Science & Technology Book Reviews

Released: Feb. 15, 2018

"A spirited critique of what Russell Jacoby has called the 'culture of endless talk,' of a piece with Jackson Lears' Fables of Abundance (1995) and Rachel Maines' Hedonizing Technologies (2009)."
In war and its commercial counterpart, we have long lived inside a "culture of consultation." So writes Nation contributing editor Featherstone (Selling Women Short: The Landmark Battle for Worker's Rights at Wal-Mart, 2004, etc.) in this intriguing look at the rise of the focus group. Read full book review >
Released: Feb. 13, 2018

"Solid, timeless advice for parents who haven't read other books along these lines."
Why children need more control of their own lives and how to achieve it. Read full book review >

A TASTE FOR THE BEAUTIFUL by Michael J.  Ryan
Released: Feb. 13, 2018

"Despite its appealing title, this is one primarily for the academic market—a good choice for classrooms."
Another look at Darwin's once-controversial theory of sexual selection, in which the author argues that sexual beauty is in the brain of the beholder. Read full book review >
BUILT by Roma Agrawal
Released: Feb. 13, 2018

"A delightful introduction to the science of engineering and those key in its development, from Brunelleschi and his Duomo in Florence to Emily Roebling's Brooklyn Bridge to Fazlur Khan's monumental Burj Khalifa in Dubai, the world's tallest building."
Looking at the history of structures through "the eyes of an engineer." Read full book review >
Released: Feb. 13, 2018

"Well-researched, occasionally dense explanations of women's hormones and how they affect them on a regular basis."
All the latest findings on women's hormones and "a call to action for more information on…female brains and bodies." Read full book review >

Released: Feb. 13, 2018

"Hardly revolutionary, but sensible advice on how to nurture creativity."
Examining the lives of serial innovators reveals strong commonalities. Read full book review >
Released: Feb. 13, 2018

"For those inclined to believe that the end is not nigh and who would like to keep up with recent science, this book is a…well, not a godsend, but a gift all the same."
The bomb? The plague? Trump? Not to worry; things are getting better. So writes eternal optimist Pinker (Psychology/Harvard Univ.; The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined, 2011, etc.). Read full book review >
THE GENIUS WITHIN by David Adam
Released: Feb. 6, 2018

"Except for a taste for anecdotes describing individuals experiencing a miraculous transformation, Adam delivers a sensible, often skeptical review of his subject. Most readers will agree that techniques to supercharge our brains are inevitable—but not yet."
An exploration of how "modern brain science is not just observing anymore," but can now "intervene, to change the way the brain and the mind works." Read full book review >
Released: Feb. 6, 2018

"A lucid and entertaining book that is neither literary criticism nor a biography with serious ambitions but mostly a series of essays on science, history, and early-19th-century British society often only distantly related to building Frankenstein's monster."
Examining the science of "a work of fiction that has enthralled, inspired and terrified for two centuries." Read full book review >
THE EARTH GAZERS by Christopher Potter
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 6, 2018

"Despite covering familiar ground, Potter delivers an enthralling account of the golden age of manned space travel that emphasizes the transcendent experiences of everyone involved, and he makes a convincing case that America lost something vital when it ended."
A history of the space program told through the lens of the handful of astronauts who have seen the Earth from space. Read full book review >
Released: Feb. 6, 2018

"A dense, detailed mixture of hard science, philosophy, and speculation that will reward readers willing to work through the author's demanding book."
A leading neuroscientist returns with a complex exploration of the life of the mind. Read full book review >
Released: Feb. 6, 2018

"A good introduction to a significant historical period and encouragement for those with a great idea to continue seeking acceptance."
An exploration of how "we have always responded in two ways to the mystery of being: we have explored nature and supernature." 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 >