Science & Technology Book Reviews

TIME TRAVEL by James Gleick
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Released: Sept. 27, 2016

"Though not his best book, this is another fantastic contribution to popular science from Gleick, whose lush storytelling will appeal to a wide range of audiences."
A kaleidoscopic look at the concept of time travel. Read full book review >
BEING A DOG by Alexandra Horowitz
NATURE & TRAVEL
Released: Oct. 4, 2016

"Dog owners curious about the lives of their pets will savor this book, but it deserves a wider audience than just animal lovers."
If the olfactory ability of dogs seems like a dull topic, be prepared for a surprise. This engrossing book takes on not just canine noses, but what we can do with our own—with a little experience and a good guide. Read full book review >

SPACEMAN by Mike Massimino
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Oct. 4, 2016

"A vivid, engrossing, and enthusiastically written memoir of aeronautic ambition."
A seasoned astronaut charts the trajectory of his love affair with space and astronomy. Read full book review >
THE ATTENTION MERCHANTS by Tim Wu
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS
Released: Oct. 18, 2016

"Forget subliminal seduction: every day, we are openly bought and sold, as this provocative book shows."
When something online is free, then the product being sold is you. Wu (Columbia Law School; The Master Switch: The Rise and Fall of Information Empires, 2010) elaborates on that sobering note. Read full book review >
GOLDILOCKS AND THE WATER BEARS by Louisa Preston
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Released: Nov. 8, 2016

"A solid, absorbing background to what makes life possible."
An astrobiologist and planetary geologist delineates the development of life on Earth and then makes the leap into "life" elsewhere in the heavens. Read full book review >

PSYCHOLOGY
Released: Nov. 8, 2016

"An eye-opening exploration of the intersection between philosophy and science and a fascinating peek into our innermost selves."
The human mind is capable of astonishing feats, but does it hold the power to alleviate pain, or even cure disease, simply through suggestibility? Read full book review >
BEYOND EARTH by Charles Wohlforth
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Released: Nov. 15, 2016

"A welcome contribution to the ongoing discussion of the future of America's space program."
An assessment of the prospects for establishing a future space colony. Read full book review >
THE UNNATURAL WORLD by David Biello
NATURE & TRAVEL
Released: Nov. 15, 2016

"In this well-written, significant book, Biello insists that humans, the world's most successful invasive species, have the ability to engage in planetary protection and human survival, but it will require wisdom, innovation, and restraint."
In his first book, Scientific American editor Biello argues that it is not a lack of money or technology that prevents our addressing environmental and societal ills but rather a lack of motivation. Read full book review >
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Nov. 22, 2016

"Required reading for a generation that's 'going to be asked to dance in a hurricane.'"
The celebrated New York Times columnist diagnoses this unprecedented historical moment and suggests strategies for "resilience and propulsion" that will help us adapt. Read full book review >
HOW TO SURVIVE A PLAGUE by David France
HEALTH & MEDICINE
Released: Nov. 29, 2016

"A lucid, urgent updating of Randy Shilts' And the Band Played On (1987) and a fine work of social history."
How scientists and citizens banded together to lift the death sentence from AIDS. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Jeff Chang
September 20, 2016

In the provocative essays in journalist Jeff Chang’s new book We Gon’ Be Alright, Chang takes an incisive and wide-ranging look at the recent tragedies and widespread protests that have shaken the country. Through deep reporting with key activists and thinkers, personal writing, and cultural criticism, We Gon’ Be Alright links #BlackLivesMatter to #OscarsSoWhite, Ferguson to Washington D.C., the Great Migration to resurgent nativism. Chang explores the rise and fall of the idea of “diversity,” the roots of student protest, changing ideas about Asian Americanness, and the impact of a century of racial separation in housing. “He implores readers to listen, act, and become involved with today’s activists, who offer ‘new ways to see our past and our present,’ ” our reviewer writes in a starred review. “A compelling and intellectually thought-provoking exploration of the quagmire of race relations.” View video >