This is a collection of some of the books that I have read and recommend. I created the list mainly as a way to remember what I have read and learned, but several years ago a student asked if I had any book recommendations - so, I decided to share all of my recommendations! 
(Books listed in the order in which I read them - newest reads at the top)

A More Perfect Heaven - How Copernicus Revolutionized the Cosmos
Dava Sobel 7/10
It is interesting to see how scientific understanding and knowledge have grown throughout the ages. Copernicus, a man of the Church, was torn between his discoveries and calculations that placed the Sun at the center of the (known) Universe instead of the Earth. The book captures his struggles and the historical conflicts between science and the Church.

The Body - A Guidebook for Occupants
Bill Bryson 7/10
This comprehensive book of The Body explains how we humans work. It is a great read for people interested in the human body and medicine. It is not as entertaining as other books by Bill Bryson but does pack a lot of information into this easy reading book.

E=mc2 - A Biography of the World's Most Famous Equation
David Bodanis 9/10
This is a must-read for anyone who has an interest in the history of physics and chemistry. The book takes the reader through the stories of the people who are responsible for the discoveries that led to Einstein's equation E=mc2. The stories are fascinating, the history is rich, and the science is important. 

Salt, Sugar, Fat - How the Food Giants Hooked Us
Michael Moss - 9/10
This book should be required reading for any person who has ever eaten food. It is a fascinating look at how the food industry has used science and marketing to transform how and what we eat. The book makes you rethink everything you eat.

Turn Right at Machu Picchu - Rediscovering the Lost City One Step at a Time
Mark Adams - 7/10
If you have ever dreamed of visiting Machu Picchu, this is a must-read. The author takes you along on his journey through the Inca Trail as he seeks to uncover the unknown about Machu Picchu. It is a good modern-day adventure book.

Storm in a Teacup - The Physics of Everyday Life
Helen Czerski - 7/10
Good, simple explanations of physics and chemistry in everyday life; from tea to bubbles to weather and climate and everything in between.

In the Heart of the Sea
Nathaniel Philbrick - 8/10
A fascinating account of the Whaleship Essex that left Nantucket and was ultimately attacked and sunk by a whale. The survivors bobbed around in the ocean for months trying to survive any way they could. Moby Dick, the novel, was inspired by this true story.

Salt - A World History
Mark Kurlansky - 6/10
I've read several books about how various things changed the world (Bananas, Cod, etc) and this was the slowest read. 

Periodic Tales - A Cultural History of the Elements from Arsenic to Zinc
Hugh Aldersey-Williams 6/10
Interesting history of the elements intertwined with stories from the author's childhood. The book is a bit long and drawn out. Lost interest by the end.

The Reluctant Mr. Darwin - An Intimate Portrait of Charles Darwin...
David Quammen 6/10
Full of good information on Darwin's dilemma to publish his thoughts on evolution by natural selection. Slow at times but a good overview of his time writing, thinking, and publishing.

Cod - A Biography of the Fish that Changed the World
Mark Kurlansky 8/10
Interesting information about how cod spurred exploration that led to the discovery of America, led to the US declaring independence, and many other stories of history intertwined with cod. An excellent read for anybody who is interested in why events in history happened.

Uncle Tungsten - Memories of a Chemical Boyhood
Oliver Sacks 9/10
Filled with stories from Oliver Sacks' life growing up with family members who invented and explored science. Excellent for learning about applications of chemistry and the elements.

Banana - Fate of the Fruit That Changed the World
Dan Koeppel 10/10
History of how the banana became the most unlikely favorite fruit in the world. An excellent book to understand economics, science, history, and greed.

Travels with Charley
John Steinbeck 7/10
Traveling across America with Steinbeck and his dog. A great chapter about the love of Montana.

Copper Kings
C.B. Glasscock 6/10
History of Butte and the Copper Kings that ruled the Richest Hill in the world. A great read for anyone interested in Butte and MT history.

The Airmen and the Headhunters: A True Story of Lost Airmen, Heroic Tribesmen, and the Unlikeliest Rescue of World War II
Judith Heimann 9/10
Explore Borneo through the eyes of WWII soldiers who are shot down and rescued by headhunters deep in the heart of Borneo.

Matt Ridley 5/10
An in-depth explanation of genes and how they work and very in-depth about other topics as well. I got a bit bored.

Poisoner's Handbook
Deborah Blum 8/10
The history of poisons and the chemistry/chemicals that make them work. Major focus on the development of forensic science to determine poisons.

