98 books like Scaling

By Knut Schmidt-Nielsen,

Here are 98 books that Scaling fans have personally recommended if you like Scaling. Shepherd is a community of 11,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of The Visual Display of Quantitative Information by Edward R. Tufte

Marian Petre Author Of Software Design Decoded: 66 Ways Experts Think

From my list on foundational perspectives on design.

Why am I passionate about this?

I ‘pick the brains’ of expert software developers to understand what makes them expert. I’ve spent decades studying how professional software developers reason and communicate about design and problem solving. Informed by the seminal books I’ve highlighted (among many others), my research is grounded in empirical studies of professionals in industry and draws on cognitive and social theory. Observing, talking to, and working with hundreds of professional software developers in organisations ranging from start-ups to the world’s major software companies has exposed actionable insights into the thinking that distinguishes high-performing teams.  

Marian's book list on foundational perspectives on design

Marian Petre Why did Marian love this book?

In terms of conveying how to convey information (not just data) visually, Tufte is the undoubted master. 

This book is full of pithy examples, with clear insights about what works, what doesn’t, and why. I came across it when I was trying to understand why I was disgruntled with so many graphical representations – and Tufte provided useful clarity about my niggles.

(N.B. I had to pick just one of his titles for this list – but I’d recommend his other books as well.)

By Edward R. Tufte,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked The Visual Display of Quantitative Information by Edward R. Tufte as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The classic book on statistical graphics, charts, tables. Theory and practice in the design of data graphics, 250 illustrations of the best (and a few of the worst) statistical graphics, with detailed analysis of how to display data for precise, effective, quick analysis. Design of the high-resolution displays, small multiples. Editing and improving graphics. The data-ink ratio. Time-series, relational graphics, data maps, multivariate designs. Detection of graphical deception: design variation vs. data variation. Sources of deception. Aesthetics and data graphical displays. This is the second edition of The Visual Display of Quantitative Information. This edition provides excellent color reproductions of…


Book cover of The Evolution of Useful Things: How Everyday Artifacts-From Forks and Pins to Paper Clips and Zippers-Came to Be as They Are.

Mark S. Blumberg Author Of Freaks of Nature: What Anomalies Tell Us about Development and Evolution

From my list on seeing science differently.

Why am I passionate about this?

Even though I am a scientist who has written over 130 scientific articles, I have a longstanding passion for scientific books that are written for non-scientists. I love books about science, no matter how distant they are from my area of expertise. To me, the best science books convey the excitement of science and scientific thinking in an accessible manner, but without pandering or dumbing things down. My favorite books tackle big ideas and respect the reader’s intelligence. My choices here reflect my core interests in biology, evolution, and behavior—and the aesthetics of science, too. I hope you enjoy them as much as I have.

Mark's book list on seeing science differently

Mark S. Blumberg Why did Mark love this book?

If you are interested in understanding the roots of human invention, this is your book. Too often we attribute inventions—and the creative spark underlying them — to a mysterious force or a special gift. In this book, Henry Petroski, an engineer, shows us the process by which inventions come about. That process is an evolutionary one that often relies on trial and error. Petroski illustrates his ideas and develops his themes using the most mundane of objects, such forks, paper clips, and zippers. If even such seemingly simple objects evolved, what must that say about computers, rockets, and even humans?

By Henry Petroski,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Evolution of Useful Things as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

   How did the table fork acquire a fourth tine?  What advantage does the Phillips-head screw have over its single-grooved predecessor? Why does the paper clip look the way it does? What makes Scotch tape Scotch?

   In this delightful book Henry, Petroski takes a microscopic look at artifacts that most of us count on but rarely contemplate, including such icons of the everyday as pins, Post-its, and fast-food "clamshell" containers.  At the same time, he offers a convincing new theory of technological innovation as a response to the perceived failures of existing products—suggesting that irritation, and not necessity, is the mother…


Book cover of The Century of the Gene

Mark S. Blumberg Author Of Freaks of Nature: What Anomalies Tell Us about Development and Evolution

From my list on seeing science differently.

Why am I passionate about this?

Even though I am a scientist who has written over 130 scientific articles, I have a longstanding passion for scientific books that are written for non-scientists. I love books about science, no matter how distant they are from my area of expertise. To me, the best science books convey the excitement of science and scientific thinking in an accessible manner, but without pandering or dumbing things down. My favorite books tackle big ideas and respect the reader’s intelligence. My choices here reflect my core interests in biology, evolution, and behavior—and the aesthetics of science, too. I hope you enjoy them as much as I have.

