Science & Technology Book Reviews

THE PEOPLE'S PLATFORM by Astra Taylor
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS
Released: April 15, 2014

"Not to be skimmed. A cogent and genuine argument for the true democratization of online culture."
A filmmaker turns her high-powered intellect not just on the Internet and its effect on our lives, but also on the sociological and economic forces that bend and shape it. Read full book review >
WHY SCIENCE DOES NOT DISPROVE GOD by Amir D. Aczel
RELIGION
Released: April 15, 2014

"Aczel dislikes atheists and often descends to their derisive debating points (e.g., religions sponsor charities; atheists don't), but he skillfully combines his specialty and good science to support, without actually proving, the existence of a Creator."
Mathematician Aczel (A Strange Wilderness: The Lives of the Great Mathematicians, 2011, etc.) debated atheist Richard Dawkins in 2010. Here, he presents his arguments, and prominent atheists, Dawkins above all, do not come out well. Read full book review >

INHERITANCE by Sharon Moalem
HEALTH & MEDICINE
Released: April 15, 2014

"Readers may occasionally seek less of Moalem's enthusiasm and ego, but he has a lot of solid information to convey and a stylish way of telling it."
A compendium of facts and case studies on genes. Read full book review >
HISTORY
Released: April 8, 2014

"A fast-paced history of the singular idea that shaped a multitude of modern achievements."
In the mid-17th century, debate raged over a mathematical concept of the infinitely small—and nothing less than modernity as we know it was at stake. Read full book review >
MISSING MICROBES by Martin J. Blaser
HEALTH & MEDICINE
Released: April 8, 2014

"Credit Blaser for displaying the wonders and importance of a vast underworld we are jeopardizing but cannot live without."
Infectious disease specialist Blaser makes an impassioned plea for maintaining the biodiversity of the ecosystem that exists in and on our bodies: the human microbiome. Read full book review >

THE BOOM by Russell Gold
NATURE & TRAVEL
Released: April 8, 2014

"A cleareyed and mostly neutral study of the price of America's energy addictions."
An insider's guide to the most controversial energy-production technique in the United States. Read full book review >
LUCKY PLANET by David Waltham
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Released: April 8, 2014

"A bold, unwavering argument that pushes back against the too-quick acceptance of Earth as exceptional—and encourages its intelligent life forms to appreciate our supreme luck."
Despite the popularity of contemporary theories that suggest our world—and even our universe—may not be singular or exceptional, astrobiologist and geophysicist Waltham (Earth Sciences/Royal Holloway Coll., Univ. of London; Mathematics: A Simple Tool for Geologists, 1994) argues that this skepticism of exclusivity is the result of "the most severe case of observational bias in the history of science." Read full book review >
THE HOMING INSTINCT by Bernd Heinrich
NATURE & TRAVEL
Released: April 8, 2014

"A special treat for readers of natural history."
A noted naturalist explores the centrality of home in the lives of humans and other animals. Read full book review >
HEALTH & MEDICINE
Released: April 1, 2014

"An innovative, alternative approach to creating a child-centered environment that directly empowers parents and caregivers."
The director of Global Education for the Autism Treatment Center of America chronicles how his parents pioneered a new treatment for autism after receiving a grim prognosis of his condition. Read full book review >
THE NEXT TSUNAMI by Bonnie Henderson
NATURE & TRAVEL
Released: April 1, 2014

"Of more than local interest, though Northwesterners should pay particularly close attention to the news Henderson brings."
Eugene-based nature writer Henderson (Strand: An Odyssey of Pacific Ocean Debris, 2008, etc.) organizes her narrative around the ways of Pacific tsunamis and the geology underlying them, with a focus on an utterly logical hero: Tom Horning, who, in 1964, barely escaped the freak tidal wave that destroyed much of the region. Read full book review >
THINGS A LITTLE BIRD TOLD ME by Biz Stone
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 1, 2014

"Perceptive, motivational advice for geeks and nongeeks alike, all interwoven with the true story of how Twitter found its flock."
The co-founder of Twitter shares wisdom on the business of success. Read full book review >
HISTORY
Released: April 1, 2014

"Bright, well-written and highly informative."
A history of the navigational tools that tell us where we are. Read full book review >