NF

— in work! just begun, June 2019 —

This page is both a bibliography and a set of links to my posts about significant nonfiction (NF) books on this blog. (My posts aren’t so much ‘reviews’ in the sense of evaluations as they are summaries and comments.) Some of these books I read years ago and don’t have notes on; some I have yet to read. The first edition publisher is indicated, [along with the reprint publisher if that’s the edition I have].

Dawkins, Richard

  • 1976. The Selfish Gene. Oxford University Press. [1978 OUP pb]
  • 1982. The Extended Phenotype. Oxford University Press. [1983 OUP pb]
  • 1986. The Blind Watchmaker. Norton.
  • 1995. River Out of Eden: A Darwinian View of Life. Basic Books.
  • 1996. Climbing Mount Improbable. Norton.
  • 1998. Unweaving the Rainbow: Science, Delusion and the Appetite for Wonder. Houghton Mifflin.
  • 2003. A Devil’s Chaplain: Reflections on Hope, Lies, Science, and Love (essays). Houghton Mifflin.
  • 2006. The God Delusion. Houghton Mifflin.
  • 2009. The Greatest Show on Earth: The Evidence for Evolution. Free Press.
  • 2011. The Magic of Reality: How We Know What’s Really True. Free Press.
  • 2017. Science In the Soul: Selected Writings of a Passionate Rationalist (essays). Random House.

Dennett, Daniel C.

  • 1991. Consciousness Explained. Little, Brown.
  • 1995. Darwin’s Dangerous Idea: Evolution and the Meanings of Life. Simon & Schuster.
  • 1996. Kinds of Minds: Toward an Understanding of Consciousness. Basic Books.
  • 2003. Freedom Evolves. Viking.
  • 2006. Breaking the Spell: Religion as a Natural Phenomenon. Viking.
  • 2013. Intuition Pumps and Other Tools for Thinking. Norton.
  • 2017. From Bacteria to Bach and Back: The Evolution of Minds. Norton.

Harari, Yuval Noah

  • 2015. Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind. Harper. [1st US edition]
  • 2017. Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow. Harper. [1st US]
  • 2018. 21 Lessons for the 21st Century. Spiegel & Grau.

Harris, Sam

  • 2004. The End of Faith: Religion, Terror, and the Future of Reason. Norton.
  • 2006. Letter to a Christian Nation. Knopf.
  • 2010. The Moral Landscape: How Science Can Determine Human Values. Free Press.
  • 2012. Free Will. Free Press.
  • 2013. Lying. Four Elephants Press.
  • 2014. Waking Up: A Guide to Spirituality Without Religion. Simon & Schuster.

Pinker, Steven

  • 1994. The Language Instinct: How the Mind Creates Language. Morrow.
  • 1997. How the Mind Works. Norton.
  • 2002. The Blank Slate: The Modern Denial of Human Nature. Viking.
  • 2007. The Stuff of Thought: Language as a Window into Human Nature. Viking.
  • 2011. The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined. Viking.
  • 2014. The Sense of Style: The Thinking Person’s Guide to Writing in the 21st Century. Viking.
  • 2018. Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress. Viking.

Sagan, Carl

  • 1973. The Cosmic Connection: An Extraterrestrial Perspective. Doubleday/Anchor Press. [notes]
  • 1975. Other Worlds (produced by Jerome Agel). Bantam.
  • 1977. The Dragons of Eden: Speculations on the Evolution of Human Intelligence. Random House.
  • 1978. Murmurs of Earth: The Voyager Interstellar Record (with five others). Random House.
  • 1979. Broca’s Brain: Reflections of the Romance of Science. Random House.
  • 1980. Cosmos. Random House.
  • 1992. Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors: A Search for Who We Are (with Ann Druyan). Random House.
  • 1994. Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space. Random House.
  • 1995. The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark. Random House.
  • 1997. Billions & Billions: Thoughts on Life and Death at the Brink of the Millennium. Random House.
  • 2006. The Varieties of Scientific Experience: A Personal View of the Search for God (edited by Ann Druyan). The Penguin Press

