These five books bring tell the fascinating, and at times, scandalous or tragic, tales of scientific discoveries and people behind them. We can't give you extra credit for reading them, but you will be glad you did.
500 BRY A Short History of Nearly Everything. By Bill Bryson
Bryson attempts to summarize all that we know from biology, earth science, chemistry, physics, and astronomy, from the Big Bang, the origins of life, the size of the Earth, and well, nearly everything.
537 BOD Electric Universe : The Shocking True Story of Electricity by David Bodanis
In Electric Universe, David Bodanis gives a history of the discovery and development of electricity and how it has impacted our lives. He also offers fascinating lives and sometimes bad behavior of the scientists who helped shape our understanding of it.
546 KEA. The Disappearing Spoon : And Other True Tales of Madness, Love, and the History of the World from the Periodic Table of the Elements by Sam Kean
Science Magazine writer Kean tells the sometimes sordid tales of scientists who contributed to the development of the periodic table. Find out why Gandhi hated iodine, how Marie Curie provoked jealousy in the colleague’s wives and why the Japanese used Cadmium missilesto kill Godzilla.
551.7 FOR Earth : An Intimate History. By Richard A. Fortey
Fortney takes us on the a global geologic tour across time, explaining how the earth has changed over millennia as land masses broke apart and mountains, volcanoes and other geologic phenomenon have shaped the world we live in today. Did you know that Appalachian Mountains used to extend all the way to Scotland?
616.02774 SKL The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot
Henrietta Lacks was a poor African American Southern tobacco farmer and mother of five who was undergoing treatment for cancer in 1951. Doctors removed tissue samples from her without her knowledge or permission. The cells grown from that sample went on to become known as the famous HeLa line. They were vital in the development of a polio vaccine and helped to uncover secrets of cancer and viruses and countless other discoveries. Yet she lies in an unmarked grave and her family never saw a penny from the use of her cells.