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50 Shades of Grey, anyone?

Summer reading? Where do you stand on 50 Shades of Grey? Have you succumbed like most of the rest of the English reading world or are you resisting and looking for something else to read? I’ve decided there are still too many tempting titles on my to-read pile to cave in to what is by all accounts not- brilliantly written light pornography…. Here is a quick round-up of books I hope may be of interest to fellow AWiSE members- and am always open to suggestions for new books to read myself!

Shades of Grey by Jasper FForde
Almost namesake of the current top 1-3 in the fiction ….  This one I do recommend. It’s a great read (and incredibly well-written) about a future world where people only see part of the colour spectrum and are defined by what colour they see. It’s very clever how you get sucked into the way of thinking of this fictional society.

On to recommendations that have more to do with CamAWiSE…

Dorothy Hodgkin: a life by Georgina Ferry
Dorothy Hodgkin is a true role model for women in science as the only British female to have won a Nobel Prize for a science subject (is this really still true?). Georgina Ferry spoke at a Cambridge AWiSE event last year and she inspired me to read  her biography and I loved it- I will write a review on it for this blog soon.

Georgina Ferry has also covered Max Perutz’s life story, which is also well worth reading (although I think it shines through that she wasn’t as enamoured with Max as she was with Dorothy- or did I think I picked up on this as Georgina mentioned it in her talk?)

Experimental Heart by Jennifer Rohn
Jennifer Rohn spoke on the panel of WiSE UP about her career, which has seen her move out of academia into a small start-up in the Netherlands, then into scientific publishing, being a literary author, back into academia and also as an activist and founder of Science is Vital. Experimental Heart is her first novel and definitely worth a read for all you lab scientists as it is about hard-working postdocs in a London Cancer research centre. I have already reviewed her second novel, the Honest Look on this blog.

Academeology by Female Science Professor
There is a link from this page to Athene Donald’s blog on Occam’s typewriter. If you are in academia or are considering a career in academia, this blog is a must-read. Luckily now the blog has been bundled and rewritten to work in bookform! Athene is a thoughtful, witty and prolific writer as well as a figurehead ‘Female Science Professor’. She is also  due to speak at one of our events next spring…

The Seven Daughters of Eve by Bryan Sykes
I love popular science books! Any recommendations? This one sprung to mind because it is about women, kind of. The thesis is that as we all get our mitochondrial DNA undiluted from our mothers, it should be possible to trace the founding mothers of the tribes all currently surviving people. Brilliantly written and as far as I can tell sound science

Life Ascending by Nick Lane
The last popular science book I have read. It covers the ten greatest inventions of life, from the origin of life to the evolutionary sense of death… Here’s how much I recommend it: I have since bought three copies to give to friends!

Tennie Videler

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