Voyages of Discovery

5 fascinating books about science and exploration

These deep reads shine a light on history, science and man’s incredible achievements.

By: Enrique Gili

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These books make great gifts for those interested in history, exploration and the natural sciences. (Photo: Andrey Burmakin/Shutterstock)

About 300 years ago, much of the world remained shrouded in mystery even to the most intrepid of travelers. The interiors of vast swaths of continents were unmapped and unknown to outsiders. In recent years, some of the best science and natural history writing has retraced the efforts of the men — and yes, it was a boys’ club — who embarked on voyages of discovery that laid the groundwork for our modern understanding of the innerworkings of the natural world.

These accounts, all published since 2005, combine the spirit of exploration with science and technology. The books are part travelogue and part biography, and they demonstrate that we’re a curious species capable of remarkable achievements.

These books also make ideal gifts for natural history buffs who will be stuck indoors during the long nights and cold days that lie ahead. Read more.