So, apparently, UC Berkeley sends out a reading list to incoming students every year. Not much new there–but this is cool–a cool SCIENCE book list! http://reading.berkeley.edu/srl_2009.html
And not just a list, but a "why you should care" letter from important people. Very cool!
Two of my favorites on the list:
Why People Believe Weird Things: Pseudoscience, Superstition, and Other Confusions of Our Time
New York: H. Holt, 2002
well-written and entertaining book is sure to stir up discussion and
debate. Shermer gives an excellent description of what science actually
is, a topic that is sorely lacking in most science classes and
textbooks. He also delves into how and why science comes up short at
times. The bulk of the book is about human tendencies to explain
phenomena they don’t understand with belief in things such as
extraterrestrials, ghosts, superstitions, and prejudices. Shermer is
respectful of those who subscribe to these beliefs, but presents the
reader with alternatives grounded in scientific thinking.
Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman!
New York: W.W. Norton, 1985
takes little time with this book to realize that this Nobel-winner was
truly a genius, but just as quickly you will recognize an incredible
sense of humor and someone who enjoys life and refuses to conform. It
seems he spent half his life doing practical jokes, and there was
usually a lesson in the joke for his victims. This has everything a
freshman needs in a summer read — from a series of entertaining life
experiences, to advice on how best to succeed with the opposite sex, to
the story of how the atom bomb got built. A great read!