Books

You could say that I read too much for my own good, but I cannot in good conscience believe that it is possible to read too much.  Here’s a start, though, including some very obvious selections, and hopefully some not-so-obvious ones. Organized (after much thought) by genre and then by author. With Amazon links, although you could make the responsible life choice and go to your local library….

Neuroscience & Psychology

The Blank Slate, Steven Pinker

A Brief Tour of Human Consciousness, V.S. Ramachandran

Does pretty much what it says on the tin (it’s almost too brief, in fact), with of course an emphasis on abnormal functioning. Love a good synesthesia story, though, no matter how many I read.

Phantoms in the Brain, V.S. Ramachandran and Sandra Blakeslee

The Man Who Mistook His Wife For a Hat, Oliver Sacks

Hesitant even to recommend this one, as so many people have read it. But obviously if you haven’t, it’s sort of a classic of neuroscience-for-the-layperson.

Other Science

The Selfish Gene, Richard Dawkins

The Physics of Star Trek, Lawrence Krauss

Warped Passages, Lisa Randall

This was the first book that made relativity make sense to me. If that’s not an emphatic recommendation, I don’t know what. is.

Pale Blue Dot, by Carl Sagan (Well, anything by Carl Sagan, but I’m trying to limit repeats here)

Do I have to say anything besides “By Carl Sagan”? Because I shouldn’t.

Fiction

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams

The Fall, Albert Camus

His Master’s Voice, Stanislaw Lem

Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World, Haruki Murakami

Blindsight, Peter Watts

I hope that good science fiction based on modern neuroscience is on the rise; if so, this book is the forerunner. If not, then it is a uniquely excellent take on a number of biological, psychological, and linguistic concepts, none of which made me cringe (that is absolutely a compliment when it comes to reading sci-fi when I know a little about the real science). Also well-written, and kind of spooky when read by flashlight during a power outage.

Poetry

All-American Poem, Matthew Dickman

Collected Poems, Philip Larkin

Carnival Evening, Linda Pastan

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