Science & Technology Book Reviews

TESLA by Richard Munson
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
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 15, 2018

"A trip well worth taking, eye-opening and even mind-blowing."
Noted culinary writer Pollan (Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation, 2013, etc.) makes the transition from feeding your body to feeding your head. Read full book review >

THE PERFECTIONISTS by Simon Winchester
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: May 8, 2018

"Less a work of scholarship than an enthusiastic popular-science tour of technological marvels, and readers will love the ride."
An ingenious argument that the dazzling advances that produced the scientific revolution, the industrial revolution, and the revolutions that followed owe their success to a single engineering element: precision. Read full book review >
ATLAS OF A LOST WORLD by Craig Childs
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 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

"Suffused with serpentine theatrics and scientific wonder, this is a consistently compelling, top-notch documentation of intrepid planetary exploration."
An exploration of the fascinating science and complex bureaucracy behind the first journey to Pluto. Read full book review >
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: April 17, 2018

"Evolutionary biology, neuroscience, and polemic combine in an appealing argument for human uniqueness."
An insightful defense of evolution that turns the arguments of creationists against them. Read full book review >
Released: April 10, 2018

"A powerful text that floods the mind with illumination—and with agonizing questions."
Ehrenreich (Living with a Wild God: A Nonbeliever's Search for the Truth about Everything, 2014, etc.) returns with research and rumination on the complexity of our human bodies and the misconceptions of our minds. Read full book review >
Released: April 3, 2018

"As he has done in previous books, Gazzaniga easily draws readers into one of the most fascinating conversations taking place in modern science."
One of the world's leading cognitive neuroscientists upends binary theories of consciousness and argues that it is manifested throughout the brain by localized circuits, an idea backed by emerging scientific data and resonant with philosophical ideas that have been around for centuries. Read full book review >
Released: April 3, 2018

"An expert romp through urban natural history, which, despite the absence of glamorous megafauna, turns out to be a turbulent, hothouse ecosystem whose life is evolving before our eyes."
An appealing argument that "we must embrace and harness the evolutionary forces that are shaping novel ecosystems right here, right now, and work toward allowing nature to grow in the hearts of our cities." Read full book review >
THE SPACE BARONS by Christian Davenport
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: March 20, 2018

"Readers frustrated at the trickle of news from China (the only nation with an active manned space program) will thrill at this lucid, detailed, and admiring account of wealthy space buffs who are spending their own money, making headlines, producing genuine technical advances, and resurrecting the yearning to explore the cosmos."
An enthusiastic account of the pursuit of "a holy grail—a technology with the potential to dramatically lower the cost of space travel." 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 >