From tornadoes to farts: Eight science books to check out this month

There's something for everyone.
Coffee and books on a rainy day

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April showers bring you plenty of time to stay safe, dry, and warm inside with a good book while you wait for warmer weather to get here. Here are some books making their debut this month that we’re excited to read. We’ve got personal stories about incredible people, lessons from disasters, glimpses of potential futures, and a lot of odd animals both living, dead, and flatulent. Take a look.

Biography and Memoir

book jacket featuring a man photographing a storm outside his car
The Man Who Caught The Storm by Brantley Hargrove Brantley Hargrove

The Man Who Caught The Storm

By Brantley Hargrove.

Available April 3, 2018

The Man Who Caught The Storm tells the story of Tim Samaras, an engineer who became one of the most legendary storm chasers in the world tracking tornadoes across the United States. This gripping book takes you inside Samaras’ life and tragic death, relying on hours of interviews with friends and family and chase footage to offer an incredible look at his perilous calling.

book jacket, woman silhouetted against a sunset
The Neuroscientist Who Lost Her Mind by Barbara Lipska Lipska

The Neuroscientist Who Lost Her Mind

By Barbara K. Lipska with Elaine McArdle

Available April 3, 2018

In January of 2015, Barbara Lipska learned that a problem with her eyesight was a symptom of a much bigger issue. A cancer—melanoma—had spread to her brain. As the disease progressed and she went through treatment, her behavior became erratic and she began exhibiting signs of mental illness. But Lipska wasn’t a typical patient. She was also prominent neuroscientist who studied mental illness for a living. This book offers a first-person account of her ordeal, and her recovery.

Major Disasters

book jacket coastline from above
The Big Ones: How Natural Disasters Have Shaped Us (and What We Can Do About Them by Lucy Jones Jones

The Big Ones

By Lucy Jones

Available April 10, 2018

Disasters don’t follow Lucy Jones; she follows disasters. In The Big Ones the noted seismologist shows us how 11 massive disasters, from Pompeii to Katrina, have shaped our world and our societies—and how they can help us to better prepare for the massive events that will inevitably feature in humanity’s future.

Future Tech and Future War

book jacket bank of servers behind text
Army of None: Autonomous Weapons and the Future of War Scharre

Army of None

By Paul Scharre

Available April 24, 2018

What happens when we hand over the ability to target and kill other humans to machines? It sounds like something out of the Terminator movies, but autonomous weapons are an emerging force in war. Former U.S. Army Ranger Scharre takes you deep into the development and future of autonomous weapons, and what that might mean for us.

book cover green text black background
What the Future Looks Like: Leading Science Experts Reveal the Surprising Discoveries and Ingenious Solutions That Are Shaping Our World Edited by: Jim Al-Khalil Al-Khalili

What the Future Looks Like

Edited by: Jim Al-Khalil

Available April 17, 2018

Most people want to know what the future holds. Maybe not everything, but a tiny peek might be nice, right? This book is filled with essays from experts offering their informed opinions on what the science and technology of today will look like in the future, from smart materials to artificial intelligence to genetic editing.

Animal Stories

book cover dinosaurs
The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs: A New History of a Lost World by Steve Brusatte. Brusatte

The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs

By Steve Brusatte

Available April 24, 2018

Dinosaurs roamed the earth for over 200 million years, a reign that dwarfs our puny human timespan. How did they get to the top only to lose it all? It’s a (very) long story engagingly told by paleontologist Steve Brusatte, who guides the reader from the dominion to the downfall of these awesome creatures.

panda on black background
The Truth About Animals: Stoned Sloths, Lovelorn Hippos, and Other Tales From The Wild Side of Wildlife by Lucy Cooke. Cooke

The Truth About Animals

By Lucy Cooke

Available April 17, 2018

Did you know that the U.S. military once tried to use bats to drop bombs? Or that Adelie penguins have such wild sex lives that mortified researchers would put off publishing the first scientific report on their proclivities for nearly a century? Cooke gathers these tales, and explores myths and misunderstandings that dog animals to this day.

fart cover
*Does it Fart? by Nick Caruso and Dani Rabaiotti Caruso and Rabaiotti

Does it Fart?

By Nick Caruso and Dani Rabaiotti

Available April 3, 2018

It started out as just a tweet by zoologist Dani Rabaiotti, looking to answer her brother’s query about whether or not snakes fart. As it happens, they do. Now, along with ecologist Nick Caruso, Rabaiotti has compiled the “Definitive Field Guide to Animal Flatulence,” which answers the title question for 80 creatures, including clams (and humans).