Science & Technology Book Reviews (page 9)

A DANGEROUS MASTER by Wendell Wallach
Released: June 2, 2015

"Wallach describes himself as a 'friendly skeptic' with respect to some aspects of technology, but readers may incline to gloom after reading all the ways things technological can go south. A well-mounted argument that deserves wide consideration."
Never mind the zombies and vampires. Worry about the cyborgs and nanobots—the real things, in other words. Read full book review >
THE DARK NET by Jamie Bartlett
Released: June 2, 2015

"A provocative excursion to the darker side of human nature set free by the anonymous and unregulated boundaries of cyberspace."
A Telegraph columnist and researcher of online social movements reports his findings collected while roaming the outer limits of the Internet. Read full book review >

Released: June 1, 2015

"A dense but accessible discussion of the metaphysical role of time in human affairs."
In 1922, at a meeting of the French Society of Philosophy, Henri Bergson (1859-1941), "one of the most respected philosophers of his era," expressed unhappiness with Albert Einstein's theory of relativity, which discarded the concept of absolute time and denied the reality of simultaneity. Present in the audience, Einstein disagreed. Read full book review >
THE ORDINARY SPACEMAN by Clayton C. Anderson
Released: June 1, 2015

"A spaceman delivers an overlong chronicle of his adventures that may prove engaging to ardent space fans."
An astronaut's memoir from "a small-town boy from Nebraska—nothing special, just an ordinary American." Read full book review >
Gryphon's Heir by D.R. Ranshaw
Released: June 1, 2015

"Fabulously layered mythmaking."
In this debut fantasy, a schoolteacher is thrust into a contest for a medieval throne. Read full book review >

DO NO HARM by Henry Marsh
Released: May 26, 2015

"Beautifully written and deeply moving—one of the best physician memoirs in recent memory."
A British neurosurgeon delivers fascinating, often harrowing stories of several dozen cases intermixed with compelling digressions into his travels, personal life, and philosophy. Read full book review >
ALL YOU CAN PAY by Anna Bernasek
Released: May 26, 2015

"Well informed and useful. The authors stress that the ultimate answer is 'you,' but will you read all the fine print to educate yourself?"
There have been plenty of warnings about corporations profiting from data and compromising privacy, but this straightforward analysis never succumbs to alarmism while letting the facts speak for themselves. Read full book review >
GEEK HERESY by Kentaro Toyama
Released: May 26, 2015

"A white paper largely of interest to education theorists and aid specialists, with occasional asides for the Jaron Lanier/Nicholas Carr crowd."
A well-meaning but arid argument, by a former Microsoft executive and current MIT fellow, against the presumed Trojan horses of technology. Read full book review >
DOMESTICATED by Richard C. Francis
Released: May 25, 2015

"A highly illuminating look at the cross-species biological basis for human culture and sociability."
"The human population explosion has been bad for most other living things, but not so for those lucky enough to warrant domestication," writes science journalist Francis (Epigenetics: The Ultimate Mystery of Inheritance, 2011, etc.) in this provocative account of the latest developments in the field of evolutionary biology.Read full book review >
LEAVING ORBIT by Margaret Lazarus Dean
Released: May 19, 2015

"One of those books you can't put down, don't want to finish, and won't soon forget."
Beguiled at an early age by the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, Dean (English/Univ. of Tennessee; The Time It Takes to Fall, 2007) deftly chronicles the history of American spaceflight and what the end of the space program means for American culture.Read full book review >
ELON MUSK by Ashlee Vance
Released: May 19, 2015

"Despite Vance's best efforts, Musk comes off as another megalomaniacal hypercapitalist whose stock in trade is luxury goods and services for luxury clients."
A look at aerospace/automotive mogul Elon Musk. Read full book review >
Released: May 19, 2015

"Deeply religious readers may not even pick it up, but this is an important book that deserves an open-minded readership."
A scientist assails superstition and irrationality. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Jason Gay
November 17, 2015

In the 1990s, copies of Richard Carlson’s Don't Sweat the Small Stuff (and its many sequels) were seemingly everywhere, giving readers either the confidence to prioritize their stresses or despondence over the slender volume’s not addressing their particular set of problems. While not the first book of its kind, it kicked open the door for an industry of self-help, worry-reduction advice guides. In his first book, Little Victories, Wall Street Journal sports columnist Gay takes less of a guru approach, though he has drawn an audience of readers appreciative of reportage that balances insights with a droll, self-deprecating outlook. He occasionally focuses his columns on “the Rules” (of Thanksgiving family touch football, the gym, the office holiday party, etc.), which started as a genial poke in the eye at the proliferation of self-help books and, over time, came to explore actual advice “both practical and ridiculous” and “neither perfect nor universal.” The author admirably combines those elements in every piece in the book. View video >