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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 the fields of biology, chemistry, physics, agriculture/horticulture, psychology, health, and environmental studies. Selections are 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!

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Popular science books from 2018

Rising

WINNER OF THE NATIONAL OUTDOOR BOOK AWARD A CHICAGO TRIBUNE TOP TEN BOOK OF 2018 A GUARDIAN, NPR's SCIENCE FRIDAY, PUBLISHERS WEEKLY, AND LIBRARY JOURNAL BEST BOOK OF 2018  Rising is both a highly original work of lyric reportage and a haunting meditation on how to let go of the places we love. With every passing day, and every record-breaking hurricane, it grows clearer that climate change is neither imagined nor distant--and that rising seas are transforming the coastline of the United States in irrevocable ways..see more.

Inventing Ourselves

Professor Sarah-Jayne Blakemore, one of the world's leading researchers into adolescent neurology, explains precisely what is going on in the complex and fascinating brains of teenagers--namely that the brain goes on developing and changing right through adolescence--with profound implications for the adults these young people will become...see more.

Vaquita

"Intrepid conservation detective story." --Nature "A lucid, informed, and gripping account...a must-read." --Science "Passionate...a heartfelt and alarming tale." --Publishers Weekly "Gripping...a well-told and moving tale of environmentalism and conservation." --Kirkus "Compelling." --Library Journal  In 2006, vaquita, a diminutive porpoise making its home in the Upper Gulf of California, inherited the dubious title of world's most endangered marine mammal...see more.

Fallout

An investigation into our complicated 8-decade-long relationship with nuclear technology, from the bomb to nuclear accidents to nuclear waste. From Hiroshima to Chernobyl, Fukushima to the growing legacy of lethal radioactive waste, humanity's struggle to conquer atomic energy is rife with secrecy...see more.

A Brief History of Everyone Who Ever Lived

National Book Critics Circle Award--2017 Nonfiction Finalist  In our unique genomes, every one of us carries the story of our species--births, deaths, disease, war, famine, migration, and a lot of sex. But those stories have always been locked away--until now. Who are our ancestors? Where did they come from? Geneticists have suddenly become historians...see more.

Poached

Journalist Rachel Nuwer plunges the reader into the underground of global wildlife trafficking, a topic she has been investigating for nearly a decade. Our insatiable demand for animals--for jewelry, pets, medicine, meat, trophies, and fur--is driving a worldwide poaching epidemic...see more.

Live Long and Evolve

What can the science in the science fiction of Star Trek teach us? In Live Long and Evolve, biologist and die-hard Trekkie Mohamed Noor takes readers on a fun, fact-filled scientific journey. Noor offers Trekkies, science-fiction fans, and anyone curious about how life works a cosmic gateway into introductory biology...see more.

Quackery

Looking back with fascination, horror, and not a little dash of dark, knowing humor, Quackery recounts the lively, at times unbelievable, history of medical misfires and malpractices. Ranging from the merely weird to the outright dangerous, here are dozens of outlandish, morbidly hilarious "treatments"...see more.

Natural Causes

The bestselling author of Nickel and Dimed, Barbara Ehrenreich explores how we are killing ourselves to live longer, not better.

The Best American Science and Nature Writing 2018

"This is one of the most exciting times in the history of science," New York Times-bestselling author Sam Kean proclaims in his introduction to The Best American Science and Nature Writing 2018. "Things aren't perfect by any means. But there are more scientists making more discoveries in more places about more things than ever before." The twenty-six pieces assembled here chart the full spectrum of those discoveries...see more.

The Tangled Tree

Longlisted for the National Book Award for Nonfiction science writer David Quammen explains how recent discoveries in molecular biology can change our understanding of evolution and life's history, with powerful implications for human health and even our own human nature...see more.

To be a machine : adventures among cyborgs, utopians, hackers, and the futurists solving the modest problem of death

Mark O'Connell presents us with an exploration of transhumanism: its philosophical and scientific roots, its key players and possible futures. From charismatic techies seeking to enhance the body to immortalists who believe in the possibility of 'solving' death; from computer programmers quietly re-designing the world to vast competitive robotics conventions...see more.

