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Popular Science at KPU Library

A new collection of popular science books for you to borrow and enjoy.

The Popular Science Reading Collection at KPU Library includes the best new popular science books published in 2016 and 2015, in the fields of biology, chemistry, physics, agriculture/horticulture, psychology, health, and environmental studies. Selections are made based on reviews from several leading newspapers and media outlets, including the Guardian, New York Times, and the Globe and Mail, as well as award lists and readers' recommendations.

Books are available at various campus libraries. Click the covers below to place a hold on your pick, and we will send it to any KPU campus for you to pick up. All you need is a KPU card!

Suggest a popular science book for the library's collection.

The Best American Science and Nature Writing 2016

The writers in this anthology brought us the year's highest notes in the genre. From a Pulitzer Prize-winning essay on the earthquake that could decimate the Pacific Northwest to the astonishing work of investigative journalism that transformed the nail salon industry, this is a collection of hard-hitting and beautifully composed writing on the wonders, dangers, and oddities of scientific innovation and our natural world...see more.

The Hidden Life of Trees

 In this international bestseller, forester and author Peter Wohlleben convincingly makes the case that, yes, the forest is a social network. He draws on groundbreaking scientific discoveries to describe how trees are like human families...see more.

Citizen Scientist

In the vein of H Is for Hawk and the work of Rebecca Solnit and Elizabeth Kolbert--a masterful consideration of the profound, urgent necessity to bear witness to life and loss. Here is a wide-ranging adventure in becoming a citizen scientist....see more.

The Idealist

This smart, “riveting” (Los Angeles Times) history of the Internet free culture movement and its larger effects on society—and the life and shocking suicide of Aaron Swartz, a founding developer of Reddit and Creative Commons—written by Slate correspondent Justin Peters “captures Swartz flawlessly” (The New York Times Book Review)...see more.

I Contain Multitudes

Selected as a New York Times Non-Fiction Book of the Year
Your body is teeming with tens of trillions of microbes. It's an entire world, a colony full of life. In other words, you contain multitudes.These microscopic companions sculpt our organs, protect us from diseases, guide our behaviour ..see more.
 

Lab Girl

An illuminating debut memoir of a woman in science; a moving portrait of a long-time collaboration, in work and in life; and a stunningly fresh look at plants that will forever change how you see and think about the natural world...see more.

Let Them Eat Dirt

 In the two hundred years since we discovered that microbes cause infectious diseases, we've battled to keep them at bay. But a recent explosion of scientific knowledge has led to undeniable evidence that early exposure to these organisms is beneficial to a child's well-being....see more.

Welcome to the Microbiome

Revolutionary research is revealing how the trillions of microbes living on and in our bodies can keep us healthy . . . or make us sick.   The Human Microbiome Project at the National Institutes of Health is well under way...see more.

Soda Politics

Habitually drinking large volumes of soda not only harms individual health, but also burdens societies with runaway healthcare costs. So how did products containing absurdly inexpensive ingredients become multi-billion dollar industries and international brand icons, while also having a devastating impact on public health? In Soda Politics, Dr. Marion Nestle answers this question...see more.

The Sixth Extinction

Winner of the Pulitzer Prize. A major book about the future of the world, blending intellectual and natural history and field reporting into a powerful account of the mass extinction unfolding before our eyes Over the last half-billion years, there have been five mass extinctions, when the diversity of life on earth suddenly and dramatically contracted. Scientists around the world are currently monitoring the sixth extinction...see more.

The Invention of Nature

New York Times 10 Best Books of the Year The acclaimed author of Founding Gardeners reveals the forgotten life of Alexander von Humboldt, the visionary German naturalist whose ideas changed the way we see the natural world--and in the process created modern environmentalism...see more.

Coming of Age at the End of Nature

This powerful anthology gathers the passionate voices of young writers who have grown up in an environmentally damaged and compromised world. Each contributor has come of age since Bill McKibben foretold the doom of humanity’s ancient relationship with a pristine earth in his prescient 1988 warning of climate change,The End of Nature...see more.

When Breath Becomes Air

THE NEW YORK TIMES NUMBER ONE BESTSELLER
THE SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER

At the age of thirty-six, on the verge of completing a decades-long training as a neurosurgeon, Paul Kalanithi was diagnosed with inoperable lung cancer. One day he was a doctor treating the dying, the next he was a patient struggling to live...see more.

The Deeper Genome

Over a decade ago, as the Human Genome Project completed its mapping of the entire human genome, hopes ran high that we would rapidly be able to use our knowledge of human genes to tackle many inherited diseases, and understand what makes us unique among animals. But things didn't turn out that way...see more.

