Books about Invention

  1. The Wright Brothers

    by David McCullough
    The story of the Wright brothers and their pioneering invention of the airplane.

    Librarian's note: An alternate cover edition can be found, here, Two-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize David McCullough tells the dramatic story-behind-the-story about the courageous brothers who ... (Goodreads)

  2. All Tomorrow's Parties

    by William Gibson
    A journey through a dystopian future, exploring themes of technology and identity.

    The book has three separate but overlapping stories, with the repeated appearance of shared characters. The San Francisco/Oakland Bay Bridge, the overarching setting of the trilogy, functions as a ... (Wikipedia)

  3. Anathem

    by Neal Stephenson
    A philosophical novel set in a monastic society, exploring the limits of knowledge.

    Anathem is set on the fictional planet of Arbre. Thousands of years before the events in the novel, the planet's intellectuals entered concents ( monastic communities) to protect their activities ... (Wikipedia)

  4. George's Marvellous Medicine

    by Roald Dahl
    A young boy's attempt to create a magical potion to cure his grandmother's ailments.

    George's Grandma is a grizzly, grumpy, selfish old woman with pale brown teeth and a small puckered up mouth like a dog's bottom. Four times a day she takes a large spoonful of medicine, but it ... (Goodreads)

  5. How to Create a Mind: The Secret of Human Thought Revealed

    by Ray Kurzweil
    Kurzweil explores the workings of the human brain and proposes a theory for creating artificial intelligence that mimics human thought processes.

    The bold futurist and bestselling author explores the limitless potential of reverse-engineering the human brain Ray Kurzweil is arguably today’s most influential—and often controversial—futurist. In ... (Goodreads)

  6. At Home: A Short History of Private Life

    by Bill Bryson
    An exploration of the extraordinary and often overlooked history of the home.

    “Houses aren’t refuges from history. They are where history ends up.” Bill Bryson and his family live in a Victorian parsonage in a part of England where nothing of any great significance has ... (Goodreads)

  7. Chaos: Making a New Science

    by James Gleick
    Investigation of complex systems and the impact of chaos on scientific understanding.

    A work of popular science in the tradition of Stephen Hawking and Carl Sagan, this 20th-anniversary edition of James Gleick’s groundbreaking bestseller Chaos introduces a whole new readership to ... (Goodreads)

  8. The Accidental Time Machine

    by Joe Haldeman
    A graduate student accidentally creates a time machine and travels through different eras, facing the consequences of his actions.

    The protagonist, Matthew Fuller, is a research assistant for physics professor Jonathan Marsh at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, in 2058, when he builds a calibrator to supply one photon ... (Wikipedia)

  9. Airborn

    by Kenneth Oppel
    A thrilling adventure of a young cabin boy who stumbles upon a mysterious airship and its secrets.

    Fifteen-year-old Matt Cruse is a cabin boy for the Aurora , an airship that stays afloat using a gas called "hydrium". While on lookout duty, he spots a damaged balloon carrying an unconscious old ... (Wikipedia)

  10. Longitude: The True Story of a Lone Genius Who Solved the Greatest Scientific Problem of His Time

    by Dava Sobel
    Story of a man's determination to solve the complex problem of determining longitude at sea.

    Anyone alive in the eighteenth century would have known that "the longitude problem" was the thorniest scientific dilemma of the day—and had been for centuries. Lacking the ability to measure their ... (Goodreads)

  11. Creativity: Flow and the Psychology of Discovery and Invention

    by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
    A study of the creative process, exploring how individuals can achieve a state of "flow" to enhance their creativity and innovation.

    Creativity is about capturing those moments that make life worth living. The author's objective is to offer an understanding of what leads to these moments, be it the excitement of the artist at the ... (Goodreads)

  12. Leonardo da Vinci

    by Walter Isaacson
    Biography of the world's greatest polymath, exploring his legacy of art and science.

    The #1, New York Times, bestseller from Walter Isaacson brings Leonardo da Vinci to life in this exciting new biography that is “a study in creativity: how to define it, how to achieve it...Most ... (Barnes & Noble)

  13. Leonardo's Notebooks

    by Leonardo da Vinci
    A collection of writings and drawings exploring the mind of a genius inventor.

    Leonardo's Notebooks, is a biography of the genius in his own words, connecting moments of his life to artistic accomplishments through his writings, drawings, and intimate thoughts. Leonardo da ... (Barnes & Noble)

  14. The Cyberiad

    by Stanisław Lem
    A series of comic science fiction stories, exploring the adventures of two robotic inventors.

