Science & Technology Book Reviews (page 2)

ORDINARILY WELL by Peter D. Kramer
HEALTH & MEDICINE
Released: June 7, 2016

"Written with the compassion, verve, and style that are the author's trademark, this book offers an invaluable overview on the state of treatment and the options available."
The 1993 publication of Kramer's Listening to Prozac set off a controversy about the use of mind-altering drugs in the treatment of mental illness that has still to be resolved, a situation the author finds deplorable. Read full book review >
GRUNT by Mary Roach
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: June 7, 2016

"Battlefield R&D is a topic too fascinating to ruin, so readers who can tolerate the author's relentless flippancy will not regret the experience."
A cannon fires grocery chickens at parked jets, testing ways to protect planes against bird strikes. Readers encountering this esoteric project on the first page will settle back to enjoy another patented scientific romp, this one on battlefield research, by journalist Roach (Gulp: Adventures on the Alimentary Canal, 2013, etc.). Read full book review >

THE INEVITABLE by Kevin Kelly
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS
Released: June 7, 2016

"Kelly's arguments ring true, and his enthusiasm is contagious. Readers will enjoy the ride provided they forget that he has disobeyed his warning against assuming that today's trends will continue."
That futurists have a terrible record hasn't discouraged them, and this delightful addition to the genre does not deny that predictions have been wildly off-base. Read full book review >
FRACKOPOLY by Wenonah Hauter
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS
Released: June 7, 2016

"There is no question where Hauter's sympathies lie, and her grim litany of greed, corruption, and environmental damage may stir activists to action but deeply discourage general readers."
An angry polemic on fracking and the importance of "leaving fossil fuels in the ground and reorienting the production and use of electricity." Read full book review >
MAGIC AND LOSS by Virginia Heffernan
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTS
Released: June 7, 2016

"A thoroughly engrossing examination of the Internet's past, present, and future."
New York Times Magazine writer Heffernan considers the mighty Internet in all its terrible beauty and power. Read full book review >

STRANGER IN THE MIRROR by Robert V. Levine
PSYCHOLOGY
Released: June 1, 2016

"A provocative and convincing case of the malleability of what we think of as 'our self, which in reality is a multiplicity of characters' developed through time and circumstances."
A multiangled exploration of the slippery notion of self-identity. Read full book review >
THE GEEK FEMINIST REVOLUTION by Kameron Hurley
ESSAYS & ANTHOLOGIES
Released: May 31, 2016

"Passion and commitment permeate the writing as Hurley illuminates the online cultural vanguard from a feminist's perspective."
A feminist manifesto from the front lines of fantasy fiction, Internet flaming, and Gamergate battles. Read full book review >
HISTORY
Released: May 24, 2016

"A fresh, lively look at an obsessive desire to own a piece of the wild."
In her spirited debut book, a journalist recounts her quest for a coveted aquarium fish. Read full book review >
THE NEXT PANDEMIC by Ali S. Khan
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: May 24, 2016

"The details are sometimes disturbing, but Khan writes with verve, clarity, and a touch of humor."
Autobiography of a self-described disease detective whose adventures in public health dramatize the need to modify our approach to emerging infections and possible pandemics. Read full book review >
THE PHYSICS OF LIFE by Adrian Bejan
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Released: May 24, 2016

"Unique and entirely fascinating, this book will linger in your consciousness and prompt you to look at the world with fresh eyes."
Renowned energy scientist Bejan (Mechanical Engineering/Duke Univ.; co-author: Design in Nature, 2013, etc.) reorients the query "what is life" within the perspective of physics. Read full book review >
Puzzle of Fate by A. Reza Kamarei
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Released: May 21, 2016

"A thought-provoking rumination on fate."
Kamarei explores a scientific basis for fate in this debut work of nonfiction. Read full book review >
THE GENE by Siddhartha Mukherjee
HISTORY
Released: May 17, 2016

"Sobering, humbling, and extraordinarily rich reading from a wise and gifted writer who sees how far we have come—but how much farther we have to go to understand our human nature and destiny."
A panoramic history of the gene and how genetics "resonate[s] far beyond the realms of science." Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Nancy Isenberg
author of WHITE TRASH
July 19, 2016

Poor Americans have existed from the time of the earliest British colonial settlement. They were alternately known as “waste people,” “offals,” “rubbish,” “lazy lubbers,” and “crackers.” By the 1850s, the downtrodden included so-called “clay eaters” and “sandhillers,” known for prematurely aged children distinguished by their yellowish skin, ragged clothing, and listless minds. Surveying political rhetoric and policy, popular literature and scientific theories over 400 years, in White Trash: The 400-Year Untold History of Class in America, Nancy Isenberg upends assumptions about America’s supposedly class-free society––where liberty and hard work were meant to ensure real social mobility. Poor whites were central to the rise of the Republican Party in the early nineteenth century, and the Civil War itself was fought over class issues nearly as much as it was fought over slavery. “A riveting thesis supported by staggering research,” our reviewer writes in a starred review. View video >