Science & Technology Book Reviews

UNFAIR by Adam Benforado
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: June 16, 2015

"An original and provocative argument that upends our most cherished beliefs about providing equal justice under the law."
A law professor sounds an explosive alarm on the hidden unfairness of our legal system. Read full book review >
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTS
Released: June 16, 2015

"A propulsive and fascinating portrait of the people who helped upend an industry and challenge how music and media are consumed."
A history of the music industry's reckoning with digital technology, the Internet, and the "pirate generation." Read full book review >

BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: June 15, 2015

"An elegant, pleasantly obsessive study of a 'life of tolerance, humour, serenity and untiring curiosity.'"
A biography of the peerless 17th-century English writer and scientist that finds new relevance in his deeply observant, encyclopedic writings about man and nature. Read full book review >
HUMANKIND by Alexander Harcourt
HISTORY
Released: June 15, 2015

"Homogenization is inevitable, but we are an extraordinarily varied species today, and Harcourt delivers an opinionated but always science-based account of how we got that way."
In his previous book, Harcourt (Emeritus, Anthropology/Univ. of California, Davis) wrote a definitive text on his specialty: Human Biogeography (2012). This book, directed at a popular audience, is a dense and often politically incorrect but lucid summary of everything you would want to know about human diversity.Read full book review >
HISTORY
Released: June 9, 2015

"An opinionated, authoritative, and delightfully provocative account of efforts to make sense of human fossil discoveries."
Despite his 2012 history of Homo sapiens, Masters of the Planet, Tattersall, curator emeritus in the anthropology division of the American Museum of Natural History, revisits the subject from another angle, with equally superb results.Read full book review >

BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: June 9, 2015

"Clynes makes a persuasive case for allowing gifted children the freedom and resources to pursue their interests."
Popular Science contributing editor Clynes (Music Festivals From Bach to Blues: A Travellers Guide, 1996, etc.) uses the story of Taylor Wilson—who, at age 14, became "one of only thirty-two individuals on the planet to build a working fusion reactor, a miniature sun on Earth"—to illustrate the potential for improving our educational system.Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: June 2, 2015

"With concussions from sports injuries making the news, Elliott's easy-to-read account of his experiences is a valuable contribution to a better understanding of the condition."
Up-close view of living with the harrowing effects of a concussion by a professor of artificial intelligence who kept thorough notes of the experience and shares what he learned about overcoming his severe disabilities. Read full book review >
THE THEFT OF MEMORY by Jonathan Kozol
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: June 2, 2015

"A compassionate, cathartic, and searingly intimate chronicle of a crippling condition."
An errant son memorializes the devastating impact of his father's struggle with Alzheimer's disease. Read full book review >
ANOTHER PERSON'S POISON by Matthew Smith
FOOD & COOKING
Released: June 2, 2015

"While Smith's text sometimes reads like a doctoral dissertation, all that meticulousness adds weight and authority to the evidence of the serious shortcomings of a medical specialty."
A scholarly history of food allergy. Read full book review >
WHY INFORMATION GROWS by César Hidalgo
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS
Released: June 2, 2015

"Some readers, perhaps economists especially, will construe Hidalgo's widely allusive musings as dotty dispatches from Jonathan Swift's Laputa; others will delight in his novel, holistic take on the dismal science."
An interdisciplinary theorist, Hidalgo, the Macro Connections group leader at the MIT Media Lab, invites us to understand the economy in an entirely different way. Read full book review >
THE WEATHER EXPERIMENT by Peter Moore
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: June 2, 2015

"Detailed and insightful, this book is as relevant as ever in this era of rapid climate change."
In 1800, no one had a clue about what controlled "the heavens," which made the unlikely science of meteorology one of the most remarkable accomplishments of the 19th century. Read full book review >
A DANGEROUS MASTER by Wendell Wallach
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Released: June 2, 2015

"Wallach describes himself as a 'friendly skeptic' with respect to some aspects of technology, but readers may incline to gloom after reading all the ways things technological can go south. A well-mounted argument that deserves wide consideration."
Never mind the zombies and vampires. Worry about the cyborgs and nanobots—the real things, in other words. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Beatriz Williams
June 23, 2015

In Beatriz Williams’ latest novel Tiny Little Thing, it’s the summer of 1966 and Christina Hardcastle—“Tiny” to her illustrious family—stands on the brink of a breathtaking future. Of the three Schuyler sisters, she’s the one raised to marry a man destined for leadership, and with her elegance and impeccable style, she presents a perfect camera-ready image in the dawning age of television politics. Together she and her husband, Frank, make the ultimate power couple: intelligent, rich, and impossibly attractive. It seems nothing can stop Frank from rising to national office, and he’s got his sights set on a senate seat in November. But as the season gets underway at the family estate on Cape Cod, three unwelcome visitors appear in Tiny’s perfect life. “A fascinating look at wealth, love, ambition, secrets, and what family members will and won’t do to protect each other,” our reviewer writes. View video >