The best books about curiosity

Who picked these books? Meet our 22 experts.

22 authors created a book list connected to curiosity, and here are their favorite curiosity books.
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What type of curiosity book?



By Philip Ball,

Book cover of Curiosity: How Science Became Interested in Everything

Samuel Arbesman Author Of The Half-Life of Facts: Why Everything We Know Has an Expiration Date

From the list on how science actually works.

Who am I?

I’m a Scientist in Residence at Lux Capital, a venture capital firm that invests in startups at the frontiers of science and technology. I have a PhD in computational biology and focused my academic research on the nature of complex systems, but I soon became fascinated by the ways in which science grows and changes over time (itself a type of complex system!): what it is that scientists do, where scientific knowledge comes from, and even how the facts in our textbooks become out-of-date. As a result of this fascination, I ended up writing two books about scientific and technological change.

Samuel's book list on how science actually works

Discover why each book is one of Samuel's favorite books.

Why did Samuel love this book?

Primarily a historical work, this book explores how curiosity went from a kind of strange and disreputable act to something that became celebrated and tamed as part of the scientific process. With a focus on the early days of modern science, it is filled with a huge number of delightful examples of what passed for curiosity in previous centuries.

By Philip Ball,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

There was a time when curiosity was condemned. To be curious was to delve into matters that didn't concern you - after all, the original sin stemmed from a desire for forbidden knowledge. Through curiosity our innocence was lost.

Yet this hasn't deterred us. Today we spend vast sums trying to recreate the first instants of creation in particle accelerators, out of pure desire to know. There seems now to be no question too vast or too trivial to be ruled out of bounds: Why can fleas jump so high? What is gravity? What shape are clouds? Today curiosity is…


By Donna Kossy,

Book cover of Kooks: A Guide to the Outer Limits of Human Belief

Michael Tau Author Of Extreme Music: From Silence to Noise and Everything In Between

From the list on absolutely arcane corners of human existence.

Who am I?

Following mysterious trails and uncovering esoteric stories: it’s what I love to do, and it’s also what I love to read about. Before I released Extreme Music, I wrote extensively about unusual music subcultures and audiological anomalies, for example artists who put out hourlong blocks of unchanging white noise. I’ve learned that the most interesting ideas – and tales – exist in these outer fringes.

Michael's book list on absolutely arcane corners of human existence

Discover why each book is one of Michael's favorite books.

Why did Michael love this book?

I promise you my publisher isn’t strong-arming me into including this (now long out of print) book – which I stumbled upon years before I linked up with them. A spin-off of Kossy’s zine of the same name, Kooks is a kind-spirited examination of several conspiracy theorists, aspiring cult leaders, and miscellaneous cranks. In each profile, Kossy does her best to meticulously research her topic, digging deep into piles of rambling documents so that you don’t have to. Who can forget Francis E. Dec, sworn enemy of the Mad Deadly Worldwide Communist Gangster Computer God, who mailed out unintelligible hand-typed diatribes to media outlets for years?

By Donna Kossy,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A rich compendium of looniness!

Weird Kentucky

By Jeffrey Scott Holland,

Book cover of Weird Kentucky: Your Travel Guide to Kentucky's Local Legends and Best Kept Secrets

Keven McQueen Author Of Kentucky Book of the Dead

From the list on Kentucky weirdness.

Who am I?

As a lifelong Kentuckian with a lifelong fascination for history, true crime, biography, and the supernatural, once I started writing, I pursued these and related topics. The writer Charles Fort’s research methods interested me: he read old newspapers looking for forgotten stories. That seemed a good way to find little-known information. I am a lecturer in the English Department at Eastern Kentucky University and have spent two decades reading old newspapers issue by issue between classes and taking notes on possible stories. The books on my list also include much detail on entertaining obscurities, and I hope you enjoy them. 

Keven's book list on Kentucky weirdness

Discover why each book is one of Keven's favorite books.

Why did Keven love this book?

This is a lavishly illustrated collection of old and new oddities from around the state, including cryptids, ghosts, cave mummies, UFOs, roadside attractions, the Melungeons (what’s a Melungeon? Read it and see), and the famous Blue People.

I was attracted by the entertaining writing style, the inclusion of both documented fact and folklore, and biographies of historical characters.

By Jeffrey Scott Holland,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

"Best Travel Series of the Year 2006!"—Booklist

What’s weird around here?

