Science & Technology Book Reviews

MAN OF THE HOUR by Jennet Conant
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 19, 2017

"Conant deserves a place among the traditional 'wise men' (Acheson, Harriman et al.), an elite group of white, male, East Coast advisers, all pragmatic, realistic, and nonideological, who guided presidential policy from World War II through the end of the Cold War. This book gives him that place."
A biography of a "chemist, statesman, educator, and critic…[who] had within his grasp all the elements to help forge the new atomic age." Read full book review >
Released: Sept. 12, 2017

"An unsettling but highly thought-provoking book."
An exploration of how "there is something presently wrong with how…scientists think about life, its existence, its origins, and its evolution." Read full book review >

Released: Sept. 12, 2017

"A lucid and provocative look at the geopolitics of energy and the shifts and dislocations it is likely to produce."
Remember when the world was running out of oil? The good news is that energy is abundant, at least for the time being. As for the bad news…. Read full book review >
Released: Sept. 5, 2017

"Advice for students and teachers rounds out a persuasive plea for creative learning."
An argument for why higher education requires radical change to prepare students for an unpredictable future. Read full book review >
Released: Sept. 5, 2017

"A thoughtful progressive feint against the vulgar fearmongering of the moment."
A provocative look at the science and psychology behind fear-based politics. Read full book review >

DARWIN'S BACKYARD by James T. Costa
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 5, 2017

"While casual readers may not be tempted to perform the experiments, the insights Costa provides into Darwin's thinking and his revelations about the great man's working life make this a worthwhile read. A perfect resource for biology teachers."
An instructive and entertaining look at Darwin's "experimentising" and how it can be readily duplicated using mostly simple household tools. Read full book review >
Released: Aug. 24, 2017

"In this bible of DNA information, Watson is as provocative and optimistic as ever."
A masterful summary of genetic science past, present, and future, from one of its prime movers. Read full book review >
HOW LANGUAGE BEGAN by Daniel L.  Everett
NON-FICTION
Released: Aug. 22, 2017

"A worthy book for general readers not well-versed in anthropology, neurology, linguistics, and other technical sciences."
A noted linguist explores "the evolutionary history of language as a human invention—from the emergence of our species to the more than 7,000 languages spoken today." Read full book review >
THE EDUCATION OF A CORONER by John  Bateson
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Aug. 15, 2017

"A fascinating and wildly informative dive into the mysterious world of death and decay."
Grisly true-life cases from the longtime career of a veteran coroner. Read full book review >
IMPROBABLE DESTINIES by Jonathan B.  Losos
Released: Aug. 8, 2017

"A cheerful, delightfully lucid primer on evolution and the predictive possibilities within the field."
A fresh take on evolution and how "we can study [it] as it occurs, right before our eyes." Read full book review >
LIFE IN CODE by Ellen Ullman
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Aug. 8, 2017

"What Anthony Bourdain did for chefs, Ullman does for computer geeks. A fine rejoinder and update to Doug Coupland's Microserfs and of great interest to any computer user."
A sharply written, politically charged memoir of life in the data trenches by computer pioneer Ullman (By Blood, 2012, etc.). Read full book review >
Released: July 31, 2017

"An exciting history of the second great breakthrough of 21st-century physics."
A fascinating story of astronomy that represents "the culmination of a century-long quest and the starting point for a completely new chapter in our exploration of the universe." Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Katey Sagal
author of GRACE NOTES
April 10, 2017

In her memoir Grace Notes, actress and singer/songwriter Katey Sagal takes you through the highs and lows of her life, from the tragic deaths of her parents to her long years in the Los Angeles rock scene, from being diagnosed with cancer at the age of twenty-eight to getting her big break on the fledgling FOX network as the wise-cracking Peggy Bundy on the beloved sitcom Married…with Children. Sparse and poetic, Grace Notes is an emotionally riveting tale of struggle and success, both professional and personal: Sagal’s path to sobriety; the stillbirth of her first daughter, Ruby; motherhood; the experience of having her third daughter at age 52 with the help of a surrogate; and her lifelong passion for music. “While this book is sure to please the author’s many fans, its thoughtful, no-regrets honesty will no doubt also appeal to readers of Hollywood memoirs seeking substance that goes beyond gossip and name-dropping,” our critic writes. “A candid, reflective memoir.” View video >