The 2014 Popular-Science Reading Challenge

2014-pop-sci-reading-challengeAs I briefly mentioned a couple of weeks ago, I have set myself the goal of reading more popular science in 2014. It’s a genre I have enjoyed on the very few occasions I have dipped into it, so I’m not really sure what has been holding me back. To spur me on, I thought I’d make into a challenge, so here we go.

I think the aim will be to read one popular-science book per month (though I’ll still count it as a success if I manage to read 10 in a year). I’ve put together a list of titles recommended to me by people I trust (below), but this is just a starting point (and also a much longer list than I’ll get through in a year). Any popular science (including biographies or other forms of science history) will count.

I’ll create a page to keep track of how I’m doing in this challenge shortly. Does anyone fancy joining me? If so, feel free to use the button I have created (with huge thanks to Doublecompile for making the line drawing available through Creative Commons) and let me know how you get on!

Without further ado, here’s the list I’ll be starting from:

A Hole at the Bottom of the Sea: the Race to Kill the BP Oil Gusher by Joel Achenbach
The Edge of Physics: Dispatches from the Frontiers of Cosmology by Anil Ananthaswamy
Silent Spring by Rachel Carson
Why Does e=mc2? by Brian Cox
Smile or Die by Barbara Ehrenreich
Measure of the Earth: the Enlightenment Expedition that Reshaped the World by Laurie Ferreiro
How the Hippies Saved Physics: Science, Counterculture and the Quantum Revival by David Kaiser
The 4% Universe: Dark Matter, Dark Energy, and the Race to Discover the Rest of Reality by Richard Panek
Packing for Mars by Mary Roach
Stiff by Mary Roach
Fermat’s Enigma by Simon Singh
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot
Backroom Boys by Francis Spufford
The Double Helix by James Watson

I’ll add to this list any further recommendations that take my fancy. So who’s with me?

5 thoughts on “The 2014 Popular-Science Reading Challenge

  1. Judith December 8, 2013 at 6:37 pm

    I hope to read Henrietta Lacks this coming year, too. I’m sorry, won’t join in with the challenge. I’m trying not to do ANY challenges in 2014. Now, that’s a challenge!

  2. Vasilly December 8, 2013 at 7:13 pm

    I like the idea of this challenge! Count me in! I think I’ll try to read five books.

  3. Jenn December 9, 2013 at 5:21 pm

    The “Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks” was very good. I’ve had the Mary Roach books on my radar for a couple years now – maybe I’ll actually read them this year! 😉 So count me in – though I’m not quite sure what my bar is going be…

  4. Kate Gardner December 11, 2013 at 6:51 pm

    Judith No challenges? That doesn’t sound like you at all!

    Vasilly, Jenn Welcome!

  5. Judith December 12, 2013 at 8:04 am

    I think this coming year, the challenge will be keeping the blog going in the first place. That will be more than enough for me. 🙂

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