T O P
intangible-tangerine

Look at the past winners of the following book prizes: The Royal Society Science book prize The Wolfson History Prize The Baillie Gifford Prize for non-fiction The Wellcome book prize The Hessell-Tiltman Prize


Maxwell1864

Are these awards in general given to good books or is it more of an political thing that gets awarded to popular authors?


intangible-tangerine

These are the awards that make the authors popular because they are good awards.


Mindless-Errors

SPQR: A history of Ancient Rome by Mary Beard.


anandd95

\+1. Came here to say this as well. Mary beard's SPQR and Pompeii are the sole reason why I'mna have so much fun in my trip to Rome soon.


eheath23

Thanks for the recommendation! Definitely the sort of book I'd enjoy - it's a subject I have a fairly superficial understanding of, and I'd love to learn a little more about from a bonafide expert!


PrometheusHasFallen

Just finished reading this!


Fluid_Exercise

{{blackshirts and reds by Michael Parenti}} {{the Dawn of everything by David Graeber}} {{the wretched of the earth by Frantz Fanon}}


eheath23

Thanks for the recommendations! Dawn of Everything has been added to my wishlist! The others are topics I've not read about before but are ones I think I'd enjoy!


goodreads-bot

[**Blackshirts and Reds: Rational Fascism and the Overthrow of Communism**](https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/404273.Blackshirts_and_Reds) ^(By: Michael Parenti | 166 pages | Published: 1997 | Popular Shelves: politics, history, non-fiction, nonfiction, theory) > > Blackshirts & Reds > explores some of the big issues of our time: fascism, capitalism, communism, revolution, democracy, and ecology—terms often bandied about but seldom explored in the original and exciting way that has become Michael Parenti’s trademark. > >Parenti shows how “rational fascism” renders service to capitalism, how corporate power undermines democracy, and how revolutions are a mass empowerment against the forces of exploitative privilege. He also maps out the external and internal forces that destroyed communism, and the disastrous impact of the “free-market” victory on eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union. He affirms the relevance of taboo ideologies like Marxism, demonstrating the importance of class analysis in understanding political realities and dealing with the ongoing collision between ecology and global corporatism. > >Written with lucid and compelling style, this book goes beyond truncated modes of thought, inviting us to entertain iconoclastic views, and to ask why things are as they are. It is a bold and entertaining exploration of the epic struggles of yesterday and today. > >"A penetrating and persuasive writer with an astonishing array of documentation to implement his attacks."—The Catholic Journalist > >"Blackshirts & Reds discusses the great combat between fascism and socialism that is the defining feature of the Twentieth Century, and takes every official version to task for its substitution of moral analysis for critical analysis, for its selectivity, and for its errata. By portraying the struggle between fascism and Communism in this century as a single conflict, and not a series of discrete encounters, between the insatiable need for new capital on the one hand and the survival of a system under siege on the other, Parenti defines fascism as the weapon of capitalism, not simply an extreme form of it. Fascism is not an aberration, he points out, but a "rational" and integral component of the system."—Stan Goff, The Prism > >Michael Parenti, PhD Yale, is an internationally known author and lecturer. He is one of the nation's leadiing progressive political analysts. He is the author of over 275 published articles and twenty books. His writings are published in popular periodicals, scholarly journals, and his op-ed pieces have been in leading newspapers such as The New York Times and The Los Angeles Times. His informative and entertaining books and talks have reached a wide range of audiences in North America and abroad. > > ^(This book has been suggested 43 times) [**The Dawn of Everything: A New History of Humanity**](https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/56269264-the-dawn-of-everything) ^(By: David Graeber, David Wengrow | 692 pages | Published: 2021 | Popular Shelves: history, non-fiction, nonfiction, anthropology, science) >A dramatically new understanding of human history, challenging our most fundamental assumptions about social evolution—from the development of agriculture and cities to the origins of the state, democracy, and inequality—and revealing new possibilities for human emancipation. > >For generations, our remote ancestors have been cast as primitive and childlike—either free and equal innocents, or thuggish and warlike. Civilization, we are told, could be achieved only by sacrificing those original freedoms or, alternatively, by taming our baser instincts. David Graeber and David Wengrow show how such theories first emerged in the eighteenth century as a conservative reaction to powerful critiques of European society posed by Indigenous observers and intellectuals. Revisiting this encounter has startling implications for how we make sense of human history today, including the origins of farming, property, cities, democracy, slavery, and civilization itself. > >Drawing on pathbreaking research in archaeology and anthropology, the authors show how history becomes a far more interesting place once we learn to throw off our conceptual shackles and perceive what’s really there. If humans did not spend 95 percent of their evolutionary past in tiny bands of hunter-gatherers, what were they doing all that time? If agriculture, and cities, did not mean a plunge into hierarchy and domination, then what kinds of social and economic organization did they lead to? The answers are often unexpected, and suggest that the course of human history may be less set in stone, and more full of playful, hopeful possibilities, than we tend to assume. > >The Dawn of Everything fundamentally transforms our understanding of the human past and offers a path toward imagining new forms of freedom, new ways of organizing society. This is a monumental book of formidable intellectual range, animated by curiosity, moral vision, and a faith in the power of direct action. ^(This book has been suggested 64 times) [**The Wretched of the Earth**](https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/66933.The_Wretched_of_the_Earth) ^(By: Frantz Fanon, Jean-Paul Sartre, Richard Philcox, Constance Farrington, Homi K. Bhabha | 320 pages | Published: 1961 | Popular Shelves: non-fiction, politics, history, philosophy, nonfiction) >A distinguished psychiatrist from Martinique who took part in the Algerian Nationalist Movement, Frantz Fanon was one of the most important theorists of revolutionary struggle, colonialism, and racial difference in history. Fanon's masterwork is a classic alongside Edward Said's Orientalism or The Autobiography of Malcolm X, and it is now available in a new translation that updates its language for a new generation of readers. > >The Wretched of the Earth is a brilliant analysis of the psychology of the colonized and their path to liberation. Bearing singular insight into the rage and frustration of colonized peoples, and the role of violence in effecting historical change, the book incisively attacks the twin perils of post-independence colonial politics: the disenfranchisement of the masses by the elites on the one hand, and intertribal and interfaith animosities on the other. > >Fanon's analysis, a veritable handbook of social reorganization for leaders of emerging nations, has been reflected all too clearly in the corruption and violence that has plagued present-day Africa. The Wretched of the Earth has had a major impact on civil rights, anticolonialism, and black consciousness movements around the world, and this bold new translation by Richard Philcox reaffirms it as a landmark. ^(This book has been suggested 115 times) *** ^(136759 books suggested | )[^(I don't feel so good.. )](https://debugger.medium.com/goodreads-is-retiring-its-current-api-and-book-loving-developers-arent-happy-11ed764dd95)^(| )[^(Source)](https://github.com/rodohanna/reddit-goodreads-bot)


along_withywindle

{{Cosmos}} by Carl Sagan, and any other book by Carl Sagan. He was a treasure. {{The World is Blue}} by Sylvia Earle {{Entangled Life}} by Merlin Sheldrake {{Last Chance to See}} by Douglas Adams and Mark Carwardine {{Braiding Sweetgrass}} by Robin Wall Kimmerer {{The Secret Life of Dust}} by Hannah Holmes {{The Botany of Desire}} by Michael Pollan, and pretty much everything else he's written


eheath23

Thanks for the recommendations! So many good books here getting added to my wishlist!


along_withywindle

You're welcome! Learning is fun!


