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Carolyn Abraham Possessing Genius: The Bizarre Odyssey of Einstein's Brain Occasionally gory but fascinating account of what happened to Einstein's brain after his death Biography, human science
Nancy Ellen Abrams & Joel Primack The View from the Centre of the Universe Superbly brilliant idea of the need for a new cosmological myth to ground us in the universe, only slightly let down by so-so writing Cosmology
David Acheson 1089 and all that Very entertaining and occasionally surreal take on maths, making the subject ridiculously appealing in a pocket-sized volume Maths
AMIR ACZEL Biography
Amir Aczel Entanglement Over-technical background to the workings of quantum entanglement Physics
Amir Aczel God's Equation An exploration of 'Einstein's greatest mistake' - the cosmic constant Biography, cosmology, physics
Amir Aczel The Mystery of the Aleph Good biography of Georg Cantor and explanation of his maths of the infinite. Maths, biography
Peter Adds et al The Transit of Venus Mixed collection of essays on the eponymous transit, its significance to New Zealand, and New Zealand's significance to science. Astronomy
John Agar Constant Touch Superb history of the mobile phone - technology, sociology, politics, the works! Technology
Nicholas Agar Perfect Copy Good introduction to the working of cloning and exploration of the ethical implications and uses Human science
Felix Alba-Juez Galloping with Light A self-published attempt to explain Einstein's theories to the general reader. Too plodding and too concerned with words rather than science. Physics
Hugh Aldersey-Williams Findings Examination of 20th century science by pulling apart in detail a scientific paper for each decade. Heavy going but full of insights. Overview
Hugh Aldersey-Williams Periodic Tales Entertaining exploration of the elements with lots of stories about their use and discovery, plus the author's personal experience of accumulating elements. Chemistry
Jim Al-Khalili Paradox Using ten mind-bending paradoxes, we are introduced to some remarkable physics. Writing style a little plodding, but content great. Physics
Jim Al-Khalili Pathfinders Fascinating stories of the amazing figures of Arabic science who built the foundations of the renaissance. The analysis is less effective, but that's not important. Overview
Ken Alibek and Stephen Handelman Biohazard Gripping spy story of a history of a personal involvement in the Soviet biological weapons programme - but somewhat lightweight on the science. Overview
Wade Allison Radiation and Reason Powerful arguments for a better assessment of the risk of nuclear power, but could do to be more approachable. Physics, human science
Anil Ananthaswamy The Edge of Physics Great science-as-travel-writing, visiting the places where some of today's most exciting science is under way. Cosmology, physics
Chris Anderson The Long Tail A simple, brilliant idea - the Internet can transform retail by offering almost unlimited choice, exploring the tail of the sales distribution Technology
Natalie Angier The Canon The basics of all science in an accessible and surprisingly full little book. Overview
Robyn Arianrhod Einstein's Heroes Excellent exploration of the move of maths to centre stage in physics, mostly focussing on the life and work of James Clark Maxwell Physics, maths
Dan Ariely Predictably Irrational Great demonstration of how flawed the conventional economics assumption that humans make rations decisions is, with a string of experiments. Human science
Keith Ashworth What Einstein didn't know about Time A strange concoction combining a vituperative attack on Einstein personally with an alternative theory to replace relativity. Physics
Peter Atkins Four Laws (that drive the Universe) A good concise introduction to the four laws of thermodynamics that would be great for a physics undergraduate, but just doesn't hack it as popular science. Physics
Peter Atkins On Being Interesting attempt to apply scientific thinking to the 'great questions of existence' - specifically the beginnings and endings of everything. Overview
Peter Atkins Reactions Beautifully illustrated introduction to the fundamentals of chemistry at the level of atoms and molecules, but more for the student than the general reader. Chemistry
Doctor Austin Zombie Science 1Z Entertaining attempt at making some aspects of medical science more accessible by putting it into a fictional format, let down by poorly edited text. Human science
Cyril Aydon Scientific Curiosity/A Book of Scientific Curiosities A jumble of short pieces on people in the history of science and scientific topics. Weak on modern physics but otherwise reasonable Overview
