What's New in Science Books 


Every week new books arrive at scibooks.org I can’t review them all, but I do try judge which ones might interest readers of popular science. Those books are listed below along with excerpts from their press releases. Some books are listed twice; once when the advance copy arrives and again when the final edition comes in.

Received during the week ended 11/12/10

Fraser’s Penguins: A Journey into the Future in Antarctica by Fen Montaigne. Henry Holt, $26, 288 pages. Publication date November 9.

Montaigne is the author of Reeling in Russia. In this book, he follows Bill Fraser’s team as it studies the Adélie penguin and “draws readers into the unique world of Antarctica and its wildlife, and drives home the sweeping changes that a warming planet can bring.”

*****

Self Comes To Mind: Constructing the Conscious Brain by Antonio Damasio. Pantheon, $28.95, 367 pages. Publication date November 9.

Damasio directs the University of Southern California’s Brain and Creativity Institute and is the author of several previous books, including Descartes’ Error. His new book is an “investigation of consciousness as a dynamic, unpredictable faculty that is instrumental in defining and explaining who we understand ourselves to be.“

*****

Once Before Time: A Whole Story of the Universe by Martin Bojowald. Knopf, $27.95, 309 pages. Publication date November 11.

The author is an associate professor at Penn State’s Institute for Gravitation and the Cosmos. Here, he uses “a relatively new theory called loop quantum gravity -- a cunning combination of Einstein’s theory of relativity with quantum mechanics -- to create a simple model of the universe ... [that illuminates] the very birth of the universe.”  

*****

The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer by Siddhartha Mukherjee. Scribner, $30, 592 pages. Advance reading copy. Publication date November.

The author is a cancer specialist and assistant professor of medicine at Columbia University. This book is a “’biography’ of this shape-shifting and formidable disease that has plagued and riddled humanity since the beginning of civilization.”

*****

Now Available in Paperback

Darwin’s Armada: Four Voyages and the Battle for the Theory of Evolution by Iain McCalman, W.W. Norton; hardback published in 2009, paperback now available for $18.95; 423 pages. Publication date November 15.


Received during the week ended 10/29/10

Wonders in the Sky: Unexplained Arial Objects from Antiquity to Modern Times by Jacques Vallee and Chris Aubeck. Tarcher/Penguin paperback, $22.95, 508 pages. Publication date October 28.

This book “examines more than 500 historical accounts of arial sightings through a scientific lens ... [and] reveal[s] the common threads woven throughout these strange experiences -- forming a body of data that even skeptics will find hard to ignore.”

*****

The Species Seekers: Heroes, Fools, and the Mad Pursuit of Life on Earth by Richard Conniff. W.W. Norton, $26.95, 464 pages. Publication date November 1.

Conniff is the author of several previous books, including Swimming with Piranhas at Feeding Time. “[I]n the eighteenth century, a colorful band of explorers made it their mission to begin the great task of discovering and cataloguing the pantheon of life on earth.”  The author “follows these fearless pioneers, who traveled to the most perilous corners of the planet and brought back astonishing new life forms ...”

*****

Massive: The Missing Particle That Sparked the Greatest Hunt in Science by Ian Sample. Basic Books, $25.95, 272 pages. Publication date November 2.

What makes things heavy? “To get to the bottom of this weighty question, scientists built the Large hadron Collider ...” The goal? “To locate the elusive particle [the Higgs boson] that gives mass to everything in the universe.” 

*****

The Master Switch: The Rise and Fall of Information Empires by Tim Wu. Knopf, $27.95, 366 pages. Publication date November 5.

The author is a law professor at Columbia University. “[E]very American information industry, beginning with the telephone, has eventually been taken captive by some ruthless monopoly or cartel.” In this book, Tim Wu asks, could “the Internet come to be ruled by one corporate leviathan in possession of ‘the master switch.’”

*****

Sleights of Mind: What the Neuroscience of Magic Reveals About Our Everyday Deceptions by Stephen L. Macknik and Susana Martinez-Conde with Sandra Blakeslee. Henry Holt, $26, 292 pages. Publication date November 9.

Macknik and Martinez-Conde are based at the Barrow Neurological Institute in Phoenix; Blakeslee is the coauthor of several previous books, including On Intelligence. This book offers “a revolutionary look at the science behind magic -- what leads the mind to believe tricks are real and how magicians actually use the brain’s own logic to achieve this.”

*****

Now Available in Paperback

The 10,000 Year Explosion: How Civilization Accelerated Human Evolution by Gregory Cochran and Henry Harpending. Basic Books; hardback published in 2009, paperback now available for $16.95, 304 pages. Publication date November 1.

*****

The Master and His Emissary: The Divided Brain and the Making of the Western World by Iain McGilchrist. Yale; paperback published in 2009, paperback now available for $25; 544 pages. Publication date November 2.

*****

Fiction Worth Considering

Remarkable Creatures by Tracy Chevalier. Plume; hardback published in January, paperback now available for $15; 312 pages. Publication date October 28.


Received during the week ended 10/22/10

How Intelligence Happens by John Duncan. Yale, $28, 256 pages. Publication date October 26. 

The author is (among other things) an honorary professor of neuroscience at Cambridge University. “In this book, John Duncan, a scientist who has spent thirty years studying the human brain, offers an adventure story -- the story of the hunt for basic principles of human intelligence, behavior, and thought.”

*****

Judging Edward Teller: A Closer Look at One of the Most Influential Scientists of the Twentieth Century by Istvan Hargittai. Prometheus, $32, 575 pages. Publication date October 26.

Hargittai is a chemistry professor at the Budapest University of Technology and Economics and the author of several previous books, including The DNA Doctor. Here, he aims to answer the question, “Who was Edward teller -- the real ‘Dr. Strangelove,’ the driven crusader for the H-Bomb, the villain who destroyed Oppenheimer, or the devoted husband, loyal friend, patriot, and strongly idealistic scientist?”

*****

Honeybee Democracy by Thomas D. Seely. Princeton, $29.95, 280 pages. Publication date October 27.

Seely is a beekeeper, professor of biology at Cornell, and the author of two previous books, including The Wisdom of the Hive. This book explores the honeybees annual dilemma: “Every year, faced with the life-or-death problem of choosing and traveling to a new home, honeybees stake everything on a process that includes collective fact-finding, vigorous debate, and consensus building -- democracy in action.”

*****

How Music Works: The Science and Psychology of Beautiful Sounds, from Beethoven to the Beatles and Beyond by John Powell. Little, Brown; $24.99; 288 pages. Advance reading copy. Publication date October 27.

This book is “an intriguing and original guide to acoustics ... [with] delightful descriptions of the science and psychology lurking beneath the surface of music.”


*****

Now Available in Paperback

Elephants on the Edge: What Animals Teach Us about Humanity by G. A. Bradshaw. Yale; hardback published in 2009, paperback now available for $18; 352 pages. Publication date October 26.

*****

The Genesis Enigma: Why the First Book of the Bible Is Scientifically Accurate by Andrew Parker. Plume; hardback published in 2009, paperback now available for $16; 294 pages. Publication date October 26.


Received during the week ended 10/15/10

The Amazing Story of Quantum Mechanics: A Math-Free Exploration of the Science That Made Our world by James Kakalios. Gotham Books, $26, 336 pages. Publication date October 14.

Kakalios is a physics professor at the University of Minnesota and the author of The Physics of Superheroes. Citing examples from science fiction writers, Kakalios “colorfully chronicles the scientific ideas that lead us to today’s technological heights and dreams.”

*****

What Technology Wants by Kevin Kelly. Viking, $27.95, 416 pages. Publication date October 14.

The author is a founding editor of Wired. This book “presents a new vision of technology as a living, natural system with its own urges and desires. [The book is] an innovative and optimistic guide to how technology can give our lives greater meaning ...”

*****

American Wasteland: How America Throws Away Half of Its Food (and What We Can Do About It) by Jonathan Bloom. Da Capo, $26, 360 pages. Publication date October 15.

The author “sheds light on the food waste epidemic ... [and] provides helpful tips to reduce waste in your home ...”

*****

Galileo: Watcher of the Skies by David Wootton. Yale, $35, 354 pages. Advance reading copy. Publication date October 26.

Wootton is a history professor at the University of York and the author of Bad Medicine. This book “traces Galileo through his early rebellious years, the beginnings of his scientific career, his move to Florence seeking money, status, and intellectual freedom, his trial for heresy and narrow escape from torture ...”

*****

Now Available in Paperback

The Young Charles Darwin by Keith Thomson, Yale; hardback published in 2009, paperback now available for $20; 288 pages. Publication date October 19.


Received during the week ended 10/8/10

When Oil Peaked by Kenneth S. Deffeyes. Hill and Wang, $23, 152 pages. Publication date October 5.

Deffeyes is a professor emeritus of geology at Princeton and the author of Hubbert’s Peak. The author’s earlier book predicted that “world oil production would reach a maximum and and begin to decline in 2005.” This book “revisits his original prediction [and] shows why his case is even stronger now ...”

*****

Where Good Ideas Come From: The Natural History of Innovation by Steven Johnson. Riverhead Books, $26.95, 304 pages. Advance reading copy. Publication date October 5.

Johnson is the author of several previous books, including The Invention of Air. “Good ideas are not flashes of brilliance, he argues -- they are networks. Lone geniuses don’t come up with groundbreaking concepts -- intellectual ecosystems do ... Johnson identifies the seven patters that recur again and again in unusually fertile environments.” 

*****

A Small Furry Prayer: Dog Rescue and the Meaning of Life by Steven Kotler. Bloomsbury, $24, 320 pages. Publication date October 5.

Kotler runs a dog sanctuary in New Mexico and is the author of two previous books, including West of Jesus. This book “paws through every aspect of canine-human relations, from the ancient traditions buil[t] around animal magic through brand new research into the neuroscience of canine companionship ...”

*****

The Moral Landscape: How Science Can Determine Human Values by Sam Harris. Free Press, $26.99, 291 pages. Publication date October 5. Harris is the author of two previous books, including The End of Faith. Here, he argues that “our failure to address questions of meaning and morality through science [is] the primary reason why so many secularists and religious moderates feel obligated to ‘respect’ the hardened superstitions of their more devout neighbors.”

*****

Engines of Innovation: The Entrepreneurial University in the Twenty-First Century by Holden Thorp and Buck Goldstein. University of North Carolina Press, $25, 192 pages. Publication date October 12.

Holden Thorp is Chancellor of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; his coauthor is University Entrepreneur in Residence at the same school. For more about this book, see my review at http://www.scibooks.org 

*****

Now Available in Paperback

Everything and More: A Compact History of Infinity by David Foster wallace. W.W. Norton; hardback published in 2003, paperback now available for $15.95; 344 pages. Publication date October 4.

*****

The Elegant Universe: Superstrings, Hidden Dimensions, and the Quest for the Ultimate Theory by Brian Greene. W.W. Norton; hardback published in 1999, paperback now available for $15.95; 448 pages. Publication date October 11.

*****

Boyle: Between God and Science by Michael Hunter. Yale; hardback published in 2009, paperback now available for $28; 384 pages. Publication date October 12.


Received during the week ended 10/1/10

The Climate Fix: What Scientists and Politicians Won’t Tell You About Global Warming by Roger Pielke, Jr. Basic Books, $26, 276 pages. Advance reading copy. Publication date October 1. 

Pielke is a professor in the environmental studies program at the University of Colorado and the author of The Honest Broker. In this book, “he explores the fundamental flaws in current approaches to the [global warming] problem: so-called ‘solutions’ that fail to take into account the ... need for increased energy use on a global scale ... and shows how we can accommodate that increased need for energy even as we work to decarbonize the atmosphere.”. 

*****

Dr. Susan Love’s Breast Book, updated and revised fifth edition, by Susan M. Love with Karen Lindsey. Da Capo paperback original, $22, 736 pages. Publication date October 1.

Love is Clinical professor of Surgery at UCLA; Lindsey has coauthored every edition of Love’s book. This edition is a updated guide to breast cancer and its treatment, including “complementary therapies and living with recurrence, providing women with as complete a picture of breast cancer as medical science currently allows — and offering hope for a future without it.”

*****

Head Shot: The Science Behind the JFK Assassination by G. Paul Chambers. Prometheus, $25, 260 pages, Publication date September 28. 

The author is a physicist and ballistics expert. He finds “the commonly accepted view of the assassination [of President Kennedy] is fundamentally flawed from a scientific perspective. The physics behind lone-gunman theories is not only wrong ... but frankly impossible.”

*****

Biotechnology Entrepreneurship: From Science to Solutions edited by Michael L. Salgaller. Logos Press; $79.95 hardback, $64.95 paperback; 216 pages. Publication date September. 

This book explores “critical issues in starting biotechnology companies, as well as managing the transition from start-up to established company.

*****

Late Arrivals

Harper Perennial is releasing three paperback books of “practical philosophy on August 24. The editor for the series is Simon Van Booy and the price is $10 each. The titles are

-Why We Fight 

-Why Our Decisions Don’t Matter

-Why We Need Love 

*****

Building the Case for Biotechnology: Management Case Studies in Science, Laws, Regulations, Politics, and Business edited by Mark J. Ahn, Michael Alvarez, Arlen Meyers, and Anne York. Logos Press, $79.95, 412 pages. Publication date July.

*****

Picture Books For Younger Readers

Adventure Beneath the Sea: Living in an Underwater Science Laboratory by Kenneth Mallory. Boyds Mills Press. $18.95, 48 pages. Publication date October 1.

*****

Mysteries of the Komodo Dragon by Marty Crump. Boyds Mills Press, $18.95, 40 pages. Publication date October 1.

*****

Path of the Pronghorn by Cat Urbigkit. Boyds Mills Press, $17.95, 32 pages. Publication date October 1.


Received during the week ended 9/24/10

Proofiness: The Dark Art of Mathematical Deception by Charles Seife. Viking, $25.95, 304 pages. Publication date September 23. 

Seife is an associate professor of journalism at New York University and the author of four previous books, including Sun in a Bottle. Here, he examines “the art of using nonsensical mathematical arguments to convince us of the veracity of things we know in our hearts to be false.”

*****

Disconnect: The truth about Cell Phone Radiation, What the Industry Has Done to Hide It, and How to Protect Your Family by Devra Davis. Dutton, $26.95, 274 pages. Publication date September 23.

Davis is a visiting professor at Georgetown University and the author of When Smoke Ran Like Water, a finalist for the National Book Award. This book “explains the science behind cell phone radiation, reveals the shocking lack of government regulation, and uncovers the alarming abuse of science by the mobile phone industry.”

