Best Genetics Books
Best Books, Biography & Memoir, Education, History, Medical, Natural History, Nature & Ecology, Nonfiction, Science & Nature

The Best Books About Genetics

“What are the best books about Genetics?” We looked at 150 of the top Genetics books, aggregating and ranking them so we could answer that very question!

The top 13 titles, all appearing on 2 or more “Best Genetics” book lists, are ranked below by how many lists they appear on. The remaining 125+ titles, as well as the lists we used, are in alphabetical order at the bottom of the page.

Also, make sure to check out our Best Books About Evolution Book List!

Happy Scrolling!

Top 13 Books About Genetics & Genetic History

13 .) Concepts of Genetics by Klug/Cummings/Spencer

Concepts of GeneticsLists It Appears On:

  • Best DNA Testing Kits
  • Sanfoundry

For one- or two-term courses in Genetics in the departments of Biology, Zoology, Agriculture or Health Science.This text is known for its clear writing style, emphasis on concepts, visual art program and thoughtful coverage of all areas of genetics. The authors capture students’ interest with up-to-date coverage of cutting edge topics and research. This text will help students connect the science of genetics to the issues of today through interesting and thought-provoking applications.

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12 .) Fear Nothing by Dean Koontz

Fear NothingLists It Appears On:

  • Goodreads
  • Ranker

Christopher Snow is different from all the other residents of Moonlight Bay, different from anyone you’ve ever met. For Christopher Snow has made his peace with a very rare genetic disorder shared by only one thousand other Americans, a disorder that leaves him dangerously vulnerable to light. His life is filled with the fascinating rituals of one who must embrace the dark. He knows the night as no one else ever will, ever can – the mystery, the beauty, the many terrors, and the eerie, silken rhythms of the night – for it is only at night that he is free. Until the night he witnesses a series of disturbing incidents that sweep him into a violent mystery only he can solve, a mystery that will force him to rise above all fears and confront the many-layered strangeness of Moonlight Bay and its residents.

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11 .) Next by Michael Crichton

NextLists It Appears On:

  • Goodreads
  • Ranker

Welcome to our genetic world.Fast, furious, and out of control.This is not the world of the future — it’s the world right now.Is a loved one missing some body parts? Are blondes becoming extinct? Is everyone at your dinner table of the same species? Humans and chimpanzees differ in only 400 genes; is that why an adult human being resembles a chimp fetus? And should that worry us? There’s a new genetic cure for drug addiction — is it worse than the disease?We live in a time of momentous scientific leaps; a time when it’s possible to sell our eggs and sperm online for thousands of dollars; test our spouses for genetic maladies and even frame someone for a genetic crime.We live in a time when one fifth of all our genes are owned by someone else, and an unsuspecting person and his family can be pursued cross-country because they happen to have certain valuable genes within their chromosomes …Devilishly clever, Next blends fact and fiction into a breathless tale of a new world where nothing is what it seems, and a set of new possibilities can open at every turn. Next challenges our sense of reality and notions of morality. Balancing the comic and bizarre with the genuinely frightening and disturbing, Next shatters our assumptions, and reveals shocking new choices where we least expect.

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10 .) Saxons, Vikings, and Celts: The Genetic Roots of Britain and Ireland by Bryan Sykes

Saxons, Vikings, and Celts: The Genetic Roots of Britain and IrelandLists It Appears On:

  • Goodreads
  • Ranker

One of the world’s leading geneticists, Bryan Sykes has helped thousands find their ancestry in the British Isles. Saxons, Vikings, and Celts, which resulted from a systematic ten-year DNA survey of more than 10,000 volunteers, traces the true genetic makeup of the British Isles and its descendants, taking readers from the Pontnewydd cave in North Wales to the resting place of “The Red Lady” of Paviland and the tomb of King Arthur. Genealogy has become a popular pastime of Americans interested in their heritage, and this is the perfect work for anyone interested in finding their heritage in England, Scotland, or Ireland.

