Science & Technology Book Reviews (page 4)

SCREAM by Margee Kerr
Released: Sept. 29, 2015

"Kerr frames her colorful narrative of her scientific objectives with autobiographical details of her own thrill-seeking experiences."
The author's quest to understand the psychology of thrill-seeking and fear. Read full book review >
Released: Sept. 25, 2015

"In clear, accessible, and upbeat prose, Ingram demonstrates his optimism about the possibility of aging with an agile mind, and he is hopeful about finding an effective treatment for sufferers."
What science has learned about the brain, aging, and Alzheimer's disease. Read full book review >

CHILLED by Tom Jackson
Released: Sept. 22, 2015

"There's much to wonder at in Jackson's captivating book."
The lively history of refrigeration from British science writer Jackson (Mathematics: An Illustrated History of Numbers, 2012, etc.).Read full book review >
CAR WARS by John J. Fialka
Released: Sept. 22, 2015

"An inspiring industrial comeback story infused with possibility."
An update on how the electric car is poised to emerge as the preferred, climate-friendly transportation of the future. Read full book review >
Released: Sept. 22, 2015

"A lively, balanced re-examination of the traditional mind-body issue in light of modern advances in neuroscience."
"We do not have bodies, we are bodies," writes Claxton (Emeritus, Learning Sciences/Univ. of Winchester; The Wayward Mind: An Intimate History of the Unconscious, 2005, etc.) in this challenge to the contemporary view of what it means to be intelligent. Read full book review >

Released: Sept. 22, 2015

"With wit, vision, and scholarship, Domingos describes how these scientists are creating programs that allow a computer to teach itself. Readers unfamiliar with logic and computer theory will have a difficult time, but those who persist will discover fascinating insights."
Traditionally, the only way to make a computer execute a task is to write precise instructions: an algorithm. As the author notes in this enthusiastic but not dumbed-down introduction to machine learning, it is impossible to "write a program to tell a computer how to drive a car or decipher handwriting, but if we give enough examples to a computer running a learning algorithm, it will figure out how to do it on its own." Read full book review >
EUREKA by Gavin Weightman
Released: Sept. 22, 2015

"Smart technology history that's as fun and readable as it is seriously informative."
A layman's look at the eureka moments behind inventions that have become an integral part of modern life. Read full book review >
Released: Sept. 15, 2015

"Hard-hitting, difficult to read, and impossible to put down."
An unvarnished account of what it was like, in the mid-1970s, to be "one of the first two women to earn a Bachelor of Science degree in physics at Yale." Read full book review >
Released: Sept. 15, 2015

"Strong medical research and firsthand accounts provide evidence that playing games can make you a healthier, happier, more confident person."
New strategies to create a great life through the power of games. Read full book review >
BRAIN STORMS by Jon Palfreman
Released: Sept. 15, 2015

"In this illuminating book, Palfreman reminds patients that exercise and a positive attitude help, and he urges them to participate in clinical trials and take to task drug companies reluctant to initiate huge trials for what they dismiss as a non-life-threatening disease. Just ask Michael J. Fox."
Prospects for better treatments for Parkinson's disease are the hope that lies at the end of this well-researched history and overview of the current state of research. Read full book review >
Released: Sept. 15, 2015

"A fascinating account of extreme efforts to stave off extinction, the ethics of these efforts, and an unsettling, not-terribly-optimistic analysis of their chances of success."
Everyone sympathizes with endangered species, and few object to traditional conservation measures (limits on hunting, habitat preservation) that work—but they don't work if habitats disappear or if numbers dwindle or vanish entirely. Radical measures are necessary, writes journalist O'Connor. Read full book review >
Released: Sept. 15, 2015

"The science lectures are occasionally long-winded, but Graffin's message is challenging, and the professional entertainer shines through."
While the title suggests another dire warning of a coming explosion in the world's population, in fact, the term "population wars" as used here refers to a historical pattern of populations brought into contact with one another, the ensuing conflicts, and the resulting assimilations. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Jason Gay
November 17, 2015

In the 1990s, copies of Richard Carlson’s Don't Sweat the Small Stuff (and its many sequels) were seemingly everywhere, giving readers either the confidence to prioritize their stresses or despondence over the slender volume’s not addressing their particular set of problems. While not the first book of its kind, it kicked open the door for an industry of self-help, worry-reduction advice guides. In his first book, Little Victories, Wall Street Journal sports columnist Gay takes less of a guru approach, though he has drawn an audience of readers appreciative of reportage that balances insights with a droll, self-deprecating outlook. He occasionally focuses his columns on “the Rules” (of Thanksgiving family touch football, the gym, the office holiday party, etc.), which started as a genial poke in the eye at the proliferation of self-help books and, over time, came to explore actual advice “both practical and ridiculous” and “neither perfect nor universal.” The author admirably combines those elements in every piece in the book. View video >