Here’s a list of books recommended by Vaclav Smil, who does interdisciplinary research in the fields of energy, environmental and population change, food production and nutrition, technical innovation, risk assessment, and public policy. He is the author of several books I've read and reviewed.
I have kept a (more or less complete) list of books I read since September 1969, and so it is easy to scan this year’s items and to single out some perennial favorites and a few new discoveries.
First belles-lettres, memoirs, narratives and stories:
On the science/engineering side I have been reading (in preparation for my next book) many works on old and new materials: