Book List

Books listed in maroon are my pick as “Best of the Year”.

Books 2018

The Interestings: A Novel. Meg Wolitzer, Riverhead Books, 2013.

The Nix. Nathan Hill, Vintage, 2017.

The Wife: A Novel.  Meg Wolitzer, Scribner, 2004.

The Shadow Lines: A Novel.  Amitav Ghosh, Mariner Books, 2005.

The Ascent of John Tyndall: Victorian Scientist, Mountaineer, and Public Intellectual. Rolad Jackson, Oxford University Press, 2018.

The Answers: A Novel. Catherine Lacey, Farrer, Straus and Giroux. 2017.

Books 2017

Reckless Daughter: A Portrait of Joni Mitchell. David Yaffe, Sarah Chichton Books, 2017.

Birth of a Theorem: A Mathematical Adventure. Cédric Villani, Farrar, Strauss and Giroux. 2016.

Blind Spot. Teju Cole, Random House, 2017.

Believer: My Forty Years in Politics. David Axelrod, Penguin Books, 2016.

Six Four: A Novel. Hideo Yokoyama [Translate by Jonathan Lloyd-Davies], Farrar, Straus, and Gilroux, 2017

Mathematics Without Apologies: Portrait of a Problematic Vocation. Michael Harris, Princeton University Press, 2015.

Ludwig Boltzman: The Man Who Trusted Atoms. Carlo Cercignani, Oxford University Press, 1998.

Books 2016

Minka: My Farmhouse in Japan. John Roderick, Princeton Architectural Press, 2015

Diane Arbus: Portrait of a Photographer. Arthur Lubow, Ecco, 2016.

Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions. Edwin A. Abbott, Dover Thrift Editions, 1992.

A Doubter’s Almanac: A Novel. Ethan Canin, Random House, 2016.

America America. Ethan Canin,  Random House Trade Paperback, 2009.

Heroes of the Frontier. Dave Eggers, Knopf, 2016.

Born to Run. Bruce Springsteen, Simon & Schuster, 2016.

Books 2015

Purity. Jonathan Franzen, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2015

The People in the Trees. Hanya Yanagihara, Doubleday, 2013.

A Little Life. Hanya Yanagihara, Doubleday, 2015.

The Circle. Dave Eggers, Vintage Books, 2014.

Books 2014

The Mind’s Eye. Henri Cartier-Bresson, Aperture, 2005.

Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage: A Novel. Haruki Murakami, Knopf, 2014.

Ratner’s Star.  Don DeLillo, Vintage (Reissue), 1989.

Mr. Peanut. Adam Ross, Vintage Contemporaries, 2011.

Dissident Gardens. Jonathan Lethem, Vintage Contemporaries, 2014.

Books 2013

Solar. Ian McEwan, Anchor, 2010.

The Amazing Adventure of Kavalier & Clay: A Novel. Michael Chabon, Random House, 2000.

The Discomfort Zone: A Personal History. Jonathan Franzen, Picador, 2007.

White Noise. Don DeLillo, Penguin Classics, 2009.

Saturday. Ian McEwan, Anchor, 2006.

The Housekeeper and the Professor. Yoko Ogawa, Picador, 2009.

Special Topics in Calamity Physics. Marisha Pessl, Penguin Books, 2007.

Telegraph Avenue: A Novel. Michael Chabon, Harper Perennial, 2013.

Night Film: A Novel. Marisha Pessl, Random House, 2013.

Books 2012

How to Be Alone: Essays. Jonathan Franzen, Picador U.S.A., 2003.

The Yiddish Policemen’s Union: A Novel. Michael Chabon, Harper Perennial, 2008.

The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao. Junot Díaz, Riverhead, 2008.

Every Ghost Story Is a Ghost Story: A Life of David Foster Wallace.  D.T. Max, Viking 2012.

The Mysteries of Pittsburgh. Michael Chabon, William Morrow & Co, 1988.

