It’s the first day of spring! Which is the beginning of that time of the year when I stay inside in the air conditioning and read. But it’s also the time of year that feels like a new start, full of possibilities. Today, I thought I’d share a few books I would really like to read this spring. I’ve been doing really well with all of my reading lists so far this year, so fingers crossed this forces me to read every book on this list. And there is always a possibility that I’ll be successful.
So, in the spirit of trying something new, I thought I’d take the opportunity to learn some new things, here are five books I’d like to read this spring that will hopefully teach me something interesting:
Are We Smart Enough to Know How Smart Animals Are? by Frans de Waal. The answer to this question is definitely not. I’m pretty sure. But I really want to read the book and find out . Because I love animals. Also, dolphins are scary smart and not that nice – anyone remember “so long, and thanks for all the fish”? – so I’m kind of hoping I get to learn more about them in this book.
Bring Back the King: The New Science of De-extinction by Helen Pilcher. Now that I’ve learned a lot more about dinosaurs, I know how much Jurassic Park got wrong. But one thing it didn’t: we should not bring dinosaurs back. It is a very, very bad idea. (Food for thought: the T. rex was about as smart as a chimpanzee. Also, they could bite hard enough to basically make bones explode.) And yet, scientists say they’re going to do it anyway, within the next five years. I mean, let’s bring back the blue-footed booby first, okay? Still, I’m pretty curious about the process, and this has gotten great reviews, so I definitely want to read it.
The Soul of an Octopus: A Surprising Exploration into the Wonder of Consciousness by Sy Montgomery. I have heard such great things about this one, and I’m definitely in the mood to learn more about how smart animals are. I mean, octopuses are really intelligent, and I kind of love them.
The Birth of the Chess Queen: A History by Marilyn Yalom. I realized this list was primarily about nature or science, so I wanted to add a wild card and this book immediately came to mind. It’s all about how the chess queen came to exist and how she became the most dominant piece on the board. I am not great at chess – apologies to the very nice man from India who once spent an entire six-hour flight attempting to teach me chess strategy – but I still think this is going to be a really interesting history. I mean, why is the queen more powerful than the king? I want to know.
The Tyrannosaur Chronicles: The Biology of the Tyrant Dinosaurs by David Hone. In case you haven’t heard me talk about it constantly: the tyrant lizard king – the literal translation of Tyrannosaurs Rex – was the coolest dinosaur. (Yes, even cooler than the four-winged microraptors from China that looked like actual mythical creatures.) They are mind-blowingly terrifying in so many ways. And also fluffy (check out this article if you want to see how cute the babies were), which is my new favorite fact. The other Tyrannosaurs were kind of fascinating, too. Like Guanlong, which translates to “crowned dragon”, proving China is the best at naming dinosaurs. Okay, I’ll shut up about dinosaurs now. At least until after I read this book.
That’s it for the five nonfiction books I’d like to read this spring. I am really excited to read all of these, even though my coworkers will hate me for talking about dinosaurs forever. Seriously, I can’t stop. I’m looking forward to learning new things, even if it only adds a new cache of weird animal facts to my brain.
What’s a nonfiction book on your TBR that you’re going will teach you something new?