These five little books amount to enlarged and modernized versions of chapters in the successful, hardcover The Scientific American Reader (Simon & Schuster, 1953). However the vast predominance and wider range of new articles (reprinted from the magazine) give these five a completeness and interrelation which material in the Reader often lacked. The volume on astronomy, for instance, takes in modern cosmology, curvature in space, the evolutions of galaxies, of stars, and ultrahot stars, authored by Gamow, Celia Payne, Hoyle, etc. The atomic age is presented here with breeder reactors producing more energy than they burn, efficiency problems with reactors, estimates of potential resources for fissionable materials, the spectre of radiation. Automatic control sees the early cyberneticists maturing and discussing existing and future applications of automatic control to machine tools and factory. In the animal book the emphasis is upon broader implications in the special characteristics of birds, the dance language of bees, the instincts of the stickle-back, courtship habits, insect societies and laws of balance. New findings emerge in man's life with discussion as to the twilight origins of organic matter, the chemical and cellular structure of life, the mysteries of heredity, etc. All are immediately readable with their biographic sketches, diagrams and currently last word on the subjects. A ready market in buyers of the Reader and the alert layman in any of these fields is a surefire prospect.