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The 50 Best Science Books

Looking for the best science books to read? We've got you covered! From classic to crazy: Discover entertaining and educational science books, handpicked for you.

best new science fiction books

"What an astonishing thing a book is. It's a flat object made from a tree with flexible parts on which are imprinted lots of funny dark squiggles. But one glance at it and you're inside the mind of another person, maybe somebody dead for thousands of years. Across the millennia, an author is speaking clearly and silently inside your head, directly to you. Writing is perhaps the greatest of human inventions, binding together people who never knew each other, citizens of distant epochs. Books break the shackles of time. A book is proof that humans are capable of working magic." - Carl Sagan

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The Accidental Universe

Alan Lightman

Theoretical physicist and novelist Lightman presents seven elegantly provocative “universe” essays that elucidate complex scientific thought in the context of everyday experiences and concerns. He also explores the emotional and philosophical questions raised by recent discoveries in science.

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science books for kids

Animal: The Definitive Visual Guide

DK Publishing

The natural world is a dynamic place and our understanding of it is forever growing and changing. Animal brings together the expertise of natural history specialists and outstanding wildlife photographers to illustrate, describe, and explain the incredible range of creatures in the animal kingdom.

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science books for teens

Asap Science

M. Moffit & G. Brown

From the creators of the wildly popular and seriously scientific YouTube channel, AsapSCIENCE, comes entertaining, irreverent, and totally accessible answers to the questions you never got to ask in science class. This is the science that people actually want to learn, shared in an engaging style.

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science books 2015

Bad Science

Ben Goldacre

Ben Goldacre has made a point of exposing quack doctors and nutritionists, bogus credentialing programs, and biased scientific studies. He is here to teach you how to evaluate placebo effects, double-blind studies, and sample sizes, so that you can recognize bad science when you see it.

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The Blind Watchmaker

Richard Dawkins

IIn the eighteenth century, theologian William Paley developed a famous metaphor for creationism: that of the skilled watchmaker. In The Blind Watchmaker, Richard Dawkins crafts an elegant riposte to show that the complex process of Darwinian natural selection is unconscious and automatic.

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science books about space

Bonk: Science and Sex

Mary Roach

Mary Roach turns her outrageous curiosity and insight on the most alluring scientific subject of all: Sex. Can a person think herself to orgasm? Why doesn't Viagra help women-or, for that matter, pandas? Can a dead man get an erection? Is vaginal orgasm a myth? Discover the inner workings of sex!

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science books adults

The Book of Beetles

Patrice Bouchard

With 350,000 known species, and scientific estimates that millions more have yet to be identified, the beetle's abundance is as indisputable as is its variety. The Book of Beetles celebrates the beauty and diversity of this marvelous insect. Six hundred significant beetle species are covered in color.

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science books 2016

The Book of Eggs

Mark E. Hauber

Birds’ eggs are some of the most colorful and variable natural products in the wild! The Book of Eggs introduces readers to eggs from six hundred species—some endangered or extinct—from around the world. All entries include new photographs that reproduce each egg in full color and at actual size

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The Book of Trees

Manuel Lima

Data visualization expert Manuel Lima examines the more than eight hundred year history of the tree diagram, from its roots in the illuminated manuscripts of medieval monasteries to its current resurgence as an elegant means of visualization. Includes 200 illustrations.

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A Brief History of Time

Stephen Hawking

A landmark volume in science writing by one of the great minds of our time, Stephen Hawking’s book explores such profound questions as: How did the universe begin—and what made its start possible? Does time always flow forward? Is the universe unending? A classic.

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amazing books for science lovers

Cosmos

Carl Sagan

Cosmos is one of the bestselling science books of all time. In clear-eyed prose, Sagan reveals a jewel-like blue world inhabited by a life form that is just beginning to discover its own identity and to venture into the vast ocean of space. Brilliant in its scope and provocative in its suggestions!

