Deep dives into the planet’s oceans, considerations of space colonization, an ode to the humble cell, and a scientist’s account of working on the Covid-19 vaccines feature among this season’s highlights.
The Blue Machine: How the Ocean Works
Helen Czerski. Norton, Oct. 3 ($32.50, ISBN 978-1-324-00671-8)
Physicist Czerski examines how gravity, water temperature, and sunlight shape the complex ecosystems of oceans across the globe.
Breaking Through: My Life in Science
Katalin Karikó. Crown, Oct. 10 ($28, ISBN 978-0-593-44316-3)
Biochemist Karikó recounts how she went from an impoverished childhood in Communist Hungary to producing cutting-edge research on mRNA that proved integral to Covid-19 vaccines.
A City on Mars: Can We Settle Space, Should We Settle Space, and Have We Really Thought This Through?
Kelly and Zach Weinersmith. Penguin Press, Nov. 7 ($30, ISBN 978-1-984881-72-4)
The question of whether space colonies would be worth the costs necessary to build and sustain them is taken up by bioscientist Kelly and her husband, Zach Weinersmith, a cartoonist.
Eve: How the Female Body Drove 200 Million Years of Human Evolution
Cat Bohannon. Knopf, Oct. 3 ($35, ISBN 978-0-385-35054-9)
Bohannon’s debut traces the evolution of and busts myths about the female body. 150,000-copy announced first printing.
The Future of Us: The Science of What We’ll Eat, Where We’ll Live, and Who We’ll Be
Jay Ingram. Simon & Schuster, Oct. 3 ($29.99, ISBN 978-1-66800-334-3)
Ingram, the former host of Discovery Channel Canada’s Daily Planet, envisions how future advances in agriculture, gene editing, and transportation will change the way humans live.
The Master Builder: How the New Science of the Cell Is Rewriting the Story of Life
Alfonso Martinez Arias. Basic, Aug. 1 ($30, ISBN 978-1-5416-0327-1)
Cells play a more critical role than DNA in the science of human development, contends biologist Arias in this survey of his research.
A Myriad of Tongues: How Languages Reveal Differences in How We Think
Caleb Everett. Harvard Univ., Sept. 19 ($27.95, ISBN 978-0-674-97658-0)
Everett, an anthropologist and psychologist, probes how languages shape speakers’ perception of the world and their understanding of scents, color, and time.
The Story of CO2 Is the Story of Everything: How Carbon Dioxide Made Our World
Peter Brannen. Ecco, Dec. 5 ($32.99, ISBN 978-0-06-303698-7)
From serving as a source of oxygen to raising global temperatures, carbon dioxide affects every aspect of life on Earth, according to science journalist Brannen. 100,000-copy announced first printing.
The Warped Side of Our Universe: An Odyssey Through Black Holes, Wormholes, Time Travel, and Gravitational Waves
Kip Thorne, illus. by Lia Halloran. Liveright, Oct. 31 ($50, ISBN 978-1-63149-854-1)
Nobel Prize–winning physicist Thorne and illustrator Halloran tour wormholes, space vortices, colliding black holes, and other strange cosmic phenomena.
Carlo Rovelli. Riverhead, Oct. 31 ($25, ISBN 978-0-593-54544-7)
Physicist Rovelli details his research into black holes and whether they might one day transform into white holes, in which the rules of space and time cease to apply. 100,000-copy announced first printing.
Dust: The Story of the Modern World in a Trillion Particles by Jay Owens (Nov. 14, $28, ISBN 978-1-4197-6416-5) examines how small particles have played an integral role in the universe, from cosmic dust after the big bang to the 1930s dust bowl.
The Purest Bond: Understanding the Human-Canine Connection by Jen Golbeck and Stacey Colino (Nov. 14, $28, ISBN 978-1-66800-784-6) studies the relationship between humans and dogs and the physical and emotional benefits it confers on the former.
Mischievous Creatures: The Forgotten Sisters Who Transformed Early American Science by Catherine McNeur (Oct. 31, $32, ISBN 978-1-5416-7417-2) documents the contributions of entomologist Margaretta Hare Morris and her sister Elizabeth Carrington Morris, a biologist, toward the professionalization of science in the mid-19th century.
