Skip to content Skip to sidebar Skip to footer

Books for 2020: unusual books for an unusual year

2020 has been an unusual year, to say the least. A pandemic, murder hornets, hurricanes, racial injustice, wildfires, and most recently a discovery on Venus that points to potential alien life. It is a lot to take in and it can be a relief to bury oneself in reading. What else could 2020 bring? Check out these unusual books chosen to match an unusual year.


Alien universe: extraterrestrial life in our mind and in the cosmos

Confessions of an alien hunter: a scientist’s search for extraterrestrial intelligence

Exoplanets: diamond worlds, super Earths, pulsar planets, and the new search for life beyond our solar system

Out there: a scientific guide to alien life

We are not alone: why we have already found extraterrestrial life


Apocalypse when?: calculating how long the human race will survive

Earth-shattering: violent supernovas, galactic explosions, biological mayhem, nuclear meltdowns, and other hazards to life in our universe

Surviving the apocalypse in the suburbs: the thrivalist’s guide to life without oil

Climate Change

The conundrum: how scientific innovation, increased efficiency, and good intentions can make our energy and climate problems worse 

Hack the planet: science’s best hope– or worst nightmare– for averting climate catastrophe

Our dying planet: an ecologist’s view of the crisis we face

Tropic of chaos: climate change and the new geography of violence

When the planet rages: natural disasters, global warming, and the future of the earth

Extreme weather

The 50 most extreme places in our solar system

Catastrophes!: earthquakes, tsunamis, tornadoes, and other earth-shattering disasters

Extreme weather: understanding the science of hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, heat waves, snow storms, global warming and other atmospheric disturbances

Firestorm: how wildfire will shape our future

The weather of the future: heat waves, extreme storms, and other scenes from a climate-changed planet


American pests: the losing war on insects from colonial times to DDT

The American plague: the untold story of yellow fever, the epidemic that shaped our history

Big fleas have little fleas: how discoveries of invertebrate diseases are advancing modern science

The secret life of flies

Wicked bugs: the louse that conquered Napoleon’s army & other diabolical insects

Plague and disease

Ebola : the natural and human history of a deadly virus

The ghost map: the story of London’s most terrifying epidemic–and how it changed science, cities, and the modern world

Minnesota, 1918: when flu, fire, and war ravaged the state

Pandemonium : bird flu, mad cow disease, and other biological plagues of the 21st century

Flu: the story of the great influenza pandemic of 1918 and the search for the virus that caused it

Spillover: animal infections and the next human pandemic

Pale rider: the Spanish Flu of 1918 and how it changed the world

A planet of viruses


Bad blood: the Tuskegee syphilis experiment

Is science racist?

From Darwin to Hitler: evolutionary ethics, eugenics, and racism in Germany

The immortal life of Henrietta Lacks

Medical apartheid: the dark history of medical experimentation on Black Americans from colonial times to the present

Troublesome science: the misuse of genetics and genomics in understanding race


The 7 laws of magical thinking: how irrational beliefs keep us happy, healthy, and sane

13 things that don’t make sense: the most baffling scientific mysteries of our time

AsapSCIENCE: answers to the world’s weirdest questions, most persistent rumors, and unexplained phenomena

It looked good on paper: bizarre inventions, design disasters, and engineering follies

Too big to know: rethinking knowledge now that the facts aren’t the facts, experts are everywhere, and the smartest person in the room is the room

Willful ignorance: the mismeasure of uncertainty 

Cover image of book Cover image of book   Cover image of book Cover image of The 50 most extreme places in our solar system

Leave a Reply