100 books like The Structure of Scientific Revolutions

By Thomas S. Kuhn,

Here are 100 books that The Structure of Scientific Revolutions fans have personally recommended if you like The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Moby-Dick

Kim Brown Seely Author Of Uncharted: A Couple's Epic Empty-Nest Adventure Sailing from One Life to Another

From my list on sailors, sea adventurers, and romantics at heart.

Who am I?

Kim Brown Seely was born and raised in Southern California and graduated from Stanford University. A Lowell Thomas Journalist of the Year, she has worked in publishing on both coasts, including as senior editor at Travel + Leisure magazine, contributing editor at National Geographic Adventure, and travel editor at Microsoft and Amazon. Her memoir Uncharted: A Couple’s Epic Empty-Nest Adventure Sailing from One Life to Another was named one of the best books about retirement by the Wall Street Journal and is also a Nautilus Award Winner. She has traveled to more than thirty countries for Virtuoso magazine, where she's a contributing writer and has won more than a dozen writing awards for her work.  

Kim's book list on sailors, sea adventurers, and romantics at heart

Kim Brown Seely Why did Kim love this book?

Incredibly, I had never read Moby-Dick until spending weeks at sea every summer, so Melville’s Great American Novel, which D.H. Lawrence called “one of the strangest and most wonderful books in the world” found me on the boat. 

My book has been dubbed “the Moby-Dick of empty-nest tales” since my husband and I sail off in search of a rare white bear, inspired by Melville’s great white whale. I had no idea how funny and captivating Moby-Dick was – not to mention inspiring for armchair seafarers – until I settled in with its pages that first summer. It’s a brilliant novel. 

By Herman Melville,

Why should I read it?

18 authors picked Moby-Dick as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Melville's tale of the whaling industry, and one captain's obsession with revenge against the Great White Whale that took his leg. Classics Illustrated tells this wonderful tale in colourful comic strip form, offering an excellent introduction for younger readers. This edition also includes a biography of Herman Melville and study questions, which can be used both in the classroom or at home to further engage the reader in the work at hand.


Book cover of Alan Turing: The Enigma

C.A. Farlow Author Of A Quantum Singularity: Book Three in The Nexus Series

From my list on mixing science, fiction, and adventure.

Who am I?

I grew up in farm country of central Indiana. But spent my summers on an island in northern Ontario with my grandparents. My grandfather was a self-taught naturalist and shared his love and fascination of the world around us with me. I went on to become a geologist and traveled the globe exploring for natural resources. My love of nature and science is the foundation for the science fiction I write. Whether a proven theory, a fantastical hypothesis, or true science fiction, it’s all based on science fact. It allows everyone to learn about a world built in science fiction which one day may exist in science fact.

C.A.'s book list on mixing science, fiction, and adventure

C.A. Farlow Why did C.A. love this book?

This is a book that is at once a biography, a testament to human genius in the face of imminent danger, and a story of human injustice. Alan Turing had an idea about a ‘universal machine’. A machine, when built at Bletchley Park, allowed the Allies in World War II to crack the German Enigma ciphers. This universal machine laid the foundations for modern computing and all the amazing advances we enjoy today. But at a price for Turing, he fought inner demons about his homosexuality and eventually paid the ultimate price.

I marveled at his genius, cheered his cryptographic successes with each cipher cracked, shouted against the tragedy of his arrest, cried at his untimely death. A death at his own hand at the age of 41. The world lost a genius due to a society’s labelling of homosexuality as a crime.

We still live in this world of…

By Andrew Hodges,

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked Alan Turing as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER The official book behind the Academy Award-winning film The Imitation Game, starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Keira Knightley It is only a slight exaggeration to say that the British mathematician Alan Turing (1912-1954) saved the Allies from the Nazis, invented the computer and artificial intelligence, and anticipated gay liberation by decades--all before his suicide at age forty-one. This New York Times-bestselling biography of the founder of computer science, with a new preface by the author that addresses Turing's royal pardon in 2013, is the definitive account of an extraordinary mind and life. Capturing both the inner…


Book cover of Ludwig Wittgenstein: The Duty of Genius

Adrián Gordaliza Vega Author Of The End of Everything: A society in transition

From my list on biographies for the contemporary reader.

Who am I?

I am a graduate in Philosophy with a Masters degree in Contemporary Culture so this theme is enormously interesting for me. My passion has been shifting from literature to contemporary society and culture in general. I love to find the connexions between the current state of affairs and the past. I honestly think that if we look at the lives and times of the great thinkers we can get hints about the state of contemporary society. Understanding what makes us behave and think the way we do it is my main motivation. 

Adrián's book list on biographies for the contemporary reader

Adrián Gordaliza Vega Why did Adrián love this book?

The figure of Ludwig Wittgenstein has always been quite enigmatic for me.

The enormous contradictions of his life and the intensity of it are difficult to understand in the abstract. Ray Monk's biography contextualizes the life and work of the Austrian philosopher who set out to solve all the problems of philosophy.