Jim Baggott Atomic: the first war of physics Riveting and detailed history of the development of nuclear weapons in Germany, the UK, the US and Russia. Fascinating in its depth and the lost possibilities for alternatives to nuclear proliferation. Overview
Gregory L. Baker Seven Tales of the Pendulum Some really interesting material on pendulums, but hard to get through because of the impenetrable writing. Physics
Joanne Baker 50 Ideas you Really Need to Know: Universe A childish approach and a number of errors make this summary of cosmology less than ideal. Cosmology
Joanne Baker 50 Physics Ideas you Really Need to Know Quite a reasonable and approachable summary, despite a few errors, but not a great end-to-end read. Physics
Hartosh Singh Bal & Gaurav Suri A Certain Ambiguity Attempt to get across the joys of maths in a novel form. Wonderful idea, hence the bracketed five stars, but doesn't work very well as novel or popular maths. [] Mathematics
Jonathan Balcombe Pleasurable Kingdom Can animals feel pleasure? Pet owners will say "yes" - this book shows they're probably right, and explains why it happens and why we should consider it in animal welfare. Biology
Jonathan Balcombe Second Nature The book presents important messages about animals' ability to feel and how we should treat them, but does so in a repetitious and poorly argued way. Biology
Sebastien Balibar The Apple and the Atom Enjoyable and very personal views on a series of scientific topics from a French low temperature physicist. Overview
Keith Ball Strange Curves, Counting Rabbits and other Mathematical Explorations If your idea of fun is solving mathematical problems at around first year degree level, then this is the book for you. Mathematics
Philip Ball Branches Part of Ball's wide-ranging study of form, this book looks at branching in nature, with a sideline in the concept of scientific models. Overview
Philip Ball Bright Earth: the invention of colour Wonderful subject of the history of artists' colours and the science behind them - sacrifices a little readability for comprehensiveness. Overview
Philip Ball Critical Mass Overlong and inconclusive but still fascinating look at the statistical behaviour of humanity Overview
Philip Ball Flow A study of the science of flow that offers many pleasures to the reader (but a clear statement of the book's aims is not one of them) Overview
Philip Ball The Devil's Doctor Revealing look at the medieval mix of magic and science that lay behind the life and theories of Paracelsus the strange and often reviled early medic Biography
Philip Ball Shapes Over-technical and detailed, but still fascinating exploration of how natural shapes emerge. Overview
Frank Barnaby How to Build a Nuclear Bomb Nightmare study of what weapons of mass destruction are and can do in the hands of terrorists - ultimately frustrating Technology
Tom Barnes et al The Elegant Universe of Albert Einstein Collection of essays based on radio broadcasts linked to the 100th anniversary of Einstein's great year. A little fragmented, but some very good. Physics
Anthony Barnosky Heatstroke Excellent exploration of the impact of climate change on species, and how the present global warming could devastate nature. Earth science, biology
Martin Bojowald Once Before Time Explanation of loop quantum gravity, the main competitor to string theory. Knows his stuff, but not how to write about it. Physics, cosmology
Simon Baron-Cohen The Essential Difference Fascinating new evidence on the genetic difference between male and female brains, but a bit stodgy Human science
John D. Barrow The Artful Universe Expanded Attempt to link the arts and the science of the universe that allowed them to emerge - good idea, but sinks in pomposity Overview
John D. Barrow Cosmic Imagery: key images in the history of science Barrow often tries to pull together art and science and here succeeds well in an exploration of archetypes of scientific imagery. Overview
John D. Barrow The Infinite Book Interesting book on infinity, generally very good, though too much cosmology and attempts at artiness and not enough maths Maths
John D. Barrow New Theories of Everything Hard to read, but insightful exploration of the nature of theories in science and how they are constructed, particularly around physics and theories of everything. Physics
Bruce Bassett & Ralph Edney Introducing Relativity Wacky illustrated introduction to the concepts of relativity - pure marmite Physics
Robert Bauval The Egypt Code Don't be put off by the new-agey title: this is a real thriller of an exploration of the relationship between Ancient Egyptian buildings and stellar observation. Archaeology, astronomy
Robert Bauval & Thomas Brophy Black Genesis Further thoughts on alignments of some newly discovered prehistoric structures in Egypt, plus a theory on the nature of the ancient Egyptians - but much less readable than the Egypt Code. Archaeology, astronomy
