The most recommended circulatory system books

Who picked these books? Meet our 6 experts.

6 authors created a book list connected to circulatory system, and here are their favorite circulatory system books.
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Book cover of Harvey's Heart: The Discovery of Blood Circulation

Helen King Author Of Greek and Roman Medicine

From my list on discovering the circulation of the blood.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been fascinated by history since I was a fairly sickly child, which means I was gradually drawn towards the history of medicine. Add to that having a hereditary blood clotting condition and you can see why this topic appeals to me! I have a BA and a PhD in History from University College London and have held posts in the universities of Cambridge, Newcastle, Reading, and then at The Open University. I’ve also held visiting professorships in Vienna, Texas, and Minnesota and have published six books as well as editing others. I’m sort of retired but still writing and lecturing.

Helen's book list on discovering the circulation of the blood

Helen King Why did Helen love this book?

Harvey’s Heart is a tiny book but it packs in a lot, including plenty of illustrations. I used to teach the history of medicine and I found blood circulation a difficult topic – I’m squeamish myself, and faint at blood tests, which doesn’t help! But this book makes Harvey’s ideas very clear, not least how something we now take for granted wasn’t obvious at all until the 17th century.

His breakthrough was a weird mix of building on discoveries by others – such as knowing that valves stop the blood moving backwards – while observing, experimenting, and speculating for himself. Although he published his theory in 1628, he seems to have worked it out maybe ten years earlier. The conventions of science in his day meant he had to offer it to the world rather cautiously, because saying that the ancients had got it wrong was a dangerous claim…

By Andrew Gregory,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Harvey's Heart as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The tale of William Harvey's momentous discovery - that the blood vessels form a closed system, carrying blood pumped rapidly around the body by the heart - is one of ingenuity, imagination and perseverence, and remarkable use of experiment, observation and skill.


Book cover of The Grid: A Journey Through the Heart of Our Electrified World

Christopher J. Lynch Author Of Dark State

From my list on electrical grid vulnerabilities and our survival.

Why am I passionate about this?

I worked as an industrial electrician for over two decades. At one point during a meeting to discuss an upcoming project, a question was posed about the delivery time of a specific piece of equipment. When the answer was given that it would be about a year away, it got me thinking: what if a specialized piece of equipment—critical to the grid and with an equally long lead time—was destroyed, how would the grid survive? More importantly; how would we survive? That single statement was the spark that ignited the fire in me to learn all about the grid, and to write Dark State.   

Christopher's book list on electrical grid vulnerabilities and our survival

Christopher J. Lynch Why did Christopher love this book?

Although there are novels with the same title, I chose the non-fiction, The Grid, by Phillip F. Schewe, as another one of the books that influenced the writing of my own book. Even though I was formerly an industrial electrician by trade, I only understood the function of the various components within the grid, and didn’t possess an intimate understanding of how it all tied together. In fact, this was the first book I ever read on the topic and it helped lay the groundwork for my knowledge. And although it is fact-based, it’s not overly technical and is written in such a way that it entertains as well as enlightens.

Most importantly however, was the fact that the book highlighted the vulnerability of a single key component of the grid (High-Power Transformers) and this understanding helped me develop the plot for my book.   

By Phillip F. Schewe,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The electrical grid goes everywhere-it's the largest and most complex machine ever made. Yet the system is built in such a way that the bigger it gets, the more inevitable its collapse.

Named the greatest engineering achievement of the 20th century by the National Academy of Engineering, the electrical grid is the largest industrial investment in the history of humankind. It reaches into your home, snakes its way to your bedroom, and climbs right up into the lamp next to your pillow. At times, it almost seems alive, like some enormous circulatory system that pumps life to big cities and…


Book cover of An Instance of the Fingerpost

Robert J. Lloyd Author Of The Bloodless Boy

From my list on science-based historical fiction novels.

Why am I passionate about this?

I write as Robert J. Lloyd, but my friends call me Rob. Having studied Fine Art at a BA degree level (starting as a landscape painter but becoming a sculpture/photography/installation/performance generalist), I then moved to writing. During my MA degree in The History of Ideas, I happened to read Robert Hooke’s diary, detailing the life and experiments of this extraordinary and fascinating man. My MA thesis and my Hooke & Hunt series of historical thrillers are all about him. I’m fascinated by early science, which was the initial ‘pull’ into writing these stories, but the political background of the times (The Popish Plot and the Exclusion Crisis, for example) is just as enticing. 

