Science & Technology Book Reviews

HISTORY
Released: May 24, 2016

"A fresh, lively look at an obsessive desire to own a piece of the wild."
In her spirited debut book, a journalist recounts her quest for a coveted aquarium fish. Read full book review >
THE NEXT PANDEMIC by Ali S. Khan
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: May 24, 2016

"The details are sometimes disturbing, but Khan writes with verve, clarity, and a touch of humor."
Autobiography of a self-described disease detective whose adventures in public health dramatize the need to modify our approach to emerging infections and possible pandemics. Read full book review >

THE PHYSICS OF LIFE by Adrian Bejan
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Released: May 24, 2016

"Unique and entirely fascinating, this book will linger in your consciousness and prompt you to look at the world with fresh eyes."
Renowned energy scientist Bejan (Mechanical Engineering/Duke Univ.; co-author: Design in Nature, 2013, etc.) reorients the query "what is life" within the perspective of physics. Read full book review >
THE GENE by Siddhartha Mukherjee
HISTORY
Released: May 17, 2016

"Sobering, humbling, and extraordinarily rich reading from a wise and gifted writer who sees how far we have come—but how much farther we have to go to understand our human nature and destiny."
A panoramic history of the gene and how genetics "resonate[s] far beyond the realms of science." Read full book review >
THE AGE OF GENOMES by Steven Monroe Lipkin
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: May 17, 2016

"The author's caveats about present and future uses of gene sequencing reflect a physician keenly aware of the ethical and moral issues."
Vignettes from the front lines of genetics research and testing. Read full book review >

THE SEVENTH SENSE by Joshua Cooper Ramo
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Released: May 17, 2016

"Plus ça change? No, the more it changes, the weirder the world gets. For policy wonks with an eye toward the middle term, Ramo provides a good effort to make sense of it all."
Salutary futuristic reading for those still inclined to "use a mechanical way of thinking in an age of complexity." Read full book review >
Revising Genesis by James Quatro
ESSAYS & ANTHOLOGIES
Released: May 13, 2016

"An accessible, but serious new contribution to biblical studies."
A debut volume delivers a provocative reconsideration of the book of Genesis in light of modern science. Read full book review >
THE BIG PICTURE by Sean Carroll
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Released: May 10, 2016

"A brilliantly lucid exposition of profound philosophical and scientific issues in a language accessible to lay readers."
"From the perspective of a vast, seemingly indifferent cosmos," do our lives really matter? Read full book review >
YOU MAY ALSO LIKE by Tom Vanderbilt
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTS
Released: May 10, 2016

"Like it or not, there's much to behold in this exhaustively researched, intellectual assessment of human preference."
The science behind the choices we make. Read full book review >
FINDING NORTH by George Michelsen Foy
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: May 10, 2016

"Armchair sailors will enjoy the vicarious thrills of Foy's brief journeys, and even those with no intentions of abandoning their smartphones will find something to ponder in his speculations about the challenges of gadget-free navigation."
Novelist and amateur sailor Foy (Creative Writing/New York Univ.; Zero Decibels: The Quest for Absolute Silence, 2010, etc.), who sees technology as a distinctly mixed blessing, chronicles his journey up the New England coast in a rickety boat without satellite guidance.Read full book review >
DEATH ON EARTH by Jules Howard
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Released: May 10, 2016

"Less a thoughtful investigation than a collection of journalistic essays, interviews, and personal experiences related to death, many of which are not for readers with weak stomachs."
Evolution solves myriad problems, so why do living things die? "Death is the biggest problem of all, surely….Why hasn't it been whipped into shape by natural selection?" Read full book review >
THE LIFE PROJECT by Helen Pearson
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Released: May 10, 2016

"A valuable mine of information of particular interest to social scientists, medical professionals, and concerned citizens who seek to influence social policy."
Award-winning Nature journalist Pearson chronicles a series of groundbreaking longitudinal, cradle-to-grave birth-cohort studies begun by British scientists in the aftermath of World War II. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Emma Straub
author of MODERN LOVERS
May 30, 2016

In Emma Straub’s new novel Modern Lovers, friends and former college bandmates Elizabeth and Andrew and Zoe have watched one another marry, buy real estate, and start businesses and families, all while trying to hold on to the identities of their youth. But nothing ages them like having to suddenly pass the torch (of sexuality, independence, and the ineffable alchemy of cool) to their own offspring. Back in the band’s heyday, Elizabeth put on a snarl over her Midwestern smile, Andrew let his unwashed hair grow past his chin, and Zoe was the lesbian all the straight women wanted to sleep with. Now nearing fifty, they all live within shouting distance in the same neighborhood deep in gentrified Brooklyn, and the trappings of the adult world seem to have arrived with ease. But the summer that their children reach maturity (and start sleeping together), the fabric of the adult lives suddenly begins to unravel, and the secrets and revelations that are finally let loose—about themselves, and about the famous fourth band member who soared and fell without them—can never be reclaimed. “Straub’s characters are a quirky and interesting bunch, well aware of their own good fortune, and it’s a pleasure spending time with them in leafy Ditmas Park,” our reviewer writes in a starred review. View video >