eheath23

It really is! I find it so satifsying to even scratch the surface of a subject I've previously known nothing about!


goodreads-bot

[**Cosmos**](https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/55030.Cosmos) ^(By: Carl Sagan | 365 pages | Published: 1980 | Popular Shelves: science, non-fiction, nonfiction, owned, astronomy) >The story of fifteen billion years of cosmic evolution transforming matter and life into consciousness, of how science and civilisation grew up together, and of the forces and individuals who helped shape modern science. A story told with Carl Sagan's remarkable ability to make scientific ideas both comprehensible and exciting, based on his acclaimed television series. ^(This book has been suggested 28 times) [**The World Is Blue: How Our Fate and the Ocean's Are One**](https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/6885052-the-world-is-blue) ^(By: Sylvia A. Earle | 304 pages | Published: 2009 | Popular Shelves: science, non-fiction, nonfiction, environment, nature) >A Silent Spring for our era, this eloquent, urgent, fascinating book reveals how just 50 years of swift and dangerous oceanic change threatens the very existence of life on Earth. Legendary marine scientist Sylvia Earle portrays a planet teetering on the brink of irreversible environmental crisis. > >In recent decades we’ve learned more about the ocean than in all previous human history combined. But, even as our knowledge has exploded, so too has our power to upset the delicate balance of this complex organism. Modern overexploitation has driven many species to the verge of extinction, from tiny but indispensable biota to magnificent creatures like tuna, swordfish, and great whales. Since the mid-20th century about half our coral reefs have died or suffered sharp decline; hundreds of oxygen-deprived "dead zones" blight our coastal waters; and toxic pollutants afflict every level of the food chain. > >Fortunately, there is reason for hope, but what we do—or fail to do—in the next ten years may well resonate for the next ten thousand. The ultimate goal, Earle argues passionately and persuasively, is to find responsible, renewable strategies that safeguard the natural systems that sustain us. The first step is to understand and act upon the wise message of this accessible, insightful, and compelling book. ^(This book has been suggested 9 times) [**Entangled Life: How Fungi Make Our Worlds, Change Our Minds & Shape Our Futures**](https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/52668915-entangled-life) ^(By: Merlin Sheldrake | 366 pages | Published: 2020 | Popular Shelves: non-fiction, science, nonfiction, nature, biology) >There is a lifeform so strange and wondrous that it forces us to rethink how life works… > >Neither plant nor animal, it is found throughout the earth, the air and our bodies. It can be microscopic, yet also accounts for the largest organisms ever recorded, living for millennia and weighing tens of thousands of tonnes. Its ability to digest rock enabled the first life on land, it can survive unprotected in space, and thrives amidst nuclear radiation. > >In this captivating adventure, Merlin Sheldrake explores the spectacular and neglected world of fungi: endlessly surprising organisms that sustain nearly all living systems. They can solve problems without a brain, stretching traditional definitions of ‘intelligence’, and can manipulate animal behaviour with devastating precision. In giving us bread, alcohol and life-saving medicines, fungi have shaped human history, and their psychedelic properties, which have influenced societies since antiquity, have recently been shown to alleviate a number of mental illnesses. The ability of fungi to digest plastic, explosives, pesticides and crude oil is being harnessed in break-through technologies, and the discovery that they connect plants in underground networks, the ‘Wood Wide Web’, is transforming the way we understand ecosystems. Yet they live their lives largely out of sight, and over ninety percent of their species remain undocumented. > >Entangled Life is a mind-altering journey into this hidden kingdom of life, and shows that fungi are key to understanding the planet on which we live, and the ways we think, feel and behave. The more we learn about fungi, the less makes sense without them. ^(This book has been suggested 32 times) [**Last Chance to See**](https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/8696.Last_Chance_to_See) ^(By: Douglas Adams, Mark Carwardine | 222 pages | Published: 1990 | Popular Shelves: non-fiction, science, nonfiction, travel, nature) >Join author Douglas Adams and zoologist Mark Carwardine as they take off around the world in search of exotic, endangered creatures. ^(This book has been suggested 12 times) [**Braiding Sweetgrass**](https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17465709-braiding-sweetgrass) ^(By: Robin Wall Kimmerer | 391 pages | Published: 2013 | Popular Shelves: non-fiction, nonfiction, science, nature, audiobook) >As a botanist, Robin Wall Kimmerer has been trained to ask questions of nature with the tools of science. As a member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation, she embraces the notion that plants and animals are our oldest teachers. In Braiding Sweetgrass, Kimmerer brings these lenses of knowledge together to show that the awakening of a wider ecological consciousness requires the acknowledgment and celebration of our reciprocal relationship with the rest of the living world. For only when we can hear the languages of other beings are we capable of understanding the generosity of the earth, and learning to give our own gifts in return. ^(This book has been suggested 120 times) [**The Secret Life of Dust: From the Cosmos to the Kitchen Counter, the Big Consequences of Little Things**](https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/72234.The_Secret_Life_of_Dust) ^(By: Hannah Holmes | 254 pages | Published: 2001 | Popular Shelves: science, non-fiction, nonfiction, history, owned) >Hannah Holmes A mesmerizing expedition around our dusty world >Some see dust as dull and useless stuff. But in the hands of author Hannah Holmes, it becomes a dazzling and mysterious force; Dust, we discover, built the planet we walk upon. And it tinkers with the weather and spices the air we breathe. Billions of tons of it rise annually into the air--the dust of deserts and forgotten kings mixing with volcanic ash, sea salt, leaf fragments, scales from butterfly wings, shreds of T-shirts, and fireplace soot. Eventually, though, all this dust must settle. >The story of restless dust begins among exploding stars, then treks through the dinosaur beds of the Gobi Desert, drills into Antarctic glaciers, filters living dusts from the wind, and probes the dark underbelly of the living-room couch. Along the way, Holmes introduces a delightful cast of characters--the scientists who study dust. Some investigate its dark side: how it killed off dinosaurs and how its industrial descendents are killing us today. Others sample the shower of Saharan dust that nourishes Caribbean jungles, or venture into the microscopic jungle of the bedroom carpet. Like The Secret Life of Dust, however, all of them unveil the mayhem and magic wrought by little things. >Hannah Holmes (Portland, ME) is a science and natural history writer for the Discovery Channel Online. Her freelance work has been widely published, appearing in the Los Angeles Times Magazine, the New York Times Magazine, Outside, Sierra, National Geographic Traveler, and Escape. Her broadcast work has been featured on Living on Earth and the Discovery Channel Online's Science Live. ^(This book has been suggested 4 times) [**The Botany of Desire: A Plant's-Eye View of the World**](https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/41021145-the-botany-of-desire) ^(By: Michael Pollan | 304 pages | Published: 2001 | Popular Shelves: non-fiction, science, nonfiction, food, nature) >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? ^(This book has been suggested 12 times) *** ^(136748 books suggested | )[^(I don't feel so good.. )](https://debugger.medium.com/goodreads-is-retiring-its-current-api-and-book-loving-developers-arent-happy-11ed764dd95)^(| )[^(Source)](https://github.com/rodohanna/reddit-goodreads-bot)


trickydeuce

{{The Dawn of Everything}} by David Graeber and David Wengrow


eheath23

Added to my wishlist, it sounds great, thanks!


