5 Exciting Non-fiction Science Books for Your Summer Reading List

Trying to find a non-fiction book to add to your reading list full of mysteries, thrillers and contemporary fiction books? With summer coming to an end, it is the perfect time to add a few more books to complete your reading list! From genetics to Earth’s history to hypothetical questions, these 5 books are bound to be standout reads this summer. 

  1. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot

How one woman’s cells changed science forever. This book depicts the history and story around Henrietta Lacks, a woman whose cells (HeLa cells) were taken without permission and were used frequently across many research labs due to their “immortal” nature. HeLa cells were pivotal in the development of advanced medicines and vaccines; however, the ethics of obtaining these cells were highly questionable and it took decades for people to learn of the huge impact Henrietta Lacks had on scientific advancement. 

2. What If?: Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions by Randall Munroe

This author has compiled a list of hypothetical questions that his fans have sent him over the years. The list includes some fun and wild hypothetical questions, with answers that are sure to give you a laugh! Who says science can’t be fun?

3. The Gene: An Intimate History by Siddhartha Mukherjee

A story that deep dives into the history of the gene and the research behind mapping the human genome. The author incorporates their personal narrative and experiences alongside the centuries of scientific research that eventually led to the mapping in the 21st century. 

4. The Code Breaker: Jennifer Doudna, Gene Editing, and the Future of the Human Race by Walter Isaacson 

All about CRISPR. This book describes the story of how Jennifer Doudna, who alongside colleagues, discovered this gene editing method and won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2020. The book also discusses the implications of this discovery. What does CRISPR mean for scientific advancement in the future, what ethical issues will arise, and how it will affect humans?

5. A Brief History of Earth: Four Billion Years in Eight Chapters by Andrew H Knoll 

Are you interested in how the 4.6 billion year history of the Earth can be accurately depicted in 8 chapters? This book has illustrations, maps, and figures that supports the story of the 4 billion year history of Earth in an accessible and concise way.