The Great Indoors: The Surprising Science of How Buildings Shape Our Behavior, Health... by
What it's about: how our built environments influence our physical and mental health -- for better or worse.
Chapters include: "The Indoor Jungle," which examines the unique ecology of our homes (spoiler: you're NEVER alone); "The Cure for the Common Cubicle," a look at the best and worst of work environments.
For fans of: the podcast 99 Percent Invisible.
The Sirens of Mars: Searching for Life on Another World by
Sarah Stewart Johnson
What it's about: Planetary scientist Sarah Stewart Johnson interweaves the history of Mars exploration with an account of her life and career, both in the lab and out in the field.
For fans of: the intimate blend of science writing and memoir found in Hope Jahren's Lab Girl, Magdalena Zernicka-Goetz's The Dance of Life, or Sara Seager's forthcoming The Smallest Lights in the Universe.
The Remarkable Life of the Skin: An Intimate Journey Across Our Largest Organ by
What it is: a dermatologist's cross-disciplinary "circumnavigation of, and love letter to" human skin.
You'll learn: what makes skin waterproof, how to achieve a healthy glow without risking a sunburn, why we can't tickle ourselves, and much more.
Reviewers say: "Tantalizing tidbits of information abound" (Booklist) in this "illuminating and thought-provoking" (Kirkus Reviews) book.
How to Die in Space: A Journey Through Dangerous Astrophysical Phenomena by
Paul M. Sutter, Ph.D
First things first: "You're not going to make it in space," declares the astrophysicist author of this witty, eye-opening book, which explains the many ways the cosmos will kill you, should you happen to slip the surly bonds of Earth.
For fans of: Philip Plait's Death from the Skies!, Bob Berman's Earth-Shattering, or Mary Roach's Packing for Mars.
The Language of Butterflies: How Thieves, Hoarders, Scientists, and Other Obsessives... by
What it's about: the past, present, and future of butterflies, and the role of human obsession in discovering their secrets.
Don't miss: the profile of pioneering 17th-century naturalist Maria Sibylla Merian, whose detailed illustrated studies of lepidopteran life cycles shaped the emerging field of entomology.
About the author: Wendy Williams' previous book was the bestselling The Horse: The Epic History of Our Noble Companion.
Beyond Infinity: An Expedition to the Outer Limits of Mathematics by
What it is: an engaging exploration of the concept of infinity by the author of How to Bake Pi.
Want a taste? "Our lives are finite, our brains are finite, our world is finite, but still we get glimpses of infinity around us."
You might also like: Matt Parker's Things to Make and Do in the Fourth Dimension.
Weird Math: A Teenage Genius & His Teacher Reveal the Strange Connections Between... by
David Darling and Agnijo Banerjee
What it's about: a science writer and his protégé, a teen prodigy, discuss their favorite mathematical concepts in a style that's accessible without being over-simplistic.
Topics include: the fourth dimension, topology, prime numbers, Turing machines, and infinity.
For fans of: Alex Bellos' Here's Looking at Euclid, Ian Stewart's Visions of Infinity, or Steven Strogatz's The Joy of X.
Infinite Powers: How Calculus Reveals the Secrets of the Universe by
What it is: an applied mathematician's surprisingly accessible guide to calculus, which outlines its basic concepts while recounting its history.
Food for thought: "If anything deserves to be called the secret of the universe, calculus is it."
You might also like: mathematician Amir Alexander's similarly engaging Infinitesimal, which also explores a world-changing concept.
The Math of Life & Death: 7 Mathematical Principles that Shape Our Lives by
What it's about: Applied mathematician Kit Yates examines seven mathematical principles (including exponential growth, probability, and algorithms) and demonstrates how these can be applied to areas such as law, medicine, the media, and more.
Don't miss: the rather timely chapter "Susceptible, Infective, Removed: How to Stop an Epidemic."
Contact your librarian for more great books!