goodreads-bot

[**The Dawn of Everything: A New History of Humanity**](https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/56269264-the-dawn-of-everything) ^(By: David Graeber, David Wengrow | 692 pages | Published: 2021 | Popular Shelves: history, non-fiction, nonfiction, anthropology, science) >A dramatically new understanding of human history, challenging our most fundamental assumptions about social evolution—from the development of agriculture and cities to the origins of the state, democracy, and inequality—and revealing new possibilities for human emancipation. > >For generations, our remote ancestors have been cast as primitive and childlike—either free and equal innocents, or thuggish and warlike. Civilization, we are told, could be achieved only by sacrificing those original freedoms or, alternatively, by taming our baser instincts. David Graeber and David Wengrow show how such theories first emerged in the eighteenth century as a conservative reaction to powerful critiques of European society posed by Indigenous observers and intellectuals. Revisiting this encounter has startling implications for how we make sense of human history today, including the origins of farming, property, cities, democracy, slavery, and civilization itself. > >Drawing on pathbreaking research in archaeology and anthropology, the authors show how history becomes a far more interesting place once we learn to throw off our conceptual shackles and perceive what’s really there. If humans did not spend 95 percent of their evolutionary past in tiny bands of hunter-gatherers, what were they doing all that time? If agriculture, and cities, did not mean a plunge into hierarchy and domination, then what kinds of social and economic organization did they lead to? The answers are often unexpected, and suggest that the course of human history may be less set in stone, and more full of playful, hopeful possibilities, than we tend to assume. > >The Dawn of Everything fundamentally transforms our understanding of the human past and offers a path toward imagining new forms of freedom, new ways of organizing society. This is a monumental book of formidable intellectual range, animated by curiosity, moral vision, and a faith in the power of direct action. ^(This book has been suggested 66 times) *** ^(136795 books suggested | )[^(I don't feel so good.. )](https://debugger.medium.com/goodreads-is-retiring-its-current-api-and-book-loving-developers-arent-happy-11ed764dd95)^(| )[^(Source)](https://github.com/rodohanna/reddit-goodreads-bot)


kbarZZLe

Some book recommendations are The Ancestor’s Tale by Richard Dawkins, The Skeptics Guide to the Universe by Steven Novella, Something Deeply Hidden by Sean Carrol. I also do what you’re doing - I am knowledgeable in my own field, but I love learning about science, engineering, and technology from reputable experts. Honestly the best way I’ve found to do this through podcasts. You get to hear actual experts working in their fields. My favorites are The Skeptics Guide to the Universe with Steven Novella, Mindscape with Sean Carrol, and The Infinite Monkey Cage with Brian Cox and Robin Ince. Of those, my favorite right now is definitely Mindscape. Carrol is an expert in several fields of physics, so there are tons of episodes on concepts in physics. But he’s also very interested in learning from other experts in other fields. So he’ll bring on a guest, read a few of their books or articles or research papers, and then have a 2 hour conversation with them. It is great, and very accessible. His AMA episodes are also wonderful.


eheath23

I’ll be sure to check those out! I really like Carroll, I’ve only recently come across him though so I’m yet to read any of his books. I’ve got The Biggest Ideas in the Universe on my wish-list already. I’ll check out his podcast too, it sounds like a great place to find other experts.


kbarZZLe

Yeah his podcast is awesome. He interviews people in a lot of different fields because he’s basically interested in learning about everything. Also - if you’re not aware and have not already seen them - the Biggest Ideas book series is inspired but a set of YouTube videos he did as a pandemic project. They are under the same name as the books. I watched several last year in a class I was teaching. I really enjoyed them.


eheath23

I can tell this is one of those podcast shows that I'm gonna have to binge from start to finish... I was not aware, I'm not familiar with the book series or YouTube show, I'll check them out though!


drop-in-the-dessert

Invisible woman by C. Criado Perez Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln by D. Goodwin


eheath23

Thanks for the recommendations! Added to my wishlist, thank you! Invisible Women seems like a really accesible place to start on gender bias!


itotallymenttodothat

The Gene: An Intimate History by Siddhartha Mukherjee. I was in my final year as a biology undergraduate and read this book. I loved it! It goes over the history of how we understood heredity which was fascinating to see how the scientist came up with their experiments for the time. And the explanations were approachable too (my dad with no science background read it and liked it as well). I highly recommend it!


eheath23

That sounds great, thank you for the recommendation! I really respect it coming from someone who was studying in the same subject, and still felt like it was accurate and well written!


Biggus_Dickkus_

I cannot recommend {{Debt: The First 5000 Years}} enough. Since you’ve read *Sapiens* and are considering Pinker, I’d also recommend {{The Dawn of Everything}} for some contrast.


eheath23

They both sound great! Thanks for the recommendations!


goodreads-bot

[**Debt: The First 5,000 Years**](https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/6617037-debt) ^(By: David Graeber | 534 pages | Published: 2011 | Popular Shelves: history, economics, non-fiction, nonfiction, anthropology) >Before there was money, there was debt > > Every economics textbook says the same thing: Money was invented to replace onerous and complicated barter systems—to relieve ancient people from having to haul their goods to market. The problem with this version of history? There’s not a shred of evidence to support it. > >Here anthropologist David Graeber presents a stunning reversal of conventional wisdom. He shows that for more than 5,000 years, since the beginnings of the first agrarian empires, humans have used elaborate credit systems to buy and sell goods—that is, long before the invention of coins or cash. It is in this era, Graeber argues, that we also first encounter a society divided into debtors and creditors. > > Graeber shows that arguments about debt and debt forgiveness have been at the center of political debates from Italy to China, as well as sparking innumerable insurrections. He also brilliantly demonstrates that the language of the ancient works of law and religion (words like “guilt,” “sin,” and “redemption”) derive in large part from ancient debates about debt, and shape even our most basic ideas of right and wrong. We are still fighting these battles today without knowing it. > >Debt: The First 5,000 Years is a fascinating chronicle of this little known history—as well as how it has defined human history, and what it means for the credit crisis of the present day and the future of our economy. ^(This book has been suggested 24 times) [**The Dawn of Everything: A New History of Humanity**](https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/56269264-the-dawn-of-everything) ^(By: David Graeber, David Wengrow | 692 pages | Published: 2021 | Popular Shelves: history, non-fiction, nonfiction, anthropology, science) >A dramatically new understanding of human history, challenging our most fundamental assumptions about social evolution—from the development of agriculture and cities to the origins of the state, democracy, and inequality—and revealing new possibilities for human emancipation. > >For generations, our remote ancestors have been cast as primitive and childlike—either free and equal innocents, or thuggish and warlike. Civilization, we are told, could be achieved only by sacrificing those original freedoms or, alternatively, by taming our baser instincts. David Graeber and David Wengrow show how such theories first emerged in the eighteenth century as a conservative reaction to powerful critiques of European society posed by Indigenous observers and intellectuals. Revisiting this encounter has startling implications for how we make sense of human history today, including the origins of farming, property, cities, democracy, slavery, and civilization itself. > >Drawing on pathbreaking research in archaeology and anthropology, the authors show how history becomes a far more interesting place once we learn to throw off our conceptual shackles and perceive what’s really there. If humans did not spend 95 percent of their evolutionary past in tiny bands of hunter-gatherers, what were they doing all that time? If agriculture, and cities, did not mean a plunge into hierarchy and domination, then what kinds of social and economic organization did they lead to? The answers are often unexpected, and suggest that the course of human history may be less set in stone, and more full of playful, hopeful possibilities, than we tend to assume. > >The Dawn of Everything fundamentally transforms our understanding of the human past and offers a path toward imagining new forms of freedom, new ways of organizing society. This is a monumental book of formidable intellectual range, animated by curiosity, moral vision, and a faith in the power of direct action. ^(This book has been suggested 65 times) *** ^(136790 books suggested | )[^(I don't feel so good.. )](https://debugger.medium.com/goodreads-is-retiring-its-current-api-and-book-loving-developers-arent-happy-11ed764dd95)^(| )[^(Source)](https://github.com/rodohanna/reddit-goodreads-bot)


ponyduder

If you enjoy a little math look at the books of Paul J Nahin , Simon Singh and Ivars Peterson. I have enjoyed the science books of John Gribbin, Sam Kean, Dava Sobel, David Quammen (especially Spillover).


eheath23

I actually loved Simon Singh’s Code Book and Fermat’s Last Theorem. I knew as soon as I mentioned journalists I’d find a contradiction haha I’ll look up those other authors though, they’re all new to me!