*****

Origins: How the Nine Months Before Birth Shape the Rest of Our Lives by Annie Murphy Paul. Free Press, $26, 305 pages. Publication date September 28.

Paul is a journalist and he author of The Cult of Personality. In this book, she “ventures into the laboratories of fetal researchers ... [and] emerges with a bold new view of pregnancy as a crucial staging ground for our health, ability, and well-being throughout life.”

*****

Anarchy Evolution: Faith, Science, and Bad religion in a World Without God by Greg Graffin and Steve Olson. itbooks, $22.99, 304 pages. Publication date September 28.

Graffin has a Ph.D. in zoology but is best known as a member of the punk rock band Bad Religion; Olson is the author of several previous books, including one of my favorites Countdown. “Graffin weds his experiences in punk culture and the academic world, and explores the deep connection between art, religion, and science ...”

*****

Now Available in Paperback

Sexual Chemistry: A History of the Contraceptive Pill by Lara V. Marks. Yale; hardback published in 2001, paperback now available for $22; 416 pages. Publication date September 28.

*****

Whole Earth Discipline: Why Dense Cities, Nuclear Power, Transgenic Crops, Restored Wildlands, and Geoengineering Are Necessary by Stewart Brand. Penguin; hardback published in 2009, paperback now available for $16; 336 pages. Publication date September 28.

*****

Late Arrival

Wondering About: Curiosity, Imagination, and Science: A Personal Journey by an Unusual Mind by David Strumfels. Xlibris paperback original, $17.99, 262 pages. Publication date February 28.


Received during the week ended 9/17/10

The Music Instinct: How Music Works and Why We Can’t Live Without It by Philip Ball. Oxford, $29.95, 464 pages. Publication date September 9.

Ball is the author of 15 books, including Critical Mass. In this book, which brings “together music theory, neuroscience, philosophy, and anthropology Ball seeks to understand how our minds comprehend and respond to music — why we are moved by it, why we make it, and what roles it serves in culture and society.”

*****

The Wave: In Pursuit of the Rogues, Freaks and Giants of the Ocean by Susan Casey. Doubleday, $27.95, 326 pages. Publication date September 14.

Casey is an award-winning journalist and the author of The Devil’s Teeth. Here, accounts of “extreme surfers are juxtaposed against the scientists urgent efforts to understand the annihilating power of waves from the tsunami that wiped out 250,000 people ... to the 1,740-foot wave that recently leveled part of the Alaskan coast.” 

*****

Much Ado About (Practically) Nothing: A History of the Noble Gases by David E. Fisher. Oxford, $24.95, 288 pages. Publication date September 16.

Fisher is professor emeritus at the University of Miami and the author of numerous books of fiction and nonfiction. In this one, he offers “a history of these essential gases [the noble gases, a reference to the do-nothing nobility of yesteryear] and a chronicle of their contribution to science and the world in general.”

*****

Collection

The Best Technology Writing 2010 edited by Julian Dibbell. Yale paperback original, $17.95, 338 pages. Publication date September 21.

*****

Late Arrival

Knowledge and Environmental Policy: Re-Imagining the Boundaries of Science and Politics by William Ascher, Toddi Steelman, and Robert Healy. MIT paperback original, $23, 280 pages. Publication date August.


Received during the week ended 9/10/10

The $1,000 Genome: The Revolution in DNA Sequencing and the New Era of Personalized Medicine by Kevin Davies. Free Press, $26, 340 pages. Publication date September 7. 

Davies was the founding editor of Nature Genetics and the author of Cracking the Genome. Here, he “offers a riveting and deeply researched account of a medical revolution in the making ... a complete, individual genome sequence priced at a mere $1,000 ... [which] will set off a revolution in personalized, genomic medicine, dramatically improving medical care.”

*****

Climatopolis: How Our Cities Will Thrive in the Hotter Future by Matthew E. Kahn. Basic Books, $26.95, 288 pages. Publication date September 7.

Kahn is a professor at UCLA and the author of Green Cities. In this book, he “examines the intersection between economic and environmental factors to present a bold and refreshingly optimistic vision for our future. Focusing on cities ... [he identifies] universal challenges and plausible, localized solutions.”

*****

Some We Love, Some We Hate, Some We Eat: Why It’s So Hard To Think Straight About Animals by Hal Herzog. HarperCollins, $25.99, 326 pages. Publication date September.

The author is a psychology professor at Western Carolina University. His book “offers a refreshing new perspective on our lives with animals — one that will forever change the way we look at our relationships with other creatures ...”

*****

The Forest Primeval: The Geologic History of Wood and Petrified Forests by Leo J. Hickey. Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History paperback original, $9.95, 62 pages. Publication date September 7.

The author is a professor of geology and geophysics at Yale. This book “recounts the the story of wood from its origin, giving us new insights into this familiar material found all around us, as well as into the petrified wood that occurs abundantly in the fossil record.”

*****

The Age of Reptiles: The Art and Science of Rudolph Zallinger’s Great Dinosaur Mural at Yale, second edition edited by Rosemary Volpe. Yale Peabody Museum of natural History paperback original, $24.95, 76 pages. Publication date September 7.

This book “is a guide to the 110-foot fresco secco painting ... Completed in 1947, it is an overview of prehistoric life told through the principal features and concepts of the Age of Reptiles.”


Received during the week ended 9/3/10

Selling the Fountain of Youth: How the Anti-Aging Industry Made a Disease Out of Getting Old — And Made Billions by Arlene Weintraub. Basic Books, $25.95, 246 pages. Publication date September 1.

The author is a veteran journalist who specializes in health care issues. Here’s the standard anti-aging sales pitch: “Hormones rage when we’re young and then wane as we age. Therefor we can stop the aging process by replacing the hormones we’ve lost over the years.” This book “is a wild, if disturbing excursion through what could be one of the biggest medical hoaxes in history.”

*****

The Shape of Inner Space: String Theory and the Geometry of the Universe’s Hidden Dimensions by Shing-Tung Yau and Steve Nadis. Basic Books, $30, 400 pages. Publication date September 7.

Yau is a professor of mathematics at Harvard and the winner of the Fields Medal; Nadis is a contributing editor at Astronomy magazine. String theory posits that “we live in a 10-dimensional universe, only four dimensions of which are accessible to our everyday senses ... String theorists believe the additional six dimensions are curled up in elaborate, twisted shapes called ‘Calabi-Yau manifolds’ ... [which] may hold the key to the most important physical phenomena ...”

*****

Michelangelo’s Finger: An Exploration of Everyday Transcendence by Raymond Tallis. Yale, $25, 192 pages. Publication date September 7.

Tallis is professor emeritus of medicine at the University of Manchester and the author of several previous books, including The Kingdom of Empty Space. “Observing the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel and the hugely familiar and awkward encounter between Michelangelo’s God and Man through their index fingers, Tallis identifies ... the central role of the index finger in making us unique ... [and] that the seemingly simple act of pointing ... is central to our extraordinary evolution.”

*****

The Grand Design by Stephen Hawking and Leonard Mlodinow. Bantam, $28, 208 pages. Publication date September 7.

Hawking was Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at the University of Cambridge and is the author of several books, including A Brief History of Time; Mlodinow teaches at Caltech and is the author of three books, including The Drunkard’s Walk. This book argues “that the scientific obsession with formulating a single new theory may be misplaced, and that by employing a web of theories, we may finally discover the key to understanding the universe’s deepest mysteries.”

*****

Picture Books for Young Readers

Mammoth Bones and Broken Stones: The Mystery of North America’s First People by David L. harrison. Boyds Mills Press, $18.95, 48 pages. Publication date September 1.

*****

Cicada! Strange and Wonderful by Laurence Pringle. Boyds Mills Press, $16.95, 32 pages. Publication date September 1.


Received during the week ended 8/27/10

Rachel Carson: A Biography by Arlene R. Quaratiello. Prometheus paperback original, $18, 163 pages. Publication date August 24. 

Quaratiello is an adjunct instructor in English at St. Anselm College and the author of The College Student’s Research Companion, 4th ed. “This readable and up=to=date biography traces the famous environmentalist’s development as a writer from earliest childhood through the publication of her best known work Silent Spring (1962).

*****

The Calculus Diaries: How Math Can Help You Lose Weight, Win in Vegas, and Survive a Zombie Apocalypse by Jennifer Ouellette. Penguin paperback original, $15, 318 pages. Publication date August 31. 

Ouellette is the author of two previous books, including The Physics of the Buffyverse. “With her impeccable sense of humor and a fascinating cast of historical characters, Jennifer takes readers on a ... year-long exploration into the math of everyday life.”

*****

Nature Crime: How We’re Getting Conservation Wrong by Rosaleen Duffy. Yale, $42, 288 pages. Publication date August 31. 

Duffy is a professor at Manchester University and the author or coauthor of several books, including Nature Unbound. This book is “a highly original analysis of the international wildlife trade ... [that] looks beyond the headlines to uncover the complicated story of why wildlife gets traded, who trades, who profits and who loses out.”

*****

Not by Chance Alone: My Life as a Social Psychologist by Elliot Aronson. Basic Books, $27.50. 284 pages. Publication date September 1.

Aronson is the author of numerous books, including The Social Animal, now in its 10th edition. The author “has made a career out of exploring how people interact with with each other and [this new memoir] ... recounts, for the first time, the story of his own life and how it has shaped his revolutionary work.”

*****

Now Available in Paperback

Dawn Light: Dancing with Cranes and Other Ways to Start the Day by Diane Ackerman. W.W. Norton; hardback published in 2009, paperback now available for $15.95; 256 pages. Publication date September 6.

*****

Late Arrival

Warnings: The True Story of How Science Tamed the Weather by Mike Smith. Greenleaf Book Group, $24.95, 286 pages. Publication date May 1.


Received during the week ended 8/20/10

Delusions of Gender: How Our Minds, Society, and Neurosexism Create Difference by Cordelia Fine. W.W. Norton, $25.95, 338 pages. Publication date August 30.

Fine is an honorary research fellow at the University of Melbourne and the author of A Mind of Its Own. Here, she “recasts what we know — or think we know — about the differences between the male and female mind ... [Her] inquiry yields a compelling argument for the equality of sexes, no matter how you slice it.”

*****

Germs Gone Wild: How the Unchecked Development of Domestic Biodefense Threatens America by Kenneth King. Pegasus Books, $29.95, 496 pages. Advance reading copy. Publication date August 31.

The author has worked as an attorney for Appalachian Research and Defense Fund. In this book, he “uncovers the culture of deception surrounding hundreds of biodefense labs that have opened since 9/11.”

*****

Now Available in Paperback

The Greatest Show on Earth: The Evidence for Evolution by Richard Dawkins. Free Press; hardback published in 2009, paperback now available for $16.99; 472 pages. Publication date August 24. 


Received during the week ended 8/13/10

A Grand and Bold Thing: An Extraordinary New Map of the Universe Ushering in a New Era of Discovery by Ann Finkbeiner. Free Press, $27, 223 pages. Publication date August 17.

Finkbeiner is the author of several previous books, including The Jasons. Here, she “tells the fascinating story of the creation of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey, a project long-doubted by those in the field that has nevertheless changed the way professional and amateur astronomers think about our universe ...”

*****

Vanished Ocean: How Tethys Reshaped the World by Dorrik Stow. Oxford, $29.95, 288 pages. Publication date August 19.

The author is Chair of the Institute of Petroleum Engineering at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh. Six million years ago the ocean called the Tethys vanished. This book “describes the powerful forces that shaped the ocean, the marine life it once held and the rich deposits of oil that life left behind ...”

*****

The Twilight of the Bombs: Recent Challenges, New Dangers, and the Prospects for a World Without Nuclear Weapons by Richard Rhodes. Knopf, $27.95, 366 pages. Publication date August 25.

Rhodes is the author of twenty-three books, including The Making of the Atomic Bomb, which won a Pulitzer Prize for Nonfiction and other awards. This book is the “culminating volume in Richard Rhodes monumental and prizewinning history of nuclear weapons, offering the first comprehensive narrative of the challenges faced in a post-Cold War age.” 

*****

Now Available in Paperback

Naming Nature: The Clash Between Instinct and Science by Carol Kaesuk Yoon. W.W. Norton; hardback published in 2009, paperback now available for $16.95, 341 pages. Publication date August 23. 


Received during the week ended 8/6/10

Off the Grid: Inside the Movement for More Space, Less Government, and True Independence in Modern America by Nick Rosen. Penguin paperback original, $15, 292 pages. Publication date August.

The author “traverses the US ... to investigate the growing trend for off-the-grid living ... He spends time with all sorts of individuals and families striving to live the lives they want ... in the ultimate search for freedom from government and its far-reaching grasp.”

*****

Remember Jekyll Island by Babs McDonald. Langdon Street Press paperback original, $14.95, 272 pages. Publication date August 10.

This story tells how a dedicated band of citizen activists, including Bert and Kay Richmond, stopped (at least temporarily) the development of Georgia’s Jekyll Island State Park.

*****


Now Available in Paperback

Vaccine A: The Covert Government Experiment That’s Killing Our Soldiers and Why GI’s Are Only the First Victims by Gary Matsumoto. Basic Books; hardback published in 2004, paperback now available for $18.95; 384 pages. Publication date August 10.

*****


Late Arrivals

The Youth Pill: Scientists At the Brink of an Anti-Aging Revolution by David Stipp. Current, $26.95, 308 pages. Publication date July 8.

*****

Sex and War: How Biology Explains Warfare and Terrorism and Offers a Path to a Safer World by Malcolm Potts and Thomas Hayden. BenBella Books; hardback published in 2008, paperback now available for $16.95; 457 pages. Publication date June.


Received during the week ended 7/30/10

Packing for Mars: The Curious Science of Life in the Void by Mary Roach. W.W. Norton, $25.95, 334 pages. Publication date August 2. 

Roach is the author of three previous books, including Stiff. Here, she poses the questions about space travel “that you’re dying to answer but never thought to ask, such as: Can you burp in space? What happens to your body if you go for weeks without bathing? Is sex without gravity better? And, how exactly do you eat and drink up there?”

*****

No More Dirty Looks: The Truth About Your Beauty Products and the Ultimate Guide To Safe and Clean Cosmetics by Siobhan O’Connor and Alexandra Sprunt. Da Capo paperback original, $14.95, 292 pages. Publication date August 1.

This book “is a practical and realistic guide to cleaning up your beauty routine by suggesting healthier, safer alternatives to the products you use every day.”

