Tag Archives: science

What I Will Be Reading #42: Nonfiction variety pack

I’ve managed to collect several nonfiction books from a variety of sources to add to my TBR list. They include two science books, a book about your money, and a memoir. (As a side note, what’s with the super long titles for nonfiction books lately? Titles tends to be quite descriptive, and yet there’s always a giant subtitle to go along.) Here’s what I’ve found lately:

First off is The Fate of Food: What We’ll Eat in a Bigger, Hotter, Smarter World by Amanda Little. Gretchen Rubin interviewed Little about happiness, habits and productivity, and a bit about her new book. The book is all about how our food resources will have to change with climate change. That fits into two of my interests – where our food comes from and climate change.

I also picked up an economics book from Gretchen Rubin. She interviewed Jill Schlesinger about her newest book, The Dumb Things Smart People Do with Their Money: Thirteen Ways to Right Your Financial Wrongs. I consider myself a smart person, but I don’t really know what to do with my money, besides put it in the bank and maybe a 401k plan. The book sounded like a good place to start to learn about some better long-term options.

The memoir is Rowing to Latitude: Journeys Along the Arctic’s Edge by Jill Fredston. I saw this on a Wandering Scientist summer reading post. It seems to be a memoir about a woman leading the life she wants to live. I’m at the age where I’m taking stock of my life and trying to decide what to do next. Do I continue in my current path, which I’m enjoying, or make changes? Reading about someone else who’s gone through that self-examination is helpful.

I’ll end on another science book. In this case, it’s The World in a Grain: The Story of Sand and How It Transformed Civilization by Vince Beiser from a 99% Invisible interview with author. I wouldn’t think a book about the importance of sand would be interesting, but the interview certainly made it sound that way. Did you know that people are being killed for sand? It’s a limited resource in some areas and necessary for construction (it’s used in making cement). There are sand mafias! I need to read more.

And those are the newest books I’m adding to my TBR list. Anything sound good to you? Anything I should add?

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If I Understood You, Would I Have This Look on My Face? by Alan Alda

I listened to Alan Alda’s interview on the ID10T podcast where he was promoting this book. It’s all about improving your communication, particularly focusing on scientists speaking to non-scientists. Considering that’s my teaching job, I thought it would be useful and interesting to read.

Subtitle: My Adventures in the Art and Science of Relating and Communicating

Published: 2017

Genre: nonfiction science communication

Length: 197 pages of text, 213 pages with index

Font: Sabon

Summary: Short version: Read the subtitle Continue reading

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STET by Sarah Gailey

A nimble spray crab seen on San Salvador

This is my next review of a nominee for the 2019 Short Story Locus Award.

Published: October, 2018 in Fireside Magazine (you can read it for free at that link)

Genre: science fiction short story

Setting: near future

Summary: An abstract on autonomous vehicles reveals the death of the author’s child in the footnotes Continue reading

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The Secret Lives of Color by Kassia St. Clair

I heard an interview with the author on the podcast 99% Invisible. I found the interview so fascinating, I had to go and get the book right away. Even Miss Adventure was interested.

Published: 2016

Genre: nonfiction art/history

Length: 281 pages of text, 320 pages total

Summary: Short version: The sources and uses of different colors and shades of colors Continue reading

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Drawdown edited by Paul Hawken

I’m still looking for a textbook for my Environmental Science or Environment and Society in a Changing World classes. I want something written for nonscientists that covers many of the current environmental issues with a focus on climate change. Bonus if it was written in the last few years, since the science on climate change is changing so rapidly. It’s a pretty specific set of characteristics that I want, which is why I don’t have anything I’m satisfied with yet. I picked up this book from a Wired article on empowering women to reduce climate change.

Subtitle: The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed to Reverse Global Warming

Published: 2017

Genre: nonfiction climate science

Length: 256 pages

Summary: Short version: The subtitle covers that Continue reading

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In the Labyrinth of Drakes by Marie Brennan

This is the fourth book in the Memoir of Lady Trent series.

Published: 2016

Genre: historical fantasy

Length: 350 pages

Setting: Akhia, a Middle Eastern equivalent country, soon after the events of Voyage of the Basilisk

Summary: Short version: Off to the desert to study dragon rearing Continue reading


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Your Inner Fish by Neil Shubin

I’m not sure how this came to my attention in the first place (it’s been on my TBR list too long). I read it now because it gives me a letter in my Reading the Alphabet Challenge.

Subtitle: A Journey into the 3.5-Billion-Year History of the Human Body

Published: 2008

Genre: nonfiction science

Length: 201 pages of text, 229 pages total

Font: Ehrhardt

Summary: Short version: Read the subtitle Continue reading

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