Science & Technology Book Reviews (page 2)

HAUNTED EMPIRE by Yukari Iwatani Kane
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: March 18, 2014

"Much of this book is an extended footnote to Walter Isaacson's biography of Jobs, which, though not without problems, is the first work to consult when thinking of things Apple."
Can Apple, though socking away billions in sales of iPhones and iPads, be the disruptor and industry leader of old? Without the radical sensibilities of Steve Jobs, it seems unlikely. Read full book review >
CAFFEINATED by Murray Carpenter
HEALTH & MEDICINE
Released: March 13, 2014

"Carpenter's entertaining narrative dissects caffeine's circuitous route into consumer culture and its tenacious hold on the human mind and body."
Having opined on caffeine for various publications, including the New York Times and Wired, Carpenter delivers a compelling compendium of facts and figures on this "largely unregulated drug." Read full book review >

DINOSAURS WITHOUT BONES by Anthony J. Martin
NATURE & TRAVEL
Released: March 12, 2014

"Most scholarly attempts at comedy, including this one, make for a painful experience, but readers who can tolerate the relentlessly glib, jokey prose will learn a great deal about these fascinating, long-dead creatures."
Paleontologist Martin (Environmental Sciences/Emory Univ.; Life Traces of the Georgia Coast: Revealing the Unseen Lives of Plants and Animals, 2013, etc.) has written textbooks, but this is his first work for a popular audience, and his choice to use humor as an educational tool meets with mixed results. Read full book review >
EARTHQUAKE STORMS by John Dvorak
NATURE & TRAVEL
Released: March 12, 2014

"Although almost entirely focused on California, this is a fine popular primer on the subject, lucidly written and no more technical than necessary."
A thoroughly rewarding explanation of earthquakes built around the famous San Andreas fault, which runs the length of California. Read full book review >
HISTORY
Released: March 12, 2014

"The most comprehensive and certainly one of the most entertaining accounts of atomic accidents."
Having delivered a delightfully astute history of atomic power in Atomic Awakening (2009), nuclear engineer Mahaffey goes over the same ground with the same combination of expertise and wit, this time describing what happens when things go wrong. Read full book review >

BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: March 11, 2014

"A lively account of the men and their times and a brilliant exposition of the scientific circumstances and significance of their work."
Forbes (Imitation of Life: How Biology Is Inspiring Computing, 2004, etc.) and Mahon (Oliver Heaviside: Maverick Mastermind of Electricity, 2009, etc.) offer a compelling new interpretation of the seminal importance of the discoveries of Michael Faraday (1791–1861) and James Clerk Maxwell (1831–1879). Read full book review >
BUMPOLOGY by Linda Geddes
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Released: March 11, 2014

"Straightforward, stress-reducing answers to the most common pregnancy and post-pregnancy questions."
A compilation of advice on pregnancy, birth and infants. Read full book review >
ON THE CANCER FRONTIER by Paul A. Marks
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: March 11, 2014

"On a level with Lewis Thomas for its clarity and verve in presenting the science of the cell and the ability of cancer to assume multiple guises."
Former Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center president and CEO Marks delivers a panoramic view of developments in cancer research and treatment over the last 40 years, from both the researchers' and administrators' perspectives. Read full book review >
THE NAKED FUTURE by Patrick Tucker
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Released: March 6, 2014

"A well-written consideration of how, "in the next two decades, we will be able to predict huge areas of the future with far greater accuracy than ever before in human history, including events long thought to be beyond the realm of human interference.""
An upbeat view of big data as an empowering means for predicting the future. Read full book review >
PLATO AT THE GOOGLEPLEX by Rebecca Newberger Goldstein
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: March 4, 2014

"Goldstein's bright, ingenious philosophical romp makes Plato not only relevant to our times, but palpably alive."
Plato returns to 21st-century America in this witty, inventive, genre-bending work by MacArthur Fellow Goldstein (36 Arguments for the Existence of God: A Work of Fiction, 2010, etc.). Read full book review >
WHAT IS RELATIVITY? by Jeffrey Bennett
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Released: March 4, 2014

"A sober, comprehensible account of what every intelligent layman should know about space and time."
Understanding the universe requires understanding relativity, and this slim volume does an admirable job without resorting to the gimmicks or magic show common in the Einstein-for-laymen genre. Read full book review >
THE RISE OF SUPERMAN by Steven Kotler
HEALTH & MEDICINE
Released: March 4, 2014

"A thrill ride of a book, empowering in its implications of what any individual can achieve."
Every kind of human performance—a record-breaking athletic feat, a major scientific breakthrough, a stunning jazz solo—is made possible by tapping into an elusive and extraordinary state of consciousness called "flow." Read full book review >