What Cosmos readers are reading
We asked readers to nominate their favourite science books. Here are some of the responses.
Rough-Hewn Land, by Keith MeldahlUniversity of California Press, 2011
This book provides one of the clearest descriptions I've seen of the geological processes that produced the western United States from the California coast through the Great Basin to the Rocky Mountains. The written descriptions are accessible to even a non-specialist, and the accompanying diagrams and illustrations are some of the best I've seen.
Randy Sprague, Woodland, California
Ice Ages: Solving the Mystery, by John Imbrie and Katherine Palmer ImbrieHarvard University Press, 1986
It's a wonderful story about discovery, dedicated people and the progress of mankind. Many scientific disciplines and scientists mixed together in the search for a solution to the ice-age mystery. Just imagine what was going on in their heads. They had no reference, no earlier experience, nothing to guide them or help them in their search for the answer. The language in the book is easy to read, even if you are not a scholar.
Stefan, Alingsas, Sweden
The Emperor of All Maladies, by Siddhartha MukherjeeScribner, 2010
This is a highly accessible and engaging history of our epic and ongoing battle with cancer. While covering the high level political and historical developments, the science is also clearly explained as scientists gradually uncover how cancer works. The author is a practicing oncologist; he weaves stories from his own patients into the book, which ultimately gives the book a personal and moving conclusion.
Peter, Melbourne, Victoria
Reality Is Not What It Seems: The Journey to Quantum Gravity, by Carlo RovelliPenguin, 2014
This book could change everything or a Grand Unified Theory. Quantum Gravity is paradigm changer! Who would have thought space is not empty at all, as Carlo’s book has proposed.
The Hidden Life of Trees - What They Feel, How They Communicate, by Peter WohllebenBlack Inc, 2015
The author opened my eyes to the world beneath my feet and I was fascinated by how complex trees and forests really are. They actually are distinct communities that interact socially providing for their young, competing with their neighbours, and caring for their elderly in ways I never could have imagined. I will never be able to view the world in the same way I did before reading this book - it is like I have discovered an entire universe that was literally hidden in plain sight.
Lori, Sacramento, California
The Emperor's New Mind, by Roger PenroseOxford University Press, 1989
This book can be read over and over again. One learns new things and expands one’s knowledge in down to earth language that everyone can understand. Never gets old.
Kozik, Raleigh, North Carolina
On the Origin of Species, by Charles DarwinJohn Murray, 1859
The book was revolutionary for the era. It completely changed mankind's view on being human and planted the seeds of atheism among modern scientists. Charles Darwin was despised by the church and polite society as a result. A good struggle with mainstream society is a must for a good science book. This book checked all the boxes.
Pranil, Melbourne, Victoria
The Human Brain: Its Capacities and Functions, by Isaac AsimovPenguin, 1963
Was my first love and still is.
Norman, Rochester, New York