Science & Technology Book Reviews (page 8)

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 >
YOUR ATOMIC SELF by Curt Stager
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Released: Oct. 14, 2014

"A wondrous exploration of how our interconnections are vast and abiding, past, present and future."
An "atomic field guide to yourself" and your surroundings. Read full book review >
ADA'S ALGORITHM by James Essinger
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Oct. 14, 2014

"A robust, engaging and exciting biography."
The story of Ada Lovelace (1815-1852), the brilliant mathematician and the daughter of the poet Lord Byron, who likely wrote the first computer program in the early 1840s. Due to her gender, however, her research was overlooked, and another two centuries passed before computers became a reality. Read full book review >
DRUGS UNLIMITED by Mike Power
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Oct. 14, 2014

"A compelling, accessible perspective on the global e-tail drug market."
A comprehensive report on how the Internet has revolutionized illicit narcotic sales. Read full book review >
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 >
Kirkus Interview
Mona Eltahawy
April 28, 2015

In her debut book, Headscarves and Hymens: Why the Middle East Needs a Sexual Revolution, Egyptian-American journalist and commentator Mona Eltahawy mounts an angry indictment of the treatment of women throughout the Arab world. Born in Egypt, she spent her childhood in London, moving with her family to Saudi Arabia when she was 15. Her shock was immediate and visceral: “It felt as though we’d moved to another planet whose inhabitants fervently wished women did not exist,” she recalls. Women could not travel, work or even go to a doctor’s appointment without male approval. We talk to Eltahawy this week on Kirkus TV about her arresting new book. View video >