Aczel, Amir D.
Pendulum: Leon Foucault and the Triumph of Science.

Presents Foucault as a tinkerer, outside the establishment. The book is more interesting when discussing Napoleon III. Could have had a better description of Foucault's pendulum.

Alder, Ken
The Measure of All Things: The Seven Year Odyssey and Hidden Error That Transformed the World
Written like an adventure novel. The best description of the French Revolution I've come across. About the mathematicians, scientists and geographers of that time, and the invention of the meter.

Alexander, Amir
Infinitesimal, How a Dangerous Mathematical Theory Shaped the Modern World
Shows the many roots of calculus, and how close mathematicians came to Newton.

Ali, Ayaan Hirsi
Infidel: My Life
About an atheist, and what they went through. Interesting contemporary history.

Anderson, Chris
The Long Tail: Why the Future of Business Is Selling Less of More
How it is now profitable to sell niche items, because the overhead for selling such items has dropped. Book was too repetitive, stretching the idea out far too long.

Austen, Jane
Sense and Sensibility
Follows the life of the Dashwood sisters. Very English, very Victorian.

Bell, Madison Smartt
Lavoisier in the Year One: The Birth of a New Science in an Age of Revolution

Very good read about chemistry and the French Revolution.

Besant, Walter
Captain Cook

An easy read. Cook died in 1779. Insight into navy life.

Blaise, Clark
Time Lord: Sir Sandford Fleming and the creation of standard time

It tries to make Fleming into the main character of creating standardized time, however the reader quickly realizes that the railroad barons and others were just as important.

Bly, Nellie
Around the World in Seventy-Two Days

You realize how small the world was, as people could take steam powered mail ships to most corners of the world. Also, how diverse the world till was.

Bond, Alexander Russell
Inventions of The Great War

Describes many of the small technical details of the time. Realize how complicated and advanced machines at this period were.

Boswell, James
The Life of Samuel Johnson Vol. 1 & 2

A delightful book to read. Mixes anecdotes, facts, psychology.

Bray, Hiawatha
You Are Here: From the Compass to GPS, the History and Future of How We Find Ourselves

Could have been more informative.

Bronte, Emily
Wuthering Heights

Set in the moors. Very gothic.

Bryant, Walter W.

A good introduction to Kepler.

Brynjolfsson, Erik
The Second Machine Age: Work, Progress, and Prosperity in a Time of Brilliant Technologies

A bit too much praise of the algorithm.

Bryson, Bill
A Short History of Nearly Everything

Lots of geology and discussions of the Krakatoa eruption of 1883.

Bryson, Bill
At Home A Short History of Private Life

A social history of each room in the home.

Bryson, Bill
One Summer: America, 1927

A social history of 1927; baseball and flying machines.

Cahill, Thomas
Heretics and Heroes: How Renaissance Artists and Reformation Priests Created Our World

Tries to do a survey of the 14th century.

Cahill, Thomas
Mysteries Of The Middle Ages

A survey of the Middle Ages with notes on Eleanor of Aquitaine and the Plantagenets, Roger Bacon, Thomas Aquinas, St. Francis of Assisi, Dante.

Carnegie, Andrew
James Watt

A good biography of Watt and the development of steam.

Chaucer, Geoffrey
The Canterbury Tales

Lots of good short stories, they feel almost modern. It feels like both a different world from ours, but the same.

Cheney, Margaret
Tesla Man Out Of Time

Lots of money issues, and lawsuits.

Church, R. W.

Much of this is about Bacon trying to get a court appointment from Queen Elizabeth.

Clegg, Brian
A Brief History of Infinity The Quest to Think the Unthinkable

It's a popular history, but doesn't try enough to be more. Still worth a read.

Corbin, Thomas W.
Marvels of Scientific Invention

A good description of many inventions of the time.

Crane, Nicholas
Mercator : The Man Who Mapped the Planet

Died in 1594. He revived the geometry of the Greeks to produce his map. Almost a thousands years between.

Cyres, Viscount St

Focuses almost exclusively on his religion. Good little life history table.

Dreyer, J.
A History of Astronomy From Thales to Kepler

Tries to be a definitive work. Very academic and detailed.

Dupuis, N. F.
Elements of Astronomy: Principally on the Mechanical Side
Written for Queen's University students, it uses locations near the campus in Kingston, Ontario for illustrative purposes (a nice touch). It's hard to find informative books that have the right level of basic, introductory knowledge, to a subject and math that can be followed. This book strikes the right balance. The last 10 pages, or so, are speculative about the environments of the planets, and are fun to read; seeing how far, and little, we've come in our understanding of the planets.

