My favorite science book of all time is called Wonderful Life by a famous paleontologist named Stephen Jay Gould. It made it very clear just how beautiful life on this planet is and has been for millions of years, and also just how weird and bizarre it can be. However, my favorite book about bats is actually a children’s book you may have heard of called Stellaluna, which is about many things, but really also about how all organisms have their own talents that make them unique!
Wow, that’s a super-hard question to answer! Like Jeff, I’ve read a number of the late Stephen Jay Gould’s popular books, though, as an anthropologist, my favorite of his is “The Mismeasure of Man”!
However, the most inspiring science books for *me* were actually science-fiction. Madeleine L’Engle’s “A Wrinkle in Time” quintet had a profound effect on me and being able to see myself as a scientist, even though the books are fictional. She created two generations of amazing science families, with children of all ages, boys and girls, all engaged in science and math just as a part of their daily life. It was the first time that I really saw scientists as PEOPLE instead of these gods (and goddesses) on pedestals that only work. I highly recommend her books on the Murray and O’Keefe families for that reason!
But if you’re looking for a laugh, one of the funniest and most entertaining science books you’ll read is “Stiff: The Curious Lives of Cadavers” by Mary Roach. She introduces you to all the different (and sometimes BIZARRE) ways that human cadavers are used to aid science, and puts it all into terms that are easy to relate to! I seriously laughed so hard that I cried! Luckily for us, she has a LOT of science books explaining eating, sex, and even travel to Mars, among other things! They’re informative, inspiring, AND fun!
And… if you’re looking for some MORE good science books to read, I suggest checking out A Mighty Girl’s book club. These books are great for boys, too, but A Mighty Girl targets girls that might need a little more help finding positive science role models (I realized that a lot of the science books I’ve read are by and about guys): http://www.amightygirl.com/books/general-interest/science-technology