Ten Birds That Changed the World by Stephen Moss (Sept. 12, $30, ISBN 978-1-5416-0446-9) surveys birds that have made significant contributions to human history, including wild turkeys, ravens, Darwin’s finches, and emperor penguins.
The Voyage of Sorcerer II: The Expedition That Unlocked the Secrets of the Ocean’s Microbiome by J. Craig Venter and David Ewing Duncan (Sept. 12, $27.95, ISBN 978-0-674-24647-8) details biochemist Venter’s maritime travels studying microbes, and suggests that some of their abilities, such as converting sunlight into energy, might help fight climate change.
The End of Eden: Wild Nature in the Age of Climate Breakdown by Adam Welz (Sept. 19, $28.99, ISBN 978-1-63557-522-4) explores how such animals as cheetahs, moose, and parrots, as well as the ecosystems they inhabit, are struggling to adapt to global warming.
Ignition: Lighting Fires in a Burning World by M.R. O’Connor (Oct. 17, $30, ISBN 978-1-64503-738-5) describes how humans have historically relied on fire to shape their environment and profiles those charged with managing wildfires and controlled burns.
The Age of Deer: Trouble and Kinship with Our Wild Neighbors by Erika Howsare (Jan. 2, $27, ISBN 978-1-64622-134-9) investigates the ways in which humans by turns mythologize, hunt, and protect deer.
Women in Science Now: Stories and Strategies for Achieving Equity by Lisa M.P. Munoz (Nov. 14, $24.95, ISBN 978-0-231-20614-3) surveys the challenges faced by women scientists and how institutions can better support them.
The Coming Wave: Technology, Power, and the Twenty-First Century’s Greatest Dilemma by Mustafa Suleyman (Oct. 17, $30, ISBN 978-0-593-59395-0). The cofounder of Google’s DeepMind artificial intelligence program outlines the breakthroughs and dangers that will accompany the proliferation of AI.
The Underworld: Journeys to the Depths of the Ocean by Susan Casey (Aug. 1, $32, ISBN 978-0-385-54557-0) spotlights technologies that are uncovering the secrets of the deep sea and the scientists who study it. 100,000-copy announced first printing.
The Hidden Language of Cats: How They Have Us at Meow by Sarah Brown (Oct. 17, $28, ISBN 978-0-593-18641-1) analyzes what cats’ various vocalizations and movements mean, from meows to upright tails and ear twitches.
Anatomical Oddities: The Otherworldly Realms Hidden Within Our Bodies by Alice Roberts (Nov. 7, $18.95, ISBN 978-1-891011-13-9) offers an illustrated tour of the lesser-known parts of the body, including the arachnoid matter around the brain and the Haversian canals in bones.
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Putting Ourselves Back in the Equation: Why the Holy Grail of Physics, a Theory of Everything, May Have to Include the Conscious Mind by George Musser (Nov. 7, $30, ISBN 978-0-374-23876-6) contends that because observation affects outcomes, physicists must reckon with consciousness in developing a comprehensive theory to explain the universe.
Gator Country: Deception, Danger, and Alligators in the Everglades by Rebecca Renner (Nov. 14, $29.99, ISBN 978-1-250-84257-2) describes the exploits of a Florida police officer who went undercover to bust poachers and protect alligators. 150,000-copy announced first printing.
The Curious World of Seahorses: The Life and Lore of a Marine Marvel by Till Hein, trans. by Renée Von Paschen (Oct. 24, $26.95, ISBN 978-1-77164-988-9), highlights the oddity of seahorses, examining their prehensile tails, kangaroo-like pouches, and appearances in mythology and pop culture.
Mapping the Darkness: The Visionary Scientists Who Unlocked the Mysteries of Sleep by Kenneth Miller (Oct. 3, $30, ISBN 978-0-306-92495-8) chronicles the efforts of generations of researchers who, since the 1920s, have transformed the scientific understanding of what happens during sleep and why humans need it.
The Dawn of a Mindful Universe: A Manifesto for Humanity’s Future by Marcelo Gleiser (Aug. 22, $29.99, ISBN 978-0-06-305687-9). Physicist Gleiser argues that to successfully counter climate change, the world needs a new Enlightenment marked by a return to reason and curiosity.
