Science & Technology Book Reviews

HEALTH & MEDICINE
Released: July 12, 2016

"A book in which the author's fascinating, well-researched ideas regarding holistic health may presage a paradigm shift in medicine."
Fully 90 percent of human cells are microbial. This astonishing fact means that we are not merely human but a superorganism whose "microbiome" plays a major role in health and disease. Read full book review >
THE UNKNOWN UNIVERSE by Stuart Clark
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Released: July 5, 2016

"Since satisfying results have yet to turn up, Clark's book ends on a cliffhanger, but readers will be entirely pleased with the experience."
Updates on the universe continue to pour from the presses, but since new discoveries appear regularly, cosmology aficionados may read one every few years. They will be wise to read this latest from New Scientist contributor Clark (The Day Without Yesterday, 2013, etc.), a fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society. Read full book review >

RISE OF THE MACHINES by Thomas Rid
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Released: June 28, 2016

"Not a history of computers but an ingenious look at how brilliant and not-so-brilliant thinkers see—usually wrongly but with occasional prescience—the increasingly intimate melding of machines and humans."
A fascinating study of the "seductive power of the cybernetic mythos." Read full book review >
ECCENTRIC ORBITS by John Bloom
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS
Released: June 7, 2016

"A tour de force history of a star-crossed technological leap."
A spellbinding history of a massively impressive work of technology. Read full book review >
MAGIC AND LOSS by Virginia Heffernan
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTS
Released: June 7, 2016

"A thoroughly engrossing examination of the Internet's past, present, and future."
New York Times Magazine writer Heffernan considers the mighty Internet in all its terrible beauty and power. Read full book review >

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 >
Kirkus Interview
Nancy Isenberg
author of WHITE TRASH
July 19, 2016

Poor Americans have existed from the time of the earliest British colonial settlement. They were alternately known as “waste people,” “offals,” “rubbish,” “lazy lubbers,” and “crackers.” By the 1850s, the downtrodden included so-called “clay eaters” and “sandhillers,” known for prematurely aged children distinguished by their yellowish skin, ragged clothing, and listless minds. Surveying political rhetoric and policy, popular literature and scientific theories over 400 years, in White Trash: The 400-Year Untold History of Class in America, Nancy Isenberg upends assumptions about America’s supposedly class-free society––where liberty and hard work were meant to ensure real social mobility. Poor whites were central to the rise of the Republican Party in the early nineteenth century, and the Civil War itself was fought over class issues nearly as much as it was fought over slavery. “A riveting thesis supported by staggering research,” our reviewer writes in a starred review. View video >