Science & Technology Book Reviews (page 6)

THE LOST ELEMENTS by Marco Fontani
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Released: Nov. 3, 2014

"Many general readers will find the book too dense, but for students and scholars, this is a choice, spirited history of the false discoveries, semi-retractions, abandonments, discoveries and rediscoveries of nature's building blocks."
Chemists Fontani, Costa (both Univ. of Florence) and Orna (Coll. of New Rochelle) travel the pathway to the identification and classification of the elements. Read full book review >
IVAN PAVLOV by Daniel P. Todes
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Oct. 31, 2014

"A comprehensive, nuanced picture of Pavlov's life and times and his seminal contributions to science."
An expansive scholarly biography of Russia's most eminent scientist. Read full book review >

SPEED LIMITS by Mark C. Taylor
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS
Released: Oct. 28, 2014

"A timely accompaniment to James Gleick's Faster (1999), this is a stimulating cautionary report for the digital age."
A philosopher and cultural critic ponders the durability of our fast-tracked, multitasked modern world. Read full book review >
SERVING THE REICH by Philip Ball
HISTORY
Released: Oct. 22, 2014

"How much did Nazism compromise its scientists? In this polished account, Ball finds that the jury is still out, even as the evidence mounts and the pursuit of firsthand records and documentary testimony continues."
An examination of the response of German scientists to the rise of the Third Reich and its interference with their work. Read full book review >
MARS ROVER CURIOSITY by Robert Manning
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Oct. 21, 2014

"Readers yearning for stories of human space travel must follow developments in China, the only nation with an active manned space program. Those who appreciate the purely scientific results of planetary exploration will love this lively, intelligent account of a dazzling achievement."
Although lacking the glamour of manned space flight, unmanned probes have accomplished great things, and this book delivers a thoroughly satisfying description of one of the greatest. Read full book review >

THE SONIC BOOM by Joel Beckerman
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS
Released: Oct. 21, 2014

"Interesting insight on the use of sound bites to merchandise products."
Man Made Music founder Beckerman, with the assistance of Gray (The Hit Charade: Lou Pearlman, Boy Bands, and the Biggest Ponzi Scheme in U.S. History, 2008), explains the use of sonic branding in advertising.Read full book review >
MORE AWESOME THAN MONEY by Jim Dwyer
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTS
Released: Oct. 20, 2014

"Slowly paced, familiar narrative of tech dreams and youthful hubris."
Journalistic account of an ambitious, ill-fated attempt at creating a privacy-oriented alternative to Facebook. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Oct. 15, 2014

"A gutsy, deeply revealing account that more than fulfills the promise of the subtitle."
Freelance journalist and author Stark (Leaving Mundania: Inside the Transformative World of Live Action Role-Playing Games, 2012) has both fully researched her subject and poured out her heart in this blend of history, science and memoir. Read full book review >
A HISTORY OF LIFE IN 100 FOSSILS by Paul D. Taylor
NATURE & TRAVEL
Released: Oct. 14, 2014

"Despite the terrific photographs, the avalanche of information in the text may overwhelm beginners, who should read a genuine history of evolution—e.g., Richard Fortey's Life (1998)—before dipping into this treasure trove."
Not a history of life as much as a picture book with 100 beautiful photographs of fossils, each accompanied by a pagelong essay on its role in evolution. Read full book review >
PSYCHOLOGY
Released: Oct. 14, 2014

"Entertaining, enlightening and refreshingly light on psychobabble."
A researcher who is both a scholar and an experienced motivational speaker makes the subject of personality psychology come to life. Read full book review >
WAR DOGS by Rebecca Frankel
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Oct. 14, 2014

"Engaging accounts of dogs working in war zones and aiding their handlers despite the imminent dangers."
Stories of dogs and their human handlers on the front lines of war. Read full book review >
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Oct. 14, 2014

"An engaged and engaging examination of 'what current science allows us to say (or does not) about Sandy's relation to human-induced climate change.'"
Sobel (Environmental Sciences and Applied Physics and Mathematics/Columbia Univ.) grapples with the "complex questions involving science, engineering, politics, and human psychology" that arose in Hurricane Sandy's wake. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Bill Browder
author of RED NOTICE
March 24, 2015

Bill Browder’s Red Notice is a nonfiction political thriller about an American financier in the Wild East of Russia, the murder of his principled young tax attorney, and his mission to expose the Kremlin’s corruption. In 2007, a group of Russian law enforcement officers raided Browder’s offices in Moscow and stole $230 million of taxes that his fund’s companies had paid to the Russian government. Browder’s attorney Sergei Magnitsky investigated the incident and uncovered a sprawling criminal enterprise. A month after Sergei testified against the officials involved, he was arrested and thrown into pre-trial detention, where he was tortured for a year. On November 16, 2009, he was led to an isolation chamber, handcuffed to a bedrail, and beaten to death by eight guards in full riot gear. “It may be that ‘Russian stories never have happy endings,’ ” our reviewer writes about Red Notice, “but Browder’s account more than compensates by ferociously unmasking Putin’s thugocracy.” View video >