These are the science books of 2015 that you should be reading

Dec 26, 2015

Was there a science, technology, or environmental book from 2015 that made you think, laugh, or gape in amazement? Now’s the time to celebrate it.

Here are some of the best science books of 2015, as chosen by Pulitzer Prize-winning science journalist Deborah Blum and Brain Pickings editor Maria Popova. Have a favorite science read from 2015? Share it in the comments! See some other reader and listener suggestions at

Maria Popova’s Picks for 2015:
(1) On the Move: A Life, by Oliver Sacks
Read more on Brain Pickings, listen to Oliver Sacks read an excerpt.

(2)The Invention of Nature: Alexander von Humboldt’s New World, by Andrea Wulf
Read more on Brain Pickings, listen to Andrea Wulf on SciFri, and read an excerpt.

(3) Dark Matter and the Dinosaurs: The Astounding Interconnectedness of the Universe, by Lisa Randall
Read more on Brain Pickings, listen to Lisa Randall on SciFri, and read an excerpt.

(4) The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage: The (Mostly) True Story of the First Computer, by Sydney Padua
Read more on Brain Pickings, listen to Sydney Padua on SciFri, and read an excerpt.

(5) The Physicist and the Philosopher: Einstein, Bergson, and the Debate That Changed Our Understanding of Time, by Jimena Canales
Read more on Brain Pickings

(6) Nature Anatomy: The Curious Parts and Pieces of the Natural World, by Julia Rothman
Read more on Brain Pickings

(7) Thunder & Lightning: Weather Past, Present, and Future, by Lauren Redniss
Read more on Brain Pickings, listen to Lauren Redniss on SciFri, and read an excerpt.

(8) The Blue Whale, by Jenni Desmond
Read more on Brain Pickings

Deborah Blum’s Picks for 2015:
(1) H is for Hawk, by Helen Macdonald

(2) The Hunt for Vulcan…And How Albert Einstein Destroyed a Planet, Discovered Relativity, and Deciphered the Universe, by Thomas Levenson

(3) The Soul of an Octopus: A Surprising Exploration into the Wonder of Consciousness, by Sy Montgomery

(4) Plucked: A History of Hair Removal, by Rebecca Herzig

(5) Headstrong: 52 Women Who Changed Science—and the World, by Rachel Swaby

(6) The Shift: One Nurse, Twelve Hours, Four Patients’ Lives, by Theresa Brown, RN

(7) Thing Explainer: Complicated Stuff in Simple Words, by Randall Munroe
Listen to Randall Munroe on SciFri and read an excerpt.

(8) Rain: A Natural and Cultural History, by Cynthia Barnett

This story first aired as an interview on Science Friday with Ira Flatow.