Science & Technology Book Reviews

HOMO DEUS by Yuval Noah Harari
HISTORY
Released: Feb. 21, 2017

"A relentlessly fascinating book that is sure to become—and deserves to be—a bestseller."
In an intellectually provocative follow-up to Sapiens (2015), Harari (History/Hebrew Univ. of Jerusalem) looks to the future. Read full book review >
CONVERGENCE by Peter Watson
HISTORY
Released: Feb. 21, 2017

"Those who reject the idea of convergence outright may not get far in this book, but readers with no objection to a sweeping, entirely fascinating history of science during the last 200 years will find an abundance of enlightening material."
The journalist and polymath delivers a delightful exploration of "the deepest idea in the universe." 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 BOOK THAT CHANGED AMERICA by Randall Fuller
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Jan. 24, 2017

"A fresh, invigorating history of philosophical and political struggles."
A vibrant history of the reception of Charles Darwin's ideas by American minds and spirits. Read full book review >
FOOD FIGHT by McKay Jenkins
FOOD & COOKING
Released: Jan. 24, 2017

"Impressive research into a complex situation presented in a highly readable form."
There are no easy answers to questions about genetically modified foods, but environmental journalist Jenkins lays out the promise and the peril of the contemporary industrialization of food production. Read full book review >

WHIPLASH by Joi Ito
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS
Released: Dec. 6, 2016

"This exhilarating and authoritative book actually makes sense of our incredibly fast-paced, high-tech society. A standout among titles on technology and innovation, it will repay reading—and rereading—by leaders in all fields."
Two cybergurus offer a "user's manual to the twenty-first century." Read full book review >
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Nov. 22, 2016

"Required reading for a generation that's 'going to be asked to dance in a hurricane.'"
The celebrated New York Times columnist diagnoses this unprecedented historical moment and suggests strategies for "resilience and propulsion" that will help us adapt. Read full book review >
THE UNNATURAL WORLD by David Biello
NATURE & TRAVEL
Released: Nov. 15, 2016

"In this well-written, significant book, Biello insists that humans, the world's most successful invasive species, have the ability to engage in planetary protection and human survival, but it will require wisdom, innovation, and restraint."
In his first book, Scientific American editor Biello argues that it is not a lack of money or technology that prevents our addressing environmental and societal ills but rather a lack of motivation. Read full book review >
SPACEMAN by Mike Massimino
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Oct. 4, 2016

"A vivid, engrossing, and enthusiastically written memoir of aeronautic ambition."
A seasoned astronaut charts the trajectory of his love affair with space and astronomy. 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 >
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 >
WHAT THE LUCK? by Gary Smith
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Released: Sept. 6, 2016

"A welcome, widely applicable follow-up to the author's equally useful first book."
Another delightful addition to the stuff-you-think-you-know-that's-wrong genre, á la Freakonomics, Outliers, and The Black Swan. 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 >