Science & Technology Book Reviews

HOW TO CLONE A MAMMOTH by Beth Shapiro
NATURE & TRAVEL
Released: May 1, 2015

"Extinction is still forever, writes Shapiro, but fashioning a first cousin—with all its intriguing and alarming possibilities—possessing the same behavioral quirks is within reach."
MacArthur fellow Shapiro (Ecology and Evolutionary Biology/Univ. of California, Santa Cruz) considers the nature and prospects of "de-extinction," the return of creatures gone the way of the dodo. Read full book review >
MINDSHARING by Lior Zoref
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Released: April 28, 2015

"Zoref makes a convincing case for crowdsourcing everything from careers to romance."
Welcome to the virtual village, where the right answers are no farther away than your keyboard. Read full book review >

SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Released: April 28, 2015

"Superior science writing that eschews the usual fulsome biographies of eccentric geniuses, droll anecdotes and breathless prognostication to deliver a persistently fascinating portrait of an odd but routine feature of the cosmos."
Black holes enthrall physicists and astronomers, as well as Hollywood filmmakers, and readers of this fine popular science account will understand why. Read full book review >
EINSTEIN by Steven Gimbel
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 28, 2015

"A fine, informative life of the renowned scientist."
How science, religion and politics shaped Einstein's life and work. Read full book review >
DREAMS OF EARTH AND SKY by Freeman Dyson
ESSAYS & ANTHOLOGIES
Released: April 21, 2015

"Readers who enjoyed the first volume of reviews will be pleased with this follow-up, and new readers will be delighted by the fascinating insider's view of the scientific community and its intersection with the political establishment."
A collection of reviews and essays first published in the New York Review of Books, from Dyson (The Scientist as Rebel, 2006 etc.), a celebrated elder statesman of modern science. Read full book review >

HEALTH & MEDICINE
Released: April 21, 2015

"An informative guide to the gut in search of its best audience."
Stanford University scientists deliver an exhaustive, and sometimes exhausting, survey of the human microbiome. Read full book review >
HISTORY
Released: April 15, 2015

"A meticulously detailed, welcome addition to the literature of World War I, the 'first ‘total' war in which all the resources of the state were involved.'"
TV producer and writer Downing (Night Raid: The True Story of the First Victorious British Para Raid of WWII, 2013, etc.) recounts the complete transformation of warfare during World War I, the first industrialized war.Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 14, 2015

"Halpern ably explores the clashing personalities and worldviews that had physics in churning ferment during the early part of the 20th century."
The history of a grand theory—the theory of everything, aka the unified field theory—that never achieved flight and the two household names that kicked the fledgling theory from the nest before its time. Read full book review >
COAL WARS by Richard Martin
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: April 14, 2015

"Martin is unequivocal and persuasive: The best use of coal is in holiday stockings."
Coal will never stop blighting our planet, writes energy analyst Martin (SuperFuel: Thorium, the Green Energy Source for the Future, 2012), and its good riddance can't come too soon.Read full book review >
BEYOND by Chris Impey
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Released: April 13, 2015

"There's not a lot new here, and most of the information can easily be found elsewhere, including Impey's own books. Still, he provides a useful synthesis without prerequisites and a welcoming invitation to join the space race."
Do we have a future in space? By astronomer Impey's (How It Began: A Time-Traveler's Guide to the Universe, 2012, etc.) account, the answer is yes—but we must get working immediately.Read full book review >
THE NEW WILD by Fred Pearce
NATURE & TRAVEL
Released: April 7, 2015

"Pearce's book could use some pruning and shaping of its own, but his theme is significant: There is no going back when change is the norm."
Environmental journalist Pearce (The Land Grabbers: The New Fight over Who Owns the Earth, 2012, etc.) examines the effects of introduced species and our responses to them. Read full book review >
HEADSTRONG by Rachel Swaby
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 7, 2015

"Readers may argue over the selections, but Swaby provides succinct and informative narratives on some of the women who have made important contributions to the realm of science."
Minibiographies of women and their accomplishments in science. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Mona Eltahawy
April 28, 2015

In her debut book, Headscarves and Hymens: Why the Middle East Needs a Sexual Revolution, Egyptian-American journalist and commentator Mona Eltahawy mounts an angry indictment of the treatment of women throughout the Arab world. Born in Egypt, she spent her childhood in London, moving with her family to Saudi Arabia when she was 15. Her shock was immediate and visceral: “It felt as though we’d moved to another planet whose inhabitants fervently wished women did not exist,” she recalls. Women could not travel, work or even go to a doctor’s appointment without male approval. We talk to Eltahawy this week on Kirkus TV about her arresting new book. View video >