    A brilliantly funny collection of stories for the next age, from the celebrated author of Solaris . Ranging from the prophetic to the surreal, these stories demonstrate Stanislaw Lem's vast talent ... (Goodreads)

  15. How We Got to Now: Six Innovations That Made the Modern World

    by Steven Johnson
    Tracing the history of inventions from steam engines to the Internet, showing how they shaped the modern world.

    From the New York Times–bestselling author of Where Good Ideas Come From and Everything Bad Is Good for You, a new look at the power and legacy of great ideas. In this illustrated history, Steven ... (Goodreads)

  16. Robots and Empire

    by Isaac Asimov
    A sci-fi adventure of robots and humans in a future interstellar society.

    The Earthman Elijah Baley (the detective hero of the previous Robot books) has died nearly two centuries earlier. During these two centuries, Earth-people have overcome their agoraphobia and resumed ... (Wikipedia)

  17. Pebble in the Sky

    by Isaac Asimov
    A man is transported to the future, where he must adjust to a world of advanced technology.

    While walking down the street in Chicago, Joseph Schwartz, a retired tailor, is the unwitting victim of a nearby nuclear laboratory accident, by means of which he is instantaneously transported tens ... (Wikipedia)

  18. The Island of Dr. Moreau

    by H.G. Wells
    A shipwrecked man's encounters with a mad scientist's experiments in animal-human hybridization.

    The Island of Doctor Moreau is the account of Edward Prendick, an Englishman with a scientific education who survives a shipwreck in the southern Pacific Ocean. A passing ship called Ipecacuanha ... (Wikipedia)

  19. Exercises in Style

    by Raymond Queneau
    A single mundane story told in 99 different styles, showcasing the power of language and the endless possibilities of storytelling.

    The plot of Exercises in Style is quite simple: a man gets into an argument with another passenger on a bus. However, this anecdote is told ninety-nine more times, each in a radically different ... (Goodreads)

  20. Artemis Fowl

    by Eoin Colfer
    A young criminal mastermind battles against a hidden race of fairies to save his father's soul.

    Twelve-year-old Artemis Fowl is a millionaire, a genius, and above all, a criminal mastermind. But even Artemis doesn't know what he's taken on when he kidnaps a fairy, Captain Holly Short of the ... (Goodreads)

  21. Thunderstruck

    by Erik Larson
    Fascinating true story of the invention of the wireless and its effect on two men's lives.

    The interwoven stories of two men whose lives intersect during one of the greatest criminal cases of all time - Hawley Crippen, a very unlikely murderer, and Guglielmo Marconi, the obsessive creator ... (Goodreads)

  22. The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch

    by Philip K. Dick
    A sci-fi exploration of the implications of reality-altering technology and the power of corporate greed.

    The story begins in a future world where global temperatures have risen so high that in most of the world it is unsafe to be outside without special cooling gear during daylight hours. In a desperate ... (Wikipedia)

  23. Pattern Recognition

    by William Gibson
    A story of a woman's search for truth and identity in a digital world.

    Advertising consultant Cayce Pollard , who reacts to logos and advertising as if to an allergen , arrives in London in August 2002. She is working on a contract with the marketing firm Blue Ant to ... (Wikipedia)

  24. The Door Into Summer

    by Robert A. Heinlein
    A man travels to the future to reclaim his lost love and his invention.

    The idea for the novel came from an incident outlined by Heinlein later: The novel opens in 1970 with Daniel Boone Davis, an engineer and inventor, well into a long drinking binge. He has lost his ... (Wikipedia)

  25. Physics of the Impossible

    by Michio Kaku
    A scientific exploration of the possibilities of the impossible, from teleportation to time machines.

    A fascinating exploration of the science of the impossible—from death rays and force fields to invisibility cloaks—revealing to what extent such technologies might be achievable decades or millennia ... (Goodreads)

  26. The Character of Rain

    by Amélie Nothomb
    A comedic exploration of family and relationships, through a woman's life in Paris.

    The novel, apparently autobiographical , describes the world as discovered and seen by a three-year-old child born in Japan to a Belgian family. It encompasses the themes of self-awareness , language ... (Wikipedia)

  27. Hackers & Painters: Big Ideas from the Computer Age

    by Paul Graham
    Collection of essays exploring the intersection of computer science and art, and the impact of technology on society and culture.

    “The computer world is like an intellectual Wild West, in which you can shoot anyone you wish with your ideas, if you’re willing to risk the consequences.” —from Hackers & Painters: Big Ideas from ... (Goodreads)

  28. The Last Days of Night

    by Graham Moore
    In 19th century New York City, a lawyer battles a powerful inventor in a fight over patents and the future of electricity.

