Barry Strauss, The Trojan War, A New History (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2006). An historical account of the Trojan War of the Iliad.
Jack Weatherford, Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World (New York: Broadway Books, 2004). I visited a Genghis Khan exhibit at the Discovery Place museum in Charlotte, and bought this book in the bookstore on the way out.
Richard Dawkins, The Ancestor’s Tale, A Pilgrimage to the Dawn of Evolution (New York: Mariner, 2004). A rather long book. It starts with humans and goes back in time to ancestors we shared with other things that are living today. A chapter for each common ancestor as you go back in time to common ancestor of fish, plants, fungi, bacteria, etc. At each chapter he uses it to illustrate some points about evolution.
George Hudler, Magical Mushrooms, Mischevious Molds (Princeton, 1998). Book I read as an introduction to fungi because I work in a lab that does research on fungi.
Richard Dawkins, The Selfish Gene (Oxford, 1989). Probably Dawkins’ most popular and important work. Attempts to explain behaviour by what is most likely to transmit a gene.
Robert Fagles (translator) The Aeneid by Virgil (New York: Penguin, 2006). Classic work, one of the most famous books ever written. Decided to read it after seeing it mentioned several times in the book by Mary Beard about Rome.
Neil Shubin, Your Inner Fish A Journey into the 3.5-billion-year History of the Human Body (New York: Vintage, 2008). The writer describes his discovery of the fossil record of the missing link between fish and land animals. He also describes the anatomical similarity of fishes and other animals in development of an embryo.
Svante Paabo, Neanderthal Man In search of Lost Genomes (New York: Basic Books, 2014). Author writes about his lab’s research to extract dna from Neanderthal remains.
Matt Ridley, The Red Queen: Sex and the Evolution of Human Nature (New York: Harper). The book starts at a genetic level giving theories for the evolution of sex and genetic recombination. Then it looks at sexual activity of animals and how it can be explained by its effect on transmission of genes. Lastly, he develops some theories explaining sexual preferences and habits of humans.
Amir Alexander, Infinitesimal: How a Dangerous Mathematical Theory Shaped the Modern World (New York: MacMillan). This book is a history of the use of infinitesimal in math. It starts in Italy with conflict of Galileo and the Jesuit Catholics over the use of infinitesimals in math. The second part of the book covers the same debate in England between Thomas Hobbes and the English promoters of the use of infinitesimals.