Studies of climate change continue to dominate in this season’s science crop, alongside considerations of animal and plant intelligence, deep dives into outer space, and explorations of artificial intelligence.

Top 10

The Backyard Bird Chronicles

Amy Tan. Knopf, Apr. 23 ($35, ISBN 978-0-593-53613-1)

The novelist recounts how in 2016 she took up birding as a reprieve from the tumult of American politics and reflects on the pastime’s enduring appeal as a way to commune with nature.

The Empire of Climate: A History of an Idea

David N. Livingstone. Princeton Univ., Apr. 16 ($38, ISBN 978-0-691-23670-4)

This study from Queen’s University Belfast geography professor Livingstone looks at how humans have attributed economic development, political turmoil, and psychological disorders to climate’s influence.

The Gravity of Math: How Geometry Rules the Universe

Steve Nadis and Shing-Tung Yau. Basic, Apr. 16 ($30, ISBN 978-1-5416-0429-2)

Reporter Nadis and mathematician Yau explore how Albert Einstein merged physics and geometry to devise his theory of general relativity.

Intertwined: Woman, Nature, and Climate Justice

Rebecca Kormos. New Press, Apr. 30 ($27.99, ISBN 978-1-62097-749-1)

Contending that climate change exacts a disproportionate toll on women, biologist Kormos shares stories of those affected and those fighting for change.

Invisible Labor: The Untold Story of the Cesarean Section

Rachel Somerstein. Ecco, June 4 ($30, ISBN 978-0-06-326441-0)

SUNY New Paltz journalism professor Somerstein traces the history of the surgery and contends that it’s routinely overused by doctors dismissive of pregnant patients’ pain.

The Light Eaters: How the Unseen World of Plant Intelligence Offers a New Understanding of Life on Earth

Zoë Schlanger. Harper, May 7 ($29.99, ISBN 978-0-06-307385-2)

The more remarkable abilities of plants include changing their appearance to blend in and detecting nearby water sources by sound, according to this survey.

Meet the Neighbors: Animal Minds and Life in a More-Than-Human World

Brandon Keim. Norton, July 16 ($29.99, ISBN 978-1-324-00708-1)

Science writer Keim profiles ecologists, wildlife doctors, and others whose work illuminates the complex inner lives of animals, including rats who ruminate and snakes who maintain friendships.

Otter Country: An Unexpected Adventure in the Natural World

Miriam Darlington. Tin House, Feb. 20 ($27.95, ISBN 978-1-959030-34-8)

In this chronicle of a year spent searching the waterways of England, Scotland, and Wales to observe otters in the wild, nature writer Darlington expounds on the animal’s cultural and ecological significance.

Systemic: How Racism Is Making Us Sick

Layal Liverpool. Astra House, June 18 ($30, ISBN 978-1-66260-167-5)

Biased healthcare providers, the stresses of coping with racism, and the exclusion of people of color from medical trials contribute to racial health disparities, argues virologist Liverpool.

Why We Remember: Unlocking Memory’s Power to Hold On to What Matters

Charan Ranganath. Doubleday, Feb. 20 ($30, ISBN 978-0-385-54863-2)

Neuroscientist Ranganath discusses how recent research has shed light on the ways in which memory shapes identity, learning, bias, and trauma. 250,000-copy announced first printing.

Science longlist


The Animal Mind: Profiles of Intelligence and Emotion by Marianne Taylor, illus. by Joel Sartore, Melissa Groo, and Peter Delaney (Apr. 2, $40, ISBN 978-1-4197-6849-1), surveys scientific research on what ants, gorillas, prairie dogs, and other animals might be thinking and feeling.

Atlantic Monthly Press

Big Meg: The Story of the Largest and Most Mysterious Predator That Ever Lived by Tim and Emma Flannery (Feb. 6, $27, ISBN 978-0-8021-6258-8). A team of father-and-daughter scientists delve into the evolution, behavior, and extinction of prehistoric megalodon sharks.


Total Garbage: How We Can Fix Our Waste and Heal Our World by Edward Humes (Apr. 2, $28, ISBN 978-0-593-54336-8). The Pulitzer winner investigates the social and environmental cost of trash and how to build better waste disposal systems.

Avid Reader

Twelve Trees: The Deep Roots of Our Future by Daniel Lewis (Mar. 12, $30, ISBN 978-1-982164-05-8) examines through the lens of redwoods, Bristlecone pines, baobabs, and other trees how climate change, deforestation, and other issues are changing the natural world.