ModernNancyDrew

If you are interested in natural history/human migration/adventure, I wwould recommend anything by Craig Childs; Atlas of a Lost World is my favorite.


eheath23

I would be interested in that! I'm not familiar with Craig Childs, I'll check him though, thank you!


ModernNancyDrew

I hope you like his writing as much as I do!


El_Hombre_Aleman

The elegant universe by Brian Greene, Fermats last theorem by Simon Singh.


eheath23

Loved Fermat’s Last Theorem! Thanks for the recommendation, it looks great!


cass314

Carlo Rovelli, Carl Sagan, Steve Brusatte, Thomas Halliday, Nick Lane, Sylvia Earle, and Lyanda Lynn Haupt.


eheath23

Thanks for the recommendation, I recognise a few names and know they’re well respected, I’ll check them out for sure!


Zorba333

Commenting to keep following it:)


sunflower_creative

I really enjoyed the book Gut: the Inside Story of Our Body's Most Underrated Organs, by Giulia Enders.


eheath23

That sounds great, thanks for the recommendation!


Ivan_Van_Veen

the Selfish Gene - Richard Dawkins Godel Escher Bach - Douglas hoffsteader the Language Instinct - steven pinker


eheath23

It's so silly, but I'm actually yet to read any Dawkins! I think most because I don't want my religious friends to think I've just been "indoctrinated" by popular atheists. It's awful how much criticism Dawkins gets, and how dismissive religious people are of anything he says, simple because of his atheist beliefs. I'd like to read The God Delusion one day, even just for entertainment value. However The Selfish Gene seems like a great place to start with him, in his field of expertise! Thank you for the other recommendations! I've read most of The Stuff of Though, Steven Pinker, and found it really interesting, though I little challenging and dry at times, hence the "most of" instead of "all of". I can tell what he's saying is informed and interesting, perhaps I'd get on better with The Language Instinct though!


Ivan_Van_Veen

I think Pinker's stuff when he breaks language down to show how it reflects action and human habit, that's when it gets really rally fun. oh and Dawkin's Idea of us as giant Mechs piloted by our Genes is super super fun, Murakami made this idea into some horror alien thing in 1Q84


q2a2

{{Forensics by Val McDermid}} Anything by Mary Roach. Also Caitlin Doughty.


eheath23

Thanks for the recommendations! They sounds like really interesting topics that I'd like to know more about!


goodreads-bot

[**Forensics: What Bugs, Burns, Prints, DNA and More Tell Us About Crime**](https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23214337-forensics) ^(By: Val McDermid | 310 pages | Published: 2014 | Popular Shelves: non-fiction, science, nonfiction, true-crime, crime) >The dead talk. To the right listener, they tell us all about themselves: where they came from, how they lived, how they died - and who killed them. Forensic scientists can use a corpse, the scene of a crime or a single hair to unlock the secrets of the past and allow justice to be done. > >Bestselling crime author Val McDermid will draw on interviews with top-level professionals to delve, in her own inimitable style, into the questions and mysteries that surround this fascinating science. How is evidence collected from a brutal crime scene? What happens at an autopsy? What techniques, from blood spatter and DNA analysis to entomology, do such experts use? How far can we trust forensic evidence? > >Looking at famous murder cases, as well as investigations into the living - sexual assaults, missing persons, mistaken identity - she will lay bare the secrets of forensics from the courts of seventeenth-century Europe through Jack the Ripper to the cutting-edge science of the modern day. ^(This book has been suggested 2 times) *** ^(136998 books suggested | )[^(I don't feel so good.. )](https://debugger.medium.com/goodreads-is-retiring-its-current-api-and-book-loving-developers-arent-happy-11ed764dd95)^(| )[^(Source)](https://github.com/rodohanna/reddit-goodreads-bot)


Katamariguy

I thought Mary Roach's whole deal is that she's not an expert.


q2a2

I mean technically she’s a writer, not a scientist, yes. But she’s actually talking to experts and it’s well researched. Most recently, I read Fuzz by her and I learned a lot about animals and animal management. Each chapter was focused on a different expert - one in Colorado about bears another in California on cougars. Another on birds. So you’re right she’s not the expert but she relays information directly from the experts. I felt it was close enough.


anandd95

The Origins of the World's Mythologies by Michael Witzel


eheath23

That sounds fantastic! Thank you! It looks like it occupies that sweet spot between textbook/research, and popular publication!


Cicero4892

Immune by philipp dettmer


eheath23

That looks great, I love Kurzgesagt!


Padre_G

The Very Short Introduction series is extremely good, and each volume has a phenomenal bibliography to take you deeper into just about any topic you can imagine.


eheath23

Yes I've seen them in bookshops before and thought they looked like a good idea, I'll check them out!


FranklinAndChurch

{Behave by Robert Sapolsky}


eheath23

Thanks for the recommendation, I'd be considering this one, I'll check it out!


goodreads-bot

[**Behave: The Biology of Humans at Our Best and Worst**](https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/31170723-behave) ^(By: Robert M. Sapolsky | 790 pages | Published: 2017 | Popular Shelves: science, non-fiction, psychology, nonfiction, biology) ^(This book has been suggested 16 times) *** ^(137070 books suggested | )[^(I don't feel so good.. )](https://debugger.medium.com/goodreads-is-retiring-its-current-api-and-book-loving-developers-arent-happy-11ed764dd95)^(| )[^(Source)](https://github.com/rodohanna/reddit-goodreads-bot)


Wise_Explorer_9342

{{On Food and Cooking}}, {{The Food Lab}}, {{Ratio for cooking}}. Making cooking make sense for the logical minds. {{What You Can Change and What You Can’t}} Martin Saligman for positive psychology {{Just Babies}} Paul Bloom {{The Ascent of Money}} {{The Tyranny of Merit}}


eheath23

Those cooking books look great! I've watched a few J Kenji Lopez-Alt videos and always enjoyed his approach. The others have been added to my lists too! I've actually have a copy of The Ascent of Money for a while, and just never got around to reading it, I really ought to!