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9 .) The 10,000 Year Explosion: How Civilization Accelerated Human Evolution by Gregory Cochran

The 10,000 Year Explosion: How Civilization Accelerated Human EvolutionLists It Appears On:

  • Goodreads
  • Ranker

The 10,000 Year Explosion: How Civilization Accelerated Human Evolution

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8 .) The Blind Watchmaker: Why the Evidence of Evolution Reveals a Universe Without Design by Richard Dawkins

The Blind Watchmaker: Why the Evidence of Evolution Reveals a Universe Without DesignLists It Appears On:

  • Goodreads
  • Telegraph

Each copy of the anniversary edition of The Blind Watchmaker features a unique biomorph. No two covers are exactly alike. Acclaimed as the most influential work on evolution written in the last hundred years, The Blind Watchmaker offers an inspiring and accessible introduction to one of the most important scientific discoveries of all time. A brilliant and controversial book which demonstrates that evolution by natural selection – the unconscious, automatic, blind yet essentially non-random process discovered by Darwin – is the only answer to the biggest question of all: why do we exist?

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7 .) The Double Helix by James D. Watson

The Double HelixLists It Appears On:

  • Goodreads
  • Serious Science

By identifying the structure of DNA, the molecule of life, Francis Crick and James Watson revolutionized biochemistry & won themselves a Nobel Prize. At the time, Watson was only 24, a young scientist hungry to make his mark. His uncompromisingly honest account of the heady days of their thrilling sprint against other world-class researchers to solve one of science’s greatest mysteries gives a dazzlingly clear picture of a world of brilliant scientists with great gifts, very human ambitions & bitter rivalries. With humility unspoiled by false modesty, Watson relates his & Crick’s desperate efforts to beat Linus Pauling to the Holy Grail of life sciences, the identification of the basic building block of life. Never has a scientist been so truthful in capturing in words the flavor of his work.

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6 .) The Epigenetics Revolution by Nessa Carey

The Epigenetics RevolutionLists It Appears On:

  • Boston Globe
  • Goodreads

At the beginning of this century enormous progress had been made in genetics. The Human Genome Project finished sequencing human DNA. It seemed it was only a matter of time until we had all the answers to the secrets of life on this planet. The cutting-edge of biology, however, is telling us that we still don’t even know all of the questions. How is it that, despite each cell in your body carrying exactly the same DNA, you don’t have teeth growing out of your eyeballs or toenails on your liver? How is it that identical twins share exactly the same DNA and yet can exhibit dramatic differences in the way that they live and grow? It turns out that cells read the genetic code in DNA more like a script to be interpreted than a mould that replicates the same result each time. This is epigenetics and it’s the fastest-moving field in biology today. The Epigenetics Revolution traces the thrilling path this discipline has taken over the last twenty years. Biologist Nessa Carey deftly explains such diverse phenomena as how queen bees and ants control their colonies, why tortoiseshell cats are always female, why some plants need a period of cold before they can flower, why we age, develop disease and become addicted to drugs, and much more. Most excitingly, Carey reveals the amazing possibilities for humankind that epigenetics offers for us all – and in the surprisingly near future.

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5 .) The Extended Phenotype: The Long Reach of the Gene by Richard Dawkins

The Extended Phenotype: The Long Reach of the GeneLists It Appears On:

  • Goodreads
  • Ranker

People commonly view evolution as a process of competition between individuals—known as “survival of the fittest”—with the individual representing the “unit of selection.” Richard Dawkins offers a controversial reinterpretation of that idea in The Extended Phenotype, now being reissued to coincide with the publication of the second edition of his highly-acclaimed The Selfish Gene. He proposes that we look at evolution as a battle between genes instead of between whole organisms. We can then view changes in phenotypes—the end products of genes, like eye color or leaf shape, which are usually considered to increase the fitness of an individual—as serving the evolutionary interests of genes. Dawkins makes a convincing case that considering one’s body, personality, and environment as a field of combat in a kind of “arms race” between genes fighting to express themselves on a strand of DNA can clarify and extend the idea of survival of the fittest. This influential and controversial book illuminates the complex world of genetics in an engaging, lively manner.

