Science & Technology Book Reviews

THE BODY BUILDERS by Adam Piore
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Released: March 14, 2017

"A mind-bending read that will expand your perception of self."
An exhilarating look at the cutting edge of bioengineering and how science and medicine are pushing the boundaries of human potential. Read full book review >
THINKING MACHINES by Luke Dormehl
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Released: March 7, 2017

"Not everyone approves. Dormehl lets critics have their say but makes a convincing, often disturbing, but always-entertaining case that that we're in for a wild ride."
A history of artificial intelligence and look at the "dazzling (near) future, the changes that lurk just around the corner, and how they will transform our lives forever." Read full book review >

THE INHERITANCE by Niki Kapsambelis
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: March 7, 2017

"An educational and emotional chronicle that should resonate with a wide variety of readers."
In her debut, journalist Kapsambelis builds a compelling narrative about Alzheimer's disease around one North Dakota extended family. Read full book review >
THE DEATH AND LIFE OF THE GREAT LAKES by Dan Egan
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: March 7, 2017

"Not light reading but essential for policymakers—and highly recommended for the 40 million people who rely on the Great Lakes for drinking water."
An alarming account of the "slow-motion catastrophe" facing the world's largest freshwater system. Read full book review >
HOW EMOTIONS ARE MADE by Lisa Feldman Barrett
HEALTH & MEDICINE
Released: March 7, 2017

"A highly informative, readable, and wide-ranging discussion of 'how psychology, neuroscience, and related disciplines are moving away from the search for emotion fingerprints and instead asking how emotions are constructed.'"
A well-argued, entertaining disputation of the prevailing view that emotion and reason are at odds. Read full book review >

PSYCHOLOGY
Released: Feb. 28, 2017

"A thoroughly researched, clearly presented book that suggests that imprecise brain science will become increasingly more common as evidence in criminal cases."
American Bar Association Journal editor Davis (Defending the Damned: Inside Chicago's Cook County Public Defender's Office, 2007, etc.) engagingly explores how sophisticated brain studies might help explain the causes of violent crimes. Read full book review >
HOMO DEUS by Yuval Noah Harari
HISTORY
Released: Feb. 21, 2017

"A relentlessly fascinating book that is sure to become—and deserves to be—a bestseller."
In an intellectually provocative follow-up to Sapiens (2015), Harari (History/Hebrew Univ. of Jerusalem) looks to the future. Read full book review >
CONVERGENCE by Peter Watson
HISTORY
Released: Feb. 21, 2017

"Those who reject the idea of convergence outright may not get far in this book, but readers with no objection to a sweeping, entirely fascinating history of science during the last 200 years will find an abundance of enlightening material."
The journalist and polymath delivers a delightful exploration of "the deepest idea in the universe." Read full book review >
THE VACCINE RACE by Meredith Wadman
HEALTH & MEDICINE
Released: Feb. 7, 2017

"An important story well told, featuring the drama and characters needed to make this a candidate for film adaptation."
A dramatic medical history that reveals the progress and the stumbles, the personalities and the rivalries, in the race to find a vaccine for rubella, or German measles. Read full book review >
THE BOOK THAT CHANGED AMERICA by Randall Fuller
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Jan. 24, 2017

"A fresh, invigorating history of philosophical and political struggles."
A vibrant history of the reception of Charles Darwin's ideas by American minds and spirits. Read full book review >
FOOD FIGHT by McKay Jenkins
FOOD & COOKING
Released: Jan. 24, 2017

"Impressive research into a complex situation presented in a highly readable form."
There are no easy answers to questions about genetically modified foods, but environmental journalist Jenkins lays out the promise and the peril of the contemporary industrialization of food production. Read full book review >
WHIPLASH by Joi Ito
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS
Released: Dec. 6, 2016

"This exhilarating and authoritative book actually makes sense of our incredibly fast-paced, high-tech society. A standout among titles on technology and innovation, it will repay reading—and rereading—by leaders in all fields."
Two cybergurus offer a "user's manual to the twenty-first century." Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Laini Taylor
March 27, 2017

In bestselling YA writer Laini Taylor’s new fantasy novel, Strange the Dreamer, the dream chooses the dreamer, not the other way around—and Lazlo Strange, war orphan and junior librarian, has always feared that his dream chose poorly. Since he was five years old he's been obsessed with the mythic lost city of Weep, but it would take someone bolder than he to cross half the world in search of it. Then a stunning opportunity presents itself, in the person of a hero called the Godslayer and a band of legendary warriors, and he has to seize his chance to lose his dream forever. What happened in Weep two hundred years ago to cut it off from the rest of the world? What exactly did the Godslayer slay that went by the name of god? And what is the mysterious problem he now seeks help in solving? “Lovers of intricate worldbuilding and feverish romance will find this enthralling,” our critic writes. View video >