A Tale of Seven Scientists and a New Philosophy of Science

Eric Scerri believes that science develops as a holistic entity, which is fundamentally unified even though the individuals making up the body scientific are frequently in competition among each other. Scerri makes his case by considering in great detail the work of seven virtually unknown chemists and physicists who were among the founders of modern atomic theory...see more.

Wondrous Truths

A fresh, daring, and genuine alternative to the traditional story of scientific progress. Explaining the world around us, and the life within it, is one of the most uniquely human drives, and the most celebrated activity of science...see more.

On the Move: A Life

An impassioned, tender, and joyous memoir by the author of The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat. When Oliver Sacks was twelve years old, a perceptive schoolmaster wrote in his report: "Sacks will go far, if he does not go too far." It is now abundantly clear that Sacks has never stopped going. From its opening pages on his youthful obsession with motorcycles and speed, On the Move is infused with his restless energy...see more.

The Gene: An Intimate History

THE #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER From the Pulitzer Prize-winning, bestselling author of The Emperor of All Maladies—a magnificent history of the gene and a response to the defining question of the future: What becomes of being human when we learn to “read” and “write” our own genetic information? ...see more.

A Farewell to Ice

'Utterly extraordinary ... the starkest book I've read on the impacts of accelerating climate change for a very long time ... if we're not listening to the likes of Peter Wadhams, then we too are in denial' -Jonathon Porritt. Most of the scientific establishment predict that the North Pole will be free of ice around the middle of this century. As Peter Wadhams, the world's leading expert on sea ice, demonstrates in this book, even this assessment of the future is optimistic...see more.

Smashing Physics: Inside the World's Biggest Experiment

The discovery of the Higgs boson made headlines around the world. Two scientists, Peter Higgs and Francois Englert, whose theories predicted its existence, shared a Nobel Prize. The discovery was the culmination of the largest experiment ever run. But what really is a Higgs boson and what does it do? How was it found? And how has its discovery changed our understanding of the fundamental laws of nature?..see more.

 

Adventures in Human Being

We assume we know our bodies intimately, but for many of us they remain uncharted territory, an enigma of bone and muscle, neurons and synapses. How many of us understand the way seizures affect the brain, how the heart is connected to well-being, or the why the foot holds the key to our humanity? In Adventures in Human Being, award-winning author Gavin Francis leads readers on a journey into the hidden pathways of the human body...see more.

Seven Brief Lessons on Physics

In this mind-bending introduction to modern physics, Carlo Rovelli explains Einstein's theory of general relativity, quantum mechanics, black holes, the complex architecture of the universe, elementary particles, gravity, and the nature of the mind. Not since Richard Feynman's celebrated best-seller Six Easy Pieces has physics been so vividly, intelligently and entertainingly revealed...see more.

Life's Greatest Secret

Life's Greatest Secret is the story of the discovery and cracking of the genetic code. This great scientific breakthrough has had far-reaching consequences for how we understand ourselves and our place in the natural world. The code forms the most striking proof of Darwin's hypothesis that all organisms are related...see more.

The Unnatural World: The Race to Remake Civilization in Earth's Newest Age

A Science Friday and Smithsonian Magazine Best Science Book of the Year.

With the historical perspective of The Song of the Dodo and the urgency of Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth, a brilliant young environmental journalist argues that we must innovate and adapt to save planet Earth. Civilization is in crisis, facing disasters of our own making on the only planet known to bear life in the vast void of the universe...see more.

Beyond Words

Weaving decades of field observations with exciting new discoveries about the brain, Carl Safina's landmark book offers an intimate view of animal behavior to challenge the fixed boundary between humans and nonhuman animals. In Beyond Words, readers travel to Amboseli National Park in the threatened landscape of Kenya and witness struggling elephant families work out how to survive poaching and drought, then to Yellowstone National Park to observe wolves ...see more.

Calculating the Cosmos

In Calculating the Cosmos, Ian Stewart presents an exhilarating guide to the cosmos, from our solar system to the entire universe. He describes the architecture of space and time, dark matter and dark energy, how galaxies form, why stars implode, how everything began, and how it's all going to end...see more.

Sorting the Beef from the Bull: The Science of Food Fraud Forensics

Biogeochemistry professor Evershed and conservationist Temple take up the daunting subject of food fraud, an increasingly problematic issue compounded by the global nature of our food supply chains. From vegetable oil to beef, honey, spices, and fish, Evershed and Temple reveal the many ways food fraud occurs...see more.