What's the best science non-fiction book that you have ever read?

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I'm just curious about this, and have for a while been interested in a good non-fiction about about science that I could read. Thanks.
 

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I think the book that I enjoyed the most when I read it (I was in the ninth grade at the time) was the Andromeda Strain, by Michael Crichton, I started to read it recently (in Italian), and I still like it. Incredibly this almost seems to be current events, with COVID-19 widespread
 
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DrClaude
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I think the book that I enjoyed the most when I read it (I was in the ninth grade at the time) was the Andromeda Strain, by Michael Crichton, I started to read it recently (in Italian), and I still like it. Incredibly this almost seems to be current events, with COVID-19 widespread
I didn't know this was a non-fiction book!
 
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Sorry, For some reason I thought the post asked for the most enjoyable science-fiction book.
QM
 
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For textbooks, Goldstein Classical Mechanics 3rd ed, and Shankar Quantum Mechanics are the only physics graduate level books I read cover to cover. I like both but I like Goldstein better.

The Ascent of Man, by Jacob Brownowsky for non-textbook book
 
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Vanadium 50
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I didn't know this was a non-fiction book!
That's just what the government wants you to think! :wink:
 
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berkeman
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Incredibly this almost seems to be current events, with COVID-19 widespread
I didn't know this was a non-fiction book!
I think it almost qualifies, at least as a fictional account of a real situation. Just don't stare at the flashing light... o0)

Many years ago I bought a copy of "GEB/EGB" [*] and tried several times to get through it. In the end I was not successful, but maybe now (and with more time on my hands) I would be able to digest it better. I'm not sure whether it's too dated now or not, though.

Since I'm an EE and have worked in Silicon Valley for a lot of my R&D career, I really enjoyed the insights in this book, and recommend it highly:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B071YYZJG5/?tag=pfamazon01-20

1585581172467.png


And for a motivational and fun book about the life of an amazing Physicist (including some insights into the making of the first atomic bomb), this book is great:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00005458Z/?tag=pfamazon01-20

1585581303106.png



[*] GEB/EGB -- "Godel Escher Bach, an Eternal Golden Braid"

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gödel,_Escher,_Bach
 
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Buzz Bloom
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HI @jaypolkam

Before I wrote this post I checked to find whether the current definition for "anthropology" is or not a science.
The following reference says "YES".

I next thought about the intended meaning of "best" in the thread's title. I finally decided that the term is ambiguous, and that I can use my preferred usage for this post. For this purpose I chose that "best" means "most enjoyable", rather than an alternative, "most usefully informative".

My candidate for "best" is:
The Spell of the Sensuous (1996) by David Abram.​
Regards,
Buzz
 
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Non-textbook: The Foundation of Science, by Henri Poincaré

Even stronger, this is probably the single best book I have ever read, or at least it is in my top three non-fiction books of all time where I have trouble ranking the other two
 
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dRic2
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"The variational principles of mechanics" by Cornelius Lanczos

From the preface
The variational principles of mechanics are firmly rooted in the soil of that great century of Liberalism which starts with Descartes and ends with the French Revolution and which has witnessed the lives of Leibniz, Spinoza, Goethe, and Johann Sebastian Bach. It is the only period of cosmic thinking in the entire history of Europe since the time of Greeks. If the author has succeeded in conveying an inking of that cosmic spirit, his effort will be amply rewarded.
As someone who enjoy very much (old) literature, philosophy and classical music I can relate to this book on so many levels, even if I still don't understand much about analytical mechanics :-p... Maybe I just like the way he writes.

PS: just 18€ on Amazon
 
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