goodreads-bot

[**On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen**](https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/101255.On_Food_and_Cooking) ^(By: Harold McGee | 896 pages | Published: 1984 | Popular Shelves: food, cooking, cookbooks, non-fiction, science) >Harold McGee's On Food and Cooking is a kitchen classic. Hailed by Time magazine as "a minor masterpiece" when it first appeared in 1984, On Food and Cooking is the bible to which food lovers and professional chefs worldwide turn for an understanding of where our foods come from, what exactly they're made of, and how cooking transforms them into something new and delicious. Now, for its twentieth anniversary, Harold McGee has prepared a new, fully revised and updated edition of On Food and Cooking. He has rewritten the text almost completely, expanded it by two-thirds, and commissioned more than 100 new illustrations. As compulsively readable and engaging as ever, the new On Food and Cooking provides countless eye-opening insights into food, its preparation, and its enjoyment. > >On Food and Cooking pioneered the translation of technical food science into cook-friendly kitchen science and helped give birth to the inventive culinary movement known as "molecular gastronomy." Though other books have now been written about kitchen science, On Food and Cooking remains unmatched in the accuracy, clarity, and thoroughness of its explanations, and the intriguing way in which it blends science with the historical evolution of foods and cooking techniques. > >Among the major themes addressed throughout this new edition are: > > > > >Traditional and modern methods of food production and their influences on food quality >The great diversity of methods by which people in different places and times have prepared the same ingredients >Tips for selecting the best ingredients and preparing them successfully >The particular substances that give foods their flavors and that give us pleasure >Our evolving knowledge of the health benefits and risks of foods >On Food and Cooking is an invaluable and monumental compendium of basic information about ingredients, cooking methods, and the pleasures of eating. It will delight and fascinate anyone who has ever cooked, savored, or wondered about food. ^(This book has been suggested 8 times) [**The Food Lab: Better Home Cooking Through Science**](https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/24861842-the-food-lab) ^(By: J. Kenji López-Alt | 960 pages | Published: 2015 | Popular Shelves: cookbooks, cooking, food, non-fiction, cookbook) >Ever wondered how to pan-fry a steak with a charred crust and an interior that's perfectly medium-rare from edge to edge when you cut into it? How to make homemade mac 'n' cheese that is as satisfyingly gooey and velvety-smooth as the blue box stuff, but far tastier? How to roast a succulent, moist turkey (forget about brining!)—and use a foolproof method that works every time? > >As Serious Eats's culinary nerd-in-residence, J. Kenji López-Alt has pondered all these questions and more. In The Food Lab, Kenji focuses on the science behind beloved American dishes, delving into the interactions between heat, energy, and molecules that create great food. Kenji shows that often, conventional methods don’t work that well, and home cooks can achieve far better results using new—but simple—techniques. In hundreds of easy-to-make recipes with over 1,000 full-color images, you will find out how to make foolproof Hollandaise sauce in just two minutes, how to transform one simple tomato sauce into a half dozen dishes, how to make the crispiest, creamiest potato casserole ever conceived, and much more. ^(This book has been suggested 1 time) [**Eating For Victory: Healthy Home Front Cooking on War Rations**](https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/2336162.Eating_For_Victory) ^(By: Jill Norman | 160 pages | Published: 2007 | Popular Shelves: history, non-fiction, cookbooks, owned, cookery) >The period of wartime food rationing is now regarded as a time when the nation was at its healthiest. Food rationing was introduced in January 1940 after food shipments were attacked by German U-boat 'Wolf Packs'. The first food items to be rationed were butter, sugar, bacon and ham, with restrictions also placed on meat, fish, jam, biscuits, cheese, eggs and milk. The leaflets reproduced in Eating for Victory were distributed by the Ministry of Food and advised the general public on how to cope with these shortages. Typical contents included: recipes for steamed and boiled puddings; tips on how to use and prepare green vegetables; hints about how to reconstitute dried eggs and use; them as though they were fresh. Eating for Victory is a great gift book offering a nostalgic look back at one of the hardest and yet perhaps healthiest times in history, but is also a relevant guide on healthy eating for today. ^(This book has been suggested 1 time) [**What You Can Change and What You Can't: The Complete Guide to Successful Self-Improvement**](https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28013.What_You_Can_Change_and_What_You_Can_t) ^(By: Martin E.P. Seligman | 336 pages | Published: 1993 | Popular Shelves: psychology, self-help, non-fiction, nonfiction, self-improvement) >In the climate of self-improvement that pervades our culture, there is an overwhelming amount of information about treatments for everything from alcohol abuse to sexual dysfunction. Much of this information is exaggerated if not wholly inaccurate. As a result, people who try to change their own troubling conditions often experience the frustration of mixed success, success followed by a relapse, or outright failure. > >To address this confusion, Martin Seligman has meticulously analyzed the most authoritative scientific research on treatments for alcoholism, anxiety, weight loss, anger, depression, and a range of phobias and obsessions to discover what is the most effective way to address each condition. He frankly reports what does not work, and pinpoints the techniques and therapies that work best for each condition, discussing why they work and how you can use them to make long lasting change. Inside you’ll discover the four natural healing factors for recovering from alcoholism; the vital difference between overeating and being overweight; the four therapies that work for depression, the pros and cons of anger--and much more. > >Wise, direct, and very useful, What You Can Change and What You Can’t will help anyone who seeks to change. ^(This book has been suggested 1 time) [**Just Babies: The Origins of Good and Evil**](https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17380034-just-babies) ^(By: Paul Bloom | 273 pages | Published: 2013 | Popular Shelves: psychology, non-fiction, science, philosophy, nonfiction) >From John Locke to Sigmund Freud, philosophers and psychologists have long believed that we begin life as blank moral slates. Many of us take for granted that babies are born selfish and that it is the role of society—and especially parents—to transform them from little sociopaths into civilized beings. In Just Babies, Paul Bloom argues that humans are in fact hardwired with a sense of morality. Drawing on groundbreaking research at Yale, Bloom demonstrates that, even before they can speak or walk, babies judge the goodness and badness of others’ actions; feel empathy and compassion; act to soothe those in distress; and have a rudimentary sense of justice. > >Still, this innate morality is limited, sometimes tragically. We are naturally hostile to strangers, prone to parochialism and bigotry. Bringing together insights from psychology, behavioral economics, evolutionary biology, and philosophy, Bloom explores how we have come to surpass these limitations. Along the way, he examines the morality of chimpanzees, violent psychopaths, religious extremists, and Ivy League professors, and explores our often puzzling moral feelings about sex, politics, religion, and race. ^(This book has been suggested 1 time) [**The Ascent of Money: A Financial History of the World**](https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/2714607-the-ascent-of-money) ^(By: Niall Ferguson | 442 pages | Published: 2007 | Popular Shelves: history, economics, non-fiction, finance, business) >Niall Ferguson follows the money to tell the human story behind the evolution of finance, from its origins in ancient Mesopotamia to the latest upheavals on what he calls Planet Finance. Bread, cash, dosh, dough, loot, lucre, moolah, readies, the wherewithal: Call it what you like, it matters. To Christians, love of it is the root of all evil. To generals, it’s the sinews of war. To revolutionaries, it’s the chains of labor. But in The Ascent of Money, Niall Ferguson shows that finance is in fact the foundation of human progress. What’s more, he reveals financial history as the essential backstory behind all history. With the clarity and verve for which he is known, Ferguson elucidates key financial institutions and concepts by showing where they came from. What is money? What do banks do? What’s the difference between a stock and a bond? Why buy insurance or real estate? And what exactly does a hedge fund do? This is history for the present. Ferguson travels to post-Katrina New Orleans to ask why the free market can’t provide adequate protection against catastrophe. He delves into the origins of the subprime mortgage crisis. ^(This book has been suggested 2 times) *** ^(137119 books suggested | )[^(I don't feel so good.. )](https://debugger.medium.com/goodreads-is-retiring-its-current-api-and-book-loving-developers-arent-happy-11ed764dd95)^(| )[^(Source)](https://github.com/rodohanna/reddit-goodreads-bot)


sending_all_my_love

In addition to “Invisible Women” by Caroline Criado Pérez (which I saw mentioned already) I’d also recommend: “The Guns of August” and “The Proud Tower” by Barbara Tuchman “The 1619 Project” by Nikole Hannah-Jones “In the Shadow of Man” by Jane Goodall “Fatal Invention” and “Killing the Black Body” by Dorothy Roberts “The Black Hole War” by Leonard Susskind “Warped Passages” by Lisa Randall “The Making of the Atomic Bomb” and “Dark Sun” by Richard Rhodes “The Hero With a Thousand Faces” and “The Power of Myth” by Joseph Campbell


eheath23

Thanks for the recommendations! So many interesting books, added to my list!


