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Best Books of 2007

Top 10 Editors' Picks: Science

The Invisible Cure, Helen Epstein's fiercely provocative but hopeful argument for a new approach to fighting AIDS in Africa, tops our list of the best science books of 2007. See more editors' picks and customers' favorites in our Best of 2007 Store.


1. The Invisible Cure: Africa, the West, and the Fight Against AIDS
The Invisible Cure: Africa, the West, and the Fight Against AIDS
by Helen Epstein
4.5 out of 5 stars (11 customer reviews)
Out of Print--Limited Availability
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
May 15, 2007
Hardcover

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From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. Epstein, a public health specialist and molecular biologist who has worked on AIDS vaccine research, overturns many of our received notions about why AIDS is rampant in Africa and what to do about it. She charges that Western governments an... Read more

2. Einstein: His Life and Universe
Einstein: His Life and Universe
by Walter Isaacson
4.5 out of 5 stars (499 customer reviews)
In Stock
Simon & Schuster
April 10, 2007
Hardcover

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List Price:$35.00
Price:$23.63
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Amazon.com Review
As a scientist, Albert Einstein is undoubtedly the most epic among 20th-century thinkers. Albert Einstein as a man, however, has been a much harder portrait to paint, and what we know of him as a husband, father, and friend is fragmentary at best. With ... Read more

3. The Stuff of Thought: Language as a Window into Human Nature
The Stuff of Thought: Language as a Window into Human Nature
by Steven Pinker
3.9 out of 5 stars (83 customer reviews)
Out of Print--Limited Availability
Viking Adult
September 11, 2007
Hardcover

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From Publishers Weekly
Bestselling Harvard psychology professor Pinker (The Blank Slate) investigates what the words we use tell us about the way we think. Language, he concludes, reflects our brain structure, which itself is innate. Similarly, the way we talk about things is rooted in, but not identical to, physical reality: human ... Read more

4. The Snoring Bird: My Family's Journey Through a Century of Biology
The Snoring Bird: My Family's Journey Through a Century of Biology
by Bernd Heinrich
4.5 out of 5 stars (31 customer reviews)
Out of Print--Limited Availability
Ecco
May 15, 2007
Hardcover

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Review
“A remarkable story.” (Portland Press Herald)“...beautifully written story of a man’s efforts to reconstruct posthumously the life of his father...” (Jared Diamond, author of Guns, Germs, and Steel and Collapse)“...scientist and naturalist of the first rank and a nature writer of uncommon talent...” (Edward O. Wilson)“...amazing saga, full of ... Read more

5. I Am a Strange Loop
I Am a Strange Loop
by Douglas R. Hofstadter
3.5 out of 5 stars (124 customer reviews)
Out of Print--Limited Availability
Basic Books
March 26, 2007
Hardcover

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Amazon.com Review
Amazon Best Books of the Month, March 2007: Pulitzer-Prize winner Douglas Hofstadter takes on some weighty and wonderful questions in I Am a Strange Loop--among them, the "size" of a soul and the vagaries of thought--and proposes persuasive answers that surprised me both with their simplicity and their sense ... Read more

6. The Brain That Changes Itself: Stories of Personal Triumph from the Frontiers of Brain Science (James H. Silberman Books)
The Brain That Changes Itself: Stories of Personal Triumph from the Frontiers of Brain Science (James H. Silberman Books)
by Norman Doidge
4.6 out of 5 stars (453 customer reviews)
In Stock
Viking Adult
March 15, 2007
Hardcover

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From Publishers Weekly
For years the doctrine of neuroscientists has been that the brain is a machine: break a part and you lose that function permanently. But more and more evidence is turning up to show that the brain can rewire itself, even in the face of catastrophic trauma:... Read more

7. Proust Was a Neuroscientist
Proust Was a Neuroscientist
by Jonah Lehrer
3.7 out of 5 stars (82 customer reviews)
Out of Print--Limited Availability
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
November 1, 2007
Hardcover

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Amazon.com Review
Amazon Significant Seven, December 2007: Proust may have been more neurasthenic than neuroscientist, but Jonah Lehrer argues in Proust Was a Neuroscientist that he (and many of his fellow artists) made discoveries about the brain that it took science decades to catch up with (in Proust's case, that memory ... Read more

8. The Last Human: A Guide to Twenty-Two Species of Extinct Humans
The Last Human: A Guide to Twenty-Two Species of Extinct Humans
by Ian Tattersall
4.6 out of 5 stars (30 customer reviews)
In Stock
Yale University Press
June 28, 2007
Hardcover

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List Price:$49.95
Price:$32.99
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From Publishers Weekly
Remarkable in scope and clarity, this stunning collaboration among scientists, scholars and artists reveals the vast panorama of hominid evolution. The project began when the Fossil Hominid Reconstruction and Research Team, led by anthropologist Sawyer and... Read more

9. The Canon: A Whirligig Tour of the Beautiful Basics of Science
The Canon: A Whirligig Tour of the Beautiful Basics of Science
by Natalie Angier
3.3 out of 5 stars (125 customer reviews)
Currently unavailable
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
May 1, 2007
Hardcover

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From Publishers Weekly
Pulitzer-winning science writer Angier (Woman: An Intimate Geography) distills everything you've forgotten from your high school science classes and more into one enjoyable book, a guide for the scientifically perplexed adult who wants to understand what those guys in lab coats on the news are ... Read more

10. Luminous Fish: Tales of Science and Love (Sciencewriters)
Luminous Fish: Tales of Science and Love (Sciencewriters)
by Lynn Margulis
5.0 out of 5 stars (4 customer reviews)
In Stock
Chelsea Green Publishing
March 7, 2007
Hardcover

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List Price:$21.95
Price:$19.76
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From Publishers Weekly
A Distinguished University Professor in the department of geosciences at the University of Massachusetts, Margulis charts the professional and romantic lives of a handful of scientists in her first fiction outing, a mixed bag of sex, seduction and science.... Read more