*****


Now Available in Paperback

Fixing My Gaze: A Scientist’s Journey into Seeing in Three Dimensions by Susan R. Barry. Basic Books; hardback published in 2009, paperback now available for $15.95; 249 pages. Publication date August 3.

*****

Freaks of Nature: What Anomalies Tell Us About Development and Evolution by Mark S. Blumberg. Oxford; hardback published in 2008, paperback now available for $17.95; 344 pages. Publication date August 5. 

*****

Masters of Sex: The Life and Times of William Masters and Virginia Johnson, the Couple Who Taught America How to Love by Thomas Maier. Basic Books; hardback published in 2009, paperback now available for $18.95; 432 pages. Publication date August 5.

*****

The Fallen Sky: An Intimate History of Shooting Stars by Christopher Cokinos. Tarcher/Penguin; hardback published in 2009, paperback now available for $16.95; 517 pages. Publication date August 5.

*****


Fiction Worth Considering

Percival’s Planet by Michael Byers. Henry Holt, $27, 414 pages. Publication date August 3.

*****

The Good Psychologist by Noam Shpancer. Henry Holt, $24, 256 pages. Publication date August 3.


Received during the week ended 7/23/10

The Pythagorean Theorem: The Story of Its Power and Beauty by Alfred S. Posamentier. Prometheus, $27, 320 pages. Publication date July 20.

Posamentier is professor of mathematics education at City College of New York and the author of numerous books, including Math Charmers. The book “begins with a brief history of Pythagoras and the early use of his theorem [and makes its importance] ... delightfully clear.”

*****

Voyager: Seeking Newer Worlds in the Third Great Age of Discovery by Stephen J. Pyne. Viking, $29.95, 444 pages. Publication date July 26. 

Pyne is a professor of life sciences at Arizona State University and the author of The Ice. In this book, he “offers a brilliant new account of the Voyager space program, focusing on its history, scientific impact, and cultural legacy.”

*****

Fully Present: The Science, Art, and Practice of Mindfulness by Susan Smalley and Diana Winston. Da Capo paperback original, $16.95, 272 pages. Publication date August 1.

The coauthors are associated with the mindfulness research education center at UCLA. “The practice of mindfulness — the art of being in the present moment with open curious attention — has begun to gain popularity ... [The authors] present scientific research demonstrating the beneficial effects of mindfulness techniques ...”

*****


Now Available in Paperback

Why Does E=mc2? (And Why Should We Care?) by Brian Cox and Jeff Forshaw. Da Capo; hardback published in 2009, paperback now available for $15.95; 249 pages. Publication date August 1. 

*****

The Ego Tunnel: The Science of the Mind and the Myth of the Self by Thomas Metzinger. Basic Books; hardback published in 2009, paperback now available for $16.95; 276 pages. Publication date August 2.

*****


Late Arrival

Overcoming Complications of LASIK and Other Eye Surgeries by Ismail A. Shalaby and Dean A. Haycock. Sunrise River Press paperback original, $14.95, 192 pages. Publication date March 19.


Received during the week ended 7/2/10

The Flooded Earth: Our Future in a World Without Ice Caps by Peter D. Ward. Basic Books, $25.95, 256 pages. Publication date July 1.

Ward is a professor at the University of Washington in Seattle and the author of numerous books, including Out of Thin Air. “Looking decades and centuries ahead, he offers detailed accounts of how the world will look as water levels rise” due to the melting of the polar ice caps.

*****

The Logical Leap: Induction in Physics by David Harriman. New American Library paperback original, $16, 275 pages. Publication date July 6.

“Based on Ayn Rand’s theory of concepts, [this book] is a ground-breaking solution to the problem of how we can know what is true.”

*****

What’s Luck Got To Do with It?:  The History, Mathematics, and Psychology of the Gambler’s Illusion by Joseph Mazur. Princeton, $29.95, 296 pages. Publication date June 6.

Mazur is professor emeritus at Marlboro College and the author of several previous books, including The Motion Paradox. In this book, he “explains the mathematics behind gambling ... and describes the psychological and emotional factors that entice people to put their faith in winning that ever-elusive jackpot despite its mathematical improbability.”

*****

How To Mellify a Corpse: And Other Human Stories of Ancient Science & Superstition by Vicki León. Bloomsbury paperback original, $17, 244 pages. Publication date July 13.

León is the author of numerous books, including the Uppity Women series. Here, she “combines modern research with ancient lore to bring the wonders of the ancient world to light, from Athens and Rome to Mesopotamia, the holy Land, Egypt and Carthage.”

*****

A Cubic Mile of Oil: Realities and Options for Averting the looming Global Energy Crisis by Hewitt D. Crane, Edwin M. Kinderman, and Ripudaman Malhotra. Oxford, $29.95, 328 pages. Publication date July 15.

The authors are veteran scientists with an interest in energy technology. The world currently consumes about cubic mile of oil (CMO) a year. This book describes “the various energy sources and how we use them, and how they can be grown to provide energy on a CMO scale.”


Received during the week ended 6/25/10

Coming Climate Crisis? Consider the Past Beware the Big Fix by Claire L. Parkinson. Rowman & Littlefield, $24.95, 428 pages. Publication date June. 

Parkinson is a NASA scientist and the author of several previous books, including Our Changing Planet. In this book, she “examines both sides of the global warming debate and ... lays out a compelling argument that our understandings and models are totally inadequate for confident predictions of the future climate.” 

 *****

Absolutely Small: How Quantum Theory Explains Our Everyday World by Michael D. Fayer. Amacom Books, $24, 288 pages. Publication date June 30.

Fayer is a chemistry professor at Stanford and the author of Elements of Quantum Mechanics. Here, he “reveals why many mystifying things in everyday life are the way they are. He presents quantum science’s take on nature in a way that’s completely accessible to nonscientists — and essentially free of math.”

*****

Drawing the Map of Life: Inside the Human Genome Project by Victor K. McElheny. Basic Books, $28, 384 pages. Publication date July 1. 

McElheny is a veteran science journalist and the author of two previous books, including Watson and DNA. This book ”details the events leading up to the human genome’s realization, and chronicles the torrent of efforts since then to fill in the genomic map and make sense of it.”

*****

Paperback Now Available

Born Digital: Understanding the First Generation of Digital Natives by John Palfrey and Urs Gasser. Basic Books; hardback published in 2008, paperback now available for $16.95; 384 pages. Publication date July 1.

*****

Late Arrival

The Invisible Gorilla: And Other Ways Our Intuitions Deceive Us by Christopher Chabris and Daniel Simons. Crown, $27, 320 pages. Publication date May 18.


Received during the week ended 6/18/10

Darwin’s Pictures: Views of Evolutionary Theory, 1837-1874 by Julia Voss, translated from German by Lori Lantz. Yale, $45, 368 pages. Publication date June 15.

“In the first-ever examination of Charles Darwin’s sketches, drawings, and illustrations, Julia Voss presents the history of evolutionary theory told in pictures.”

*****

The Price of Altruism: George Price and the Search for the Origins of Kindness by Oren Harman. W.W. Norton, $26.95, 352 pages. Advance reading copy. Publication date June.

Harman is the chair of the Program in Science, Technology, and Society at Bar Ilan University in Israel and the author of The Man Who Invented the Chromosome. In this book, he “combines a sweeping intellectual history of the search for the origins of altruism with the incredible story of George Price, the brilliant and eccentric American genius whose insights into the evolution of groups redefined how scientists understand the origins of social behaviors.”

*****

Chasing Medical Miracles: The Promise and Perils of Clinical Trials by Alex O’Meara. Walker, $25, 272 pages. Advance reading copy. Publication date June 16. 

The author is a journalist who participated in a risky clinical trial in an attempt to cure his type-1 diabetes. This book “exposes the risks and benefits of a mysterious system [the clinical trials industry] that the healthcare community depends on for medical breakthroughs.”

*****

Elegance in Science: The Beauty of Simplicity by Ian Glynn. Oxford, $29.95, 271 pages. Publication date June 17. 

Glynn is emeritus professor at the University of Cambridge and the author of An Anatomy of Thought. Here, he “draws on a wide range of examples that demonstrate the elegance of science, from Pythagoras’ theorem to Kepler’s laws.” 

*****

Now Available in Paperback

Swimming with Piranhas at Feeding Time: My Life Doing Dumb Stuff with Animals by Richard Conniff. W.W. Norton; hardback published in 2009, paperback now available for $15.95; 299 pages. Publication date June 28.


Received during the week ended 6/11/10

Spider Silk: Evolution and 400 Million Years of Spinning, Waiting, Snagging, and Mating by Leslie Brunetta and Catherine L. Craig. Yale, $30, 248 pages. Publication date June 8.

Brunetta is a freelance writer; Craig is an evolutionary biologist and the author of Spiderwebs and Silk. Here, they tell “the intriguing story of how spiders have evolved over 400 million years, and how they have added new silks and new silk uses to their survival skill set.”


How Pleasure Works: The New Science of Why We Like What We Like by Paul Bloom. W.W. Norton, $27.95, 304 pages. Publication date June 14. 

Bloom is a psychology professor at Yale and the author of Descartes’ Baby. This book “shows that our enjoyment of a given thing is determined not by what we can see and touch, but by our beliefs about that thing’s history, its origin, its deeper nature — in short, its essence.”


Here’s Looking at Euclid: A Surprising Excursion through the Astonishing World of Math by Alex Bellos. Free Press, $25, 336 pages. Publication date June 15. 

Bellos is British journalist and the author of Futebol: Soccer, the Brazilian Way. For this book, he “traveled all around the world and took a deep dive into history to find the most fascinating marvels of mathematical achievement and interview people whose lives relate to math.”


Now Available in Paperback

Life Ascending: The Ten Great Inventions of Evolution by Nick Lane. W.W. Norton; hardback published in 2009, paperback now available for $16.95; 344 pages, Publication date June 14.


Lewis Carroll in Numberland: His Fantastical Mathematical Logical Life by Robin Wilson. W.W. Norton; hardback published in 2008, paperback now available for $15.95; 237 pages. Publication date June 14.


Late Arrival

Happiness Genes: Unlock the Positive Potential Hidden In Your DNA by James D. Baird with Laurie Nadel. New Page Books paperback original, $16, 256 pages. Publication date April 10.


Received during the week ended 6/4/10

The Private Lives of Birds: A Scientist Reveals the Intricacies of Avian Social Life by Bridget Stutchbury. Walker, $25, 272 pages. Publication date June 1. 

Stutchbury is a biology professor at York University and the author of Silence of the Songbirds. This book gives “insights into bird behavior, from why some birds readily ‘divorce,’ why parents don’t treat their sons and daughters equally, why females sneak in quick sex with neighboring males, to why some adults forgo breeding altogether.”


Merchants of Doubt: How a Handful of Scientists Obscured the Truth on Issues from Tobacco Smoke to Global Warming by Naomi Oreskes and Erik M. Conway. Bloomsbury, $27, 368 pages. Publication date June 3. 

Oreskes is a history of science professor at the University of California, San Diego; Conway is the author of four previous books, including Atmospheric Science at NASA. This book tells how a “loose-knit group of high-level scientists and scientific advisers, with deep connections in politics and industry, ran effective campaigns to mislead the public and deny well-established scientific knowledge [about the dangers of smoking and global warming] over four decades.”


The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains by Nicholas Carr. W.W. Norton, $26.95, 278 pages. Publication date June 7. 

Carr is the author of two previous books, including The Big Switch. Here, he offers “a probing exploration of how the omnipresent Internet changes not just our external but our internal lives — rewiring our synapses and upending our cultural priorities.”


Now Available in Paperback

The Depression Cure: The 6-Step Program to Beat Depression Without Drugs by Stephen S. Ilardi. Da Capo; hardback published in 2009, paperback now available for $14.95; 289 pages. Publication date June 1.


Unscientific America: How Scientific Illiteracy Threatens Our Future by Chris Mooney and Sheril Kirshenbaum. Basic Books; hardback published in 2009, paperback now available for $15; 209 pages. Publication date June 8.


Received during the week ended 5/28/10

Rational Choice by Itzhak Gilboa. MIT, $30, 158 pages. Publication date May 31.

 Gilboa is an economics professor at HEC, Paris, and at Tel Aviv University; he the author of Theory of Decision under Uncertainty. This book “offers a rigorous, concise, and nontechnical introduction to some of the fundamental insights of rational choice theory.”


Greening Through IT: Information Technology for Environmental Sustainability by Bill Tomlinson. MIT, $24.95, 210 pages. Publication date May 31. 

The author is an associate professor at the University of California, Irvine. Here, he “describes theoretical, technological, and social aspects of a growing interdisciplinary approach to sustainability, ’Green IT,’ offering both a human-centered framework for understanding Green IT systems and specific examples...”


Neurodiversity: Discovering the Extraordinary Gifts of Autism, ADHD, Dyslexia, and Other Brain Differences by Thomas Armstrong. Da Capo, $26, 288 Pages. Advance reading copy. Publication date June 1.

Armstrong is the author of several previous books, including You’re Smarter Than You Think. In this book, he “explodes the pervasive views of mental illness and presents compelling evidence about the positive features of several psychiatric conditions ...”


Now Available in Paperback

Beam: The Race to Make the Laser by Jeff Hecht. Oxford; hardback published in 2005, paperback now available for $24.95; 288 pages. Publication date May 26. 


Wireless: From Marconi’s Black Box to the Audion by Sungook Hong. MIT; hardback published in 2001, paperback now available for $22; 143 pages. Publication date May 31.


Mad in America: Bad Science, Bad Medicine, and the Enduring Mistreatment of the Mentally Ill by Robert Whitaker. Basic Books; hardback published in 2001, paperback now available for $17.50; 348 pages. Publication date June 1.


Received during the week ended 5/21/10

Deadly Kingdom: The Book of Dangerous Animals by Gordon Grice. Dial Press, $27, 324 pages. Publication date May 18. Grice has written for the New Yorker and is the author of The Red Hourglass. “By turns wondrous, mordant, and sobering, this book is ultimately a celebration of the animal world — in all its perilous glory ...”


The Art and Politics of Science by Harold Varmus. W.W. Norton paperback original, $15.95, 315 pages. Publication date May 24. The author is a Nobel Prize-winning cancer researcher and and former director of the National Institutes of Health. “This memoir provides a glimpse into the world of high stakes, big-budget science, pulling back the curtain on tensions between laboratory researchers and clinical investigators, between scientists and politicians.”


