Introduction

A few notes about what’s below

  1. As Dobzhansky said, “nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution.” Hence, any biology book that’s worth reading will be, to some degree, about evolution. Nevertheless, I’ve tried to place books and articles in other categories as well.
  2. This is (so far) a very personal list: for the most part, it only includes articles and books that I’ve personally read or listened to (I’m a big consumer of Audiobooks). The only exceptions are books and articles recommended by my BHS colleague Johannah Bearg (with whom my biology reading list has overlapped to an astonishing degree).

If you have a recommendation for a book or an article that you think would be great for AP Biology students, please let me know about it. In your email, please include a link to the article, or to a summary of the book).

Unit 1: The Chemistry of Life

Articles

Deepmind AI Handles Protein Folding 

Unit 2: Cell Structure and Function

Articles

Books

Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot. The human and scientific story of the origin of the HeLa cell line, widely used in biological research.

Unit 3: Cellular Energetics

Articles

Unit 4: Cell Communication

Unit 5: Heredity

Articles

Books

Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot (the movie lacks most of science; so read the book)

Unit 6: Gene Expression

Articles

Books

Documentaries

Human Nature: Amazing Documentary about CRISPR and ethical issues about human gene therapy/genetic modification. Beautifully filmed and told (available on Netflix)

Unit 7: Evolution

Articles

Books

Unit 8: Ecology

Articles

Books

Video

Cross Topic readings

Articles

  • Life Up Close. This is an amazing collection of biology-related articles from The Atlantic Magazine.
  • CRISPR and the Splice to Survive, by Elizabeth Kolbert in The New Yorker. Amazing article about using CRISPR to protect endangered species, and to use gene drives to wipe out invasive species.

Books

  • Life Ascending: The Ten Great Inventions of Evolution by Nick Lane. Nick Lane is a British biochemist. Life Ascending focuses on the core adaptations/features of living things, including the origin of life, the origin of eukaryotes, photosynthesis, movement, sex. I’ve profited immensely by reading this book (and other’s by Professor Lane). You can also check out numerous articles by Lane at his website, https://nick-lane.net/. Reading Lane takes a bit of effort, but it’s worth it!
  • Venomous, by Christie Wilcox. In her discussion of venomous animals, Wilcox hits on every topic in biology.
  • Botany of Desire by Michael Pollan

Other

EVOLVED: Cases for evolution education: Six cross-unit case studies. These cases have some combination of Powerpoints, case studies from NCCTS, question guides, and simulation games.

SARS-CoV-2 and COVID 19