Proof: The Science of Booze
Adam Rogers 6/10
Interesting book about the chemicals and history of alcohol and its effects on the human body.

Stranger in the Forest: On Foot Across Borneo
Eric Hansen 7/10
Trekking from one coast to the other across the highlands, jungles and waterways of Borneo. The perfect read for anyone who has been to Borneo or is interested in learning about it from the 'inside'.

Stuff Matters
Mark Miodownik 9/10
Exploring the marvelous materials that shape our man-made world. An excellent account of how chemistry shapes materials and materials shape our lives.

Copies in Seconds
David Owen 6/10
How a lone inventor created the Xerox, the greatest communication breakthrough of the 20th century.

Edge of Eternity (Fiction) - Book 3
Ken Follett (7/10)
Historical fiction following people living in England, Germany, Russia, and the US through the Civil Rights Movement, the Cold War, and the Vietnam War. I learned more history by reading this trilogy than I recall from any of my World History classes.

Winter World (Fiction) - Book 2
Ken Follett 8/10
Historical fiction following the lives of 4 people who's experiences, leading up to and during WW2, begin to intertwine. A good historical look at the events leading up to World War 1 and how it changed the lives of those in England, Russia, and Germany

Fall of Giants (Fiction) - Book 1
Ken Follett 8/10
Historical fiction following the lives of 4 people who's experiences, leading up to and during WW1, begin to intertwine. A good historical look at the events leading up to World War 1 and how it changed the lives of those in England, Russia, and Germany

Tears in the Darkness
Michael and Elizabeth Norman 7/10
Story of the Ben Steel and the Bataan Death March.

A Crack in the Edge of the World
Simon Winchester 7/10

The Boys in the Boat
Daniel James Brown 9/10

9,000 Miles of Fatherhood
Kirk Millson 6/10

The Ice Balloon
Alec Wilkinson 5/10

The Martian
Andy Weir 10/10

Gillen D'Arcy Wood 6/10

Reflections of Eden
Birute M.F. Galdikas 2/10

Donovan Hahn 8/10

Empire of Shadows: The Epic Story of Yellowstone
George Black 7/10

How Children Succeed
Paul Tough 2/10

The Map That Changed the World
Simon Winchester 5/10

The Agony and the Ecstasy: A Biographical Novel of Michaelangelo
by Irving Stone 9/10

The Last Flight of the Scarlet Macaw
Sharon Matola 9/10

Men to Match My Mountains
by Irving Stone 9/10

Packing for Mars
by Mary Roach 7/10

Over the Edge of the World - (Magellan's Circumnavigation of the Globe)
by Lawrence Bergreen 8/10

Into Thin Air
by Jon Krakauer 6/10

Steve Jobs
by Walter Isaacson 8/10

The Origin
by Irving Stone 10/10

A Short History of Nearly Everything
by Bill Bryson 10/10

Big Bang
by Simon Singh 7/10

The Disappearing Spoon
by Sam Keane 10/10

The Violinist's Thumb
by Sam Keane 2/10

Napoleon's Buttons: How 17 Molecules Changed History
by Penny Le Couteur, Jay Burreson 9/10

Endurance: Shackleton's Incredible Voyage
by Alfred Lansing 10/10

Ghenghis Khan: The Making of the Modern World
by Jack Weatherford 10/10

Bones of the Master: A Journey to Secret Mongolia
by George Crane 6/10

Guns, Germs and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies
by Jared Diamond 3/10

The City of Falling Angels
by John Berendt 8/10

At Home
by Bill Bryson 6/10

by James Michener 5/10

What Einstein Told His Cook: Kitchen Science Explained
Robert L. Wolfe 6/10

Moonwalking With Einstein: The Art and Science of Remembering Everything
by Joshua Foer 7/10

Through the Brazilian Wilderness
by Theodore Roosevelt 1/10

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
by Rebecca Skloot 10/10

Skeletons of the Zahara: A True Story of Survival
by Dean King 10/10

The Long Walk
by Slavomir Rawicz 10/10

Tropical Nature: Life and Death in the Rain Forests of Central and South America
by Adrian Forsyth, et al 1/10

A Walk In the Woods: Rediscovering North American on the Appalachian Trail 
by Bill Bryson 7/10

Last Child In The Woods: Saving Our Children From Nature-Deficit Disorder
Richard Louv 3/10

Undaunted Courage
by Steven Ambrose 10/10


The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
The Girl Who Played With Fire
The Girl Who Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest
By Stieg Larson 10/10

The Hunger Games
Catching Fire
Mocking Jay
by Suzanne Collins 7/10