Science & Technology Book Reviews

BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 18, 2017

"A powerful argument for reducing inequality and revolutionizing how we use the Web for the benefit of the many rather than the few."
When American representative democracy collapses, blame it on Facebook. Read full book review >
DRAWDOWN by Paul Hawken
NON-FICTION
Released: April 18, 2017

"An optimistic program for getting out of our current mess, well deserving of the broadest possible readership."
Be kindly unto the scientists, for they may just save our skin—and make us happier and wealthier in the bargain. Read full book review >

NON-FICTION
Released: April 18, 2017

"These well-crafted tales of bio-inspired innovation will entrance general readers and warrant the close attention of scientists and technologists."
Los Angeles Times science writer Khan debuts with a richly detailed account of biologically inspired engineering. Read full book review >
NON-FICTION
Released: April 18, 2017

"An accessible contribution to what the author calls 'genetic literacy' and a satisfyingly hard-edged work of popular science."
Does the human genome include a thread for the likelihood of falling for hype? If it does, then it would be fine vindication for this sharp book on the limitations of genetics in understanding what makes us tick. Read full book review >
THE GREAT UNKNOWN by Marcus Du Sautoy
NON-FICTION
Released: April 11, 2017

"A delicious addition to the 'Big Question' genre."
Are there limits to human knowledge? Philosophers and religious thinkers have long answered "yes" and then provided examples that turned out to be wrong. A renowned mathematician argues that "yes" might very well be correct. Read full book review >

NON-FICTION
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 >
PANDORA'S LAB by Paul A. Offit
NON-FICTION
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 >
THE SONGS OF TREES by David George Haskell
NON-FICTION
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 >
NON-FICTION
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 >
YOUR BRAIN IS A TIME MACHINE by Dean Buonomano
NON-FICTION
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 TRUTH ABOUT LANGUAGE by Michael C. Corballis
NON-FICTION
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 >
THE GREATEST STORY EVER TOLD—SO FAR by Lawrence M. Krauss
NON-FICTION
Released: March 21, 2017

"An admirable complement to the author's previous book and equally satisfying for those willing to read carefully."
Having recounted the mechanics of the big picture in A Universe from Nothing (2012), theoretical physicist Krauss (Director, Origins Project/Arizona State Univ.) delivers a companion volume that fills in the little—often very little—stuff. 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 >