Fathoms: The World in the Whale by Rebecca GiggsWhat it's about: whales and their watery world, both of which humans are destroying.
Is it for you? Although filled with evocative facts about cetaceans (their milk is pink, their demise is called "whalefall"), Rebecca Giggs' lyrical yet sobering narrative is book-ended by heartbreaking accounts of beached whales.
Further reading: Nick Pyenson's Spying on Whales or Philip Hoare's The Whale: In Search of the Giants of the Sea.
The Last Stargazers: The Enduring Story of Astronomy's Vanishing Explorers by Emily LevesqueWhat it's about: an astronomer recounts her career in science while contemplating the past, present, and future of her field.
Don't miss: visits to Hawaii's Mauna Kea Observatories, Chile's Paranal Observatory, and the airborne Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA).
Did you know? Professional astronomers spend relatively little time looking through giant telescopes (and a lot of time on laptops).
The End of Everything (Astrophysically Speaking) by Katie MackWhat it is: theoretical cosmologist Katie Mack's engaging survey of five potential ways in which the universe could end: the Big Crunch, Heat Death, the Big Rip, Vacuum Decay, and the Bounce.
Reviewers say: a "rollicking tour through the nooks and crannies of physics" (New Scientist).
Further reading: Brian Greene's Until the End of Time (for a more philosophical take on cosmology).
The Smallest Lights in the Universe: A Memoir by Sara SeagerWhat it is: the memoir of a planetary astrophysicist that weaves together her Canadian childhood, her career in physics, her marriage and widowhood, and her later-in-life autism diagnosis.
About the author: astrophysicist Sara Seager is a recipient of the Sackler International Prize in Physics and a MacArthur Fellowship.
You might also like: the intimate blend of science writing and memoir found in Hope Jahren's Lab Girl, or Magdalena Zernicka-Goetz's The Dance of Life.
Focus on: The Lighter Side of Science
Liquid Rules: The Delightful and Dangerous Substances that Flow Through Our Lives by Mark MiodownikWhat it's about: Having tackled solids in Stuff Matters, materials scientist Mark Miodownik introduces readers to the unique properties of liquids from the confines of an airplane cabin during a transatlantic flight.
Why you might like it: Filled with fascinating facts (airplanes are essentially glued together), this accessible book pairs scientific principles (viscosity, vaporization) and their real-life applications (how ballpoint pens work, brewing the perfect cup of tea).
Contact your librarian for more great books!
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