It’s never too early to plan your summer reading. A variety of books for biological and biomedical PhD students, suggested straight from our Academic Tweeps for your reading enjoyment:

“Why We Sleep”
by Matthew Walker, PhD

More of a leisure book with science backed information. Sleep is so important during any stage in life and going through graduate school myself, I certainly undervalued sleep.
Just read this about two months ago and my perspective on sleep changed. Absolute treasure. Although for me it was better to listen to the book than to read it.

Breath from Salt
by Bijal P. Trivedi

About discovering the underlying cause of cystic fibrosis, how the mechanism was worked out by basic scientists, and how application of novel technology to a new field allowed identification of drug targets that have revolutionized the lives of CF patients.

Advice for a Young Investigator
by Ramón y Cajal

My grad student mentor suggested this book when I was an undergrad—highly recommend!
…famous for his work as a neuroscientist

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
by Rebecca Skloot

Came to say this! Great read!

Lab Girl
by H. Jahren

Definitely “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks” – R Skloot, and “Lab Girl” – H Jahren.

Why Zebras Don’t Get Ulcers
by Robert Sapolsky

Or listen to his Great Courses series on audible, it’s basically a recap of the book but with casual side notes. 

An Immense World
I Contain Multitudes
by Ed Yong

Spillover: Animal Infections and the Next Human Pandemic
by David Quammen

T: The Story of Testosterone, the Hormone that Dominates and Divides Us
by Carole Hooven

The Genetic Lottery
by Kathryn Paige Harden

…all amazing choices as well.

Cell Biology
by Thomas D. Pollard

Cellular and Molecular Immunology
by Abdul K. Abbas

The Biology of Cancer
by Robert A. Weinberg


The Tale of the Dueling Neurosurgeons
by Sam Kean

The Lady Tasting Tea
by David Salsburg

…are both great for any scientist!

Asperger’s Children
by Edith Sheffer

…is a great read on research ethics, but it’s very heavy and most helpful for autism/human subjects researchers.

The Code Breaker
by Walter Isaacson

I highly recommend!

The Genesis Machine
by Webb &Hessel

Fun Reads: I’m a big fan of “The Genesis Machine” by Webb & Hessel if people want to think about the future of biotech engineering.

The Perfect Predator
by Strathdee & Patterson

…is such a cool story about phage therapy.

Elephants on Acid and Other Bizarre Experiments
by Alex Boese

Apologies for not being able to recommend anything helpful, but this book of weird and bizarre experiments could make for some fun light reading.

The Messenger
by Stephen Loftus

…Only about half way through, but it’s a super interesting! Especially if you’re interested in biotech strategy and current events!

by Philip Detmer

I recently read Immune by Philip Detmer, the creator of Kurtzgezart. It was simple but the illustrations were amazing.

Molecular Biology of the Cell
by Bruce Albert


100 ways to improve your writing
by Gary Provost


Other Minds
by Peter Godfrey-Smith

A great reflection on how we view other members of the animal kingdom in contrast to how we understand ourselves from both a scientific and philosophical protective.

From a beginners perspective: Essential biomaterials science
by D.Williams

Cell and molecular biology
by N.Chandar and S.Viselli

The Cell
by Alan Cowling

Molecular biology of the cell
by Elsevier


Plastic Fantastic: How the Biggest Fraud in Physics Shook the Scientific World
by Eugenie Samuel Reich

Plastic Fantastic is a great place to begin.

You Can’t Afford the Luxury of a Negative Thought
by Peter McWilliams and J. Roger


Experimental Design for Biologists
by David J. Glass

is a great book to read and have on your shelf.

Cell Biology by the Numbers
by Milo & Phillips

…is also good.

Why We Get Sick
by Nesse & Williams

Or for a more recent textbook on the same topic…

Evolutionary Medicine
by Stearns & Medzhitov


Invisible Women: Data Bias in a World Designed for Men
by Caroline Criado Perez


This list was featured in a Twitter thread posted by Megan Thibert @megtbear on September 5, 2022. See the original Tweet here.

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