Durkheim, Emile

Defines different types of suicide. Uses statistics to show that different societies have steady rates of suicide, therefore there is a social aspect to suicide. One of the first books to use statistics in this manner.

Ferguson, Niall
The Ascent of Money

Talks about credit networks. Focus on Renaissance Italy.

Ferguson, Niall
The House of Rothschild: Volume 1: Money's Prophets: 1798-1848

Lots of detail in the book.

Field, Henry M.
Story of the Atlantic Telegraph

An adventure on the high seas. Fun read.

Foucault, Michel
Madness and Civilization: A History of Insanity in the Age of Reason

Social history of madness focusing on the power relations of the modern medical institutions.

Foucault, Michel
The Archaeology of Knowledge

Like most of Foucault's work, fun to read, but in retrospect, not very informative.

Foucault, Michel
Discipline and Punish

Transition from corporal punishment, to an overarching surveillance system.

Foucault, Michel
The History of Sexuality Vol I: The Will to Knowledge

A long social and popular history of sexuality and power.

Foucault, Michel
The Culture of the Self _UC Berkley 1983

An audio lecture talking about the rise of 'self'.

Freese, Barbara
Coal: A Human History

As the title implies, a social and geograhic history of coal.

Galton, Sir Francis
Hereditary Genius
Archive.Org 1869

The idea of a regression to the mean is partially invented here. Though not really developed or explicated stated. This is one of the craziest thought experiments ever carried out.

Gandhi, Mohandas
Third Class in Indian Railways

"It is a known fact that the third class traffic pays for the ever-increasing luxuries of first and second class travelling." A short work asking for justice.

Gertner, Jon
The Idea Factory: Bell Labs and the Great Age of American Innovation 2012

A history of Bell Labs, it created a production line for innovation.

Gleick, James
The Information A History, a Theory, a Flood

Discusses Claude Shannon's model.

Goldacre, Ben
Bad Pharma: How Drug Companies Mislead Doctors and Harm Patients

Describes how drug trails are rigged. Regulation is lacking.

Graeber, David
Debt The First 5,000 Years

Coming out of the financial crisis in 2008. An anthropologists attacks the myths, of how people historically exchanged goods, that economists tend to use.

Greenber, Paul
Four Fish, The Future of the Last Wild Food

Salmon, sea bass, cod, and tuna industries are examined for their sustainability.

Green, Tom
Bright Boys: The Making of Information Technology

Tells the story of building the first computer.

Gronow, Captain Rees Howell
The reminiscences and recollections of Captain Gronow, being anecdotes of the camp, court, clubs and society, 1810-1860
Archive.Org 1900

Many anecdotes, most forgettable, but a good audio book to listen to when idling.

Guizot, Francois
A Popular History of France from the Earliest Times

A definitive work, until the 19th century. Then the narrative, of the 19th century, is wrapped in Guizot's own perspective of being a moderate.

Gurney, Alan
Compass A Story of Exploration and Innovation

Once you have a compass, navigation become doable through dead reckoning. You only have to be so accurate to hit N. America, then find your way up or down the coast.

Hannam, James
God's Philosophers: How the Medieval World Laid the Foundations of Modern Science

Discusses the many mathematical achievements of the Medieval age.

Harari, Yuval
Sapiens, A Brief History of Humankind

The success of our species is due to cooperation.

Harris, Blake J.
Console Wars: Sega, Nintendo, and the Battle That Defined a Generation

Interesting to read the behind-the-scenes of many of the gaming stations I know.

Hemingway, Ernest
A Moveable Feast

Memoir, mostly about the 1920s.

Hiltzik, Michael
Dealers of Lightning: Xerox PARC and the Dawn of the Computer Age

Interesting to see how close Xerox came, and how hard it is to turn around a large organization.

Hitchens, Christopher
God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything

Hitchens' case against religion.

Hitchens, Christopher

Writes about his cancer.

Huizinga, Johan
Wanning Of The Middle Ages

Influential book, shows how a culture, with its art and literature dies and transitions to something else.

Huxley, Thomas H.
Advance of Science

Chronicles some of the scientific advances in the late 19th century.

Isaacson, Walter
Einstein: His Life and Universe

A good introduction to Einstein, his education and early life.

Isaacson, Walter
The Innovators: How a Group of Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution

Shows you need collaboration to succeed. Touches on many of the time periods in computer innovation.