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4 .) The Selfish Gene by Richard Dawkins

The Selfish GeneLists It Appears On:

  • Goodreads
  • Ranker

The Selfish Gene: 30th Anniversary Edition—with a new Introduction by the Author Inheriting the mantle of revolutionary biologist from Darwin, Watson, and Crick, Richard Dawkins forced an enormous change in the way we see ourselves and the world with the publication of The Selfish Gene. Suppose, instead of thinking about organisms using genes to reproduce themselves, as we had since Mendel’s work was rediscovered, we turn it around and imagine that “our” genes build and maintain us in order to make more genes. That simple reversal seems to answer many puzzlers which had stumped scientists for years, and we haven’t thought of evolution in the same way since. Why are there miles and miles of “unused” DNA within each of our bodies? Why should a bee give up its own chance to reproduce to help raise her sisters and brothers? With a prophet’s clarity, Dawkins told us the answers from the perspective of molecules competing for limited space and resources to produce more of their own kind. Drawing fascinating examples from every field of biology, he paved the way for a serious re-evaluation of evolution.

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3 .) The Seven Daughters of Eve: The Science That Reveals Our Genetic Ancestry by Bryan Sykes

The Seven Daughters of Eve: The Science That Reveals Our Genetic AncestryLists It Appears On:

  • Goodreads
  • Ranker

One of the most dramatic stories of genetic discovery since James Watson’s The Double Helix—a work whose scientific and cultural reverberations will be discussed for years to come. In 1994 Professor Bryan Sykes, a leading world authority on DNA and human evolution, was called in to examine the frozen remains of a man trapped in glacial ice in northern Italy. News of both the Ice Man’s discovery and his age, which was put at over five thousand years, fascinated scientists and newspapers throughout the world. But what made Sykes’s story particularly revelatory was his successful identification of a genetic descendant of the Ice Man, a woman living in Great Britain today. How was Sykes able to locate a living relative of a man who died thousands of years ago? In The Seven Daughters of Eve, he gives us a firsthand account of his research into a remarkable gene, which passes undiluted from generation to generation through the maternal line. After plotting thousands of DNA sequences from all over the world, Sykes found that they clustered around a handful of distinct groups. Among Europeans and North American Caucasians, there are, in fact, only seven.

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2 .) Genome: The Autobiography of a Species in 23 Chapters by Matt Ridley

Genome: The Autobiography of a Species in 23 ChaptersLists It Appears On:

  • Goodreads
  • Ranker
  • Telegraph

Genome offers extraordinary insight into the ramifications of this incredible breakthrough. By picking one newly discovered gene from each pair of chromosomes and telling its story, Matt Ridley recounts the history of our species and its ancestors from the dawn of life to the brink of future medicine. From Huntington’s disease to cancer, from the applications of gene therapy to the horrors of eugenics, Matt Ridley probes the scientific, philosophical, and moral issues arising as a result of the mapping of the genome. It will help you understand what this scientific milestone means for you, for your children, and for humankind.

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1 .) The Gene: An Intimate History by Siddhartha Mukherjee

The Gene: An Intimate HistoryLists It Appears On:

  • Best DNA Testing Kits
  • Goodreads
  • The DNA Exchange

From the Pulitzer Prize-winning, bestselling author of The Emperor of All Maladies—a magnificent history of the gene and a response to the defining question of the future: What becomes of being human when we learn to “read” and “write” our own genetic information? Siddhartha Mukherjee has a written a biography of the gene as deft, brilliant, and illuminating as his extraordinarily successful biography of cancer. Weaving science, social history, and personal narrative to tell us the story of one of the most important conceptual breakthroughs of modern times, Mukherjee animates the quest to understand human heredity and its surprising influence on our lives, personalities, identities, fates, and choices. Throughout the narrative, the story of Mukherjee’s own family—with its tragic and bewildering history of mental illness—cuts like a bright, red line, reminding us of the many questions that hang over our ability to translate the science of genetics from the laboratory to the real world. In superb prose and with an instinct for the dramatic scene, he describes the centuries of research and experimentation—from Aristotle and Pythagoras to Mendel and Darwin, from Boveri and Morgan to Crick, Watson and Franklin, all the way through the revolutionary twenty-first century innovators who mapped the human genome. As The New Yorker said of The Emperor of All Maladies, “It’s hard to think of many books for a general audience that have rendered any area of modern science and technology with such intelligence, accessibility, and compassion…An extraordinary achievement.” Riveting, revelatory, and magisterial history of a scientific idea coming to life, and an essential preparation for the moral complexity introduced by our ability to create or “write” the human genome, The Gene is a must-read for everyone concerned about the definition and future of humanity. This is the most crucial science of our time, intimately explained by a master.

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The 125+ Additional Best Genetic Books


