Science & Technology Book Reviews

TESLA by Richard Munson
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: May 22, 2018

"Readers will share Munson's frustration at this seeming frittering of a magnificent talent, but they will absolutely enjoy his sympathetic, insightful portrait."
A lucid, expertly researched biography of the brilliant Nikola Tesla (1856-1943), a contemporary and competitor of Thomas Edison who was equally celebrated during his life. Read full book review >
BAD BLOOD by John Carreyrou
Released: May 21, 2018

"Already slated for feature film treatment, Carreyrou's exposé is a vivid, cinematic portrayal of serpentine Silicon Valley corruption."
A deep investigative report on the sensationalistic downfall of multibillion-dollar Silicon Valley biotech startup Theranos. Read full book review >

THE ORDER OF TIME by Carlo Rovelli
Released: May 18, 2018

"As much a work of philosophy as of physics and full of insights for readers willing to work hard."
Undeterred by a subject difficult to pin down, Italian theoretical physicist Rovelli (Reality Is Not What It Seems: The Journey to Quantum Gravity, 2017, etc.) explains his thoughts on time. Read full book review >
WHEN EINSTEIN WALKED WITH GÖDEL by Jim Holt
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: May 15, 2018

"Prepare to be wined, dined, and entertained by quantum mechanics, group theory, topology, the infinitesimal, the infinitely small, and the string theory generation, among other topics."
A collection of incisive essays that make learning about science fun. Read full book review >
Released: May 15, 2018

"A trip well worth taking, eye-opening and even mind-blowing."
Noted culinary writer Pollan (Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation, 2013, etc.) makes the transition from feeding your body to feeding your head. Read full book review >

IN PRAISE OF WASTING TIME by Alan Lightman
Released: May 15, 2018

"Lightman, who lives less than a mile from Walden Pond, takes a page from Thoreau, convincingly arguing that we must embrace play, solitude, and contemplation to leaven our hyperstimulated lives."
The distinguished physicist and novelist grapples with the pervasive network of digital distraction he calls "the Grid" and discusses how we can disengage while salvaging its benefits. Read full book review >
CHERNOBYL by Serhii Plokhy
Released: May 15, 2018

"A thoughtful study of catastrophe, unintended consequences, and, likely, nuclear calamities to come."
A history of the nuclear disaster that set precedents—and standards—for future mishaps of the kind. Read full book review >
Released: May 15, 2018

"A book rich in speculation about how collective thinking might solve big problems such as climate change; of interests to fans of Daniel Dennett, Steven Pinker, and other big-picture thinkers."
Forget artificial intelligence. Instead, think collective intelligence, putting "AI in combination with humans who provide whatever skills and general intelligence the machines don't yet have themselves." Read full book review >
THE PERFECTIONISTS by Simon Winchester
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: May 8, 2018

"Less a work of scholarship than an enthusiastic popular-science tour of technological marvels, and readers will love the ride."
An ingenious argument that the dazzling advances that produced the scientific revolution, the industrial revolution, and the revolutions that followed owe their success to a single engineering element: precision. Read full book review >
THE LANGUAGE OF KINDNESS by Christie Watson
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: May 8, 2018

"A beautiful homage to the dignified, unsung heroes of hospital care."
A poignant journey through the "tragedies and joys of a remarkable career" in hospital patient care. Read full book review >
Released: May 8, 2018

"A valuable resource for executives concerned with the protection of vital, technological property."
A brief but comprehensive introduction to business cybersecurity for tech noobs. Read full book review >
Released: May 3, 2018

"Whether China succeeds is, of course, for the future to tell. That it has emerged so rapidly as the region's superpower, though, makes this brief study particularly timely."
Illuminating study of China's ambitious efforts to extend its influence in Southeast Asia by means of a high-speed rail system. 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 >