Science & Technology Book Reviews (page 8)

THE MYSTERIOUS WORLD OF THE HUMAN GENOME by Frank Ryan
HEALTH & MEDICINE
Released: Feb. 16, 2016

"An enlightening account of past and present knowledge and the future possibilities of human heredity."
The information revolution in silicon gets the headlines, but a revolution in genetics has been running in parallel and will soon affect our lives even more profoundly. Plenty of authors are paying attention, but British physician and researcher Ryan (Metamorphosis: Unmasking the Mystery of How Life Transforms, 2011, etc.) delivers an up-to-date history that will be definitive—at least for a few years.Read full book review >
NATURE & TRAVEL
Released: Feb. 15, 2016

"Whitehouse takes readers on a richly rewarding journey through space and time in this scientific travelogue."
In the spirit of Jules Verne's popular classic Journey to the Center of the Earth, Royal Astronomical Society fellow Whitehouse (The Sun: A Biography, 2005, etc.) describes how modern advances in geology provide insight into the evolution and dynamic structure of the Earth. Read full book review >

HAIR by Kurt Stenn
HEALTH & MEDICINE
Released: Feb. 15, 2016

"A spirited, informative history of a fascinating fiber."
A hair-follicle scientist offers an edifying look at the biology, physiology, and history of hair. Read full book review >
LOVE AND SCIENCE by Jan Vilcek
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 9, 2016

"Vilcek artfully joins the chronicle of his scientific work and the dramatic events that punctuated his life under two totalitarian regimes, culminating in his flight to freedom. An inspiring page-turner."
A memoir of the extraordinary life and circumstances that led the author to the groundbreaking discovery of Remicade, which successfully treats two previously untreatable autoimmune diseases, Crohn's disease and rheumatoid arthritis. Read full book review >
NATURE & TRAVEL
Released: Feb. 9, 2016

"A watery romp under the waves that will appeal to anyone wanting to broaden their knowledge of our watery planet."
Coral and reef ecologist Hardt dives into the sex lives of sea creatures. Read full book review >

HISTORY
Released: Feb. 4, 2016

"A well-researched, well-documented, and highly readable account."
A history of the Hamitic hypothesis, from its origins in the story of Noah's disgraced son Ham in the book of Genesis to its presence in the Rwandan genocide of recent decades. Read full book review >
THE MOST WANTED MAN IN CHINA by Fang Lizhi
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 2, 2016

"A wonderfully crafted memoir, shimmering with intellectual honesty."
A dissident astrophysicist who died in 2012 offers rare, revealing glimpses inside the opaque Chinese communist system. Read full book review >
LIGHT by Bruce Watson
HISTORY
Released: Feb. 2, 2016

"An ingenious combination of science and art history."
The usual popular-science history of light begins with the ancient Greeks and peters out soon after Einstein, but this fine account by Smithsonian contributing writer Watson (Freedom Summer: The Savage Season of 1964 that Made Mississippi Burn and Made America a Democracy, 2010, etc.) paints with a broader brush.Read full book review >
A CANCER IN THE FAMILY by Theodora Ross
HEALTH & MEDICINE
Released: Feb. 2, 2016

"Highly recommended: an exceptionally well-organized, authoritative, and readable resource book."
A valuable resource for those wondering whether there is a chance that cancer runs in their family. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 2, 2016

"An optimistic and engagingly well-told life story that incorporates scientific investigation into its altruistic message."
A Stanford neurosurgeon and director of the Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education relates how to achieve lofty life goals by harnessing the power of both the brain and the heart. Read full book review >
HEARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE by John C. Havens
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Released: Feb. 2, 2016

"An astute philosophical meditation on a major problem facing designers of advanced computers."
As artificial intelligence becomes increasingly essential to our lives, a steady stream of books is expressing delight or dismay. In this thoughtful addition to the genre, Mashable and Guardian contributing editor Havens warns that we have ignored an essential feature of machine thinking: its ethics.Read full book review >
THE INDUSTRIES OF THE FUTURE by Alec Ross
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS
Released: Feb. 1, 2016

"Discerning insights on approaching changes to our economic and social landscapes and solid advice on how we should navigate them."
From the former Senior Advisor for Innovation to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, a survey of technologies that will dominate the global economy in the coming decades. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Fernanda Santos
author of THE FIRE LINE
May 17, 2016

When a bolt of lightning ignited a hilltop in the sleepy town of Yarnell, Arizona, in June 2013, setting off a blaze that would grow into one of the deadliest fires in American history, the 20 men who made up the Granite Mountain Hotshots sprang into action. New York Times writer Fernanda Santos’ debut book The Fire Line is the story of the fire and the Hotshots’ attempts to extinguish it. An elite crew trained to combat the most challenging wildfires, the Hotshots were a ragtag family, crisscrossing the American West and wherever else the fires took them. There's Eric Marsh, their devoted and demanding superintendent who turned his own personal demons into lessons he used to mold, train and guide his crew; Jesse Steed, their captain, a former Marine, a beast on the fire line and a family man who wasn’t afraid to say “I love you” to the firemen he led; Andrew Ashcraft, a team leader still in his 20s who struggled to balance his love for his beautiful wife and four children and his passion for fighting wildfires. We see this band of brothers at work, at play and at home, until a fire that burned in their own backyards leads to a national tragedy. View video >