Professor of biology Nathan H. Lents explains human history through the lens of physical traits that appear to be mistakes: bad knees, head colds, useless bones, and junk code in our genes. This book both celebrates our imperfections and congratulates humans on being so good at getting around them.
Everything You Know About Science Is Wrong by Matt Brown
From the Royal Institution’s former quizmaster Matt Brown comes a book I wish I could have written. This book addresses universal science “facts” that are actually misconceptions: Is the Great Wall of China visible from space? Are we descended from Neanderthals? Can anything travel faster than the speed of light? How many colors are in a rainbow?
Hype: A Doctor’s Guide to Medical Myths, Exaggerated Claims, and Bad Advice—How to Tell What’s Real and What’s Not by Nina Shapiro MD and Kristin Loberg
Another myth-busting book but this one focused on the health sphere. Dr. Nina Shapiro uses science and personal stories from working for more than twenty years in medicine to make sense of all those headlines of how to live longer, better, thinner, younger. She tackles issues regarding sugar, hydration, organic foods, vaccines, weight-loss, superfoods, vitamins, and anti-aging tricks.
Publishers Weekly says Shapiro’s “skeptical, no-nonsense approach and probing assessment of fact versus fiction make for lively reading that is likely to help readers make better health and medical choices.”
Science Hacks: 100 Clever Ways to Help You Understand and Remember the Most Important Theories by Colin Barras
Each of 100 topics (such as particle physics, evolutionary biology, genetics, chemistry, and ecology) starts with a helicopter view of the subject and some context, and then core elements of the theory, and finally a one-liner hack to make the theory stick in your mind. This illustrated book is part of a Hack series from Cassell that also includes Math Hacks.