Science & Technology Book Reviews

HAPPY BRAIN by Dean Burnett
Released: May 29, 2018

"There's nothing earthshaking in Burnett's observations, but he offers a pleasing tour of the brain and its feel-good longings."
Entertaining exploration of the neurophysiological basis for Aristotle's most prized state of being: happiness. Read full book review >
ENERGY by Richard Rhodes
Released: May 29, 2018

"Calling this a classic like Rhodes' The Making of the Atomic Bomb (1987) may be slightly premature, but it's definitely a tour de force of popular science, which is no surprise from this author."
From the Pulitzer and National Book Award winner, a magisterial history of "how human beings…[have] confronted the deeply human problem of how to draw life from the raw materials of the world." Read full book review >

Released: May 29, 2018

"Informative, entertaining reading for nontechies."
An insider's account of the mapping technology that gave rise to Google Maps. Read full book review >
Released: May 29, 2018

"A solid, highly useful owner's manual for a leaky internet—and a damaged democracy."
Even paranoiacs have enemies—especially, as this pointed treatise has it, when they post on social media. Read full book review >
CONJURING THE UNIVERSE by Peter Atkins
Released: June 1, 2018

"Atkins pleasingly takes the laws apart, amuses himself (and us) with their parts, and then reassembles them."
A brief yet mind-twisting exploration of the laws of nature. Read full book review >

Released: June 1, 2018

"A thoroughly enchanting tour of big questions, oddball ideas, and dazzling accomplishments of researchers searching to explain, manipulate, and alter inheritance."
A fascinating journey through the history of heredity Read full book review >
Released: June 5, 2018

"A successful introduction to the hitherto neglected bits and pieces of our solar system."
An exploration of "the small space objects such as the comets and asteroids that orbit the Sun." Read full book review >
EVOLUTIONS by Oren Harman
Released: June 5, 2018

"An overly quirky yet amusing and well-informed history of everything."
A chronicle of events from the Big Bang to the origin of life to the development of human consciousness, written as folktales. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: June 5, 2018

"An adroit portrait of an early American physician who became a pioneering horticulturist."
A biography of David Hosack (1769-1835), a nature-obsessed doctor who "was convinced that saving lives also depended on knowing the natural world outside the human body." Read full book review >
Released: June 5, 2018

"A bright, informative take on an industry in turmoil."
How technological change has "convulsed" the advertising industry. Read full book review >
UNBOUND by Arlene Stein
Released: June 5, 2018

"A stellar exploration of the complexities and limitations of gender."
A new sociological study on transgender individuals and their experience transitioning. Read full book review >
THE WEATHER DETECTIVE by Peter Wohlleben
Released: June 5, 2018

"You'll never look at your garden the same way again."
A garden provides the key to the natural universe. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Katey Sagal
author of GRACE NOTES
April 10, 2017

In her memoir Grace Notes, actress and singer/songwriter Katey Sagal takes you through the highs and lows of her life, from the tragic deaths of her parents to her long years in the Los Angeles rock scene, from being diagnosed with cancer at the age of twenty-eight to getting her big break on the fledgling FOX network as the wise-cracking Peggy Bundy on the beloved sitcom Married…with Children. Sparse and poetic, Grace Notes is an emotionally riveting tale of struggle and success, both professional and personal: Sagal’s path to sobriety; the stillbirth of her first daughter, Ruby; motherhood; the experience of having her third daughter at age 52 with the help of a surrogate; and her lifelong passion for music. “While this book is sure to please the author’s many fans, its thoughtful, no-regrets honesty will no doubt also appeal to readers of Hollywood memoirs seeking substance that goes beyond gossip and name-dropping,” our critic writes. “A candid, reflective memoir.” View video >