Then I Am Myself the World: What Consciousness Is and How to Expand It by Christof Koch (May 7, $30, ISBN 978-1-5416-0280-9) contends that consciousness is defined by its ability to shape and change itself.


Borderline: The Bio-
graphy of a Personality Disorder by Alexander Kriss (Apr. 30, $28.95, ISBN 978-0-8070-0781-5). Psychologist Kriss weaves the history of borderline personality disorder into an account of his efforts to treat a patient diagnosed with it.

Bloomsbury Wildlife

Cull of the Wild: Killing in the Name of Conservation by Hugh Warwick (June 11, $28, ISBN 978-1-399-40374-0) probes the ethical questions raised by efforts to rein in the spread of such invasive species as cane toads in Australia, ravens in the Mojave Desert, and gray squirrels on Anglesey, Wales.

Bold Type

Countdown: The Blinding Future of Nuclear Weapons by Sarah Scoles (Feb. 6, $30, ISBN 978-1-64503-005-8) reports on the state of America’s nuclear weapons labs and questions claims that these bombs protect the country by discouraging attacks.

Cambridge Univ.

Solitude: The Science and Power of Being Alone by Netta Weinstein, Heather Hansen, and Thuy-Vy T. Nguyen (Apr. 18, $25.95, ISBN 978-1-00-925660-5) analyzes scientific studies suggesting that alone time improves problem-solving, emotional regulation, and general well-being, among other benefits.


Space Oddities: The Mysterious Anomalies Challenging Our Understanding of the Universe by Harry Cliff (Mar. 26, $29, ISBN 978-0-385-54903-5). Experimental physicist Cliff explores scientific mysteries that upend traditional understandings of physics and the cosmos, including high-energy particles in Antarctic ice and stars zooming away from Earth at theoretically impossible speeds.


Quanta and Fields: The Biggest Ideas in the Universe by Sean Carroll (May 14, $26, ISBN 978-0-593-18660-2). A natural philosophy professor at Johns Hopkins University examines how matter arises from atoms and quantum fields in this companion volume to The Biggest Ideas in the Universe: Space, Time, and Motion.

Why Machines Learn: The Elegant Math Behind Modern AI by Anil Ananthaswamy (July 16, $32, ISBN 978-0-593-18574-2) explains how algebra, calculus, and other mathematical ideas enable the operation of artificial intelligence.


Birding to Change the World: A Memoir by Trish O’Kane (Feb. 27, $29.99, ISBN 978-0-06-322314-1) weaves science on bird migration and adaptations into an account of how witnessing the resilience of birds in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina convinced the author, a former investigative journalist, to become an ornithologist and conservationist. 75,000-copy announced first printing.

Farrar, Straus and Giroux

How We Break: Navigating the Wear and Tear of Living by Vincent Deary (May 21, $30, ISBN 978-0-374-17211-4) studies scientific research on the physical toll that prolonged stress or fatigue takes on the body and the importance of rest.

Grand Central

The Asteroid Hunter: A Scientist’s Journey to the Dawn of Our Solar System by Dante Lauretta (Mar. 19, $30, ISBN 978-1-5387-2294-7) recounts the author’s role overseeing NASA’s OSIRIS-Rex mission, which was the first to collect an asteroid sample and return it to Earth, and expounds on what its findings indicate about the origins of life.


My Life with Sea Turtles: A Marine Biologist’s Quest to Protect One of the Most Ancient Animals on Earth by Christine Figgener, trans. by Jane Billinghurst (May 21, $28.95, ISBN 978-1-77840-058-2). Marine biologist Figgener describes her experiences studying sea turtles in the wild and warns of the danger humans pose to their survival.

Hanover Square

Adventures in Volcanoland: What Volcanoes Tell Us about the World and Ourselves by Tamsin Mather (June 18, $32.99, ISBN 978-1-335-08085-1) discusses the author’s travels to study volcanoes in Hawaii, Nicaragua, and elsewhere, opining on their cultural significance and detailing the forces that create them and cause them to erupt.


The Miracle Century: Making Sense of the Cell Therapy Revolution by Scott Gottlieb (Apr. 9, $30, ISBN 978-0-06-328897-3) traces the history of cell-based treatments and suggests how they might one day provide cures for Alzheimer’s, heart damage, and cancer.

Johns Hopkins Univ.

What Do Bees Think About? by Mathieu Lihoreau, trans. by Alison Duncan (May 14, $21.95 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-4214-4858-9), investigates the inner lives of bees, including whether the insects are capable of creativity, making moral decisions, or having emotions.


