Carl Zimmer is a columnist at the New York Times, where his column “Matter” appears each Thursday. In his books, essays, articles, and blog posts, Zimmer reports from the frontiers of biology, where scientists are expanding our understanding of life. He is a popular speaker at universities, medical schools, museums, and festivals, and he is also a guest on radio programs such as Radiolab and This American Life.

Charles Darwin: A Biography, Vol. 1 – Voyaging

Janet Browne

“A biography of the most important biologist in history that’s full of drama and humanity.”

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Herman Melville

“Every few years I find myself re-reading it.”

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Basin and Range

John McPhee

“When I despair of making science interesting or lyrical, this is the book I go to to remind myself I’m wrong.”

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The Panda’s Thumb: More Reflections in Natural History

Stephen Jay Gould

“Gould’s essays, especially from the 1970s, bring evolutionary theory into everyday life with unprecedented grace.”

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The Selfish Gene

Richard Dawkins

“For both its influence and its suppleness of style, this book is required reading.”

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The Age of Innocence

Edith Wharton

“Wharton’s powers with detail and character are almost terrifying.”

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Essays of E. B. White

E. B. White

“The death of a pig, the arrival of a hurricane–White can create an essay from anything.”

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Up in the Old Hotel

Joseph Mitchell

“Unforgettable portraits of old New York.”

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Complete Stories and Poems of Edgar Allan Poe

Edgar Allan Poe

“Written in the 1840s, yet so gripping today.”

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