Science & Technology Book Reviews

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 >
GOLDILOCKS AND THE WATER BEARS by Louisa Preston
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Released: Nov. 8, 2016

"A solid, absorbing background to what makes life possible."
An astrobiologist and planetary geologist delineates the development of life on Earth and then makes the leap into "life" elsewhere in the heavens. Read full book review >
THE REVENGE OF ANALOG by David Sax
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTS
Released: Nov. 8, 2016

"A perky and well-illustrated but repetitive, sometimes-pat look at a discordantly retro cultural trend."
An exploration of millennial fondness for old technologies and its implications for a competitive business landscape. Read full book review >
A SPACE TRAVELER'S GUIDE TO THE SOLAR SYSTEM by Mark Thompson
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Released: Nov. 8, 2016

"Thompson is a knowledgeable and capable guide, but his many fans may prefer to stick to his TV shows."
The popular host of the BBC's award-winning Stargazing Live takes readers on an imaginary journey throughout our solar system. Read full book review >
PSYCHOLOGY
Released: Nov. 8, 2016

"An eye-opening exploration of the intersection between philosophy and science and a fascinating peek into our innermost selves."
The human mind is capable of astonishing feats, but does it hold the power to alleviate pain, or even cure disease, simply through suggestibility? 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 >