Science & Technology Book Reviews (page 6)

THE BIRTH OF THE PILL by Jonathan Eig
HEALTH & MEDICINE
Released: Oct. 13, 2014

"A well-paced, page-turning popular history featuring a lively, character-driven blend of scientific discovery and gender politics."
Former Wall Street Journal reporter Eig (Get Capone: The Secret Plot that Captured America's Most Wanted Gangster, 2010, etc.) recounts the origin story of the oral contraceptive—"the pill"—as a scientific answer to a cultural conundrum: how to have sex without pregnancy. Read full book review >
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Released: Oct. 13, 2014

"Always entertaining and meticulously composed, this book will reorient your relationship with the quantum."
A history of some of the most "forceful, imaginative, and insightful" minds in quantum theory and how the world became entranced by their scientific language. Read full book review >

HISTORY
Released: Oct. 9, 2014

"A lively, informative mix of genealogy and genetics."
A soup-to-nuts look at how we can use the tools of genealogy, family stories, cultural history and genetics to gain insight into our own lives and the world in which we live. Read full book review >
BEING MORTAL by Atul Gawande
HEALTH & MEDICINE
Released: Oct. 7, 2014

"A sensitive, intelligent and heartfelt examination of the processes of aging and dying."
A prominent surgeon and journalist takes a cleareyed look at aging and death in 21st-century America. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Oct. 7, 2014

"A well-researched, lively entry into the current debate about the role of science in a democracy."
Shachtman (American Iconoclast: The Life and Times of Eric Hoffer, 2011, etc.) makes a strong case for the importance of science and technology in the creation of the United States. Read full book review >

HISTORY
Released: Oct. 7, 2014

"Isaacson weaves prodigious research and deftly crafted anecdotes into a vigorous, gripping narrative about the visionaries whose imaginations and zeal continue to transform our lives."
A panoramic history of technological revolution. Read full book review >
LEONARDO'S BRAIN by Leonard Shlain
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Oct. 7, 2014

"Shlain admits that he is taking an extreme position, but many readers will forgive him because he has written an entertaining mixture of facts and speculation on one of history's immortals."
An enthusiastic mixture of history, neuroscience and pop psychology that aims to explain the brilliance of Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519). Read full book review >
THE MEANING OF HUMAN EXISTENCE by Edward O. Wilson
HISTORY
Released: Oct. 6, 2014

"A little book with a big message, bound to produce discussion among scientists and discomfort in devout churchgoers."
An exploration of what it means to be human by the noted sociobiologist and naturalist, twice the winner of the Pulitzer Prize. Read full book review >
ARRIVAL OF THE FITTEST by Andreas Wagner
NATURE & TRAVEL
Released: Oct. 2, 2014

"A book of startling congruencies, insightful flashes and an artful enthusiasm that delivers knowledge from the inorganic page to our organic brains."
Wagner (Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Studies/Univ. of Zurich; The Origins of Evolutionary Innovations, 2011, etc.) lucidly explores the natural principles that accelerate life's ability to innovate and thus evolve.Read full book review >
HISTORY
Released: Oct. 1, 2014

"Despite irritating scholarly touches such as footnotes mixed in with text, Sussman delivers a lucidly written, eye-opening account of a nasty sociological battle that the good guys have been winning for a century without eliminating a very persistent enemy."
In this earnest, often angry history of a hot-button subject, Sussman (Physical Anthropology/Washington Univ.; co-author: Man the Hunted: Primates, Predators, and Human Evolution, 2005) argues that "biological races do not exist among modern humans and they have never existed in the past." Read full book review >
HEALTH & MEDICINE
Released: Sept. 30, 2014

"Compassionate, useful reading related by an expert in his field."
A renowned neurologist examines some important questions: "[W]hat does it mean to be the patient faced with these seismic problems, and how is a connection made with the physician who embodies the knowledge that can make it better?" Read full book review >
HISTORY
Released: Sept. 30, 2014

"Of a piece with the work of Tracy Kidder, Henry Petroski and other popular explainers of technology and science—geeky without being overly so and literate throughout."
Best-selling author Johnson (Where Good Ideas Come From: The Natural History of Innovation, 2010, etc.) continues his explorations of what he calls the "hummingbird effect," unforeseeable chains of influence that change the world. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Gabrielle Zevin
March 3, 2015

A. J. Fikry’s life is not at all what he expected it to be. He lives alone, his bookstore is experiencing the worst sales in its history, and now his prized possession, a rare collection of Poe poems, has been stolen. But when a mysterious package appears at the bookstore, its unexpected arrival gives Fikry the chance to make his life over—and see everything anew. “Zevin writes characters who grow and prosper,” our reviewer writes, “in a narrative that is sometimes sentimental, sometimes funny, sometimes true to life and always entertaining.” View video >