Norman Beale Joseph Priestley in Calne Readable short biography of the discoverer of oxygen, focussing on his key years at Bowood House. Biography, chemistry
Jim Bell Postcards from Mars Great photographs of the Martian surface taken by the rovers, with good explanatory text, but after a while the pictures are very similar to each other. Astronomy
Madison Smartt Bell Lavoisier in the Year One Good to see a chemistry popular science book, and Lavoisier's contribution is interesting (as were the times), but overall disappointingly dull Chemistry
Arthur Benjamin & Michael Shermer Think Like a Maths Genius [Secrets of Mental Math] Lots of exercises, tips and techniques to get your mental arithmetic operating at maximum power. Not a great read, but fun in you like this kind of thing. Maths
Jeffrey Bennett Beyond UFOs Warm and well-written book on the search for extra terrestrial life, but no real surprises. Astronomy
Nigel C. Benson Introducing Psychology: a graphic guide Pocket-sized introduction using lots of line drawings as illustration. Leaves worries about psychology's status as a science.. Human science
Peter J. Bentley The Book of Numbers Lavishly illustrated glossy book on the history and use of numbers. Looks good, but only skims the surface in content. Maths
Peter J. Bentley The Undercover Scientist Attempt to link basic science introduction by describing why various disasters happen to the second person protagonist - a little wince-making. Overview
David Berlinski Infinite Ascent This short history of mathematics has a lot of promise, and a good summary of modern maths, but is let down by flowery language and inaccuracies, Maths
Peter Bernstein Against the Gods Good history of our attitude to risk and probability - a little too much finance and not enough physics, but good Maths
Alain Berthoz Simplexity Tries to explain a concept in biology but totally incomprehensible. Biology
Wayne Biddle Dark Side of the Moon A summary history of the rise of Nazi Germany and of the von Braun family combine to explain how Wernher von Braun went from aristocrat to US hero. Technology
Piers Bizony Atom A good mix of biography and science as we follow the trail of just what atoms are. Could do with a bit more depth in the human interest side, but well-written. Physics
Piers Bizony The Man Who Ran the Moon An excellent insight into the race to the moon from the viewpoint of NASA, and particularly administrator James Webb. Five stars for effectiveness, but has to have three as its rating as very little science. Technology
Piers Bizony Science: the definitive guide Attempt to do the whole of science in a two page spreads style picture book. Very bitty and not enough content, but worst of all, the huge format makes it practically unreadable. Overview
Susan Blackmore Conversations on Consciousness 20 interesting interviews with experts on the nature of consciousness - but this isn't a helpful format for this topic Human science
Susan Blackmore Dying to Live One of the few books to address a possible piece of evidence for life after death (near death experiences) in a rational, scientific fashion Human science
Sandra Blakeslee & V. S. Ramachandran Phantoms in the Brain The workings of the brain cleverly explored through mental problems and the effects of brain damage Human science
Michael Blastland & Andrew Dilnot The Tiger that Isn't Brilliant excursion into the way we misuse and misunderstand numbers and statistics, and how to see around it. Maths
Mark Blumberg Freaks of Nature Interesting take on how developmental pressures can produce freaks as much as genetic faults. Human science
David Bodanis E=mc2 Great historical storytelling, if a little sketchy on the science in this biography of an equation, reviewed on E=mc2's 100th birthday Physics
David Bodanis Electric Universe Excellent as a teen introduction to the wonders of electricity, but a bit too gushing for some adults. Physics
Ronald Louis Bonewitz Rock & Gem Not really popular science, but a beautifully illustrated reference on all kinds of rocks, minerals & gems Earth science
Max Born & Albert Einstein The Born-Einstein Letters Fascinating letters between two of the 20th century greats of physics. Biography, physics
Stephen R. Bown [The Age of] Scurvy Gripping story of the slow discovery of the cure for scurvy that brings alive the atmosphere of life on sailing ships Human science
Mark L. Brake & Neil Hook Different Engines Interesting topic - the interplay between science and science fiction - with some good points, but not hugely readable, and some glaring omissions. Overview
Ken Bray How to Score A book on the science of football (soccer, that is). Not all for the fans - some of it is generally interesting, but perhaps not enough of it Human science