Our Kindred Creatures: How Americans Came to Feel the Way They Do About Animals by Bill Wasik and Monica Murphy (Apr. 23, $35, ISBN 978-0-525-65906-8) chronicles how animal rights campaigns starting in the mid-19th century changed how Americans saw such practices as dog fighting and animal testing.

Little, Brown Spark

How to Find a Four-Leaf Clover: What Autism Can Teach Us About Difference, Connection, and Belonging by Jodi Rodgers (Feb. 20, $30, ISBN 978-0-316-47197-8). A relationship counselor who specializes in clients with autism, Rodgers tells stories from her practice that highlight the importance of celebrating neurodiversity.


American Eclipse: A Nation’s Epic Race to Catch the Shadow of the Moon and Win the Glory of the World by David Baron (Mar. 5, $18.99 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-324-09469-2) describes the journeys undertaken by Thomas Edison, astronomer Maria Mitchell, and asteroid hunter James Craig Wilson to the Rocky Mountains to observe the 1878 total solar eclipse.

Four Thousand Paws: Caring for the Dogs of the Iditarod: A Veterinarian’s Story by Lee Morgan (Feb. 27, $27.99, ISBN 978-1-324-09139-4). Veterinarian Morgan reflects on treating the canine athletes who compete in the Alaska sled dog race and the psychological and physical effects that racing has on the dogs.


The Blind Spot: Why Science Cannot Ignore Human Experience by Adam Frank, Marcelo Gleiser, and Evan Thompson (Mar. 5, $29.95, ISBN 978-0-262-04880-4) contends that human experience should be incorporated into the scientific method, replacing the impossible goal of understanding reality independent of how humans live and perceive it.

The Science of Weird Shit: Why Our Minds Conjure the Paranormal by Chris French (Mar. 19, $29.95, ISBN 978-0-262-04836-1) offers scientific explanations for why some people believe they have seen ghosts, been abducted by aliens, and talked with the dead, among other supernatural phenomena.


The Great River: The Making and Unmaking of the Mississippi by Boyce Upholt (June 11, $29.99, ISBN 978-0-393-86787-9) sets forth a cultural and natural history of the Mississippi River, tracing how humans have used and tried to control the river from pre-Columbian times through the present.

Origin Story: The Trials of Charles Darwin by Howard Markel (June 11, $28.99, ISBN 978-1-324-03674-6) chronicles the two years in the late 1850s the naturalist spent writing On the Origin of Species, as well as the controversy stirred up by its publication and the ensuing scientific debate about its accuracy.

One Signal

Before It’s Gone: Stories from the Front Lines of Climate Change in Small Town America by Jonathan Vigliotti (Apr. 2, $28, ISBN 978-1-66800-817-1) studies how global warming has worsened the intensity of forest fires, hurricanes, and sea level rise, as told through the stories of individuals affected by extreme weather events.

Oxford Univ.

Quantum Drama: From the Bohr–Einstein Debate to the Riddle of Entanglement by Jim Baggott and John L. Heilbron (July 25, $32.95, ISBN 978-0-19-284610-5) traces how questions about the purpose and limits of science raised by Albert Einstein and Niels Bohr’s 1927 debate on quantum theory resonated through physics research for decades.

Penguin Books Canada

The Last Doctor: Lessons in Living from the Front Lines of Medical Assistance in Dying by Jean Marmoreo and Johanna Schneller (Apr. 16, $16 trade paper, ISBN 978-0-7352-4839-7). Canadian doctor Marmoreo recounts training to specialize in assisted dying care after it became legal in 2016 and reflects on what she’s learned from her patients.

Princeton Univ.

Father Time: A Natural History of Men and Babies by Sarah Hrdy (May 14, $29.95, ISBN 978-0-691-23877-7) draws on evolutionary
science and anthropological research to argue that caring for babies changes men’s biology.

The Last of Its Kind: The Search for the Great Auk and the Discovery of Extinction by Gísli Pálsson (Feb. 6, $27.95, ISBN 978-0-691-23098-6) explores how two 19th-century British ornithologists raised the alarm about human-caused extinction after learning that hunters had killed the last of the great auks.


The Secret Mind of Bertha Pappenheim: The Woman Who Invented Freud’s Talking Cure by Gabriel Brownstein (Apr. 16, $30, ISBN 978-1-5417-7464-3) tells the life story of the 19th-century Viennese feminist whose treatment led Sigmund Freud to develop
psychoanalysis, interrogating Freud’s assessments of Pappenheim and championing her work fighting human trafficking.

