Books I Like about Energy, Climate, and Civilization

I regularly teach classes on energy, environment, climate, etc., for non-science major undergraduates at the University of Oregon. Inspired by some blog comments elsewhere, I thought I’d list list some books on this subject that I like. It’s especially worth noting books aimed at the general, non-specialist reader that are nonetheless quantitative. I firmly believe … Continue reading Books I Like about Energy, Climate, and Civilization

The Year in Books, 2021

Once again, my favorites of the books I read during the past year, plus some that weren’t favorites but worth noting nonetheless. (Previous posts: 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, and 2015.) The Covid-19 pandemic continues, though halfway through 2021 we were at least allowed to browse the public library in person again, which the kids … Continue reading The Year in Books, 2021

“So Simple A Beginning,” A Popular Science Book about Biophysics

June 21-28, 2022: 50% off at Princeton University Press! Descriptions of my general-audience book on biophysics are scattered across multiple blog posts, in some cases with outdated information like old versions of the title. Since it’s useful to have one definitive post to point to, here it is. So Simple a Beginning: How Four Physical … Continue reading “So Simple A Beginning,” A Popular Science Book about Biophysics

The Year in Books, 2020

It’s again time for The Year in Books! (Previous posts: 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, and 2015.) 2020 was challenging in many ways. One consequence of the Covid-19 pandemic was the difficulty of getting books, very minor of course compared to many misfortunes both personal and global, but annoying nonetheless. The Eugene Public Library has been … Continue reading The Year in Books, 2020

Ludwig Wittgenstein, Alternative Careers, and Active Learning

I recently finished reading Ray Monk’s Ludwig Wittgenstein: The Duty of Genius, a thorough biography of the twentieth century philosopher. (Some entertaining comics about Wittgenstein’s philosophy are here, here, and here.) It’s an excellent book, diving into the life of a remarkable, strange, and intense person. Among other things, Wittgenstein refused any part of his … Continue reading Ludwig Wittgenstein, Alternative Careers, and Active Learning

Book draft done!

On July 4, I finished a draft of the fourth and final part of Building Life, my popular-science book on biophysics. There’s still a lot to revise, based in part on comments from my editor and others on Parts 1-3 and, I’m sure, comments to come on Part 4, but nonetheless I’m delighted to say … Continue reading Book draft done!