Science & Technology Book Reviews (page 9)

THE SMARTPHONE by Elizabeth Woyke
Released: Sept. 2, 2014

"A smartphone full monty that will appeal mostly to the device's users—all 1.75 billion of them."
An intricate dissection of the smartphone from technology reporter Woyke. Read full book review >
IN REAL LIFE by Nev Schulman
Released: Sept. 2, 2014

"Another quote from the book, one more telling about 'catfishing,' comes from comedian Marc Maron, who said that every status update is essentially a plea: 'Would someone please acknowledge me?'"
Searching for the overlap of our online selves and our "real life" selves. Read full book review >

HATE CRIMES IN CYBERSPACE by Danielle Keats Citron
Released: Sept. 1, 2014

"Frightening and infuriating, this demand for legal accountability for Internet barbarism deserves widespread exposure and serious consideration."
An impassioned call for equal rights for women on the Internet. Read full book review >
DODGING EXTINCTION by Anthony D. Barnosky
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
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 >

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 >
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
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 >
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
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 >
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 >
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 >
Kirkus Interview
Gabrielle Zevin
March 3, 2015

A. J. Fikry’s life is not at all what he expected it to be. He lives alone, his bookstore is experiencing the worst sales in its history, and now his prized possession, a rare collection of Poe poems, has been stolen. But when a mysterious package appears at the bookstore, its unexpected arrival gives Fikry the chance to make his life over—and see everything anew. “Zevin writes characters who grow and prosper,” our reviewer writes, “in a narrative that is sometimes sentimental, sometimes funny, sometimes true to life and always entertaining.” View video >