Delia’s Tears: Race, Science, and Photography in Nineteenth-Century America by Molly Rogers. Yale, $37.50, 384 pages. Publication date May 25. “In 1850, five men and two women, slaves from South Carolina plantations, were photographed at the request of the famous naturalist Louis Agassiz.” This book “weaves together the histories of race, science and photography in nineteenth-century America to tell the story of the photographs.”


Back to the Future in the Caves of Kaua’i: A Scientist’s Adventures in the Dark by David A. Burney. Yale, $28, 224 pages. Publication date May 25. The author is Director of Conservation at the National Tropical Botanical Garden in Hawaii. For two decades Burney and his wife led a excavation of an Hawaiian cave. This book “details the astonishing environmental degradation humans introduced, asks how and why this destruction occurred, and considers what might happen in the future.”


Now Available in Paperback

Pavlov’s Dogs and Schrödinger’s Cat: Scenes from the Living Laboratory by Rom Harré. Oxford; hardback published 2009, paperback now available for $18.95; 288 pages. Publication date May 27.


Late Arrivals

Brains: How They Seem to Work by Dale Purves. FT Press, $39.99, 303 pages. Publication date April 19.


Received during the week ended 5/14/10

The Sound of Hope: Recognizing, Coping with, and Treating Your Child’s Auditory Processing Disorder by Lois Kam Heymann. Ballantine, $25, 256 pages. Publication date April 27. The author is a private speech and language pathologist. “Auditory Processing Disorder (APD) ... affects the brain’s ability to accurately process the sounds of speech.” This “is the first practical parenting book on APD and a must-read for parents who want to dramatically improve the listening and language skills of their children.”


Islam, Science, and the Challenge of History by Ahmad Dallal. Yale, $27.50, 256 pages. Publication date May 18. The author is a history professor at the American University of Beruit. This book “provides the most comprehensive examination available of the Islamic scientific tradition and its relationship to religion and philosophy.”


Do Fish Feel Pain? by Victoria Braithwaite. Oxford, $29.95, 194 pages. Publication date May 20. Braithwaite is a fisheries and biology professor at Pennsylvania State University. The author ”who is one or the researchers that discovered ‘pain receptors’ on fish, writes that there is a growing body of evidence demonstrating that fish are far smarter and more cognitively competent than previously accepted ... [However] each year millions are caught on barbed hooks and left to suffocate on the decks of fishing boats.”


Quantum: Einstein, Bohr, and the Great Debate About the Nature of Reality by Manjit Kumar. W.W. Norton, $27.95, 448 pages. Publication date May 24. The author “traces the unlikely development of quantum theory from its unnoticed conceptual birth as a mathematical shortcut to its rise as a revolutionary theory that unseated hundreds of years of classical physics, to its ultimate test in an intellectual showdown [between Bohr and Einstein] the likes of which the world had never seen ...”


Received during the week ended 5/7/10

The Global Forest by Diana Beresford-Kroeger. Viking, $24.95, 175 pages. Publication date May 17. Beresford-Kroeger is the author of two previous books, including Arboretum America. “Weaving together ecology, science, ethnobotany and alternative medicine, Beresford-Kroeger explores the crucial, but still surprisingly unexamined role trees play in the global ecosystem and warns of what will be lost if they are allowed to continue to disappear.”


The Earth Moves: Galileo and the Roman Inquisition by Dan Hofstadter. W.W. Norton, $23.95, 240 pages. Publication date May 10. Hofstadter is the author of four previous books, including Falling Palace. This “book is a fresh examination of Galileo’s seminal achievements, their place in a burgeoning intellectual and artistic movement, and their conflict with the political and theological objectives of the Roman Inquisition.”


The Quest for a Fusion Energy Reactor: An Insider’s Account of the INTOR Workshop by Weston M. Stacey. Oxford, $24.95, 208 pages. Publication date April. The author was vice chairman of the INTOR Workshop (INternational TOkamak Reactor), which brought engineers from several counties together to work cooperatively toward finding a way to harness fusion energy. Here, he “provides a fascinating history of the ... INTOR Workshop (1978-1988) during which hundreds of fusion scientists and engineers collaborated to define an experimental fusion reactor.”


Natural Computing: DNA, Quantum Bits, and the Future of Smart Machines by Dennis Shasha and Cathy Lazere. W.W. Norton paperback original, $16.95, 268 pages. Publication date May 17. Shasha is a professor of computer science at New York University; his coauthor is a freelance writer. In this book, they take us to the “strange frontier that is biological computing.” “If you want a device that will repair skin, bones, or arteries,” the authors write, “it makes far more sense to build the device out of DNA, viruses or cells, than to build it out of electronics.”


Now Available in Paperback

137: Jung, Pauli, and the Pursuit of a Scientific Obsession by Arthur I. Miller. W.W. Norton; hardback published in 2009 under the title Deciphering the Cosmic Number, paperback now available for $16.95; 368 pages. Publication date May 17.


Fiction to Consider

The Astronomer: A Novel of Suspense by Lawrence Goldstone. Walker, $24, 304 pages. Publication date May.


Received during the week ended 4/30/10

What’s Eating You? People and Parasites by Eugene H. Kaplan. Princeton, $26.95, 320 pages. Publication date May 5. Kaplan is professor emeritus of ecology at Hofstra University and the author of several books, including Sensuous Seas. “From humorous and grotesque to outright terrifying, [this is] the stories and science of parasites and people ...”


On the Grid: A Plot of Land, an Average Neighborhood, and the Systems That Make Our World Work by Scott Huler. Rodale, $24.99, 248 pages. Publication date May 11. Huler is the author of six books, including Defining the Wind. “Wires, pipes, roads and water support the lives we lead, but the average person doesn’t know (or think about) where they go, how they work, or how vital they are to our daily lives.” This book aims to educate us about infrastructure. It also reveals that many of its components are “woefully out of date.” 


Amphibians & Reptiles of the Carolinas and Virginia, second ed. by Jeffrey C. Beane, Alvin L Braswell, Joseph C. Mitchell, William M. Palmer, and Julian R. Harrison III. University of North Carolina Press; hardback edition $55, paperback $25; 274 pages. Publication date May 3. “Revised and updated to reflect the most current science, and including 39 new species, this ... is the definitive guide to to the amphibians and reptiles of the Carolinas and Virginia.” 


Received during the week ended 4/23/10

A Vast Machine: Computer Models, Climate Data, and the Politics of Global Warming by Paul N. Edwards. MIT, $32.95, 528 pages. Publication date April 30. Edwards is an associate professor in the School of Information at the University of Michigan and the author of The Closed World of Computers. “This book looks at the science behind global warming, and its history: how scientists learned to understand the atmosphere, to measure it, to trace its past, and to model its future.”


When the Lights Went Out: A History of Blackouts in America by Davis Nye. MIT, $27.95, 292 pages. Publication date April 30. Nye is a professor of history at the University of Southern Denmark and the author of several previous books, including Technology Matters. This book uses “the blackout to delve into the social meaning of electricity from the 1930s to the present. By looking at the absence of it, Nye engagingly shows us how utterly dependent on electricity we are.”


Leonardo’s Legacy: How Da Vinci Reimagined the World by Stefan Klein. Da Capo, $26, 291 pages. Publication date May 1. Klein is the author of two previous books, including The Science of Happiness. “Despite his numerous contributions to both art and science, little is known about the master [Da Vinci] himself.” This book “offers readers a unique glimpse into the mind of one of the world’s greatest inventors.”


Professor Stewart’s Hoard of Mathematical Treasures by Ian Stewart. Basic Books paperback original, $16.95, 352 pages. Publication date May 3. Stewart is emeritus professor of mathematics at the University of Warwick and the author of numerous books about mathematics, including Flatterland. Here, he offers “a varied collection — an assortment of nearly 200 jokes, puzzles, anecdotes, brain-teasers, and grander forays into ancient and modern theory, as well a comprehensive index of solutions and explanations.”


Received during the week ended 4/16/10

Born for Love: Why Empathy Is Essential — and Endangered by Maia Szalavitz and Brice D. Perry. Morrow, $25,99, 384 pages. Publication date April 6. Szalavitz is a science writer and author of Help at Any Cost; Perry is a senior fellow at the ChildTrauma Academy and coauthor (with Szalavitz) of The Boy Who Was Raised as a Dog. In this book, they “interweave research and stories from Perry’s practice with cutting-edge scientific studies and historical examples to explain how empathy develops [and] why it is essential for our development into healthy adults ...” 


The Secret Life of the Grown-Up Brain: The Surprising Talents of the Middle-Aged Mind by Barbara Strauch. Viking, $26.95, 229. Publication date April 19. Strauch is a science editor at the NY Times and the author of The Primal Teen. Here, she posits “that it’s the experienced brain that cuts through the muddle to find solutions ... [because] of the biological changes taking place that allow us to see a fuller picture of the world ...”


How It Ends: From You to the Universe by Chris Impey. W.W. Norton, $26.95, 352 pages. Publication date April 19. Impey is an astronomy professor at the University of Arizona and the author of The living Cosmos. This book “chronicles every imaginable ending, from the death of individuals to the end of our earth, all leading up to the final insult, when space-time itself is dealt a blow and the fabric of the universe ceases to be.” 


The Circumference of Home: One Man’s Yearlong Quest for a Radically Local Life by Kurt Hoelting. Da Capo, $25, 262 pages. Publication date April 22. The author is a commercial fisherman and guide. “Hoelting’s reaction [to watching An Inconvenient Truth] was a drastic one: he gave up his car ... and vowed to travel by bicycle, kayak and his own two feet for a year, journeying only inside a 100 kilometer radius of his home.”


Now Available in Paperback

Theology in the Context of Science by John Polkinghorne. Yale; hardback published in 2009, paperback now available for $17; 192 pages. Publication date April 20.


Received during the week ended 4/9/10

A Tear at the Edge of Creation by Marcelo Gleiser. Free Press, $25, 283 pages. Publication date April 6. Gleiser is a physics professor at Dartmouth College and the author of two previous books, including The Dancing Universe. In this book, he “overturns twenty-five centuries of Western thought, arguing that the scientific quest for a ‘theory of everything’ is fundamentally misguided. With all he evidence pointing to a scenario in which everything emerges from many fundamental imperfections ...”


Superbug: The Fatal Menace of MRSA by Maryn McKenna. Free Press, $26, 271 pages. Publication date March 23. McKenna is a science journalist and the author of Beating Back the Devil. Her new book “offers an intense and critical look into the frightening and ongoing evolution of drug-resistant staph ... [and] tracks the fast-paced, dramatic story of medical tragedy and ineffective public policy ...”


On Fact and Fraud: Cautionary Tales from the Front Lines of Science by David Goodstein. Princeton, $22.95, 184 pages. Publication date April 7. Goodstein is a physics professor at the California Institute of Technology and the author of Feynman’s Lost Lecture. “Historically, allegations of scientific misconduct are easy to make but difficult to prove or disprove.” In this book, “Goodstein examines real-life fraud investigations to formulate a very basic definition of what constitutes fraud.”


Inside the Outbreaks: The Elite Medical Detectives of the Epidemic Intelligence Service by Mark Pendergrast. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $28, 432 pages. Advance reading copy. Publication date April 13. Pendergrast is the author of four previous books, including Uncommon Grounds. Here, he “takes readers on a riveting journey through the history of this remarkable organization [the Epidemic Intelligence Service], following EIS officers on their globetrotting quest to eliminate the most lethal and widespread threats to the world’s health.”


Treading Softly: Paths to Ecological Order by Thomas Princen. MIT, $22.95, 224 pages. Publication date March 31. Princen teaches ecology at the University of Michigan and is the author of The Logic of Sufficiency. Here, he “argues that it is time to build an economy that is grounded in the way natural systems work; that operates as if we have just the right amount of resources rather than endless frontiers. The goal is to live well by living well within the capacities of those resources.” 


Now Available in Paperback

The Global Achievement Gap: Why Even Our Best Schools Don’t Teach the New Survival Skills Our Children Need — and What We Can Do about It by Tony Wagner. Basic Books; hardback published in 2008, paperback now available for $16.95; 320 pages. Publication date April 6.


Decoding the Heavens: A 2,000 Year Old Computer — And the Century-Long Search to Discover Its Secrets by Jo Marchant. Da Capo; hardback published in 2009, paperback now available for $15.95; 328 pages. Publication date March.


Received during the week ended 4/2/10

The Little Book of String Theory by Steven S. Gubser. Princeton, $19.95, 174 pages. Publication date February 28. The author is a physics professor at Princeton. This book “offers a short, accessible, and entertaining introduction to [string theory] one of the most talked-about areas of physics today.”


The Winner’s Brain: 8 Strategies Great Minds Use to Achieve Success by Jeff Brown and Mark J. Fenske. Da Capo, $26, 240 pages. Advance reading copy. Publication date April 1. Brown is a psychiatry instructor at Harvard Medical School; his coauthor is assistant professor of neuroscience at the University of Guelph. The authors “identify eight ‘Win Factors’ that are the keys to achievement — self awareness, motivation, focus, emotional balance, memory, resilience, adaptability, and brain care — and give examples of how each factor works.”


My Brain Made Me Do It: The Rise of Neuroscience and the Threat to Moral Responsibility by Eliezer J. Sternberg. Prometheus paperback original, $21, 244 pages. Publication date March 23. Sternberg is the author of Are You a Machine? Here, he “explores the threat of neuroscience to moral responsibility as he attempts to answer the question: Are we truly in control of our actions?”


Change Your Age: Using Your Body and Brain to Feel Younger, Stronger, and More Fit by Frank Wildman. Da Capo paperback original, $18.95, 214 pages. Publication date April 1. “The Change Your Age program is based on the principles of the Feldenkrais Method@ ... a form of somatic education that uses gentle movement and focused awareness to improve flexibility, enhance agility, and reduce pain.”


New Editions

Living Downstream: An Ecologist’s Personal Investigation of Cancer and the Environment, 2nd. edition. by Sandra Steingraber. Da Capo paperback, $16.95, 414 pages. Publication date April 1.


Fiction to Consider

Anthill by E.O. Wilson. W.W. Norton, $24.95, 378 pages. Publication date April 5.


Received during the week ended 3/26/10

Insectopedia by Hugh Raffles. Pantheon, $29.95, 465 pages. Publication date March 23. Raffles teaches anthropology at The New School and is the author of In Amazonia: A Natural History. This book “is an original exploration of the beautiful, ancient, successful, astoundingly accomplished, largely unknown, and unfathomably different species with which we share this world.”