That’s a question Mark Moran and Mark Sceurman have enjoyed asking for years—and their offbeat sense of curiosity led them to create the bestselling phenomenon, Weird N.J. Now the weirdness has spread throughout key locales in the U.S. Each fun and intriguing volume offers more than 250 illustrated pages of places where tourists usually don’t venture—it’s chock-full of oddball curiosities, ghostly places, local legends, crazy characters, cursed roads, and peculiar roadside attractions. What’s NOT shockingly odd here: that every previously published Weird book has become a bestseller in its…


By Kelly DiPucchio, Raissa Figueroa (illustrator),

Book cover of Oona

Emily Neilson Author Of Can I Give You a Squish?

From the list on underwater books for your little sea monster.

Who am I?

I am writing this list because I am a sea monster. I’m the sort of sea monster who loves merpeople, pirates, sharks, dolphins, octopuses, shipwrecks, and…did I miss anything? Oh yes, piranhas. Some people have pointed out that I look like a regular adult human, but really it’s just a trick of the light. I like to make stories, draw pictures, and build miniature environments for stop motion animated films. My typical day is spent gluing miniature flowers to miniature rocks, or screwing miniature chairs to miniature floors. It’s the sort of job that makes you feel like magic is around every corner. Because it is, probably.

Emily's book list on underwater books for your little sea monster

Discover why each book is one of Emily's favorite books.

Why did Emily love this book?

It’s impossible not to fall head over heels in love with the little mermaid explorer Oona and her sea otter friend Otto. The adorable duo was created by illustrator Raissa Figueroa who has this amazing ability to make all her characters completely irresistible and her environments rich with atmospheric colors and magical details. I can’t wait to see what adventures Oona and Otto go on next!

By Kelly DiPucchio, Raissa Figueroa (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

This comical and heartfelt picture book is a winning celebration of invention, creativity, and friendship. With gorgeous underwater scenes and a crowd-pleasing tale, this is one little mermaid who is here to make a splash!

New York Times bestselling author Kelly DiPucchio and Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award winner Raissa Figueroa would like to introduce Oona-the big wide sea's littlest mischief-maker.

Oona and her best friend Otto love to search for treasure...and often find trouble instead.

Messy trouble.

Tricky trouble.

Even shark-related trouble.

That's never stopped them before, though!

After all, no proper treasure hunt is without some adventure. But…

Book cover of The Book of Barely Imagined Beings

Sam Kean Author Of The Icepick Surgeon: Murder, Fraud, Sabotage, Piracy, and Other Dastardly Deeds Perpetrated in the Name of Science

From the list on the wonders of biology.

Who am I?

Sam Kean is the New York Times bestselling author of five books, including The Bastard Brigade, The Dueling Neurosurgeons, and The Disappearing Spoon. He edited The Best American Nature and Science Writing in 2018, and his stories have appeared in The New Yorker, The Atlantic Monthly, The New York Times Magazine, and Slate. His work has been featured on NPR’s “Radiolab,” “Science Friday,” “All Things Considered,” and “Fresh Air,” and his podcast, The Disappearing Spoon, debuted at #1 on the iTunes charts for science podcasts.

Sam's book list on the wonders of biology

Discover why each book is one of Sam's favorite books.

Why did Sam love this book?

Imagine a medieval bestiary of whimsical creatures, but with a twist. Instead of being imaginary, the animals here really exist. The book moves alphabetically from axolotl to zebrafish, with a new delight on every page. It’s a perfect reminder of what biologist J.B.S. Haldane once said: that the universe is not only stranger than we imagine, it’s stranger than we can imagine.

By Caspar Henderson,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

From Axolotl to Zebrafish, discover a host of barely imagined beings: real creatures that are often more astonishing than anything dreamt in the pages of a medieval bestiary. Ranging from the depths of the ocean to the most arid corners of the earth, Caspar Henderson captures the beauty and bizarreness of the many living forms we thought we knew and some we could never have contemplated, inviting us to better imagine the precarious world we inhabit.

A witty, vivid blend of pioneering natural history and spiritual primer, infectiously celebratory about life's sheer ingenuity and variety, The Book of Barely Imagined…

Book cover of The Big Book of the Dead

Emily Blejwas Author Of Like Nothing Amazing Ever Happened

From the list on for contemplating mortality.

Who am I?