Robert's book list on science-based historical fiction novels

Robert J. Lloyd Why did Robert love this book?

This is the only ‘whodunnit’ on my list, but it’s so much more. (As are all the best ‘whodunnits’.)

For a start, it’s told from four different points of view. My own books use the early history of the Royal Society, its science, and various of its actual ‘Fellows,’ and this book was undeniably an influence. Pears details the politics and religious turmoil of the time and the excitement of new scientific discoveries.

The mid-17th century’s rigid social structure and manners are shown starkly, as is the misogyny. I found it dark, layered, and although complex, it’s immediately engaging. A very satisfying book indeed!

By Iain Pears,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked An Instance of the Fingerpost as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'A fictional tour de force which combines erudition with mystery' PD James

Set in Oxford in the 1660s - a time and place of great intellectual, religious, scientific and political ferment - this remarkable novel centres around a young woman, Sarah Blundy, who stands accused of the murder of Robert Grove, a fellow of New College. Four witnesses describe the events surrounding his death: Marco da Cola, a Venetian Catholic intent on claiming credit for the invention of blood transfusion;Jack Prescott, the son of a supposed traitor to the Royalist cause, determined to vindicate his father; John Wallis, chief cryptographer…


Book cover of The Circulation of the Blood and Other Writings

Helen King Author Of Greek and Roman Medicine

From my list on discovering the circulation of the blood.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been fascinated by history since I was a fairly sickly child, which means I was gradually drawn towards the history of medicine. Add to that having a hereditary blood clotting condition and you can see why this topic appeals to me! I have a BA and a PhD in History from University College London and have held posts in the universities of Cambridge, Newcastle, Reading, and then at The Open University. I’ve also held visiting professorships in Vienna, Texas, and Minnesota and have published six books as well as editing others. I’m sort of retired but still writing and lecturing.

Helen's book list on discovering the circulation of the blood

Helen King Why did Helen love this book?

Go on. Give yourself a treat! Read the book which started it all! There’s nothing quite like reading the original source. Harvey wrote in Latin but this is a good translation with an excellent introduction by Andrew Wear, an expert on the period. And as a bonus, the Everyman edition includes The Anatomy of Thomas Parr – an account of the dissection of a Shropshire farmer said to be 152 years old, performed by Harvey himself. What killed Parr? Coming to London, a city “full of the filth of men”. Be warned!

By William Harvey, Kenneth Franklin (translator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Circulation of the Blood and Other Writings as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This work has been selected by scholars as being culturally important and is part of the knowledge base of civilization as we know it.

This work is in the public domain in the United States of America, and possibly other nations. Within the United States, you may freely copy and distribute this work, as no entity (individual or corporate) has a copyright on the body of the work.

Scholars believe, and we concur, that this work is important enough to be preserved, reproduced, and made generally available to the public. To ensure a quality reading experience, this work has been…


Book cover of Blood: An Epic History of Medicine and Commerce

Helen King Author Of Greek and Roman Medicine

From my list on discovering the circulation of the blood.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been fascinated by history since I was a fairly sickly child, which means I was gradually drawn towards the history of medicine. Add to that having a hereditary blood clotting condition and you can see why this topic appeals to me! I have a BA and a PhD in History from University College London and have held posts in the universities of Cambridge, Newcastle, Reading, and then at The Open University. I’ve also held visiting professorships in Vienna, Texas, and Minnesota and have published six books as well as editing others. I’m sort of retired but still writing and lecturing.

Helen's book list on discovering the circulation of the blood

Helen King Why did Helen love this book?

We think of blood as a gift: if you’re a blood donor you ‘give’ blood. But this book examines how it became a marketable commodity. It starts with Harvey but goes up to CJD and the AIDS crisis. It’s a fascinating story of generosity and greed as well as of those who worked in hematology in the early days when very little was known for sure. With lots of engrossing anecdotes, Starr brings to life the people whose experiments led to our knowledge today.

By Douglas Starr,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The story of blood is a story of transformation, divided into three eras. The first period, from antiquity to the early twentieth century, involves the transformation of blood from a magical substance - the blood of Christ as holy sacrament - to a component of human anatomy, capable of being studied and turned into a source of healing. In the next era, which lasts until the end of the Second World War, the scientific curiosity of blood becomes a strategic material. We see medical scientists master the resource, learning the techniques of mass collections and storage, ironically aided in their…