Living Through the End of Nature: The Future of American Environmentalism by Paul Wapner. MIT, $21.95, 266 pages. Publication date March 31. Wapner is an associate professor in the School of International Service at American University and the author of Environmental Activism and World Civic Politics. “Over the past century or so the human world has so encroached on and colonized nonhuman life that we are increasingly in danger of losing access to the untamed or unbidden.” In this book, Wapner “argues that the end of nature represents not environmentalism’s death knell but an opportunity to build a more effective political movement.”


All About Birds: A Short Illustrated History of Ornithology by Valérie Chansigaud. Princeton, $29.95, 240 pages. Publication date March 31. “This richly illustrated book tells the fascinating story of ornithology from ancient times to the present.”


Crafting the Quantum: Arnold Sommerfeld and the Practice of Theory by Suman Seth. MIT, $32, 376 pages. Publication date March 31. The author is an assistant professor in the Department of Science and Technology Studies at Cornell. Sommerfeld “was among the most significant contributors to the birth of modern theoretical physics.” This book offers “the first English-language book-length study of Sommerfeld’s work...”


Now Available in Paperback

Evolution: The Modern Synthesis by Julian Huxley. This MIT paperback edition of the 1942 classic includes the introductions to the 1963 and 1974 editions; $35; 770 pages. Publication date March 31. 


Late Arrivals

The Handy Dinosaur Answer Book, second edition, by Patricia Barnes-Svarney and Thomas E. Svarney. Visible Ink Press, $21.95, 274 pages. Publication date January.


For Younger Readers

Captain Mac: The Life of Donald Baxter MacMillan, Arctic Explorer by Mary Morton Cowan. Boyds Mill Press, $17.95, 208 pages. Publication date March 1.


Received during the week ended 3/19/10

How Risky Is It, Really? Why Our Fears Don’t Always Match the Facts by David Ropeik. McGraw-Hill Professional, $24.95. 280 pages. Publication date March. The author is an instructor at the Harvard University Extension School. This “isn’t a book about which risks are big or small. It’s about how we figure these things out, and it offers valuable insight[s] that can help us make healthier decisions ...”


Not Exactly: In Praise of Vagueness by Kees van Deemter. Oxford, $29.95, 368 pages. Publication date March. The author is a Reader in Computing Science at the University of Aberdeen. In this book, he “considers why vagueness is inherent, and why it is important in how we function.”


The Lomborg Deception: Setting the Record Straight about Global Warming by Howard Friel. Yale, $28, 272 pages. Publication date March 16. Friel is the coauthor of two previous books, including The Record of the Paper. Lomborg’s writings have “secured his position as one of the most visible critics of climate change science ... Friel provides a detailed analysis of Lomborg’s two books, revealing them to be riddled with errors, founded on misrepresentation, and far short of the accuracy standards of either journalism or scholarship.”


Health Care Turning Point: Why Single Payer Won’t Work by Roger M. Battistella. MIT, $21.95,164 pages. Publication date March 21. The author is emeritus professor of Health Policy and Management at Cornell University. Here, he “takes on popular misconceptions about the advantages of single-payer plans, the role of the market, and other health policy issues and outlines a pragmatic new approach.”


See What I’m Saying: The Extraordinary Powers of Our Five Senses by Lawrence D. Rosenblum. W.W. Norton, $26.95, 288 pages. Publication date March 22. The author is a professor of psychology at the University of California, Riverside. In the book, he introduces “the concept of ‘neuroplasticity’ — the manner in which our brains can adapt to new ways of processing information ... [and] identifies the many ‘hidden’ senses that we use every day ...”


Now Available in Paperback

Dolphin Mysteries: Unlocking the Secrets of Communication by Kathleen M. Dudzinski and Toni Frohoff. Yale; hardback published in 2008, paperback now available for $20; 256 pages. Publication date March 16.


Received during the week ended 3/12/10

The Edge of Physics: A Journey to Earth’s Extremes to Unlock the Secrets of the Universe by Anil Ananthaswamy. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $25, 336 pages. Publication date March 2. The author is a consulting editor for New Scientist magazine in London. Here, he “embarks on a rigorous search of the world’s most audacious physics experiments: the telescopes and detectors that promise to shed new light on things like dark matter, dark energy, and the phenomenon of quantum gravity.”


The Babylonian Theorem: The Mathematical Journey to Pythagoras and Euclid by Peter S. Rudman. Prometheus, $26, 248 pages. Publication date March 2. Rudman is a retired physics professor from the Israel Institute of Technology and the author of How Mathematics Happened. In this book, he “traces the evolution of mathematics from the metric geometric algebra of Babylon and Egypt... to the nonmetric geometric algebra of Euclid (ca. 300 BCE).”


Breakfast with Socrates: An Extraordinary (Philosophical) Journey Through Your Ordinary Day by Robert Rowland Smith. Free Press, $22, 237 pages. Publication date March 9. The author has been a don at All Souls College, Oxford, and now teaches at the School of Life. This book is “a neat introduction to the history of thought, offering us the richest possible range of ideas about how to live.”


Wisdom: From Philosophy to Neuroscience by Stephen S. Hall. Publication date March 9. Hall is the author of five previous books, including Invisible Frontiers. He received NASW’s 2004 Science in Society award for books. “Hall’s bracing exploration of the science of wisdom allows us to see this ancient virtue with fresh eyes, yet also makes clear that despite modern science’s most powerful efforts, wisdom continues to elude easy understanding.”


Now Available in Paperback

Adam’s Tongue: How Humans Made Language, How Language Made Humans by Derek Bickerton. Hill and Wang; hardback published in 2009, paperback now available for $16; 286 pages. Publication date March 10.


How to Build a Dinosaur: The New Science of Reverse Evolution by Jack Horner and James Gorman. Plume; hardback published in 2009, paperback now available for $15; 246 pages. Publication date March.


Received during the week ended 3/5//10

In Praise of Science: Curiosity, Understanding, and Progress by Sander Bais. MIT, $24.95, 192 pages. Publication date March 1. Bais is a physics professor at the University of Amsterdam, a faculty member at the Santa Fe Institute and the author of Very Special Relativity. In this book, he “shows how science can liberate us from our cultural straitjacket of prejudice and intolerance. Science — fundamental and fact-based knowledge ... can give us the global and local perspectives we need to make the world a better place.”


An Entirely Synthetic Fish: How Rainbow trout Beguiled America and Overran the World by Anders Halverson. Yale, $26, 288 pages. Publication date March 2. The author is a research associate at the University of Colorado. “[T]his book chronicles the discovery of rainbow trout, their introduction across the nation and the world, and the reasons they are still the most stocked fish in the United States.”


Toxic Bodies: Hormone Disrupters and the Legacy of DES by Nancy Langston. Yale, $30, 233 pages. Publication date March 2. The author is an ecology professor at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. “Today, we know that the hormone-disrupting drug diethylstilbestrol (DES) was a public health catastrophe ... Today’s assurances of safety are based on the same faulty assumptions that kept DES on the market.”


Cro-Magnon: How the Ice Age Gave Birth to the First Modern Humans by Brian Fagan. Bloomsbury, $28, 295 pages. Publication date March 2. Fagan is the author of four previous books, including Fish on Friday. Here, he “reveals human society in its infancy, facing enormous environmental challenges from glaciers, predators, and a rival species of humans — the Neanderthals.”


Now Available in Paperback

Thousand Mile Song: Whale Music in a Sea of Sound by David Rothenberg. Basic Books; hardback published in 2008, paperback now available for $18; 287 pages. Publication date March 9.


The Lightness of Being: Mass, Ether, and the Unification of Forces by Frank Wilczek. Basic Books; hardback published in 2008, paperback now available for $16.95; 270 pages. Publication date March 9.


Received during the week ended 2/26/10

Becoming A Doctor: From Student to Specialist, Doctors-Writers Share Their Experiences edited by Lee Gutkind. W.W. Norton, $26.95, 228 pages. Publication date March 1. Gutkind brings “together the most well-known and authoritative doctor-writers working today ... The nineteen essays in this book tell each doctor’s story of how they came to grips with the realities of what it means to practice medicine and all that entails.”


Born Entrepreneurs, Born Leaders: How Your Genes Affect Your Work Life by Scott Shane. Oxford, $29.95, 266 pages. Publication date March 1. The author is an economics professor at Case Western Reserve University. This book “begins with an incisive look at the basic function of genes and the effects of specific genes on organizational behavior, then moves into real-world analysis of how genes influence numerous aspects of our professional lives, from the jobs we choose, to how effectively we make decisions and manage people.”


Shocking Cases from Dr. Henry Lee’s Forensic Files by Henry C. Lee and Jerry Labriola. Prometheus, $26, 264 pages. Publication date February 9. Lee is a professor of forensic science at the University of New Haven and the coauthor (with Labriola) of several books, including Famous Crimes Revisited. “In this new book, Dr. Lee and critically acclaimed mystery writer Jerry Labriola, MD, team up again to present another true-crime page-turner on five notorious incidents.”


Exuberant Skepticism by Paul Kurtz, edited by John R. Shook. Prometheus paperback original, $19. 230 pages. Publication date February 16. Kurtz is emeritus professor of philosophy at the State University of new York at Buffalo and the author of numerous books, including The Courage to Become. “Paul Kurtz has [long] been a strong advocate of skepticism, not only as a philosophical position, but also as a fulfilling way of life ... In this definitive collection, editor John R. Shook has gathered together seventeen of Paul Kurtz’s most penetrating and insightful writings.”


Now Available in Paperback

Reinventing the Sacred: A New View of Science, Reason, and Religion by Stuart A. Kauffman. Basic Books; hardback published in 2008, paperback now available for $16.95; 320 pages. Publication date March 1.


Received during the week ended 2/12/10

Numbers Rule Your World: The Hidden Influence of Probability on Everything You Do by Kaiser Fung. McGraw-Hill, $22.95, 208 pages. Publication date February. The author is a professional statistician. This book “peels back the layers of our everyday experience to shed light on how the laws of statistics quietly run our daily lives.”


Explaining Research: How To Reach Key Audiences To Advance Your Work by Dennis Meredith. Oxford paperback original; $35, 376 pages. Publication date February. The author has worked at major research universities and has written thousands of news releases and magazine articles on science and engineering. Here, he “shows how to use websites, blogs, videos, old-fashioned lectures, news releases, and lay-level articles to reach key audiences ...”


Supernormal Stimuli: How Primal Urges Overran Their Evolutionary Purpose by Deirdre Barrett. W.W. Norton, $24.95, 216 pages. Publication date February 22. Barrett is an evolutionary psychologist at Harvard medical School and the author of several books, Including Waistland. The “phenomenon known as supernormal stimulus refers to a natural instinct that is hijacked by unnatural circumstances... We can — and must — recognize when our natural impulses are being manipulated against our best interests, and resist the temptation to eat the cheeseburger, apply the pounds of makeup or ... declare unnecessary war.”


The Essential Engineer: Why Science Alone Will Not Solve Our Global Problems by Henry Petroski. Knopf, $26.95, 274 pages. Publication date February 26. Petroski is a professor of civil engineering at Duke and the author many books, including To Engineer Is Human. This book explores “the ways in which science and engineering must work together to address our world’s most pressing issues, from dealing with climate change and the prevention of natural disasters to the development of efficient automobiles and the search for renewable energy sources.”


Now Available in Paperback

Einstein’s Telescope: The Hunt for Dark Matter and Dark Energy in the Universe by Evalyn Gates. W.W. Norton; hardback published in 2009, paperback now available for $16.95; 305 pages. Publication date February 22.


What Intelligence Tests Miss: The Psychology of Rational Thought by Keith E. Stanovich. Yale; hardback published in 2009, paperback now available for $22; 328 pages. Publication date February 23.


Earthrise: How Man First Saw the Earth by Robert Poole. Yale; hardback published in 2008, paperback now available for $17; $26, 236 pages. Publication date February 23.


Received during the week ended 2/5/10

About a Mountain by John D’Agata. W.W. Norton, #23.95, 240 pages. Publication date February 8. D’Agata teaches creative writing at the University of Iowa and is the author of Halls of Fame. Here, he “uncovers the politics behind the creation of Yucca Mountain itself, which, we learn, has been built not only on falsified scientific reports but also on a fault zone.”


The Whale by Philip Hoare. ecco, $27.99, 464 pages. Advance reading copy. Publication date February 2. Hoare is the author of several previous books, including England’s Lost Eden. In this one, he “explores the troubled history of man and whale; traces the whale’s cultural history from Moby-Dick to Free Willy; and seeks to discover why these strange and beautiful animals still exert such a powerful grip on our imagination.”


What Darwin Got Wrong by Jerry Fodor and Massimo Piattelli-Palmarini. Farrar, Straus and Giroux; $25; 245 pages. Publication date February. Fodor is a professor of philosophy and cognitive science at Rutgers; his coauthor is a professor of cognitive science at the University of Arizona. This book “is certain to cause more controversy and change the parameters of evolution ... [by arguing] that Darwin’s theory of natural selection cannot satisfactorily explain evolution.”


Now Available in Paperback

Lifting Depression: A Neuroscientist’s Hands-On Approach to Activating Your Brain’s Healing Power by Kelly Lambert. Basic Books; hardback published in 2008, paperback now available for $16.95; 289 pages. Publication date January 5.


Received during the week ended 1/29/10

The Emperor's New Drugs: Exploding the Antidepressant Myth by Irving Kirsch. Basic Books, $23.95, 240 pages. Publication date February 1. The author is a psychology professor at the University of Hull, United Kingdom. This book “is a devastating argument that most antidepressants are little better than souped-up sugar pills, with far-reaching implications for how psychiatry treats depression.”


The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot. Crown Publishing, $26, 368 pages. Advance reading copy. Publication date February 2. Skloot is a widely published journalist who also teaches creative nonfiction at the University of Memphis. This book tells the “story of a woman who remains virtually unknown, even though her cell line — known as HeLa — is one of the most important tools in modern medicine ... [essential, for instance] to the making of the polio vaccine.”


Now Available in Paperback

The Woman Who Walked into the Sea: Huntington’s and the Making of a Genetic Disease by Alice Wexler. Yale; hardback published in 2008, paperback now available for $20; 288 pages. Publication date January 26.


Intelligence and How to Get It: Why Schools and Cultures Count by Richard E. Nisbett. W.W. Norton; hardback published in 2009, paperback now available for $17.95; 304 pages. Publication date February 8.