The Comedians. Graham Greene, Penguin Classic, 2005.

The Fortress of Solitude. Jonathan Lethem,  Vintage, 2004.

The Twenty-Seventh City. Jonathan Franzen, Picador USA, 2001.

The Quiet America. Graham Greene, Penguin Classic, 2004.

Motherless Brooklyn. Jonathan Lethem, Vintage, 2000.

The End of the Affair. Graham Greene, Penguin Classic, 2004.

The Pale King. David Foster Wallace, Little, Brown, and Company, 2011.

Chronic City. Jonathan Lethem, Vintage, 2010.

Middlesex.  Jeffrey Eugenides, Picador, 2007.

The Stranger. Albert Camus, Vintage, 1989.

Open.  Andre Agassi, Knopf, 2009.

The Marriage Plot. Jeffrey Eugenides, Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2011.

The Sense of an Ending. Julian Barnes, Knoph, 2011.

Strong Motion. Jonathan Franzen, Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1992

The Place We Live. Volume I, II, and III. Robert Adams, Yale University Press, 2009.

The Corrections. Johathan Franzen,Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2001.

Books 2011

Freedom. Jonathan Franzen, Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2010.

The Art of Fielding: A Novel.  Chad Harback, Little, Brown & Company, 2007.

The Echo Maker. Richard Powers, Picador, 2007.

Underworld. Don DeLillo, Scribner, 1998.

The Quantum Story: A History in 40 Moments. Jim Baggott, Oxford University Press, 2011.

Infinite JestDavid Foster Wallace, Little, Brown and Company, 1996. [My current favorite work of fiction, and one that I enjoyed so much to read.]

Cosmos.  John North, University of Chicago Press, 2007.

Books 2010

Seeing in the Dark.  Timothy Ferris, Simon & Schuster, 2002.

Woodrow Wilson: A Biography. John Milton Cooper, Jr., Knopf, 2009.

Out Stealing HorsesPer Petterson, translated by Anne Born, Greywolf Press, 2007.

Villian. Shuichi Yoshida, translated by Philip Gabriel, Pantheon, 2010.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The Girl Who Played with Fire, The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest.  Stieg Larsson, Vintage & Knoph, 2009, 2010.

Einstein and Oppenheimer: The Meaning of Genius. Silvan Schweber, Harvard University Press, 2008

Crafting the Quantum: Arnold Sommerfeld and the Practice of Theory, 1890-1926. Suman Seth, MIT Press, 2010.

The Ongoing Moment.  Geoff Dyer, Pantheon, 2005.

Ghostwalk.  Rebecca Stott, Spiegel & Grau, 2007.

Books 2009

The Strangest Man: The Hidden Life of Paul Dirac, Mystic of the Atom.  Graham Farmelo, Basic Books, 2009.

A Gate at the Stairs. Lorrie Moore, Knopf, 2009.

Reviews in Mineralogy & Geochemistry (Volume 70): Thermodynamics and Kinetics of Water-Rock Interaction, Eric H. Oelkers and Jacques Schott (Editors), Mineralogical Society of America, 2009.

Bridge of Sighs. Richard Russo, Knopf, 2007.

Levels of the Game. John McPhee, Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 1969.

American Ruins. Camilo José Vergara, The Monacelli Press, 1999.

Digital Apollo: Human and Machine in Spaceflight. David A. Mindell, MIT Press, 2008.

The Age of Entanglement: When Quantum Physics Was Reborn. Louisa Gilder, Knopf, 2008.

Cathedrals of Science: The Personalities and Rivalries That Made Modern Chemistry. Patrick Coffey, Oxford University Press, 2008.

Fermilab: Physics, The Frontier, and Megascience. Lillian Hoddeson, Adrienne W. Kolb, and Catherine Westfall, University of Chicago Press, 2008.