Denis Brian The Curies Interesting and in-depth biography of both the Curies and the Joliot-Curies, though could have been even better with judicious editing. Biography
Claire Brock The Comet Sweeper Interesting view of the life of Caroline Herschel, the first female professional astronomer, if a little tinted by the author's views. Biography
John Brockman (Ed) Curious Minds (UK: When We Were Kids) 27 "why I turned to science" essays that is so much more interesting than it sounds. Really. Biography
Clive Bromhall The Eternal Child Stunningly effective theory of how the human ape became more like an infant to survive in large groups, and its impact on our bodies and behaviours Human science
Michael Brooks 13 Things that don't make sense A fun and informative read on 13 anomalies of science that surprises and delights in equal measures. Overview
Michael Brooks The Big Questions: Physics A strange notebook-like format for a book that summarizes particularly modern physics well, but lacks a popular science context. Physics
Michael Brooks Free Radicals An unusual look behind the facade of cool, rational thinkers that scientists like to project to show the way some great science came from off-the-wall thinking and how scientists are all too human.. Overview
Andrew Brown In the Beginning was the Worm Delightful introduction to the first creature to have its genome sequenced - and the scientists who did it Biology
Guy  Brown The Living End Book about death, aging and immortality, but mostly death. Frankly it's a bit depressing and gave me a pain in all the diodes down my left side.  Human science
Julian Brown The Quest for the Quantum Computer Very good exploration of the weird world of quantum computing. Five star for techies, but actual rating reflects over-technical approach.  Physics, technology
Lester R. Brown Plan B 2.0 Disappointingly dull and uninspiring plan to save the world from eco-disaster, though does have a good survey of the problems.  Earth science
Paul Brown The Rocketbelt Caper Stranger than fiction true story of the development of the rocketbelt and the plunge into kidnapping and murder that one rocketbelt caused Technology
Colin Bruce Schrödinger's Rabbits Introduction to quantum theory concentrating more on the interpretation than the theory itself. Rather confusingly written. Physics
Leslie Brunetta & Catherine L. Craig Spider Silk The origins and nature of spiders, everything you want to know about silk and webs and more in this study of the life and loves of the arachnids. Biology
Bill Bryson A Short History of Nearly Everything Triumphant charge through all of science Overview
Mark Buchanan Small World: Uncovering Nature's Hidden Networks Fascinating concept leading to the 'six degrees of separation' idea, but ultimately unsatisfying. Maths
Jed Z. Buchwald & Diane Greco Josefowicz The Zodiac of Paris Long historical account of the discovery of ancient Egyptian zodiacs and the religious uproar caused by their astronomical interpretation in Napoleonic France. Archeology
Dean Buonomano Brain Bugs Excellent look at the human brain's foibles and glitches, where it simply gets things wrong and where it's programmed for a prehistoric world. Human Science
Druin Burch Digging up the Dead Riveting, if occasionally stomach churning biography of the top surgeon from around 1800, Astley Cooper. Highly recommended. Human Science
Edward B. Burger & Michael Starbird Coincidences, Chaos and All that Math Jazz A high speed, highly enjoyable tour of many of the interesting bits of maths that doesn't patronize, but is never over-heavy. Maths
Robbins Burling The Talking Ape Fascinating exploration of the origins and nature of language. Approachable yet authoritative. Human Science
David Burnie (Ed.) Animal Wonderful illustrated reference guide to the animal kingdom - not popular science really, hence only Biology
William Byers The Blind Spot Challenges the validity of our approach to science from a philosophical standpoint. Makes some interesting points, but rather impenetrable writing style. Overview
Peter Byrne The Many Worlds of Hugh Everett III Interesting biography of the man behind the many worlds quantum interpretation and a major contributor to game theory. Bio parts good, science a bit impenetrable. Biography, physics
Thomas Byrne & Tom Cassidy How to Save the World with Salad Dressing A great idea of introducing basic physics concepts in the form of a series of puzzles set it a story, though the execution leaves something to be desired.  Physics
John T. Cacioppo & William Patrick Loneliness A thorough, down-to-earth survey of the psychology, sociology and ethology of loneliness. Human science
Deborah Cadbury Space Race Engaging and sometimes horrifying story of the origins and realities of the race to space and the moon from both sides of the iron curtain Technology
