December 1, 2007

Best science books 2007: The Globe and Mail

Today's Globe and Mail featured their annual Globe 100 list of the year's most notable books. As usual, there were quite a few science and science-related books on the list. Unfortunately, they are also not separating out a separate Science & Nature section like in previous years.

Here's the list:

  • The 100-Mile Diet: A Year of Local Eating by Alisa Smith and J.B. Mackinnon
  • Musicophilia: Tales of Music and the Brain by Oliver Sacks
  • The Geography of Hope: A Tour of the World We Need by Chris Turner
  • The Secret History of the War on Cancer by Devra Davis
  • The World without Us by Alan Weisman
  • Silence of the Songbirds: How We are Losing the World's Songbirds and What We Can Do to Save Them by Bridget Stutchbury
  • 28: Stories of AIDS in Africa by Stephanie Nolen
  • The Snoring Bird: My Family's Journey Through A Century of Biology by Bernd Heinrich
  • The Brain that Changes Itself: Stories of Personal Triumph From the Frontiers of Brain Science by Norman Doidge

Note that Silence of the Songbirds: How We are Losing the World's Songbirds and What We Can Do to Save Them is by York biology professor Bridget Stutchbury.

A couple of non-science non-fiction books that seemed interesting to me this year include: A Secular Age by Charles Taylor, God is not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything by Christopher Hitchens, Black Mass: Apocalyptic Religion and the Death of Utopia By John Gray and Green City: People, Nature & Urban Places By Mary Soderstrom.

What do I think of the list overall? Well, compared to last year's list of 15 notable books, this year is down dramatically at 9. On the other hand, 9 is amazing compared to the Quill & Quire or the New York Times. During the course of 2007 I had the impression that the Globe was reviewing very few science books compared to other years and I guess this list bears that out. I sincerely hope that they're back to their previous levels in the coming year.

Or it also could mean that we should all be turning to the blogosphere for reviews of books that interest us and let the MSM book review section continue their decline.

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