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Medicine and Literature, Science

Science writing that’s fun to read

If you need to spice up your day with some reading suggestions, Annalee Newitz, PhD, editor-in-chief of the science (and science fiction) blog io9 has just the thing – a list of 23 science books that hold their own with the best fictional cliff hangers. According to Newitz:

Some of the greatest nonfiction books about science read like novels. They borrow tropes and narrative tricks from science fiction, fantasy, horror, and more — turning great discoveries into great adventures. Here are twenty-three science books that are better than genre fiction because they’re true.

The list includes classic reads like Darwin’s “On the Origin of Species” and Rachel Carson’s “Silent Spring.” But there are also newer offerings, including “The Poisoner’s Handbook” by Deborah Blum and “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks” by Rebecca Skloot. If that last one sounds familiar, it could be because it’s been wildly popular since its publication in 2010. We’ve written about it several times on the blog, and my boss, Paul Costello, interviewed Skloot for a 1:2:1 podcast.

I love lists like these, and - although most of the titles are familiar – I’m embarrassed by how many I haven’t read. There’s a way to fix that, though…

Previously: Do you have a ‘HeLa’ story? Share it with Rebecca SklootThe Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks wins Wellcome Trust Book Prize, Will Henrietta Lacks now get her due? and Vector offers recommended reading for the holidays

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