Alice Calaprice (Ed.) The Ultimate Quotable Einstein Fat book of Einstein quotes. He certainly was quotable - but it's hard to see what this book is for. Biography
Nigel Calder Einstein's Universe: the layperson's guide Short and useful book which outlines special and general relativity - good start for anyone who is first encountering the subject. Physics
Nigel Calder Magic Universe Alphabetic collection of articles on modern science that are fascinating to read and give a good overview. Overview
Nigel Calder & Henrik Svensmark The Chilling Stars Controversial but fascinating theory that much of the Earth's climate change through history has been caused by the impact of cosmic rays. Cosmology, Earth Science
Paul Callaghan & Kim Hill As Far As We Know Transcripts of entertaining radio conversations covering a wide range of scientific issues from human gender to thermodynamics. Overview
Craig Callender & Ralph Edney Introducing Time Occasionally bizarre but very effective pocket illustrated tour of the concept of time, giving more than many longer books. Physics
Deborah Cameron The Myth of Mars and Venus Great idea, debunking the whole Mars/Venus think (and pop sci equivalents), but not enough for a whole book. Human Science
David Canter Mapping Murder Fascinating if flawed book on geographical profiling from the man who really started it as a systematic approach Mathematics
Fritjof Capra The Tao of Physics Classic book drawing parallels between physics (particularly quantum physics) and Eastern religions, still interesting despite blatant misuse by new-agers. Physics
Nessa Carey The Epigenetics Revolution Fascinating and enlightening book on the way DNA goes beyond genes in controlling the body. Should have been five star if it wasn't for the overabundance of impenetrable names. Human science
Rita Carter The Brain Book Surprisingly good adult picture book on the brain and how it works. Human science
B. Jack Copeland et al Colossus A series of essays on the wartime codebreaking at Bletchley Park, and the ground-breaking Colossus computers with newly declassified content Technology
Robert Todd Carroll The Skeptic's Dictionary Overview of the many strange beliefs people out there hold. Format makes it less readable than some, but still good Sceptics
Sean Carroll From Eternity to Here The book A Brief History of Time should have been - really does explore time and the significance of entropy to cosmology. Excellent book. Physics, cosmology
Roberto Casati The Shadow Club Very promising book about shadow that simply can't deliver, because there's not much to tell Physics
John L. Casti The One True Platonic Heaven Cleverly written fictional encounter between key physicists and mathematicians at the IAS - with some politics thrown in for fun Overview
Brian Cathcart The Fly in the Cathedral Brilliant story of the race to crack open the atomic nucleus: a must! Physics
Brian Cathcart Rain Some lovely insights into rain and its effects, but too short Earth science
Gregory Chaitin Conversations with a Mathematician Compilation of lectures and interviews, best read as a follow-up to Meta Math!. Maths
Gregory Chaitin Meta Math! The Quest for Omega Fascinating description of a real modern mathematician's thinking, coupled with insights into the nature of maths. Maths
Jack Challoner (Ed.) 1001 Inventions that changed the World In essence a website on paper, this doesn't really work as a book. You can't read it end to end, nor is it a great reference. Technology
Brian & Deborah Charlesworth Evolution: A Very Short Introduction Pocket-sized but effective basic introduction to evolution. Could do with a bit more historical context, but fine. Biology
Parvinder Chawla Versatile Vaccines Basic but accessible book on vaccines with a little history and several chapters on the fight to produce new vaccines for killers like HIV. Human science
Nicholas Cheetham Universe: a journey from Earth to the Edge of the Cosmos Nice idea - photographic record of a 'journey' from Earth to the edge of the universe, but the result is a coffee table book.. Astronomy
Margaret Cheney Tesla: Man out of Time Biography of the remarkable inventor Nikola Tesla. Good on his personal life, but the author isn't very good at science. Biography
MARCUS CHOWN Biography More on books Features
Marcus Chown Afterglow of Creation Intriguing detective story tracking back from the cosmic background radiation to the big bang. Cosmology
Marcus Chown The Magic Furnace Where atoms come from - a remarkable story that takes us from the big bang to now Physics, astronomy, cosmology
Marcus Chown The Never Ending Days of Being Dead A clear exploration of some of the big questions in physics, bringing in a range of weird and wonderful theories Physics, cosmology
Marcus Chown & Govert Schilling Tweeting the Universe One of those 'great idea, didn't quite work' concepts - explaining cosmology in 140 character maximum 'tweets'. Astronomy, cosmology, physics
