Science & Technology Book Reviews (page 6)

BAD SINGER by Tim Falconer
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 14, 2017

"A spirited, even adventurous look at the mysteries of how the human brain perceives and processes sound—and even, on occasion, manages to make beautiful music."
"I'm a bad singer. And deep down, it matters." Falling down a rabbit hole in B-minor, Canadian science writer Falconer (Magazine Journalism/Ryerson Univ.; That Good Night: Ethicists, Euthanasia and the End-of-Life Care, 2009, etc.) explores all that bad singing entails. Read full book review >
NON-FICTION
Released: Feb. 14, 2017

"You don't have to be a paranoiac to have enemies, and you don't need to be an outlaw to want to keep your personal information personal. Though with more than a whiff of conspiracy theory to it, Mitnick's book is a much-needed operating manual for the cyberage."
A highly useful handbook for how not to be seen—online, anyway. Read full book review >

TIDES by Jonathan White
NON-FICTION
Released: Feb. 14, 2017

"White's heightened awareness of the planet's 'cosmic beat' is bound to make readers more sensitive to the mysteries of what might otherwise seem commonplace."
Anyone inclined to take the movement of the tides for granted will think twice after reading this wide-ranging study from a conservationist and avid sailor. Read full book review >
NON-FICTION
Released: Feb. 14, 2017

"A quick and instructive read for readers with a casual interest in this quickly changing company as well as those fascinated by the fates of startups."
A fast-moving, well-researched account of the founding and surprising growth of home-sharing company Airbnb. Read full book review >
CAN'T JUST STOP by Sharon Begley
NON-FICTION
Released: Feb. 7, 2017

"Due to Begley's dense explanations of brain science, the book requires close attention at times, but her captivating, accessible anecdotes of individual cases lead to unforgettable scenarios."
Science journalist Begley (Train Your Mind, Change Your Brain, 2007, etc.) delves into specific types of compulsive behaviors while also positing a grand theory of what links seemingly disparate obsessions. Read full book review >

NON-FICTION
Released: Feb. 7, 2017

"An important story well told, featuring the drama and characters needed to make this a candidate for film adaptation."
A dramatic medical history that reveals the progress and the stumbles, the personalities and the rivalries, in the race to find a vaccine for rubella, or German measles. Read full book review >
THE HUNGRY BRAIN by Stephan Guyenet
NON-FICTION
Released: Feb. 7, 2017

"A helpful guide offering encouragement to those looking for ways to lead healthier lives."
Obesity researcher and health writer Guyenet seeks an answer to why, "between 1980 and the present, the U.S. obesity rate more than doubled" despite our national obsession with dieting. Read full book review >
MODERN DEATH by Haider Warraich
NON-FICTION
Released: Feb. 7, 2017

"An important contribution to a serious discussion of profound life-and-death issues."
An examination of "our ongoing battle with aging, disease, and death." Read full book review >
SYSTEMATIC by James R. Valcourt
NON-FICTION
Released: Feb. 7, 2017

"Readers will notice that, except for a few dramatic anecdotes, none of Valcourt's marvels is currently happening, but he makes a convincing case that they are viable and just around the corner."
Exploration of "how understanding neural systems is helping us unravel some of the biggest mysteries in science." Read full book review >
GET WELL SOON by Jennifer Wright
NON-FICTION
Released: Feb. 7, 2017

"There's no question that Wright has covered a lot of medical territory with good information; if only she had curbed her enthusiasm to pontificate."
A lightweight history of plagues from an author who is "invested in this study…because I think knowing how diseases have been combatted in the past will be helpful in the future." Read full book review >
NON-FICTION
Released: Feb. 1, 2017

"An illuminating look at what the brave new world of the future may hold."
A fresh look at the nature vs. nurture debate and the role of race in shaping intelligence and personality. Read full book review >
WAVES PASSING IN THE NIGHT by Lawrence Weschler
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Jan. 31, 2017

"An extended New Yorker-style profile of a public figure who is charismatic and interesting enough to deserve a fuller biography."
An odd but appealing portrait of an Academy Award-winning sound editor fascinated with a simple 18th-century equation that predicts the distance of planets and satellites from the central body. 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 >