Science & Technology Book Reviews

PSYCHOLOGY
Released: Feb. 28, 2017

"A thoroughly researched, clearly presented book that suggests that imprecise brain science will become increasingly more common as evidence in criminal cases."
American Bar Association Journal editor Davis (Defending the Damned: Inside Chicago's Cook County Public Defender's Office, 2007, etc.) engagingly explores how sophisticated brain studies might help explain the causes of violent crimes. Read full book review >
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Released: Feb. 28, 2017

"An unsettling but informative and sometimes-optimistic view of mostly legitimate efforts at life extension."
An enlightening tour of transhumanism, the movement dedicated to radically prolonging human life. Read full book review >

SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Released: Feb. 28, 2017

"Solid research into the dilemmas regarding genetic screening and how it is used for fetuses and newborns."
When scientific ability and human desire coalesce into a potent tool that can profoundly change life. Read full book review >
HOMO DEUS by Yuval Noah Harari
HISTORY
Released: Feb. 21, 2017

"A relentlessly fascinating book that is sure to become—and deserves to be—a bestseller."
In an intellectually provocative follow-up to Sapiens (2015), Harari (History/Hebrew Univ. of Jerusalem) looks to the future. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 21, 2017

"A fine biography of a man who played an essential role in post-World War II American science and deserves to be better known."
The life and work of "an expert in technology" who is largely forgotten outside the world of physics. Read full book review >

CONVERGENCE by Peter Watson
HISTORY
Released: Feb. 21, 2017

"Those who reject the idea of convergence outright may not get far in this book, but readers with no objection to a sweeping, entirely fascinating history of science during the last 200 years will find an abundance of enlightening material."
The journalist and polymath delivers a delightful exploration of "the deepest idea in the universe." Read full book review >
EXTREME MEASURES by Jessica Nutik Zitter
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 21, 2017

"Clarity and compassion unite in this touching and convincing new conversation on comfortable, patient-centered end-of-life care."
End-stage patient suffering and distress inspire an early-career watershed moment for a sympathetic physician. Read full book review >
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS
Released: Feb. 21, 2017

"A jargon-heavy, superficial primer on altered states tuned to a specific audience."
Two researchers survey the various ways that human beings alter their consciousness to improve performance. Read full book review >
A BIG BANG IN A LITTLE ROOM by Zeeya Merali
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Released: Feb. 14, 2017

"A rich and wonderful cosmological history that illuminates the scientific possibility of the nearly unthinkable."
It's a mind-boggling concept fraught with implications about our own universe's origin, but scientists argue that it may someday be possible to create a new universe not so unlike our own in a lab. Read full book review >
BAD SINGER by Tim Falconer
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 14, 2017

"A spirited, even adventurous look at the mysteries of how the human brain perceives and processes sound—and even, on occasion, manages to make beautiful music."
"I'm a bad singer. And deep down, it matters." Falling down a rabbit hole in B-minor, Canadian science writer Falconer (Magazine Journalism/Ryerson Univ.; That Good Night: Ethicists, Euthanasia and the End-of-Life Care, 2009, etc.) explores all that bad singing entails. Read full book review >
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Released: Feb. 14, 2017

"You don't have to be a paranoiac to have enemies, and you don't need to be an outlaw to want to keep your personal information personal. Though with more than a whiff of conspiracy theory to it, Mitnick's book is a much-needed operating manual for the cyberage."
A highly useful handbook for how not to be seen—online, anyway. Read full book review >
TIDES by Jonathan White
NATURE & TRAVEL
Released: Feb. 14, 2017

"White's heightened awareness of the planet's 'cosmic beat' is bound to make readers more sensitive to the mysteries of what might otherwise seem commonplace."
Anyone inclined to take the movement of the tides for granted will think twice after reading this wide-ranging study from a conservationist and avid sailor. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Yoojin Grace Wuertz
February 27, 2017

In Yoojin Grace Wuertz’s debut novel Everything Belongs to Us, the setting is Seoul in 1978. At South Korea’s top university, the nation’s best and brightest compete to join the professional elite of an authoritarian regime. Success could lead to a life of rarefied privilege and wealth; failure means being left irrevocably behind. For childhood friends Jisun and Namin, the stakes couldn’t be more different. Jisun, the daughter of a powerful business mogul, grew up on a mountainside estate with lush gardens and a dedicated chauffeur. Namin’s parents run a tented food cart from dawn to curfew; her sister works in a shoe factory. Now Jisun wants as little to do with her father’s world as possible, abandoning her schoolwork in favor of the underground activist movement, while Namin studies tirelessly in the service of one goal: to launch herself and her family out of poverty. But everything changes when Jisun and Namin meet an ambitious, charming student named Sunam, whose need to please his family has led him to a prestigious club: the Circle. Under the influence of his mentor, Juno, a manipulative social climber, Sunam becomes entangled with both women, as they all make choices that will change their lives forever. “Engrossing,” our reviewer writes in a starred review. “Wuertz is an important new voice in American fiction.” View video >