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Here’s something for those who love science books, or are thinking of Christmas presents for such people (hint). It’s the latest annual short list selected by the UK Royal Society for the Winton Prize for Science Books.

I think they all look interesting. I have already purchased two of these (The Disappearing Spoon and Massive) and will keep an eye out for the others.

Below, I have provided links for those wanting more details, price, etc. Also the judges comments on each book provided by the Royal Society (see Royal Society Winton Prize for Science Books Shortlist Announced).


Alex’s Adventures in Numberland by Alex Bellos

’This book is a complete revelation. A rich and diverse story of mathematics, peppered with anecdote and personalities, whirling round the globe and through history from Euclid to the supercomputer, it brings maths bursting to life in a way we never expected.’


Through the Language Glass: Why the World Looks Different in Other Languages by Guy Deutscher

’A enthralling book that truly broadened our understanding of language, culture and the science of perception, using startling experiments to make us re-think the subtle assumptions with which we all view and describe the material world.”


The Disappearing Spoon: And Other True Tales of Madness, Love, and the History of the World from the Periodic Table of the Elements by Sam Kean

’This is much more than just a witty guide to the periodic table — it gives a fascinating insight into the history of the elements, how they were discovered, and the extraordinary part they play in our lives.’


The Wavewatcher’s Companion by Gavin Pretor-Pinney

’A brilliant almost poetic book that really opened our eyes. We were amazed to find that we now see waves everywhere we look, making the world around us a more absorbing and enchanting place, thanks to modern science.’


Massive: The Missing Particle That Sparked the Greatest Hunt in Science by Ian Sample

’An extraordinary book that tells the real human story behind one of the biggest science adventures of our time, managing to translate the complex concepts of particle physics into a real page-turner.’


The Rough Guide to The Future by Jon Turney

’A thought-provoking and refreshingly optimistic view of the future across the whole range of the sciences, with a highly original style of brief and multi-focused presentations, that sets it apart from conventional scientific writing.’

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