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Popular Science at KPU Library

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

Popular Science Books from 2021 @KPU Library


THE SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER AND RADIO 4 BOOK OF THE WEEK  This is the story of a race - not against other vaccines or other scientists, but against a deadly and devastating virus. Vaxxers invites us into the lab to find out how science will save us from this pandemic, and how we can prepare for the inevitable next one...see more.

Life's Edge: The Search for what it Means to be Alive

Our understanding of life is mostly intuitive, maybe prewired. Respected science writer Zimmer diligently tackles the true definition of life. His curiosity and research lead him to a strange biologic limbo, "life's edge, to the foggy borderland between the living and the nonliving...see more


In this enchanting book, Carlo Rovelli, one of our most celebrated scientists, tells the extraordinary story of quantum physics and reveals its deep meaning- a world made of substances is replaced by a world made of relations, each particle responding to another in a never ending game of mirrors...see more.

Until Proven Safe: The History and Future of Quarantime

Until Proven Safe tracks the history and future of quarantine around the globe, chasing the story of emergency isolation through time and space - from the crumbling lazarettos of the Mediterranean to the hallways of the CDC, to the corporate giants hoping to disrupt the widespread quarantine imposed by Covid-19 before the next pandemic hits through surveillance and algorithmic prediction...see more.

Thicker Than Water

Journalist Erica Cirino brings readers on a globe-hopping journey to meet the scientists and activists telling the real story of the plastic crisis. From the deck of a plastic-hunting sailboat with a disabled engine, to the labs doing cutting-edge research on microplastics and the chemicals we ingest, Cirino paints a full picture of how plastic pollution is threatening wildlife and human health...see more.

Science fictions: Exposing fraud, bias, negligence and hype in science

Shortlisted for the Royal Society Science Book Prize 2021
In this vital investigation, Stuart Ritchie reveals the disturbing flaws in today's science that undermine our understanding of the world and threaten human lives...see more.

Guardians of the Trees

A "magnificent, empowering" (Bill McKibben) memoir about a woman spearheading a global initiative to heal the world's rainforests and the communities who depend on them...see more

The Fight for Climate after COVID-19

COVID-19 exposed the world's failure to prepare for the worst -- can we learn to build back better? The Fight for Climate after COVID-19 draws on the troubled and uneven COVID-19 experience to illustrate the critical need to ramp up resilience rapidly and effectively on a global scale...see more.

Novascene: the coming age of hyperintelligence

James Lovelock, creator of the Gaia hypothesis and the greatest environmental thinker of our time, has produced an astounding new theory about future of life on Earth. He argues that the anthropocene - the age in which humans acquired planetary-scale technologies - is, after 300 years, coming to an end. A new age - the novacene - has already begun...see more.

The Nutmeg's Curse

In this ambitious successor to The Great Derangement, acclaimed writer Amitav Ghosh finds the origins of our contemporary climate crisis in Western colonialism's violent exploitation of human life and the natural environment...see more.


In a world filled with breathtaking beauty, we have often overlooked the elusive charm and magic of certain landscapes...They are as globally significant as rainforests, and function as critical carbon sinks for addressing our climate crisis. Yet, because of their reputation as wastelands, they are being systematically drained and degraded...see more.  

Empire of Pain

NEW YORK TIMES BEST SELLER * A grand, devastating portrait of three generations of the Sackler family, famed for their philanthropy, whose fortune was built by Valium and whose reputation was destroyed by OxyContin....see more.

The Day the World Stops Shopping


In a brilliant work of imaginative non-fiction, prize-winning author J.B. MacKinnon asks what would happen--to our economy, our ecology, our products, our selves--if we stopped consuming so much? Is that alternative world one we might actually want to live in?...see more.

The Best American Science and Nature Writing 2021

New York Times best-selling author and renowned science journalist Ed Yong compiles the best science and nature writing published in 2020.   "The stories I have chosen reflect where I feel the field of science and nature writing has landed, and where it could go,"  Yong writes in his introduction. "They are often full of tragedy, sometimes laced with wonder, but always deeply aware that science does not exist in a social vacuum."...see more.

The Uncommon Knowledge of Elinor Ostrom

In the 1970s, the accepted environmental thinking was that overpopulation was destroying the earth. Prominent economists and environmentalists agreed that the only way to stem the tide was to impose restrictions on how we used resources, such as land, water, and fish, from either the free market or the government. This notion was upended by Elinor Ostrom, whose work to show that regular people could sustainably manage their community resources eventually won her the Nobel Prize...see more.

Animal, Vegetable, Junk

"Epic and engrossing." --The New York Times Book Review From the #1 New York Times bestselling author and pioneering journalist, an expansive look at how history has been shaped by humanity's appetite for food, farmland, and the money behind it all--and how a better future is within reach....see more.

Under a White Sky

NATIONAL BESTSELLER * The Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Sixth Extinction returns to humanity's transformative impact on the environment, now asking: After doing so much damage, can we change nature, this time to save it? SHORTLISTED FOR THE WAINWRIGHT PRIZE FOR WRITING * NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY ESQUIRE AND PUBLISHERS WEEKLY * ...see more.

The End of Bias: How we Change our Minds

Discover how we can all work to end one of the most corrosive issues of our time: unconscious bias...see more.

The New Climate War

Shortlisted for the FT/McKinsey Business Book of the Year award A renowned climate scientist shows how fossil fuel companies have waged a thirty-year campaign to deflect blame and responsibility and delay action on climate change, and offers a battle plan for how we can save the planet see more.

Lifelines : A Doctor's Journey in the Fight for Public Health

From medical expert Leana Wen, MD, Lifelines is an insider's account of public health and its crucial role--from opioid addiction to global pandemic--and an inspiring story of her journey from struggling immigrant to being one of Time's 100 Most Influential People. "Public health saved your life today--you just don't know it," ...see more.

The Code Breaker

The bestselling author of Leonardo da Vinci and Steve Jobs returns with a "compelling" (The Washington Post) account of how Nobel Prize winner Jennifer Doudna and her colleagues launched a revolution that will allow us to cure diseases, fend off viruses see more.

Entangled Life

INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLER * "Merlin Sheldrake's marvelous tour of these diverse and extraordinary life forms is eye-opening on why humans should consider fungi among the greatest of earth's marvels. . . . NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY Time, BBC Science Focus, Science Fridays....see more

Eating to extinction

Dan Saladino, longtime reporter for the BBC's The Food Programme, lays out a diverse menu of millennia-old, hardy, tasty, supremely nutritious foods now missing from the diet of a world that's scarcely taken notice. Eating to Extinction is an astonishing journey through the past, present and future of food, a love letter to the diversity of global food cultures, and a work of great urgency and hope...see more.

Saving Us

NATIONAL BESTSELLER "An optimistic view on why collective action is still possible--and how it can be realized." --The New York Times "As far as heroic characters go, I'm not sure you could do better than Katharine Hayhoe." --Scientific American. United Nations Champion of the Earth, climate scientist, and evangelical Christian Katharine Hayhoe changes the debate on how we can save our future....see more.

Our Biggest Experiment

Traversing science, politics, and technology, Our Biggest Experiment shines a spotlight on the little-known scientists who sounded the alarm to reveal the history behind the defining story of our age: the climate crisis. The message she relays is ultimately hopeful; harnessing the ingenuity and intelligence that has driven the history of climate change research can result in a more sustainable and bearable future for humanity...see more.