The 100 or so Books that shaped a Century of Science
from "Scientists' Bookshelf" American Scientist, November-December 1999, Volume 87, No. 6

Biography
The autobiography of Charles Darwin, 1809-1882 by Charles Darwin
A mathematician's apology by G. H. Hardy
The double helix : a personal account of the discovery of the structure of DNA by James Watson
Disturbing the universe by Freeman Dyson
"Surely you're joking, Mr. Feynman!" : adventures of a curious character by Richard Feynman

Field Guides
William Garnett, aerial photographs by William Garnett
East African mammals : an atlas of evolution in Africa by Jonathan Kingdon
Five kingdoms : an illustrated guide to the phyla of life on earth by Lynn Margulis and Karlene V. Schwartz
Photo-atlas of the United States : a complete photographic atlas of the U.S.A. using satellite photography by Photo-Geographic International
A field guide to the birds of eastern and central North America by Roger Tory Peterson
The Hubble atlas of galaxies by Allan Sandage (superseded by The Carnegie atlas of galaxies)
Geology illustrated by John S. Shelton
Sea of Cortez; a leisurely journal of travel and research, with a scientific appendix comprising materials for a source book on the marine animals of the Panamic faunal province by John Steinbeck and E. F. Ricketts
Oxford English Dictionary (1933), H. Bradley, W. A. Craigie, J. A. H. Murray, and C. T. Onions (eds.).  Available online to MSUM students, staff, and faculty
Hortus; a concise dictionary of gardening, general horticulture and cultivated plants in North America  by Liberty Hyde Bailey

The Physical Sciences
Explorations
The whole shebang : a state-of-the-universe(s) report by Timothy Ferris
One two three ... infinity : facts & speculations of science by George Gamow
A brief history of time : from the big bang to black holes by Stephen Hawking
The mind's I : fantasies and reflections on self and soul by Douglas Hofstadter and Daniel Dennett
The Mediterranean was a desert : a voyage of the Glomar Challenger by Kenneth Hsü and William Ryan
From one to zero : a universal history of numbers by Georges Ifrah
The periodic table by Primo Levi
Annals of the former world by John McPhee
Pale blue dot : a vision of the human future in space by Carl Sagan
Dreams of a final theory by Steven Weinberg
Symmetry by Hermann Weyl

Monographs
The principles of quantum mechanics (1930) by Paul Dirac ; 4th ed. (1958) here
The collected papers of Albert Einstein, volume 2 : the Swiss years : writings, 1902-09 by Albert Einstein
Fractals : form, chance, & dimension (1977) by Benoit B. Mandelbrot
Nature of the chemical bond and the structure of molecules and crystals; an introduction to modern structural chemistry (1939) by Linus Pauling ; 3d ed. (1960) here
Principia mathematica (1910-13, 3 vols.) by Bertrand Russell and Alfred North Whitehead ; 2d ed. here

A search for structure : selected essays on science, art, and history (1981) by Cyril Smith
Theory of games and economic behavior (1944) by John von Neumann and Oskar Morgenstern ; 3d ed. (1953) here; 60th anniversary ed. (2004) here

Cybernetics : or, Control and communication in the animal and the machine (1948) by Norbert Wiener ; 2d ed. here
The conservation of orbital symmetry (1970) by R. B. Woodward and Roald Hoffmann
The meaning of relativity (1922) by Albert Einstein ; 5th ed.
here

QED : the strange theory of light and matter (1985) by Richard Feynman ; 7th printing, with corrections, here
The art of computer programming (1968) by Donald Knuth ; 2d ed here ; 3d ed here

History of Science
Inward bound : of matter and forces in the physical world by Abraham Pais
Science in history by John Desmond Bernal

Microbe hunters by Paul de Kruif
In the name of science (revised and expanded as Fads and fallacies in the name of science) by Martin Gardner
The great chain of being ; a study of the history of an idea by Arthur O. Lovejoy

Science and civilization in China by Joseph Needham
The making of the atomic bomb by Richard Rhodes
A history of technology, edited by Charles Singer and others
The right stuff by Tom Wolfe

