At the library, we’re constantly getting excellent new books (and you can always check our latest books here), but I want to use this post to highlight in particular some of the cool new books we’re getting that discuss topics in science.
Are you a fan of electric eels, electricity, or just scientific discovery in general? If so, I recommend Spark from the Deep: How Shocking Experiments with Strongly Electric Fish Powered Scientific Discovery. Author William J. Turkel provides a history of how our scientific research on electric fish such as torpedoes and electric eels helped us to understand and harness electricity, and how that research is continuing to contribute to our knowledge even today.
Do you love dinosaurs? Of course you do. Everyone loves dinosaurs. So before the new Jurassic Park film comes out next year, refresh your dinosaur knowledge and learn about the latest research and discoveries with The Complete Dinosaur. This comprehensive volume provides not just information on the various types of dinosaurs, but also details how we’ve learned so much and how they’re studied. The paleontologists who contributed to the book provide a wealth of knowledge, and also acknowledge the considerable debates ongoing in the field. And for those of you who haven’t kept up with dinosaur discoveries since Jurassic Park or The Land Before Time, it is always interesting to see how our understanding of popular dinosaurs has changed in the wake of new evidence. Feathered velociraptors are a sight to behold.
If The Complete Dinosaur isn’t enough for your paleontology appetite, we also have a gorgeous book titled The Lost World of Fossil Lake: Snapshots from Deep Time. This book focuses on the area of Wyoming known as the Green River Formation, where the environment has been uniquely suited to the capture of an incredible number of fossils. While some attention is given to the history and geography of the area, the bulk of the book is devoted to chapters focusing on fossils of different types of species (bacteria, mollusks, fish, reptiles, plants, etc.). High quality images showcase the variety of fossil specimens that have been uncovered.
Or if dinosaurs aren’t your thing, perhaps you’d like to learn more about parasites. People, Parasites, and Plowshares: Learning from Our Bodies Most Terrifying Invaders. This book focuses on the interactions between parasites and humans, and how studying both the beneficial and harmful parasites that affect us is helping fuel research in medicine. Learning about toxoplasmosis gondii might terrify hypochondriacs, but for those who are interested in these unique creatures, I definitely recommend this book.
For something a little closer to home, we’ve got Neanderthals Rediscovered: How Modern Science is Rewriting their Story. Recent research into neanderthals, an evolutionary cousin to modern humans, has dramatically transformed our understanding. Although they are popularly depicted as being dimwitted, we now have seen that they have elements of culture and society: Burying the dead, caring for the sick, creating paints, and even speaking. If you’d like to learn more about neanderthals, this is the place to start.
If instead you are interested in looking at the bigger picture, we’ve got you covered there too. Understanding the Universe: From Quarks to the Cosmos looks at the large-scale universe all the way down to the world of quarks and leptons. Science is still searching for the Grand Unifying Theory to link the very large to the very small, but this book provides an excellent look how we understand the universe and the physics behind it. And if you want to delve more into physics, we also have Einstein Gravity in a Nutshell to detail our current understanding of the theory of relativity. Although I will say that, at 866 pages, it may no longer qualify as being “in a nutshell.”
Finally, we also have Rocket Girl: The Story of Mary Sherman Morgan, America’s First Female Rocket Scientist. This biography sheds some light on one of the pioneers in the field of rocket science who helped to launch America’s first satellite but whose contributions have since been largely ignored.
That’s not the end of it either. Mary Gail, our excellent evening librarian, has put together a wonderful display to highlight our other new science books. You can find that right by the staircase on the first floor of the library. And of course you can always go browse the rest of our science books in our general collection. Just go to the Q section upstairs and get lost in the wide world of molecules, minerals, and mantis shrimps.