Isaacson, Walter
Leonardo da Vinci

Thesis of the book; though people think Leonardo wasted too much time studying many random things, all his work helped to reinforce his paintings.

Isaacson, Walter
Steve Jobs

Tries to untangle many of the myths that Steve Jobs had created around him.

Jardine, Lisa
Ingenious Pursuits - Building the Scientific Revolution

Shows that most scientists are in rivalries and social circles that help them find discoveries.

Jeffreys, Diarmuid
Aspirin: The Remarkable Story of a Wonder Drug

Very well written book. Really the best history of the 20th century. Using he case study of aspirin, both the science behind it and the corporate power it is intertwined with.

Johnson, Steven
The Ghost Map: The Story of London's Most Terrifying Epidemic—and How It Changed Science, Cities, and the Modern World

Cholera epidemic that swept through London in 1854, and efforts to stop it. How a map did just that.

Kagan, Donald
Thucydides, The Reinvention of History

One of the first modern ways of writing history, Thucydides explores the history and causes of the The Peloponnesian War. Ends with a reminder that it is in our species nature to wage war, and it will happen again.

Kahneman, Daniel
Thinking, Fast and Slow

A series of case studies showing how some things are counter-intuitive.

Kaplan, Robert
The Art of the Infinite: The Pleasures of Mathematics

A slow dive into pre-calc.

Kaplan, Robert
The Nothing That Is: A Natural History of Zero

A good history of how zero slowly developed.

Kean, Sam
The Disappearing Spoon: And Other True Tales of Madness, Love, and the History of the World from the Periodic Table of the Elements

A fun read about the history of chemistry.

Kearns, Emily
Tea, A Miscellany Steeped With Trivia History and Recipes

A good mixture of history and fact.

Kurlansky, Mark
Salt, A World History

This genre is known as 'commodity history'.

Lacroix, Paul
Science and Literature in the middle ages

Older history books cover the basics. In more detail than today's history, perhaps because we have more to cover?

Lapsley, Phill
Exploding the Phone, The Untold Story of the Teenagers and Outlaws Who Hacked Ma Bell

Very compellingly written. Shows how people learn through hacking.

Lerer, Seth (The Teaching Company)
Histoy of English

Very fun series to listen to.

Levy, Steven
Crypto: How the Code Rebels Beat the Government Saving Privacy in the Digital Age

The story of how the idea of using public and private keys came about.

Levy, Steven
Hackers Heroes of the Computer Revolution

MIT's Tech Model Railroad Club is traced back as one the sources of the Hacker ethos. Profiles of Gates, Woz, etc.

Lewis, Michael
Flash Boys

High-frequency trading and gaming the stock market. Lots of Russian engineers, looking for work after the wall came down, started to game the system.

Lewis, Michael
The Big Short, Inside The Doomsday Machine

Lots about Credit Default Swaps and Collateralized Debt Obligations (CDO).

Lewis, Michael
The New New Thing: A Silicon Valley Story

Much centres around Jim Clark, founder of Netscape, and the building of his robotic sailboat. More so, Clark's disgust at how the programmers and engineers get exploited by Microsoft.

Lodge, Oliver
Pioneers Of Science

Focuses on astronomy. Standard summation of Kepler and Galileo. Last part focuses on the cool new discover of Neptune (1846).

Macmillan, Margaret
Paris, 1919: Six Months that Changed the World

A fun political romp through the diplomatic negotiations that determined the real outcome of the war.

Marc, Groucho
Groucho and Me

“He may look like an idiot and talk like an idiot but don't let that fool you. He really is an idiot.”

Marriott, John Arthur Ransome
England Since Waterloo
Archive.Org 1913

Discusses Crimea and Afghanistan, some things have long histories.

Mcgrayne, Sharon Bertsch
The Theory That Would Not Die: How Bayes' Rule Cracked the Enigma Code, Hunted Down Russian Submarines, & Emerged Triumphant from Two Centuries of Controversy

Too repetitive. Doesn't go into the math, stretches out anecdotes for filler.

McNish, Jacquie
Losing The Signal, The Spectacular Rise and Fall of BlackBerry

A deep dive into the last days of the company.

McRae, Charles
Fathers of Biology

Hippocrates, Aristotle, Galen, Vesalius, Harvey

Mlodinow, Leonard
The Upright Thinkers: The Human Journey from Living in Trees to Understanding the Cosmos

General history of science, written to be popular.

Monk, Ray
Robert Oppenheimer: A Life Inside the Center

Good biography, at over 800 pages.