Random House

Becoming Earth: How Our Planet Came to Life by Ferris Jabr (June 25, $29, ISBN 978-0-593-13397-2) delineates how living organisms’ interactions with air, rocks, and water have driven evolution and shaped environments in California, the Amazon, and other locales.

Every Living Thing:
Great and Deadly Race to Know All Life by Jason Roberts (Mar. 12, $35, ISBN 978-1-9848-5520-6) chronicles the competing efforts of Swedish doctor Carl Linnaeus and French polymath Georges-Louis de Buffon to create comprehensive catalogues of life on Earth in the 18th century.


Saving the World: How Forests Inspired Global Efforts to Stop Climate Change by Brett M. Bennett and Gregory A. Barton (July 13, $25, ISBN 978-1-78914-874-9) details the ways in which 18th-century initiatives against deforestation, motivated by the belief that forests recycled rain, advanced humanity’s understanding of how human actions affect climate.


Love Triangle: How Trigonometry Shapes the World by Matt Parker (July 16, $30, ISBN 978-0-593-41810-9) explains how triangles have enabled cartography, gifs, and space exploration, among other achievements, through stories of the mathematicians and engineers who studied the shapes.


Kingdom of Play: What Ball-Bouncing Octopuses, Belly-Flopping Monkeys, and Mud-Sliding Elephants Reveal about Life Itself by David Toomey (Mar. 19, $29, ISBN 978-1-982154-46-2) investigates what scientific experiments are revealing about the purpose of play for Alaskan brown bears, Australian octopuses, Kalahari meerkats, and other animals.

Simon & Schuster

The Air They Breathe:
A Pediatrician on the
Frontlines of Climate Change by Debra Hendrickson (July 2, $27.99, ISBN 978-1-5011-9713-0). Nevada pediatrician Hendrickson explores the health effects of climate change by discussing how wildfires, hurricanes, and extreme heat are harming her young patients.


Metamorphosis: How Insects Are Changing Our World by Erica McAlister and Adrian Washbourne (Apr. 9, $29.95, ISBN 978-1-58834-767-1) surveys the ways in which insects’ abilities and anatomy are inspiring such innovations as flying robots modeled on bees and medical probes designed to mimic the hawkmoth’s tongue.


The Things We Make: The Unknown History of Invention from Cathedrals to Soda Cans by Bill Hammack (Mar. 5, $18.99 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-72828-045-5) argues that a consistent set of principles and processes underlies all major inventions, including medieval stone arches and contemporary soda cans.

St. Martin’s

Alien Earths: The New Science of Planet Hunting in the Cosmos by Lisa Kaltenegger (Apr. 16, $30, ISBN 978-1-250-28363-4) looks at how understanding Earth’s history can inform the hunt for extraterrestrial life and spotlights unusual planets recently discovered by astrophysicists, including bodies covered in lava or orbiting two suns.

How to Win Friends and Influence Fungi: Collected Quirks of Science, Tech, Engineering, and Math from Nerd Nite by Chris Balakrishnan and Matt Wasowski, illus. by Kristen Orr (Feb. 20, $30, ISBN 978-1-250-28834-9), surveys scientific trivia on such topics as the biology of hangovers and the James Webb telescope’s influence on movie special effects.

Univ. of California

The Random Factor: How Chance and Luck Profoundly Shape Our Lives and the World Around Us by Mark Robert Rank (Apr. 23, $27.95, ISBN 978-0-520-39096-6) contends that chance plays a profound role in nature, history, and human societies, and reflects on how to model public policy, and one’s life, accordingly.

Univ. of Chicago

Extinctions: From Dinosaurs to You by Charles Frankel (May 30, $26, ISBN 978-0-226-74101-7) proposes that the mass dying out of dinosaurs and later annihilation of megafauna during the Ice Age reveal how humanity can survive climate change by preserving the planet’s biodiversity.

The Well-Connected Animal: Social Networks and the Wondrous Complexity of Animal Societies by Lee Alan Dugatkin (May 16, $29, ISBN 978-0-226-81878-8) studies how animals share information and resources through socializing, including how great tit birds learn to break into milk bottles and how vampire bats split meals.

Yale Univ.

As If Human: Ethics and Artificial Intelligence by Nigel Shadbolt and Roger Hampson (May 14, $28, ISBN 978-0-300-26829-4) suggests that humans should regard the decisions of AI as if the technology were human and outlines seven principles for ensuring its ethical use.

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