Jules Verne (1828-1905) was a French author who set out to write books that combined scientific fact with adventure stories. While he was working in Paris as a stockbroker, he met the publisher Pierre-Jules Hetzel, and his Voyages Extraordinaires were launched, starting with Five Weeks in a Balloon in 1863—a beautifully illustrated work of ‘scientific fiction.’ The series would end up running to some 50 titles in his lifetime, including his best-known works: Journey to the Centre of the Earth, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea and Around the World in 80 Days. Today Verne is regarded as one of the founders of science fiction and his books are among the world’s most translated novels.
Books by Jules Verne
“I think that a lot of people like myself who have become involved in the world of science, started our enthusiasms not through scientific texts, but through works of the imagination. Jules Verne was a master of tales of action and adventure. I remember loving Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea as a youngster. Yet re-reading it recently, I was struck not just by its dynamic plot, but also by how much science he smuggled in.” Read more...
The best books on Anthropocene Oceans
Jan Zalasiewicz, Geologist
“The book has just enough science that it seems real. If you read it as a kid and re-read it as a geologist, you think there are some very interesting things in there. He plays around with certain facts. He comes up with a very interesting theory to explain that it doesn’t get hot as you go deeper underground (which was in vogue at the time), but the book imagines the preservation of prehistoric life in the subsurface and that’s something we’re still looking at. Many of the organisms that we find down there today look to be, from an evolutionary point of view, extremely primitive. The conditions we find them in are very much what the surface of the Earth used to look like, three billion years ago. There is no oxygen and three billion years ago there was very little oxygen on the surface of our planet.” Read more...
The best books on Life Below the Surface of the Earth
Tullis Onstott, Environmentalist
“Most of Verne’s predictions were realised – travel to the moon, travel to the bottom of the ocean, and so forth… Nobody has a clue how the world will look in 20 years’ time.” Read more...
Marc Faber, Fund Managers & Investor
Interviews where books by Jules Verne were recommended
The best books on Investment, recommended by Marc Faber
Marc Faber, the infamous investor known as “Dr Doom”, discusses books he considers indispensable for those interested in investment. He stresses the importance for investors to be historically aware, and holds that Irving Fisher is one of the best economists of the 20th century.
The best books on Life Below the Surface of the Earth, recommended by Tullis Onstott
The ‘subterranaut’ describes how the discovery of ancient bacteria miles beneath the Earth’s surface opens the possibility of finding life on Mars. He picks five books that show how our knowledge of life deep in this planet could lead us to discover it elsewhere.
The best books on Volcanoes, recommended by Simon Winchester
The respected author and veteran journalist gives illuminating interview on volcanic eruptions. Discusses wonderful literary works from authors including Jules Vernes, Edward Lytton and Paddy Leigh Fermor
The best books on Anthropocene Oceans, recommended by Jan Zalasiewicz
Geologist Jan Zalasiewicz tells us about the danger posed to oceans by the Anthropocene – and how we can work together to protect them