Emily Blejwas directs the Alabama Folklife Association. She is the author of The Story of Alabama in Fourteen Foods (UA Press) and two middle grade novels: Like Nothing Amazing Ever Happened and Once You Know This (Random House). Emily grew up in Minnesota, attended Auburn University, and now lives in Mobile, Alabama with her husband and four children.

Emily's book list on for contemplating mortality

Discover why each book is one of Emily's favorite books.

Why did Emily love this book?

The premise is simple but ingenious. Winik catalogs the lives and deaths of people she’s known throughout her life, some well, others hardly at all. Each entry is no longer than a page or two, and her writing is stark and unruffled, creating moments of dark humor. She never glorifies the departed, yet her emotion buzzes below the surface. And you immediately wonder how your own page or two might go.

By Marion Winik,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Marion Wink is esteemed for bringing humor and wit to that most unavoidable of subjects: death.

At last, Winik's critically acclaimed, cult favorites, Glen Rock Book of the Dead and Baltimore Book of the Dead, have been carefully combined in their proper chronological order, revealing more clearly than ever before the character hidden throughout these stories: Winik herself.

Featuring twelve additional vignettes along with a brand-new introduction, The Big Book of the Dead continues Winik's work as an empathetic, witty chronicler of life.

Book cover of The Rough Guide to Unexplained Phenomena 2nd Edition

Guido Mina di Sospiro Author Of Forbidden Fruits: An Occult Novel

From the list on extra-canonical voyages that will challenge you.

Who am I?

I learned the Western Canon at school and from various teachers during my youth; all along, I was yearning for something other, different, and, possibly, truer. Since my early twenties I've been exploring another canon, which exists in opposition to the Aristotelian-Euclidean-Cartesian-Newtonian-Darwinian/Spencerian one. While the western world in the 21st century is free from alacritous canon-enforcing enterprises such as the Holy Inquisition, it nevertheless operates by a canon that remains very much the mentioned Aristotelian-Euclidean-Cartesian-Newtonian-Darwinian/Spencerian one, inculcated into us all from kindergarten to the grave, echoed not only by schools of all levels, but by governments, the media, official institutions and nonofficial entities, and, last but not least, by the entertainment industry. 

Guido's book list on extra-canonical voyages that will challenge you

Discover why each book is one of Guido's favorite books.

Why did Guido love this book?

With scholarly discipline but also with a decidedly English sense of humor, The Rough Guide to Unexplained Phenomena 2 takes a path along that shadowy territory between the known and the unknown, between the dogmas of mainstream scientists and the reality of phenomena that happen regardless of (or even in spite of) such dogmas, much as, in a dramatic reversal, Galileo said centuries ago, after being forced to recant his claim that the Earth moved around the immovable sun: “And yet it moves.” (Back then, science, in its nascent state, was based on unbiased inquiry and rejected dogmas de facto. Today, mainstream science has morphed into a scientific priesthood.) The late John Michell was the author of, among others, View over Atlantis, one of the cult reads of the 1970s; Bob Rickard is the founder and editor of the Fortean Times.

By John Michell, Bob Rickard,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Rough Guide to Unexplained Phenomena 2nd Edition as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The Rough Guide to Unexplained Phenomena is an exploration of the zone that lies between the known and the unknown, a shadowy territory that's home to the lake monsters, combusting people, teleporting frogs and man-eating trees. Taking a Fortean path between dogmatic scientists and credulous believers, the authors trace tales of wonder back to their sources, drawing from a huge archive of observations, opinions and discussions. This updated second edition boasts new illustrations and plenty of intriguing new sections from near death experiences to ghosts, haunted houses and mysterious mass deaths. There are many things which are not yet known…

The Gruffalo

By Julia Donaldson, Axel Scheffler (illustrator),

Book cover of The Gruffalo

Patricia Cleveland-Peck Author Of You Can't Let an Elephant Drive a Racing Car

From the list on children’s rhyming picture texts.

Who am I?

I am passionately keen on poetry of many types because, whether rhyming or not, most poetry employs rhythm which is something that has a subconscious appeal to human senses. For children, rhyme provides an easy introduction to poetry and I enjoy using it because children themselves love it. Mums tell me that they are asked to read the same book time and time again – and not to try to skip any spreads! At the age of three, before she could read, my son’s goddaughter knew the whole of You Can’t Take an Elephant on the Bus by heart. The rhymes children hear when very young remain with them, sometimes forever. 