Received during the week ended 1/22/10

Shrimp: The Endless Quest for Pink Gold by Jack and Anne Rudloe. FT Press, $24.99, 252 pages. Advance reading copy. Publication date January. The Rudloes are the authors and coauthors of numerous books, including The Living Dock. This “book is about shrimp, but it’s also about the past and the future, and about a conflict as old as humanity itself — the conflict between hunter-gatherers and farmers.”


See What I’m Saying: The Extraordinary Powers of Our Five Senses by Lawrence D. Rosenblum. W. W. Norton, $26.95, 288 pages. Advance reading copy. Publication date January. The author is a professor of psychology at the University of California, Riverside. In the book, he introduces “the concept of ‘neuroplasticity’ — the manner in which our brains can adapt to new ways of processing information ... [and] identifies the many ‘hidden’ senses that we use every day ...”


Natural Reflections: Human Cognition at the Nexus of Science and Religion by Barbara Herrnstein Smith. Yale, $28, 224 pages. Publication date January 19. Smith is a professor of comparative literature at Duke, professor of English at Brown, and the author of two previous books, including Scandalous Knowledge. This book recognizes “science and religion as complex and distinct domains of human practice that also possess significant historical connections ...”


Now Available in Paperback

The Great Equations: Breakthroughs in Science from Pythagoras to Heisenberg by Robert P. Crease. W.W. Norton; hardback published in 2009, paperback now available for $16.95; 315 pages. Publication date January 18.


Journey to Data Quality by Yang W. Lee, Leo L. Pipino, James D. Funk, and Richard Y. Yang. MIT; hardback published in 2006, paperback now available for $18; 240 pages. Publication date January 22.


Received during the week ended 1/15/10

Get Me Out: A History of Childbirth from the Garden of Eden to the Sperm Bank by Randi Hutter Epstein. W.W. Norton, $24.95, 302 pages. Publication date January 11. The author is a physician and a medical journalist. In this book, she recounts the “fascinating history of the fears and disappointments, the tragedies and peaks of the maternal experience.”


Last Acts: Discovering Possibility and Opportunity at the End of Life by David J. Casarett. Simon & Schuster, $26, 353 pages. Publication date January 12. Casarett is an associate professor of geriatric medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. Here, he offers “an essential primer for patients facing terminal illnesses — as well as families and loved one — about how they can productively make the most of their remaining time.”


State of the World 2010: Transforming Cultures: From Consumerism to Sustainability by The Worldwatch Institute. W.W. Norton paperback original, $19.95, 244 pages. Publication date January 12. This is the latest edition of the Institute’s annual reports. “Without an intentional cultural shift that values sustainability over consumerism, no government pledges or technological advances will be enough to rescue humanity from unacceptably hazardous environmental and climate risks ...” 


Here Be Dragons: How the Study of Animal and Plant Distributions Revolutionized Our Views of Life and the Earth by Dennis McCarthy. Oxford, $29.95, 214 pages. Publication date January 14. The author is a research associate at the Buffalo Museum of Science. This book “tells a story that encompasses two great, insightful theories that together explain the strange patterns of life across the world — evolution and plate tectonics.”


The Other Brain: From Dementia to Schizophrenia, How New Discoveries About the Brain Are Revolutionizing Medicine and Science by R. Douglas Fields. Simon & Schuster, $27, 371 pages. Publication date January. The author works at the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development and is the editor of the journal Neuron Glia Biology. Scientists are “beginning to comprehend the ways in which glia [glial cells] help the brain to perform its amazing array of functions, including both causing and preventing diseases ...”. 


Now in Paperback

The Leakeys: A Biography by Mary Bowman-Kruhm. Prometheus; hardback published in 2005, paperback now available for $17; 183 pages. Publication date December 29


Received during the week ended 1/8/10

Biographies of Diseases Series, published by Oxford Press, explores the discovery, nature, and cures of diseases. The publisher issues one book per disease, each priced at $24.95. The first four volumes in the series are now available.

*Hysteria by Andrew Scull

*Asthma by Mark Jackson

*Diabetes by Robert Tattersall

*Cholera by Christopher Hamlin.


Fat Flush for Life: The Year-round Super Detox Plan to Boost Your and Keep the Weight Off Permanently by Ann Louise Gittleman. Da Capo, $22.95, 288 pages. Publication date January 1. Gittleman is the author of numerous books, including The Fat Flush Plan. This book “will tell you how to burn stubborn body fat year-round by balancing thyroid function, leveraging GI-enhancing probiotics and incorporating low-copper/high-zinc food to avoid hormone havoc.”


From Eternity to Here: The Quest for the Ultimate Theory of Time by Sean Carroll. Dutton, $26.95, 438 pages. Publication date January 7. The author conducts research in theoretical physics at Caltech. Here, he “gives us a provocative and groundbreaking new way of thinking about our universe, all based on the most obvious and yet mysterious feature of time — the fact that it has a direction.”


Now in Paperback

Metabolism Jetpack Dreams: One Man’s Up and Down (but Mostly Down) Search for the Greatest Invention That Never Was by Mac Montandon. Da Capo; hardback published 2008, paperback now available for $16.95; 262 pages. Publication date December 15, 2009. 


Heal Thyself: A Doctor at the Peak of His Medical Career, Destroyed by Alcohol -- And the Personal Miracle that Brought Him Back by Olivier Ameisen with Hilary Hinzmann. Farrar, Straus and Giroux; hardback published in 2009, paperback now available for $16; 341 pages. Publication date January 4. 


Late Arrivals

Denialism: How Irrational Thinking Hinders Scientific Progress, Harms the Planet, and Threatens Our Lives by Michael Specter. Penguin Press, $27.95, 304 pages. Publication date November 2, 2009.


Fiction Worth Considering

Remarkable Creatures by Tracy Chevalier. Dutton, $26.95, 312 pages. Publication date January 5. This is the fictional story of Mary Anning, the young British girl who discovered the world’s first complete ichthyosaur skeleton.


Received during the week ended 12/18/09

The Perfect Swarm: The Science of Complexity in Everyday Life by Len Fisher. Basic Books, $22.95, 288 pages. Publication date December 8. Fisher is the author of three previous books, including Rock, Paper, Scissors. Here, he “explains how small individual actions and interactions lead to more intricate group movements — and what it means for us.”


Isaac Newton on Mathematical Certainty and Method by Niccolò Guicciardini. MIT, $55, 422 pages. Publication date December 14. Guicciardini is a professor of the history of science at the University of Bergamo, Italy, and the author of two previous books about Newton. In this book, he “uncovers what mathematics was for Newton, and what being a mathematician meant to him.”


The Master and His Emissary: The Divided Brain and the Making of the Western World by Iain McGilchrist. Yale, $38, 608 pages. Publication date December 15. The author is a psychiatrist in London. “He argues that, despite its inferior grasp of reality, the [brain’s] left hemisphere is increasingly taking precedence in the modern world ... [with its] inability to see the big picture, focus on quantity and efficiency at the expense of quality ... and devaluing of the unique, the personal, and the individual.”


Giant Molecules: From Nylon to Nanotubes by Walter Gratzer. Oxford, $24.95, 254 pages. Publication date December 17. Gratzer is emeritus professor of biophysics at King’s College, London. This book “describes how scientists have learned to manipulate [giant molecules] from designer proteins to thermoplastics, from cosmetics to smart polymers.”


Darwin in Galápagos: Footsteps to a New World by K. Thalia Grant and Gregory B. Estes. Princeton, $29.95, 376 pages. Publication date December 30. The authors are naturalists who lead trips to the Galápagos islands. Here, they retrace Darwin’s movements across the islands, which “provides an unparalleled look at what darwin did in Galápagos and why it mattered so much for his theories of evolution.”


Received during the week ended 12/11/09

Decoding the Language of God: Can a Scientist Really Be a Believer? by George C. Cunningham. Prometheus paperback original, $18, 269 pages. Publication date December 8. The author is the former chief of the Genetic Disease Branch of the California Department of Health Services. Francis Collins’s book The Language of God “attempted to harmonize the findings of scientific research with Christian belief.” Cunningham responds with “a point-by-point rebuttal ... arguing that there is no scientifically acceptable evidence to support belief in a personal God and much that discredits it.”


Storms of My Grandchildren: The Truth About the Coming Climate Catastrophe and Our Last Chance to Save Humanity by James Hansen. Bloomsbury, $25, 329 pages. Publication date December 10. The author is director of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies but he is best known for bringing global warming to the world’s attention in the 1980s, when he testified before congress. Here, he tells of “his growing concerns about the the world his grandchildren may inhabit if we do not do all in our power to address man-made pollution in the atmosphere.”


The Viking in the Wheat Field: A Scientist’s Struggle to Preserve the World’s Harvest by Susan Dworkin. Walker, $26, 256 pages, Publication date December 10. Dworkin is a journalist and the author of The Nazi Officer’s Wife. This book examines the life “of Bent Skovmand (1945-2007), a brilliant Danish plant scientist who fought to preserve and expand the world’s wheat supply.”


Donald Michie on Machine Intelligence, Biology and More edited by Ashwin Srinivasan. Oxford, $45, 321 pages. Publication date December 13. The author is a Visiting Professor at the Oxford University Computing Laboratory. Michie was a “pioneering researcher and scientific visionary... in computing and robotics.” This book collects, among other things, “Michie’s highly accessible musings ... on computing and thinking machines.” 


Now Available in Paperback

Cosmic Imagery: Key Images in the History of Science by John D. Barrow. W.W. Norton; hardback published in 2008, paperback now available for $19.95; 544 pages. Publication date December 14.


Late Arrivals

The Wolf in the Parlor: The Eternal Connection Between Humans and Dogs by Jon Franklin. Henry Holt, $25, 281 pages. Publication date September.


Received during the week ended 12/4/09

Streetlights and Shadows: Searching for the Keys to Adaptive Decision Making by Gary Klein. MIT, $27.95, 336 pages. Publication date November 30. Klein is a scientist at Applied Research Associates and the author of Sources of Power: How People make Decisions. In this book, he “builds a steady argument for why biases aren’t always bad, why logic doesn’t always help, and why wanting more options doesn’t always make the best sense ... [and makes the case for the] most overlooked truism: there’s no substitute for experience.”


A Brilliant Darkness: The Extraordinary Life and Mysterious Disappearance of Ettore Majorana, the Troubled Genius of the Nuclear Age by João Magueijo. Basic Books, $27.50, 304 pages. Publication date December 1. Magueijo holds a chair in theoretical physics at Imperial College, London, and is the author of Faster Than the Speed of Light. “On March 26, 1938, nuclear physicist Ettore Majorana ... boarded a ship in Palermo, Italy, and was never seen again.” This book “examines what might have happened to the immensely intelligent but tortured scientist ...”


Dazzled and Deceived: Mimicry and Camouflage by Peter Forbes. Yale, $27.50, 304 pages. Publication date December 1. Forbes is a Royal Literary Fund fellow at Queen Mary University and the author of The Gecko’s Foot. This book “tells the story of mimicry and camouflage in science, art, warfare, and the natural world.”


The Pluto Files: The Rise and Fall of America’s Favorite Planet by Neil deGrasse Tyson. W.W. Norton paperback original, $15.95, 224 pages. Publication date December 7. Tyson is director of the Hayden Planetarium of the American Museum of Natural History and the author of Death by Black Hole. Here, he offers “a delightful celebration of Pluto’s place in science, history, pop culture.” 


Received during the week ended 11/27/09

Reading in the Brain: The Science and Evolution of a Human Invention by Stanislas Dehaene. Viking, $27.95, 388 pages. Publication date November 16. Dehaene is a professor of cognitive psychology at the Collège de France and the author of several previous books, including The Number Sense. Here, he argues “that the human brain has not always been biologically trained for reading — it is a cultural invention that surfaced roughly 5,400 years ago.”


The Faith Instinct: How Religion Evolved and Why It Endures by Nicholas Wade. Penguin Press, $25.95, 304 pages. Publication date November 16. Wade is a science reporter for The New York Times and the author of six previous books, most recently Before the Dawn. This book posits “that human beings are hardwired to be religious, and that an instinct for religious behavior evolved because it conferred a survival advantage on groups united by a strong religious inclination.”


The Fatal Strain: On the Trail of the Avian Flu and the Coming Pandemic by Alan Sipress. Viking, $27.95, 386 pages. Publication date November 16. The author is an editor at the Washington Post. This book takes a “look at how flu pandemics start ... [and] is a riveting account of how scientists around the world are desperately racing to hold off an inevitable global catastrophe.”


Boyle: Between God and Science by Michael Hunter. Yale, $55, 400 pages. Publication date November 17. The author is professor of history at Birbeck College, University of London. This book is a biography of Robert Boyle, “a remarkable wide-ranging and penetrating thinker ...” who pioneered the modern experimental method. But he “was also a complex and contradictory personality, fascinated by alchemy and magic and privately plagued with doubts about faith and conscience ...”


Now Available in Paperback

Life Explained by Michael Morange, translated by Matthew Cobb and Malcolm DeBevoise. Yale; hardback published in 2008, paperback now available for $16; 224 pages. Publication date November 24.


Humans, Nature, and Birds: Science Art from Cave Walls to Computer Screens by Darryl Wheye and Donald Kennedy. Yale; hardback published in 2008, paperback now available for $22; 240 pages. Publication date November 24.


Received during the week ended 11/20/09

Total Health the Chinese Way: An Essential Guide to Easing Pain, Reducing Stress, Treating Illness and Restoring the Body Through Traditional Chinese Medicine by Esther Ting and Marianne Jas. Da Capo paperback original, $17.95, 344 pages. Publication date November 15. Ting is a certified and highly experienced acupuncturist; her coauthor is a health writer. In this book, they “present the timeless fundamentals of Chinese medicine, including acupuncture, and herbs, their uses and extraordinary benefits.” 


Stabbed in the Back: Confronting Back Pain in an Overtreated Society by Nortin M. Hadler. University of North Carolina Press, $25, 204 pages. Publication date November 15. Hadler is a professor of medicine at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the author of Worried Sick. “Basing his critique on an analysis of the most current medical literature as well as his clinical experience, Hadler argues that regional back pain is overly medicalized bu doctors, surgeons, and alternative therapists ...”


Life Along the Inner Coast: A Naturalist’s Guide to the Sounds, Inlets, Rivers, and Intracoastal Waterway from Norfolk to Key West by Robert L. Lippson and Alice Jane Lippson. University of North carolina Press, $35, 472 pages. Publication date November 15. The Lippsons are veteran biological research scientists and the authors of Life in Chesapeake Bay. Here, they provide “a guide to the plants, animals, and habitats found in one of the most biologically diverse regions on the planet.”


