Best Science Books 2014: Physics World

Dec 05 2014 Published by under best science books 2014, science books

As you all have no doubt noticed over the years, I love highlighting the best science books every year via the various end of year lists that newspapers, web sites, etc. publish. I've done it so far in 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013.

And here we are in 2014!

As in previous years, my definition of "science books" is pretty inclusive, including books on technology, engineering, nature, the environment, science policy, history & philosophy of science, geek culture and whatever else seems to be relevant in my opinion.

Today's list is Physics World Top physics books for 2014.

  • Wizards, Aliens and Starships: Physics and Math in Fantasy and Science Fiction by Charles L Adler
  • Serving the Reich: the Struggle for the Soul of Physics Under Hitler by Philip Ball
  • Five Billion Years of Solitude: the Search for Life Among the Stars by Lee Billings
  • Plutopia: Nuclear Families, Atomic Cities, and the Great Soviet and American Plutonium Disasters by Kate Brown
  • Smashing Physics: Inside the World’s Biggest Experiment by Jon Butterworth
  • Sonic Wonderland: a Scientific Odyssey of Sound by Trevor Cox
  • The Perfect Theory: a Century of Geniuses and the Battle Over General Relativity by Pedro G Ferreira
  • Stuff Matters: Exploring the Marvelous Materials That Shape Our Man-Made World by Mark Miodownik
  • Einstein and the Quantum: The Quest of the Valiant Swabian by A. Douglas Stone
  • Island on Fire: The Extraordinary Story of Laki, the Volcano that Turned Eighteenth-century Europe Dark by Jeff Kanipe

And check out my previous 2014 lists here!

Many of the lists I use use are sourced via the Largehearted Boy master list.

(Astute readers will notice that I kind of petered out on this project last year and never got around to the end of year summary. The last few years I ended up featuring dozens of lists, virtually every list I could find that had science books on it. While it was kind of cool to be so comprehensive, not to mention that it gave the summary posts a certain statistical weight, it was also way more work than I had really envisioned way back in 2008 or so when I started doing this. As a result, I'm only going to highlight particularly large or noteworthy lists this year and forgo any kind of end of year summary. Basically, all the fun but not so much of the drudgery.)

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