Science & Technology Book Reviews

SENSATION by Thalma Lobel
PSYCHOLOGY
Released: April 29, 2014

"An intriguing look at how our sensory perceptions affect our language and ability to understand abstract concepts but can also sway judgment. Shelve alongside Malcolm Gladwell, Dan Ariely and others in the pop-psych realm."
Examination of how new experiments are revealing how we are "unconsciously influenced in the most amazing ways by the physical experiences our senses convey." Read full book review >
NATURE & TRAVEL
Released: May 5, 2014

"A provocative voyage on the "vast ocean of sexual function beyond the quiet backwater that we humans find ourselves in.""
An exploration of sexual reproduction across species, with emphasis on the evolution of genitalia. Read full book review >

BIRDMEN by Lawrence Goldstone
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: May 6, 2014

"A powerful story that contrasts soaring hopes with the anchors of ego and courtroom."
At the dawn of powered flight, the warfare for the air was as intense, if not as sanguinary, as war in the air would one day become. Read full book review >
A TROUBLESOME INHERITANCE by Nicholas Wade
HISTORY
Released: May 6, 2014

"A freethinking and well-considered examination of the evidence "that human evolution is recent, copious, and regional.""
Deploying his natural science background, New York Times journalist Wade (The Faith Instinct: How Religion Evolved and Why It Endures, 2009, etc.) strides into the political minefield of genetic influence on racial differences. Read full book review >
HISTORY
Released: May 6, 2014

"Compulsively readable, wicked scientific fun."
Neurosurgery has come a long way since the 16th century, and this series of historical anecdotes traces the many people who, often by suffering horrific injuries, allowed the study and treatment of brain trauma to evolve and become the sophisticated field it is today. Read full book review >

INNOVATIVE STATE by Aneesh Chopra
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: May 6, 2014

"Valuable for policymakers. Although not involved in the recent troubled launch of healthcare.gov, Chopra suspects outdated IT procurement rules and political interference were the culprits."
The nation's first chief technology officer describes efforts to modernize the federal government. Read full book review >
SMALLER FASTER LIGHTER DENSER CHEAPER by Robert Bryce
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS
Released: May 13, 2014

"Though Bryce often sounds like an unabashed booster for business and technology, he makes many intriguing arguments in this "rejoinder to the doomsayers [and] rebuttal to the catastrophists who insist that disaster lurks just around the corner.""
A celebration of innovations that have produced cheaper and more abundant energy, faster computing, lighter vehicles and other technological benefits. Read full book review >
CONSOLE WARS by Blake J. Harris
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTS
Released: May 13, 2014

"It's hard to say whether the book is better than the movie(s), but whether readers are gamers or just enjoyed The Social Network, they'll be spoiled for choice here."
Long before Xbox One and PlayStation 4 were scrapping it out on retail shelves, a small but nimble competitor very nearly unseated Nintendo. Welcome to the Console Wars. Read full book review >
STUFF MATTERS by Mark Miodownik
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Released: May 27, 2014

"Puts the wonder and strangeness back into all the truly magical stuff that comprises our everyday reality."
A compact, intense guided tour through a handful of physical materials, from concrete to chocolate, revealing what makes them profoundly affect our lives. Read full book review >
FEARLESS GENIUS by Doug Menuez
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS
Released: May 27, 2014

"A vital piece of photographic history."
A pictorial and textual time machine documenting the driven personalities who pioneered the technological world from 1985 to 2000. Read full book review >
VOYAGING IN STRANGE SEAS by David Knight
HISTORY
Released: May 27, 2014

"Essentially the story of the West's spectacular development, told by a knowledgeable, patient teacher."
A wide swath of scientific developments since the Renaissance era, densely packed and surprisingly accessible. Read full book review >
CATALOGING THE WORLD by Alex Wright
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: June 2, 2014

"Wright ends his illuminating story in the present, where Otlet's thoughts about the connection of information to knowledge, and knowledge to insight, are still urgent."
The story of Paul Otlet (1868-1944), Belgian librarian and utopian visionary, who, long before the digital age, dreamed of a worldwide repository of media, accessible to all. Read full book review >