Cocktail Party Physics is compiling a list, eventually to round out at 100, of good popular books on the sciences, which is to say science reading for those of us who may have political science degrees. The books on the list must be works that explain their topics in well-written English, without too many equations and jargon.
I've read 22 of the books on this list, and agree with almost all of those I've read. Off the top of my head, the only book I'd add would be Laurie Garrett's The Coming Plague, and the only book I'd remove would be Brian Greene's The Elegant Universe, because while it's a fine book, I dislike its self-congratulatory tone and the more I tax my tiny uneducated brain on the matter the more I think that there's something about string theory that just doesn't add up. Perhaps I'll have to reappraise Greene's book after September 10.
(On that note, see Not Even Wrong, a good popular (meaning readable) dissident science blog that explains the reservations some physicists have about superstring theory.)