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Need a Gift? 12 Notable Tech and Science Books of 2015

A look at some of the most notable book releases of 2015.

Yes, there are a lot of "Star Wars" toys out there for the tech and science lover in your family. Sadly, it's not exactly the most scientifically accurate movie franchise.

Instead, buy a gift that will educate as well as entertain. Here is a look at some of the most notable tech and science books for 2015.


On the Move: A Life, Oliver Sacks: Before he became the beloved neurologist and best-selling author of numerous books including "Musicophilia" and "Awakenings," Oliver Sacks was a young man obsessed with motorcycles and struggling with drug addiction. This memoir was published just before Sacks died earlier this year from cancer.

The Man Who Wasn't There: Investigations into the Strange New Science of the Self, Anil Ananthaswamy: The books starts by telling the story of a man who was absolutely convinced that he was dead. From there, science journalist Anil Ananthaswamy explores the concept of the "self" through a scientific lens.

Domesticated: Evolution in a Man-Made World, Richard C. Francis: Combining biology and anthropology, Richard Francis, a science journalist with a Ph.D in neurobiology, takes a look back at the history of domesticating animals.

Dark Matter and the Dinosaurs: The Astounding Interconnectedness of the Universe, Lisa Randall: How did the dinosaurs die? A massive comet hit the Earth. Why did that happen? The comet was dislodged from its orbit by a disk of dark matter, according to particle physicist Lisa Randall. Um, what is dark matter? Don't worry, the book will explain it all.

The Invention of Science: A New History of the Scientific Revolution, David Wootton: This history of the Scientific Revolution covers the immense changes happening in Europe from 1572 to 1704. Looking at great minds from Copernicus to Isaac Newton, it delves into how scientific thought evolved and how those ideas changed the world.

The Hunt for Vulcan: . . . And How Albert Einstein Destroyed a Planet, Discovered Relativity, and Deciphered the Universe, Thomas Levenson: No, Vulcan isn't just a planet from "Star Trek." For many years, scientists thought it was another planet in our solar system, located near Mercury. Thomas Levenson, a professor of science writing at MIT, tells the story of how Albert Einstein and his general theory of relativity proved that Vulcan didn't exist.


Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future, Ashlee Vance: Aside from Steve Jobs, few Silicon Valley entrepreneurs have garnered as much fascination as Elon Musk. Journalist Ashlee Vance gains access to the South African billionaire behind Tesla, SpaceX and SolarCity.

Rise of the Robots: Technology and the Threat of a Jobless Future, Martin Ford: Robots are getting more advanced. Silicon Valley entrepreneur Martin Ford examines what happens to the economy when everyone from truck drivers and cooks to lawyers and computer programmers are replaced by machines.

The Master Algorithm: How the Quest for the Ultimate Learning Machine Will Remake Our World, Pedro Domingos: Google, Facebook, Netflix and pretty much every other popular website uses algorithms to predict what you might like. Pedro Domingos, a professor of computer science at the University of Washington, looks at how machine learning evolved and where it might take us.

Big Science: Ernest Lawrence and the Invention that Launched the Military-Industrial Complex, Michael Hiltzik: A look at how the first particle accelerator, called the cyclotron, was created at UC Berkeley in the 1930s, and how it paved the way for technology including nuclear weapons and the Large Hadron Collider.

Leaving Orbit: Notes from the Last Days of American Spaceflight, Margaret Lazarus Dean: Visiting Cape Canaveral for NASA's last three space shuttle launches, writer Margaret Lazarus Dean contemplates the agency's past and future.

Future Crimes: Everything Is Connected, Everyone Is Vulnerable and What We Can Do About It, Marc Goodman: A cybersecurity expert paints a picture of how vulnerable the modern world is to hackers and how they might one day take advantage of emerging technologies such as robotics, virtual reality and artificial intelligence.