Science & Technology Book Reviews

LIFE ON THE EDGE by Johnjoe McFadden
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Released: July 28, 2015

"McFadden and Al-Khalili give sure footing to the anything-goes bafflement of quantum theory, making it approachable even for neophytes."
Notes toward an understanding of quantum mechanics' part in biological processes. Read full book review >
HISTORY
Released: July 7, 2015

"A fascinating biography of a physicist who transformed how science is done."
Europe's Large Hadron Collider cost more than $10 billion, paid for by a consortium of nations. Its success owes much to charismatic physicist Ernest Lawrence (1901-1958), who invented the cyclotron, the Collider's ancestor. Read full book review >

LIFE’S GREATEST SECRET by Matthew Cobb
HISTORY
Released: July 7, 2015

"The greatest milestone in 20th-century biology received an iconic account in Horace Freeland Judson's The Eighth Day of Creation (1979). Much has happened since that publication, and Cobb's gripping, insightful history, often from the mouths of the participants themselves, updates the story, bringing it all the way into the present."
Animal breeders have always known that "like breeds like," but no one, Charles Darwin included, knew why offspring resemble parents except, sometimes, when they don't. Cobb (Zoology/Univ. of Manchester; Eleven Days in August: The Liberation of Paris 1944, 2014, etc.) describes how they learned.Read full book review >
FORENSICS by Val McDermid
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: July 7, 2015

"A satisfying insider's excursion into the scientific realities behind CSI-style pop culture."
From a bestselling mystery author, a curiosity-fueled look at the realities behind crime science. Read full book review >
There Is Still Time by Peter Seidel
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Released: July 1, 2015

"An astute look at the many negative influences currently shaping our world, along with ideas to overcome them."
A longtime environmentalist looks at the state of the world and our prospects for surviving the future. Read full book review >

UNFAIR by Adam Benforado
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: June 16, 2015

"An original and provocative argument that upends our most cherished beliefs about providing equal justice under the law."
A law professor sounds an explosive alarm on the hidden unfairness of our legal system. Read full book review >
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTS
Released: June 16, 2015

"A propulsive and fascinating portrait of the people who helped upend an industry and challenge how music and media are consumed."
A history of the music industry's reckoning with digital technology, the Internet, and the "pirate generation." Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: June 15, 2015

"An elegant, pleasantly obsessive study of a 'life of tolerance, humour, serenity and untiring curiosity.'"
A biography of the peerless 17th-century English writer and scientist that finds new relevance in his deeply observant, encyclopedic writings about man and nature. Read full book review >
HISTORY
Released: June 9, 2015

"An opinionated, authoritative, and delightfully provocative account of efforts to make sense of human fossil discoveries."
Despite his 2012 history of Homo sapiens, Masters of the Planet, Tattersall, curator emeritus in the anthropology division of the American Museum of Natural History, revisits the subject from another angle, with equally superb results.Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: June 9, 2015

"Clynes makes a persuasive case for allowing gifted children the freedom and resources to pursue their interests."
Popular Science contributing editor Clynes (Music Festivals From Bach to Blues: A Travellers Guide, 1996, etc.) uses the story of Taylor Wilson—who, at age 14, became "one of only thirty-two individuals on the planet to build a working fusion reactor, a miniature sun on Earth"—to illustrate the potential for improving our educational system.Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: June 2, 2015

"With concussions from sports injuries making the news, Elliott's easy-to-read account of his experiences is a valuable contribution to a better understanding of the condition."
Up-close view of living with the harrowing effects of a concussion by a professor of artificial intelligence who kept thorough notes of the experience and shares what he learned about overcoming his severe disabilities. Read full book review >
THE THEFT OF MEMORY by Jonathan Kozol
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: June 2, 2015

"A compassionate, cathartic, and searingly intimate chronicle of a crippling condition."
An errant son memorializes the devastating impact of his father's struggle with Alzheimer's disease. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Sabaa Tahir
August 4, 2015

Sabaa Tahir’s novel An Ember in the Ashes reveals a world inspired by ancient Rome and defined by brutality. Seventeen-year-old Laia has grown up with one rule for survival: Never challenge the Empire. But when Laia’s brother Darin is arrested for treason, she leaves behind everything she knows, risking her life to try and save him. She enlists help from the rebels whose extensive underground network may lead to Darin. Their help comes with a price, though. Laia must infiltrate the Empire’s greatest military academy as a spy. Elias is the Empire’s finest soldier—and its most unwilling one. Thrown together by chance and united by their hatred of the Empire, Laia and Elias will soon discover that their fates are intertwined—and that their choices may change the destiny of the entire Empire. We talk to An Ember in the Ashes author Sabaa Tahir this week on Kirkus TV. View video >