Science & Technology Book Reviews

MODIFIED by Caitlin Shetterly
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Sept. 20, 2016

"The message that our planet is saturated with chemical toxins comes through clearly, but the health case against GMOs is not persuasive."
A journalist on a mission to expose the dangers of genetically modified organisms tells nearly as much about her personal life as about the issue bothering her. Read full book review >
NOW by Richard A. Muller
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Released: Sept. 20, 2016

"Not for the faint of heart or mathematically averse, but Muller is a masterful guide within this survey of cosmology."
Educated readers know that time is one of four dimensions, but most can't shake the feeling that it's the odd man out. They will enjoy this popular account of "an extremely simple yet fascinating and mysterious concept." Read full book review >

PSYCHOLOGY
Released: Sept. 13, 2016

"It's no match for Jesse Sheidlower's fluent, fun The F Word (1995), but Bergen's study is still a winner for the psycholinguistics nerd in the house."
An examination of the sub rosa language that sets us all atwitter—and athwart. Read full book review >
Matter Over Mind by Elaine Walker
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Released: Feb. 15, 2016

"While the author overreaches, her wonderfully lucid explanations of modern physics often hit their marks."
A panoramic account of the cosmos infers political and moral lessons for the whole of humanity. Read full book review >
A New Science by Mukesh Prasad
ESSAYS & ANTHOLOGIES
Released: May 13, 2016

"While exploring a rich variety of topics, from climate change to Einstein, this collection of scientific thoughts lacks polish."
A scientific freethinker draws on his Usenet posts to argue for reinterpretations of mainstream theories. Read full book review >

The Future of Clean Energy by Gary Schwendiman
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Dec. 30, 2015

"An evaluation of the potential energy technologies of the future that draws on a sports metaphor to choose a winner."
A debut book examines the most likely energy developments of the next decades. Read full book review >
HISTORY
Released: Nov. 15, 2015

"An absorbing and comprehensive study of a sea captain and place largely forgotten by history."
An old seafaring world comes to life in this examination of the coastal trade of the mid-1800s. Read full book review >
HUMAN EVOLUTION by Robin Dunbar
HISTORY
Released: Sept. 1, 2016

"Readers who pay attention and do not skim the many graphs, tables, and statistics will discover a rich trove of discoveries on how primitive primates became modern humans."
A history of the "insatiable curiosity about who we are and where we have come from." Read full book review >
POWER AT GROUND ZERO by Lynne Sagalyn
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Sept. 9, 2016

"The narrative's sheer bulk will likely intimidate some readers, and that would be a shame, because Sagalyn has produced a definitive history and an urban studies classic."
A superbly qualified scholar thoroughly deconstructs the tortured story behind the rebuilding of the World Trade Center complex. Read full book review >
Meat Climate Change by Moses Seenarine
HEALTH & MEDICINE
Released: April 15, 2016

"An impassioned, thorough look at meat's role in climate change that presents valid arguments for changing policy and behavior, but in a way that's unlikely to sway new converts."
An argument for combating climate change through modifying agricultural practices and eating habits. Read full book review >
Peter Thiel by Richard Byrne Reilly
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: May 12, 2016

"A short, scattered introduction to Thiel's worldview in his own words."
A compilation of entrepreneur Peter Thiel's thoughts on seemingly everyone and everything. Read full book review >
A FIELD GUIDE TO LIES by Daniel J. Levitin
PSYCHOLOGY
Released: Sept. 6, 2016

"Valuable tools for anyone willing to evaluate claims and get to the truth of the matter."
A crash course in Skepticism 101. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Chris Cleave
June 14, 2016

In bestseller Chris Cleave’s latest novel Everyone Brave Is Forgiven, it’s London, 1939. The day war is declared, Mary North leaves finishing school unfinished, goes straight to the War Office, and signs up. Tom Shaw decides to ignore the war—until he learns his roommate Alistair Heath has unexpectedly enlisted. Then the conflict can no longer be avoided. Young, bright, and brave, Mary is certain she’d be a marvelous spy. When she is—bewilderingly—made a teacher, she finds herself defying prejudice to protect the children her country would rather forget. Tom, meanwhile, finds that he will do anything for Mary. And when Mary and Alistair meet, it is love, as well as war, that will test them in ways they could not have imagined, entangling three lives in violence and passion, friendship and deception, inexorably shaping their hopes and dreams. “Among all the recent fictions about the war, Cleave’s miniseries of a novel is a surprising standout,” our reviewer writes, “with irresistibly engaging characters who sharply illuminate issues of class, race, and wartime morality.” View video >