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The Demon-Haunted World

CARL SAGAN

How can we make intelligent decisions about our lives if we don't understand the difference between the myths of pseudoscience and the testable hypotheses of science? A spirited defense of science. From the first page to the last, this book is a manifesto for clear thought

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best science books of all time

The Drunken Botanist

Amy Stewart

Thirsty? Amy Stewart explores the dizzying array of herbs, flowers, trees, fruits, and fungi that humans have, through ingenuity, inspiration, and sheer desperation, contrived to transform into alcohol over the centuries. A fascinating blend of science, mixology, and recipes!

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best science books all time

The Elegant Universe

Brian Greene

Brian Greene, one of the world's leading string theorists, peels away layers of mystery to reveal a universe that consists of eleven dimensions, where the fabric of space tears and repairs itself, and all matter is generated by the vibrations of microscopically tiny loops of energy.

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best science books amazon

Elements: A Visual Exploration

Theodore Gray

An eye-opening, original collection of gorgeous, never-before-seen photographic representations of the 118 elements in the periodic table. The elements are what we, and everything around us, are made of. But how many elements has anyone actually seen in pure, uncombined form?

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best science books about space

Evolution: The Human Story

DK Publishing

How did we develop from simple animals to the dominant species on Earth? Traveling back almost eight million years to our earliest primate relatives, Evolution: The Human Story charts the development of our species from tree-dwelling primates to modern humans.

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top science books amazon

Evolution: A Colouring Book

Annu Kilpelainen

This book takes the concept of a coloring book and, well, evolves it a bit. Interactive elements such as flaps, die cuts, stencils, and mix and match pages can all be colored in and engaged with. Clear text explains Darwin's ideas and big bold drawings are exploding with fun.

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The Fabric of the Cosmos

Brian Greene

Space and time remain among the most mysterious of concepts. This book explains non-intuitive concepts like String Theory, the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle, and Inflationary Cosmology with analogies drawn from common experience.

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best new science fiction books

The God Delusion

Richard Dawkins

With rigor and wit, Dawkins examines God in all his forms, from the sex-obsessed tyrant of the Old Testament to the more benign (but still illogical) Celestial Watchmaker. He eviscerates the major arguments for religion and demonstrates the improbability of God.

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best atheism book

Gödel, Escher, Bach

Douglas R. Hofstadter

The formal system that underlies all mental activity transcends the system that supports it. If life can grow out of the formal chemical substrate of the cell, if consciousness can emerge out of firing neurons, then so too will computers attain human intelligence.

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best science fiction novels 2015

The Grand Design

Stephen Hawking

In this startling and lavishly illustrated book, Stephen Hawking and Leonard Mlodinow present the most recent scientific thinking about these and other abiding mysteries of the universe, in nontechnical language marked by brilliance and simplicity.

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best science fiction novels 2016

The Greatest Show on Earth

Richard Dawkins

"Intelligent Design" is being taught in our schools; educators are being asked to "teach the controversy" behind evolutionary theory. There is no controversy. Dawkins sifts through rich layers of evidence to make the case that we are the direct consequence of evolution.

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best new science fiction books

The Hubble Cosmos

David H. Devorkin

The Hubble Cosmos fill your mind with big ideas, brilliant imagery, and a new understanding of the universe in which we live. Relive key moments in the monumental Hubble story, from launch through major new instrumentation to the promise of discoveries to come.

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greatest science books all time

The Human Age

Diane Ackerman

A dazzling, inspiring tour through the ways that humans are working with nature to try to save the planet. Explaining the changes affecting every part of our lives, The Human Age is a beautiful book that will astound, delight, and inform intelligent discourse.

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smithsonian natural history

Natural History - Smithsonian

DK Publishing

A landmark in publishing, Natural History presents an unrivaled visual survey of Earth's natural history. Giving a clear overview of the classification of our natural world and of over 6,000 species this book looks at every kingdom of life. Spectacular!

