11 Nonfiction Science Books

Many of us think of science books as part of science class, but the world of nonfiction science books is full of interesting stories and extraordinary discoveries. These books may deal with science, but that doesn’t mean they are hard to understand or boring. Dive into the true stories to learn a little more about what makes our world work.

If you’re doing our 2016 Reading Challenge, these books cover the “Read a nonfiction book about science” point. If you aren’t doing our 2016 Reading Challenge, check it out. It’s not too late to start.

1. Hunting the 1918 Flu: One Scientist’s Search for a Killer Virus by Kirsty E. Duncan

hunting the 1918 flu

In 1918 a flu killed between 20 and 40 million people. To this day, scientists cannot explain the flu. When Duncan takes on the task of diving into history for answers, she finds herself looking at a darker side of the scientific community. Get a copy from Better World Books.

2. How the Universe Got Its Spots: Diary of a Finite Time in a Finite Space by Janna Levin


Levin takes on the question of whether the universe is infinite or just “really big.” Along the way, she gives the reader a very personal look at her life as she seeks answers to her questions. Get a copy from Better World Books.

3. Einstein’s Clocks, Poincare’s Maps: Empires of Time by Peter Galison


The New York Times called this book, “part history, part science, part adventure, part biography, part meditation on the meaning of modernity.” The story features a vibrant account of understand time globally. Get a copy at Better World Books.

4. Electric Universe: How Electricity Switched on the Modern World by David Bodanis


Bodanis doesn’t simply discuss the discovery of electricity, but he looks at the people, politics and culture that shaped the science of the time. Get a copy at Better World Books.

5. Warped Passages: Unraveling the Mysteries of the Universe’s Hidden Dimensions by Lisa Randall


If you love science fiction, this book might be the perfect one to bridge the gap between fiction and reality. Randall, one of the worlds leading theoretical physicists, looks into scientific possibilities that until now didn’t seem like possibilities. Get a copy at Better World Books.

6. Packing for Mars: The Curious Science of Life in the Void by Mary Roach


Roach seeks to find exactly what life in space might look like and discovers just how much of space she can encounter on earth. Get a copy at Better World Books.

7. Genome: The Autobiography of a Species in 23 Chapters by Matt Ridley


Ridley explores how human genes relate to other lifeforms and how these genes impact the future of medicine. Get a copy at Better World Books.

8. The Botany of Desire: A Plant’s-Eye View of the World by Michael Pollan


Pollan unearths the relationship between humans and the plants we’ve cultivated to satisfy our needs and urges. Get a copy of Better World Books.

9. Where the Wild Things Were: Life, Death, and Ecological Wreckage in a Land of Vanishing Predators by William Stolzenburg


Once, great predators roamed the Earth. Now, they are gone, which left Stolzenburg to ask what that means for our current environment. Get a copy at Better World Books.

10. The Species Seekers: Heroes, Fools, and the Mad Pursuit of Life on Earth by Richard Conniff


A band of daredevil explores treks to the most dangerous parts of the planet to see what new creatures they can discover. Get a copy at Better World Books.

11. Mauve: How One Man Invented a Color That Changed the World by Simon Garfield


Accidental discoveries have been some of the greatest in scientific advances. One man accidentally found a way to mass produce color along with a strange shade of purple that revolutionized fashion. Get a copy at Better World Books.

Do you have any favorite nonfiction science books?

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