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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Our Only World
Ten Essays
Wendell Berry
As the United States prepares to leave its long war in Afghanistan, it now must contemplate the necessity of sending troops back to Iraq, recalling General Colin Powell's advice to President Bush: "If you break it, you own it," as the world’s hot spots threaten to spread over the globe with the ferocity of a war of holy terror and desperation.
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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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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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Silent Spring
Rachel Carson
First published by Houghton Mifflin in 1962, Silent Spring alerted a large audience to the environmental and human dangers of indiscriminate use of pesticides, spurring revolutionary changes in the laws affecting our air, land, and water. "Silent...
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Preparing the Ghost
An Essay Concerning the Giant Squid and Its First Photographer
Matthew Gavin Frank
Part giant squid, part historical investigation, part ice cream memoir. Don't expect your typical oceanic essay, instead read in awe as Frank explores the limits of memory and sea monsters.—Recommended by Cassie, City Lights Books
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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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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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Einstein
His Life and Universe
Walter Isaacson
By the author of the acclaimed bestseller Benjamin Franklin, this is the first full biography of Albert Einstein since all of his papers have become available. How did his mind work? What made him a genius? Isaacson's biography shows how his...
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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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Tuva or Bust! Richard Feynman's Last Journey
Ralph Leighton
As a stamp-collecting boy always fascinated by remote places, Nobel Prize–winning physicist Richard Feynman was particularly taken by the diamond-shaped stamps from a place called Tannu Tuva deep within Outer Mongolia. He hoped, someday, to...
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H Is For Hawk
Helen Macdonald
When Helen Macdonald's father died suddenly on a London street, she was devastated. An experienced falconer—Helen had been captivated by hawks since childhood—she'd never before been tempted to train one of the most vicious predators, the goshawk. But in her grief, she saw that the goshawk's fierce and feral temperament mirrored her own.
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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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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...