Summer Reading List

7 gorgeous science books to read this summer

Dinos, space, and great apes, oh my!

The X-Files via Giphy

University of Vermont via Giphy

Looking for something new to read this summer? We’ve got you covered.

It’s the perfect time to pick up a book that’s both fun and informative.

Here are 7 beautifully illustrated books that will expand your knowledge of science and the natural world:

Ricardo Hernandez, from The Ocean: The Ultimate Handbook of Nautical Knowledge by Chris Dixon and Jeremy K. Spencer

7. Locked In Time: Animal Behavior Unearthed in 50 Extraordinary FossilsColumbia University Press

Bob Nicholls/Columbia University Press

We know so much — and yet, so little — about the lives of dinosaurs and other prehistoric creatures.

This anthology of some of the most significant fossil finds in history illuminates how we pieced together our understanding of behaviors in the animal kingdom.

Bob Nicholls/Columbia University Press

That includes everything from prehistoric sex to barbaric hunting habits and fossilized farts. Buckle up — it’s a journey.

6. Birdpedia: A Brief Compendium of Avian LorePrinceton University Press

Illustrations from BIRDPEDIA: A Brief Compendium of Avian Lore by Christopher W. Leahy. Illustrations by Abby McBride. Copyright © 2021 by Princeton University Press. Reprinted by permission of Princeton University Press.

There’s something for everyone in this approachable, compact guide.

Whether you’re a new birder or a hardcore enthusiast, be prepared to plunge into a plethora of knowledge about bird species, avian research, and birding culture.

Illustrations from BIRDPEDIA: A Brief Compendium of Avian Lore by Christopher W. Leahy. Illustrations by Abby McBride. Copyright © 2021 by Princeton University Press. Reprinted by permission of Princeton University Press.

Author Christopher W. Leahy also sketches small black-and-white pictures of birds throughout the book.

It’s a nice touch, and don’t be surprised if you’re inspired to bring a sketchbook with you next time you’re birdwatching!

5. NASA Space Shuttle: 40th Anniversary Motorbooks/Quarto Knows

NASA

Any NASA enthusiasts here? Just kidding, we know you’re reading this.

NASA

This jam-packed history of the Space Shuttle, illustrated with a stunning collection of NASA photography, offers an inside look at the iconic program — from its early days to its final launch.

4. Mapping America’s National Parks: Preserving Our Natural and Cultural Treasures ESRI Press/US National Parks Service

Glacier National Park Conservancy via Giphy

If you could spend hours looking at maps, this is the book for you.

Comprised of current and historical maps from U.S. national parks, you’ll get to visually wander through the country’s most beloved natural areas, and learn how we care for them.

Maybe this read will inspire your next getaway, too.

3. Just Like Us: A Veterinarian’s Visual Memoir of Our Vanishing Great Ape RelativesGirl Friday Productions

Copyright: Rick Quinn 2020/Girl Friday Productions

If you’re craving a tale of adventure, check out this memoir that’s full of vivid personal encounters with our primate cousins.

Copyright: Rick Quinn 2020/Girl Friday Productions

Author Rick Quinn includes stunning imagery from his travels as a veterinarian across West Africa. It’s an illuminating view of the similarities we have with our closest relatives in the wild.

2. The Ocean: The Ultimate Handbook of Nautical KnowledgeChronicle Books

AJ Hansen from From The Ocean: The Ultimate Handbook of Nautical Knowledge by Chris Dixon and Jeremy K. Spencer

There’s a whole lot more to this book than just the science. But hey, it’s summer — and a book as broad as this one might pique your interest in a new hobby, such as fishing or sailing.

Ricardo Hernandez, from The Ocean: The Ultimate Handbook of Nautical Knowledge by Chris Dixon and Jeremy K. Spencer

You’ll learn something new about the ocean’s lore and its many unexplored mysteries.

1. This is Climate Change: A Visual Guide to the Facts — See For Yourself How the Planet is Warming and What it Means for UsThe Experiment

giphy

It’s hard to visualize the full effects of climate change — that is until it starts to alter our lives.

But this book brings all the facts to the table in pages of colorful, simple, and easy-to-digest layouts. And if you have any climate change skeptics in your life, it could make a great gift.

Read more stories about science here.

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