Ten Trips: The New Reality of Psychedelics by Andrew Mitchell (Jan. 16, $29.99, ISBN 978-0-06-322038-6) studies the positive and negative effects on the brain of 10 psychedelic drugs, including ketamine, mushrooms, and yage.
Over the Seawall: Tsunamis, Cyclones, Drought, and the Delusion of Controlling Nature by Stephen Miller (Oct. 31, $35, ISBN 978-1-64283-256-3) tours failed infrastructure projects intended to shape nature to the needs of humans, such as seawalls in Japan and artificial waterways in Arizona.
Johns Hopkins Univ.
The Deadly Rise of Anti-science: A Scientist’s Warning by Peter J. Hotez (Sept. 19, $24.95, ISBN 978-1-4214-4722-3) recounts the author’s efforts, as a professor of virology and microbiology at Baylor College of Medicine, to develop a Covid-19 vaccine in the face of opposition from the antivaccine movement.
Tyranny of the Gene: Personalized Medicine and Its Threat to Public Health by James Tabery (Aug. 15, $30, ISBN 978-0-525-65820-7) warns that the push to tailor medical care to individual genomes is mostly driven by pharmaceutical industry hype and would likely exacerbate existing disparities in health care access.
Little, Brown Spark
Eat, Poop, Die: How Animals Make Our World by Joe Roman (Nov. 7, $29, ISBN 978-0-316-37292-3) probes how the biological processes of animals affect their environments and offer potential solutions to climate change.
Most Delicious Poison: The Story of Nature’s Toxins—from Spices to Vices by Noah Whiteman (Oct. 24, $29, ISBN 978-0-316-38657-9) traces the evolution of natural chemicals in coffee beans, magic mushrooms, marijuana, and poppy seeds.
Interstellar: The Search for Extraterrestrial Life and Our Future in the Stars by Avi Loeb (Aug. 29, $28.99, ISBN 978-0-06-325087-1) argues that humans should pursue interstellar travel and settlement on other planets with the goal of interacting with extraterrestrial civilizations.
Defending Animals: Finding Hope on the Front Lines of Animal Protection by Kendra Coulter (Sept. 26, $24.95 trade paper, ISBN 978-0-262-04828-6) profiles animal rights lawyers, forensic veterinarians, and conservationists working to protect animals from cruelty and abuse.
Her Space, Her Time: How Trailblazing Women in Physics and Astronomy Decoded the Hidden Universe by Shohini Ghose (Oct. 31, $29.95, ISBN 978-0-262-04831-6) illuminates the unsung women scientists who contributed to the discovery of the big bang, the study of subatomic particles, and the moon landings.
Inside the Star Factory: The Creation of the James Webb Space Telescope, NASA’s Largest and Most Powerful Space Observatory by Chris Gunn and Christopher Wanjek (Oct. 17, $44.95, ISBN 978-0-262-04790-6) chronicles the troubled development and successful launch of the cutting-edge space telescope.
The Secret Lives of Molecules by Kathryn Harkup (Aug. 8, $24.99, ISBN 978-1-5294-2509-3) examines how atoms arrange themselves to form molecules and how those molecules make life possible.
Return of the Bison: A Story of Survival, Restoration, and a Wilder World by Roger Di Silvestro (Sept. 1, $21.95 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-68051-583-1) recounts how the early 20th-century conservationist campaign for bison saved the species and laid the groundwork for other kinds of ecological activism.
A to Infinity and Beyond: A Journey of Cosmic Discovery by Neil deGrasse Tyson and Lindsey Nyx Walker (Sept. 12, $30, ISBN 978-1-4262-2330-3) provides an illustrated tour of the universe that takes in Earth’s atmosphere, time travel, black holes, and more.
The Evolved Nest: Nature’s Way of Raising Children and Creating Connected Communities by Darcia Narvaez and G.A. Bradshaw (Aug. 8, $17.95 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-62317-767-6). Psychologists Narvaez and Bradshaw highlight the parenting strategies of 10 animals and what humans might learn from their example.
