If you want a really good story, go withVoyage of the Beagle, the charming journal Darwin kept while working as a naturalist on a ship that went from England to South America, Tahiti, Australia, the tip of Africa and back. The first sentence is enough to pull you in:
The neighbourhood of Porto Praya, viewed from the sea, wears a desolate aspect.
If you’re looking for scientific import, nothing beats Darwin’s On the Origin of Species, the book that outlined his theory of natural selection and would forever change biology. You might also try The Descent of Man for provocative ideas about race, gender, and sex, or The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals for its lively photographs of faces that would inspire a future science of lie-detection.
It’s hard to think of a reason to read Darwin’s last book, The Formation of Vegetable Mould Through the Action of Worms, with Observations on Their Habits, unless you’re curious about exactly those things. But for all you vermiphiles, there’s probably no better format for this volume than an e-book.
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