Science & Technology Book Reviews

HISTORY
Released: March 28, 2017

"The occultly inclined will be duly enchanted. The materialists—well, not so much."
Jacobsen (The Pentagon's Brain: An Uncensored History of DARPA, America's Top-Secret Military Research Agency, 2015, etc.) journeys into the realm where the paranormal and the bureaucratic meet. Read full book review >
THE TRUTH ABOUT LANGUAGE by Michael C. Corballis
HISTORY
Released: April 1, 2017

"A fine, accessible introduction to a captivating, and still evolving, academic field."
Daring to question Noam Chomsky's "big bang" theory about language in humans. Read full book review >

UNIVERSAL by Brian Cox
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Released: April 1, 2017

"Many readers will settle for the magic show, but those who choose to pore over the authors' explanations and perhaps take a pencil and paper to follow along will gain a more significant understanding of some profound cosmological phenomena."
Two physicists lead a tour of our universe and explain how we can better understand it by "doing science." Read full book review >
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS
Released: April 4, 2017

"The author's easy-reading but hard-hitting exposé of a dysfunctional biomedical research system will inform and alarm general readers, and it is sure to stir controversy and arouse ire among those who feel their ox is being gored."
An award-winning science journalist reports that research in the biomedical sciences is too often guilty of wasting time and money and, worse than that, actually slowing scientific progress and misinforming the public. Read full book review >
NATURE & TRAVEL
Released: April 4, 2017

"A lively, highly informative introduction to significant research in ecology that highlights the importance of conserving our natural habitats."
The relationship between monarch butterflies and milkweed plants, a story that is "much more…than bright coloration and a penchant for epic journeys." Read full book review >

YOUR BRAIN IS A TIME MACHINE by Dean Buonomano
PSYCHOLOGY
Released: April 4, 2017

"Fascinating throughout and a pleasing vehicle by which to think about thinking—and the passing hours."
What is the most important function of the human brain? Well, one takeaway from this lively book on that beloved organ is that it enables us "to predict and prepare for the future." Read full book review >
THE SONGS OF TREES by David George Haskell
NATURE & TRAVEL
Released: April 4, 2017

"Haskell's message is straightforward and important: we are a part of nature, and the trees with whom we share our environment are vital parts of our lives."
Haskell (Biology/The Univ. of the South; The Forest Unseen: A Year's Watch in Nature, 2012) uses the metaphor of song to capture how the "living memories of trees…tell of life's community, a net of relations" of which humans are "incarnate members." Read full book review >
PANDORA'S LAB by Paul A. Offit
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Released: April 4, 2017

"Another rousing, pull-no-punches piece from a physician set on educating the public about the fallibility of scientists."
Tales of scientific errors whose unintended consequences have been disastrous. Read full book review >
NATURE & TRAVEL
Released: April 4, 2017

"A carefully annotated scientific detective story that suffers from an overabundance of detail but benefits from 24 pages of lively photos."
Excavating the history of the "one-in-a-billion buzz saw shark." Read full book review >
DARWIN'S FIRST THEORY by Rob Wesson
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 4, 2017

"A welcome addition to Darwin studies."
A geologist dives headfirst into an exploration of Charles Darwin and his work, demonstrating how he shares Darwin's "passion for understanding the earth and Homo Sapiens' place upon it." Read full book review >
NATURE & TRAVEL
Released: April 5, 2017

"Of compelling interest to any animal lover and especially to devotees of canids of all kinds."
Can new kinds of animals be brought into being outside of DNA tinkering and Frankensteining? Most certainly, as a long-running Russian experiment reveals. Read full book review >
WELCOME TO YOUR WORLD by Sarah Williams Goldhagen
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS
Released: April 11, 2017

"An eye-opening look at the ways in which carefully planned and executed design and architecture can expand cognitive faculties and improve daily life."
A look at how new research in urban space, the built environment, and city planning stresses the importance of well-designed architecture for the betterment of society. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Laini Taylor
March 27, 2017

In bestselling YA writer Laini Taylor’s new fantasy novel, Strange the Dreamer, the dream chooses the dreamer, not the other way around—and Lazlo Strange, war orphan and junior librarian, has always feared that his dream chose poorly. Since he was five years old he's been obsessed with the mythic lost city of Weep, but it would take someone bolder than he to cross half the world in search of it. Then a stunning opportunity presents itself, in the person of a hero called the Godslayer and a band of legendary warriors, and he has to seize his chance to lose his dream forever. What happened in Weep two hundred years ago to cut it off from the rest of the world? What exactly did the Godslayer slay that went by the name of god? And what is the mysterious problem he now seeks help in solving? “Lovers of intricate worldbuilding and feverish romance will find this enthralling,” our critic writes. View video >