Montanari, Massimo
Medieval Tastes: Food, Cooking, and the Table

Not exactly academic, but more than pop.

Moodie, Susanna
Roughing It In The Bush

Classic Canadiana. Upper Canada (Peterborough) in the 1830s.

Moss, Michael
Salt Sugar Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us

A good read explaining the problems with the food industry.

Muir, Pattison M. M.
The Story of Alchemy and the Beginnings of Chemistry

Chemistry renamed all the old names for elements, this book tries to unravel some of the old mysterious language. Last section about Priestly and Lavoisier is good.

Mullainathan, Sendhil
Scarcity: Why Having Too Little Means So Much

Central thesis is that scarcity, isn't just poverty, it is a divided focus.

Munro, John
The Story Of Electricity

By 1896 many of the basic principles were know, so the book is still valid.

Noble, Thomas
Popes and the Papacy, A History Course (The Teaching Company)

Learned about anti-popes. Much like Game of Thrones, learning about this history.

O'Hara, Rob
Commodork Sordid Tales from a BBS Junkie

This is the lost history of BBS systems, that needs more telling. Our telling is too much dictated by the corporate histories of Apple and Microsoft.

Orwell, George
Animal Farm

Always makes the top 100 lists of books to read.

Pafford, Isabelle
The Ancient Mediterranean World (UC Berkeley)

Glad that Berkeley puts up their courses for anyone to access.

Patterson, Scott
The Quants: How a New Breed of Math Whizzes Conquered Wall Street and Nearly Destroyed It

How hegfunds and MIT card-counters formed an unholy union.

Philip, James C.
The Romance Of Modern Chemistry

A pop culture lesson, from 1910, about what modern chemistry does.

Piketty, Thomas
Capital in the Twenty-First Century

Thesis: wealth based on 'rents' is almost exponential. Wealth based on wages is linear. This causes social unrest after several generations.

Poincare, Henri
Science and Hypothesis

Presenting non-euclidean geometry and probability to an advanced general audience.

Poincare, Lucien Antoine
The New Physics and Its Evolution

A quick jaint through the advanced physic of 1908, including radiation, wireless telegraphy, conductive gasses.

Pollan, Michael
Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation

Barbecue, bread, cheese; an deep dive into the science and culture of food.

Poore, George Vivian
London (Ancient And Modern) From The Sanitary And Medical Point Of View

A quick intro to sanitation in London, focusing on the medical institution.

Poovey, Mary
History of the Modern Fact: Problems of Knowledge in the Sciences of Wealth and Society

How the invention of double-entry book keeping shaped our ideas of knowledge.

Randall, John Herman
The Making of the Modern Mind: A Survey of the Intellectual Background of the Present Age

A long philosophical survey of how people thought. A massive tome, much religious philosophy.

Rand, Ayn
Atlas Shrugged

Really about following your passion, hating fascism and communism. Misinterpreted about being blindly capitalist.

Rawlings, Gertrude Burford
The Story of Books

Medieval libraries and the history of Gutenberg.

Russel, Bertrand
A History Of Western Philosophy

A pop history of philosophy and all you really need to read about philosophy.

Salatin, Joel
Folks, This Ain't Normal: A Farmer's Advice for Happier Hens, Healthier People, and a Better World

A good book, by someone that built an organic farm.

Saracci, Rodolfo
Epidemiology: A Very Short Introduction

Title says it all.

Saul, John Ralston
Voltaire's Bastards: The Dictatorship of Reason in the West

Enlightenment has turned into a world of technocrats. Much Canadian history in book.

Schiller, Friedrich von
Thirty Years War

Overly convoluted history of Germany from 1618 to 1648.

Singh, Simon
Fermat's Last Theorem

First conjectured by Pierre de Fermat in 1637.

Skelton, Oscar D
Chronicles of Canada Volume 32
The Railway Builders A Chronicle of Overland Highw

"...contagious American panics, poor harvests, and the Crimean War, which first raised the price of the wheat Canada had to sell, but later raised the price of the money she had to borrow, brought collapse in 1857."

Slocum, Joshua
Sailing Alone Around the World

A fun and true adventure book. The world was a different place back then. Simultaneously small and big.

Sokal, Robert

Stats text.

Steward, Amy
The Drunken Botanist: The Plants That Create the World's Great Drinks

Barley, juniper, rice; a history of many different plants that can be used in drinks.

Stewart, Ian
In Pursuit of the Unknown: 17 Equations That Changed the World

A good overview of 17 equations.

