1. Charles Darwin: A Biography, by Janet Browne. A joyously human story about the Bearded One
  2. Eight Little Piggies, by Steven Jay Gould. Any of Gould's early books of essays are a good entry into his work
  3. The Selfish Gene. How Richard Dawkins made his bones as both a theorist and a popular writer
  4. The Origins of Genome Architecture. By Michael Lynch. The non-adaptive side of evolution is hugely important but little appreciated. This isn't a breezy book, but it's an important one