A Crack in the Edge of the World, by Simon Winchester. Ostensibly about the 1906 San Francisco earthquake and fire, but marvelously about geology in general. Now I think I almost grasp plate tectonics, thanks to Winchester.
The Proud Tower: A Portrait of the World Before the War, 1890-1914, by Barbara Tuchman. (I know it was an instant classic upon publication in 1966, but I’m slow sometimes.)
Thunderstruck, by Erik Larson. Gripping parallel stories of Marconi and Dr. Crippen.
Isaac’s Storm, by Erik Larson. Tremendous reading–as usual–by Edward Herrmann. About the 1900 Galveston hurricane.
Musicophilia (I have earworms, so this book is very reassuring. See also www.earwormery.com).
Steven Johnson: Fast becoming a hero of mine!
Where Good Ideas Come From.
Everything Bad Is Good for You.
Mind Wide Open.
The Ghost Map.