Science & Technology Book Reviews

A BIG BANG IN A LITTLE ROOM by Zeeya Merali
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Released: Feb. 14, 2017

"A rich and wonderful cosmological history that illuminates the scientific possibility of the nearly unthinkable."
It's a mind-boggling concept fraught with implications about our own universe's origin, but scientists argue that it may someday be possible to create a new universe not so unlike our own in a lab. Read full book review >
BAD SINGER by Tim Falconer
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 14, 2017

"A spirited, even adventurous look at the mysteries of how the human brain perceives and processes sound—and even, on occasion, manages to make beautiful music."
"I'm a bad singer. And deep down, it matters." Falling down a rabbit hole in B-minor, Canadian science writer Falconer (Magazine Journalism/Ryerson Univ.; That Good Night: Ethicists, Euthanasia and the End-of-Life Care, 2009, etc.) explores all that bad singing entails. Read full book review >

SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Released: Feb. 14, 2017

"You don't have to be a paranoiac to have enemies, and you don't need to be an outlaw to want to keep your personal information personal. Though with more than a whiff of conspiracy theory to it, Mitnick's book is a much-needed operating manual for the cyberage."
A highly useful handbook for how not to be seen—online, anyway. Read full book review >
TIDES by Jonathan White
NATURE & TRAVEL
Released: Feb. 14, 2017

"White's heightened awareness of the planet's 'cosmic beat' is bound to make readers more sensitive to the mysteries of what might otherwise seem commonplace."
Anyone inclined to take the movement of the tides for granted will think twice after reading this wide-ranging study from a conservationist and avid sailor. Read full book review >
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS
Released: Feb. 14, 2017

"A quick and instructive read for readers with a casual interest in this quickly changing company as well as those fascinated by the fates of startups."
A fast-moving, well-researched account of the founding and surprising growth of home-sharing company Airbnb. Read full book review >

CAN'T JUST STOP by Sharon Begley
HEALTH & MEDICINE
Released: Feb. 7, 2017

"Due to Begley's dense explanations of brain science, the book requires close attention at times, but her captivating, accessible anecdotes of individual cases lead to unforgettable scenarios."
Science journalist Begley (Train Your Mind, Change Your Brain, 2007, etc.) delves into specific types of compulsive behaviors while also positing a grand theory of what links seemingly disparate obsessions. Read full book review >
THE VACCINE RACE by Meredith Wadman
HEALTH & MEDICINE
Released: Feb. 7, 2017

"An important story well told, featuring the drama and characters needed to make this a candidate for film adaptation."
A dramatic medical history that reveals the progress and the stumbles, the personalities and the rivalries, in the race to find a vaccine for rubella, or German measles. Read full book review >
THE HUNGRY BRAIN by Stephan Guyenet
HEALTH & MEDICINE
Released: Feb. 7, 2017

"A helpful guide offering encouragement to those looking for ways to lead healthier lives."
Obesity researcher and health writer Guyenet seeks an answer to why, "between 1980 and the present, the U.S. obesity rate more than doubled" despite our national obsession with dieting. Read full book review >
MODERN DEATH by Haider Warraich
HEALTH & MEDICINE
Released: Feb. 7, 2017

"An important contribution to a serious discussion of profound life-and-death issues."
An examination of "our ongoing battle with aging, disease, and death." Read full book review >
SYSTEMATIC by James R. Valcourt
HEALTH & MEDICINE
Released: Feb. 7, 2017

"Readers will notice that, except for a few dramatic anecdotes, none of Valcourt's marvels is currently happening, but he makes a convincing case that they are viable and just around the corner."
Exploration of "how understanding neural systems is helping us unravel some of the biggest mysteries in science." Read full book review >
GET WELL SOON by Jennifer Wright
HEALTH & MEDICINE
Released: Feb. 7, 2017

"There's no question that Wright has covered a lot of medical territory with good information; if only she had curbed her enthusiasm to pontificate."
A lightweight history of plagues from an author who is "invested in this study…because I think knowing how diseases have been combatted in the past will be helpful in the future." Read full book review >
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Released: Feb. 1, 2017

"An illuminating look at what the brave new world of the future may hold."
A fresh look at the nature vs. nurture debate and the role of race in shaping intelligence and personality. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Kathleen Kent
author of THE DIME
February 20, 2017

Dallas, Texas is not for the faint of heart. Good thing for Betty Rhyzyk she's from a family of take-no-prisoners Brooklyn police detectives. But in Kathleen Kent’s new novel The Dime, her Big Apple wisdom will only get her so far when she relocates to The Big D, where Mexican drug cartels and cult leaders, deadbeat skells and society wives all battle for sunbaked turf. Betty is as tough as the best of them, but she's deeply shaken when her first investigation goes sideways. Battling a group of unruly subordinates, a persistent stalker, a formidable criminal organization, and an unsupportive girlfriend, the unbreakable Detective Betty Rhyzyk may be reaching her limit. “Violent, sexy, and completely absorbing,” our critic writes in a starred review. “Kent's detective is Sam Spade reincarnated—as a brilliant, modern woman.” View video >