Reading is a great way to broaden your horizons as a science major, whether it's studying up on your subject of choice or feeding new ideas into your head with a dose of science-fiction or fantasy, books are a college student's best friends. Here are ten books to inspire you on your college journey.

1. Storm Kings: The Untold History America's First Tornado Chasers

Amazon

A good book for anyone in search of an exciting read, the nonfiction book Storm Kings follows the lives and adventures of scientists throughout history who devoted their careers to the study of tornadoes and extreme weather. Full of surprisingly humorous anecdotes as well as gripping tales of danger and discovery, Storm Kings will change the way you think about the weather, and the atmosphere of the planet we live on. (Buy here!)

2. Stories of Your Life and Others

Amazon

Stories of Your Life and Others is a collection of short stories covering a broad range of topics within the speculative fiction genre. Some of the stories explore questions of science, like what if math was proven to be wrong, or a super-intelligent human was accidentally created in an experiment gone wrong. Others explore theological topics with a sci-fi twist, by creating worlds where God’s angels or the Tower of Babel were real, yet showing a new and literal side to the story. (Buy here!)

3. The Windup Girl

Amamon

This novel is a perfect read for environmental science majors or anyone interested in intricately designed future worlds. In the 23rd century, the earth has been ravaged by the effects of global warming, leading to a society structured around genetically modified crops and other organisms, including genetically modified humans called windups who are treated as tools. The Windup Girl describes the journey of a windup named Emiko, who meets agricultural company spy Anderson Lake and discovers a way to escape her degrading life working at a sex club. The twist ending will surprise and intrigue you. (Buy here!)

4. The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate

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Calpurnia Tate is a book intended for elementary to middle school readers, perfect for a lighter reading experience. It follows the story of a 12-year-old girl living in Texas, 1899, who prefers exploring the woods and catching insects to cooking, knitting, and sewing. The only person who encourages her scientific pursuits is her eccentric grandfather. With adorable characters and an engaging storyline, this book is a great reminder of youth and curiosity. (Buy here!)

5. The Disappearing Spoon

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The Disappearing Spoon is a collection of fascinating anecdotes detailing the hunt for new elements to fill the blocks of the periodic table. It combines history and science to make an entertaining read with many twists and turns through time, describing the process of discovering new elements and providing a window into the lives of those who undertook the task. (Buy here!)

6. Letters to a Young Scientist

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This book was written by Harvard biologist E. O. Wilson, who is the world’s leading expert on ants and coauthored the theory of island biogeography. Letters to a Young Scientist, similar to Rainier Marie Rilke’s famous Letters to a Young Poet, is a gentle introduction to the motivations, wonders and challenges of a scientific career. It is an uplifting and thought-provoking read directed specifically at students. (Buy here!)

7. Aurora

Amazon

Aurora is a complex adventure story involving a ship of space colonists approaching a new extraterrestrial home, an intriguingly characterized Artificial Intelligence (AI), and a detailed picture of a futuristic society of people who are both similar and different from us. The ship’s computer, instructed to compose a narrative of life aboard the ship that humans would be able to read and understand, chooses to create a “story” by choosing one main character and describing her life as she grows from a child into a young woman, exploring the world into which she was born. (Buy here!)

8. Eating Animals

Amazon

This book examines the ethics of the meat industry and the practice of eating meat. It journeys from the practical reality, setting down in print observations of what goes on in factory farms and meat processing facilities, to the philosophical question of whether humans should kill and eat non-human animals, and an exploration of the relationship between humans and our livestock as well as our pets. (Buy here!)

9. The Paper Menagerie

Amazon

From alien literature to ancient Chinese history, The Paper Menagerie spans time periods, alternate universes, magic, and science. These stories have their basis in reality and spin out from there with imaginative fantasies, futuristic predictions and glowing moments in time. One story describes what happens when a man decides against the date his personal AI set him up on. Another spans hundreds of generations as the human race surpasses the limits of death and the confines of a physical body. (Buy here!)

10. How Not to be Wrong

Amazon

This book is full of weird true stories and cool math, explaining how logic isn’t as simple as you think and what feels intuitive to humans can easily be factually wrong. The journey through time and space reveals instances of common sense and clever mathematics that solved real-world problems and powered the progress of the human race. It will inspire you to approach problems of all kinds in a new and more logical way. (Buy here!)


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