Physics on the Fringe

Smoke Rings, Circlons, and Alternative Theories of Everything

Margaret Wertheim

Walker & Co., $26

Through the story of Jim Carter, a trailer park owner in Washington state, Wertheim examines a group of men without formal scientific training who have tried to change the face of physics.

Plastic Ocean

How a Sea Captain's Chance Discovery Launched a Determined Quest to Save the Oceans

Capt. Charles Moore with Cassandra Phillips

Avery, $26

The environmentalist and researcher details his discovery of a great garbage patch in the Pacific Ocean where plastic outweighs zooplankton.

The Puppy Diaries

Raising a Dog Named Scout

Jill Abramson

Times Books / Henry Holt, $22

Part owner's manual, part memoir, the recently appointed executive editor of the New York Times recounts her first year with her golden retriever Scout.

Quite Enough of Calvin Trillin

Forty Years of Funny Stuff

Calvin Trillin

Random House, $26

The best of Trillin's humorous pieces arranged by themes, including "Life Among the Literati" and "English and Some Languages I Don't Speak."