Science & Technology Book Reviews

ALPHA DOCS by Daniel Muñoz
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Aug. 11, 2015

"Muñoz offers little turning of new ground in what has become a fertile genre, but the book is enjoyably idiosyncratic and elucidative."
From physician Muñoz, a chronicle of becoming a doctor at the extremely demanding Johns Hopkins cardiology program. Read full book review >
INSIDE THE MACHINE by Megan Prelinger
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Aug. 17, 2015

"Sophisticated in its grasp of science and technological history but also accessible to general readers."
A highly original cultural history of 20th-century technology examined through the lens of commercial art. Read full book review >

BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Aug. 17, 2015

"A consistently fine appreciation of the medical maverick who, as much as any other, helped make the Space Age possible."
An author specializing in aviation tells the remarkable, almost-forgotten story of an aerospace pioneer. Read full book review >
NEUROTRIBES by Steve Silberman
HEALTH & MEDICINE
Released: Aug. 25, 2015

"In the foreword, Oliver Sacks writes that this 'sweeping and penetrating history…is fascinating reading' that 'will change how you think of autism.' No argument with that assessment."
A well-researched, readable report on the treatment of autism that explores its history and proposes significant changes for its future. Read full book review >
IN THE MIND FIELDS by Casey Schwartz
PSYCHOLOGY
Released: Aug. 25, 2015

"Schwartz does not provide all the answers, but her highly readable report raises intriguing questions about the limitations and the futures of both psychoanalysis and neuroscience."
Can psychoanalysis and neuroscience, each with its own distinct methods, one subjective, one objective, make peace with one another? Can the mind be understood by looking closely into the brain? Read full book review >

NATURE & TRAVEL
Released: Aug. 25, 2015

"A guide to museums where the original fossils or high-quality reproductions are housed and more than 150 illustrations accompany Prothero's lively account of the science and politics that shaped the rich history of these discoveries."
How the discoveries of 25 fossils provide links in the chain of evolution that confirm Charles Darwin's primary thesis. Read full book review >
MACHINES OF LOVING GRACE by John Markoff
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Released: Aug. 25, 2015

"Despite flaws, this should appeal as an earnest attempt to parse the future impact of these radical advances."
An examination of philosophies undergirding the impending future of driverless cars and mobile robots. Read full book review >
LIGHTING THE WORLD by Jim Rogers
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS
Released: Aug. 25, 2015

"A passionate, but not ideological, argument that offers a practical approach to solving real problems."
The former chairman, president, and CEO of Duke Energy, the largest electric power company in the United States, argues that access to clean, sustainable electricity should be a basic human right. Read full book review >
THE WIKILEAKS FILES by WikiLeaks
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Aug. 25, 2015

"It will be left to other books to argue whether WikiLeaks is right or wrong in their mission and approach. This one gives solid context to the cables themselves, explaining what they mean to the wider world."
Parsing the nearly 2.5 million diplomatic cables published by WikiLeaks. Read full book review >
A Convergence of Two Minds by Randolph R. Croxton
PSYCHOLOGY
Released: Aug. 30, 2015

"A thought-provoking explanation for the origins of personality."
In this nonfiction work, Croxton argues that modern human minds succeed through the interaction of the distinctly male and female hemispheres of the brain. Read full book review >
AFTER NATURE by Jedediah Purdy
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Sept. 1, 2015

"A profound vision of post-humanistic ethics."
Purdy (Law/Duke Univ.; A Tolerable Anarchy: Rebels, Reactionaries, and the Making of American Freedom, 2009, etc.) examines the growing awareness of the relationship between humans and other species, which could create "a Copernican revolution in ethical imagination." Read full book review >
BLACK MAN IN A WHITE COAT by Damon Tweedy
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 8, 2015

"In this unsparingly honest chronicle, Tweedy cohesively illuminates the experiences of black doctors and black patients and reiterates the need for improved understanding of racial differences within global medical communities."
An arresting memoir that personalizes the enduring racial divide in contemporary American medicine. 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 >