Many people will spend their August under ‘stay at home’ orders due to Covid-19, and many more are choosing to spend more time at home than they usually would, just as a precaution. Time at home, especially in the cold winter weather, is often spent reading books – so for those of you looking for new reading material, here are some new book recommendations!

The following books were brought to my attention by RSES colleagues after our first On Circulation book recommendation post.

By Kelly-Anne Lawler.


Why We Sleep – Matthew Walker; the science of sleep explained to everyone who isn’t a neuroscientist.

Stories of Your Life and Others – Ted Chiang; a collection of short stories exploring how science, philosophy and society shape our reality, sharing some theories on the fringes of science.

Contact – Carl Sagan; a classic sci-fi exploring the hunt for ETs and human belief (there is also a film adaptation starring Jodie Foster and Matthew McConaughey – just in case you’re looking for films to watch!).

The End of Everything (Astrophysically Speaking) – Katie Mack; an exploration into the ways the universe will end whilst teaching fundamentals in cosmology.

Red Mars (1992), Green Mars (1993), and Blue Mars (1996) – Kim Stanley Robinson; known as the Mars Trilogy, these novels were recommended by a PhD candidate who enjoyed this science fiction trilogy about the colonisation of Mars.

Sunburnt Country – Dr Joelle Gergis; Dr Gergis is a Senior Lecturer in Climate Science at ANU’s Fenner School of Environment & Society and this book explores the history and future of climate change in Australia.

A Life on Our Planet: My Witness Statement and a Vision for the Future – David Attenborough; a companion book to the documentary of the same name (available on Netflix), this book looks at how Attenborough’s career as a documentary presenter and natural historian has coincided with a decline in wildlife and rise in carbon emissions.

The New Climate War – Michael E. Mann; Fossil-fuel companies have spent thirty-years deflecting blame and responsibility to delay action on climate change. This book takes a look at how they did it and offers a plan for how we can save the planet.

And, of course, if you have read some great books recently and want to share them with RSES, please send your recommendations through!