The Wizard and the Prophet

From the best-selling, award-winning author of 1491 and 1493--an incisive portrait of the two little-known twentieth-century scientists, Norman Borlaug and William Vogt, whose diametrically opposed views shaped our ideas about the environment, laying the groundwork for how people in the twenty-first century will choose to live in tomorrow's world...see more.

Are We Screwed?

A declaration of resistance, and a roadmap for radical change, from the generation that will be most screwed by climate change. The Millennial generation could be first to experience the doomsday impacts of climate change. It's also the last generation able to do something about them. With time ticking down, 31-year-old journalist Geoff Dembicki journeyed to Silicon Valley, Canada's tar sands, Washington, DC, Wall Street and the Paris climate talks to find out if he should hope or despair...see more.

What is real?

Every physicist agrees quantum mechanics is among humanity's finest scientific achievements. But ask what it means, and the result will be a brawl. For a century, most physicists have followed Niels Bohr's Copenhagen interpretation and dismissed questions about the reality underlying quantum physics as meaningless...see more.

Listening to the Bees

Listening to the Bees is a collaborative exploration by two writers to illuminate the most profound human questions: Who are we? Who do we want to be in the world? Through the distinct but complementary lenses of science and poetry, Mark Winston and Renée Saklikar reflect on the tension of being an individual living in a society, and about the devastation wrought by overly intensive management of agricultural and urban habitats...see more.

Beeronomics

Beeronomics covers world history through the lens of beer, exploring the common role that beer taxation has played throughout and providing context for recognizable brands and consumer trends and tastes...see more.

Seeds of Science

Twenty years after GMO crops became a source of controversy, scientists are working hard to devise new farming methods that will meet the world's food requirements while causing the minimum amount of ecological harm. We're now discovering that the environmentalist mainstream might have misjudged the GMO issue completely, and as a consequence we have forfeited two decades' worth of scientific progress in perhaps the most vital area of human need: food...see more.
 

The Vaccination Picture

Few topics in health policy have generated as much debate--and frustration--among public health experts as the issue of vaccine safety.  Using science-informed analysis alongside original art and powerful essays, health science leader Timothy Caulfield debunks the myths and false assumptions about vaccination safety and effectiveness...see more.

She Has Her Mother's Laugh

Celebrated New York Times columnist and science writer Carl Zimmer presents a profoundly original perspective on what we pass along from generation to generation. Charles Darwin played a crucial part in turning heredity into a scientific question, and yet he failed spectacularly to answer it. The birth of genetics in the early 1900s seemed to do precisely that...see more.

Global Warming and the Sweetness of Life

Confounded by global warming and in search of an affirmative politics that links ecology with social change, Matt Hern and Am Johal set off on a series of road trips to the tar sands of northern Alberta--perhaps the world's largest industrial site, dedicated to the dirty work of extracting oil from Alberta's vast reserves...see more.

Breaching the Peace: The Site C Dam and a Valley's Stand against Big Hydro

Breaching the Peace tells the story of the ordinary citizens who are standing up to the most expensive megaproject in BC history and the government-sanctioned bullying that has propelled it forward. Starting in 2013, journalist Sarah Cox travelled to the Peace River Valley to talk to locals about the Site C dam and BC Hydro's claim that the clean energy project was urgently needed...see more.

Enlightenment Now

Harvard psychology professor Pinker (The Sense of Style) defends progressive ideals against contemporary critics, pundits, cantankerous philosophers, and populist politicians to demonstrate how far humanity has come since the Enlightenment..see more.

The End of Epidemics

InThe End of Epidemics, Harvard Medical School faculty member and Chair of the Global Health Council Dr. Jonathan D. Quick examines the eradication of smallpox and devastating effects of influenza, AIDS, SARS, and Ebola. Analyzing local and global efforts to contain these diseases and citing firsthand accounts of failure and success, Dr. Quick proposes a new set of actions...see more.