Reviews and Blog Posts: science

Outstanding Books for the College Bound and Lifelong Learners

The Night Circus

Every five years, the Young Adult Library Services Association creates a list of Outstanding Books for the College Bound and Lifelong Learners in collaboration with academic librarians.

Whether you are a high school student thinking of heading off to college soon, an adult considering returning to school, or at any stage in your life and wanting some direction in your continuing education, the 2014 list is a diverse group of books, nonfiction and fiction, in various categories, that will expand your thoughts about the world around you. The books are at different reading levels and in different formats, and there's something here that should both interest and challenge nearly anyone interested in feeding their mind.

Electricity

by Joseph Midthun

Reviewer Rating:
5

The Building Blocks of Science series of books are really fun and informative, using both text and illustrations with fun characters to teach basic body system, science, and math concepts.  My fifth grader loved them and asked for more, and his younger cousin visiting from Minnesota also could not put...

The disappearing spoon and other true tales of madness, love, and the history of the world from the periodic table of the elements

by Sam Kean

Reviewer Rating:
4

The elements that sit so neat and tidy on the periodic table actually have a long and often messy history. Written with a strong enough grasp of chemistry to satisfy those with more expertise (I believe) but, for those of us who nearly failed Chemistry in high school (guilty), the...

Gulp [adventures on the alimentary canal]

by Mary Roach

Reviewer Rating:
4

This is arguably Mary Roach's grossest work to date, but as always she asks and finds answers to the questions that we all would ask, if we hadn't been scolded that those kinds of questions aren't polite. In Gulp, Roach takes us on a journey through our alimentary canal -...

The doodles of Sam Dibble. 3, Robots don't clean toilets

by Judy Press

Reviewer Rating:
4

 I am constantly on the look out for books that I can recommend to the young ones whenever there are no available copies of Diary of a wimpy kid.  This book is one of those in which kids learn something useful amid all the fart jokes (and there are many...

Primates : the fearless science of Jane Goodall, Dian Fossey, and Birut Galdikas

by Jim Ottaviani

Reviewer Rating:
4

This book is read for Young Adults. It is a good basic accessible introduction to three of the greatest primatologists of the 20th century: Jane Goodall, Dian Fossey & Birute Galdikas. It looks at each woman's life and contributions to their field. The different personalities and passions of each woman...

The name of the wind

by Patrick Rothfuss

Reviewer Rating:
3

I grew up on high fantasy, but lately every time I see a 600+ page sci-fi or fantasy book, I just think "ain't nobody got time for that!" That may be why it took a while to get into this book (it took a few hours of listening before I...

Letters to a young scientist

by Edward O Wilson

Reviewer Rating:
3

Do you have a young, budding scientist in your life? E.O. Wilson, the "Father of Sociobiology" and the creator of the online Encyclopedia of Life reflects back on his childhood, education, and career to share valuable, applicable advice about cultivating a passion for science. I read this book...

Fun Times in Fatherhood

Darth Vader and Son

Being a father can be tough, but it can also be a lot of fun. All of the sudden you can build forts, spend hours playing with Legos, and run around the backyard screaming like a pirate without people shaking their heads in disgust. As Father's Day is upon us, here are some great books that will make fathers smile and help them up their game.

Activities

Cold, Colder, Coldest

Antarctica

During the colder months, some folks like to read about tropical climates and warm days. I have a tendency to want to read about places that are even colder than where I am.

Enter my obsession over books about Antarctica. I don't know that I'll ever get to visit there, but I do love to read about it, both in fiction and nonfiction. While there is a vast body of literature about Antarctic explorers such as Amundsen, Shackleton, and Scott, my reading about the cold continent tends to be about modern folks--scientists and other curious types--who have recorded their time there and are often studying the (few) animals that live there, along with other studies including climate change, the earth's history, and even the possibilities of life on Mars.

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