a treasure trove of adventure, betrayal, and obsession. These fascinating tales follow every element on the table as they play out their parts in human history, and in the lives of the (frequently) mad scientists who discovered them. THE DISAPPEARING SPOON masterfully fuses science with the classic lore of invention, investigation, and discovery–from the Big Bang through the end of time.
*Though solid at room temperature, gallium is a moldable metal that melts at 84 degrees Fahrenheit. A classic science prank is to mold gallium spoons, serve them with tea, and watch guests recoil as their utensils disappear.
George’s Secret Key to the Universe by Stephen Hawking
In their bestselling book for young readers, noted physicist Stephen Hawking and his daughter, Lucy, provide a grand and funny adventure that explains fascinating information about our universe, including Dr. Hawking’s latest ideas about black holes. It’s the story of George, who’s taken through the vastness of space by a scientist, his daughter, and their super-computer named Cosmos. George’s Secret Key to the Universe was a New York Times bestseller and a selection of Al’s Book Club on the Today show.
My Stroke of Insight: A Brain Scientist’s Personal Journey by Jill Bolte Taylor
On December 10, 1996, Jill Bolte Taylor, a thirty-seven- year-old Harvard-trained brain scientist experienced a massive stroke in the left hemisphere of her brain. As she observed her mind deteriorate to the point that she could not walk, talk, read, write, or recall any of her life-all within four hours-Taylor alternated between the euphoria of the intuitive and kinesthetic right brain, in which she felt a sense of complete well-being and peace, and the logical, sequential left brain, which recognized she was having a stroke and enabled her to seek help before she was completely lost. It would take her eight years to fully recover.