    NEW YORK TIMES, BESTSELLER • ,“A world of invention and skulduggery, populated by the likes of Edison, Westinghouse, and Tesla.”—Erik Larson, , ,“A model of superior historical fiction . . . an ... (Barnes & Noble)

  29. The Science Fiction Hall of Fame, Volume One, 1929-1964

    by Robert Silverberg
    A collection of the greatest science fiction short stories from the first half of the 20th century, showcasing the genre's evolution and impact.

    If you own only one anthology of classic science fiction, it should be The Science Fiction Hall of Fame: Volume One, 1929-1964 . Selected by a vote of the membership of the Science Fiction Writers of ... (Goodreads)

  30. The Green Glass Sea

    by Ellen Klages
    Two girls navigate life in Los Alamos during the Manhattan Project, discovering secrets and building a friendship.

    It is 1943, and 11-year-old Dewey Kerrigan is traveling west on a train to live with her scientist father, but no one, not her father nor the military guardians who accompany her, will tell her ... (Goodreads)

  31. Beggars in Spain

    by Nancy Kress
    A world where genetic engineering allows some people to never sleep, creating a divide between the "Sleepless" and the rest of society.

    Leisha Camden, born in 2008, is the twenty-first human being to have the genemod for sleeplessness. She is the daughter of one of Yagai's most noted sponsors, financier Roger Camden, who felt he had ... (Wikipedia)

  32. The Invention of Hugo Cabret

    by Brian Selznick
    An orphaned boy's journey to unravel the secrets of a mechanical man and find his place in the world.

    In 1930s Paris, young Hugo Cabret and his father repair an automaton at the museum where his father works. When Hugo's father dies in a fire, his uncle brings him to live and work at the train ... (Wikipedia)

  33. The Quantum Thief

    by Hannu Rajaniemi
    Intergalactic heist of a quantum computer, revealing a dangerous criminal conspiracy.

    Countless gogols of the legendary gentleman thief Jean Le Flambeur are trapped in a virtual Sobornost prison in orbit around Neptune, playing an iterated prisoner's dilemma until his mind learns to ... (Wikipedia)

  34. The Industries of the Future

    by Alec J. Ross
    A glimpse into the future of industries, exploring the technological advancements that will shape our economy and society.

    This book answers the question: 'What's next?' The Internet had a world-changing impact on businesses and the global community over the twenty years from 1994 to 2014. In the next ten years, change ... (Goodreads)

  35. The Manhattan Projects, Vol. 1: Science. Bad.

    by Jonathan Hickman
    A reimagining of the Manhattan Project, where the scientists are mad and the science is even madder.

    What if the research and development department created to produce the first atomic bomb was a front for a series of other, more unusual, programs? A collection of the coolest new series of the year ... (Goodreads)

  36. Benjamin Franklin: An American Life

    by Walter Isaacson
    Biography of the influential founding father, exploring his life and legacy.

    Benjamin Franklin is the Founding Father who winks at us. An ambitious urban entrepreneur who rose up the social ladder, from leather-aproned shopkeeper to dining with kings, he seems made of flesh ... (Goodreads)

  37. Wizard: The Life and Times of Nikola Tesla: Biography of a Genius

    by Marc J. Seifer
    A comprehensive biography of the brilliant inventor Nikola Tesla, detailing his life, work, and legacy.

    Nikola Tesla (1856-1943), credited as the inspiration for radio, robots, and even radar, has been called the patron saint of modern electricity. Based on original material and previously unavailable ... (Goodreads)

  38. Tesla: Man Out of Time

    by Margaret Cheney
    Biography of Nikola Tesla, the brilliant inventor and engineer who revolutionized the field of electrical engineering and power transmission.

    In this “informative and delightful” ( American Scientist ) biography, Margaret Cheney explores the brilliant and prescient mind of Nikola Tesla, one of the twentieth century’s greatest scientists ... (Goodreads)

  39. The Fractal Prince

    by Hannu Rajaniemi
    A mind-bending sci-fi novel set in a post-human future where reality is malleable and the boundaries between virtual and physical worlds blur.

    After the events of, The Quantum Thief, , Jean le Flambeur and Mieli are on their way to Earth. Jean is trying to open the Schrödinger's Box he retrieved from the memory palace on the Oubliette. ... (Wikipedia)

  40. Infernal Devices

    by Philip Reeve
    In a post-apocalyptic world, a young girl and her robot companion embark on a dangerous journey to save their city from destruction.

