This is a mix of fiction and nonfiction from a newsletter I get from naturebriefing.com.
Summer books: Five must-reads
Barbara Kiser’s pick of the best science and science-fiction books to read now (even if it’s winter — I see you, Southern Hemisphere):
- A “world without borders, full of possibility, past, present and future” opens up in space archaeologist Sarah Parcaks’ exhilarating scientific memoir of wielding remote sensing to discover ancient sites, Archaeology from Space: How the Future Shapes Our Past.
- A long, strange trip of a book, Mescaline: A Global History of the First Psychedelic by Mike Jay traces the trajectory of the psychoactive alkaloid through human culture and pharmacological research.
- Science-fiction icon Neal Stephenson’s Fall; or, Dodge in Hell is an industrial-strength cocktail of myth, cryonics, virtual reality, the mind-body problem and brain uploading — in 880 dazzling and disturbing pages.
- Nathaniel Rich’s powerful Losing Earth centres on a lost opportunity with global consequences: the moment in 1979 when climate researchers and environmental activists nearly transformed energy policy.
- Journeying into the hippocampus and across the globe, M. R. O’Connor’s wonderful, far-reaching book Wayfinding explores the nexus of brain and terrain in human navigation.