I like books and stories that link science with the rest of the world. Far too many people think of scientific research as existing on a separate abstract plane, when in fact it’s an entirely human enterprise – people seeking to understand the world around us – with all the quirks, foibles, personalities and flashes of generosity, decency and occasional brilliance that occur in any such enterprise.
So I tend to go for books that revolve around people – either scientists or people affected by science. This also fits into another interest of mine – the intersection of science and society, the way those two forces pull and tug at each other. I also like the subversive nature of such storytelling, the prospect of telling a really good story that will, along the way, illuminate an aspect of science. I like books that reach out to a broad audience, not just the already science-literate among us.