Monk's biography stands as a testament to Wittgenstein's enduring influence on our understanding of language, thought, and reality. 

By Ray Monk,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Ludwig Wittgenstein as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"Great philosophical biographies can be counted on one hand. Monk's life of Wittgenstein is such a one." The Christian Science Monitor.


Book cover of A Primer of Freudian Psychology

Richard E. Nisbett Author Of Thinking: A Memoir

From my list on thinking.

Who am I?

Richard Nisbett is one of the world’s preeminent psychologists. His thinking is primarily about thought, but it is extremely wide-ranging – from biopsychology to social psychology to criminology to philosophy. His influence on philosophy has been compared to that of Freud and Skinner.

Richard's book list on thinking

Richard E. Nisbett Why did Richard love this book?

This book gives an excellent overview of Freud’s thoughts about human psychology, and also shows the way he thought. Freud’s brilliance shines through. I hasten to say most, though not by any means all of his hypotheses are wrong. I read this book at 15 and knew when I finished it I was going to be a psychologist. Some of my work gives strong support to a few of his hypotheses about the unconscious. Ironically, Freud himself didn’t believe his ideas could be tested by psychology experiments.

By Calvin S. Hall,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A Primer of Freudian Psychology as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Culled from forty years of writing by the founder of psychoanalysis, A Primer Of Freudian Psychology introduces Freud's theories on the dynamics and development of the human mind. Hall also provides a brief biography of Sigmund Freud and examines how he arrived at his groundbreaking conclusions. In discussing the elements that form personality, the author explains the pioneer thinker's ideas on defense mechanisms, the channeling of instinctual drives, and the role of sex in male and female maturation. Lucid, illuminating, and instructive, this is an important book for all who seek to understand human behavior, in themselves and others.


Book cover of The Psychology of Interpersonal Relations

Richard E. Nisbett Author Of Thinking: A Memoir

From my list on thinking.

Who am I?

Richard Nisbett is one of the world’s preeminent psychologists. His thinking is primarily about thought, but it is extremely wide-ranging – from biopsychology to social psychology to criminology to philosophy. His influence on philosophy has been compared to that of Freud and Skinner.

Richard's book list on thinking

Richard E. Nisbett Why did Richard love this book?

The book, written in mid-century, has some of the most powerful hypotheses of social psychology, which, along with the ideas of fellow émigré from Germany, Kurt Lewin, gave birth to the field of social psychology. Read Chapter 4 at least. I do every 5 years or so. The chapter gave rise to both dissonance theory and attribution theory, two of the major accomplishments of social psychology.

By Fritz Heider,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Psychology of Interpersonal Relations as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

First published in 1982. Routledge is an imprint of Taylor & Francis, an informa company.


Book cover of Uncommon Sense: The Heretical Nature of Science

Richard E. Nisbett Author Of Thinking: A Memoir

From my list on thinking.

Who am I?

Richard Nisbett is one of the world’s preeminent psychologists. His thinking is primarily about thought, but it is extremely wide-ranging – from biopsychology to social psychology to criminology to philosophy. His influence on philosophy has been compared to that of Freud and Skinner.

Richard's book list on thinking

Richard E. Nisbett Why did Richard love this book?

A remarkably charming book by a physicist who was a student of Hans Bethe. It shows the power and elegance of a scientific approach to matters that one might think would not be susceptible to scientific research.

By Alan Cromer,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Uncommon Sense is an innovative and lively examination of science and its historical development as an "unnatural" mode of thought. This book looks at why science developed in the West and what its implications have been for our society. This book will also challenge many assumptions about the nature and role of science in our world. Professor of Physics, Alan Cromer, examines not only the history of science and its unique mode of thought but also the way
that science is taught and suggests ways of restructuring the curriculum.

Uncommon Sense is an illuminating look at science, filled with provocative…


Book cover of Ways of Thinking of Eastern Peoples: India, China, Tibet, Japan

Richard E. Nisbett Author Of Thinking: A Memoir

From my list on thinking.

Who am I?

Richard Nisbett is one of the world’s preeminent psychologists. His thinking is primarily about thought, but it is extremely wide-ranging – from biopsychology to social psychology to criminology to philosophy. His influence on philosophy has been compared to that of Freud and Skinner.

Richard's book list on thinking

Richard E. Nisbett Why did Richard love this book?

The book shows some of the remarkable ways that Eastern and Western thought differs. I read the book 10 years before a brilliant Chinese student named Kaiping Peng came to work with me and told me right off the bat that I thought linearly and logically and he thought non-linearly and dialectically. That sounded like an exaggeration, but Nakamura’s book encouraged me to take Peng seriously. Our research together showed he was absolutely right. East Asian thought was shown by our experiments to be radically different in many ways from Western thought.

By Hajime Nakamura,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Ways of Thinking of Eastern Peoples as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

First published in 1997. Routledge is an imprint of Taylor & Francis, an informa company.