What On Earth Evolved? 100 Species That Changed the World by Christopher Lloyd. Bloomsbury, $45, 416 pages. Publication date November 15. Lloyd is the author of What on Earth Happened? This “is a beautifully illustrated, wide-ranging book that provides ... insight into mankind’s place in nature, and our pivotal relationship with the Earth itself: past, present, and future.”


Late Arrivals

Mathletics: How Gamblers, Managers, and Sports Enthusiasts Us Mathematics in Baseball, Basketball, and Football by Wayne L. Winston. Princeton, $29.95, 358 pages. Publication date September 28.


Received during the week ended 11/13/09

Brain Sense: The Science of the Senses and How We process the World Around Us by Faith Hickman Brynie. Amacom, $24, 288 pages. Publication date November 5. Brynie is the author of numerous books about science, including 101 Questions Your Brain Has Asked About Itself But Couldn’t Answer ... Until Now. This book “sheds much needed light on how the senses and the brain work together to help shape our view of the world, including our varying perceptions, ideas, and behaviors.”


The Humans Who Went Extinct: Why Neanderthals Died Out and We Survived by Clive Finlayson. Oxford, $29.95, 273 pages. Publication date November 12. The author is Director of the Gibraltar Museum. Here, he presents “a sweeping view of the events that led to the migration of Moderns into Europe, what might have happened during the contact of the two populations, and what finally drove the Neanderthals to extinction.”


A Hole in the Head: More Tales in the History of Neuroscience by Charles G. Gross. MIT, $35, 336 pages. Publication date November 13. Gross is a neuroscientist, a professor of psychology at Princeton, and the author of Vision, Brain, Memory. This book is a collection of essays in which the author “illuminates the study of the brain with fascinating episodes from the past ... ranging from the history of trepanation (drilling a hole in the skull) to neurosurgery as painted by Hieronymus Bosch ...”


Now Available in Paperback

Viruses, Plagues, and History: Past, Present, and Future by Michael B. A. Oldstone. Oxford paperback, $17.95, 383 pages. This is revised and updated edition of the original publication which appeared in 2000. Publication date November 5.


The Simple Science of Flight: From Insects to Jumbo Jets by Henk Tennekes. MIT paperback, $21.95, 215 pages. This is a revised and updated edition of the original publication which appeared in 1997. Publication date November 6.


Einstein’s Mistakes: The Human Failings of Genius by Hans C. Ohanian. W. W. Norton; hardback published in 2008, paperback available for $16.95; 394 pages. Publication date November 9.


The Age of Entanglement: When Quantum Physics Was Reborn by Louisa Gilder. Vintage; hardback published in 2008, paperback now available for $17; 464 pages. Publication date November 10.


Received during the week ended 11/6/09

The New Oxford Book of Food Plants, 2nd ed. by John Vaughn and Catherine Geissler. Oxford, $39.95, 249 pages. Publication date October 22. Vaughn is emeritus professor of food sciences at King’s College London; Geissler is a professor of nutrition at the same school. “This beautifully illustrated book is about the many food plants we grow in our gardens ... making it the perfect reference for anyone who is part of ... the growing community of ‘locavores’ in this country.”


Chaos and Organization in Health Care by Thomas H. Lee and James J. Mongan. MIT Press, $29.95, 360 pages. Publication date October 23. Lee is a cardiologist and an associate editor at at NEJM; Mongan is a physician and chair of the Commonwealth Fund Commission of a High Performance Health System. The coauthors argue that cost increases in health care are inevitable but “can be mitigated if clinicians have help in identifying the best strategies for evaluating and treating patients, and if they work in teams that help patients avoid hospitalizations and stay healthy.”


Darwin’s Camera: Art and Photography in the Theory of Evolution by Phillip Prodger. Oxford, $39.95, 320 pages. Publication date October 29. Prodger is Curator of Photography at the Peabody Essex Museum in Massachusetts and the author of Time Stands Still. This book aims “to explain Darwin’s intent to understand emotions and how this goal changed both science and its then-new tool, photography.” 


Observatories of the Southwest: A Guide for Curious Skywatchers by Douglas Isbell and Stephen E. Strom. University of Arizona Press, paperback, $21.95, 192 pages. Publication date October 29. Both authors are professional astronomers; Strom is also a photographer. This book is “a practical guide to the major observatories of the region for those eager to learn what modern telescopes are doing.”


The Paradox of Scientific Authority: The Role of Scientific Advice in Democracies by Wiebe E. Bijker, Roland Bal, and Ruud Hendriks. MIT Press, $32, 232 pages. Publication date October 30. Bijker and Hendriks are professors at the University of Maastricht; Bal is a professor at the Institute of Health Policy and Management, Rotterdam. “This book examines a paradox: how scientific advice can be influential in society even when the status of science and scientists seems to be at a low ebb.”


Now Available in Paperback

Mortal Coil: A Short History of Living Longer by David Boyd Haycock. Yale; hardback published in 2008, paperback now available for $22; 320 pages. Publication date October 27. 


The Joy of Chemistry: The Amazing Science of Familiar Things by Cathy Cobb and Monty L. Fetterolf. Prometheus; hardback published in 2005, paperback now available for $19; 393 pages. Publication date October 27.


One to Nine: The Inner Life of Numbers by Andrew Hodges. W.W. Norton; originally published in Great Britain in 2007, paperback now available for $16.95; 336 pages. Publication date November 2.


Don’t Sleep, There Are Snakes: Life and Language in the Amazonian Jungle by Daniel L Everett. Vintage; hardback published in 2008, paperback now available for $16; 329 pages. Publication date November 3.


Received during the week ended 10/30/09

Waste: Uncovering the Global Food Scandal by Tristram Stuart. W.W. Norton. $27.95, 451 pages. Publication date October 12. Smart who “lives largely on what is discarded by others, as well as the food from his vegetable patch” is the author of The Bloodless Revolution. “... in the United States about 50 percent of all food is wasted by farmers, manufacturers, supermarkets, and consumers — enough to feed the world’s hungry three times over ..." This book “offers surprisingly painless ways to mitigate this global environmental and social crisis.”


From Rage to Courage: Answers to Readers’ Letters by Alice Miller. W.W. Norton paperback original, $15.95, 207 pages. Publication date October 12. Miller is a psychotherapist and the author of two previous books, including The Drama of the Gifted Child. “... Miller’s letters reveal a healer at the height of her powers, offering her devoted fans a unique approach to therapy that involves making peace with ‘the adult’ child in us all.”


Chips, Clones, and Living Beyond 100: How Far Will the Biosciences Take Us? by Paul J.H. Schoemaker and Joyce A. Schoemaker. FT Press, $24.99, 201. Advance reading copy. Publication date October. Paul teaches strategy and decision making at the Wharton School and is the coauthor of several previous books, including Decision Traps; Joyce is coauthor of Healthy Homes, Healthy Kids. “From human longevity to the health of societies, cloning to stem cell research, genetic testing to DNA chips, this book reveals what’s real, what’s not, what to expect ...”


The Cognitive Neurosciences, 4th edition edited by Michael S. Gazzaniga. MIT; $175; 1,376 pages. Publication date October 19. The editor is a professor of psychology at the University of California, Santa Barbara. This edition “continues to chart new directions in the study of the biologic underpinnings of complex cognition ...”


Jacque Cousteau: The Sea King by Brad Matsen. Pantheon, $26.95, 296 pages. Publication date October 20. Matsen is the author of numerous books about the sea, including Titanic’s Last Secrets. Here, “he presents a full and extraordinary portrait of the man who illuminated the oceans for million of people across the world.”


When You Were a Tadpole and I Was a Fish: And Other Speculations About This and That by Martin Gardner. Hill and Wang, $26, 246 pages. Publication date October 21 (the author’s 95th birthday). Gardner wrote the Mathematical Games column for Scientific American for 25 years and is the author of more than seventy books. This one is a collection of essays on topics ranging from science to religion.


Late Arrivals

Eureka Man: The Life and Legacy of Archimedes by Alan Hirshfeld. Walker, $26, 256 pages. Publication date September.


Received during the week ended 10/23/09

Plan B 4.0: Mobilizing To Save Civilization by Lester R. Brown. W.W. Norton paperback original, $16.95, 368 pages. Publication date October 5. Brown is president of Earth Policy Institute, the recipient of a MacArthur fellowship, and the author of numerous books, including Building a Sustainable Society. “Plan B aims to stabilize climate, stabilize population, eradicate poverty, and restore the economy’s natural support systems.”


The Best Technology Writing 2009 edited by Steven Johnson. Yale paperback original, $17.95, 240 pages. Publication date October 6. Johnson is the author od six book, including The Invention of Air. Here, he selects 19 of the best articles and essays on technology published in 2008.


Elephants on the Edge: What Animals Teach Us about Humanity by G. A. Bradshaw. Yale, $28, 352 pages. Publication date October 6. The author is director of the Kerulos Center for Animal Trauma. This book “marshals research from neuroscience, psychology, and animal behavior to argue that the mind of an elephant is remarkably similar to our own .... Tragically both species share something else. Human and elephants societies are being shattered by human violence.”


Vesuvius: A Biography by Alwyn Scarth. Princeton, $29.95, 352 pages. Publication date October 7. Scarth is the author of numerous books, including Savage Earth. In this one, he “draws from the latest research, classical and eyewitness accounts, and a diverse range of other sources to tell the riveting story of this spectacular natural phenomenon and the people whose lives it impacts.”


Why We Cooperate by Michael Tomasello. MIT, $14.95, 206 pages. Publication date October 7. Tomasello is codirector of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology and the author of The Cultural Origins of Human Cognition. In this book, he “shows that children are naturally — and uniquely — cooperative. Put through similar experiments, for example, apes demonstrate the ability to work together, but choose not to.”


The Best American Science and Nature Writing 2009 edited by Elizabeth Kolbert. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt paperback, $14, 352 pages. Advance reading copy. Publication date October 8. Kolbert is a writer for The New Yorker and the author of Field Notes from a Catastrophe. Here, she selects the 26 stories and articles in this genre that she considers to be the best of 2008.


Now Available in Paperback

Trick or Treatment: The Undeniable Facts About Alternative Medicine by Simon Singh and Edzard Ernst. W.W. Norton; hardback published in 2008, paperback now available for $17.95; 342 pages. Publication date October 19.


Late Arrivals

The Calculus of Friendship: What a Teacher and a Student Learned about Life While Corresponding about Math by Steven Strogatz. Princeton, $19.95, 166 pages. Publication date August 23.


Received during the week ended 10/16/09

Dawn Light: Dancing with Cranes and Other Ways to Start the Day by Diane Ackerman. W. W. Norton, $24.95, 208 pages. Publication date September 28. Ackerman is the author of numerous other books, including The Zookeeper’s Wife. This book is a meditation “on the bustling animal life, incomparable light, and palpable sense of new beginnings that defines this spectacular time of day.”


Dark Side of the Moon: Wernher von Braun, the Third Reich, and the Space Race by Wayne Biddle. W. W. Norton, $25.95, 220 pages. Publication date September 28. Biddle is the author of three previous books and the winner of a Pulitzer Prize for his reporting on the “Star Wars” project. “Peddled to the American public as an innocent dreamer ... von Braun was in fact a calculating opportunist who rode the rising Nazi Party’s fetish for ... ‘highly technological modernism’ to dizzying heights of power at a strikingly young age.”


Green Intelligence: Creating Environments That Protect Human Health by John Wargo. Yale, $32.50, 371 pages, Publication date September 29. Wargo is a professor of environmental policy and political science at Yale University and the author of Our Children’s Toxic Legacy. In this book, he “demonstrates that exposure to hazardous, health-damaging chemicals is widespread and poorly regulated, and that knowledge of contamination and danger is often kept from the public.”


The Predictioneer’s Game: Using the Logic of Brazen Self-Interest to See and Shape the Future by Bruce Bueno de Mesquita. Random House, $27, 248 pages. Publication date September 29. Bueno de Mesquita is a professor at New York University, a fellow at the Hoover Institution, and the author of The Strategy of Campaigning. Here, he “demystifies game theory, explaining that it is just a fancy label for a simple idea: People compete and they always do what they think is in their best interest.”


The Other Side of Sadness: What the New Science of Bereavement Tells Us About Life After Loss by George A. Bonanno. Basic Books, $25.95, 256 pages. Advance reading copy. Publication date October 1. The author is a professor of clinical psychology at Columbia University. In this book, he “shows how the ability to effectively cope with loss is actually a fundamental part of human nature. Most of us, he argues, are naturally resilient and experience a sophisticated grieving process that evokes relief and joy just as much as sadness.”


Born to Be Good: The Science of a Meaningful Life by Dacher Keltner. W. W. Norton paperback original, $16.95, 336 pages. Publication date October 5. The author is a professor of psychology at the University of California, Berkeley. This book “builds upon Darwin’s pioneering work to suggest that human emotions — from spontaneous bursts of laughter to a sympathetic blush — are ... the keys to understanding our ability to be happy and to bring out the good in others.”


Now Available in Paperback

The Kingdom of Infinite Space: A Portrait of Your Head by Raymond Tallis. Yale; hardback published in 2008, paperback now available for $18; 344 pages. Publication date September 29.


Received during the week ended 10/9/09

Grace Hopper and the Invention of the Information Age by Kurt W. Beyer. MIT, $27.95, 408 pages. Publication date September 18. The author was a professor of information technology at the U.S. Naval Academy. Hopper was a key figure in the development of the COBOL programming language, still widely used in business. “This remarkable woman laid the foundation for the development of user-friendly personal computers, and her influences are still felt today.”


Montesquieu and the Logic of Liberty: War, Religion, Commerce, Climate, Technology, Uneasiness of Mind, the Spirit of Political Vigilance, and the Foundations of the Modern Republic by Paul A. Rahe. Yale, $45, 400 pages. Publication date September 22. Rahe is a professor at Hillsdale College and the author of several previous books, including Soft Despotism, Democracy’s Drift. “This fresh examination of Montesquieu seeks to understand the shortcomings of the modern democratic state in light of the great political thinker’s insightful critique of commercial republicanism.”


The Deadly Dinner Party and Other Medical Detective Stories by Jonathan A. Edlow. Yale, $27.50, 256 pages. Publication date September 22. Edlow is an associate professor of medicine at the Harvard Medical School and the author of two previous books, including Bull’s Eye. Here, he “presents fifteen edge-of-your-seat, real-life medical detective stories ... that are as gripping as the best thrillers.”


