Thursday, July 05, 2012

Science books for non-Science-y People

Just some quick notes on a couple of  books and authors I've been enjoying recently:

In anticipation of my daughter's summer botany study, I read Andrea Wulf's The Brother Gardeners, about early American and English botanists who brought us the English Garden.  I enjoyed it way more than I expected to, and just grabbed Founding Gardeners from the library in the hope of starting on that soon.  Then I will read every other book of hers I can find. 

But first I have to finish Summer World: A Season of Bounty  by biologist Bernd Heinrich.  This is not my first of his books. Last year I read Winter World: The Ingenuity of Animal Survival and The Geese of Beaver Bog to my kids.  We loved both books, but really clicked with Geese because of the relationship between the humans and the birds.  I also saw, and grabbed, The Trees in my Forest  from the library yesterday. I'm going to try to preview that quickly to see if it's suitable for Eleanor.  Science books are tricky for her; she needs to read more nonfiction in general, and she enjoys the topics of birds and animals, but sometimes it just gets above her head. So we'll see. 

I am not a "science person" but I love reading about natural science when the book is not technical.  There is a bit of evolution and technical talk in Heinrich's books, but not so much that I can't read them.

Of course my very favorite natural history writer is Edwin Way Teale. We still read his seasonal travel books.  We've never managed to read one in full during the season, but we just pick  up where we left off last time.  It's time to pull out Journey into Summer, isn't it? 

I am linking my books to rather than Amazon these days.  I find their reviews more helpful, generally, and everyone knows where to buy books.

What science books for non-science-y people do you recommend?


Gillian said...

Thank you for the recommendations! I actually love science, but especially reading good sciencey, but not too sciencey, books best. I put a couple of the Edwin Way Teale books on hold at my library.

Check out David M. Carroll's books, such as Swampwalker's Journal: A Wetlands Year; Following the Water: A Hydromancer's Notebook; and The Year of the Turtle: A Natural History.

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