(Books Appear On 1 List Each)
1450 Genetics Ideas You Really Need to KnowMark HendersonGoodreads
15A Brief History of Everyone Who Ever Lived: The Stories in Our GenesAdam RutherfordGoodreads
16A Cancer In The Family b
The DNA Exchange
17A Children’s Story about Cells: For Children who Appreciate BiologyMichael Bacotti
We Have Kids
18A Crack in Creation: Gene Editing and the Unthinkable Power to Control EvolutionJennifer A. DoudnaGoodreads
19A feeling for the organismEvelyn Fox KellerRanker
20A Genetic Switch: Phage Lambda RevisitedMark Ptashne.
Serious Science
A House in the Sky: And other uncommon animal homes
Science Book A Day
22A Textbook of Genetics and Molecular BiologySabyasachi RoychoudhuriSanfoundry
23Adam’s Curse: The Science That Reveals Our Genetic DestinyBryan SykesGoodreads
Am I My Genes? Confronting Fate & Family Secrets in the Age of Genetic Testing
Boston Globe
25An Introduction to Genetic AlgorithmsMelanie MitchellRanker
Are We Smart Enough To Know How Smart Animals Are?
The DNA Exchange
The DNA Exchange
28Beggars In Spain
The DNA Exchange
29Biology at WorkKingsley R BrowneFive Books
30Biology of CancerRobert WeinbergRanker
The DNA Exchange
32Brave new worldsBryan AppleyardRanker
33CharacterologyL. Hamilton McCormickRanker
34Cloning the BuddhaRichard HeinbergRanker
35Darwin’s Dangerous Idea: Evolution and the Meanings of LifeDaniel DennettTelegraph
36Deep Ancestry: Inside the Genographic ProjectSpencer WellsGoodreads
37DNA USA: A Genetic Biography of AmericaBryan SykesGoodreads
38DNA: The Secret of LifeJames D. WatsonGoodreads
39Encyclopedia of GeneticsRanker
40Endless Forms Most Beautiful: The New Science of Evo Devo and the Making of the Animal KingdomSean B. CarrollGoodreads
41Enjoy Your CellsFrances Balkwill
We Have Kids
42EnoughBill McKibbenRanker
43Eve & AdamMichael GrantGoodreads
Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City
The DNA Exchange
45Experiments on Plant HybridsGregor Mendel.
Serious Science
Far From The Tree – Parents, Children, and The Search for Identity.
The DNA Exchange
47Figments of RealityIan Stewart, Jack CohenRanker
48Francis Crick: Discoverer of the Genetic CodeMatt RidleyRanker
49GenesBrian J. FordRanker
Genes and DNA: A Beginner’s Guide to Genetics and Its Applications
Best DNA Testing Kits
51Genes, Girls, and GamowJames D WatsonFive Books
52Genetic maps and human imaginationsBarbara Katz RothmanRanker
53Genetics and Molecular Biology: With Fundamentals of BiostatisticsDavid HydeSanfoundry
Genetics: A Conceptual Approach, 6th Edition
Best DNA Testing Kits
55Genetics: A Molecular ApproachDr Terry BrownSanfoundry
56Genetics: Analysis of Genes and GenomesDaniel L Hartl and Maryellen RuvoloSanfoundry
57Genetics: From Genes to Genomes
Best DNA Testing Kits
58Genomic Regulatory SystemsEric H. DavidsonRanker
59Gregor Mendel: The Friar Who Grew PeasCheryl Bardoe
We Have Kids
60Have a Nice DNAFrances Balkwill
We Have Kids
Here Is a Human Being: At the Dawn of Personal Genomics
Boston Globe
62Human Genetics 11th Edition
Best DNA Testing Kits
63Human NaturesPaul R. EhrlichRanker
64In the Name of Eugenics: Genetics and the Uses of Human HeredityDaniel KevlesRanker
65Inheritance: How Our Genes Change Our Lives—and Our Lives Change Our GenesSharon MoalemGoodreads
Inventing Ourselves: The Secret Life of the Teenage Brain
Science Book A Day
Iqbal and His Ingenious Idea: How a Science Project Helps One Family and the Planet
Science Book A Day
68It Starts With a Seed
Science Book A Day
69Junk DNA: A Journey Through the Dark Matter of the GenomeNessa CareyGoodreads
70Jurassic ParkMichael CrichtonGoodreads
71Lab Girl
The DNA Exchange
72Life Histories of Genetic Disease
The DNA Exchange
73Life ScriptNicholas WadeRanker
Life, Animated: A Story of Sidekicks, Heroes, and
The DNA Exchange
Living Things and Nonliving Things: A Compare and Contrast Book
Science Book A Day
76Long After MidnightIris JohansenRanker
Loose Leaf Version for Genetics: Analysis and Principles 5th Edition
Best DNA Testing Kits
78Many: The Diversity of Life on Earth
Science Book A Day
Mapping Fate : A Memoir of Family, Risk, and Genetic Research
The DNA Exchange
80Mapping Human History: Genes, Race, and Our Common OriginsSteve OlsonGoodreads
81MastermindsDavid Ewing DuncanRanker
82Molecular Genetics; an Introductory NarrativeStent, G. and Calendar, R.
Serious Science
83Molecular genetics: At a glancePhundan SinghSanfoundry
84Mutants: On Genetic Variety and the Human BodyArmand Marie LeroiGoodreads
85Nature Via Nurture: Genes, Experience and What Makes Us HumanMatt RidleyGoodreads
86Neanderthal Man: In Search of Lost GenomesSvante PääboGoodreads
87Neural networks and genome informaticsCatherine H. WuRanker
88New patterns in genetics and developmentC. H. WaddingtonRanker
