Feast your eyes and feed your brain with our favorite science books worthy of the coffee table. Topping our list are volumes commemorating the 200th anniversary of the birth of Charles Darwin and the 400th anniversary of the invention of the telescope.
Galápagos: Preserving Darwin’s Legacy
edited by Tui de Roy. Firefly Books, 2009
Editor and principal photographer Tui de Roy documents life on the islands that helped inspire Darwin’s theory of evolution by natural selection. Essays by 30 experts cover such topics as the social behavior of the Galápagos hawk (above) and efforts to restore tortoise populations.
Far Out: A Space-Time Chronicle
by Michael Benson. Abrams, 2009
Journalist Michael Benson leads readers from our own Milky Way back in time and space to the earliest galaxies with this glorious collection of astronomical images from the finest ground- and space-based telescopes, as well as a few amateur astrophotographers.
The Heart of the Great Alone: Scott, Shackleton, and Antarctic Photography
by David Hempleman-Adams, Emma Stuart and Sophie Gordon. Bloomsbury, 2009
No Small Matter: Science on the Nanoscale
by Felice C. Frankel and George M. Whitesides. Harvard University Press, 2009
Perfect Rigor: A Genius and the Mathematical Breakthrough of the Century
by Masha Gessen. A biography of Grigory Perelman. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2009
The Passage to Cosmos: Alexander von Humboldt and the Shaping of America
by Laura Dassow Walls. University of Chicago Press, 2009
Jacques Cousteau: The Sea King
by Brad Matsen. Pantheon, 2009
Grace Hopper and the Invention of the Information Age
by Kurt W. Beyer. MIT Press, 2009
The Faith Instinct: How Religion Evolved and Why It Endures
by Nicholas Wade. Penguin Press, 2009
Green Intelligence: Creating Environments That Protect Human Health
by John Wargo. Yale University Press, 2009
Dinosaur Odyssey: Fossil Threads in the Web of Life
by Scott D. Sampson. University of California Press, 2009
Mathletics: How Gamblers, Managers, and Sports Enthusiasts Use Mathematics in Baseball, Basketball, and Football
by Wayne L. Winston. Princeton University Press, 2009
Elephants on the Edge: What Animals Teach Us about Humanity
by G. A. Bradshaw. Yale University Press, 2009
Traveling the Silk Road: Ancient Pathway to the Modern World.
November 14, 2009–August 15, 2010, at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City.
The Accidental Mummies of Guanajuato.
October 10–April 11, 2010, at the Detroit Science Center.
Note: This article was originally printed with the title, "Recommended."