(* must reads)


Jonah Lehrer, Proust Was A Neuroscientist, Houghton Mifflin, 2007 *

Stephen Wilson, Information Arts, Intersections of Art, Science, and Technology, Leonardo Books, 2000

Priya Hemenway, Divine Proportion, PHI in Art, Nature, and Science, 2000

Steven Mithen, The Prehistory of the Mind, The Cognitive Origins of Art and Science, Thames and Hudson, 1996


Brian Greene, Hidden Reality, Vintage Press, 2010

Lisa Randall, Warped Passages, Unraveling the Mysteries of the Universe’s Hidden Dimensions, HarperCollins, 2005

(Brian Greene, The Fabric of the Cosmos, Vintage Press, 2004 *)

Fritjof Capra, The Tao of Physics, Shambhala Press, 2000

Murray Gell-Mann, The Quark and the Jaguar, Adventures in the Simple and the Complex, W. H. Freeman, 1994

Allan Savage, The Hubble Atlas of Galaxies (2 Vols.), Carnegie Institution of Washington, 1994

John Holland, Time Expanded (online only), 2017 *

Stephen Hawking, A Brief History of Time, Bantam Books, 1988

Eames/Morrison, Powers of Ten, Scientific American Library, 1982 *

Guy Murchie, Music of the Spheres (2 Vols.), Houghton Mifflin, 1968


(Brian Greene, The Fabric of the Cosmos, Vintage Press, 2004 *)

Joao Magueijo, Faster Than the Speed of Light, Perseus, 2003

John Emsley, Nature’s Building Blocks, Oxford U. Press, 2001

P. W. Atkins, The Periodic Kingdom, Basic Books, 1995

John Holland, The Path of Sound, A Trilogy (online only) *

John Gribbon, In Search of Schrodinger’s Cat, Quantum Physics and Reality, Bantam Books, 1985

Richard Feynman, QED, The Strange Theory of Light and Matter, Princeton U. Press, 1985


Richard Wrangham, Catching Fire, How Cooking Made Us Human, Basic Books, 2009 *

Richard Dawkins, The Ancestor’s Tale, Houghton Mifflin, 2004 *

Stephen J. Gould, The Structure of Evolutionary Theory, Harvard U. Press, 2002

Lynn Margulis, Dorian Sagan, Acquiring Genomes, A Theory of the Origins Species, Basic Books, 2002 *

Ernst Mayr, What Evolution Is, Basic Books, 2001

Colin Tudge, The Variety of Life, A Survey and a Celebration of All the Creatures that Have Ever Lived, Oxford U. Press, 2000

Ian Tattersall, Becoming Human, Harcourt, Brace, 1998

George C. Williams, The Pony Fish’s Glow And Other Clues to Plan and Purpose in Nature, Basic Books, 1997

Colin Tudge, The Time Before History, Scribner, 1996

Richard Dawkins, Climbing Mount Improbable, W. W. Norton, 1996

Richard Dawkins, River Out of Eden, Basic Books, 1995

Richard Leakey, The Origin of Humankind, Basic Books, 1994

Edward O. Wilson, The Diversity of Life, Harvard U. Press, 1992

Ernst Mayr, The Growth of Biological Thought, Diversity, Evolution, and Inheritance, Harvard U. Press, 1985

Edward O. Wilson, On Human Nature, Harvard U. Press, 1978 *

Edward O. Wilson, Sociobiology, Harvard U. Press, 1975 (Anniversary Ed. 2000)

Richard Dawkins, The Selfish Gene (New Edition), OXford U. Press, 1989 *

Richard Dawkins, The Extended Phenotype, Oxford U. Press, 1982

D’Arcy Thompson, On Growth and Form, Dover, 1942

Charles Darwin, The Descent of Man, Princeton U. Press, 1871

Charles Darwin, The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals, Oxford U. Press, 1872

Charles Darwin, The Origin of Species, Oxford U. Press, 1859


Aubrey deGrey, Ending Ageing, St. Martin’s Press, 2007

Frank Ryan, Darwin’s Blind Spot, Evolution Beyond Natural Selection, Houghton Mifflin, 2002

Lynn Margulis, Dorian Sagan, A Symbiotic Planet, Basic Books, 2000 *

Stuart Kaufman, Investigations, Oxford U. Press, 2000

Richard Lewontin, The Triple Helix, Gene, Organism, and Environment, Harvard U. Press, 2000

Colin Tudge, The Engineer in the Garden, Genes and Genetics, Hill and Wang, 1993

Lynn Margulis, Dorian Sagan, What is Life?, U. of Cal. Press, 1995

Martin Olomucki, The Chemistry of Life, McGraw-Hill, 1991 *

Lynn Margulis, Karlene V. Swartz, Five Kingdoms, An Illustrated Guide to the Phyla of Life on Earth, W. H. Freeman, 1982

Lynn Margulis, Dorion Sagan, Microcosmos, Four Billion Years of Microbial Evolution, U. of California Press, 1986 *

Erwin Schrodinger, What is Life?, Cambridge U. Press, 1944


Marlene Zuk, Sex on Six Legs, Houghton Mifflin, Harcourt, 2011

Joan Roughgarden, Evolution’s Rainbow, Diversity, Gender, and Sexuality in Nature and People, U. of California Press, 2004

