Science & Technology Book Reviews (page 9)

THE MEANING OF HUMAN EXISTENCE by Edward O. Wilson
HISTORY
Released: Oct. 6, 2014

"A little book with a big message, bound to produce discussion among scientists and discomfort in devout churchgoers."
An exploration of what it means to be human by the noted sociobiologist and naturalist, twice the winner of the Pulitzer Prize. Read full book review >
ARRIVAL OF THE FITTEST by Andreas Wagner
NATURE & TRAVEL
Released: Oct. 2, 2014

"A book of startling congruencies, insightful flashes and an artful enthusiasm that delivers knowledge from the inorganic page to our organic brains."
Wagner (Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Studies/Univ. of Zurich; The Origins of Evolutionary Innovations, 2011, etc.) lucidly explores the natural principles that accelerate life's ability to innovate and thus evolve.Read full book review >

HISTORY
Released: Oct. 1, 2014

"Despite irritating scholarly touches such as footnotes mixed in with text, Sussman delivers a lucidly written, eye-opening account of a nasty sociological battle that the good guys have been winning for a century without eliminating a very persistent enemy."
In this earnest, often angry history of a hot-button subject, Sussman (Physical Anthropology/Washington Univ.; co-author: Man the Hunted: Primates, Predators, and Human Evolution, 2005) argues that "biological races do not exist among modern humans and they have never existed in the past." Read full book review >
HEALTH & MEDICINE
Released: Sept. 30, 2014

"Compassionate, useful reading related by an expert in his field."
A renowned neurologist examines some important questions: "[W]hat does it mean to be the patient faced with these seismic problems, and how is a connection made with the physician who embodies the knowledge that can make it better?" Read full book review >
HISTORY
Released: Sept. 30, 2014

"Of a piece with the work of Tracy Kidder, Henry Petroski and other popular explainers of technology and science—geeky without being overly so and literate throughout."
Best-selling author Johnson (Where Good Ideas Come From: The Natural History of Innovation, 2010, etc.) continues his explorations of what he calls the "hummingbird effect," unforeseeable chains of influence that change the world. Read full book review >

ON IMMUNITY by Eula Biss
HEALTH & MEDICINE
Released: Sept. 30, 2014

"Brightly informative, giving readers a sturdy platform from which to conduct their own research and take personal responsibility."
National Book Critics Circle Award winner Biss (Notes from No Man's Land, 2009) investigates the nature of vaccinations, from immunity as myth to the intricate web of the immune system. Read full book review >
THE GLASS CAGE by Nicholas Carr
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Released: Sept. 29, 2014

"An important if occasionally overbearing study of how machines are making us less human and what we can do about it."
Serious technophobic exploration of the dangers of machines superseding the role of humans in the workforce. Read full book review >
RELIGION
Released: Sept. 26, 2014

"A slim but powerful entry in the long-running debate between science and religion."
A brief work that argues for the synthesis of Christian faith and scientific discovery. Read full book review >
THE LAGOON by Armand Marie Leroi
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 25, 2014

"A wide-ranging, delightful tour de force."
Leroi (Evolutionary Development Biology/Imperial Coll. London; Mutants:On the Form, Variety and Errors of the Human Body, 2003) calls on his expertise and his experience as a BBC science presenter to explain why Aristotle's writings on science are still relevant today. Read full book review >
HOW GOOGLE WORKS by Eric Schmidt
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS
Released: Sept. 23, 2014

"An informative and creatively multilayered Google guidebook from the businessman's perspective."
Two distinguished technology executives share the methodology behind what made Google a global business leader. Read full book review >
THE EDGE OF THE SKY by Roberto Trotta
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Released: Sept. 23, 2014

"An entertaining exercise, in the end, for those student-people who like to ponder the All-There-Is while testing the always-inadequate limits of language."
A simplified but by no means simplistic introduction to modern cosmology and physics—the flagship sciences of the "All-There-Is." Read full book review >
WINTER OF THE GENOMES by Larry Kilham
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Released: Sept. 23, 2014

"A sensible, innovative consideration of how technology can alter the landscape of human life."
A rigorous but readable account of what promises the future of artificial intelligence holds. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Luis Alberto Urrea
April 21, 2015

Examining the borders between one nation and another, between one person and another, Luis Alberto Urrea’s latest story collection, The Water Museum, reveals his mastery of the short form. This collection includes the Edgar-award winning "Amapola" and his now-classic "Bid Farewell to Her Many Horses," which had the honor of being chosen for NPR's "Selected Shorts" not once but twice. Urrea has also recently published a poetry collection, Tijuana Book of the Dead, mixing lyricism and colloquial voices, mysticism and the daily grind. We talk to Urrea about both of his new books this week on Kirkus TV. View video >