Science & Technology Book Reviews

Released: Nov. 21, 2017

"Maddox's investigation lacks the dazzling heft of John McPhee's Annals of the Former World (1998), but it makes for a gentle introduction to early modern natural history, one of the last eras in which a gentleman (or gentlewoman) scholar might ever hope to have a solid grasp of every branch of science."
The word "scientist" is Georgian, but the scientific habit of mind is Victorian—and quite British, as this popular history ably shows. Read full book review >
IMMUNE by Catherine  Carver
Released: Nov. 21, 2017

"Not easy going for general readers given the depth, breadth, and detail Carver brings to a complex subject, but credit her for the wits—and wittiness—she uses to enlighten us."
A British immunologist explores "the incredible arsenal that lives within us and how it kills off a plethora of diseases, from the common cold to the plague." Read full book review >

Released: Nov. 17, 2017

"Readers will share Emery's lack of nostalgia for this half-forgotten weapon, but they will admire this satisfying combination of technical background, battlefield fireworks, biographies of colorful major figures, and personal anecdotes from individual soldiers."
An illumination of the "little understood and…poorly documented" story of a significant piece of the "history of chemical warfare in the United States." Read full book review >
COUNTING BACKWARDS by Henry Jay  Przybylo
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Nov. 14, 2017

"A fascinating tour of a mystifying, unnerving, yet precious medical necessity."
A veteran anesthesiologist probes the origins and mysteries of medically induced unconsciousness. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Nov. 14, 2017

"A readable tech history, but it helps to have a background in computers to get the most out of Dear's account. As good an account of PLATO as we're likely to get—or to need."
An exploration of the computer system that was too far ahead of its time to succeed but whose legacy quietly endures. Read full book review >

Released: Nov. 14, 2017

"The great enemy of social media, it would seem, is any notion of objective truth. This eye-opening book reveals a theater of conflict that aims to destroy reality, waged by all sides."
We shall fight them on the beaches, we shall fight them on the landing grounds, we shall fight them with our thumbs…. Read full book review >
Released: Nov. 14, 2017

"A frightening, scientifically grounded, and starkly relevant look at how climate change will affect coastal cities."
How the impending rise in sea levels caused by increasing amounts of carbon dioxide in the air will make life on the edge of the ocean very different over the next century. Read full book review >
Released: Nov. 14, 2017

"Readers who have forgotten college physics may not understand much about neutrinos, but they will enjoy reading about those who do."
An account of a telescope that "is unlike any other telescope you've ever seen or heard of, a marvel of science "buried more than a mile deep in the ice at the geographic South Pole." Read full book review >
Released: Nov. 14, 2017

"A sharp, thoughtful, sometimes-surprising account of how we build trust with strangers now."
How technology is changing our attitudes toward trust. Read full book review >
Released: Nov. 14, 2017

"Fellow members of the author's choir will find some useful nuggets, but readers seeking to learn more about microbial soil health and its implications for farm practices and climate change should look elsewhere. Regarding microbes and our bodies, a good start is Alanna Collen's 10% Human (2015)."
A journalist, activist, and filmmaker examines how soil-conscious farming practices may affect climate change and aims to move consumer sentiment to support them. Read full book review >
Released: Nov. 7, 2017

"A spirited exploration of tech by a devotee who holds out the hope that bright things are just around the corner."
The author has seen the future, and it wears a headset. Read full book review >
SPINELESS by Juli  Berwald
Released: Nov. 7, 2017

"In this lovely exploration of the mysterious jellyfish, Berwald both entrances and sounds a warning: pay attention to the messages sent by ocean life, and act to protect their environment, and ours."
A close look at the biology and behavior of jellyfish combined with a personal history of the author, a former ocean scientist who was pulled back to the sea by these enigmatic creatures. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Katey Sagal
author of GRACE NOTES
April 10, 2017

In her memoir Grace Notes, actress and singer/songwriter Katey Sagal takes you through the highs and lows of her life, from the tragic deaths of her parents to her long years in the Los Angeles rock scene, from being diagnosed with cancer at the age of twenty-eight to getting her big break on the fledgling FOX network as the wise-cracking Peggy Bundy on the beloved sitcom Married…with Children. Sparse and poetic, Grace Notes is an emotionally riveting tale of struggle and success, both professional and personal: Sagal’s path to sobriety; the stillbirth of her first daughter, Ruby; motherhood; the experience of having her third daughter at age 52 with the help of a surrogate; and her lifelong passion for music. “While this book is sure to please the author’s many fans, its thoughtful, no-regrets honesty will no doubt also appeal to readers of Hollywood memoirs seeking substance that goes beyond gossip and name-dropping,” our critic writes. “A candid, reflective memoir.” View video >