W. D. Hamilton, Narrow Roads of Geneland, Vol. 2: Evolution of Sex, Oxford U. Press, 2001

Lynn Margulis, Dorian Sagan, What is Sex?, U. of Cal. Press, 1998 *

Jared Diamond, Why Is Sex Fun? The Evolution of Human Sexuality, Basic Books, 1997

Love and Emotion

Jerome Kagan, What is Emotion, Yale University Press, 2007

Helen Fisher, Why We Love, The Nature and Chemistry of Romantic Love, Henry Holt, 2005 *

Daniel Goleman, Emotional Intelligence, Bantam Books, 1995


Sebastian Seung, Connectome, How the Brain’s Wiring Makes Us Who We Are, Houghton Mifflin, 2012 *

Malcolm Gladwell, Blink, The Power of Thinking Without Thinking, Little Brown, 2005

Gerald Edelman, Wider Than the Sky, The Phenomenal Gift of Consciousness, Yale U. Press, 2004

Susan Blackmore, Consciousness, Oxford U. Press, 2004 *

John Holland, Amy Robinson, Epochs of Consciousness, American Sound Press, 2000

Larry Squire, Eric Kandel, Memory, From Mind to Molecules, Scientific American Library, 1999

Daniel Dennett, Kinds of Minds, Toward an Understanding of Consciousness, Basic Books, 1996 *

John Eccles, Evolution of the Brain, Routledge, 1989

Robert Ornstein, Richard Thompson, David Maccaulay, The Amazing Brain, Houghton Mifflin, 1984 *

Charles J. Lumsden, E. O. Wilson, Promethean Fire Reflections on the Origin of Mind, Harvard U. Press 1983

(Sleep and Dreams)

J. Allan Hobson, The Chemistry of Conscious States, Little Brown, 1994 *

J. Allen Hobson, The Dreaming Brain, Basic Books, 1988

Carl Jung, Dreams, Princeton U. Press, 1974

Carl Jung, Memories, Dreams, Reflections, Vintage Books, 1965

Sigmund Freud, The Interpretation of Dreams, Avon (1965) 1900

Language and Syntax

Steven Pinker, The Stuff of Thought: Language as a Window into Human Nature, Viking, 2007

Maryanne Wolf, Proust and the Squid, Harper, 2007

William Calvin, and Derek Bikerton, Lingua Ex Machina, M.I.T. Press, 2000

William Calvin, How Brains Think, Basic Books, 1996 *

Steven Pinker, The Language Instinct, How the Mind Creates Language, HarperCollins, 1994 *

Society and Culture

Jeffrey D. Sachs, The End of Poverty, Economic Possibilities for Our Time, Penguin, 2005  *

Jared Diamond, Collapse, Viking Press, 2005

Robert Trivers, Natural Selection and Social Theory, Selected Papers of Robert Trivers, Oxford U. Press, 2002 *

Steve Olson, Mapping Human History, Discovering the Past Through Our Genes, Houghton Mifflin, 2002

Bryan Sykes, The Seven Daughters of Eve, W. W. Norton, 2001

Robert Wright, Non-Zero, The Logic of Human Destiny, Pantheon Books, 2000 *

Jared Diamond, Guns, Germs, and Steel, W. W. Norton, 1999 *

Susan Blackmore, The Meme Machine, Oxford U. Press, 1999 *

Stephan Molnar, Human Variation, Races, Types, and Ethnic Groups, Prentice-Hall, 1998

W. D. Hamilton, Narrow Roads of Geneland, Vol 1: Evolution of Social Behavior, W. H. Freeman, 1996

Knowledge and Information

David Deutsch, The Beginning of Infinity, Explanations that Transform the World, Viking Press, 2011 *

Pier Forni,  The Thinking Life: How to Thrive in an Age of Distraction, St. Martin’s Press, 2011 *

Steven Pinker, The Blank Slate, The Modern Denial of Human Nature, Viking Press, 2000

Edward O. Wilson, Consilience, The Unity of Knowledge, Knopf, 1998


W. D. Hamilton, Narrow Roads of Geneland, Vol. 3: Last Words, Oxford U. Press, 2005

Margot Kelley, Local Treasures, Geocaching Across America, Center Books on American Places, 2005

Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner, Freakonomics, HarperCollins, 2005

Harold Morswitz, The Emergence of Everything, How the World Became Complex, Oxford U. Press, 2002

Michael Pollan, The Botany of Desire, Random House, 2001

Connie Barlow, The Ghosts of Evolution, Basic Books, 2000

Malcolm Gladwell, The Tipping Point, Little Brown, 2000

Natalie Angier, Woman, An Intimate Geography, Houghton Mifflin, 1999

John McPhee, Annals of the Former World, Farrar, Strauss, and Giroux, 1998

Stuart Kaufman, At Home in the Universe, Oxford U. Press, 1995 *

Francis Crick, The Astonishing Hypothesis, The Scientific Search for the Soul, Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1994

Daniel Dennett, Consciousness Explained, Back Bay Books, 1991

Diane Ackerman, A Natural History of the Senses, Vintage Books, 1990

Carl Jung, Synchronicity, Princeton U. Press, 1973

Rachel Carson, The Sea Around Us, Oxford U. Press, 1950 *

Henry David Thoreau, Faith in a Seed, The Dispersion of Seeds, Island Press, (1860) 1993

Henry David Thoreau, Wild Fruits, W. W. Norton, (1861) 2000

(* must reads)


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