Science & Technology Book Reviews

THE PHYSICS OF LIFE by Adrian Bejan
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Released: May 24, 2016

"Unique and entirely fascinating, this book will linger in your consciousness and prompt you to look at the world with fresh eyes."
Renowned energy scientist Bejan (Mechanical Engineering/Duke Univ.; co-author: Design in Nature, 2013, etc.) reorients the query "what is life" within the perspective of physics. Read full book review >
THE GENE by Siddhartha Mukherjee
HISTORY
Released: May 17, 2016

"Sobering, humbling, and extraordinarily rich reading from a wise and gifted writer who sees how far we have come—but how much farther we have to go to understand our human nature and destiny."
A panoramic history of the gene and how genetics "resonate[s] far beyond the realms of science." Read full book review >

THE BIG PICTURE by Sean Carroll
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Released: May 10, 2016

"A brilliantly lucid exposition of profound philosophical and scientific issues in a language accessible to lay readers."
"From the perspective of a vast, seemingly indifferent cosmos," do our lives really matter? Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 26, 2016

"Williams delivers a complex tale about a complex disease, and by sharing a narrative rich in detail, personalities, and New York scenes, she will ease the burdens of those immediately affected and inform others of progress in cancer research."
Who would have thought a book about being diagnosed with stage 4 melanoma could be exhilarating and entertaining? Read full book review >
ARE WE SMART ENOUGH TO KNOW HOW SMART ANIMALS ARE? by Frans de Waal
NATURE & TRAVEL
Released: April 25, 2016

"After this edifying book, a trip to the zoo may never be the same."
Intrigued by the search for intelligent life? No need for space travel—it's happening right here on Earth, and the results are amazing. Read full book review >

THE MOST PERFECT THING by Tim Birkhead
HISTORY
Released: April 12, 2016

"One doesn't have to be a bird enthusiast to relish this book, but it would be the most perfect gift for anyone who is."
A thrilling voyage through what most of us think of as an ordinary item sold at the supermarket. Read full book review >
HISTORY
Released: April 12, 2016

"Celebrating the museum's 150th anniversary, this book sparkles with delightful stories and anecdotes about natural history told in a lively style."
A rich and enthusiastic history of Yale University's impressive Peabody Museum of Natural History. Read full book review >
LAB GIRL by Hope Jahren
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 5, 2016

"Jahren transcends both memoir and science writing in this literary fusion of both genres."
Award-winning scientist Jahren (Geology and Geophysics/Univ. of Hawaii) delivers a personal memoir and a paean to the natural world. Read full book review >
PSYCHOLOGY
Released: April 5, 2016

"Tantalizing perspectives on cultivating sharing, honesty, and cooperation via game theory."
Game theory strategies to handle everyday parental quandaries, especially the unpleasant variety. Read full book review >
BLACK HOLE BLUES AND OTHER SONGS FROM OUTER SPACE by Janna Levin
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Released: April 1, 2016

"A superb alignment of author and subject: Levin is among the best contemporary science writers, and LIGO is arguably the most compelling experiment on the planet."
On the 100th anniversary of Einstein's prediction that gravitational waves distort space-time, an acclaimed astrophysicist provides a thrilling insider's look at the extraordinary scientific team that devised and built the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory, which conducted the first experiment to ever observe gravitational waves. Read full book review >
THE INTERNET OF US by Michael Patrick Lynch
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Released: March 21, 2016

"An excellent, much-needed contribution to the constant battle to sort truth from falsity."
How the Internet and "Google-knowing" can aggravate our tendency to be unreasonable. Read full book review >
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Released: March 15, 2016

"A delightfully lucid combination of the history, philosophy, and science behind thinking machines."
Advances in computers have made artificial intelligence a new hot topic for most observers—but not science writer and futurist Zarkadakis, who maintains that it is an ancient human obsession. 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 >