Science & Technology Book Reviews

HISTORY
Released: April 15, 2015

"A meticulously detailed, welcome addition to the literature of World War I, the 'first ‘total' war in which all the resources of the state were involved.'"
TV producer and writer Downing (Night Raid: The True Story of the First Victorious British Para Raid of WWII, 2013, etc.) recounts the complete transformation of warfare during World War I, the first industrialized war.Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 14, 2015

"Halpern ably explores the clashing personalities and worldviews that had physics in churning ferment during the early part of the 20th century."
The history of a grand theory—the theory of everything, aka the unified field theory—that never achieved flight and the two household names that kicked the fledgling theory from the nest before its time. Read full book review >

COAL WARS by Richard Martin
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: April 14, 2015

"Martin is unequivocal and persuasive: The best use of coal is in holiday stockings."
Coal will never stop blighting our planet, writes energy analyst Martin (SuperFuel: Thorium, the Green Energy Source for the Future, 2012), and its good riddance can't come too soon.Read full book review >
BEYOND by Chris Impey
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Released: April 13, 2015

"There's not a lot new here, and most of the information can easily be found elsewhere, including Impey's own books. Still, he provides a useful synthesis without prerequisites and a welcoming invitation to join the space race."
Do we have a future in space? By astronomer Impey's (How It Began: A Time-Traveler's Guide to the Universe, 2012, etc.) account, the answer is yes—but we must get working immediately.Read full book review >
THE NEW WILD by Fred Pearce
NATURE & TRAVEL
Released: April 7, 2015

"Pearce's book could use some pruning and shaping of its own, but his theme is significant: There is no going back when change is the norm."
Environmental journalist Pearce (The Land Grabbers: The New Fight over Who Owns the Earth, 2012, etc.) examines the effects of introduced species and our responses to them. Read full book review >

HEADSTRONG by Rachel Swaby
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 7, 2015

"Readers may argue over the selections, but Swaby provides succinct and informative narratives on some of the women who have made important contributions to the realm of science."
Minibiographies of women and their accomplishments in science. Read full book review >
WORK RULES! by Laszlo Bock
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS
Released: April 7, 2015

"An intriguing profile of an innovative company that continues to shake up the world."
The head of "People Operations" at Google discusses how the company grew into a world leader in its field and why economics was not necessarily the primary driver of its development. Read full book review >
THE EUREKA FACTOR by John Kounios
PSYCHOLOGY
Released: April 7, 2015

"Being good scientists, the authors' secrets of success lack the dramatic specificity of more commercial authors, but readers will appreciate their ingenious, thoughtful update on how the mind works."
"Things just clicked." "It was a spark of inspiration…a bolt of lightning…an epiphany…." Readers curious to know what happens when we solve a problem in a flash will find the latest research here. Read full book review >
PROFESSOR STEWART’S INCREDIBLE NUMBERS by Ian Stewart
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Released: April 7, 2015

"Stewart receives an A for telling us how vast, wonderful and useful are all the members of the world of numbers but a lower grade for his explanation of the whys and wherefores."
The erudite British math professor revels in the wonders of numbers. Read full book review >
A ROUGH RIDE TO THE FUTURE by James Lovelock
NATURE & TRAVEL
Released: April 3, 2015

"For those so inclined, this book is like getting Mother Earth News and Wired magazines in the mail on the same day."
A radical shift in thinking about climate change from Lovelock, the originator of the Gaia theory. Read full book review >
A DISEASE CALLED CHILDHOOD by Marilyn Wedge
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: March 24, 2015

"In an important read for open-minded parents, Wedge offers fresh perspectives and practical approaches to the continuing ADHD conundrum."
An astute examination of the ADHD epidemic, what's causing it, and how a radical, nonmedicinal treatment approach may help. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: March 24, 2015

"Less truly revelatory and more just a difference in tone and spirit than previous accounts."
A reframing of the biographical narrative of the late Apple visionary, from the perspectives of business journalists Schlender and Tetzeli and the associates of Jobs' they interviewed. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Luis Alberto Urrea
April 21, 2015

Examining the borders between one nation and another, between one person and another, Luis Alberto Urrea’s latest story collection, The Water Museum, reveals his mastery of the short form. This collection includes the Edgar-award winning "Amapola" and his now-classic "Bid Farewell to Her Many Horses," which had the honor of being chosen for NPR's "Selected Shorts" not once but twice. Urrea has also recently published a poetry collection, Tijuana Book of the Dead, mixing lyricism and colloquial voices, mysticism and the daily grind. We talk to Urrea about both of his new books this week on Kirkus TV. View video >