Patricia's book list on children’s rhyming picture texts

Discover why each book is one of Patricia's favorite books.

Why did Patricia love this book?

Julia Donaldson is the supremo of rhyming. I am certainly not the only writer she has inspired. All her books are really well crafted and the fact that she is a singer and very musical can be felt by reading her exemplary rhyme.  

I recommend this book, the first which made her name in this genre, because it has all the qualities of a best rhyming text. It tells a story to which children can relate, is never boring, and has an unerring and satisfying beat.

By Julia Donaldson, Axel Scheffler (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Julia Donaldson's trademark rhyming text and Axel Scheffler's brilliant, characterful illustrations come together in this perfect read aloud-a perfect gift for any special occasion!

A mouse is taking a stroll through the deep, dark wood when along comes a hungry fox, then an owl, and then a snake. The mouse is good enough to eat but smart enough to know this, so he invents . . . the gruffalo! As Mouse explains, the gruffalo is a creature with terrible claws, and terrible tusks in its terrible jaws, and knobbly knees and turned-out toes, and a poisonous wart at the end…

Weird Indiana

By Mark Marimen, James A. Willis, Troy Taylor

Book cover of Weird Indiana: Your Travel Guide to Indiana's Local Legends and Best Kept Secrets

Bill Lindsay Author Of Curse of a Devil

From the list on variety of quest for knowledge.

Who am I?

Ghost stories were always a part of my childhood. I believe most people wonder about what comes ‘after’. I have tried to keep up with the latest information regarding the unusual. I was a paranormal searcher and spent much time in the woods and forests. I have seen a few unusual, unexplained things. Curiosity and the thirst for knowledge still burn inside me. I suppose the mundane and redundant characteristics of my job gave me a desire to keep my mind searching for answers to difficult questions.  

Bill's book list on variety of quest for knowledge

Discover why each book is one of Bill's favorite books.

Why did Bill love this book?

As if Illinois wasn’t weird enough. This book continues with local lore, legends, and unexplained from across the stream with Vincennes as my way point. It is apparent how much effort was put into researching these stories. Not only paranormal and cryptids are featured but, history and unique locations of interest are exhumed. The photography and graphics are top notch and lure the reader further into the book. Weird Illinois and Indiana are both works of art and full of stories to interest the most skeptical reader. 

By Mark Marimen, James A. Willis, Troy Taylor

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Enjoy a relaxing picnic in Shades of Death Park. Witness those eerie glowing spots known as Moody's Light. Slap another layer of color onto the world's biggest ball of paint, and yes, that really is a pink-spectacled elephant drinking a martini on the side of the road! From a town called Santa Claus to Indiana's most upright citizen--buried that way for almost 200 years--Weird Indiana proves that the Crossroads of America is also the Crossroads of the Weird!

Book cover of Opinions and Opossums

R.L. Toalson Author Of The First Magnificent Summer

From the list on young female empowerment.

Who am I?

I wrestled with big questions as a child, particularly concerning gender inequality. I was aware of the issue as young as 7 years old. I didn’t even feel comfortable challenging the way things were until I was a young adult. Thus began my journey of researching, studying, and embracing women’s rights and gender equality. I feel very passionate about presenting those big questions earlier in the lives of girls, so they start feeling comfortable challenging the places where things don’t make sense, or the areas where inequality still exists. There is a need for more books like these in the market, but I hope you enjoy this list!

R.L.'s book list on young female empowerment

Discover why each book is one of R.L.'s favorite books.

Why did R.L. love this book?

I love this book because it tackles big questions on the female front—including those young girls have about religion: Why is Eve blamed for everything? Why is God always portrayed as a man?

Main character Agnes itches with questions. But girls aren’t supposed to question authority. As she thinks more and more about the deep things, Agnes wrestles when her own opinions and finds her courage to challenge the status quo—as every girl needs to do!

By Ann Braden,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Agnes has been encouraged not to question authority by her mum-but that's especially hard in religion class, where it bugs her that so much gets blamed on Eve and that God's always pictured one way. Fortunately, Agnes' anthropologist neighbour, Gracy, gets Agnes thinking after they rescue an opossum together. Playing dead didn't serve the opossum well, so maybe it's time for Agnes to start thinking for herself. And when Agnes learns that some cultures picture God as a female, she feels freed to think-and write-about things from new perspectives. As she and her best friend, Mo, encourage each other to…

Seven Deadly Wonders

By Matthew Reilly,

Book cover of Seven Deadly Wonders

Alana Woods Author Of A Legal Affair

From the list on suspense intrigue thrillers.

