Beating cabin fever: quarantine reading suggestions for scientists

Looking for something to read while you’re stuck in your house? Check out our great suggestions of novels featuring scientists. And our great suggestions of popular science books that scientists will enjoy. Don’t miss the comment threads, most of the best suggestions are from our commenters!

Hang in there, take care of yourself, take care of each other.

5 thoughts on “Beating cabin fever: quarantine reading suggestions for scientists

  1. My own cabin fever reading is non-scientific: I’m reading I Capture the Castle. Only a few pages in, but am really liking it so far.

    Trying I Capture the Castle was a shot in the dark for me. I’m reading it because a sociologist whom I think is funny and insightful on Twitter said it was a “perfect book”. Which you’d think would be a pretty ineffective way to identify fiction I’d like to read. And it probably is inefficient–but I haven’t come up with a more efficient way. It’s funny that after all these years, I don’t have a better handle on my own tastes in fiction. I find it hard to find any common threads in the fiction I like, or that I don’t like. So I’ve decided to start trying lots of books, but then abandon them quickly if I’m not enjoying them.

  2. I’ve been wallowing in Helen Macdonald’s *H is for Hawk*, having recently read its inspiration, *Goshawk*, by T.H. White. Melancholy and lyrical, a meditation on grief, falconry, and obsession. A sample passage: “And with the last bow pulled free, he reached inside, and amidst a whirring, chaotic clatter of wings and feet and talons and a high-pitched twittering and it’s all happening at once, the man pulls an enormous, *enormous* hawk out of the box and in a strange coincidence of world and deed a great flood of sunlight drenches us and everything is brilliance and fury. The hawk’s wings, barred and beating, the sharp fingers of her dark-tipped primaries cutting the air, her feathers raised like the scattered quills of a fretful porpentine. Two enormous eyes. My heart jumps sideways.”

  3. Not for this reason, but I’ve been tracking the non-academic books I read this year, and maybe some folks will find recommendations there. Two formats: up-to-date Twitter thread begins here:; and I’ll post occasional more fully developed lists on Scientist Sees Squirrel, first one here:

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