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neuroscience book

Neurocomic

Hana Ros & Matteo Farinella

Neurocomic is a journey through the human brain: a place of neuron forests, memory caves, and castles of deception. Along the way, you'll encounter Boschean beasts, giant squid, guitar-playing sea slugs, and the great pioneers of neuroscience.

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space book

Nothing

New Scientist

It turns out that almost nothing is as curious—or as enlightening—as, well, nothing. What is nothingness? Where can it be found? The writers of the world's top-selling science magazine investigate. Incredible discoveries from the fringes of the universe await.

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charles dawrin book

The Origin of Species

Charles Darwin

The classic that exploded into public controversy, revolutionized the course of science, and continues to transform our views of the world. Darwin published The Origin of Species in 1859 despite resistance from the orthodox scientific and religious communities.

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neil degrasse tyson

Origins

Neil deGrasse Tyson

Our true origins are not just human, or even terrestrial, but in fact cosmic. Drawing on recent scientific breakthroughs and the current cross-pollination among biology, astrophysics, and cosmology, Origins explains the leaps in our understanding of the cosmos.

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chemistry books

Oxygen

Donald E. Canfield

The air we breathe is twenty-one percent oxygen, an amount higher than on any other known world. While we may take our air for granted, Earth was not always an oxygenated planet. How did it become this way? Discover the history of our planet's oxygenation.

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mary roach science

Packing for Mars

Mary Roach

As Mary Roach discovers, it’s possible to preview space without ever leaving Earth. From the space shuttle training toilet to a crash test of NASA’s new space capsule, take an entertaining trip into the science of life in space and space on Earth. One of the best science books to read.

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carl sagan

Pale Blue Dot

Carl Sagan

Future generations will look back on our epoch as the time when the human race finally broke into a radically new frontier--space. Sagan traces the history of our launch into the cosmos and assesses the future that looms before us as we move out into our own solar system beyond.

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michio kaku

Physics of the Impossible

Michio Kaku

Inspired by the fantastic worlds of Star Trek, Star Wars, and Back to the Future, theoretical physicist Michio Kaku takes an informed, serious, and often surprising look at what our current understanding of the universe's physical laws may permit in the near future.

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science book

The Pleasure of Finding Things Out

Richard P. Feynman

The Pleasure of Finding Things Out is a magnificent treasury of the best short works of Feynman - from interviews and speeches to lectures and articles. A sweeping, wide-ranging collection, it presents an intimate and fascinating view of a life like no other.

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science of alcohol

Proof: The Science of Booze

Adam Rogers

Humans have been perfecting alcohol production for ten thousand years, but scientists are just starting to distill the chemical reactions behind the perfect buzz. If you’ve ever wondered how your drink arrived in your glass, Proof is the book to get. Cheers!

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richard feynman

Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman!

Richard P. Feynman

Richard Feynman, winner of the Nobel Prize in physics, thrived on outrageous adventures. Here he recounts in his inimitable voice his experience trading ideas on atomic physics with Einstein and Bohr and ideas on gambling with Nick the Greek. Fun and clever!

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top science books

Science

Robert Dinwiddie

Encompassing everything from ancient Greek geometry and quantum physics to the wedge and the World Wide Web, Science is a remarkable reference book that tells the story of science from earliest times to the present day — with thousands of photos and illustrations.

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The Science Book

National Geographic

The Science Book encapsulates centuries of scientific thought in one volume. Natural phenomena, revolutionary inventions, scientific facts, and the most up-to-date questions are all explained in detailed text that is complemented by visually arresting graphics.

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The Science of Shakespeare

Dan Falk

Shakespeare observed human nature just as intently as the astronomers who studied the night sky. Meet a colorful cast of Renaissance thinkers and explore the connections between the famous playwright and the beginnings of the Scientific Revolution!

