Science & Technology Book Reviews

THE WOOD FOR THE TREES by Richard Fortey
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Dec. 7, 2016

"An eloquent, eccentric, and precise nature memoir."
A distinguished British paleontologist offers a meticulously compiled "biography" of four acres of woodland in Oxfordshire, England. Read full book review >
THE SIGNALS ARE TALKING by Amy Webb
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS
Released: Dec. 6, 2016

"Webb provides a logical way to sift through today's onslaught of events and information to spot coming changes in your corner of the world."
How to forecast emerging technological tends. Read full book review >

BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Dec. 6, 2016

"A welcome and engaging work that does honor to Sobel's subjects."
Popular science writer Sobel (And the Sun Stood Still, 2016, etc.) continues her project of heralding the many contributions of women to science. Read full book review >
WHIPLASH by Joi Ito
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS
Released: Dec. 6, 2016

"This exhilarating and authoritative book actually makes sense of our incredibly fast-paced, high-tech society. A standout among titles on technology and innovation, it will repay reading—and rereading—by leaders in all fields."
Two cybergurus offer a "user's manual to the twenty-first century." Read full book review >
ARE NUMBERS REAL? by Brian Clegg
NATURE & TRAVEL
Released: Dec. 6, 2016

"Solid as a straightforward chronology of how mathematics has developed over time, and the author adds a provocative note urging scientists to keep it in its place."
The emphasis is on "real" in the latest by the prolific British science writer, who questions the extent to which mathematics truly reflects the workings of nature. Read full book review >

EARTH IN HUMAN HANDS by David Grinspoon
NATURE & TRAVEL
Released: Dec. 6, 2016

"A scattershot approach to an admittedly diffuse set of problems but of broad interest and with a refreshing chaser of optimism."
Another dispatch from the Anthropocene, the geological age in which humans dominate at the expense of all other lifeforms. 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 >
DANGEROUS YEARS by David Orr
NATURE & TRAVEL
Released: Nov. 22, 2016

"A well-meaning but diffident treatise. Read Lewis Dartnell's The Knowledge (2014) for a more useful take on what comes next."
Farewell, beloved planet. 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 >
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 >
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 >
A MOST IMPROBABLE JOURNEY by Walter Alvarez
HISTORY
Released: Nov. 15, 2016

"The science is impeccable, the history a tad simplistic. An Ascent of Man-like approach to the subject of Big History would be most welcome, but this isn't quite it."
Count yourself lucky that you live on a planet with gravity—and silicon. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Kendare Blake
November 16, 2016

Bestseller Kendare Blake’s latest novel, Three Dark Crowns, a dark and inventive fantasy about three sisters who must fight to the death to become queen. In every generation on the island of Fennbirn, a set of triplets is born: three queens, all equal heirs to the crown and each possessor of a coveted magic. Mirabella is a fierce elemental, able to spark hungry flames or vicious storms at the snap of her fingers. Katharine is a poisoner, one who can ingest the deadliest poisons without so much as a stomachache. Arsinoe, a naturalist, is said to have the ability to bloom the reddest rose and control the fiercest of lions. But becoming the Queen Crowned isn’t solely a matter of royal birth. Each sister has to fight for it. The last queen standing gets the crown. “Gorgeous and bloody, tender and violent, elegant, precise, and passionate; above all, completely addicting,” our reviewer writes in a starred review. View video >