Scientific American FSG Books


Happy Holidays from Scientific American / Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Happy Holidays from Scientific American / Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Happy Holidays from Scientific American / Farrar, Straus and Giroux!

As the year comes to a close, I’m reflecting on all of the books we’ve published in our inaugural year here at the Scientific American imprint at Farrar, Straus and Giroux. The authors I’ve had the privilege to work with, from idea to finished book, have made it an absolute joy.  

We are deeply honored that several titles in our first list of five were featured in various “best of the year” round-ups from Chicago Tribune,, Slate, Barnes and Noble Review, and New Scientist. This is a truly remarkable distinction that we should all be proud of. I’m also honored that all of our books have found devoted readers who are debating their key arguments, recommending them to friends, and reviewing them in publications ranging from The Wall Street Journal to Brain Pickings. chose Danny Chamovitz’s What a Plant Knows as one of its Ten Best Science and Math Books of 2012. In addition, Chicago Tribune named What a Plant Knows as one of their Favorite Books of 2012. Chicago Tribune reporter Bill Hageman writes, “What a Plant Knows is a nice fit on my shelf of gardening books — and that's where it will stay. Although I've recommended the book to several people, I've ungraciously not let them borrow my copy. I fear I won't get it back.” You can read more about What a Plant Knows here:

Gravity’s Engines, already embraced by Neil deGrasse Tyson and The Wall Street Journal, among many, was selected as one of Barnes and Noble Review’s Ten Best Nonfiction Books of 2012. In their review, Tess Taylor is ecstatic about Caleb Scharf’s book, declaring, "To call this an absorbing read is an understatement. I felt dreamily transplanted . . . When I did emerge from the book to look up at the summer stars, the night seemed more brightly lit, slightly more known but also more awesome, more wonderfully strange." New Scientist also named Gravity’s Engines one of the best books of the year. You can learn more about Gravity’s Engines here:

Jesse Bering’s witty and insightful Why Is the Penis Shaped like That? was covered everywhere from The Daily Beast to Big Think. And The Advocate named it one of our Reasons to Have Pride in 2012. You can see some of the great coverage by visiting:

The Best Science Writing Online 2012, an incredible anthology from series editor Bora Zivkovic and guest editor Jennifer Ouellette, drew an enthusiastic response as well—Maria Popova called it a “potent mix of critical analyses, witty personal reflections, absorbing feature profiles, illuminating commentary on the intersection of science and social policy, and even long-form investigative journalism.” The contributors—a mix of established writers and talented up-and-comers—engaged in a vigorous discussion on our website that you can see here:

The Wisdom of Psychopaths, Kevin Dutton’s thrilling journey to the dark side of the human psyche found itself on Slate’s list of “Great Underrated Books of 2012” and Slate writer William Georgiades calls it a “terrifically entertaining and chilling book.” Extensive media coverage of Dutton’s devilishly charming book can be seen here:

Our first app, Journey to the Exoplanets by Ron Miller and Ed Bell, made a big splash in 2011, climbing the charts, winning awards, and breaking new ground in the app world—and the app continues to find an audience one year later.

I’m eager to ring in 2013 with more fantastic books. We have two coming very soon: first up in March will be Frankenstein’s Cat: Cuddling Up to Biotech’s Brave New Beasts by Emily Anthes, a playful investigation into how science is changing our creature companions, followed by Brian Switek’s endearing paleontology adventure, My Beloved Brontosaurus: On the Road with New Bones, Old Science, and Our Favorite Dinosaurs, which publishes in April. Rounding out our exciting 2013 list will be Perv: a major new book by Jesse Bering, and Ray Jayawardhana’s detective story with cosmic implications, Neutrino Hunters: The Thrilling Chase for a Ghostly Particle to Unlock the Secrets of the Universe—and much more to come…

Thank you for giving the SA/FSG books a read this year. And thank you to all lovers of science and science books!


—Amanda Moon, Senior Editor, Scientific American / Farrar, Straus and Giroux


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