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selfish gene

The Selfish Gene

Richard Dawkins

The world of the selfish gene revolves around savage competition, ruthless exploitation, and deceit, and yet, Dawkins argues, acts of apparent altruism do exist in nature. He explains how the selfish gene can also be a subtle gene. A bestselling classic.

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history of nearly everything

A Short History of Nearly Everything

Bill Bryson

Bill Bryson confronts his greatest challenge: to understand—and, if possible, answer—the oldest, biggest questions we have posed about the universe and ourselves. Covers everything from everything from the Big Bang to the rise of civilization. Very entertaining!

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oceanography book

Spineless

Susan Middleton

In Spineless, acclaimed photographer Susan Middleton explores the mysterious and surprising world of marine invertebrates, which represent more than 98 percent of the known animal species in the ocean. A stunning new view of nature.

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biology book

Stiff

Mary Roach

Stiff is an oddly compelling, often hilarious exploration of the strange lives of our bodies postmortem. For two thousand years, cadavers - some willingly, some unwittingly - have been involved in science's boldest strides and weirdest undertakings.

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physics book

Stuff Matters

Mark Miodownik

Stuff Matters explores the materials Miodownik encounters, from the steel in his razor to the foam in his sneakers. Full of enthralling tales of the miracles of engineering that permeate our lives, Stuff Matters will make you see stuff in a whole new way.

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bill nye book

Undeniable

Bill Nye

With infectious enthusiasm, Bill Nye shows that evolution is much more than a rebuttal to creationism; it is an essential way to understand how nature works-and to change the world. It might also help you get a date on a Saturday night. Undeniably fun to read.

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universe book

Universe

Martin Rees

Continuing in the bestselling tradition of Animal and Earth, publisher DK brings you Universe - a truly definitive guide that takes you on a tour from the Solar System to the farthest limits of space. The book is gigantic and packed with awesome illustrations.

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astronomy book

A Universe from Nothing

Lawrence M. Krauss

Krauss describes the staggeringly beautiful experimental observations and mind-bending new theories that demonstrate not only can something arise from nothing, something will always arise from nothing. Provocative, challenging, and delightfully readable.

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the universe in a nutshell

The Universe in a Nutshell

Stephen Hawking

In this classic book Hawking takes us to the cutting edge of theoretical physics, where truth is often stranger than fiction, to explain in laymen’s terms the principles that control our universe. From one of the most influential thinkers of our time. One of the best science books to read.

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top science books 2016

What If?

Randall Munroe

In pursuit of answers, Munroe runs computer simulations, pores over stacks of declassified military research memos, solves differential equations, and consults with nuclear reactor operators. His responses are masterpieces of clarity and hilarity.

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the best science books

You Are Stardust

Elin Kelsey

Award-winning author Elin Kelsey believes children are losing touch with nature. This picture book aims to reintroduce them to their innate relationship with the world around us by sharing the many surprising ways that we are all connected to the natural world.

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Best Popular Science Books

The top science books this year are entertaining and enlightening. This year’s list contains the most interesting and amazing science books currently available. There is lots to choose from and hours of fun reading ahead. We’ve based our recommendations on the best popular science books and the best hard science books. Our suggestion? Pick something that fascinates you and jump right in. We'll regularly update it to reflect new science book releases so feel free to check back. All books featured here have one thing in common: They inspire the mind and elevate our awareness. Feel free to contact us to share your thoughts, recommendations, and more. We'd love to hear your opinion and what get's you excited about science, reading, and exploration. No matter which topic you are interested in these are the very best science books to read this year. Have fun!

PS: If you're looking for the best science books for kids we've got you covered!

Looking for More Science?

Check out our brand new guide to the 100 Best Science Books for Children! We also just published expert buying guides to affordable science toys for kids,  the best new science coloring books, as well as the top science apps for your smartphone. Last but not least, check out the fun geek girls’ science guide. All right, we admit it, we are a little obsessed with everything science :) Hope you enjoy these free guides and let us know what you think!

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