Shermer, Michael

  • 1997. Why People Believe Weird Things: Pseudoscience, Superstition, and Other Confusions of Our Time. Freeman.
  • 2000. How We Believe: The Search for God in an Age of Science. Freeman.
  • 2001. The Borderlands of Science: Where Sense Meets Nonsense. Oxford.
  • 2004. The Science of Good & Evil: Why People Cheat, Gossip, Care, Share, and Follow the Golden Rule. Times Books.
  • 2005. Science Friction: Where the Known Meets the Unknown. Times Books.
  • 2006. Why Darwin Matters: The Case Against Intelligent Design. Times Books.
  • 2008. The Mind of the Market: Compassionate Apes, Competitive Humans, and Other Tales from Evolutionary Economics. Times Books.
  • 2011. The Believing Brain: From Ghosts to Gods to Politics and Conspiracies — How We Construct Beliefs and Reinforce Them as Truths. Times Books.
  • 2015. The Moral Arc: How Science and Reason Lead Humanity Toward Truth, Justice, and Freedom. Henry Holt.
  • 2016. Skeptic: Viewing the World with a Rational Eye (essays). Henry Holt.
  • 2018. Heavens on Earth: The Scientific Search for the Afterlife, Immortality, and Utopia. Henry Holt.

Wilson, Edward O.

  • 1978. On Human Nature. Harvard. [notes]
  • 1983. Promethean Fire: Reflections on the Origin of Mind (with Charles J. Lumsden). Harvard.
  • 1984. Biophilia: The human bond with other species. Harvard.
  • 1992. The Diversity of Life. Harvard/Belknap Press.
  • 1994. Naturalist. Island Press.
  • 1996. In Search of Nature. Island Press.
  • 1998. Consilience: The Unity of Knowledge. Knopf.
  • 2002. The Future of Life. Knopf.
  • 2006. The Creation: An Appeal to Save Life on Earth. Norton.
  • 2012. The Social Conquest of Earth. Liveright.
  • 2013. Letters to a Young Scientist. Liveright.
  • 2014. The Meaning of Human Existence. Liveright.
  • 2016. Half-Earth: Our Planet’s Fight for Life. Liveright.
  • 2017. The Origins of Creativity. Liveright.
  • 2019. Genesis: The Deep Origin of Societies. Liveright.

Psychology/Cognitive Biases/Human Nature/Politics

  • Ariely, Dan. 2008. Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Destinies. Harper.
  • Bering, Jesse. 2011. The Belief Instinct: The Psychology of Souls, Destiny, and the Meaning of Life. Norton [1st US].
  • DiSalvo, David. 2011. What Makes Your Brain Happy and Why You Should Do the Opposite. Prometheus Press [tpb].
  • Gilovich, Thomas. 1991. How We Know What Isn’t So: The Fallibility of Human Reason in Everyday Life. Free Press. [1993 Free Press tpb]
  • Gilovich, Thomas (with Lee Ross). 2015. The Wisest One in the Room: How You Can Benefit from Social Psychology’s Most Powerful Insights. Free Press.
  • Greene, Joshua. 2013. Moral Tribes: Emotion, Reason, and the Gap Between Us and Them. The Penguin Press.
  • Haidt, Jonathan. 2012. The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion. Pantheon.
  • Hutson, Matthew. 2012. The 7 Laws of Magical Thinking: How Irrational Beliefs Keep Us Happy, Healthy, and Sane. Penguin/Hudson Street Press. [2013 Plume tpb]
  • Kahneman, Daniel. 2011. Thinking, Fast and Slow. Farrar, Straus and Giroux.
  • Leavitt, Steven D., and Stephen J. Dubner. 2005. Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything. William Morrow.
  • McRaney, David. 2011. You Are Not So Smart: Why You Have Too Many Friends on Facebook, Why Your Memory is Mostly Fiction, and 46 Other Ways You’re Deluding Yourself. Gotham Books.
  • McRaney, David. 2013. You Are Now Less Dumb: How to Conquer Mob Mentality, How to Buy Happiness, and All the Other Ways to Outsmart Yourself. Gotham Books.

Big Ideas

  • Carroll, Sean. 2016. The Big Picture: On the Origins of Life, Meaning, and the Universe Itself. Dutton.
  • Deutsch, David. 1997. The Fabric of Reality: The Science of Parallel Universes — and Its Implications. Penguin Press/Allen Lane.
  • Deutsch, David. 2011. The Beginning of Infinity: Explanations that Transform the World. Viking.
  • Diamond, Jared. 1997. Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies. Norton.
  • Tegmark, Max. 2014. Our Mathematical Universe: My Quest for the Ultimate Nature of Reality. Knopf.
  • Wilczek, Frank. 2015. A Beautiful Question: Finding Nature’s Deep Design. Penguin Press.

Big History

  • Bryson, Bill. 2003. A Short History of Nearly Everything. Broadway.