Four amazing nonfiction books



Presenting a passionate rejection of pesticides, the book Silent Spring was dismissed by many as being the work of a hysterical woman when it was first published in 1962. Written by Rachel Carson, Silent Spring is now considered a pioneering text in the movement for environmental conservation.

This work is a classic of American advocacy. It not only brought about a nationwide condemnation against the use of pesticides but also inspired legislation that eventually undertook to put pollution under control. This sparked the modern environmental movement in the United States. Peter Matthiessen, himself was known as a great nature writer, singled out the book’s ‘fearless and succinct’ prose, defining it as ‘the cornerstone of the new environmentalism.’

Rachel Carson managed to describe in a few brilliantly-written chapters the burning of the soil, the death of the seas and rivers, the silencing of the country’s birds, the obliteration of forests and plant life, the dangers of crop spraying and the murder of humanity itself. She also brings us face to face with the genetic threats that result from all the tragedies mentioned above, particularly in their disease-causing materializations.

The Feminine Mystique by Betty Friedan is a direct result of the author’s discovery that many of her former classmates felt dissatisfaction with their lives. The simple project evolved into the book that Friedan felt was “…as powerful, indeed mystical, as the forces” that seemed to take her over as she was working on it.

The Feminine Mystique sparked a revolutionary phase that managed to affect the lives of numerous American men and women in one fell swoop. Even Alvin Toffler described the book as something “that pulled the trigger on history.” Selling 300,000 copies in its first year alone, The Feminine Mystique came with 13 language translations in all.

Only 24 years old when he decoded the ‘molecule of life,’ Jim Watson worked in collaboration with Francis Crick to provide the solution to one of life sciences’ greatest enigmas, which eventually revolutionized biochemistry, thereby ensuring nothing would ever be the same again. A brilliant and daring American, Jim Watson arrived at Cambridge University’s Cavendish Laboratory in the autumn of 1951.

Awash with fame, success and the love of women, Jim Watson was a graduate zoologist from the Midwest who had grand dreams of copping the Nobel prize. Francis Crick was the equally self-possessed yet somewhat overlooked older man at the Cavendish, who was a 35-year-old would-be biophysicist.

The two became virtually inseparable. The Double Helix describes their unlikely collaboration on a race for immortality. It is a unique, compelling and partisan picture by Jim Watson of a scientific community beset with feuds, hatred, rivalries and ambitions. It is Watson’s personal account of his quest with Crick, a story that is both extraordinarily exciting and is a relentlessly honest portrait of two young men winning against the odds when they take on the Anglo-American scientific establishment.

Dreams of My Father has an opening line that demonstrates how special it is, ““A few months after my twenty-first birthday, a stranger called to give me the news…”. Released in 1995, the book was authored by Barack Obama, who wrote the book some years before the run up to the 2008 presidential elections in the US.

It is an exceptionally candid memoir from the then-junior senator from Illinois, and that revealed not just his literary talent but also gave a glimpse of how he became the force to change the face of US politics for many generations.


My all-time favorite microscope books



As you probably know already, I am a passionate reader, and I delve into all sorts of genres all the time, in search for something new. I’ve noticed that my interest in science has grown over the years especially as it has become such a great part of our day-to-day lives. Back in the day, I didn’t even imagine that there would be a remote control for the heating system, one for the alarm on your car, and another for all wireless devices in your home.

Something I have recently learned to appreciate is microscopy. My kids have been studying microbiology in school which has led to me piquing an interest in the field. I’m thinking of getting a portable magnifier so that we can all go back to the garden and look at insects, plants, tiny rocks, and all sorts of things that we might over there. I’ve also noticed that there are many alternatives that can be connected to a computer via WiFi, which means that I won’t have to use any pesky cables to transfer the images to a laptop and save them.

Getting back to the subject of books about microscopy, I’ve noticed that there are several ways of going about things. You can either address the topic in a somewhat scientific manner and get The Ultimate Guide to Your microscope or The Usborne Complete Book of the Microscope, or opt for choices that are a bit more user-friendly for the person who has less knowledge about the domain just yet.

If you intend to get a microscope book for your children, my personal advice would be to select something easier to understand. The Microscope Book by Shar Levine has gathered favorable reviews and comprises a good deal of experiments that you can do at home. Of course, the neat thing about them is that they aren’t in the least dangerous. Unfortunately, this is a somewhat old edition that was published back in 1998, which means that you might have a bit of trouble finding it new. However, it is available used for prices starting at three dollars.

If you have no means of getting your hands on The Microscope Book, perhaps you might want to try out Adventures with a Microscope written by Richard Headstrom. Despite the fact that it was published in 1980, this book remains one of the favorite choices of microscopy aficionados even today. It comes with 142 illustrations with the help of which you can explain to your child all there’s to know about the intricacies of the unseen world around them. While the Kindle edition of this book is budget-friendly, a paperback edition can cost as much as ten dollars or more.




Beginner’s books about microbiology



Photo credits: goodreads.com

If you are a mom of two like me whose children are fascinated by the world around us, getting your hands on a variety of books, particularly about microbiology, will be extremely helpful. With those kinds of books, on hand, you will always have an easy reference when your kids ask about microbes or microorganisms that they can study using such tools as the microscope.

