Science & Technology Book Reviews

ARMY OF NONE by Paul Scharre
Released: April 24, 2018

"A clear, well-written, and richly documented discussion of an issue that deserves deep and careful study."
Former Army Ranger Scharre, the director of the Future of War Initiative at the Center for a New American Security, looks at the technical, strategic, and ethical questions raised by autonomous weapons, which are closer to reality than many civilians may realize. Read full book review >
Released: Feb. 8, 2018

"A sober and penetrating study of the damage done to journalism in recent years, including the scourge of 'fake news.'"
An analysis of the ways that technology has transformed the media and made it harder for people to accurately understand the world. Read full book review >

CHERNOBYL by Serhii Plokhy
Released: May 15, 2018

"A thoughtful study of catastrophe, unintended consequences, and, likely, nuclear calamities to come."
A history of the nuclear disaster that set precedents—and standards—for future mishaps of the kind. Read full book review >
Released: May 1, 2018

"The author's offbeat view of human evolution makes for lively reading and invites readers to think deeply about some of his wilder conjectures."
Natural selection made us what we are today, and that is deeply flawed. So argues Lents (Biology/John Jay Coll., CUNY; Not So Different: Finding Human Nature in Animals, 2016) in his second book. Read full book review >
Released: May 8, 2018

"A beautiful homage to the dignified, unsung heroes of hospital care."
A poignant journey through the "tragedies and joys of a remarkable career" in hospital patient care. Read full book review >

Released: May 1, 2018

"A tight weave of professional findings, anecdotes, site visits, and explanations behind ancient artifacts make this book both engaging and indispensable for those with an interest in prehistory."
Scenarios of glacial and postglacial environments in the Americas. Read full book review >
Released: May 15, 2018

"Lightman, who lives less than a mile from Walden Pond, takes a page from Thoreau, convincingly arguing that we must embrace play, solitude, and contemplation to leaven our hyperstimulated lives."
The distinguished physicist and novelist grapples with the pervasive network of digital distraction he calls "the Grid" and discusses how we can disengage while salvaging its benefits. Read full book review >
TESLA by Richard Munson
Released: May 22, 2018

"Readers will share Munson's frustration at this seeming frittering of a magnificent talent, but they will absolutely enjoy his sympathetic, insightful portrait."
A lucid, expertly researched biography of the brilliant Nikola Tesla (1856-1943), a contemporary and competitor of Thomas Edison who was equally celebrated during his life. Read full book review >
Released: May 1, 2018

"A carefully assembled, thorough book that should be required reading for corporate leaders."
Former Secretary of State Rice (Democracy: Stories from the Long Road to Freedom, 2017, etc.) and Zegart (Eyes on Spies: Congress and the United States Intelligence Community, 2011, etc.), both Stanford political scientists, describe how political risk can affect businesses—and what to do about it. Read full book review >
Released: May 1, 2018

"A solid work of sports journalism and encouraging reading for jocks who are late to the game but committed to the win all the same."
An exploration of the "elite athletes…who continue to perform and compete at the very highest levels long after the age most of their peers have faded away." Read full book review >
Released: May 15, 2018

"A book rich in speculation about how collective thinking might solve big problems such as climate change; of interests to fans of Daniel Dennett, Steven Pinker, and other big-picture thinkers."
Forget artificial intelligence. Instead, think collective intelligence, putting "AI in combination with humans who provide whatever skills and general intelligence the machines don't yet have themselves." Read full book review >
Released: May 3, 2018

"Whether China succeeds is, of course, for the future to tell. That it has emerged so rapidly as the region's superpower, though, makes this brief study particularly timely."
Illuminating study of China's ambitious efforts to extend its influence in Southeast Asia by means of a high-speed rail system. 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 >