Gizmodo Reading Room: Sci & Tech LitS

Traffic: Why We Drive the Way We Do (and What It Says About Us)

by Tom Vanderbilt
A recommendation and mini-book review from Joel Johnson earned Traffic a spot in our Reading Room: "Want to learn about humans integrate technology into wide-ranging, everyday systems? And learn even more because its about a network that's been in place for a hundred years? Maybe you should absorb the staggering amount of sociological and behavioral data that Vanderbilt has collected about our relationship with the only technology we crawl inside of every day. (Egg chair owners excluded.)" Egg chairs? Say no more. [Amazon; Kindle; Barnes and Noble; Nook]

The Best Technology Writing 2009

by Steven Johnson (Editor)
Blogging, Google, sitcoms, and all the topics which keep us at our keyboards each day seem to be crammed into this collection of essays. It may be tech reading, but it's some of the best tech reading of this year. [Amazon; Kindle; Barnes and Noble]

In Search of the Multiverse

by John Gribbin
Whether you loved reading about string theory, quantum physics, thermodynamics, and all the crazy things that explain our universe or not, John Gribbin's In Search of the Multiverse is an incredible read. Heads up though, it may leave your head spinning as you feel a whole new sense of insignificance. [Out of print, sadly, but copies available through Alibris or Amazon]

Denialism: How Irrational Thinking Hinders Scientific Progress, Harms the Planet, and Threatens Our Lives

by Michael Specter
The best way to gauge if you'll enjoy Michael Specter's book is to take a look at our interview with him. If that leaves your interest piqued or "if you're just tired of people bitching about stem-cell research, genetically altered foods or the alleged evil that lurks in vaccinations," then give Denialism a read. [Amazon; Kindle; Barnes and Noble]

Total Recall: How the E-Memory Revolution Will Change Everything

by Gordon Bell
It's scary how transparent our lives can become with some of today's technology, but at the same time all the tools we use, from social media networks to personal blogs to to-do applications, can revolutionize how we retain knowledge and what remains after we are gone. Total Recall explores angles ranging from privacy to why exactly you'd want to capture so much detail and retain it. Wonderful read, even if I doubt I'll write about it in my private diary-style blog. [Amazon; Kindle; Barnes and Noble; Nook]

The Ocean Almanac

by Robert Hendrickson
Brian Lam recommends this unfortunately out-of-print book and describes it as "super cool." The publisher explains that the books is an "entertaining, informative almanac offers hundreds of fascinating essays, anecdotes, facts, legends, and mysteries concerning the sea, its amazing inhabitants—both real and apocryphal—and the men and ships who have sailed it through the ages." Between those two descriptions, it's tough to resist searching through some used book stores for a copy. [Alibris; Amazon; Barnes and Noble]

Back to Gizmodo Reading Room