Book Bingo 2017 is nearly at its end, with just two weeks left to get your bingo or blackout and turn in your card. Have you been puzzling over the Science Nonfiction/Science Fiction category? Enjoy these ideas for avenues to explore.
Interested in genetics? Try The Gene by Siddhartha Mukherjee, a history of the quest to understand the gene and the impact of genetic study on our everyday lives. Or try How to Tame a Fox by Lee Alan Dugatkin, about a long-term experiment in Russia with the aim of domesticating foxes and thus better understanding how wolves were domesticated into dogs. Sticking with animals, read along with Frans de Waal as he asks Are We Smart Enough to Know How Smart Animals Are?
With the solar eclipse on August 21, perhaps astronomy is on your mind. Mask of the Sun: The Science, History, and Forgotten Lore of Eclipses by John Dvorak gives an overview of how eclipses work and how people have interpreted them through time. Touch down on nearby planets with Mark Thompson’s A Space Traveler’s Guide to the Solar System. Or check out Neil deGrasse Tyson’s quick and convenient introduction to the universe, Astrophysics for People in a Hurry.
Hope Jahren recounts a life spent working with plants as an environmental geologist in Lab Girl. Sam Kean has been writing interesting science nonfiction for years; check out his latest, Caesar’s Last Breath: Decoding the Secrets of the Air Around Us.
Perhaps you’d like to explore a science fictional universe. Shall we start with some titans in the genre? I, Robot by Issac Asimov is a collection of interlinked stories that chronicles the development of robots from origin to perfection and their interactions with humans. Octavia Butler imagines a future version of our world in Parable of the Sower, in which a young woman with empathic abilities joins a group of refugees in Northern California after the country is devastated by disasters and her home is destroyed. Or explore a totally new world with Dune by Frank Herbert, in which Paul Atreides, given up for dead on a treacherous desert planet, is helped by its nomadic people in unraveling his destiny.
Would you like more recently published science fiction? Try Seveneves by Neal Stephenson, in which life on Earth is doomed and a small group of people are selected to inhabit a community surrounding the International Space Station, a community that will try to survive the 5,000 years it will take for Earth to become habitable again. Six Wakes by Mur Lafferty begins when six clones wake up early, and then must discover who has murdered the crew of their starship. Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie follows Breq, whose artificial intelligence once commanded thousands of soldier bodies and ships but is now confined to a single mortal body and focused on revenge. Or check out The Three-body Problem by Cixin Liu, where scientists communicating with aliens try to figure out what they want from Earth, all set against the backdrop of China’s Cultural Revolution.
~ posted by Andrea G.