Science Itself Examined
Science-the endless frontier a report to the President on a program for postwar scientific research by Vannevar Bush
The structure of scientific revolutions (1962) by Thomas Kuhn ; 2d ed. here; 3d ed. here
The art of the soluble by Peter B. Medawar
The logic of scientific discovery by Karl Popper
The two cultures and the scientific revolution by C. P. Snow ; 2d ed. here
Science and the modern world by Alfred North Whitehead

Many-Sided Life
Explorations
Jungle days by William Beebe
Silent spring by Rachel Carson ; 40th anniversary edition here
Digging dinosaurs by John R. Horner and James Gorman
The possible and the actual by François Jacob
A Sand County almanac by Aldo Leopold ; 1966 ed. here
Arctic dreams : imagination and desire in a northern landscape by Barry Lopez
King Solomon's ring : new light on animal ways by Konrad Lorenz
Chance and necessity; an essay on the natural philosophy of modern biology by Jacques Monod
The hot zone by Richard Preston
The lives of a cell; notes of a biology watcher by Lewis Thomas

Monographs
Tropical nature by Adrian Forsyth and Kenneth Miyata
Emerging viruses, edited by Stephen S. Morse
What is life? : the physical aspect of the living cell by Erwin Schrödinger
On growth and form by D'Arcy Thompson ; 2d ed. here
The biosphere by Vladimir Vernadskii
The open sea : its natural history by Alister Clavering Hardy
The insect societies by Edward O. Wilson

The Evolution of Life
The blind watchmaker by Richard Dawkins
Ever since Darwin : reflections in natural history by Stephen Jay Gould

The beak of the finch : evolution in real time by Jonathan Weiner
The material basis of evolution by Richard Goldschmidt
The genetical theory of natural selection by Ronald Aylmer Fisher ; 2d ed. here
Adaptation and natural selection; a critique of some current evolutionary thought by George Williams
Darwin on man : a psychological study of Scientific creativity by Howard Gruber, with Paul H. Barrett

The Nature and Rise of Our Own Species

Explorations
Women's work : the first 20,000 years : women, cloth, and society in early times by Elizabeth Barber
Steps to an ecology of mind : collected essays in anthropology, psychiatry, evolution, and epistemology by Gregory Bateson
Science and human values by Jacob Bronowski ; Rev. ed. here

In the shadow of man by Jane Goodall
The intelligent eye by R. L. Gregory
The doors of perception by Aldous Huxley
Adam's ancestors : the evolution of man and his culture (1934) by L. S. B. Leakey ; 4th ed. here
The language instinct by Steven Pinker
How writing came about by Denise Schmandt-Besserat
The mountain gorilla : ecology and behavior by George B. Schaller
And the band played on : politics, people, and the AIDS epidemic by Randy Shilts
The phenomenon of man by Pierre Teilhard de Chardin
Thought and language by Lev Semenovich Vygotsky ; rev. ed. here
Discovering the royal tombs at Ur (1969) by Charles Leonard Woolley

Monographs
The hunters or the hunted? : An introduction to African cave taphonomy by C. K. Brain
Syntactic structures by Noam Chomsky
A general introduction to psycho-analysis; a course of twenty-eight lectures delivered at the University of Vienna
(1920) by Sigmund Freud ; Rev. ed. here
Laetoli, A Pliocene site in northern Tanzania by Mary Leakey
The !Kung San : men, women, and work in a foraging society by Richard Lee
Treasures of prehistoric art by Andre Leroi-Gourhan
The society of mind by Marvin Lee Minsky

Children's games in street and playground : chasing, catching, seeking, hunting, racing, duelling, exerting, daring, guessing, acting, pretending by Peter and Iona Opie
Lectures on conditioned reflexes by Ivan P. Pavlov
Clever Hans : the horse of Mr. Von Osten : a contribution to experimental animal and human psychology by Oskar Pfungst

Novels
Arrowsmith by Sinclair Lewis
Cat's cradle by Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.
Tono-Bungay by H. G. Wells
Gravity's rainbow by Thomas Pynchon