    Sixteen years after the events of, Predator's Gold, , the former ice city of Anchorage has settled on an island in North America unaffected by the fallout from the Sixty Minute War and has become a ... (Wikipedia)

  41. The Story of My Teeth

    by Valeria Luiselli
    A man named Gustavo "Highway" Sánchez Sánchez auctions off his teeth, each with a unique story, in order to acquire the perfect set of teeth.

    I was born in Pachuca, the Beautiful Windy City, with four premature teeth and my body completely covered in a very fine coat of fuzz. But I'm grateful for that inauspicious start because ugliness, ... (Goodreads)

  42. The City and the Stars

    by Arthur C. Clarke
    In the distant future, a lone human discovers a forgotten city and the secrets of an advanced civilization.

    Clarke's masterful evocation of the far future of humanity, considered his finest novel. Men had built cities before, but never such a city as Diaspar. For millennia its protective dome shut out the ... (Goodreads)

  43. Robot Dreams

    by Sara Varon
    A wordless graphic novel about a dog and a robot who become friends, but must navigate their differences and the challenges of life.

    In this universal story of friendship, loss, and redemption, a dog and a robot become friends. But their days of friendship are numbered., This moving, charming graphic novel about a dog and a robot ... (Barnes & Noble)

  44. Castle Waiting, Vol. 1

    by Linda Medley
    A feminist fairy tale where a motley crew of characters find refuge in a castle and create a new family.

    Castle Waiting graphic novel tells the story of an isolated, abandoned castle, and the eccentric inhabitants who bring it back to life. A fable for modern times, Castle Waiting is a fairy tale that's ... (Goodreads)

  45. The Rest of the Robots

    by Isaac Asimov
    A collection of short stories exploring the relationship between humans and robots in a future world.

    ROBOT TONY is the first robot designed to perform domestic duties by the US Robots and Mechanical Men Corporation. Is it Tony's fault that the lady of the house where he's field tested falls in love ... (Goodreads)

  46. Nova

    by Samuel R. Delany
    A group of people travel to a new planet to start a new civilization, but they face challenges and conflicts along the way.

    These are [at least some of] the ways you can read NOVA: as a fast-action farflung interstellar adventure; as archetypal mystical/mythical allegory (in which the Tarot and the Grail both figure ... (Goodreads)

  47. From the Earth to the Moon

    by Jules Verne
    A thrilling adventure of a rocket voyage to the moon, led by brave and daring astronauts.

    The story opens some time after the end of the American Civil War . The Baltimore Gun Club, a society dedicated to the design of weapons of all kinds (especially cannons), comes together when Impey ... (Wikipedia)

  48. Imagine: How Creativity Works

    by Jonah Lehrer
    Exploring the science and psychology of creativity to understand how ideas are born and flourish.

    Did you know that the most creative companies have centralized bathrooms? That brainstorming meetings are a terrible idea? That the color blue can help you double your creative output? From the New ... (Goodreads)

  49. The Carnivorous Carnival

    by Lemony Snicket
    A mischievous story of a traveling circus and mysterious happenings in a strange town.

    Following the events of, The Hostile Hospital, , Violet , Klaus and Sunny Baudelaire arrive at Caligari Carnival in the trunk of Count Olaf and his theatre troupe's car, unknown to them. Olaf and his ... (Wikipedia)

  50. Nikola Tesla: Imagination and the Man That Invented the 20th Century

    by Sean Patrick
    A narrative of the life and inventions of the renowned scientist, Nikola Tesla.

    If you want to learn about one of history’s most fascinating minds and uncover some of his secrets of imagination—secrets that enabled him to invent machines light years ahead of his time and ... (Goodreads)

  51. Robogenesis

    by Daniel H. Wilson
    The robots have evolved and are now waging war against humanity. Survivors must band together to fight back.

    The stunningly creative, epic sequel to Wilson's blockbuster thriller and, New York Times, bestseller, Robopocalypse, "The machine is still out there. Still alive." Humankind had triumphed over the ... (Goodreads)

  52. The Candymakers

    by Wendy Mass
    Four children compete in a candy-making competition, but secrets and surprises threaten to unravel their plans.

    Four children have been chosen to compete in a national competition to find the tastiest confection in the country. Who will invent a candy more delicious than the Oozing Crunchorama or the Neon ... (Goodreads)

  53. Iggy Peck, Architect

    by Andrea Beaty
    Iggy Peck, a young boy with a passion for building, uses his creativity and ingenuity to construct amazing structures.

    A hilarious, irreverent book about doing your own thing Meet Iggy Peck—creative, independent, and not afraid to express himself! In the spirit of David Shannon’s No, David and Rosemary Wells’s Noisy ... (Goodreads)

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