Although a top-quality microscope is always a great tool to get for kids, a microbiology book full of information and knowledge about extremely tiny organisms should be a helpful tool for ensuring greater understanding.

These are what I consider great finds in the microbiology section of online sellers.

I Contain Multitudes: The Microbes Within Us and a Grander View of Life 1st Edition is also available in Kindle Edition for Android phones, iPad, HDX, iPhone, and more. If you already own the popular science classics such as The Selfish Gene and The Botany of Desire, this should make another great addition to have in your personal library.

This is a wondrously informative as well as a vastly entertaining examination that provides a delightfully microscopic view of the world that presents a reimagined picture of it. The human body along with the various bodies of animals around us serves as home to millions of bacteria and other microscopic organisms.

Ed Yong, who wrote this book, pokes fun at this fact so we can become more aware of how we are all interconnected with each other thanks to the way microbes protect our health, build our bodies and grant us unbelievable powers.

Microbiology: An Introduction (12th Edition) is coauthored by Gerard J. Tortora, Berdell R. Funke, and Christine L. Case. Comprising 960 pages, this hardcover edition is a superb textbook for those planning to major in microbiology.

It includes chapters in the classification of microorganisms, prokaryotes, viruses, viroids and prions, eukaryotes, the principles of disease and epidemiology, among many others. The last two chapters of Part Five are on Environmental Microbiology and Applied and Industrial Microbiology, giving readers plenty to think about on the various applications of microbiology.

Get this piece of scientific work for your child and have all those burning questions on tiny organisms answered easily.


Photo credits: opticsandlab.com


Essential Cell Biology, 4th Edition is co-written by Bruce Alberts; Dennis Bray; Karen Hopkin; Alexander D Johnson; Julian Lewis; Martin Raff; Keith Roberts; and Peter Walter.

The book comes with an easily accessible introduction to the principal concepts of cell biology. The exceptional illustrations will have your young learner scrambling for their microscope to prove if cells look as colorful and intriguing as they do in the book.

This book is clearly written and uses lively language to get the learner excited about the biology of cells and molecules, their structures and other attributes.

There’s easily followed text that will surely engage the beginner microbiologist while molecular detail is reduced, so the reader gets a cohesive conceptual framework for the fundamental science that provides understanding of everything about biology.

If you have children who have unending questions about the science of microbiology, make sure you have at least one of those three books to refer to, okay?


Three books about finding yourself



As a mother of two, I find it helpful to enjoy plenty of self-help books. Doing that enables me to become a better mother and a better person in general. Inspiration is always lurking in the pages of such literary works, especially if you know just where to look. My journey to self-discovery has been a whole lot easier because of my fascination for reading those kinds of books.

Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead, authored by Sheryl Sandberg and co-written by Nell Scovell, bears a title that has instantly turned into a catchphrase for women empowerment. Sheryl Sandberg, one of Fortune Magazine’s Most Powerful Women in Business, is also the COO of Facebook. In this book, Sheryl Sandberg draws on her personal experience working in some of the most successful businesses in the world.

Ms. Sandberg fearlessly looks at what the female of the species can do to help themselves. She teaches women how to make the small changes in their lives that can create change on a more global level. When this book was written, the statistics were not in women’s favor, despite there being an improvement over the previous decades. Of the 197 heads of state, women comprised only 22 of them.

Also, only 20 percent of seats in parliament were held by women worldwide. In the world of large companies, a measly 18 of the Fortune 500 CEOs were women. Through this book, I have proven to myself why Sandberg has sparked a fierce debate about women and leadership.Truly a fascinating read!

Tina Fey was a featured player in The Second City, a Chicago-based improvisational comedy group, during her foray into comedy. Joining SNL as a writer, Tina eventually became head writer and a performer known for her role as the co-anchor in the Weekend Update segment of the show.

She created the TV series 30 Rock for Broadway Video after leaving SNL in 2006. The Bossypants 1st edition is her autobiographical book that topped the New York Times Bestseller list for five weeks.

The book is a short, messy yet irreverently funny piece of work that provides captivating glimpses of this impossibly talented comedienne behind the curtain of modern comedy spiced with equal doses of candor, wit, and self-depreciation. She dishes out the unlikeliest advice on breastfeeding and talks about her cruise ship honeymoon, among many others.

However, we see how genuinely chaotic Fey’s life is when she describes how she divides her efforts equally among trying to get Oprah to appear in 30 Rock, rehearsing her Sarah Palin impression and planning a Peter Pan-themed birthday party for her daughter. This book shows us why Tina Fey continues to be adored. It has shown me too that I cannot be the perfect mom to my two lovely daughters no matter how hard I try, but the journey is always one worth taking as long as I am willing to laugh my mistakes off.


Bad Feminist: Essays by Roxane Gay is a compilation of essays covering a broad range of topics from criticism, politics, and feminism put together by one of the most respected young cultural observers of her generation. Roxane Gay presents funny and insightful essays where she takes us with her through the journey she has taken on her evolution as a woman of color

She also allows us a glimpse of her journey through culture of the last few years along with commenting on how feminism is today. Through this book, I have learned much from being an exceptionally insightful woman who should constantly grow to understand herself and the society as well as being a part of one’s culture.