Science & Technology Book Reviews

SCIENCE OF THE MAGICAL by Matt Kaplan
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTS
Released: Oct. 27, 2015

"A charming romp through the history of science."
How myths and magical beliefs may provide the first glimmers of scientific discovery. Read full book review >
RECLAIMING CONVERSATION by Sherry Turkle
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Oct. 6, 2015

"A timely wake-up call urging us to cherish the intimacy of direct, unscripted communication."
The founding director of the MIT Initiative on Technology and Self explores the danger that text messaging is replacing in-depth, face-to-face conversation. Read full book review >

SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Released: Nov. 3, 2015

"An endlessly surprising foray into the current mother of physics' many knotty mysteries, the solving of which may unveil the weirdness of quantum particles, black holes, and the essential unity of nature."
Two particles behave identically and instantaneously though separated by great space and with no force passing between them. How? Award-winning Scientific American contributing editor Musser (The Complete Idiot's Guide to String Theory, 2008) probes the riddle.Read full book review >
PSYCHOLOGY
Released: Oct. 6, 2015

"Conclusion: an unproven but undoubtedly provocative case. Expect dissent and discussion."
A pitch for infections as a major cause of mental illness, arguing for a paradigm shift from mainstream psychiatric doctrine. Read full book review >
RELIGION
Released: April 28, 2015

"Great depth and breadth for subject matter that calls for nothing less."
Far-reaching exploration of science, the mind, and the meaning of life. Read full book review >

ADVENTURES IN HUMAN BEING by Gavin Francis
HEALTH & MEDICINE
Released: Oct. 13, 2015

"Henry Marsh's Do No Harm remains this year's medical memoir to beat, but Francis acquits himself well."
Doctors with literary ambitions write memoirs, tell stories about patients, or educate us. Scottish physician Francis (Empire Antarctica: Ice, Silence & Emperor Penguins, 2013, etc.) successfully combines all three.Read full book review >
LIGHTS OUT by Ted Koppel
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Oct. 27, 2015

"Koppel's case for the cyberthreat is strong; government officials seem (perhaps justifiably) preoccupied by other matters, or clueless, or both."
Award-winning journalist and longtime Nightline anchor Koppel (Off Camera: Private Thoughts Made Public, 2000, etc.) sounds the alarm over the likelihood of a devastating cyberattack on the infrastructure of the United States.Read full book review >
ATMOSPHERE OF HOPE by Tim Flannery
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Oct. 6, 2015

"A sharp summary of energy potentialities, where the good and the bad reside in human hands, hearts, and minds."
Flannery (An Explorer's Notebook: Essays on Life, History, and Climate, 2014, etc.) argues for renewed optimism in human capabilities to reverse the destabilizing effects of climate change.Read full book review >
CRACK99 by David Locke Hall
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Released: Oct. 19, 2015

"A quirky tale of international pursuit through a legal labyrinth with unsettling implications regarding proliferation of ominous technologies."
A jaunty yet disquieting tale of the first American prosecution of a Chinese software pirate. Read full book review >
STREET SMART by Samuel I. Schwartz
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Sept. 8, 2015

"A readable and provocative book making the convincing claim that the best city is one in which people can move around easily."
How to fix our transportation nightmare? Former New York City traffic commissioner Schwarz ventures some ideas—and while many are oddly counterintuitive, they just might work. Read full book review >
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Sept. 8, 2015

"Russia hands and Net neutrality advocates alike will find plenty to intrigue in this report from the front lines."
Russian civil-liberties watchdogs Soldatov and Borogan (The New Nobility: The Restoration of Russia's Security State and the Enduring Legacy of the KGB, 2010) look at the possibilities of technology for good and ill under the regime of Vladimir Putin.Read full book review >
LET THERE BE WATER by Seth M. Siegel
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Sept. 15, 2015

"A major contribution to this hotly debated issue and to broader questions of environmental policy.
"
An in-depth report on how Israel has combined technological innovation with conservation to achieve a water surplus at home and become a world leader in water management. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Sara Paretsky
author of BRUSH BACK
July 28, 2015

No one would accuse V. I. Warshawski of backing down from a fight, but there are a few she’d be happy to avoid. High on that list is tangling with Chicago political bosses. Yet that’s precisely what she ends up doing when she responds to Frank Guzzo’s plea for help in Brush Back, the latest thriller from bestselling author Sara Paretsky. For six stormy weeks back in high school, V.I. thought she was in love with Frank. He broke up with her, she went off to college, he started driving trucks for Bagby Haulage. She forgot about him until the day his mother was convicted of bludgeoning his kid sister, Annie, to death. Stella Guzzo was an angry, uncooperative prisoner and did a full 25 years for her daughter’s murder. Newly released from prison, Stella is looking for exoneration, so Frank asks V.I. for help. “Paretsky, who plots more conscientiously than anyone else in the field, digs deep, then deeper, into past and present until all is revealed,” our reviewer writes. View video >