Mark's book list on seeing science differently

Mark S. Blumberg Why did Mark love this book?

Genes have variously been described as selfish and controlling—as providing a blueprint or a program for development—as even “the cell’s brain”. These descriptions of genes get in the way of our understanding of what genes actually do—and what they don’t (and cannot) do. Evelyn Fox Keller provides an antidote to the simplistic notions of genes that permeate our society and infect our scientific discourse. She carefully walks us through the history of the field and provides us with a much more realistic view of the intricacies of DNA. By the end of this marvelous book, you may not even think that genes are a thing at all.

By Evelyn Fox Keller,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Century of the Gene as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In a book that promises to change the way we think and talk about genes and genetic determinism, Evelyn Fox Keller, one of our most gifted historians and philosophers of science, provides a powerful, profound analysis of the achievements of genetics and molecular biology in the twentieth century, the century of the gene. Not just a chronicle of biology's progress from gene to genome in one hundred years, The Century of the Gene also calls our attention to the surprising ways these advances challenge the familiar picture of the gene most of us still entertain. Keller shows us that the…


Book cover of Cycles of Contingency: Developmental Systems and Evolution

Mark S. Blumberg Author Of Freaks of Nature: What Anomalies Tell Us about Development and Evolution

From my list on seeing science differently.

Why am I passionate about this?

Even though I am a scientist who has written over 130 scientific articles, I have a longstanding passion for scientific books that are written for non-scientists. I love books about science, no matter how distant they are from my area of expertise. To me, the best science books convey the excitement of science and scientific thinking in an accessible manner, but without pandering or dumbing things down. My favorite books tackle big ideas and respect the reader’s intelligence. My choices here reflect my core interests in biology, evolution, and behavior—and the aesthetics of science, too. I hope you enjoy them as much as I have.

Mark's book list on seeing science differently

Mark S. Blumberg Why did Mark love this book?

If you are interested in the interplay of development and evolution, this collection of essays will introduce you to all the key concepts by many of the key thinkers. This is a collection for serious readers who want to appreciate the complexity underlying such concepts as instinct and heredity. Many of these essays are the classics in the field. My favorite? Daniel Lehrman’s takedown of Konrad Lorenz from 1953. That one essay alone, brimming with the passion of a young iconoclast, is worth the price of admission.

By Susan Oyama (editor), Paul E. Griffiths (editor), Russell D. Gray (editor)

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Cycles of Contingency as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The nature/nurture debate is not dead. Dichotomous views of development still underlie many fundamental debates in the biological and social sciences. Developmental systems theory (DST) offers a new conceptual framework with which to resolve such debates. DST views ontogeny as contingent cycles of interaction among a varied set of developmental resources, no one of which controls the process. These factors include DNA, cellular and organismic structure, and social and ecological interactions. DST has excited interest from a wide range of researchers, from molecular biologists to anthropologists, because of its ability to integrate evolutionary theory and other disciplines without falling into…


Book cover of The Self-Love Revolution: Radical Body Positivity for Girls of Color

Caroline Heldman Author Of The Sexy Lie: The War on Women’s Bodies and How to Fight Back

From my list on stop worrying about your body.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a child raised in abject rural poverty and homeschooled in a Pentecostal Evangelical household, my intense experiences of sexism at home and church piqued my early interest in gender justice. As a Women’s Studies professor, my work centers on how social norms perpetuate patriarchy. Decades of research on body hatred has convinced me that anti-fat bias is a pressing social justice issue that harms us all. These books, especially if read in order, bust myths of fatness, unpack the racist origins of fatphobia, provide a chilling look at the personal wounds inflicted by anti-fat bias, and provide practical tools to reject the body hatred that plagues women by design. 

Caroline's book list on stop worrying about your body

Caroline Heldman Why did Caroline love this book?

Virgie Tovar’s The Self-Love Revolution: Radical Body Positivity for Girls of Color is exactly what it sounds like: A toolkit for practicing radical self-love.

Tovar challenges harmful diet culture and beauty culture messaging and teaches readers to spot intersecting sexism and racism in media. She encourages readers to reject cultural messages that promote body hatred, and instead, build lasting body empowerment by silencing our inner critic and moving beyond our body as the basis for our worth.

Every book Tovar has written will rock your paradigms about body size and fatness, but I especially recommend The Self-Love Revolution because it opens a space to truly imagine a world without fatphobia. And it comes with the tools and confidence boost to build that world. 