Thompson, Thomas
The History Of Chemistry

Much about Lavoisier.

Thorpe, Thomas Edward
History of Chemistry Volume 2 from 1850 to 1910

This volume concentrates on subject matter such as atomic theory and electricity.

Tolkien, J. R. R.
The Hobbit 1937

Fun to read.

Tolkien, J. R. R.
The Lord of the Rings 1937 - 1949

Written in sentiment to the Great War, during WWII?

Traill, Catharine Parr Strickland
The Backwoods of Canada

Unlike her sister's telling, this one is more upbeat.

Twain, Mark
Tom Sawyer

It still makes some people angry, lol and good.

Vance, Ashlee
Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future

At least his fortune is dedicated to engineering interesting things.

Vise, A. David
The Google Story

PhD project to start-up, and underlying system that generates this.

Candide: or, The Optimist

One of the best books written, out of the possibilities of all the books that could be written.

The Sincere Huron

Satirical book about European religions and politics. Uses the 'alien' in a new culture trope.

Wallace, Dillion
Lure of the Labrador Wild

True story. Ill prepared, forsaking local advice, a group of men decide to explore Labrador wilderness. With expected results.

Waltershausen, W. Sartorius
Carl Friedrich Gauss, A Memorial

Good summary of the legendary stories and mathematical advances.

Warner, Rebecca M.
Applied Statistics

Stats book. Sage has published a couple of pages of errata on their website. There is now a second edition. Warner is a professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of New Hampshire, and has taught statistics for 25 years. The book is marketed as suitable for undergraduate to graduate studies. This is generally correct, though not aimed at first year statistic students. Geared towards the social sciences. There are 21 chapters. Starting with a review of research design, then moving into the basics of Variance, Standard Deviation, z scores, and t tests. Progressing into ANOVA, Bivariate Correlation, Multiple Regression, Factor Analysis, Analysis of Covariance, Discriminant Analysis, and Multivariate Analysis of Variance. The last two chapters deal briefly with Time Series and Binary Logistic Regression. It's a very iterative book. Each chapter goes up one level of abstraction. The reader uses the same spirit of an idea, that is standardize scores, compute variance, then find an appropriate test. This repeat across the majority of chapters. Each chapter has an introduction into a concept, followed by a small SPSS data set. It's good that you don't really need to download any data-sets from the vendor, as the examples have a small amount of rows and columns. You can probably enter them in by hand if need be. Too bad this book isn't based around R, but uses SPSS. R is free, as in free speech and not free beer. And the R language can easily be integrated into other programming applications. Some of the data-sets seem to be dated, such as the Bem Sex-Role Inventory from 1974. Perhaps because is is an 'applied' book there is no history of where these formulas came from, so students lose out on an important context. But a discussion about how they've been abused by researchers. The book is almost laid out like a 'cookbook' style of text that has become popular in programming. The author's favourite quote is "Different slopes for different folks", the expression is peppered throughout the text. One peculiar thing, there is no ending to the book. There is a preface, but then the textbook just ends after the last chapter Binary Logistic Regression. There is a small intro into matrix algebra that is concise, in Chapter 14 "Multiple Regression With More Than Two Predictors". It would be nice to have all the formulas in one place, like the appendix, but they are generally summarized well in several places, and in table format, to see how they are related with one another.

Weatherall, James
The Physics of Wall Street: A Brief History of Predicting the Unpredictable

A large section on Louis Bachelier. Another on Edward Thorp.

Whitehead, Alfred North
Concept of Nature
Illinois Archive

"...when we remove the metaphysics and start afresh on an unprejudicedsurvey of nature, a new light is thrown on many fundamental concepts..."

Winchester, Simon
The Map That Changed the World: William Smith and the Birth of Modern Geology

A very good looking map. Published in 1815, and gave many further naturalists something to think about.

Winchester, Simon
The Professor And The Madman: A Tale Of Murder, Insanity, And The Making Of The Oxford English Dictionary

Sometimes it only takes a handful of eccentric people to make something happen.

Wood, William
Chronicles of Canada Volume 31: All Afloat: A Chronicle of Craft and Waterways

Pages 78-79 have a good discussion on finance and insurance in the early days of Canadian ship building.

Wozniak, Steve and Smith, Gina
iWoz: Computer Geek to Cult Icon: How I Invented the Personal Computer, Co-Founded Apple, and Had Fun Doing It

Nice to hear stories about the small hacking culture and early meetings of such groups.

Wright, Orville and Wilbur
Early History of the Airplane

They give a short account of the first flight in 1903.