89News of The World
The DNA Exchange
90Origins of SexDorion SaganRanker
Orphan – The Quest to Save Children With Rare Genetic Disorders
The DNA Exchange
92Phenotypic plasticityMassimo PigliucciRanker
93PreyMichael CrichtonGoodreads
94Principles of GeneticsRobert TamarinSanfoundry
95Principles of GeneticssGardner and SimmonsSanfoundry
96Problems on Genetics Molecular Genetics and Evolutionary GeneticsPranab Kumar BanerjeeSanfoundry
97PsychogeneticsChris GriscomRanker
98Redesigning HumansGregory StockRanker
99Refiguring lifeEvelyn Fox KellerRanker
Regenesis: How Synthetic Biology Will Reinvent Nature and Ourselves
Boston Globe
101River Out of EdenRichard DawkinsRanker
102Rosalind FranklinBrenda MaddoxRanker
103Rosalind Franklin: The Dark Lady of DNABrenda MaddoxGoodreads
104School’s Out—ForeverJames PattersonGoodreads
105Seize the NightDean KoontzGoodreads
106Shadows of Lancaster CountyMindy Starns ClarkRanker
107She Has Her Mother’s Laugh: The Powers, Perversions, and Potential of HeredityCarl ZimmerGoodreads
108Small Great Things
The DNA Exchange
109Survival of the Sickest: A Medical Maverick Discovers Why We Need DiseaseSharon MoalemGoodreads
110SynbatBob MayerRanker
The $1,000 Genome: The Revolution in DNA Sequencing and the New Era of Personalized Medicine
Boston Globe
112The Agile GeneMatt RidleyRanker
113The Allure of Fungi
Science Book A Day
114The Ancestor’s Tale: A Pilgrimage to the Dawn of EvolutionRichard DawkinsGoodreads
115The Angel ExperimentJames PattersonGoodreads
116The Baby Biochemist: DNA (Volume 1) and The Baby Biochemist: RNA (Volume 2)Margot Alesund
We Have Kids
117The biotech centuryJeremy RifkinRanker
118The Book of LifeBarbara Katz RothmanRanker
119The cartoon guide to geneticsLarry GonickRanker
120The Century of the GeneEvelyn Fox KellerRanker
121The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of CancerSiddhartha MukherjeeGoodreads
122The Essential DifferenceSimon Baron-CohenFive Books
123The Evolution of DesireDavid M BussFive Books
The Forever Fix: Gene Therapy and the Boy Who Saved It
Boston Globe
125The Frankenstein syndromeBernard RollinRanker
The Great Rhino Rescue: Saving the Southern White Rhinos (Sandra Markle’s Science Discoveries)
Science Book A Day
127The Greatest Show on Earth: The Evidence for EvolutionRichard DawkinsGoodreads
128The Immortal Life of Henrietta LacksRebecca SklootGoodreads
129The Impact of the GeneColin TudgeRanker
130The Invisible History of the Human Race: How DNA and History Shape Our Identities and Our FuturesChristine KenneallyGoodreads
131The Journey of Man: A Genetic OdysseySpencer WellsGoodreads
132The Making of the Fittest: DNA and the Ultimate Forensic Record of EvolutionSean B. CarrollGoodreads
133The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for LifeCharles Darwin.
Serious Science
134The Origins of the BritishStephen OppenheimerRanker
The Personality Brokers: The Strange History of Myers-Briggs and the Birth of Personality Testing
Science Book A Day
136The Red Queen: Sex and the Evolution of Human NatureMatt RidleyGoodreads
137The Regulatory GenomeEric H. DavidsonRanker
138The Rosie ProjectGraeme SimsionGoodreads
139The Sexual ParadoxSusan PinkerFive Books
140The Sports Gene: Inside the Science of Extraordinary Athletic PerformanceDavid EpsteinGoodreads
141The Third TwinKen FollettRanker
The Undoing Project: A Friendship That Changed Our Minds
The DNA Exchange
143The Unfit ElofAxel CarlsonRanker
144The Violinist’s Thumb: And Other Lost Tales of Love, War, and Genius, as Written by Our Genetic CodeSam KeanGoodreads
145The Windup GirlPaolo BacigalupiGoodreads
146Time, Love, MemoryJonathan WeinerRanker
Unwell: What Makes a Disease a Disease?
Science Book A Day
148Who We Are and How We Got Here: Ancient DNA and the New Science of the Human PastDavid ReichGoodreads
149WonderR.J. PalacioGoodreads
150Your Inner Fish: A Journey Into the 3.5-Billion-Year History of the Human BodyNeil ShubinGoodreads

11 Best Books About Genetics Sources/Lists

Best DNA Testing Kits Best Genetics Books for Medical Students: Top Books to Learn in Detail
Boston Globe Selected books on genetics – The Boston Globe
Five Books Genetics Archives | Five Books
Goodreads Popular Genetics Books – Goodreads
Ranker Best Genetics Books | List of Top Books About Genetics – Ranker
Sanfoundry Best Reference Books – Genetics, Molecular Genetics – Sanfoundry
Science Book A Day 10 Great Books on Genetics – Science Book a Day
Serious Science 5 books about genetics – Serious Science
Telegraph Best evolutionary biology books, from Stephen Jay Gould to Richard …
The DNA Exchange Open Reading Frame – The Books That Caught Genetic Counselors …
We Have Kids The Best Children’s Books About Cells, DNA, and Genetics …