Best Science Books 2014: The Washington Post

Dec 08 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 lists are The Washington Post ten best books of 2014 and 50 notable works of nonfiction.

  • Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End by Atul Gawande
  • The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History by Elizabeth Kolbert
  • Acid Test: LSD, Ecstasy, and the Power to Heal by Tom Shroder
  • The Birth of the Pill: How Four Crusaders Reinvented Sex and Launched a Revolution by Jonathan Eig
  • Countdown to Zero Day: Stuxnet and the Launch of the World's First Digital Weapon by Kim Zetter
  • How Not to Be Wrong: The Power of Mathematical Thinking by Jordan Ellenberg
  • How We Got to Now: Six Innovations That Made the Modern World by Steven Johnson
  • The Innovators: How a Group of Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution by Walter Isaacson
  • In the Kingdom of Ice: The Grand and Terrible Polar Voyage of the USS Jeannette by Hampton Sides
  • Sally Ride: America's First Woman in Space by Lynn Sherr
  • What Stays in Vegas: The World of Personal Data—Lifeblood of Big Business—and the End of Privacy as We Know It by Adam Tanner
  • War of the Whales: A True Story by Joshua Horwitz

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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