Science & Technology Book Reviews (page 7)

CALCULATING THE COSMOS by Ian Stewart
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Released: Oct. 25, 2016

"A word to the wise: this is not cosmology for dummies. Parts of the text are nearly impenetrable, and Stewart's compact style provides few diagrams or even equations. However, he effectively shows that time and technology will evolve ever better calculations of the cosmos."
Stewart (Mathematics/Univ. of Warwick; Professor Stewart's Incredible Numbers, 2015, etc.) tackles the universe in this latest compendium of facts and fancy. Read full book review >
THE ATTENTION MERCHANTS by Tim Wu
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS
Released: Oct. 18, 2016

"Forget subliminal seduction: every day, we are openly bought and sold, as this provocative book shows."
When something online is free, then the product being sold is you. Wu (Columbia Law School; The Master Switch: The Rise and Fall of Information Empires, 2010) elaborates on that sobering note. Read full book review >

ANGELIC MUSIC by Corey Mead
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Oct. 18, 2016

"Mead keeps the current swift, removing rough rocks that might disrupt our pleasant, engaging trip downstream with him."
The genesis, rise, fall, and rise again of Benjamin Franklin's mid-18th-century rub-the-glasses device, whose enormous popularity led to wild claims about both its salutary and detrimental effects on listeners. Read full book review >
EINSTEIN'S GREATEST MISTAKE by David Bodanis
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Oct. 18, 2016

"Shorter than the best biographies of Einstein (by Walter Isaacson and Dennis Overbye) but still engaging and with more emphasis on the difficulties the scientist faced when physics moved away from the classical view he never abandoned."
A brief biography of "the greatest mind of the modern age" and his revolutionary ideas. Read full book review >
BEING A DOG by Alexandra Horowitz
NATURE & TRAVEL
Released: Oct. 4, 2016

"Dog owners curious about the lives of their pets will savor this book, but it deserves a wider audience than just animal lovers."
If the olfactory ability of dogs seems like a dull topic, be prepared for a surprise. This engrossing book takes on not just canine noses, but what we can do with our own—with a little experience and a good guide. Read full book review >

PSYCHOLOGY
Released: Oct. 4, 2016

"Of rarefied interest, to be sure, but with much to say about how the brain works at the interface of thought and language."
From Joan of Arc to Brian Wilson, throughout history, people have reported hearing voices in their heads. But where do they come from? Read full book review >
SPACEMAN by Mike Massimino
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Oct. 4, 2016

"A vivid, engrossing, and enthusiastically written memoir of aeronautic ambition."
A seasoned astronaut charts the trajectory of his love affair with space and astronomy. Read full book review >
PSYCHOLOGY
Released: Oct. 4, 2016

"An entertaining and modestly informative but not entirely successful effort to replicate the fast-moving repartee that enlivens the authors' radio show."
The hosts of the Two Guys on Your Head radio show and podcast, which examines "an array of interesting, head-scratching quandaries about human behavior," seek to replicate their snappy dialogue in print. Read full book review >
QBISM by Hans Christian von Baeyer
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Released: Oct. 3, 2016

"QBism remains controversial, but scientifically inclined readers will share von Baeyer's enthusiasm and come away with a feeling, if not a deep understanding, of quantum phenomena that doesn't require suspension of disbelief."
"There is a strangeness about quantum mechanics that is rooted not in its mathematical complexity but in the paradoxes and enigmas that have bedeviled it from birth." Since that birth 90 years ago, scientists regularly explain quantum physics, in all its weirdness, to the general public. Here's the latest. Read full book review >
God's Ambiance by William John Meegan
RELIGION
Released: Oct. 3, 2016

"A bewildering and tangled analysis of religion's unconcealed truths."
A complex book attempts to uncover the esoteric mathematics that unites all of the world's religions. Read full book review >
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Released: Sept. 29, 2016

"An essential guide for any scientist or engineer hoping to attempt a feat of derring-do."
An aerospace engineer's diary chronicles three years in the life of the interdisciplinary team that enabled the world's highest sky dive. Read full book review >
NATURE & TRAVEL
Released: Sept. 27, 2016

"Prothero spends more time on size and weirdness than serious readers require, but he also delivers amusing anecdotes, a lucid history of evolutionary ideas, stories of the great fossil discoveries, and an entertaining description of animal evolution on an isolated continent."
A remote island inhabited by creatures unknown to science is a hoary sci-fi scenario that bears some relation to reality, according to this enthusiastic, somewhat scattershot history of life on a vast, isolated island-continent: South America. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Yoojin Grace Wuertz
February 27, 2017

In Yoojin Grace Wuertz’s debut novel Everything Belongs to Us, the setting is Seoul in 1978. At South Korea’s top university, the nation’s best and brightest compete to join the professional elite of an authoritarian regime. Success could lead to a life of rarefied privilege and wealth; failure means being left irrevocably behind. For childhood friends Jisun and Namin, the stakes couldn’t be more different. Jisun, the daughter of a powerful business mogul, grew up on a mountainside estate with lush gardens and a dedicated chauffeur. Namin’s parents run a tented food cart from dawn to curfew; her sister works in a shoe factory. Now Jisun wants as little to do with her father’s world as possible, abandoning her schoolwork in favor of the underground activist movement, while Namin studies tirelessly in the service of one goal: to launch herself and her family out of poverty. But everything changes when Jisun and Namin meet an ambitious, charming student named Sunam, whose need to please his family has led him to a prestigious club: the Circle. Under the influence of his mentor, Juno, a manipulative social climber, Sunam becomes entangled with both women, as they all make choices that will change their lives forever. “Engrossing,” our reviewer writes in a starred review. “Wuertz is an important new voice in American fiction.” View video >