Natural & Physical Sciences

Books in this online selection represent only a sliver of what we offer in the store. If you've got a particular book in mind and want to check on its availability, call us at 415-362-8193.



   
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Rough-Hewn Land
A Geological Journey from California to the Rocky Mountains
Keith Heyer Meldahl
The astounding story of 100 million years of Western U.S. history. Accessible, informative, scholarly, yet compellingly written—don't miss this eye-opener of a geology book! —Recommended by Nancy, City Lights Books
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How the Hippies Saved Physics
Science, Counterculture, and the Quantum Revival
David Kaiser
A lively, entertaining story that illuminates the relationship between creativity and scientific progress, How the Hippies Saved Physics takes us to a time when only the unlikeliest heroes could break the science world out of its rut.
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The Book of Universes
Exploring the Limits of the Cosmos
John D. Barrow
An unforgettable tour of the strange and wonderful universes that modern physics posits might-just might-be out there. Einstein's theory of general relativity opens the door to other universes, and weird universes at that: universes that allow...
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The Natural Navigator
The Rediscovered Art of Letting Nature Be Your Guide
Tristan Gooley
Recommended by Paul, City Lights Books. Before GPS, before the compass, and even before cartography, humankind was navigating. A windswept tree, the depth of a puddle, or a trill of birdsong could point the way home—and, for the alert traveler...
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In the Sierra
Mountain Writings
Kenneth Rexroth, Kim Stanley Robinson
Nature writings by one of America's greatest poets, written out of a deep experience of the Sierras. Over the course of his life, Kenneth Rexroth wrote about the Sierra Nevada better than anyone. Progressive in terms of environmental ethics and...
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Complexity
A Guided Tour
Melanie Mitchell
What enables individually simple insects like ants to act with such precision and purpose as a group? How do trillions of neurons produce something as extraordinarily complex as consciousness? In this remarkably clear and companionable book, leading...
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Sex at Dawn
How We Mate, Why We Stray, and What It Means for Modern Relationships
Christopher Ryan, Cacilda Jetha
In this controversial, thought-provoking, and brilliant book, renegade thinkers Christopher Ryan and Cacilda Jetha debunk almost everything we "know" about sex, weaving together convergent, frequently overlooked evidence from anthropology...
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The Poisoner's Handbook
Murder and the Birth of Forensic Medicine in Jazz Age New York
Deborah Blum
Fascinating and entertaining, tinged with both humor and horror, this account of the early years of forensic medicine in New York City is near unputdownable. We follow the city's Medical Examiner and head toxicologist as they develop the techniques for...
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Farm City
The Education of an Urban Farmer
Novella Carpenter
"By turns edgy, moving, and hilarious." -Michael Pollan, author of The Omnivore's Dilemma and In Defense of Food An unforgettably charming memoir, Farm City is full of hilarious moments, fascinating farmer's tips, and a great deal of heart. When...
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A Place of My Own
The Architecture of Daydreams
Michael Pollan
Michael Pollan’s unmatched ability to draw lines of connection between our everyday experiences— whether eating, gardening, or building—and the natural world has been the basis for the popular success of his many works of nonfiction, including the...
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The Selfish Gene
30th Anniversary Edition
Richard Dawkins
Richard Dawkins' brilliant reformulation of the theory of natural selection has the rare distinction of having provoked as much excitement and interest outside the scientific community as within it. His theories have helped change the whole nature of...
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The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill
A Love Story . . . with Wings
Mark Bittner
Like a lot of young people in the 1970s, Mark Bittner took the path of the “dharma bum.” When the counterculture faded, Mark held on, seeking shelter in the nooks and crannies of San Francisco’s fabled bohemian neighborhood, North...
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Color
A Natural History of the Palette
Victoria Finlay
Discover the tantalizing true stories behind your favorite colors. For example: Cleopatra used saffron—a source of the color yellow—for seduction. Extracted from an Afghan mine, the blue “ultramarine” paint used by Michelangelo...
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The Anthropology of Turquoise
Reflections on Desert, Sea, Stone, and Sky
Ellen Meloy
Greater than Silko, equal to Solnit. What an immense pleasure to hear the voice of this smart and witty desert dweller, and how restorative to know that human beings can be like this. Yes, there is some turquoise involved. —Recommended by Gent

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