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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Voices from Chernobyl
The Oral History of a Nuclear Disaster
Svetlana Alexievich
On April 26, 1986, the worst nuclear reactor accident in history occurred in Chernobyl and contaminated as much as three quarters of Europe. Voices from Chernobyl is the first book to present personal accounts of the tragedy. Journalist Svetlana Alexievich interviewed hundreds of people affected by the meltdown.
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Big Science
Ernest Lawrence and the Invention That Launched the Military-Industrial Complex
Michael Hiltzik
The epic story of how science went "big" and the forgotten genius who started it all—“entertaining, thoroughly researched…partly a biography, partly an account of the influence of Ernest Lawrence's great idea, partly a short history of nuclear physics and the Bomb” (The Wall Street Journal).
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A Brief History of Time
Stephen Hawking
A Brief History of Time, published in 1988, was a landmark volume in science writing and in world-wide acclaim and popularity, with more than 9 million copies in print globally.
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The Earth Wants YOU
Reverend Billy Talen
A motivational handbook for earth activists, filled with inspired visions of a wild, creative, Earth-led cultural revolution. Stop shopping and sign up now for the struggle of our lives! Earthalujah!
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Flu
The Story Of The Great Influenza Pandemic of 1918 and the Search for the Virus that Caused It
Gina Kolata
If you are unfamiliar with this episode of world history, you must read this.—Recommended by Jeff, City Lights Books
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Godel, Escher, Bach
An Eternal Golden Braid
Douglas R. Hofstadter
This groundbreaking Pulitzer Prize-winning book sets the standard for interdisciplinary writing, exploring the patterns and symbols in the thinking of mathematician Kurt Godel, artist M.C. Escher, and composer Johann Sebastian Bach.
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The Grand Design
Stephen Hawking
When and how did the universe begin? Why are we here? What is the nature of reality? Is the apparent "grand design" of our universe evidence of a benevolent creator who set things in motion—or does science offer another explanation?
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H Is for Hawk
Helen Macdonald
The instant New York Times bestseller and award-winning sensation, Helen Macdonald's story of adopting and raising one of nature's most vicious predators has soared into the hearts of millions of readers worldwide. Fierce and feral, her goshawk Mabel's temperament mirrors Helen's own state of grief after her father's death, and together raptor...
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The Jazz of Physics
The Secret Link Between Music and the Structure of the Universe
Stephon Alexander
More than fifty years ago, John Coltrane drew the twelve musical notes in a circle and connected them by straight lines, forming a five-pointed star. Inspired by Einstein, Coltrane had put physics and geometry at the core of his music. Physicist and jazz musician Stephon Alexander returns the favor, using jazz to answer physics' most vexing...
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Learning to Die in the Anthropocene
Reflections on the End of a Civilization
Roy Scranton
An Iraq War vet's bracing, visionary response to the challenge posed by global warming and his hope in the humanities.
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Proofiness
How You're Being Fooled by the Numbers
Charles Seife
From the author of Zero, comes this "admirable salvo against quantitative bamboozlement by the media and the government" (The Boston Globe) In Zero, Charles Seife presented readers with a thrilling account of the strangest number known to...
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Quadrivium
The Four Classical Liberal Arts of Number, Geometry, Music, & Cosmology
Anthony Ashton, Miranda Lundy, John Martineau,Dr. Jason Martineau, Daud Sutton
The quadrivium—the classical curriculum—comprises the four liberal arts of number, geometry, music, and cosmology. It was studied from antiquity to the Renaissance as a way of glimpsing the nature of reality. Geometry is number in space; music is...
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Seven Brief Lessons on Physics
Carlo Rovelli
All the beauty of modern physics in seven short and enlightening lessons This playful, entertaining, and mind-bending introduction to modern physics briskly explains Einstein's general relativity, quantum mechanics, elementary particles, gravity, black holes, the complex architecture of the universe, and the role humans play in this weird...
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When Breath Becomes Air
Paul Kalanithi
For readers of Atul Gawande, Andrew Solomon, and Anne Lamott, this inspiring, exquisitely observed memoir finds hope and beauty in the face of insurmountable odds as an idealistic young neurosurgeon attempts to answer the question What makes a life worth living?

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