Science & Technology Book Reviews

PSYCHOLOGY
Released: Aug. 23, 2016

"In what is a growing genre, Aiken provides a thoughtful approach to the attractions, distractions, and pitfalls of our digital culture."
An expert in the field of cyberpsychology looks at how the interface between digital technology and our daily activities impacts social and personal relationships. Read full book review >
THE CURE FOR CATASTROPHE by Robert Muir-Wood
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Sept. 6, 2016

"Readers will find it hard to stop reading this excellent book and will share the author's perhaps futile yearning that elected officials have the courage to pass inconvenient laws and spend the electorate's money to prevent disasters."
A fascinating examination of the "forensics of disasters." Read full book review >

HISTORY
Released: Sept. 13, 2016

"A comprehensive primer for how to contemplate urban spaces as they evolve for the future."
A creative city planner takes inspiration from the ancients' sense of urban integrity to propound a holistic approach to crafting the city space. Read full book review >
ZIKA by Donald G. McNeil Jr.
NATURE & TRAVEL
Released: July 5, 2016

"Credit McNeil for a succinct summary of Zika to date, but be forewarned: this is a fast-breaking story, and the last word has yet to come, including how Zika will affect the American population as it journeys north."
Frightening words on the Zika virus from a reliable source: a New York Times science reporter who has covered virulent global infections for decades. Read full book review >
MODIFIED by Caitlin Shetterly
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Sept. 20, 2016

"The message that our planet is saturated with chemical toxins comes through clearly, but the health case against GMOs is not persuasive."
A journalist on a mission to expose the dangers of genetically modified organisms tells nearly as much about her personal life as about the issue bothering her. Read full book review >

NOW by Richard A. Muller
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Released: Sept. 20, 2016

"Not for the faint of heart or mathematically averse, but Muller is a masterful guide within this survey of cosmology."
Educated readers know that time is one of four dimensions, but most can't shake the feeling that it's the odd man out. They will enjoy this popular account of "an extremely simple yet fascinating and mysterious concept." Read full book review >
PSYCHOLOGY
Released: Sept. 13, 2016

"It's no match for Jesse Sheidlower's fluent, fun The F Word (1995), but Bergen's study is still a winner for the psycholinguistics nerd in the house."
An examination of the sub rosa language that sets us all atwitter—and athwart. Read full book review >
Matter Over Mind by Elaine Walker
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Released: Feb. 15, 2016

"While the author overreaches, her wonderfully lucid explanations of modern physics often hit their marks."
A panoramic account of the cosmos infers political and moral lessons for the whole of humanity. Read full book review >
A New Science by Mukesh Prasad
ESSAYS & ANTHOLOGIES
Released: May 13, 2016

"While exploring a rich variety of topics, from climate change to Einstein, this collection of scientific thoughts lacks polish."
A scientific freethinker draws on his Usenet posts to argue for reinterpretations of mainstream theories. Read full book review >
The Future of Clean Energy by Gary Schwendiman
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Dec. 30, 2015

"An evaluation of the potential energy technologies of the future that draws on a sports metaphor to choose a winner."
A debut book examines the most likely energy developments of the next decades. Read full book review >
HISTORY
Released: Nov. 15, 2015

"An absorbing and comprehensive study of a sea captain and place largely forgotten by history."
An old seafaring world comes to life in this examination of the coastal trade of the mid-1800s. Read full book review >
HUMAN EVOLUTION by Robin Dunbar
HISTORY
Released: Sept. 1, 2016

"Readers who pay attention and do not skim the many graphs, tables, and statistics will discover a rich trove of discoveries on how primitive primates became modern humans."
A history of the "insatiable curiosity about who we are and where we have come from." Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Swan Huntley
June 27, 2016

In Swan Huntley’s debut novel We Could Be Beautiful, Catherine West has spent her entire life surrounded by beautiful things. She owns an immaculate Manhattan apartment, she collects fine art, she buys exquisite handbags and clothing, and she constantly redecorates her home. And yet, despite all this, she still feels empty. One night, at an art opening, Catherine meets William Stockton, a handsome man who shares her impeccable taste and love of beauty. He is educated, elegant, and even has a personal connection—his parents and Catherine's parents were friends years ago. But as he and Catherine grow closer, she begins to encounter strange signs, and her mother, Elizabeth (now suffering from Alzheimer’s), seems to have only bad memories of William as a boy. In Elizabeth’s old diary she finds an unnerving letter from a former nanny that cryptically reads: “We cannot trust anyone . . . “ Is William lying about his past? “Huntley’s debut stands out not for its thrills but rather for her hawkish eye for social detail and razor-sharp wit,” our reviewer writes. “An intoxicating escape; as smart as it is fun.” View video >