Science & Technology Book Reviews (page 9)

Released: Jan. 16, 2016

"A must-read for anyone interested in the early history of space exploration."
Spaceflight didn't start with Neil Armstrong, or even with Sputnik, as this well-researched account of the early days of rocketry makes clear.Read full book review >
WHY WE SNAP by R. Douglas Fields
Released: Jan. 12, 2016

"The interplay between conscious and unconscious cognition is not unfamiliar territory, as readers of Daniel Kahneman or Malcolm Gladwell will recognize, but Fields' personal experience adds a fresh viewpoint to an intriguing subject."
A neuroscientist asks, "what triggers [our] deadly switch for violence and killing?" Read full book review >

Released: Jan. 12, 2016

"A fine exploration of the brain's ability to draw the story of our life, from experience and from thin air."
A neurologist tours current research on the mysteries of perception, habit, learning, memory, and language—our very selfhood and identity—and their underlying brain mechanics. Read full book review >
THE IDEALIST by Justin Peters
Released: Jan. 12, 2016

"A hard look at Internet culture and the wunderkind it failed in the end."
The spectacular life and tragic downfall of an American iconoclast. Read full book review >
Released: Jan. 12, 2016

"Nelson adds another chapter to the somber history of injustice toward African-Americans, but it is one in which science is enriching lives by forging new identities and connections to ancestral homelands."
Genealogical studies by black Americans have grown in popularity once companies were able to provide DNA analyses "direct to consumers." Has it helped civil rights? Social justice? Legal claims? Yes and no, writes Nelson (Sociology and Gender Studies/Columbia Univ.; Body and Soul: The Black Panther Party and the Fight Against Medical Discrimination, 2011, etc.) in this meticulously detailed study.Read full book review >

Released: Jan. 11, 2016

"An unusual and vastly entertaining journey into the world of mysterious plant life as experienced by a gifted nature writer."
A prolific and talented British nature writer explores 40 plant species and how they have influenced the human imagination over the centuries. Read full book review >
Released: Jan. 5, 2016

"A valuable companion to confusion, though it's not without a few tangles of its own."
The world is complicated and getting more so. Or, as Miller (Economics and Social Sciences/Carnegie Mellon Univ.; co-author: Complex Adaptive Systems, 2007) puts it, more cheerfully, "complexity abounds."Read full book review >
Released: Jan. 5, 2016

"A compendious work that will intrigue serious readers; others may find it overlong and too comprehensive."
Hands has spent the last 10 years assembling a critical overview of scientific orthodoxy in an attempt to answer the fundamental questions "what are we?" and "why are we here?" Read full book review >
Released: Jan. 5, 2016

"An important record of forward-looking thought cut short."
Collected writings of Aaron Swartz (1986-2013), prescient programmer and technology critic. Read full book review >
THE LUCKY YEARS by David B. Agus
Released: Jan. 5, 2016

"Practical health information fortified with exciting news from the forefront of modern medical technology."
A pioneering oncologist explores the latest advancements in general medicine. Read full book review >
Released: Jan. 1, 2016

"A well-rounded discussion of common mental problems and strategies for dealing with them."
The chief psychiatrist at Amen Clinics offers a holistic approach to treating an array of mental disorders. Read full book review >
HOME by John S. Allen
Released: Dec. 29, 2015

"Excellent supplementary reading for a variety of college courses, but the book's scope and accessibility make this one for general readers, too."
A neuroanthropologist tackles the questions of how home came to be a central feature of human life and what we mean when we say that we feel at home. 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 >