Science & Technology Book Reviews (page 9)

DODGING EXTINCTION by Anthony D. Barnosky
NATURE & TRAVEL
Released: Sept. 1, 2014

"A pragmatic approach to finding workable solutions to a looming crisis."
A paleontologist warns that our planet may be on the verge of a "mass extinction—when more than 75% of the Earth's known species die off in a geological eye blink." This has occurred "five times in the 550 million years that diverse life has occupied Earth." Read full book review >
ALIEN LANDSCAPES? by Jonathan Glover
PSYCHOLOGY
Released: Sept. 1, 2014

"Of substantial interest to students of psychiatry, ethics and the law alike and especially to those working in areas in which the three overlap."
A searching, humane look at the lives of the mentally ill, whose inner worlds can be alien landscapes indeed. Read full book review >

FINAL FRONTIER by Brian Clegg
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Released: Aug. 19, 2014

"Readers will enjoy Clegg's lively, enthusiastic account of the technical barriers to exploring the universe, but for the first steps, they should follow the news from China, the only nation with an active manned space program. Angry at being excluded from the ISS by the U.S., China would love to deliver some kind of payback."
Although it's a cliché, space actually does remain the last frontier, according to British science writer Clegg (Extra Sensory: The Science and Pseudoscience of Telepathy and Other Powers of the Mind, 2013, etc.) in this imaginative account of how to rekindle the thrill of the Apollo program and launch further pioneering voyages. Read full book review >
PSYCHOLOGY
Released: Aug. 19, 2014

"A prolific genre of books covers this subject, but Levitin holds his own, and his examination of brain function stands out."
Lost your keys or glasses? Blame your brain, writes Levitin (Psychology and Music/McGill Univ.; The World in Six Songs: How the Musical Brain Created Human Nature, 2008, etc.) in this ingenious combination of neuroscience and self-help. Read full book review >
DON'T EVEN THINK ABOUT IT by George Marshall
NATURE & TRAVEL
Released: Aug. 19, 2014

"An insightful, often discouraging look at why climate control advocates have failed to get their message across and what they should do. Much of Marshall's advice is counterintuitive (e.g., drop the apocalyptic rhetoric), but it rings true."
Readers seeking information on global warming will not find much here, but they would do well to dig into this lively, nonpolemical account of why the average person pays so little attention. Read full book review >

PSYCHOLOGY
Released: Aug. 18, 2014

"A bold look at one of the most exciting theories in neuroscience."
The discovery of a class of brain cells called mirror neurons was embraced by an entire generation of scientists as the key to the neurological understanding of human social behaviors. But what if the fundamental assumption about these cells' activity was wrong from the start? Read full book review >
GOD IN THE TIME OF THE INTERNET by Phillip Shirvington
RELIGION
Released: Aug. 13, 2014

"An outlandish but exhaustively thought-out imagining of humanity's ultimate destiny."
A searching debut treatise that offers alternatives to typical religious ideas of the afterlife. Read full book review >
PSYCHOLOGY
Released: Aug. 7, 2014

"A thoughtful addition to the bookshelf addressing the unintended consequences of a wired world."
A personalized jeremiad against the state of constant distraction in which our benevolent technologies have ensnared us. Read full book review >
PSYCHOLOGY
Released: Aug. 5, 2014

"A fascinating analysis of what we find fascinating."
A multidisciplinary exploration of how and why certain ideas and experiences resonate more than others. Read full book review >
HISTORY
Released: Aug. 5, 2014

"A lively perspective on globalism as it relates to currency and systems of measurement."
Marciano, best known as an illustrator and author of popular children's books (Madeline at the White House, 2011, etc.), delves into the political ramifications of the American and French revolutions on the adoption of the metric system. Read full book review >
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Aug. 5, 2014

"In this cool, disarming and persuasive indictment of fracking's widespread negative consequences, the authors provide an important addition to an ongoing debate."
A primer on unconventional fossil fuel extraction, with convincing evidence as to its deleterious nature, from veterinarian Bamberger and Oswald (Molecular Medicine/Cornell Univ.). Read full book review >
MARS UP CLOSE by Marc Kaufman
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Released: Aug. 5, 2014

"A totally gratifying account of the Curiosity mission."
A vibrant telling, amplified by striking images and photographs, of the Curiosity mission to Mars. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Pierce Brown
author of GOLDEN SON
February 17, 2015

With shades of The Hunger Games, Ender’s Game, and Game of Thrones, Pierce Brown’s genre-defying Red Rising hit the ground running. The sequel, Golden Son, continues the saga of Darrow, a rebel battling to lead his oppressed people to freedom. As a Red, Darrow grew up working the mines deep beneath the surface of Mars, enduring backbreaking labor while dreaming of the better future he was building for his descendants. But the Society he faithfully served was built on lies. Darrow’s kind have been betrayed and denied by their elitist masters, the Golds—and their only path to liberation is revolution. “Stirring—and archetypal—stuff,” our reviewer writes. View video >