Marcus Chown Quantum Theory cannot hurt you [The Quantum Zoo] The best introduction to quantum physics and relativity we've seen with some superb examples and great explanation Physics
Marcus Chown Solar System Chown's excellent Solar System app ported to book form. Not quite as good, but still has great images and easy to follow text. Astronomy
Marcus Chown The Universe Next Door Strange concepts at the edge of scientific theories Overview, physics
Marcus Chown We need to talk about Kelvin Uses everyday observations to plunge into quantum theory, thermodynamics and cosmology. Great fun and very readable. Physics, cosmology
Brian Christian The Most Human Human Uses the Turing test, comparing human and computer conversation, to discover what this teaches us about being human and about computer capabilities. Technology, human science
Gale Christianson Isaac Newton Short Newton biography, strong on historical context, not so good on the science Biography
John Clancy The Human Body Close-up Packed with high-detailed microscope pictures of parts of the body it is a visual feast, supported by a basic but fair text. Just a shame it's so heavy! Human science
Susan A. Clancy Abducted Sensible scientific look at the reality of alien abduction - very engaging writing, but could have better structured Human science
Stuart Clark The Big Questions: The Universe Useful summary of the basics of cosmology in a rather stylish package, but lacks much popular science context. Astronomy
Stuart Clark The Sun Kings Well-written and enjoyable history of discoveries about the Sun and its influence on the Earth from renaissance times. Astronomy
BRIAN CLEGG Biography & interview More on books Blog
Brian Clegg Armageddon Science The science behind the many ways that humanity can destroy itself (with a bit of destructive nature thrown in). Mad scientists may be scary, but it's a strangely enjoyable cocktail. Overview
Brian Clegg Before the Big Bang The latest ideas on how the universe began, the limitations of the Big Bang theory and more in excellent popular history of how humans understand the universe. Cosmology
Brian Clegg A Brief History of Infinity The people and paradoxes in the quest to think the unthinkable Maths
Brian Clegg Ecologic Moves green issues away from knee-jerk emotional responses and bogeymen to uncover greenwash and establish what really is effective for the environment. Earth science
Brian Clegg Exploring the Universe An attractive pictorial introduction to astronomy and cosmology, small enough to be readable but big enough to get good colour pictures. Astronomy
Brian Clegg The God Effect Remarkable exploration of quantum entanglement, a bizarre effect that has amazing applications. Excellent explanation of the science Physics
Brian Clegg The First Scientist Readable biography of thirteenth century friar and proto-scientist, Roger Bacon. Biography, overview
Brian Clegg How to Build a Time Machine [Build Your Own Time Machine] A tantalising exploration of the physics of time travel and the different possibilities for making it happen, including the everyday time travel that special relativity already brings. Physics
Brian Clegg Inflight Science A celebration of the wonder of powered flight that covers the science of flying but is mostly about the science observed through the aircraft window. Overview
Brian Clegg Instant Egghead Guide: Physics Entertaining and readable pocket guide to the essentials of physics. Physics
Brian Clegg Light Years The story of humanity's exploration of light. Combination of good history with fascinating new light science. New edition. Physics
Brian Clegg The Man Who Stopped Time Engaging biography of the motion picture pioneer and murderer. Not a huge amount of science in his life, but brings out the science of photography etc. well. Biography
Brian Clegg The Universe Inside You Using your body as a starting point, takes you on a journey through the science that makes it possible - not just biology, but everything from light to relativity. Overview
Brian Clegg Upgrade Me A fascinating exploration of the journey to human 2.0, from the key ability to contemplate the future, to life extension, cosmetic enhancement, extra strength, electronic implants and more. Human science
Frank Close Antimatter Intriguing guide to antimatter: what it is, how it's made and how it's unlikely to be a serious component of a weapon. Physics
Frank Close The Infinity Puzzle Essential reading for anyone interested in really understanding QED, weak and strong forces and the Higgs boson - but has some issues. Physics
Frank Close Neutrino Small but totally fascinating book on the hunt for this most elusive of quantum particles. Superb insight into the way real science works. Physics