Who am I?

I'm a career editor living in the place I love most in the world, Australia's federal capital, Canberra. It's a small city encircled by mountains and populated with so many trees it's affectionately known as The Bush Capital. I love reading most genres but contemporary suspense intrigue above all. I know these books generally fall under the larger Thriller genre but I often feel that's a misnomer, and I think that applies to my novels. I love the range of stories this genre encompasses: it can take you anywhere in the world, into any situation, and follow any type of person as they attempt to come to grips with, and usually right, the wrongs of the world.

Alana's book list on suspense intrigue thrillers

Discover why each book is one of Alana's favorite books.

Why did Alana love this book?

Reilly, unlike my first two picks, is still alive and producing books.  And he's Australian so I'm giving him a plug! On top of that, he's an international bestseller who is now turning his attention to directing films based on his own books. Keep an eye out for Interceptor starring Elsa Pataky in early 2022 on Netflix. Seven Deadly Wonders is the first of a seven-book series following the exploits of hero Jack West Jr. If you like fast-paced then Reilly's stories are for you. He hits the ground at full speed and doesn't slow; you find yourself having to stop reading to catch your breath! Incredibly enjoyable reading.

By Matthew Reilly,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Bestselling author Matthew Reilly takes you on a thrilling treasure hunt in Seven Ancient Wonders.

It is the biggest treasure hunt in history with contesting nations involved in a headlong race to locate the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.

4500 years ago, a magnificent golden capstone sat at the peak of the Great Pyramid of Giza. It was a source of immense power, reputedly capable of bestowing upon its holder absolute global power. But then it was divided into seven pieces and hidden, each piece separately, within the seven greatest structures of the age.

Now, the coming of a…

Book cover of The Onion Book of Known Knowledge: A Definitive Encyclopaedia of Existing Information

David P. Murphy Author Of Zombies for Zombies: Advice and Etiquette for the Living Dead

From the list on absurdity.

Who am I?

It is said that Michelangelo could see a statue inside of a block of marble. I believe I have a similar gift – I can find the most idiotic angle to any given story or event and free it into the world. Okay, so some gifts are better than others but this “talent” has afforded me the ability to stay relatively sane in a completely nutso era. Relatively. And to underscore my qualifications, I would ask the reader to take a gander at my sample title below. I rest my case.

David's book list on absurdity

Discover why each book is one of David's favorite books.

Why did David love this book?

This is one of those books you can open to any page and immediately start laughing. It resembles an encyclopedia but every given subject is shredded with wit and insight. Personally, I’m eternally grateful to the folks at The Onion for trying to keep up with the organically occurring absurdity in modern life that now has rendered most satire obsolete. It must be a whole lot like dogpaddling. In Jell-O. In the dead of winter.

By The Onion,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Are you a witless cretin with no reason to live? Would you like to know more about every piece of knowledge ever? Do you have cash? Then congratulations, because just in time for the death of the print industry as we know it comes the final book ever published, and the only one you will ever need: The Onion's compendium of all things known. Replete with an astonishing assemblage of facts, illustrations, maps, charts, threats, blood, and additional fees to edify even the most simple-minded book-buyer, THE ONION BOOK OF KNOWN KNOWLEDGE is packed with valuable information-such as the life…

A Curious Mind

By Brian Grazer, Charles Fishman,

Book cover of A Curious Mind: The Secret to a Bigger Life

Karen Eber Author Of The Perfect Story: How to Tell Stories that Inform, Influence, and Inspire

From the list on unleashing your storytelling and creativity.

Who am I?

I have told stories since the age of five when I shared one about my different colored eyes. Tired of being pointed at and ridiculed for the thing I loved most about myself, I learned that stories can shift energy and create connection, even in the most artificial of settings. I’ve spent my career working in and with the Fortune 500 building leaders, teams, and culture, one story at a time. I’ve used storytelling to persuade people when one had the authority to say yes but 99 others could say no. Stories not only slowed their “No,” but they also helped me recruit them to persuade the decision makers.

