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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 awards 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!

Want to suggest a title for our popular science collection?

Please contact me with the details of your suggestion by using the email below my picture on the left. I'll do my best to add it to our collection.

Happy reading!


Popular Science Books from 2023 @KPU Library

Fire Weather

Winner of the Baillie Gifford Prize for non-fiction. A stunning account of a colossal wildfire that collided with a city, and a panoramic exploration of the rapidly changing relationship between fire and humankind from the award-winning, best-selling author of The Tiger and The Golden Spruce...see more.

Not Too Late

An energizing case for hope about the climate, from Rebecca Solnit ("the voice of the resistance"--New York Times), climate activist Thelma Young Lutunatabua, and a chorus of voices calling on us to rise to the moment. Not Too Late is the book for anyone who is despondent, defeatist, or unsure about climate change and seeking answers...see more.

The Parrot and the Igloo

In The Parrot and the Igloo, best-selling author David Lipsky tells the astonishing story of how we moved from one extreme (the correct one) to the other. With narrative sweep and a superb eye for character, Lipsky unfolds the dramatic narrative of the long, strange march of climate science...see more.

The Deadly Rise of Anti-Science

In this eyewitness story of how the anti-vaccine movement grew into a dangerous and prominent anti-science element in American politics, Dr. Peter Hotez describes the devastating impacts it has had on Americans' health and lives. As a scientist who has endured antagonism from anti-vaxxers and been at the forefront of both essential scientific discovery and advocacy, Hotez is uniquely qualified to tell this story...see more

From One Cell

In From One Cell, physician and researcher Ben Stanger offers a breathtaking glimpse into what scientists are discovering about how life and the body take shape, and how these revelations stand to revolutionize medicine and the future of human health. Popular science at its best, From One Cell celebrates the power and beauty of understanding our collective beginnings...see more.

Forecasts: A story of weather and finance at the edge of disaster

Forecasts makes a sweeping account of environmental and financial risk accessible through the intimate story of one family's triumphs, heartbreaks, and hopes for the future. The graphic novel is followed by appendices that provide historical, anthropological, and methodological insights...see more.

The Darkness Manifesto

This timely and captivating look at the hidden impact of light pollution is "rich in revelation and insight...lyrical" (The Wall Street Journal) and urges us to cherish natural darkness for the sake of the environment, our own well-being, and all life on earth...see more.

The Exceptions

The Exceptions chronicles groundbreaking science and a history-making fight for equal opportunity. It is the "excellent and infuriating" (The New York Times) story of how this group of determined, brilliant women used the power of the collective and the tools of science to inspire ongoing radical change. And it offers an intimate look at the passion that drives discovery, and a rare glimpse into the competitive, hierarchical world of elite science--and the women who dared to challenge it...see more.

The Devil's Element

The New York Times best-selling author on the source of great bounty--and now great peril--all over the world. Phosphorus has played a critical role in some of the most lethal substances on earth: firebombs, rat poison, nerve gas. But it's also the key component of one of the most vital: fertilizer, which has sustained life for billions of people. In this major work of explanatory science and environmental journalism, Pulitzer Prize finalist Dan Egan...see more.


National Book Award finalist Breathless tells the story of the worldwide scientific race to decipher the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, trace its source, and make possible the vaccines to fight the Covid-19 pandemic--a "luminous, passionate account of the defining crisis of our time." (The New York Times)...see more.

The Primacy of Doubt

In The Primacy of Doubt, Palmer argues that embracing the mathematics of uncertainty is vital to understanding ourselves and the universe around us. Whether we want to predict climate change or market crashes, understand how the brain is able to outpace supercomputers, or find a theory that links quantum and cosmological physics, Palmer shows how his vision of mathematical uncertainty provides new insights into some of the deepest problems in science....see more.

Against Technoableism

To forge a more equitable world, bioethicist and professor Shew argues that we must eliminate "technoableism"-the harmful belief that technology is a "solution" for disability... This badly needed introduction to disability expertise considers mobility devices, medical infrastructure, neurodivergence, and the crucial relationship between disability and race. The future, Shew points out, is surely disabled...see more.

How Far the Light Reaches

A fascinating tour of creatures from the surface to the deepest ocean floor: this "miraculous, transcendental book" invites us to envision wilder, grander, and more abundant possibilities for the way we live (Ed Yong, author of An Immense World). Winner of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Science & Technology; Finalist for the Lambda Literary Award;  One of Time's 10 Best Nonfiction Books of the Year...see more

The Master Builder

"An ingenious argument" (Kirkus) for a "novel thesis" (Publishers Weekly) that cells, not DNA, hold the key to understanding life's past and present    What defines who we are? For decades, the answer has seemed obvious: our genes, the "blueprint of life." In The Master Builder, biologist Alfonso Martinez Arias argues we've been missing the bigger picture...see more.


An ecologist explores how life itself shapes Earth using the elemental constituents we all share It is rare for life to change Earth, yet three organisms have profoundly transformed our planet over the long course of its history. Elemental reveals how microbes, plants, and people used the fundamental building blocks of life to alter the climate, and with it, the trajectory of life on Earth in the past, present, and future...see more.