By Virgie Tovar,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Self-Love Revolution as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

It's time to ditch harmful, outdated beauty standards and build real, lasting body positivity. It's time for a self-love revolution!
Every day we see movies, magazines, and social media that make us feel like we need to change how we look. This takes a toll on how we think about ourselves-and how we allow others to treat us. And while many teens feel shame about their body, being a teen girl of color can be hard in unique ways. Maybe you feel alienated by the mainstream image of beauty, which is still thin, white and able-bodied. In addition to that,…


Book cover of Big Girl

David Haynes Author Of Right by My Side

From my list on kids with attitude.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a forty-five-year career educator, sharing my classrooms with students from primary school through graduate programs in creative writing. What I love most in every classroom I enter is sharing the books and stories and poems I love with my students. The best days: when I’m reading one of my favorite parts of the book out loud to the group and I look up and they laugh or gasp, or I look up and see their eyes full of joy. If it’s my own work I’m reading from, all the better!

David's book list on kids with attitude

David Haynes Why did David love this book?

The “big girl” of our title is Malaya Clondon, whose mother shames her endlessly about her weight. Malaya struggles to fit into all her worlds, be it the expected perfection of her mother and grandmother, the upper-class standards of her prep school peers, or a rapidly gentrifying Harlem. Malaya's clear-eyed and wise narration of her plight was an eye-opener for me. Big Girl is one of the most honest depictions I know of a young woman talking about what it feels like to be constantly judged because your body does not conform to the expectations of others. This book will stick with you for a long time.  

By Mecca Jamilah Sullivan,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Big Girl as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"Alive with delicious prose and the cacophony of '90s Harlem, Big Girl gifts us a heroine carrying the weight of worn-out ideas, who dares to defy the compulsion to shrink, and in turn teaches us to pursue our fullest, most desirous selves without shame." -Janet Mock

Malaya Clondon hates when her mother drags her to Weight Watchers meetings in the church's stuffy basement community center. A quietly inquisitive eight-year-old struggling to suppress her insatiable longing, she would much rather paint alone in her bedroom, or sneak out with her father for a sampling of Harlem's forbidden street foods.

For Malaya,…


Book cover of The Littlest Yak

Kevin Asla Author Of Autumn's Halloween

From my list on fables with moral through the eyes of animals.

Why am I passionate about this?

I enjoy stories with morals & adventure! The animal kingdom has always been a favourite of children around the world, and a perfect way of conveying these fables without boring the reader. My particular love for foxes has always been there but also extends to other forest creatures. They are always my first choice when picking a book that kids will love and also for my video game designs.

Kevin's book list on fables with moral through the eyes of animals

Kevin Asla Why did Kevin love this book?

I love the scenery in this book. Great Himalayan mountains and crisp snow. Gertie is a perfect character that lets us see what many children struggle with. Gertie is not happy, she feels inferior, but an opportunity arrives which allows showing how valuable she is. Fun is intertwined within the pages of the books. The pictures are beautiful! Another fable story with a moral center!

By Lu Fraser, Kate Hindley (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Littlest Yak as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 4, 5, 6, and 7.

What is this book about?

WINNER of Oscar's Book Prize 2021!
WINNER Book of the Year and Best Picture Book at the Sainsbury's Children's Book Awards 2021!

Perfect for fans of Rachel Bright and Julia Donaldson, The Littlest Yak is a joyous, rhyming caper that teaches little ones to celebrate their own unique talents!

On the tip of the top of a mountain all snowy, where the ice-swirling, toe-curling blizzards were blowy, in a herd full of huddling yaks, big and small, lived Gertie . . . the littlest yak of them all.

Gertie is the littlest yak in her whole herd, and she's feeling…


Book cover of The Big Princess

Maria Gulemetova Author Of Beyond the Fence

From my list on beyond good and bad, right and wrong.

Why am I passionate about this?

Unburdened with prejudice or beliefs, children are open to the world. I find great joy in books that reflect the child’s fresh perception and playful spirit. Such books have no intention to teach a moral lesson. They rejoice in freedom. In the non-stereotypical, not yet molded to conform reality of the child. Books beyond good or bad may shine with the light of freshness, the unfiltered seeing. In times of great political divisions, non-didactic books can be a window to the glorious amoral way of perceiving.

Maria's book list on beyond good and bad, right and wrong

Maria Gulemetova Why did Maria love this book?

It seems to me that the kind of imaginative senseless play (beyond good/bad, right/wrong), feels similar to the way a small kid would tell stories. A wonderful fantastic tale with joyful illustrations. Plus children and adults find very, very, very big things fascinating. Enjoy this masterpiece! (As well as Taro Miura’s other books.)

