Summer 2020 reading suggestions: science, fiction, and science fiction

Judging a book by the cover is something we denounce (and yet do) the world over. It is a crime, no doubt, as bad as judging a person by the face. So I suggest a less shallow way of picking: book postcards! I hope they feel like windows into the book souls.

Here’s a peek into readings from authors spanning across three centuries. There’s a mix of science, fiction, science fiction, and wholesome things. As you hop onto your summer voyages (or not, thanks to COVID-19), carry one (or more) of these along. Every page you turn, might turn your life. Happy reading!

Under the Sea-Wind

Rachel Carson

Under the Sea-Wind by Rachel Carson

Carson gives us a world from many non-human angles and perspectives. As climate change and environmental destruction ravage the planet, it might be a good time look back at how the environmental movement started in the US. The planet is ours, but not just ours.

Summer Lightning

P.G. Wodehouse

Summer Lightning by P.G. Wodehouse

The Jeeves and Wooster series is a great summer watch too. Hugh Laurie plays the hapless Bertrum Wooster, while the genius butler is played by Stephen Fry.

The Great Gatsby

F. Scott Fitzgerald

The Great Gatsby by Scott Fitzgerald

Quite the summer classic.

Suzie Bitner was Afraid of the Drain

Barbara Vance

Suzie Bitner was Afraid of the Drain

Here’s the website: Suzie Bitner

The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark

Carl Sagan

The Demon-Haunted World by Carl Sagan

Try not to get overly attached to a hypothesis just because it’s yours.

Something we could all do well to remember.

Harry Potter (series)

J. K. Rowling

Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling

This is aimed at those who say, “I’ve seen the movies. Why bother with the books?”

Also, J.K. Rowling’s latest book is available online! Read here: The Ickabog

Nautilus Magazine/Blog


Nautilus magazine/blog

Here’s the website: Nautilus

Also here on Medium: Nautilus — Medium

Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (series)

Douglas Adams

Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

We might be stuck at home. But our minds could vacation at the other end of the universe.


Maria Popova

Figuring by Maria Popova

Also check out The Universe in Verse, “a charitable celebration of science and nature through poetry.”

Moby Dick

Herman Melville

Moby Dick by Herman Melville

The whale wins, remember.

And a bonus:

Winnie the Pooh

A. A. Milne

Winnie the Pooh by A.A. Milne

We could all do with a few extra laughs this summer. Stay fed! Stay well!

Sea turtle researcher at Indian Institute of Science. I like science, writing, and science writing.

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