12 Days of CanLit: Science and technology


Have you been avoiding your calendar, in denial about the shrinking number of shopping days before Christmas? The holiday season is upon us, and whether you're looking for gifts to set under a tree or around a menorah or just for some non-denominational seasonal giving (or reading!), we've got 12 days of book recommendations coming your way. With 12 different categories, we've got books for everyone from foodies to fiction addicts to sports buffs missing their beloved hockey this winter. On the sixth day of CanLit we bring you three reads that explore science and technology.

The Universe Within by Neil Turok


Neil Turok is only the fourth scientist to ever give the annual CBC Massey Lectures, but don't let the dense subject matter fool you. The Universe Within is an accessible, easy-to-read analysis of how we moved from an analog past into a digital present and what our quantum future looks like. If you've ever wanted to better understand quantum physics and why it matters to everyone, not just folks like Turok and Stephen Hawking, this is the book to read this holiday season.

Listen to Neil Turok discuss The Universe Within on Quirks & Quarks.

Fatal Flaws by Jay Ingram


Mad cow disease is one of the scariest and most fascinating diseases out there. Despite the fact that it has been around for more than 20 years, scientists don't know a whole lot about the disease, other than that it is driven by a protein, rather than a virus or bacteria. Former Quirks & Quarks host Jay Ingram goes deep inside the history and science of mad cow disease, scientifically known as bovine spongiform encephalopathy or BSE, in his book, Fatal Flaws, and poses fascinating questions about the implications this disease has for research into everything from Alzheimer's to concussions.

Listen to Jay Ingram discuss mad cow disease with Bob McDonald on Quirks & Quarks.

Up and Down by Terry Fallis


The Canada Reads 2011 winner brings his trademark humour to a world where public relations and space exploration collide. If you know someone who has ever wanted to be an astronaut -- or dealt with a PR nightmare -- then Fallis's latest novel is the one for them. David Stewart is a publicist tasked with igniting public interest in the Canadian Space Agency. What he comes up with (a public contest to find a "citizen astronaut" from both Canada and the Unites States) might be brilliant, disastrous or both.

Terry Fallis talks space travel and fiction with All in a Day.

12 Days of CanLit