Karen's book list on unleashing your storytelling and creativity

Discover why each book is one of Karen's favorite books.

Why did Karen love this book?

Brian Grazer is the silent figure behind so many popular, award-winning movies. He’s worked on films like Splash, A Beautiful Mind, and Apollo 13 and his films have been nominated for more than 47 Academy Awards.

In this book, he lets you peek behind the curtain at his creative process. Which is essentially that he embraces curiosity in all aspects of his life. When someone intrigues him, he spends time asking them questions to learn more. While the book is focused on his approach, it’s easy to take inspiration from his mindset and seek your own curiosity daily. 

By Brian Grazer, Charles Fishman,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked A Curious Mind as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

For decades, film and TV producer Brian Grazer has scheduled a weekly "curiosity conversation" with an accomplished stranger. From scientists to spies, and adventurers to business leaders, Grazer has met with anyonewilling to answer his questions for a few hours. These informal discussions sparked the creative inspiration behind many of Grazer's movies and TV shows, including Splash, 24, A Beautiful Mind, Apollo 13, Arrested Development, 8 Mile, J. Edgar, and many others.

A Curious Mindis a brilliantly entertaining, fascinating, and inspiring homage to the power of inquisitiveness and the ways in which it deepens and improves us. Whether you're looking…

Book cover of I Never Thought of It That Way: How to Have Fearlessly Curious Conversations in Dangerously Divided Times

Linda Rising Ph.D. Author Of More Fearless Change: Strategies for Making Your Ideas Happen

From the list on talking to people who don’t agree with us.

Who am I?

I have been on this journey for decades. I have just celebrated my 81st birthday and I am still learning. What I have seen is that most problems are people problems. That’s hard for me as a technical person with a Ph.D. in computer science. I have learned a lot the hard way and books like these have helped me. The books that helped the most were Fearless Change and More Fearless Change, written with my good friend and writing partner, Mary Lynn Manns. They changed my life. I hope these books will change yours.

Linda's book list on talking to people who don’t agree with us

Discover why each book is one of Linda's favorite books.

Why did Linda love this book?

Mónica Guzmán is not just another author and storyteller.

She’s also a supporter of an organization that is doing amazing things to bring our divided nation together – Braver Angels (check out

I thought I knew a lot about facilitation and listening but the folks at Braver Angels have opened doors for me that I didn’t know were there.

Please, please, please check them out and read Monica’s book!

By Monica Guzman,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked I Never Thought of It That Way as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?


"I can see this book helping estranged parties who are equally invested in bridging a gap-it could be assigned reading for fractured families aspiring to a harmonious Thanksgiving dinner." -New York Times

"Like all skills, these techniques take practice. But anyone who sincerely wants to bridge the gaps in understanding will appreciate this book. Guzman is emphatic about making an effort to work on difficult conversations." -Manhattan Book Review

We think we have the answers, but we need to be asking a lot more questions.

Journalist Monica Guzman is the loving liberal daughter of…

Flight Behavior

By Barbara Kingsolver,

Book cover of Flight Behavior

Jake Bittle Author Of The Great Displacement: Climate Change and the Next American Migration

From the list on modern society’s relationship with nature.

Who am I?

My name is Jake Bittle, and I’m a staff writer at the environmental magazine Grist, where I cover climate change and energy. I’m also the author of The Great Displacement: Climate Change and the Next American Migration, published by Simon & Schuster. In that book I try to explore how human beings interact with nature, and how we try to control nature by building a systematic and inflexible society. This is a theme that has always captivated me, ever since I moved as a teenager to a Florida subdivision built on the edge of a swamp, and it’s something I’m always on the lookout for in fiction as well as nonfiction.

Jake's book list on modern society’s relationship with nature

Discover why each book is one of Jake's favorite books.

Why did Jake love this book?

One of the first contemporary novels to take climate change seriously, and still one of the best.

The plot concerns a woman who finds millions of Monarch butterflies living in the valley near her Tennessee home, only to discover once scientists arrive that they have been driven from their native home farther south by the accelerating pace of global warming.

The novel takes a strong political stance but still manages to avoid becoming didactic, a real achievement when you consider how polarizing a subject climate change has become.

By Barbara Kingsolver,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

"The flames now appeared to lift from individual treetops in showers of orange sparks, exploding the way a pine log does in a campfire when it is poked. The sparks spiralled upward in swirls like funnel clouds. Twisters of brightness against grey sky."

