10 entertaining science books

Paul Holper

Science and technology lie at the heart of so much that is good about modern life. As researchers rush to create a COVID-19 vaccine, let’s begin with a chillingly prescient extract from Bill Bryson’s entertaining 2019 book The Body: A Guide for Occupants. Bryson quotes Dr Michael Kinch, Director of the Center for Drug Discovery at Washington University:
“The fact is we are really no better prepared for a bad outbreak today than we were when Spanish flu killed tens of millions of people a hundred years ago. The reason we haven’t had another experience like that isn’t because we have been especially vigilant. It’s because we have been lucky.”

Here are some of my favourite science-related books. I’ve ended my list with a fiction book, The Martian, as it’s loaded with science and a great way to take your mind of the situation on Earth.


Electronic Universe, David Bodanis

The Body: A Guide for Occupants, Bill Bryson

A Short History of Nearly Everything, Bill Bryson

Chasing the Monsoon, Alexander Frater

The Barmaid’s Brain and Other Strange Tales From Science, Jay Ingram

Bonk: The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex, Mary Roach

Longitude, Dava Sobel

The Mechanical Turk, Tom Standage

A Fish Caught in Time the Search for the Coelacanth, Samantha Weinberg

The Martian, Andy Weir


There are plenty of others that I can recommend. Let me know if you’d like more reading suggestions.

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