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Mini Gift Guide

30 Books Perfect for Science Lovers

By Amanda Cleveland • November 20, 2022

Shopping for the various people in our lives can be overwhelming. Everyone is different and there are just so many potentially great gifts to choose from. Our mini gift guides are targeted lists specific to all the unique people in our lives. Today, gifts for the science lovers and knowledge seekers in your life, from space to medicine to history to psychology, these top picks will be the perfect gift for anyone who is naturally curious.

All-Around Fascinating

These are not your high school textbook! Written to be understood and entertaining, these science bestsellers cover a range of topics and have proven to enthrall knowledge seekers in any discipline, of any skill level.

  1. What If & What If 2 by Randall Munroe
  2. Brief Answers to the Big Questions by Stephen Hawking
  3. The Biggest Ideas in the Universe: Space, Time, and Motion by Sean Carroll
  4. Frequently Asked Questions About the Universe by Daniel Whiteson and Jorge Cham
  5. The God Equation: The Quest for a Theory of Everything by Michio Kaku

Anthropological Insights & History

Give the most curious questioners and scientists of your life a full look back with these easy-to-understand books from experts that cover the full history of a range of topics.

  1. How to Invent Everything: A Survival Guide for the Stranded Time Traveler by Ryan North
  2. Children of Ash and Elm: A History of the Vikings by Neil Price
  3. 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
  4. A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson
  5. Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari

Anatomically Inclined

These books on medicine and the medical field will have your science lover seeing themselves in a whole new way.

  1. Gray's Anatomy by Henry Gray
  2. Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers by Mary Roach
  3. Breath: The New Science of a Lost Art by James Nestor
  4. The Body: A Guide for Occupants by Bill Bryson
  5. Clean: The New Science of Skin by James Hamblin

Astronomical Wonders

If your science lover is the kind who can't stop looking to the final frontier, and spends time dreaming of their moon colony, these picks will inspire awe and delight.

  1. Welcome to the Universe in 3D: A Visual Tour by Neil deGrasse Tyson
  2. The Sirens of Mars: Searching for Life on Another World by Sarah Stewart Johnson
  3. The Backyard Astronomer's Guide by Terence Dickinson and Alan Dyer
  4. Cosmos by Carl Sagan
  5. The Human Cosmos: Civilization and the Stars by Jo Marchant

Amazing Earth

For those looking for information on the world a little closer to home. These selections are great for foragers, naturalists, and anyone who just plain enjoys a great view.

  1. Horizon by Barry Lopez
  2. An Immense World: How Animal Senses Reveal the Hidden Realms Around Us by Ed Yong
  3. The Lost Words by Robert Macfarlane and Jackie Morris
  4. Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants by Robin Wall Kimmerer
  5. Entangled Life: How Fungi Make Our Worlds, Change Our Minds & Shape Our Futures by Merlin Sheldrake

Analyzing Our Behavior

For those who always want to know why humans feel what we feel, or do what we do, these picks in psychology and social science books offer insight into what makes a human mind tick.

  1. This Is Your Brain on Music: The Science of a Human Obsession by Daniel J. Levitin
  2. The Animals Among Us: How Pets Make Us Human by John Bradshaw
  3. Moonwalking With Einstein: The Art and Science of Remembering Everything by Joshua Foer
  4. Swearing Is Good for You: The Amazing Science of Bad Language by Emma Byrne
  5. Rationality: What It Is, Why It Seems Scarce, Why It Matters by Steven Pinker

The world of science is an ever growing, ever changing one that grows vaster by the day. Be sure to check out our full History and Sci-Fi/Fantasy Gift Guides which are full of ideas for the studious and curious. Are there any science titles on your to-read list? Let us know in the comments, you may inspire another reader.

Read more by Amanda Cleveland

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