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essay: genomes and words
The Third Culture: Beyond the Scientific Revolution
John Brockman
The Portable Renaissance Reader
James Bruce Ross and Mary M. McLaughlin, Editors

Contains selections from important Renaissance scientists, leaders, writers, poets, and artists. Includes "The Glory of the Latin Language" by Valla.

The Civilization of the Renaissance in Italy
Jacob Burckhardt

This is in PDF format, so you need a PDF reader, like Adobe Acrobat or Ghostview (both free). The Modern Library edition (real paper book) is very affordable in used book stores.

Burckhardt's essay is going on 150 years old, but it is still influential. Required reading for students of history of the Renaissance (aka "Early Modern History").

Cracking the Genome
Kevin Davies
Darwin's Century
Loren C. Eiseley

Out of print, but used ones (cheap!) are available.

A very readable book that shows the context of Charles Darwin's thought in Origin of Species.

The Origin of Species
Charles Darwin
Einstein's Dreams
Alan P. Lightman

Signed boxed edition

The Diagnosis
Alan P. Lightman
The Dead Sea Scrolls Bible
Martin G. Abegg (Ed.), Peter W. Flint (Ed.) and Eugene Charles Ulrich
The Complete Dead Sea Scrolls in English
Geza Vermes
Bioinformatics: A Practical uide to the Analysis of Genes and Proteins, Second Edition
Andreas D. Baxevanis (Ed.), et al.
Developing Bioinformatics Computer Skills
Cynthia Gibas and Per Jambeck
A good introduction.
kushner, the lord is my shepherd: healing wisdom of the twenty-third psalm
Living a Life That Matters: Resolving the Conflict Between Conscience and Success
by Harold S. Kushner

The title is descriptive. This book is listed among "'s Best of 2001."

When Bad Things Happen to Good People
by Harold S. Kushner

Rabbi Kushner's best-known book. Intimately tied to Kushner's loss of his own child.

blount, robert e. lee & wills, st. augustine
Abraham Lincoln
by Thomas Keneally

Related by virtue of being opposed. It's worth remembering that Lincoln is said to have wanted Lee to lead the Union troops against the Confederacy. Lee's decision to serve the Confederacy resulted from his allegiance to Virginia. As Virginia went, so went Lee.

This is also one of the Penguin Lives biographies.

Stars in Their Courses: The Gettysburg Campaign June-July 1863
by Shelby Foote

Shelby Foote is known for his elegant writing and for his knowledge of the Civil War. This is a very good collection in a Modern Library edition.

Augustine of Hippo: A Biography
by Peter Brown

Roy Blount's Book of Southern Humor
Roy Blount, Jr. (Ed.)

Blount is a humorist, too.

Penguin Lives: Titles in the series
current as of January 2004

Saint Augustine by Garry Wills
Jane Austen by Carol Shields
Marlon Brando by Patricia Bosworth
Buddha by Karen Armstrong
Winston Churchill by John Keegan
Crazy Horse by Larry McMurtry
Dante by R. W. B. Lewis
Charles Dickens by Jame Smiley
James Joyce by Edna O'Brien
Joan of Arc by Mary Gordon
Pope John XXIII by Thomas Cahill
Robert E. Lee by Roy Blount, Jr.
Leonardo Da Vinci by Sherwin B. Nuland
Abraham Lincoln by Thomas Keneally
Martin Luther King, Jr. by Marshall Frady
Mao Zedong by Jonathan D. Spence
Herman Melville by Elizabeth Hardwick
Mozart by Peter Gay
Napoleon by Paul Johnson
Rosa Parks by Douglas G. Brinkley
Marcel Proust by Edmund White
Joseph Smith by Robert Vincent Remini
Andy Warhol by Wayne Koestenbaum
Simone Weil by Francine du Plessix Gray
Woodrow Wilson by Louis Auchincloss
Virginia Wolff by Nigel Nicholson

porter, the most famous car in the world
Jaguar E-Type: A Celebration of the World's Favourite '60s Icon
by Nigel Thorley

Some would call this a coffee-table book. Loads of pictures from automotive magazines, Jaguar promotional literature, and (naturally) of beautifully restored cars from 1961 to 1974.

Jaguar E-Type: The Definitive History
by Philip Porter

At over 700 pages, it is definitive. This is Philip Porter's magnum opus, though it is a reference work. Heaps of detail.

How to Power Tune XK Engines
by Des Hammill

For the restorer or engine tinkerer. Covers the 3.4 and later XK engines.

duane, caught inside: a surfer's year on the california coast
Maverick's: The Story of Big-Wave Surfing
Matt Warshaw and Daniel Duane

Lighting Out: A Vision of California and the Mountains
Daniel Duane

Duane's first book.

Looking for Mo
Daniel Duane

Written, Duane says, in partial recollection of the damage that writing the first book did to relationships. Now remaindered, so it's inexpensive.

El Capitan: Historic Feats and Radical Routes
Daniel Duane

Follow up of Duane's rock climbing interests. El Capitan is among the most challenging peaks scaled by rock climbers.

appelt and schmitzer, down cut shin creek: the packhorse librarians of kentucky
naser, a beautiful mind
The Essential John Nash
John F. Nash, Sylvia Naser (Ed.) and Harold Kuhn (Ed.)