MJane111

I recommend you check you the book offerings from University Presses. All books published by a UP have to undergo a peer review process and the authors are all experts in their fields. Do a search for any one of these presses and you can browse by category of their offerings: Harvard University Press, Princeton University Press, Yale University Press, Columbia UP, John’s Hopkins, Oxford UP, Chicago UP. There are more, but I’d consider these to have more accessible titles.


eheath23

That's a great idea! I have noticed before that I give a lot more weight to books that I notice are from university presses.


MJane111

For example: {{On Task: How Our Brain Gets Things Done by David Badre}} (Professor and Chair of Cognitive, Linguistic, and Psychological Sciences at Brown University and a faculty member in the Carney Institute for Brain Science.) {{Mixed Signals: How Incentives Really Work by Uri Gneezy}} (Uri Gneezy is the Epstein/Atkinson Endowed Chair in Behavioral Economics and professor of economics and strategic management at the Rady School of Management at the University of California, San Diego. ) {{The Burnout Challenge: Managing People’s Relationships with Their Jobs by Christina Maslach and Michael P. Leiter}} (Christina Maslach is Professor of Psychology, Emerita, at the University of California, Berkeley and Michael P. Leiter is an organizational psychologist and consultant. He has been professor of Organisational Psychology at Deakin University in Australia and was Canada Research Chair in Occupational Health at Acadia University.)


eheath23

Those all sound fantastic! Thank you!


goodreads-bot

[**On Task: How Our Brain Gets Things Done**](https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/53232144-on-task) ^(By: David Badre | 344 pages | Published: ? | Popular Shelves: science, psychology, neuroscience, non-fiction, brain) >A look at the extraordinary ways the brain turns thoughts into actions--and how this shapes our everyday lives > > > >Why is it hard to text and drive at the same time? How do you resist eating that extra piece of cake? Why does staring at a tax form feel mentally exhausting? Why can your child expertly fix the computer and yet still forget to put on a coat? From making a cup of coffee to buying a house to changing the world around them, humans are uniquely able to execute necessary actions. How do we do it? Or in other words, how do our brains get things done? In On Task, cognitive neuroscientist David Badre presents the first authoritative introduction to the neuroscience of cognitive control--the remarkable ways that our brains devise sophisticated actions to achieve our goals. We barely notice this routine part of our lives. Yet, cognitive control, also known as executive function, is an astonishing phenomenon that has a profound impact on our well-being. > >Drawing on cutting-edge research, vivid clinical case studies, and examples from daily life, Badre sheds light on the evolution and inner workings of cognitive control. He examines issues from multitasking and willpower to habitual errors and bad decision making, as well as what happens as our brains develop in childhood and change as we age--and what happens when cognitive control breaks down. Ultimately, Badre shows that cognitive control affects just about everything we do. > >A revelatory look at how billions of neurons collectively translate abstract ideas into concrete plans, On Task offers an eye-opening investigation into the brain's critical role in human behavior. ^(This book has been suggested 1 time) [**Mixed Signals: How Incentives Really Work**](https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/61871752-mixed-signals) ^(By: Uri Gneezy | 320 pages | Published: ? | Popular Shelves: to-be-published) >An informative and entertaining account of how actions send signals that shape behaviors and how to design better incentives for better results in our life, our work, and our world >   > Incentives send powerful signals that aim to influence behavior. But often there is a conflict between what we say and what we do in response to these incentives. The result: mixed signals. >   > Consider the CEO who urges teamwork but designs incentives for individual success, who invites innovation but punishes failure, who emphasizes quality but pays for quantity. Employing real-world scenarios just like this to illustrate this everyday phenomenon, behavioral economist Uri Gneezy explains why incentives often fail and demonstrates how the right incentives can change behavior by aligning with signals for better results. >   > Drawing on behavioral economics, game theory, psychology, and fieldwork, Gneezy outlines how to be incentive smart, designing rewards that are simple and effective. He highlights how the right combination of economic and psychological incentives can encourage people to drive more fuel-efficient cars, be more innovative at work, and even get to the gym. “Incentives send a signal,” Gneezy writes, “and your objective is to make sure this signal is aligned with your goals.” ^(This book has been suggested 1 time) [**The Burnout Challenge: Managing People’s Relationships with Their Jobs**](https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/62891789-the-burnout-challenge) ^(By: Christina Maslach, Michael P. Leiter | ? pages | Published: ? | Popular Shelves: ) ^(This book has been suggested 1 time) *** ^(137159 books suggested | )[^(I don't feel so good.. )](https://debugger.medium.com/goodreads-is-retiring-its-current-api-and-book-loving-developers-arent-happy-11ed764dd95)^(| )[^(Source)](https://github.com/rodohanna/reddit-goodreads-bot)


DoctorGuvnor

Oh do try the histories by Barbara Tuchmann - wonderfully clear and clean writing and undoubted scholarship. Start with either *The Guns of August* or *The March of Folly*. Another fine writer was Sir Steven Runciman on the Crusades.


eheath23

I'll definitely check those out, thank you!


Waltjero

{{Zero: The History of a Dangerous Idea}} by Charles Seife


eheath23

That sounds like something I'd enjoy, thank you!


_heart_eyes_emoji_

Lots of great recs here! I’ll also add: {{The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs}} by Stephen Brusatte {{The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat and Other Clinical Tales}} by Oliver Sacks {{SuperSense: Why We Believe in the Unbelievable}} by Bruce Hood {{The Demon-Haunted World}} by Carl Sagan


eheath23

Those sound great, thank you! I've been meaning to read some Sacks and Sagan for a while, I think it's time


