Want to know what books Mark Kurlansky recommends on their reading list? We've researched interviews, social media posts, podcasts, and articles to build a comprehensive list of Mark Kurlansky's favorite book recommendations of all time.
While an illness keeps her bedridden, Bailey watches a wild snail that has taken up residence on her nightstand. As a result, she discovers the solace and sense of wonder that this mysterious creature brings and comes to a greater understanding of her own confined place in the world.
Intrigued by the snail’s molluscan anatomy, cryptic defenses, clear... more
Mark KurlanskyThis is the autobiographical story of a woman who gets ill with a mysterious virus that totally incapacitates her for years. Somebody brings her a violet in a pot which has a snail on it, and she becomes fascinated with this snail. And she starts to learn everything about snails, which are not what you would have as the usual household pet. It is an engaging story of snails, which is surprising.... (Source)
From his childhood fascination with the gigantic Natural History Museum model of a blue whale to his adult encounters with the living animals in the Atlantic Ocean, the acclaimed writer Philip Hoare has been obsessed with whales. Journeying through human and natural history, The Whale is the result of his voyage of discovery into the heart of this obsession and the book that inspired it: Herman Melville's Moby-Dick.
Taking us deep into their domain, Hoare shows us these mysterious creatures as they have never been seen before. Following in Ishmael's footsteps, he...more
Mark KurlanskyThis is a wonderful book. It is about the whale, and everything about the whale – its history, its myth and its science. Whales are huge and compelling, and Philip Hoare’s excitement about them comes through. It is also a very handsome book and very nicely illustrated. Everyone talks about what the future of books will be because of electronics, and I have this theory that the future of books is... (Source)
With characteristic pugency and simplicity of style, the author of Sociobiology challenges old prejudices and current misconceptions about the nature-nurture debate.
In his new preface E. O. Wilson reflects on how he came to write this book: how The Insect Societies... more
Mark KurlanskyI wouldn’t argue with that description. When I was selecting this book it was a bit of a struggle, because I am a big Ed Wilson fan. I have met him and had a fascinating two-hour conversation with him. I have read about 10 books of his, so I had to struggle to choose because there were a number of great candidates. (Source)
Brian Greene, one of the world's leading string theorists, peels away layers of mystery to reveal a universe that consists of eleven dimensions, where the fabric of space tears and repairs itself, and all matter—from the smallest quarks to the most gargantuan supernovas—is generated by the vibrations of microscopically tiny loops of energy. The Elegant Universe makes some of the most sophisticated... more
Steven GubserThe book works at many levels – I gave a copy to my mom when it came out, and I also received very positive impressions about the book from Norman Ramsey, who is a Nobel Prize physicist at Harvard. So it’s a great achievement, and part of why it’s a great achievement is that it covers not only string theory but also the accepted pillars of 20th-century theoretical physics, namely, quantum... (Source)
Yet The Origin of Species (1859) is also a humane and inspirational vision of ecological interrelatedness, revealing the complex mutual interdependencies between animal and plant life, climate and physical environment, and—by implication—within the human world.
Written for the general reader, in a style... more
Neil deGrasse TysonWhich books should be read by every single intelligent person on planet? [...] On the Origin of Species (Darwin) [to learn of our kinship with all other life on Earth]. If you read all of the above works you will glean profound insight into most of what has driven the history of the western world. (Source)
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