The world is full of wonders.
There is so much to learn, so much to discover. So why not grab these excellent books for science-minded readers…?
First up, for the mathematician in you, there’s “Making Numbers Count” by Chip Heath & Karla Starr (Avid Reader Press, $24.00), a book that shows how numbers can change minds and lives. .
For example, you probably already know that statistics can be manipulated at the whim of a writer, but how do you make statistical information relevant to your audience? How to properly “recast” a statistic for better memorization? And how can you use the numbers to do nifty tricks, help people see your point of view, and improve your ride?
The answers are in this book.
If you happen to spill something on it, well, you’ll want Laurie Winkless’ “Sticky: The Secret Science of Surfaces” (Bloomsbury Sigma, $28.00).
This very cool book explains that stickiness is everywhere: not only does it exist in nature, but many branches of science rely on the properties of stickiness and the friction that comes with it. There isn’t necessarily ‘icky’ in ‘Sticky’, as you’ll see; sticky exists in very surprising places that allow us to move, work, play and live.
People also read…
Speaking of living, you know you want to read “A Taste for Poison” by Neil Bradbury, Ph.D. (Presse Saint-Martin, $27.99). Every whodunit fan and armchair detective should read this book, in fact; it’s filled with real mysteries, nefarious behavior, awesome detectives, historical intrigue, and fascinating ways chemicals and natural concoctions have been used, abused, and terribly abused over time, including poisonings spooky and modern that might shock you. Although the approach to this subject is serious, Bradbury makes it very fascinating and easy to enjoy. The interesting thing about poison is this: it’s not always what it does, but also what it doesn’t do. Read this book to learn more…
And finally, check out Alexander Zaitchik’s “Owning the Sun” (Counterpoint, $26.00), a history of “monopoly medicine,” or drugs that once belonged to corporations that tightly monitor their manufacture.
Readers, especially news junkies, won’t be surprised to know that there’s a lot of context to this, dating back at least to World War II, and that includes business and government entities. Many legalities are also involved – for example, do we protect intellectual properties to allow corporations to make a profit, or do we insist that life-saving drugs and vaccines be free or at extremely low cost? Why are your tax dollars funding medical research, when companies that have benefited from tax-funded grants are making big profits? Shouldn’t medical substances be cheaper, for the good of humanity? Argument starter, thought-provoker, questioner, “Owning the Sun” is a book you need to read now.
And if these great science-focused books aren’t exactly catering to your burning curiosity, be sure to ask your favorite librarian or bookseller for their insights or insights. They know the books better than almost anyone. They will help you find these four great books. You’ll wonder how you ever missed them.