Books 2008

Ozu’s Anti-Cinema. Yoshida Kiju, Translated by Daisuke Miyao and Kyoko Hirano, Center for Japanese Studies, The University of Michigan, 2003.

Tokyo. Takashi Homma, Aperture Foundation, 2008.

Atmospheric Disturbances: A Novel. Rivka Galchen; Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2008.

New England White. Stephen L. Carter, Knopf, 2007.

Physical Chemistry from Ostwald to Pauling: The Making of a Science in America. John. W. Servos, Princeton University Press, 1990.

James Van Allen. Abigail Foerstner, University of Iowa Press, 2007.

Measuring the World: A Novel. Daniel Kehlmann, Translated by Carol Brown Janeway, Vintage, 2007.

Von Braun: Dreamer of Space, Engineer of War. Michael J. Neufeld, Alfred A. Knoph, 2007.

Fifty Houses. Sandy Sorlien, The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2002.

Books 2007

When Computers Were Human. David Alan Grier, Princeton University Press, 2005.

Paris Changing: Revisiting Eugène Atget’s Paris. Christopher Rauschenberg, Princeton Architectural Press, 2007.

Richter’s Scale: Measure of an Earthquake · Measure of a Man. Susan Elizabeth Hough, Princeton University Press, 2007.

Bento Box in the Heartland: My Japanese Girlhood in Whitebread America. Linda Furiya, Seal Press, 2006.

Faust in Copenhagen. Gino Segrè , Viking, 2007.

Gaudi: A Biography. Gijs Van Hensbergen, Harper Perennial, 2003.

Oppenheimer: The Tragic Intellect. Charles Thorpe, University of Chicago Press, 2006.

Kurosawa: Film Studies and Japanese Cinema. Mitsuhiro Yoshimoto, Duke University Press, 2000.

Books 2006

American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer. Kai Bird and Martin J. Sherwin, Knopf, 2005.

Prep. Curtis Sittenfeld, Random House, 2005.

Drawing Theories Apart: The Dispersion of Feynman Diagrams in Postwar Physics. David Kaiser, University of Chicago Press, 2005.

Books 2005

Mind over Magma: The Story of Igneous Petrology. Davis A. Young, Princeton University Press, 2003

Incompleteness: The Proof and Paradox of Kurt Godel. Rebecca Goldstein, W.W. Norton, 2005.

Lost in Translation. Sofia Coppola, Lost in Translation, Inc., September 2, 2002.

Books 2004

City Walks: Paris, 50 Adventures on Foot. Christina Henry de Tessan, Chronicle Books, 2004.

Thinking About Science: Max Delbruck and the Origins of Molecular Biology. Ernst Peter Fischer and Carol Lipson, W.W. Norton, 1988.

Rule of Four. Ian Caldwell and Dustin Tomason, Dial Press, 2004.

Neighborhood Tokyo. Theodore C. Bestor, Stanford University Press, 1989.

Books 2003

City Life in Japan: A Study of a Tokyo Ward. Ronald Dore, University of California Press, 1958.

The Da Vinci Code. Dan Brown, Doubleday,  2003.

Gold Bug Variations. Richard Powers, William Morrow, 1991.

Chasing Cezanne. Peter Mayle, Vintage Books, 1998.

Books 2002

The Inner Harmony of the Japanese House. Atsushi Ueda, Kodansha International, 1998.

American Fuji. Sara Backer, Putnam, 2002.

The Life of a Virus : Tobacco Mosaic Virus As an Experimental Model, 1930-1965. Angela N. H. Creager, University of Chicago Press, 2002.

Meselson, Stahl, and the Replication of DNA: A History of ‘The Most Beautiful Experiment in Biology’
. Frederic Lawrence Holmes, Yale University Press, 2001.

Up in the Air. Walter Kirn, Doubleday, 2001

Uncle Tungsten: Memories of a Chemical Boyhood. Oliver W. Sacks, Knopf, 2001.

Books 2001

Paris to the Moon. Adam Gopnik, Random House, 2000.

