Science & Technology Book Reviews

CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: March 1, 2017

"A sharp analysis of an increasingly pressing problem, but Nichols falls short of proposing a satisfying solution."
Some fresh twists on a familiar theme: the dumbing down of America amid the defiant distrust of expertise. Read full book review >
THE DEATH AND LIFE OF THE GREAT LAKES by Dan Egan
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: March 7, 2017

"Not light reading but essential for policymakers—and highly recommended for the 40 million people who rely on the Great Lakes for drinking water."
An alarming account of the "slow-motion catastrophe" facing the world's largest freshwater system. Read full book review >

THINKING MACHINES by Luke Dormehl
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Released: March 7, 2017

"Not everyone approves. Dormehl lets critics have their say but makes a convincing, often disturbing, but always-entertaining case that that we're in for a wild ride."
A history of artificial intelligence and look at the "dazzling (near) future, the changes that lurk just around the corner, and how they will transform our lives forever." Read full book review >
INFERNO by Steven Hatch
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: March 7, 2017

"Despite occasional long-windedness, Hatch's analysis is intelligent, nuanced, and tempered, a necessary departure from the panicked response of most American media outlets."
An American doctor describes his experiences in Liberia during the 2014-2015 Ebola epidemic. Read full book review >
HOW EMOTIONS ARE MADE by Lisa Feldman Barrett
HEALTH & MEDICINE
Released: March 7, 2017

"A highly informative, readable, and wide-ranging discussion of 'how psychology, neuroscience, and related disciplines are moving away from the search for emotion fingerprints and instead asking how emotions are constructed.'"
A well-argued, entertaining disputation of the prevailing view that emotion and reason are at odds. Read full book review >

IRRESISTIBLE by Adam Alter
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS
Released: March 7, 2017

"A clearly written account of a widespread social malady that is sure to gain further attention in coming years."
How interactive technologies facilitate newly debilitating addictions. Read full book review >
WILD NIGHTS by Benjamin Reiss
HISTORY
Released: March 7, 2017

"A fresh approach to a familiar phenomenon."
A thorough probing into why sleep is such a problem for so many in contemporary society. Read full book review >
THE INHERITANCE by Niki Kapsambelis
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: March 7, 2017

"An educational and emotional chronicle that should resonate with a wide variety of readers."
In her debut, journalist Kapsambelis builds a compelling narrative about Alzheimer's disease around one North Dakota extended family. Read full book review >
MAKING SENSE OF SCIENCE by Cornelia Dean
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Released: March 13, 2017

"Dean's long and varied experience in the world of science reporting makes for an articulate, well-structured, and easily understood account filled with good stories and sound advice."
That "the human mind is a sink of irrationality" is the assumption behind this engagingly written guidebook. Read full book review >
THE BODY BUILDERS by Adam Piore
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Released: March 14, 2017

"A mind-bending read that will expand your perception of self."
An exhilarating look at the cutting edge of bioengineering and how science and medicine are pushing the boundaries of human potential. Read full book review >
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Released: March 14, 2017

"Space enthusiasts of all ages will enjoy this exploration into the farthest reaches of the universe and the cutting edge of astronomical research."
A comprehensive introduction to the thousands of newly discovered planets beyond our solar system, which are beautiful and mind-bending in their diversity—and those are just the ones we know of. Read full book review >
THE KNOWLEDGE ILLUSION by Steven Sloman
PSYCHOLOGY
Released: March 14, 2017

"Some of the book seems self-evident, some seems to be mere padding, and little of it moves with the sparkling aha intelligence of Daniel Dennett. Still, it's sturdy enough, with interesting insights, especially for team building."
A tour of the many honeycombs of the hive mind, courtesy of cognitive scientists Sloman (Brown Univ.) and Fernbach (Univ. of Colorado). Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Yoojin Grace Wuertz
February 27, 2017

In Yoojin Grace Wuertz’s debut novel Everything Belongs to Us, the setting is Seoul in 1978. At South Korea’s top university, the nation’s best and brightest compete to join the professional elite of an authoritarian regime. Success could lead to a life of rarefied privilege and wealth; failure means being left irrevocably behind. For childhood friends Jisun and Namin, the stakes couldn’t be more different. Jisun, the daughter of a powerful business mogul, grew up on a mountainside estate with lush gardens and a dedicated chauffeur. Namin’s parents run a tented food cart from dawn to curfew; her sister works in a shoe factory. Now Jisun wants as little to do with her father’s world as possible, abandoning her schoolwork in favor of the underground activist movement, while Namin studies tirelessly in the service of one goal: to launch herself and her family out of poverty. But everything changes when Jisun and Namin meet an ambitious, charming student named Sunam, whose need to please his family has led him to a prestigious club: the Circle. Under the influence of his mentor, Juno, a manipulative social climber, Sunam becomes entangled with both women, as they all make choices that will change their lives forever. “Engrossing,” our reviewer writes in a starred review. “Wuertz is an important new voice in American fiction.” View video >