Impact: How Rocks from Space Led to Life, Culture, and Donkey Kong by Greg BrenneckaContains: everything you ever wanted to know about meteorites!
Why you might like it: Cosmochemist Greg Brennecka presents a comprehensive yet accessible look at how meteorites have (literally!) shaped our planet and changed the trajectory of life on Earth.
Further reading: Tim Gregory's Meteorite: How Stones from Outer Space Made Our World or Simone Marchi's Colliding Worlds: How Cosmic Encounters Shaped Planets and Life.
Sentient: How Animals Illuminate the Wonder of Our Human Senses by Jackie HigginsWhat it's about: Documentary filmmaker Jackie Higgins explores animal sensory perception and what it can tell us about human senses.
Contains: Twelve essays, each dedicated to a specific sense and an animal that exemplifies it.
Try these next: Diane Ackerman's A Natural History of the Senses, or Ed Yong's forthcoming An Immense World: How Animal Senses Reveal the Hidden Realms Around Us.
Life Between the Tides by Adam Nicolson; illustrated by Kate BoxerWhat it is: a wide-ranging and reflective look at tidal pools that is "as poetic as it is enlightening" (Publishers Weekly).
Read it for: author Adam Nicolson's account of how he built his own tidal pool in Scotland in order to more closely observe these liminal worlds.
For fans of: Annie Dillard's Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, David George Haskell's The Forest Unseen.
How to Take Over the World: Practical Schemes and Scientific Solutions for the Aspiring... by Ryan North; illustrated by Carly MonardoWhat it is: a science-based guide to world domination for would-be supervillains that also shows readers how to save the world.
Topics include: building your own secret base of operations, controlling the weather, cloning dinosaurs, time travel, and achieving immortality.
About the author: Eisner Award-winning comics writer Ryan North tackled another science fiction scenario in How to Invent Everything: A Survival Guide for the Stranded Time Traveler.
A Brief History of Timekeeping: The Science of Marking Time, From Stonehenge to Atomic... by Chad OrzelWhat it's about: "We are and always have been a species that builds clocks," declares physics professor Chad Orzel in this enlightening chronicle of the ways in which humans mark the passage of time.
Don't know much about chronometry? Proceeding chronologically from neolithic monuments to atomic clocks, Orzel writes for a general audience while also providing shaded sidebars with more in-depth explanations for the technically inclined.
You might also like: horologist David Rooney's About Time: A History of Civilization in Twelve Clocks.
The Treeline: The Last Forest and the Future of Life on Earth by Ben RawlenceDid you know? "Covering one fifth of the globe, and containing one third of all the trees on earth, the boreal is the second largest biome, or living system, after the ocean."
The forest for the trees: Former Human Rights Watch researcher Ben Rawlence focuses on six important taiga trees as he tracks the steady northward shift of the Arctic treeline due to climate change and ponders what this means for humanity.
Reviewers say: "A title of the utmost importance at a time of tremendous peril" (Booklist).
A Molecule Away from Madness: Tales of the Hijacked Brain by Sara Manning PeskinWhat it is: a "captivating and convincing" (Library Journal) survey of the molecular causes of neurological diseases, complete with case studies and historical context.
What you'll learn: Cognitive neurologist Sara Manning Peskin discusses genetic mutations (such as that which causes Huntington's disease), "problematic proteins" (including prion diseases such as Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease), and "invaders-evaders" (everything from toxins to vitamin deficiencies).
You might also like: Oliver Sacks' An Anthropologist on Mars or Helen Thomson's Unthinkable.
Bird Brother: A Falconer's Journey and the Healing Power of Wildlife by Rodney Stotts with Kate PipkinWhat it is: a "thought-provoking, moving, and inspiring" (Library Journal) memoir by Rodney Stotts, who recounts his impoverished upbringing and unlikely path to becoming a conservationist, wildlife educator, and one of the few Black master falconers in the United States.
Media buzz: Stotts' journey is also documented in "The Falconer," an episode of the PBS documentary series America Reframed.
For fans of: Helen MacDonald's H is for Hawk or ornithologist J. Drew Lanham's The Home Place.
Off the Edge: Flat Earthers, Conspiracy Culture, and Why People Will Believe Anything by Kelly WeillWhat it is: journalist Kelly Weill's "timely and disturbing study" (Kirkus Reviews) of conspiracy theories, which explains what they are, why people believe in them, and how the “conspiratorial melting pot” of the internet has brought them increasingly into the mainstream.
Contains: incisive analyses of Y2K, 9/11 trutherism, and QAnon, as well as an immersive investigation of Flat Earth theory from its origins in 1830s England to the present day.
Heartbreak: A Personal and Scientific Journey by Florence WilliamsLove hurts: In the aftermath of divorce, journalist Florence Williams embarks on a journey of healing and self-discovery, resulting in a "raw and exhaustively reported exploration" (Washington Post) of the science of heartbreak.
What becomes of the brokenhearted? According to the research, an elevated risk of disease and premature death.
How can you mend a broken heart? Strategies employed by the author include therapy, connecting with a larger purpose, finding a new relationship, MDMA, and, of course, letting time heal all wounds.
Contact your librarian for more great books!