Science & Technology Book Reviews

BUSINESS & ECONOMICS
Released: Sept. 27, 2016

"A thoughtful and enthusiastic analysis of how more and more people are inventing and creating truly remarkable products and services."
The story behind modern tinkerers, inventors, and creators of all sorts of good stuff. Read full book review >
NATURE & TRAVEL
Released: Sept. 27, 2016

"Prothero spends more time on size and weirdness than serious readers require, but he also delivers amusing anecdotes, a lucid history of evolutionary ideas, stories of the great fossil discoveries, and an entertaining description of animal evolution on an isolated continent."
A remote island inhabited by creatures unknown to science is a hoary sci-fi scenario that bears some relation to reality, according to this enthusiastic, somewhat scattershot history of life on a vast, isolated island-continent: South America. Read full book review >

THE STORY OF THE WORLD IN 100 SPECIES by Christopher Lloyd
HISTORY
Released: Sept. 27, 2016

"A good fit for middle and high school libraries as a useful reference."
An encyclopedic history of the emergence of life on Earth that "traces the history of life from the dawn of evolution to the present day through the lens of one hundred living things that have changed the world." Read full book review >
TIME TRAVEL by James Gleick
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Released: Sept. 27, 2016

"Though not his best book, this is another fantastic contribution to popular science from Gleick, whose lush storytelling will appeal to a wide range of audiences."
A kaleidoscopic look at the concept of time travel. Read full book review >
QBISM by Hans Christian von Baeyer
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Released: Oct. 3, 2016

"QBism remains controversial, but scientifically inclined readers will share von Baeyer's enthusiasm and come away with a feeling, if not a deep understanding, of quantum phenomena that doesn't require suspension of disbelief."
"There is a strangeness about quantum mechanics that is rooted not in its mathematical complexity but in the paradoxes and enigmas that have bedeviled it from birth." Since that birth 90 years ago, scientists regularly explain quantum physics, in all its weirdness, to the general public. Here's the latest. Read full book review >

BEING A DOG by Alexandra Horowitz
NATURE & TRAVEL
Released: Oct. 4, 2016

"Dog owners curious about the lives of their pets will savor this book, but it deserves a wider audience than just animal lovers."
If the olfactory ability of dogs seems like a dull topic, be prepared for a surprise. This engrossing book takes on not just canine noses, but what we can do with our own—with a little experience and a good guide. Read full book review >
PSYCHOLOGY
Released: Oct. 4, 2016

"Of rarefied interest, to be sure, but with much to say about how the brain works at the interface of thought and language."
From Joan of Arc to Brian Wilson, throughout history, people have reported hearing voices in their heads. But where do they come from? 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 >
ANGELIC MUSIC by Corey Mead
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Oct. 18, 2016

"Mead keeps the current swift, removing rough rocks that might disrupt our pleasant, engaging trip downstream with him."
The genesis, rise, fall, and rise again of Benjamin Franklin's mid-18th-century rub-the-glasses device, whose enormous popularity led to wild claims about both its salutary and detrimental effects on listeners. Read full book review >
EINSTEIN'S GREATEST MISTAKE by David Bodanis
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Oct. 18, 2016

"Shorter than the best biographies of Einstein (by Walter Isaacson and Dennis Overbye) but still engaging and with more emphasis on the difficulties the scientist faced when physics moved away from the classical view he never abandoned."
A brief biography of "the greatest mind of the modern age" and his revolutionary ideas. Read full book review >
THE ATTENTION MERCHANTS by Tim Wu
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS
Released: Oct. 18, 2016

"Forget subliminal seduction: every day, we are openly bought and sold, as this provocative book shows."
When something online is free, then the product being sold is you. Wu (Columbia Law School; The Master Switch: The Rise and Fall of Information Empires, 2010) elaborates on that sobering note. Read full book review >
CALCULATING THE COSMOS by Ian Stewart
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Released: Oct. 25, 2016

"A word to the wise: this is not cosmology for dummies. Parts of the text are nearly impenetrable, and Stewart's compact style provides few diagrams or even equations. However, he effectively shows that time and technology will evolve ever better calculations of the cosmos."
Stewart (Mathematics/Univ. of Warwick; Professor Stewart's Incredible Numbers, 2015, etc.) tackles the universe in this latest compendium of facts and fancy. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Melissa Sweet
author of SOME WRITER!
September 26, 2016

“SOME PIG,” Charlotte the spider’s praise for Wilbur, is just one fondly remembered snippet from E. B. White’s Charlotte’s Web. In Some Writer!, two-time Caldecott Honor winner and 2014 Kirkus Prize finalist Melissa Sweet mixes White’s personal letters, photos, and family ephemera with her own exquisite artwork to tell his story, from his birth in 1899 to his death in 1985. Budding young writers will be fascinated and inspired by the journalist, New Yorker contributor, and children’s book author who loved words his whole life. This authorized tribute is the first fully illustrated biography of E. B. White and includes an afterword by Martha White, E. B. White's granddaughter. “Like Charlotte, Sweet spins a terrific story,” our reviewer writes in a starred review. “A masterful biography that will enchant young readers.” View video >