Alfie and Me: What Owls Know, What Humans Believe by Carl Safina (Oct. 3, $32.50, ISBN 978-1-324-06546-3) describes how the author and his wife took in a sickly baby owl, nurtured her back to health, and maintained a bond with the bird even after they released her back into the wild.
Nuts and Bolts: Seven Small Inventions That Changed the World in a Big Way by Roma Agrawal (Nov. 7, $30, ISBN 978-1-324-02152-0) focuses on modest innovations that have had an outsized impact on world history: nails, wheels, springs, lenses, magnets, string, and pumps.
What If We Get It Right? Visions of Climate Futures by Ayana Elizabeth Johnson (Jan. 9, $28, ISBN 978-0-593-22936-1) surveys the progress that’s already been made toward mitigating climate change and outlines how society must transform if it’s to prevent the
direst predictions. 75,000-copy announced first printing.
Determined: A Science of Life Without Free Will by Robert M. Sapolsky (Oct. 17, $32, ISBN 978-0-525-56097-5). MacArthur grant recipient Sapolsky suggests that free will is an illusion in this blend of biology, neurology, and philosophy.
Elemental: How Five Elements Changed Earth’s Past and Will Shape Our Future by Stephen Porder (Sept. 12, $26.95, ISBN 978-0-691-17729-8) explores how carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen, and phosphorous have affected the planet through their involvement with microbes, plants, and humans.
Free Agents: How Evolution Gave Us Free Will by Kevin J. Mitchell (Oct. 3, $29.95, ISBN 978-0-691-22623-1). Neuroscientist Mitchell argues for the existence of free will and traces how it evolved in humans.
Our Fragile Moment: How Lessons from Earth’s Past Can Help Us Survive the Climate Crisis by Michael E. Mann (Sept. 26, $29, ISBN 978-1-5417-0289-9) analyzes how humans have responded to, or failed to respond, to large-scale changes in climate since the first proto-humans appeared around two million years ago.
Our Moon: How Earth’s Celestial Companion Transformed the Planet, Guided Evolution, and Made Us Who We Are by Rebecca Boyle (Jan. 16, $28, ISBN 978-0-593-12972-2) delineates how the moon steadied Earth’s orbit, contributed to the development of life by creating ocean tides, and otherwise affected the planet.
How Infrastructure Works: Inside the Systems That Shape Our World by Deb Chachra (Oct. 17, $28, ISBN 978-0-593-08659-9). Engineer Chachra explains how bridges, sewers, reservoirs, and other types of infrastructure enable modern life and what it takes to keep them functioning.
Grizzly Bear Science and the Art of a Wilderness Life: Forty Years of Research in the Flathead Valley by Bruce McLellan (Nov. 7, $38, ISBN 978-1-77160-565-6) delves into the lives of grizzly bears across northwestern North America and how scientists study them.
The Dark Cloud: How the Digital World Is Costing the Earth by Guillaume Pitron (Sept. 5, $22 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-957363-01-1) examines underwater cables, data centers, and other physical components of the internet and how their use and maintenance exacerbates climate change.
Simon & Schuster
The Wisdom of Plagues: Lessons from 25 Years of Covering Pandemics by Donald McNeil (Jan. 9, $28.99, ISBN 978-1-66800-139-4). Former New York Times journalist McNeil shares what he’s learned about society from decades spent reporting on such outbreaks as the Zika virus and Covid-19.
Space Shuttle Stories: Firsthand Astronaut Accounts from All 135 Missions by Tom Jones (Oct. 17, $35, ISBN 978-1-58834-754-1) gathers astronauts’ recollections of every NASA space shuttle mission from 1981 to 2011.
A History of Fake Things on the Internet by Walter J. Scheirer (Dec. 5, $30, ISBN 978-1-5036-3288-2) probes how digital artists, hackers, and AI researchers have contributed—intentionally or not—to the proliferation of online hoaxes and misinformation.
Univ. of Chicago
Mountains of Fire: The Menace, Meaning, and Magic of Volcanoes by Clive Oppenheimer (Sept. 29, $27.50, ISBN 978-0-226-82634-9). Volcanologist Oppenheimer reflects on studying volcanoes in North Korea, Chad, and Antarctica, and documents how they influence the climate and human life.