Book cover of Ever Since Darwin: Reflections on Natural History

Tom Newton Author Of Seven Cries of Delight

From my list on making you question the nature of reality.

Who am I?

By the age of nine, I was beginning to wonder why things were the way they were, or if indeed they were at all. Perhaps growing up the youngest of five siblings and listening to conflicting opinions set me on my course. One of my sisters introduced me to literature. I began to write plays based on Shakespeare and Monty Python. The love of absurdity took me early on. I liked books that offered a different view of reality. I still do, and it influences what I write today. I believe Borges said something to the effect that all authors keep writing the same book, just in different ways.

Tom's book list on making you question the nature of reality

Tom Newton Why did Tom love this book?

Ever Since Darwin is a compilation of essays Gould published in the magazine Natural History. The beauty of the book for me is its multifarious subject matter. He writes of biological and socio-political oddities—from matricidal flies, whose young, conceived without a father, eat their mother from the inside, to anthropocentric bias. 

In the late nineteenth century, scientists were able to prove what they already believed—that white male humans were the pinnacle of life. They did this by pouring sand into skulls to measure brain size, taking meticulous measurements, and always managed to fit a little more into those of white males.

Another of his topics is the theory that humans evolved from neotenous apes—apes which never matured to adulthood and retained their juvenile form.

He talks of slime mold which has the capacity to move as individual spores or combine into one organism, depending on environmental conditions.

For me…

By Stephen Jay Gould,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Ever Since Darwin as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Ever Since Darwin, Stephen Jay Gould's first book, has sold more than a quarter of a million copies. Like all succeeding collections by this unique writer, it brings the art of the scientific essay to unparalleled heights.


Book cover of A Natural History of the Senses

Rachel Herz Author Of Why You Eat What You Eat: The Science Behind Our Relationship with Food

From my list on intellectual and creative inspiration.

Who am I?

I’m a neuroscientist, author, educator, TEDx speaker, and leading expert on the psychological science of smell. I am captivated by stories and the “why” and “how” science of the world around us. The books I’ve chosen spoke to me during periods when I was seeking answers and blooming intellectually and creatively. They provided inspiration from the skill with which words were crafted and revelation from the ideas they conveyed. I owe these books a debt of gratitude and hope that my writing may offer to others a smidge of the illumination and motivation that these works gave to me.

Rachel's book list on intellectual and creative inspiration

Rachel Herz Why did Rachel love this book?

A Natural History of the Senses is gorgeously written and poetic while simultaneously presenting accurate basic science about our five senses. Diane Ackerman stunningly shows how a gifted writer can decipher a field, captivate the general public, and elicit the fascination and wonder that a topic deserves. I am also ever delighted by the fact that the book starts with the sense of smell, rather than relegating it to the least and last section as most books on our senses do. A Natural History of the Senses is a beautiful compendium of biology and a tour of human perception.

By Diane Ackerman,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A Natural History of the Senses as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Diane Ackerman's lusciously written grand tour of the realm of the senses includes conversations with an iceberg in Antarctica and a professional nose in New York, along with dissertations on kisses and tattoos, sadistic cuisine and the music played by the planet Earth.

“Delightful . . . gives the reader the richest possible feeling of the worlds the senses take in.” —The New York Times


Book cover of Perfume

Theresa Levitt Author Of Elixir: A Parisian Perfume House and the Quest for the Secret of Life

From my list on perfume and scent.

Who am I?

I am a historian of science who just completed a book on the role of perfume in the quest for the secret of life and vitality. While writing it, I became fascinated with the challenge of translating scent into language. While our nose can recognize a virtually infinite number of odors, there are only a few basic categories of description (“floral,” “woody,” “citrus,” etc.). To fully describe them often requires a poet’s touch – invoking a tapestry of memories, associations, and feelings to create the experience in the reader’s mind. These are some of the best books I’ve encountered for talking about the complex world of scent, and the importance of perfume in human history.

Theresa's book list on perfume and scent

Theresa Levitt Why did Theresa love this book?

A gruesome story of murder and desire that also happens to have the most vivid olfactory descriptions of any genre.

Suskind’s preternatural ability to summon odor from the page makes you feel as if you are there beside him, walking through the flowered hillsides of Provence, or in the back room of a perfume shop on the Pont au Change. His twisted use of classic perfume techniques is as accurate as it is chilling.

By Patrick Suskind,

Why should I read it?

8 authors picked Perfume as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

An erotic masterpiece of twentieth century fiction - a tale of sensual obsession and bloodlust in eighteenth century Paris

'An astonishing tour de force both in concept and execution' Guardian

In eighteenth-century France there lived a man who was one of the most gifted and abominable personages in an era that knew no lack of gifted and abominable personages. His name was Jean-Baptiste Grenouille, and if his name has been forgotten today.

It is certainly not because Grenouille fell short of those more famous blackguards when it came to arrogance, misanthropy, immorality, or, more succinctly, wickedness, but because his gifts…


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