Henry Norris Russell. David Devorkin, Princeton University Press, 2000.

The Lecturer’s Tale. James Hynes, Picador USA, 2001.

Climbing the Mountain: The Scientific Biography of Julian Schwinger. K.A. Milton and Jagdish Mehra, Oxford University Press, 2000.

Ahead of the Curve: David Baltimore’s Life in Science. Shane Crotty, University of California Press, 2001.

Books 2000

Le Marriage. Diane Johnson, E.P. Dutton, 2000.

Health and Happiness. Diane Johnson, Penguin, 1998.

The Accidental Asian : Notes of a Native Speaker. Eric Liu, Vintage, 1999.

Quantum Generations : A History of Physics in the Twentieth Century. Helge Kragh, Princeton University Press, 1999.

Walker Evans. James R. Mellow, Basic Books, 1999.

Blue Angel. Francine Prose, HarperCollins, 2000.

Books 1999

Larry’s Party. Carol Shields, Penguin USA, 1998.

Walther Nernst and the Transition to Modern Physical Science. Diana Kormos Barkan, Cambridge University Press, 1999.

From Chemical Philosophy to Theoretical Chemistry:  Dynamics of Matter and Dynamics of Disciplines, 1800-1850. Mary Jo Nye, University of California Press, 1993.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. J. K. Rowling, Scholastic Press, 1998.

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. J. K. Rowling, Scholastic Press, 1999.
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. J. K. Rowling, Scholastic Press, 1999.

Books 1998

Kinetic Theory in the Earth Sciences. Antonio C. Lasaga, Princeton University Press, 1998.

Publish and Perish: Three Tales of Tenure and Terror. James Hynes, Picador USA, 1997.

A Beautiful Mind : A Biography of John Forbes Nash, Jr. Sylvia Nasar, Simon & Schuster, 1998.

Straight Man. Richard Russo, Random House, 1997.

Calculating the Weather : Meteorology in the 20th Century. Frederik Nebeker, Academic Press, 1995.

Pierre-Simon Laplace: A Life in Exact Science.   Charles Coulston Gillespie, Princeton University Press, 1997.

Guided Tours of Hell : Novellas. Francine Prose, Henry Holt & Co., 1997

Books 1997

Van der Waals and Molecular Science. A. Y. Kipnis, B. E. Yavelov and J. S. Rowlinson. Oxford University Press, 1996.

The Handmaid of Desire. John L’Heureux. Soho Press, 1996.

Chemistry of the Environment. Thomas Spiro and William Stigliani. Prentis Hall, 1996.

Turn Left at Orion. Guy Consolmango and Dan Davis. Cambridge University Press, 1995.

Paradise News. David Lodge. Penguin Books, 1991.

Central Park. Bruce Davidson. Aperture, 1995.

Chandra: A Biography of S. Chandrasekhar. K. C. Wali. University of Chicago Press, 1991.

Books 1996 and before

Allelopathy: Organisms, Processes, and Applications. Inderjit, Dakshini, and Einhellig (eds).
American Chemical Society, 1995.

An Artist of the Floating World. Kazuo Ishiguro. Vintage Books, 1989.

Environmental Soil Chemistry. Murray McBride. Oxford University Press, 1994.

Late Innings : A Baseball Companion. Roger Angell. Simon and Schuster, 1982.

Like a one-eyed cat : Photographs by Lee Friedlander, 1956-1987. Lee Friedlander. H. N. Abrams, 1989.

Night Thoughts of a Classical Physicist. Russell McCormmach. Harvard University Press, 1982.

Ozu. Donald Richie. University of California Press, 1974.

Small world : An academic romance. David Lodge. Macmillan, 1985.

Statistical physics and the atomic theory of matter : From Boyle and Newton to Landau and Onsager. Stephen Brush. Princeton University Press, 1983.

The social transformation of American medicine. Paul Starr. Basic Books, 1982.