On the Appalachian Mountains above her home, a young mother discovers a beautiful and terrible marvel of nature: the monarch butterflies have not migrated south for the winter this year. Is this a miraculous message from God, or a spectacular sign of climate change. Entomology expert, Ovid Byron, certainly believes it is the latter. He ropes in…

Weird Michigan

By Linda S. Godfrey,

Book cover of Weird Michigan: Your Travel Guide to Michigan's Local Legends and Best Kept Secrets

Amberrose Hammond Author Of Mysterious Michigan: The Lonely Ghost of Minnie Quay, the Marvelous Manifestations of Farmer Riley, the Devil in Detroit & More

From the list on the strange, unusual, and paranormal from Michigan.

Who am I?

I got my start in paranormal investigation when it was a popular fad around 2000 and joined a ghost-hunting group. I became obsessed with the history behind hauntings and why ghost stories and legends persist over time. This love of the ghostly combined with my love of books and literature led me down the path of writing. I enjoy sharing strange and spooky history because it puts people in touch with their state's history in a fun and interesting way. So many people think history is boring facts and dates, but share a ghost story or a true crime mystery, and you have people’s attention. When that story happened close to home? Even better!

Amberrose's book list on the strange, unusual, and paranormal from Michigan

Discover why each book is one of Amberrose's favorite books.

Why did Amberrose love this book?

If you love the strange and unusual in Michigan, this book is a wonderful addition to your book self for all ages. Linda Godfrey delivers a lively and fun collection of ghosts, UFOs, monsters, and other oddities. Plus, many fellow Michiganders lent their own experiences and spooky encounters with the paranormal to the book making it much more personal than just a list of paranormal locations.

By Linda S. Godfrey,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Is it weird that the Wolverine State may never have had any wolverines in it? We think so, and that suits us fine. The weirder the better, we say, and Michigan falls perfectly into that category. Oh, sure, big-time heroes like Charles Lindbergh and Madonna hail from here, and so does President Gerald Ford, but do they compare to superhero Captain Jackson, who strolls around town in a purple cape doing good deeds? Well, yes, maybe they do, but the captain, in our opinion, is more representative of our fine state. Because, let's face it, Michigan has a great big…

Forces of Nature

By Ammi-Joan Paquette, Laurie Ann Thompson,

Book cover of Forces of Nature: Two Truths and a Lie

Joyce Grant Author Of Can You Believe It? How to Spot Fake News and Find the Facts

From the list on to improve kids’ critical thinking.

Who am I?

I’m a journalist and a social media prof. I talk to thousands of kids every year about what they read on the Internet. And frankly, they’re confused—as we all are—about what’s true online and what isn’t. To spot misinformation, kids have to become better critical thinkers. That’s why I wrote Can You Believe It? and it’s why I’m recommending these great books. It’s also helpful to know what credible journalism looks like. My (TKN) is a kid-friendly news source that kids and teachers can trust. In addition to publishing TKN, I’ve authored six children’s books and I have a Master’s degree in Creative and Critical Writing. 

Joyce's book list on to improve kids’ critical thinking

Discover why each book is one of Joyce's favorite books.

Why did Joyce love this book?

This series is critical thinking on steroids. The reader is given three fact-filled stories and has to figure out which one isn’t true. Is there really a pit in Turkmenistan that has been burning for 40 years? Are there radioactive boars in Japan? Did Edgar Allan Poe carry his dead wife’s remains around in a snuffbox? The reader has to find facts and think critically to figure them out. There are three books in the series each with 27 stories, nine of which aren’t true. I recommend younger readers have an adult handy because the book is a bit more complicated to navigate than, say, a novel. End matter provides additional information including websites to help the reader analyze each article. Oh, and the three facts? Yes, yep and heck no.

By Ammi-Joan Paquette, Laurie Ann Thompson,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Crazy-but-true stories about the natural world make this acclaimed nonfiction series perfect for fans of curiosities and wonders—and anyone looking to explore ways to separate fact from fiction. This nonfiction chapter book is an excellent choice to share during homeschooling, in particular for children ages 7 to 9 who are reading independently. It’

Did you know that too many fidget spinners spinning in the same direction could have an adverse effect on Earth’s gravitational field? Or that the remains of a deceased loved one can be turned into a diamond? Or that the loudest known sound in history was made…