Science & Technology Book Reviews

TRACK CHANGES by Matthew G. Kirschenbaum
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTS
Released: May 2, 2016

"Materiality, information, and absence: as Kirschenbaum rightly notes, literature is 'different after word processing,' and so is literary history. He makes a solid start in showing how."
A learned and lively study of the sometimes-uneasy fit between writing on a computer and writing generally. 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 >
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Released: April 19, 2016

"A readable book sure to charm and thrill anyone interested in space exploration."
Renowned geologist and lunar scientist Spudis (Blogging the Moon, 2011, etc.) makes a compelling argument that the moon's many available resources may jump-start mankind's pursuit of space travel.Read full book review >
ALGORITHMS TO LIVE BY by Brian Christian
PSYCHOLOGY
Released: April 19, 2016

"An entertaining, intelligently presented book for the numerate and computer literate."
We are always connected: this is both our blessing and our curse. The problem "is that we're always buffered," just a step behind the flood of information flowing toward and past us, all the books and movies and other ingredients of what the authors call "bufferbloat."Read full book review >

BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 19, 2016

"For space aficionados especially but also a good choice for general readers seeking an introduction to an underappreciated, thrilling chapter in aerospace history."
An aviation historian revisits the conception, development, and inaugural flight of "the last American flying machine built to fly higher and faster than everything that had come before." 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 >
ANIMAL INTERNET by Alexander Pschera
NATURE & TRAVEL
Released: April 12, 2016

"A truly thought-provoking book for animal lovers and technology enthusiasts alike."
In a "postdigital" era in which the Internet shapes much of our interaction with others, German media writer Pschera argues that animals can help us see the digital revolution in a new light—and situate ourselves within it more comfortably. Read full book review >
THE INVENTORS by Peter Selgin
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 12, 2016

"A reflective investigation of the self, memory, and invention."
Selgin (Confessions of a Left-Handed Man: An Artist's Memoir, 2011, etc.) explores his relationships with two men who "had a profound influence" on him.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 >
HEALTH & MEDICINE
Released: April 5, 2016

"Easy-to-read, up-to-date information on the latest research into pregnancy, childbirth, and early childhood."
The latest scientific findings on child-rearing from pregnancy through toddlerhood. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Frances Stroh
author of BEER MONEY
May 3, 2016

Frances Stroh’s earliest memories are ones of great privilege: shopping trips to London and New York, lunches served by black-tied waiters at the Regency Hotel, and a house filled with precious antiques, which she was forbidden to touch. Established in Detroit in 1850, by 1984 the Stroh Brewing Company had become the largest private beer fortune in America and a brand emblematic of the American dream itself; while Stroh was coming of age, the Stroh family fortune was estimated to be worth $700 million. But behind the beautiful façade lay a crumbling foundation. As their fortune dissolved in little over a decade, the family was torn apart internally by divorce and one family member's drug bust; disagreements over the management of the business; and disputes over the remaining money they possessed. “The author’s family might have successfully burned through a massive fortune, but they squandered a lot more than that,” our reviewer writes about Stroh’s debut memoir, Beer Money. “A sorrowful, eye-opening examination of familial dysfunction.” View video >