12 books for the science and nature enthusiast on your list
Need a gift for the science and nature lover in your life? We've done the research and our conclusions indicate that one of these 12 books will make the perfect present.
Ice Ghosts by Paul Watson
What it's about: In 1845, two ships and 129 crew members in search of the Northwest Passage disappeared in the Arctic. Journalist Paul Watson tells the story of the doomed Franklin Expedition, and how a combination of Inuit knowledge and science led to the discovery of the two ships over a century later.
Astrophysics for People in a Hurry by Neil deGrasse Tyson
What it's about: Neil deGrasse Tyson, astrophysicist and head of New York's famous Hayden Planetarium, takes on the universe's big questions and turns them into digestible, witty essays for the everyday person. Some questions include: What is the nature of space and time? How do we fit within the universe?
Chemistry by Weike Wang
What it's about: After three years of toiling away in a lab, the unnamed graduate student at the centre of this whip-smart debut discovers she may not be that into chemistry after all. Her failing research, coupled with demands from her Chinese parents and a marriage proposal from partner, sends Chemistry's confused protagonist in a downward spiral.
Turning by Jessica J. Lee
What it's about: While working on her thesis, and contending with her own personal demons, Jessica J. Lee decides to swim through 52 of Berlin's lakes in one year, regardless of the weather or season.
The Wolf by Nate Blakeslee
What it's about: Wolves were nearly hunted to extinction in the U.S. in the 1920s, but in recent decades, conservationists have worked to restore the population by bringing wolves from Canada to Yellowstone National Park. In The Wolf, Nate Blakeslee tells the story of an alpha female wolf named O-Six, beloved by park ranger Rick McIntyre and challenged by hunters who compete for the elk she hunts for her pups.
The Dialogues by Clifford V. Johnson
What it's about: In this graphic novel, a couple imagines a superhero scientist who uses their powers for research rather than to fight crime, a pair of siblings experiment on a grain of rice and another couple discusses immortality and black holes. Written and drawn by physicist Clifford V. Johnson, The Dialogues illustrates how science can be a topic of everyday conversation for anyone.
Code Girls by Liza Mundy
What it's about: Liza Mundy tells the story of the unsung heroes of the Second World War: the tens of thousands of American women who were recruited from small towns and elite universities to break Axis codes. Their work helped shorten the war and save the lives of countless soldiers. Mundy speaks to surviving code-breakers and shines a spotlight on their almost forgotten work.
Quackery by Dr. Lydia Kang and Nate Pedersen
What it's about: In Quackery, Dr. Lydia Kang and Nate Pedersen chronicle a history of the world's worst medical cures — including literal snake oil, arsenic and goat testicles.
The Inner Life of Animals by Peter Wohlleben
What it's about: From devoted squirrel mothers to goats who discipline their kids, Peter Wohlleben delves into the scientific research and into his own experiences with nature to create a portrait of how animals behave.
The Vaccine Race by Meredith Wadman
What it's about: In The Vaccine Race, science journalist Meredith Wadman chronicles the development of vaccine science, beginning in the 1960s, as well as the political barriers that nearly halted it.
Rowing the Northwest Passage by Kevin Vallely
What it's about: Experienced adventurer Kevin Vallely, along with three of his peers, take on wild storms to rowboat across the fabled Northwest Passage. Along the dangerous, storm-plagued journey, Vallely documents the tremendous impact of climate change on the region.
Rise of the Necrofauna by Britt Wray
What it's about: Britt Wray delves into the ethical conversation around de-extinction, talking to scientists hoping to revive woolly mammoths and cautionary environmental philosophers on the other side of the issue.