By Taro Miura,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Big Princess as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 2, 3, 4, and 5.

What is this book about?

A king, a queen and one very big princess... A witty, wonderful and warm-hearted prequel to The Tiny King by acclaimed picture book maker, Taro Miura.

Once upon a time ... a king and queen discover, among their flowers, the teensiest, tiniest princess. Such a charming, sweet little thing! They are instantly taken with her - she becomes the daughter they never had, the child they had always dreamed of. The Queen immediately sets about finding her a perfect-sized bed and only a tiny ring box will do. But, in no time at all, the princess grows too big for…


Book cover of Oxygen: The Molecule that Made the World

Neil W. Blackstone Author Of Energy and Evolutionary Conflict: The Metabolic Roots of Cooperation

From my list on bioenergetics or how life makes a living.

Why am I passionate about this?

Evolution is the most general theory of biology that we have. I seek to employ evolutionary principles to provide a predictive framework for both current ecological interactions and interactions that occurred earlier in the history of life. A generation ago, the study of cooperation was revolutionized by the deceptively simple notion of “follow the genes.” Embracing another simple notion—follow the electrons—can have an equally large effect in illuminating cooperation. Connecting evolutionary biology to biochemistry, however, remains a challenge—many evolutionary biologists dislike biochemistry and are much more comfortable with the informational aspects of life (e.g., genes). The below “best books on bioenergetics” can help to bridge this gap.

Neil's book list on bioenergetics or how life makes a living

Neil W. Blackstone Why did Neil love this book?

A comprehensive and very readable biography of oxygen, its scientific study, and its role in the history of life on Earth. 

The “big picture” view is grounded in numerous anecdotes of individual scientists’ work. The relevant scientific history blends nicely with the history of life. Throughout, we see oxygen generated by oxygenic photosynthesis, consumed by oxidative phosphorylation, with leftovers drifting up into the atmosphere to eventually produce the planet that supports human civilization and much else besides.

By Nick Lane,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Oxygen as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Oxygen has had extraordinary effects on life. Three hundred million years ago, in Carboniferous times, dragonflies grew as big as seagulls, with wingspans of nearly a metre. Researchers claim they could have flown only if the air had contained more oxygen than today - probably as much as 35 per cent. Giant spiders, tree-ferns, marine rock formations and fossil charcoals all tell the same story. High oxygen levels may also explain the global firestorm that contributed to the demise of the dinosaurs after the asteroid impact. The strange and profound effects that oxygen has had on the evolution of life…


Book cover of Science of Yoga: Understand the Anatomy and Physiology to Perfect Your Practice

Carol Krucoff Author Of Relax Into Yoga for Seniors: A Six-Week Program for Strength, Balance, Flexibility, and Pain Relief

From my list on for yoga teachers.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a yoga therapist, health journalist, mother, and grandmother with a passion for helping people harness the powerful medicine of movement. Physical activity is essential to good health, and yoga can be particularly effective because it’s a holistic discipline that enhances all aspects of wellbeing—physical, emotional, cognitive, and spiritual. I started taking a weekly yoga class in my early 20s to stretch tight muscles and relieve stress from my busy job as a Washington Post reporter. Nearly 50 years later, yoga is central to my life, with practices that have helped me through several major health challenges, and kept me balanced, fit, and centered in our unpredictable world.  

Carol's book list on for yoga teachers

Carol Krucoff Why did Carol love this book?

As a mind-body science educator, Ann Swanson specializes in making complex scientific concepts simple and easy to understand. And in this dazzlingly-illustrated, comprehensive guide to how and why yoga works, she masterfully deconstructs more than two dozen basic yoga poses with detailed information on the physical and energetic components. A section on human anatomy explains various systemsincluding cardiovascular, digestive, and endocrineand a Q & A section explores common concerns such as chronic pain, stress, and mental well-being. Full disclosureAnn is a friend and colleaguewith extraordinary energy, deep compassion, and a generous heart.  

By Ann Swanson,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Science of Yoga as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Explore the biomechanics of 30 key yoga poses, in-depth and from every angle, and master each asana with confidence and control.

Take your knowledge of yoga to the next level with this ground-breaking 360 degree visual resource - made for serious practitioners and teachers.

Recent scientific research now backs up what were once anecdotal claims about the benefits of yoga to every system in the body. Science of Yoga reveals the facts, with annotated artworks that show the mechanics, the angles, how blood flow and respiration are affected, the key muscle and joint actions working below the surface of each…


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