Frank Close Nothing: a very short introduction Turns out to be more 'basic ideas in modern physics', often well presented, though very compact - but not quite what the title promises. Physics
Charles Cockell Space on Earth Uncomfortable mix of space exploration and environmentalism that tell you more about the author's interests than anything else. Overview
I. B. Cohen The Triumph of Numbers A genuinely interesting and often surprising history of statistics that brings in unexpected characters from King David and Dickens to Florence Nightingale. Mathematics
Jack Cohen & Ian Stewart The Collapse of Chaos Combines chaos theory and complexity theory to boggle the mind Maths
Jack Cohen & Ian Stewart Evolving the Alien [What does a Martian look like] Clever idea of exploring alien life possibilities, partly driven by SF ideas, but suffers from smugness Biology
Jack Cohen, Ian Stewart & Terry Pratchett Science of Discworld Clever mix of Pratchett's fantasy and science covering the "construction" of the earth. Not the best in the series, but good Overview
Jack Cohen, Ian Stewart & Terry Pratchett Science of Discworld II Clever idea, mixing Pratchett's fantasy and science, but this instalment on the mind is by far the worst Human Science
Jack Cohen, Ian Stewart & Terry Pratchett Science of Discworld III: Darwin's Watch The highly entertaining and original combo of Discworld fantasy and scientific precision is aimed at evolution. A few quibbles but great Biology
Richard Cohen Chasing the Sun A huge exploration of humanity's relationship with the sun. Overlong and sometimes a little vague on the science, but a fascinating read. Astronomy
Peter Coles Cosmology: a very short introduction Compact but surprisingly detailed introduction to cosmology. Could do with an update, but still good. Cosmology
Peter Coles From Cosmos to Chaos Stunning introduction to probability and statistics, particularly in cosmology, plus Bayesian statistics, sadly only readable by a degree-level science student or above. Mathematics
Neil F. Comins What if the Earth had two Moons? Really clever idea of exploring astronomy through 10 'what if' variants on the Earth - but use of fiction poor and gets a bit samey. Astronomy
Mariana Cook (photographer) Mathematicians Collection of 92 portraits of mathematicians with a page each to explain why they love maths. Very coffee table. Mathematics
Jennifer Coopersmith Energy: the subtle concept Though by no means an easy read with many physics concept taken as read, this book is a valuable exploration of the nature of energy and our increasing knowledge of it. Physics
Heather Couper & Nigel Henbest The Story of Astronomy Excellent historical narrative of the development of astronomy and our gradual discovery of what is out there in the universe, told through the characters involved. Astronomy
Daniel Coyle The Talent Code Interesting observations on how the brain programs for skills that work well for physical skills but the author fails to spot they're anathema to creativity. Human science
Jerry A. Coyne Why Evolution is True A persuasive and plain-spoken summary of the evidence for evolution by natural selection, with some minor conceptual problems. Biology
Brian Cox & Jeff Forshaw The Quantum Universe: everything that can happen does happen A superb primer on quantum physics for anyone about to start a physics degree, but incredibly hard work for a general reader. Physics
Brian Cox & Jeff Forshaw Why Does E=mc2 Explanation of the derivation of the world's most famous equation, exploration of the standard model master equation and great exposition of Higgs - but too technical for the general reader. Physics
Naomi Craft The Little Book of Medical Breakthroughs Interesting set of short articles on the development of medical science, but format limits its accessibility as popular science. Human science
Robert P. Crease The Prism and the Pendulum The ten most beautiful experiments in science (well, physics), with good insights into the people behind them. Physics
Ian Crofton Scientific without the Boring Bits A chronologically arranged collection of fun factoids and strange pseudo-science snippets. Each entry is only a paragraph or two, so too bitty to enjoy end to end - better to dip in. Overview
Alfred W. Crosby Children of the Sun A sweeping and inspiring trip through humanity's relationship with energy, from simple agriculture to nuclear power. Style not to everyone's taste, but magnificent. Overview
Thomas Crump A Brief History of Science The history of science through the development of scientific tools and instruments Overview, technology
Vilmos Csányi If Dogs Could Talk Real eye-opener on the nature and sophistication of the mind of a very familiar creature: the dog Biology

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Last update 16 April 2011