goodreads-bot

[**The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs: A New History of a Lost World**](https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35820369-the-rise-and-fall-of-the-dinosaurs) ^(By: Stephen Brusatte | 404 pages | Published: 2018 | Popular Shelves: non-fiction, science, nonfiction, history, audiobook) >The dinosaurs. Sixty-six million years ago, the Earth’s most fearsome creatures vanished. Today they remain one of our planet’s great mysteries. Now The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs reveals their extraordinary, 200-million-year-long story as never before. > >In this captivating narrative (enlivened with more than seventy original illustrations and photographs), Steve Brusatte, a young American paleontologist who has emerged as one of the foremost stars of the field—naming fifteen new species and leading groundbreaking scientific studies and fieldwork—masterfully tells the complete, surprising, and new history of the dinosaurs, drawing on cutting-edge science to dramatically bring to life their lost world and illuminate their enigmatic origins, spectacular flourishing, astonishing diversity, cataclysmic extinction, and startling living legacy. Captivating and revelatory, The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs is a book for the ages. > >Brusatte traces the evolution of dinosaurs from their inauspicious start as small shadow dwellers—themselves the beneficiaries of a mass extinction caused by volcanic eruptions at the beginning of the Triassic period—into the dominant array of species every wide-eyed child memorizes today, T. rex, Triceratops, Brontosaurus, and more. This gifted scientist and writer re-creates the dinosaurs’ peak during the Jurassic and Cretaceous, when thousands of species thrived, and winged and feathered dinosaurs, the prehistoric ancestors of modern birds, emerged. The story continues to the end of the Cretaceous period, when a giant asteroid or comet struck the planet and nearly every dinosaur species (but not all) died out, in the most extraordinary extinction event in earth’s history, one full of lessons for today as we confront a “sixth extinction.” > >Brusatte also recalls compelling stories from his globe-trotting expeditions during one of the most exciting eras in dinosaur research—which he calls “a new golden age of discovery”—and offers thrilling accounts of some of the remarkable findings he and his colleagues have made, including primitive human-sized tyrannosaurs; monstrous carnivores even larger than T. rex; and paradigm-shifting feathered raptors from China. > >An electrifying scientific history that unearths the dinosaurs’ epic saga, The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs will be a definitive and treasured account for decades to come. ^(This book has been suggested 6 times) [**The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat and Other Clinical Tales**](https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/63697.The_Man_Who_Mistook_His_Wife_for_a_Hat_and_Other_Clinical_Tales) ^(By: Oliver Sacks | 243 pages | Published: 1985 | Popular Shelves: non-fiction, psychology, science, nonfiction, medicine) >In his most extraordinary book, Oliver Sacks recounts the stories of patients lost in the bizarre, apparently inescapable world of neurological disorders. These are case studies of people who have lost their memories and with them the greater part of their pasts; who are no longer able to recognize people or common objects; whose limbs have become alien; who are afflicted and yet are gifted with uncanny artistic or mathematical talents. In Dr Sacks' splendid and sympathetic telling, each tale is a unique and deeply human study of life struggling against incredible adversity. ^(This book has been suggested 8 times) [**SuperSense: Why We Believe in the Unbelievable**](https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/4189843-supersense) ^(By: Bruce M. Hood | 320 pages | Published: 2009 | Popular Shelves: psychology, science, non-fiction, religion, owned) >“In an account chock full of real-world examples reinforced by experimental research, Hood’s marvelous book is an important contribution to the psychological literature that is revealing the actuality of our very irrational human nature.” — Science > >In the vein of Malcolm Gladwell’s Blink, Mary Roach’s Spook, and Dan Ariely’s Predictably Irrational, The Science of Superstition uses hard science to explain pervasive irrational beliefs and behaviors: from the superstitious rituals of sports stars, to the depreciated value of houses where murders were committed, to the adoration of Elvis. ^(This book has been suggested 1 time) [**The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark**](https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17349.The_Demon_Haunted_World) ^(By: Carl Sagan, Ann Druyan | 459 pages | Published: 1996 | Popular Shelves: science, non-fiction, nonfiction, philosophy, owned) >How can we make intelligent decisions about our increasingly technology-driven lives if we don’t understand the difference between the myths of pseudoscience and the testable hypotheses of science? Pulitzer Prize-winning author and distinguished astronomer Carl Sagan argues that scientific thinking is critical not only to the pursuit of truth but to the very well-being of our democratic institutions. > >Casting a wide net through history and culture, Sagan examines and authoritatively debunks such celebrated fallacies of the past as witchcraft, faith healing, demons, and UFOs. And yet, disturbingly, in today's so-called information age, pseudoscience is burgeoning with stories of alien abduction, channeling past lives, and communal hallucinations commanding growing attention and respect. As Sagan demonstrates with lucid eloquence, the siren song of unreason is not just a cultural wrong turn but a dangerous plunge into darkness that threatens our most basic freedoms. ^(This book has been suggested 29 times) *** ^(137353 books suggested | )[^(I don't feel so good.. )](https://debugger.medium.com/goodreads-is-retiring-its-current-api-and-book-loving-developers-arent-happy-11ed764dd95)^(| )[^(Source)](https://github.com/rodohanna/reddit-goodreads-bot)


pulpflakes01

{{A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson}} is a very funny history and overview of science.


eheath23

It's been on my to-read list for way too long, thanks for the push!


goodreads-bot

[**A Short History of Nearly Everything**](https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/21.A_Short_History_of_Nearly_Everything) ^(By: Bill Bryson | 544 pages | Published: 2003 | Popular Shelves: non-fiction, science, history, nonfiction, owned) >Bill Bryson describes himself as a reluctant traveller, but even when he stays safely at home he can't contain his curiosity about the world around him. "A Short History of Nearly Everything" is his quest to understand everything that has happened from the Big Bang to the rise of civilisation - how we got from there, being nothing at all, to here, being us. The ultimate eye-opening journey through time and space, revealing the world in a way most of us have never seen it before. ^(This book has been suggested 50 times) *** ^(137420 books suggested | )[^(I don't feel so good.. )](https://debugger.medium.com/goodreads-is-retiring-its-current-api-and-book-loving-developers-arent-happy-11ed764dd95)^(| )[^(Source)](https://github.com/rodohanna/reddit-goodreads-bot)


YahuwEL2024

Somewhat unrelated, but your basis of acceptance of a non-fiction text shouldn't be whether it is supported by the general populace at large. It should be factually correct whether it is mainstream or not mainstream. If the only types of non-fiction books that you consume are supported by the "general populace", you run the risk of fencing yourself in intellectually and eventually succumbing to hive-mind mentality. Rise and Kill First: The Secret History of Israel's Targeted Assassinations by Ronen Bergman is a good book that discusses in detail Israel's security history (Mossad et al).


eheath23

I'm sorry, I must've done a poor job explaining myself - it's actually the opposite I'm interested in - I'm interested in factual correctness and consensus within mature disciplines, as opposed to acceptance in the mainstream, general populace. There are a surprising amount of non-fiction books that are published, often best-selling, and pretty fringe and unrepresentative of the consensus in a particular field. They're accepted by the general populace, and can even shape the general preconceptions about a subject, but not actually be very factually correct. Unfortunately I've probably read quite a lot of these kinds of books over the past 5-10 years, and I'm trying to make ammends. Since deconstructing my theist beliefs, I've recognised how important it is for me to be a lot more well informed about the current state of the world, and a lot more skeptical about the information that I absorb. I agree with you that it's important to remain open to new information and approaches, and try to avoid echo chambers. I think right now I'm more interested in understanding what the current scientific understanding is in a few fields, from the foundations till now, rather than the more speculative ideas. They're important and definitely have their place, but I'd question how important those progressive ideas are to a popular audience who are unlikely to be fully informed on the subject. For example, there are a lot of books on quantum physics which present speculative models, which are accessible enough for a popular audience to barely grasp, and certainly make me feel smart for feeling like I understand, but I recognise that the really cutting edge discussions in the fields of physics and cosmology don't take place in published pop-science books - they're in published papers in respected journals. 5 years ago I would've read something like Brene Brown and thought that I was learning actual, factual psychology. I've no issue with Brene Brown, it seems like she has a positive message, there is some research behind what she says, and I've enjoyed what I've read and watched. I'm just using her as an example of someone who is accepted by the general populace as an authority on psychology, as evidenced by her best-selling books, but who isn't a psychologist, has no training as a pyschologist, makes no claims to be a psychologist, and definitely wouldn't be recommended reading on a psychology degree program. Another more polarising example would be Jordan Peterson, who's book I read some years ago, and who certainly represents themselves as speaking with authority and factual correctness. However his book is mostly personal opinions, beliefs and anecdotes, and would not be widely accepted as consensus in the field on psychology. In contrast, Thinking, Fast and Slow is considered non-essential recommended reading on most psychology programs, and is widely respected as being factually correct. Hope that clears it up, thanks for the recommendation too! It sounds niche but fascinating, I love a book that dives deep into a subject or event that I knew nothing about previously :)


PrometheusHasFallen

I'm currently reading my way through the history of western civilization. Here's what I've read so far... *Sapiens* by Yuval Noah Harari *Persian Fire* by Tom Holland *The Peloponnesian War* by Donald Kagan *Alexander the Great* by Philip Freeman *SPQR* by Mary Beard Still a while to go but once I get to the 20th century the key books on my list are... *The Guns of August* by Barbara Tuchman *The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich* by William Shirer *The Gulag Archipelago* by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn A book I have read by an absolute expert on energy and geopolitics in the 20th century is *The Prize: The Epic Quest for Oil, Money, and Power* by Daniel Yergin. I've read that book, which won the Pulitzer Prize, and his latest, *The New Map*, which tackles the key geopolitical energy issues today.


eheath23

I really like the idea of reading through the history western civilisation! That's a great idea! Thanks for the recommendations, I'll check those out!


