Science & Technology Book Reviews (page 2)

BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: June 15, 2015

"An elegant, pleasantly obsessive study of a 'life of tolerance, humour, serenity and untiring curiosity.'"
A biography of the peerless 17th-century English writer and scientist that finds new relevance in his deeply observant, encyclopedic writings about man and nature. Read full book review >
HUMANKIND by Alexander Harcourt
HISTORY
Released: June 15, 2015

"Homogenization is inevitable, but we are an extraordinarily varied species today, and Harcourt delivers an opinionated but always science-based account of how we got that way."
In his previous book, Harcourt (Emeritus, Anthropology/Univ. of California, Davis) wrote a definitive text on his specialty: Human Biogeography (2012). This book, directed at a popular audience, is a dense and often politically incorrect but lucid summary of everything you would want to know about human diversity.Read full book review >

HISTORY
Released: June 9, 2015

"An opinionated, authoritative, and delightfully provocative account of efforts to make sense of human fossil discoveries."
Despite his 2012 history of Homo sapiens, Masters of the Planet, Tattersall, curator emeritus in the anthropology division of the American Museum of Natural History, revisits the subject from another angle, with equally superb results.Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: June 9, 2015

"Clynes makes a persuasive case for allowing gifted children the freedom and resources to pursue their interests."
Popular Science contributing editor Clynes (Music Festivals From Bach to Blues: A Travellers Guide, 1996, etc.) uses the story of Taylor Wilson—who, at age 14, became "one of only thirty-two individuals on the planet to build a working fusion reactor, a miniature sun on Earth"—to illustrate the potential for improving our educational system.Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: June 2, 2015

"With concussions from sports injuries making the news, Elliott's easy-to-read account of his experiences is a valuable contribution to a better understanding of the condition."
Up-close view of living with the harrowing effects of a concussion by a professor of artificial intelligence who kept thorough notes of the experience and shares what he learned about overcoming his severe disabilities. Read full book review >

THE THEFT OF MEMORY by Jonathan Kozol
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: June 2, 2015

"A compassionate, cathartic, and searingly intimate chronicle of a crippling condition."
An errant son memorializes the devastating impact of his father's struggle with Alzheimer's disease. Read full book review >
ANOTHER PERSON'S POISON by Matthew Smith
FOOD & COOKING
Released: June 2, 2015

"While Smith's text sometimes reads like a doctoral dissertation, all that meticulousness adds weight and authority to the evidence of the serious shortcomings of a medical specialty."
A scholarly history of food allergy. Read full book review >
WHY INFORMATION GROWS by César Hidalgo
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS
Released: June 2, 2015

"Some readers, perhaps economists especially, will construe Hidalgo's widely allusive musings as dotty dispatches from Jonathan Swift's Laputa; others will delight in his novel, holistic take on the dismal science."
An interdisciplinary theorist, Hidalgo, the Macro Connections group leader at the MIT Media Lab, invites us to understand the economy in an entirely different way. Read full book review >
THE WEATHER EXPERIMENT by Peter Moore
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: June 2, 2015

"Detailed and insightful, this book is as relevant as ever in this era of rapid climate change."
In 1800, no one had a clue about what controlled "the heavens," which made the unlikely science of meteorology one of the most remarkable accomplishments of the 19th century. Read full book review >
A DANGEROUS MASTER by Wendell Wallach
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Released: June 2, 2015

"Wallach describes himself as a 'friendly skeptic' with respect to some aspects of technology, but readers may incline to gloom after reading all the ways things technological can go south. A well-mounted argument that deserves wide consideration."
Never mind the zombies and vampires. Worry about the cyborgs and nanobots—the real things, in other words. Read full book review >
THE DARK NET by Jamie Bartlett
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Released: June 2, 2015

"A provocative excursion to the darker side of human nature set free by the anonymous and unregulated boundaries of cyberspace."
A Telegraph columnist and researcher of online social movements reports his findings collected while roaming the outer limits of the Internet. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: June 1, 2015

"A dense but accessible discussion of the metaphysical role of time in human affairs."
In 1922, at a meeting of the French Society of Philosophy, Henri Bergson (1859-1941), "one of the most respected philosophers of his era," expressed unhappiness with Albert Einstein's theory of relativity, which discarded the concept of absolute time and denied the reality of simultaneity. Present in the audience, Einstein disagreed. 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 >