Science & Technology Book Reviews (page 166)

NON-FICTION
Released: Oct. 4, 2000

"It's hard to believe serious researchers spent so much time on these odd subjects, but their findings are not only understandable but fascinating. The secret is good science writing, and this is a fine example."
Entertaining essays on how scientists approach a score of familiar but peculiar phenomena. Read full book review >
NON-FICTION
Released: Oct. 3, 2000

"Appealing but not convincing."
A new technology maven predicts that robotics, nanomolecular devices, and virtual reality will transform the larger society into a utopia of boundless creativity, information, and play. Read full book review >

THE CENTURY OF THE GENE by Evelyn Fox Keller
NON-FICTION
Released: Oct. 1, 2000

"A detailed, often highly technical examination of a key scientific idea of the past century."
The author of Refiguring Life (1995) assesses a hundred years of progress in genetics, perhaps the most exciting area in modern science, focusing on the conceptual problems inherent in the little understood nature of the gene itself. Read full book review >
NON-FICTION
Released: Oct. 1, 2000

"Better at cataloguing the mismatch between genetics and modern life than prescribing how to overcome it—but, still, instructive."
A sly and informed discussion of the human animal—a creature whose precarious self-control is at the mercy of genes programmed several millennia ago at the start of the evolutionary process. Read full book review >
NON-FICTION
Released: Oct. 1, 2000

"More meditative than fiery, Manning provides a revealing, heedful 'window into what the world is doing about agriculture, and what urgently needs to be done.'"
Manning (Grassland, 1996, etc.), a shrewd and passionate environmentalist, strikes a reserved, cerebral chord here as he discusses how some third-world countries are facing the looming food shortage. Read full book review >

BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Oct. 1, 2000

"A compelling (if a touch overly detailed) look at Florence, its architecture, and one of its artisans."
Novelist King (Ex Libris, not reviewed) takes us to Florence, half a millennium ago. Read full book review >
NON-FICTION
Released: Oct. 1, 2000

"Like many a software designer, the author has put plenty of information into his work, but has failed to make it user-friendly. (b&w drawings)"
An ambitious but baffling history of automatic calculation, from ancient Egyptian hieroglyphic numbers to modern computers. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Oct. 1, 2000

"Bodanis delivers on his promise to make the significance of Einstein's formula at least somewhat understandable for general readers. (20 b&w illustrations, not seen)"
A readable history and explanation of the only physics equation that has taken on a life of its own in popular culture. Read full book review >
THE BEST AMERICAN SCIENCE WRITING 2000 by James Gleick
NON-FICTION
Released: Sept. 12, 2000

"Superb brain candy for those who aren't afraid of a few esoteric diagrams (most of them unseen) and little math."
Biographer and science journalist Gleick (Faster, 1999, etc.) comes up with the equivalent of the best issue of Scientific American you've ever read—without the Volvo ads. Read full book review >
NON-FICTION
Released: Sept. 11, 2000

"The end result is an unfortunate paradox: an important subject, rendered impenetrable by the self-importance of its author. Gilder groupies and techno-libertarians will eat it up, though."
Buried beneath futurist hyperbole and purple prose, here lurks a potentially very interesting—if rather blithely utopian—argument regarding the ascendance of fiber-optics communications as the driving engine of technological and economic progress. Unfortunately, Gilder (Microcosm, 1989, etc.) is too busy playing techno-visionary and paradigm-shifter to state his case in a clear, compelling manner. Read full book review >
NON-FICTION
Released: Sept. 6, 2000

"A master historian and writer takes on another pivotal epoch in American history."
Acclaimed historian Ambrose (Comrades, 1999, etc.) takes on one of the biggest and most influential engineering projects in American history—the building of the transcontinental railroad. Read full book review >
NON-FICTION
Released: Sept. 1, 2000

"An eye-opening perspective on biology, ecology, and medicine—well worth reading, even if the subject makes you squeamish."
Parasites, the stuff of many people's nightmares, are a biologist's dream—superbly adapted creatures that have evolved sophisticated strategies for living off their hosts. 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 >