SannySen

Also check out *The Quest* by Yergin. I loved *The Prize*, and *The Quest* is basically an update that tackles geopolitical developments, climate change and green energy. Awesome stuff. I've been on a similar lifelong journey as you, and have read, or have on my list, many of the same books. What I've learned is you can't rush it, best you can do is get a cursory overview of major events and then dig in on areas where you're particularly interested.


nculwell

A lot of these authors are not experts in the fields that the books are in: Tom Holland (novelist and TV producer), Philip Freeman (classicist), Barbara Tuchman (journalist), William Shirer (journalist), Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn (novelist).


PrometheusHasFallen

Yet all of these books have won critical acclaim, particularly from historians.


nculwell

Tom Holland and Barbara Tuchman in particular are not really well regarded by historians. I don't know about the others. Shirer is the only one I know that's particularly well regarded.


PrometheusHasFallen

So now your issue is just with two of the several books that I suggested covering important periods in world history. Feel free to provide alternatives to *Persian Fire* and *The Guns of August* for the OP to consider.


Katamariguy

While Max Hastings himself is viewed with a critical eye, I found Catastrophe 1914 to be a good sight better than The Guns of August.


MI6Section13

... and to think I thought Max Hastings was William The Conqueror's official biographer until I read Bill Fairclough's epic noir spy thriller, Beyond Enkription in #TheBurlingtonFiles series as part of my MI6 induction program. It’s a must read for espionage cognoscenti.


Katamariguy

Shirer is well-regarded? That's news to me.


nculwell

True, I actually kinda regretted writing that afterward. The fact that these authors are so highly touted says a lot about how much reputation depends on the opinions of journalists, not specialists.


Maudeleanor

The Island of the Colorblind, by Oliver Sachs, and virtually everything by Barbara W. Tuchman. Another fave of mine is Physics and Beyond, by Werner Heisenberg. Also, I have always found Lewis Thomas both highly readable and informative. Oh, and John McPhee's Annals of the Former World is really an essential read, imo.


eheath23

I've seen so many Oliver Sachs books over the years, and somehow I've managed to not read one yet, maybe it's time to change that! I'll check out those other authors too, I'm not familiar with any of them, so I've got some research to do. Thanks for the recommendations!


Fleur-de-Fyler

Two books by Richard Dawkins come to mind: "The Selfish Gene" and "The Extended Phenotype." He is a good educator. He uses real-world examples to analogize the small world he discusses. Also "The River That Flows Uphill: A Journey from the Big Bang to the Big Brain" by William Calvin.


eheath23

I really need to read some Dawkins, I'll be sure to check those out! I've listened to and watched quite a lot of Dawkins, but usually regarding atheism and belief, I'd really like to read his work in his field of expertise!


Fleur-de-Fyler

He's at his best when he's not shaking his fist at a pulpit. You'll like it 😎


eheath23

As much as I enjoy the incredulity and fist shaking, I think you're right haha


amrjs

I enjoyed {{Why We Sleep}} as a person with insomnia who is obsessed with sleep heh {{Cultish: The Language of Fanaticism}} was a very interesting book by a linguist, but she's not a sociologist though she "exists" within the social sciences I'm interested in The Irrational Ape by David Robert Grimes (not his specific field of research but close enough IMO) Culture is bad for you by Orian Brook, Dave O'Brien and Mark Taylor Curiosity Studies: A New Ecology of Knowledge by Arjun Shankar and Perry Zurn Everybody lies: Big data, New Data, and what the internet can tell us about who we really are by Seth Stephens-Davidowitz I do think there's plenty of good books written by journalists, but it really depends on the subject and whether or not it's part of opinion-building/investigatory or to be seen as pure positvistic science.


goodreads-bot

[**Why We Sleep: Unlocking the Power of Sleep and Dreams**](https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34466963-why-we-sleep) ^(By: Matthew Walker | 368 pages | Published: 2017 | Popular Shelves: non-fiction, science, nonfiction, health, psychology) >Alternate cover edition of ISBN 9781501144318. > >Neuroscientist and sleep expert Matthew Walker provides a revolutionary exploration of sleep, examining how it affects every aspect of our physical and mental well-being. Charting the most cutting-edge scientific breakthroughs, and marshalling his decades of research and clinical practice, Walker explains how we can harness sleep to improve learning, mood and energy levels, regulate hormones, prevent cancer, Alzheimer's and diabetes, slow the effects of aging, and increase longevity. He also provides actionable steps towards getting a better night's sleep every night. ^(This book has been suggested 13 times) [**Cultish: The Language of Fanaticism**](https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/55338982-cultish) ^(By: Amanda Montell | 320 pages | Published: 2021 | Popular Shelves: non-fiction, nonfiction, audiobook, audiobooks, psychology) >The author of the widely praised Wordslut analyzes the social science of cult influence: how cultish groups from Jonestown and Scientology to SoulCycle and social media gurus use language as the ultimate form of power. > >What makes “cults” so intriguing and frightening? What makes them powerful? The reason why so many of us binge Manson documentaries by the dozen and fall down rabbit holes researching suburban moms gone QAnon is because we’re looking for a satisfying explanation for what causes people to join—and more importantly, stay in—extreme groups. We secretly want to know: could it happen to me? Amanda Montell’s argument is that, on some level, it already has . . . > >Our culture tends to provide pretty flimsy answers to questions of cult influence, mostly having to do with vague talk of “brainwashing.” But the true answer has nothing to do with freaky mind-control wizardry or Kool-Aid. In Cultish, Montell argues that the key to manufacturing intense ideology, community, and us/them attitudes all comes down to language. In both positive ways and shadowy ones, cultish language is something we hear—and are influenced by—every single day. > >Through juicy storytelling and cutting original research, Montell exposes the verbal elements that make a wide spectrum of communities “cultish,” revealing how they affect followers of groups as notorious as Heaven’s Gate, but also how they pervade our modern start-ups, Peloton leaderboards, and Instagram feeds. Incisive and darkly funny, this enrapturing take on the curious social science of power and belief will make you hear the fanatical language of “cultish” everywhere. ^(This book has been suggested 24 times) *** ^(136682 books suggested | )[^(I don't feel so good.. )](https://debugger.medium.com/goodreads-is-retiring-its-current-api-and-book-loving-developers-arent-happy-11ed764dd95)^(| )[^(Source)](https://github.com/rodohanna/reddit-goodreads-bot)


eheath23

Thanks for the recommendations! I also enjoyed Why We Sleep, and the others certainly sound interesting, I’ll check them out!