This is just a list of the books that I've found thought provoking and
interesting to read. Yes, its going to have a biological and science
oriented basis, but I'm interested in that kinda stuff, so deal.
What is Your Dangerous Idea?
great collection of short essays by the leading thinkers of our time.
They report what they think is the most "Dangerous Idea" of our time,
and bring in good discussion and thought provoking concepts.
is a sci-fi murder mystery, in a future where humanity has developed a
means to 'clone' their brains and impart their thinking and knowledge
into clay golems, that work and basically become expendable 'you''s.
Its a wonderfully crafted novel, with adventure and suspense.
Full Text here:
The God Delusion
you've ever been interested in why humans are fascinated with belief,
give this book a shot. It delves into and argues why humanity believes
in higher powers, and logically lays out the arguments against faith,
and why humanity might not need faith. Whatever your beliefs, check it
out, thought provoking for sure.
The Ancestors Tale
is a long book, but its fabulous. Starting with humanity, it goes back
through the branchpoints of out evolution, working back all the way to
primordial cells, and takes pit stops alwong the way, explaining the
wonderful assemblies of creatures that join at each branch point and
how evolution has shaped life on this planet. If you are interested in
biology, this is a must.
The Man Who Mistook His Wife For a Hat
Sacks is an accomplished neurosurgeon, and over the years he's seen
many interesting disorders and cases. Some of the cases he talks about
are absolutely crazy, you've got to check this book out if your
interested in the strange and unexplained.
The Trouble with Physics
Smolin takes an objective look at string theory, including the history of the theory, the revolutions it has caused, why it might not be correct and the terrible tendancies of the scientific community to put down any research that goes against what is currently considered 'hot'. Wonderful read, if you've ever wondered what the heck "string theory" is (its digestable to the non-physacist, I assure you!), and how the scientific community works.
In the Shadow of the Silk Road
A old british dude starts in western China in 2005, with the goal of retracing the path of the silk road, through China, Kyrgyzstan, Tadjikistan, Afghanistan, Iran, Turkey and Syria. Again, in 2005. He interviews people along the way, and hitchhikes, sneaks into muslim-only mosques, gets quarentined because of the SARS scare... its quite the adventure. Apart from the somewhat annoying italicised passages where he converses with an imaginary silk road trader (boooooooooring), its a fantastic travel journal.
1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Colombus
Charles C. Mann
If you thought you knew what the new world was like before Colombus, think again. This book takes in recent discoveries about the civilizaitons of the Americas and how technologically advanced some of their societies were. It also delves into the effect that Colombus and other explorers had on the native populations, and what was destroyed when western civilization colonized the land. There are some startling and thought provoking conclusions to this book, so check it out.
Ship of Gold in the Deep Blue Sea
This book catalogues the life of Gary Kinder, a man who grew up to found the first company that makes profits from searchin for treasure. Its a story of a 20th century treasure hunt. Great book.