Computer science books for a general audience

What is Computer Science?

The Pattern on the Stone: The Simple Ideas that Make Computers Work by W. Daniel Hillis, 1998

Computers Ltd: What They Really Can't Do by David Harel, 2003

9 Algorithms that Changed the Future by John MacCormick, 2012

The Information: A History, A Theory, A Flood by James Gleick, 2011

Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid by Douglas R. Hofstadter, 1979

Turing (A Novel about Computation) by Christos H. Papadimitriou, 2003

Code: The Hidden Language of Computer Hardware and Software by Charles Petzold, 2000

In Pursuit of the Traveling Salesman: Mathematics at the Limits of Computation by William J. Cook, 2012

Digitized: The Science of Computers and How It Shapes our World by Peter J. Bentley, 2012


Out of their Minds: The Lives and Discoveries of 15 Great Computer Scientists by Dennis Shasha and Cathy Lazere, 1998

Programmers at Work: Interviews with 19 Programmers Who Shaped the Computer Industry by Susan Lammers, 2006

The Essential Turing: The Ideas that Gave Birth to the Computer Age, ed. by B. Jack Copeland, 2004


The Advent of the Algorithm: The 300-Year Journey from An Idea to the Computer by David Berlinski, 2000

Turings's Cathedral by George Dyson, 2012

Computational Biology

Biological Computation by Ehud Lamm and Ron Unger, 2011

The Mathematics of Life by Ian Stewart, 2011

Natural Computing: DNA, Quantum Bits, and the Future of Smart Machines by Dennis Shasha and Cathy Lazere, 2010

Networks and Swarm Intelligence

Six Degrees: The Science of a Connected Age by Duncan J. Watts, 2003

Linked: How Everything is Connected to Everything Else and What It Means for Business, Science, and Everyday Life by Albert-László Barabási, 2003

Sync: How Order Emerges from Chaos in the Universe, Nature, and Daily Life by Steven Strogatz, 2003

Emergence: The Connected Lives of Ants, Brains, Cities, and Software by Steven Johnson, 2001

Turtles, Termites, and Traffic Jams: Explorations in Massively Parallel Microworlds by Mitchell Resnick, 1994


How to Build a Robot Army: Tips on Defending Planet Earth Against Alien Invaders, Ninjas, and Zombies by Daniel H. Wilson, 2008

How to Survive a Robot Uprising: Tips on Defending Yourself Against the Coming Rebellion by Daniel H. Wilson, 2005


The Code Book: The Science of Secrecy from Ancient Egypt to Quantum Cryptography by Simon Singh, 1999

Quantum Computing

Programming the Universe: A Quantum Computer Scientist Takes on the Cosmos by Seth Lloyd, 2006

Natural Computing: DNA, Quantum Bits, and the Future of Smart Machines by Dennis Shasha and Cathy Lazere, 2010

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