Science Book Recommendations

I know we’ve got some science people around here and I’m in need of some good introductory reading material. Specifically, I’m interested in Chemistry, Physics, Astronomy, and to a much lesser extent Biology.

I picked up Dava Sobel’s The Planets and Simon Singh’s Big Bang: The Origin of the Universe at Barnes and Noble the other day. I’m really enjoying The Planets at the moment (haven’t gotten to the Big Bang yet), so I’m really looking for more Astronomy books. The nearest B&N sucks hard, so I’m planning to just get some stuff of Amazon to read.

Attending a class is out of the question at the moment since I’ve just now got off my butt and started applying for college in the fall, so self-study will have to do in the interim. So, what’s good?

Go to the Library and browse around. It’s the most underused outlet of knowledge and right now it’s teaching me musical composition theory. There should be loads of intro science books to choose from that you won’t find in stores. The only problem with this is that science is dynamic and some of the info might be outdated.

If there’s a university campus near you there should be a book store there filled with nothing but texts. There should be at least a few there that don’t require a lot of knowledge to understand. They tend to cost their weight in gold though.

A good intro bio book is The Origin of Species by Charles Darwin. It’s long and dense with info but it reads like a novel and describes his travels around the world in detail. You should be able to find it for $8 somewhere.

Browse a university’s required books list for first year courses. Those usually have some good introductory books. You can ignore whatever edition they have since it doesn’t really matter for intro. courses. You can always find an earlier edition that’s lots cheaper.

Read The Blank Slate by Steven Pinker. It is very easy to read and its very good.

I wouldn’t recommend the origin of species as introductory material.

Bill Bryson’s A Short History of Nearly Everything?