Science and Technology Reading List
The Creative Destruction of Medicine
by Eric Topol (Nonfiction)
A renowned UCSD cardiologist and researcher examines the revolutionary implications of digital medicine.
The Patient Will See You Now
Phantoms in the Brain
by V.S. Ramachandran (Nonfiction)
Named by Newsweek as one of the one hundred most important people to watch in the next century, Dr. Ramachandran is sometimes called the “Sherlock Holmes” of neuroscience. This book investigates the strangest puzzles of neurology and explains his groundbreaking research into the phenomenon of phantom limbs.
The Tell-Tale Brain
The Checklist Manifesto
by Atul Gawande (Nonfiction)
A brilliant writer and well-regarded surgeon, Atul Gawande demonstrates that life’s blessings are not always evenly distributed—how can one person be this talented and insightful? This book examines ways of thinking and behaving that can result in better outcomes for surgeries, airline flights…any complicated, high-stakes activity.
Your Inner Fish
by Neil Shubin (Nonfiction)
This paleontologist and professor of anatomy tells the story of the human body through an examination of fossils and DNA, including his own discovery of Tiktaalik, the “fish with hands.” A must-read for students about to embark upon AP Biology.
Survival of the Sickest
by Dr. Sharon Moalem (Nonfiction)
What deadly disease also protects humans from malaria? How could diabetes provide an edge for our ancestors in the last Ice Age? Dr. Moalem presents the evolutionary upside of several otherwise terrifying diseases.
The Hot Zone
by Richard Preston (Nonfiction)
This (mostly) true-life tale reveals the story of Ebola’s first moments in North America. Stephen King has described the book as “one of the most horrifying things I have read in my entire life,” so readers be forewarned: it is gorey and gooey.
“What Do YOU Care What Other People Think?”:
Further Adventures of a Curious Character
by Richard P. Feynman (Nonfiction)
Richard Feynman was not only one of the greatest Physicists the world has ever known, he is also a great story-teller. This memoir travels beyond the confines of his own life, reflecting upon the nature of scientific inquiry and the hidden story of the Challenger disaster.
Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman?
How Doctors Think
by Jerome Groopman (Nonfiction)
Any student interested in how doctors become doctors, how doctors think, and how they make errors in their thinking will benefit from this fascinating book.
by Michael Lewis (Nonfiction)
Much more than a book about baseball, this is a story about mathematics—how numbers can tell a truer, more dramatic story about human potential.
The Big Short
by James Gleick (Nonfiction)
This is the story of computer science, beginning with the simplest ways of compressing information—tribal drums—to the most sophisticated frontiers of quantum computing. A bit dense and esoteric at times, it is well worth the effort.
Death by Black Hole
by Neil DeGrasse Tyson (Nonfiction)
Tyson’s wit turns an otherwise imposing book about the universe into a friendly and memorable page-turner. By the way, College Board loves his writing—several passages from this book have appeared on SAT exams.
Four Fish: The Future of the Last Wild Food
by Paul Greenberg (Nonfiction)
Although not quite as compelling as the food/nature writing of Michael Pollan and Mark Kurlansky, Greenberg’s book examines the environmental implications of our love affair with the tender flesh of four fish. You’ll never look at the frozen food section of Costco quite the same way.
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
by Rebecca Skloot (Nonfiction)
The cells of a woman who died in the 1950s are still living in cancer labs across the world. The story of these cells—and the ethical questions that arise from how these cells were obtained—animate this thoughtful, powerful book.
1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus
by Charles C. Mann (Nonfiction)
This book about pre-Columbian America reads like a detective novel, and raises fascinating questions about the Americas that existed before the journeys of Columbus.
My Brief History
by Stephen Hawking (Nonfiction)
A (very) brief personal memoir by the world’s most famous astrophysicist.
A Brief History of Time
The Grand Design
Alan Turing: The Enigma
by Andrew Hodges (Nonfiction)
This is the definitive biography of one of the most influential minds of the 20th century, and the inspiration for the Oscar-nominated film starring Benedict Cumberbatch.
The Greatest Show on Earth
by Richard Dawkins (Nonfiction)
Dawkins takes the reader on a detailed tour of evolution, including scientific evidence and the voices of critics of evolution.
The Selfish Gene
The Fabric of the Cosmos
by Brian Greene (Nonfiction)
In precise, beautiful prose this Columbia professor explains how string theory may help unite our understanding of the very big and the very small.
The Elegant Universe