You all know I love reading nonfiction. It started as a challenge to myself and grew into me actually being really excited to read history books and memoirs and, especially, weird science things. I studied very little science in school – my brain is much more the history/literature kind – but I do find it fascinating. I absolutely love new weird facts, and science has plenty of them. So, this year, I want to make it a point to fit in some new science books and learn some new things.
This may change if I discover anything fun and new, but here are the five books currently at the top of my list:
The Book of Eels by Patrik Svensson
I have discovered that I really enjoy reading very specific animal books. In the past couple of years, I have read books on octopuses, zombifying parasites, dinosaurs, and even earthworms. (Yes, I read an entire book about earthworms and I liked it.) So while there is definitely a lot more for me to explore in this area, the book that caught my eye this year is… The Book of Eels. Which is – you guessed it – about eels. And, honestly, I’m just curious. I love reading about interesting animals, and eels are definitely up on that list. What are they? I need to know. And reading books full of fun animal facts is way more fun than Googling things.
The Mystery of the Exploding Teeth and Other Curiosities from the History of Medicine by Thomas Morris
I am by no means a doctor or a scientist, but I also really enjoy reading about medicine and the history of medicine. And, clearly, I also enjoy reading about weird things. So this book sounds right up my alley. I actually got my wisdom teeth out at the end of last year (after putting it off for way too long) because one of them had gotten infected and the dental hygienist told me there was a possibility it could explode. Which terrified me into oral surgery. But I am still very curious about exploding teeth. I also just really love learning weird facts (to annoy people with), and this sounds perfect.
Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer by Siddhartha Mukherjee
Cancer is such a weird thing… it consists of cells that don’t die, and yet it can kill people. Having, like many people, seen what cancer can do, I put off reading this book for a long time. But I’ve had enough distance from it that I think I can get through this without it bringing back unpleasant memories. I also read The Gene last year and really enjoyed Mukherjee’s writing, so I think I’m going to enjoy this one. Even though it’s not exactly about a fun topic.
Origins: Fourteen Billion Years of Cosmic Evolution by Neil deGrasse Tyson and Donald Goldsmith
Fun fact about me, as a kid I was obsessed with space (and also the Titanic, but that’s irrelevant here). I just find space fascinating. And new planet discoveries or astroids heading to Earth, I am on top of it. But weirdly, I haven’t actually read a lot of adult books about space. Which needs to change. I also really like Neil deGrasse Tyson (and have actually read his book on astrophysics), so I think I’m going to really enjoy this one. Other than the Big Bang, I don’t know too much about the origins of the universe and cosmic evolution. I’m pretty excited to learn more.
Cannibalism: A Perfectly Natural History by Bill Schutt
I had to fit in one slightly disturbing nonfiction read in here (though I guess exploding teeth counts, so I should san another disturbing book). This one has been sitting on my shelves for years now, and it’s finally time. I need to read this. I love reading about how utterly insane nature is. And the fact that cannibalism is not really unusual for many species is pretty weird. Obviously, I need to know more.
That’s it for this post! Like I said, this list may change (I’m always discovering new science books to add to my TBR). But I’m still pretty excited about all of these. I will keep you updated on all of the weird things I learn this year.
Do you enjoy reading science books? Are there any I should have on my radar?