Science & Technology Book Reviews

CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Sept. 20, 2016

"Solid, easily assimilated evidence showing how microbes are an integral part of a child's healthy life."
Why dirt and microbes are good for your child. Read full book review >
NOW by Richard A. Muller
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Released: Sept. 20, 2016

"Not for the faint of heart or mathematically averse, but Muller is a masterful guide within this survey of cosmology."
Educated readers know that time is one of four dimensions, but most can't shake the feeling that it's the odd man out. They will enjoy this popular account of "an extremely simple yet fascinating and mysterious concept." Read full book review >

MODIFIED by Caitlin Shetterly
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Sept. 20, 2016

"The message that our planet is saturated with chemical toxins comes through clearly, but the health case against GMOs is not persuasive."
A journalist on a mission to expose the dangers of genetically modified organisms tells nearly as much about her personal life as about the issue bothering her. Read full book review >
THE TIDE by Hugh Aldersey-Williams
NATURE & TRAVEL
Released: Sept. 20, 2016

"An engaging exploration of the profound historical relationship between science and culture, written in a lively style with clear scientific explanations."
An exploration of "the discovery and science of the cosmic rhythm that governs our planet." Read full book review >
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Released: Sept. 20, 2016

"Just the thing for aspiring astronauts and rocketeers."
Engaging account of the race to get a rocket up to the Karman line without getting NASA involved. Read full book review >

SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Released: Sept. 13, 2016

"A charming natural history of eclipses and a guide to witnessing the awe-inspiring event yourself."
Solar and lunar eclipses have played an integral role in unlocking some of the biggest mysteries of the universe and are now revered for their celestial beauty; but for our ancestors, eclipses were seen as portending doom. Read full book review >
PSYCHOLOGY
Released: Sept. 13, 2016

"It's no match for Jesse Sheidlower's fluent, fun The F Word (1995), but Bergen's study is still a winner for the psycholinguistics nerd in the house."
An examination of the sub rosa language that sets us all atwitter—and athwart. Read full book review >
HISTORY
Released: Sept. 13, 2016

"A comprehensive primer for how to contemplate urban spaces as they evolve for the future."
A creative city planner takes inspiration from the ancients' sense of urban integrity to propound a holistic approach to crafting the city space. Read full book review >
POWER AT GROUND ZERO by Lynne Sagalyn
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Sept. 9, 2016

"The narrative's sheer bulk will likely intimidate some readers, and that would be a shame, because Sagalyn has produced a definitive history and an urban studies classic."
A superbly qualified scholar thoroughly deconstructs the tortured story behind the rebuilding of the World Trade Center complex. Read full book review >
UTOPIA IS CREEPY by Nicholas Carr
ESSAYS & ANTHOLOGIES
Released: Sept. 6, 2016

"A collection that reminds us that critical thinking is the best way to view the mixed blessings of rampant technology. A treat for Carr fans."
Popular technology guru Carr (The Glass Cage: Automation and Us, 2014, etc.) offers a skeptical chronicle of the wonders of the digital revolution. Read full book review >
A FIELD GUIDE TO LIES by Daniel J. Levitin
PSYCHOLOGY
Released: Sept. 6, 2016

"Valuable tools for anyone willing to evaluate claims and get to the truth of the matter."
A crash course in Skepticism 101. Read full book review >
THE CURE FOR CATASTROPHE by Robert Muir-Wood
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Sept. 6, 2016

"Readers will find it hard to stop reading this excellent book and will share the author's perhaps futile yearning that elected officials have the courage to pass inconvenient laws and spend the electorate's money to prevent disasters."
A fascinating examination of the "forensics of disasters." Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Jeff Chang
September 20, 2016

In the provocative essays in journalist Jeff Chang’s new book We Gon’ Be Alright, Chang takes an incisive and wide-ranging look at the recent tragedies and widespread protests that have shaken the country. Through deep reporting with key activists and thinkers, personal writing, and cultural criticism, We Gon’ Be Alright links #BlackLivesMatter to #OscarsSoWhite, Ferguson to Washington D.C., the Great Migration to resurgent nativism. Chang explores the rise and fall of the idea of “diversity,” the roots of student protest, changing ideas about Asian Americanness, and the impact of a century of racial separation in housing. “He implores readers to listen, act, and become involved with today’s activists, who offer ‘new ways to see our past and our present,’ ” our reviewer writes in a starred review. “A compelling and intellectually thought-provoking exploration of the quagmire of race relations.” View video >