The Greatest Show on Earth: The Evidence for Evolution by Richard Dawkins. Free Press, $30, 470 pages. Publication date September 22. Dawkins is a Fellow of New College, Oxford, and the author of several prize-winning books, including The God Delusion. In this book, he “deals a devastating blow to the creationists — but his unjaded passion for the natural world turns what might be a negative argument into an offering to the reader to see ... life’s great spectacle.”


On the Death of Languages by Claude Hagège, translated from the French by Jody Gladding. Yale, $30, 384 pages. This is an updated version of the French edition published in 2000. Hagège is the Chair of Linguistic Theory at the Collège de France in Paris and the author of numerous books. At the current pace, “half of the world’s five thousand languages will disappear within the next century.” The author “seeks to make clear the magnitude of the cultural loss represented by the crisis of language death.”


Velvet Revolution at the Synchrotron: Biology, Physics, and Change in Science by Park Doing. MIT, $28, 160 pages. Publication date September 25. The author is a lecturer in the History and Ethics of Engineering program at Cornell. Doing “examines the change in scientific practice at a synchrotron laboratory as biology rose to dominance over physics [and] considers the implications of that change for the status of scientific claims.”


Now Available in Paperback

Everyday Survival: Why Smart People Do Stupid Things by Laurence Gonzales. W.W. Norton; hardback published in 2008, paperback now available for $15.95; 288 pages. Publication date October 5.


Received during the week ended 10/2/09

So You Want to Be a Scientist? by Philip A. Schwartzkroin. Oxford paperback original, $19.95, 192 pages. Publication date September 10. The author is a professor in the Department of Neurological Surgery at the University of California, Davis. Here, he offers “an invaluable glimpse into the day-to-day life of the researcher” and gives advice on deciding “whether you’d want to pursue such a career (and, if so, how to get started).”


Pink Brain Blue Brain: How Small Differences Grow into Troublesome Gaps — and What We Can Do About It by Lise Eliot. Houghton Mifflin harcourt, $24, 420 pages. Publication date September 14. Eliot is an associate professor of neuroscience at Chicago Medical School of Rosalind Franklin University of medicine and Science and the author of What’s Going on in There? This book “shatters the myths about gender differences, arguing that the brains of boys and girls are largely shaped by how they spend their time ...” unwittingly reenforcing gender stereotypes.


The New Atheism: Taking a Stand for Science and Reason by Victor J. Stenger. Prometheus paperback original, $19, 282 pages. Publication date September 15. Stenger is emeritus professor of physics and astronomy at the University of Hawaii and the author of several previous books, including God: The Failed Hypothesis. Here, “He demonstrates in detail that naturalism — the view that all of reality is reducible to matter and nothing else — is sufficient to explain everything we observe in the universe ...”


The Anger Solution: The Proven Method for Achieving Calm and Developing Healthy, Long-Lasting Relationships by John Lee. Da Capo paperback original, $15.95, 228 pages. Publication date September. Lee is the author of numerous books, including The Flying Boy. In this book, he “alleviates the shame people feel about their anger. Instead, he proves that anger can be your ally, one that can save your relationship, your job, and your peace of mind.”


Not A Chimp: The Hunt to Find the Genes that Make Us Human by Jeremy Taylor. Oxford, $27.95, 338 pages. Publication date September 19. The author is a documentary film producer specializing in biological subjects. “This book pulls together a web of scientific research ... all to answer the question: what is the genetic basis of our humanness, and how did it evolve?” 


Rising Plague: The Global Threat from Deadly Bacteria and Our Dwindling Arsenal to Fight Them by Brad Spellberg. Prometheus, $26, 264 pages. Publication date September 15. The author is an associate professor of medicine at UCLA. “Antibiotic-resistant microbes infect more that 2 million Americans and kill over 100,000 each year.” This book “tells the story of this potentially grave public health crisis.”


Now Available in Paperback

If You Love This Planet: A Plan To Save the Earth by Helen Caldicott. This W.W. Norton paperback is a revised edition of the author’s 1992 book, If You Love This Planet: A Plan To Heal the Earth; $16.95, 358 pages. Publication date September 14.


Say Goodnight To Insomnia: The 6-Week Program by Gregg D. Jacobs. Holt paperbacks; originally published in 1998, updated paperback edition now available for $16; 211 pages. Publication date September 15.


Received during the week ended 9/25/09

The Gates of Hell: Sir John Franklin’s Tragic Quest for the North West Passage by Andrew Lambert. Yale, $32.50, 428 pages. Publication date September 8. The author is a professor of naval history at King’s College, London. “In 1845, the British explorer Sir John Franklin set out on an Arctic voyage that would prove disastrous ...” Although well prepared, his “ships became imprisoned in the ice... In their futile efforts to survive, they practiced cannibalism on a grand scale. Their story shocked Victorian England and retains its horror today.”


Occult America: The Secret History of How Mysticism Shaped Our Nation by Mitch Horowitz. Bantam, $27, 304 pages. Publication date September 8. Horowitz is a veteran writer, editor, and publisher. “Focusing on the tremendous impact the nineteenth-century movements of Freemasonry, Spiritualism, and Transcendentalism have had on America, Horowitz reveals the extent to which the occult shaped mainstream American identity ...”


No Impact Man: The Adventures of a Guilty Liberal Who Attempts to Save the Planet, and the Discoveries He Makes About Himself and Our Way of Life in the Process by Colin Beavan. Farrar, Straus and Giroux; $25; 274 pages. Publication date September 8. Beavan writes a popular environmental blog and is the author of two previous books, including Operation Jedburgh. This book describes “a yearlong project in which he, his wife, his two-year-old daughter and his four-year-old dog went off the grid and attempted to live in the middle of New York City with as little environmental impact as possible.”


Half Moon: Henry Hudson and the Voyage That Redrew the Map of the New World by Douglas Hunter. Bloomsbury, $28, 336 pages. Publication date September 8. Hunter is he author of several previous books, including Dream of Discovery. This portrait of Henry Hudson, the discoverer of the eponymous river, is “more sharply defined than previous accounts — shedding new light on the motives and bravado of the rogue captain.”


Defining Darwin: Essays on the History and Philosophy of Evolutionary Biology by Michael Ruse. Prometheus, $26.98, 271 pages. Publication date September 8. Ruse is a philosophy professor at Florida State University and the author or coauthor of several previous books, including Philosophy of Biology. Here, he “reevaluates the legacy of Darwin ... [and] offers a fresh perspective on topics old and new, challenging the reader to think again about the nature and consequences of what has been described as the the biggest idea ever conceived.”


Received during the week ended 9/18/09

The Strangest Man: The Hidden Life of Paul Dirac, Mystic of the Atom by Graham Farmelo. Basic Books, $29.95, 560 pages. Publication date September 1. Farmelo is a physicist and research fellow at the Science Museum, London, and the author of It Must Be Beautiful: Great Equations of Modern Science. “Stephen Hawking once called him [Paul Dirac] the greatest theoretical physicist since Newton ...” This book “offers new insight into the life and times of this giant of physics — and one of the oddest characters in the history of science ...” 


Chess Metaphors: Artificial Intelligence and the Human Mind by Diego Rasskin-Gutman, translated from Spanish by Deborah Klosky. MIT, $24.95, 227 pages. Publication date September 1. The author heads the Theoretical Biology Research Group at the University of Valencia. This book “explores fundamental questions about memory, thought, consciousness, and other cognitive properties, using the moves of 32 pieces over 64 squares to map the structural and functional organization of the brain.”


Paradoxical Life: Meaning, Matter, and the Power of Human Choice by Andreas Wagner. Yale, $28, 259 pages. Publication date September 1. The author is a biochemistry professor at the University of Zurich. Here, he explores the “hidden web of unimaginably complex interactions in every living being. In the process, he unveils a host of paradoxes underpinning our understanding of modern biology ...”


A Passion for Nature: Thomas Jefferson and Natural History by Keith Thomson. University of North Carolina Press paperback original, $14.95, 148 pages. Publication date September 1. Thomson is a professor emeritus at Yale and the author of 12 previous books, including Before Darwin: Reconciling God and Nature. “With Jefferson’s devotion to detailed knowledge, precise calculation, and rational inquiry, natural history related to everything he did — as a farmer, as a philosopher, and as a citizen.”


The Rising Sea by Orrin H. Pilkey and Rob Young. Island Press, $25.95, 194 pages. Advance reading copy. Publication date September 2. Pilkey is professor emeritus of geology at Duke University and the author of several previous books, including The Corps and the Shore; his coauthor is a professor of geosciences at Western Carolina University. In this book, they “deliver the truth about the potential impacts of global warming and rising seas. Politicians, coastal developers, climate change skeptics, and many others may not want to hear it, but sea level rise is happening now and the problem will only get worse.”


The Living Shore: Rediscovering a Lost World by Rowan Jacobsen. Bloomsbury, $20, 208 pages. Publication date September 7. Jacobsen is a journalist and the author of several previous books, including A Geography of Oysters. Here, he “profiles the extraordinary efforts underway to reestablish shellfish populations, reverse the decline of the seas, and bring back a world so vital to our physical and spiritual sustenance.”


Now Available in Paperback

A Portrait of the Brain by Adam Zeman. Yale; hardback published in 2008, paperback now available for $18; 256 pages. Publication date September 8.


For Younger Readers

Wonderful World of Space by Andrew Fraknoi. Disney Press, paperback edition; $9.99; 128 pages. Publication date August 18.


Received during the week ended 9/4/09

Precancer: The Beginning and the End of Cancer by Jules J. Berman with G. William Moore. Jones and Bartlett paperback, $39.95, 186 pages. Publication date August 11. Berman is director of the Cancer Diagnosis Program at he National Cancer Institute; his coauthor is a professor of pathology at Johns Hopkins and the University of Maryland in Baltimore. “[T]he evidence increasingly shows that the number of annual cancer deaths could be drastically reduced through effective treatment and cure of precancer lesions.” It also “explains why it has been so difficult cure cancers ...”


Overcoming ADHD: Helping Your Child Become Calm, Engaged, and Focused — Without a Pill by Stanley I. Greenspan with Jacob Greenspan. Da Capo, $25, 198 pages. Publication date September 1. Stanley is a professor at George Washington University Medical School and the author of several books, including Engaging Autism; his coauthor works with special-needs children. This book “gives parents and caregivers the information they need to strengthen the different abilities that contribute to attentiveness ... “ It also “explains the importance of family dynamics and a healthy environment in ADHD intervention ...”


The Religion and Science Debate: Why Does It Continue edited by Harold W. Attridge. Yale; hardback $45, paperback $16, 240 pages. Publication date September 1. The editor is a professor at the Yale Divinity School. “[S]cholars from a variety of disciplines ... provide new insights into the contemporary dialogue ... for delineating the responsibilities of both he scientific and religious spheres.”

 

Gifted Hands: America’s Most Significant Contribution to Surgery by Seymour I. Schwartz. Prometheus, $27.95, 259 pages. Publication date August 11. Schwartz is a surgeon in Rochester, N.Y., the author of several books, and the founding editor of Schwartz’s Principles of Surgery. This book “describes how surgery in this country advanced from the comparatively crude practices of pioneering physicians ... to its current preeminence ...”


Paperback Now Available

Forecast: The Surprising — and Immediate Consequences of Climate Change by Stephan Faris. Holt Paperbacks; hardback published earlier this year, paperback now available for $15; 242 pages. Publication date September 1 


Rebels, Mavericks, and Heretics in Biology edited by Oren Harman and Michael R. Dietrich. Yale; hardback published in 2008, paperback now available for $23; 416 pages. Publication date September 1. 


Received during the week ended 8/28/09

Consequential Strangers: The Power of People Who Don’t Seem to Matter ... But Really Do by Melinda Blau and Karen L Fingerman. W.W. Norton, $25.95, 276 pages. Publication date August 24. Blau is the author of several other books, including Baby Whisperer; Fingerman is a professor at Purdue University. “Most of us already spend more time with casual acquaintances than with family members and close friends ... [This book] explores these ‘consequential strangers’ — that vast array of people, on and off the Internet, who have a profound impact on our success, happiness, and health.”


The Real World of a Forensic Scientist: Renowned Experts Reveal What It Takes to Solve Crimes by Henry C. Lee, Elaine M. Pagliaro, and Katherine Ramsland. Prometheus, $25.98, 349 pages. Publication date August 25. The authors are university professors who specialize in forensic science. This book “provides a realistic picture of the education, skills. challenges, and rewards involved in the many specialties that encompass forensic science.”


Poseidon’s Steed: The Story of Seahorses, From Myth to Reality by Helen Scales. Gotham, $24, 254 pages. Publication date August 27. The author is a marine biologist. “The seahorse has been the inspiration of mythical tales for years, and Scales documents how their existence on earth is in peril ... [she also] illuminates the magic of he seahorse and offers readers a chance to become inspired by their legacy ...” 


Now Available in Paperback

Lost Worlds: Adventures in the Tropical Rainforest by Bruce M. Beehler. Yale; hardback published in 2008, paperback now available for $17; 272 pages. Publication date August 25.


Mad, Bad, and Sad: A History of Women and the Mind Doctors by Lisa Appignanesi. Norton; hardback originally published in 2007, paperback now available for $19.95; 535 pages. Publication date August 31.


Late Arrivals

Shadows on the Cave Wall: A New Theory of Evolution by Keith Skene. Ard Macha Press paperback original, £9.99, 304 pages. Publication date June 27.


Received during the week ended 8/21/09

Collider: The Search for the World’s Smallest Particles by Paul Halpern. Wiley, $27.95, 260 pages. Publication date August. Halpern is physics professor at the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia and the author of several book, including Cosmic Wormholes. This book explains the science behind the Large Hadron Collider which is scheduled to start up (again) in October 2009. Experiments “could give scientists new insights into the birth of the universe ...”


Darwin’s Armada: Four Voyages and the Battle for the Theory of Evolution by Iain McCalman, W.W. Norton, $29.95, 423 pages. Publication date August 17. The author is a professor at the University of Sidney. “By widening the focus to include Darwin’s three crucial champions — Joseph Hooker, Thomas Huxley, and Alfred Russel Wallace — McCalman gets to the heart of just how evolution won the war of ideas ...”


The New Executive Brain: Frontal Lobes in a Complex World by Elkhonon Goldberg. Oxford paperback original, $19.95, 368 pages. Publication date August 20. Goldberg is a neurology professor at at the NYU School of Medicine and the author of The Executive Brain. Here, he brings “us up to date on what science can now tell us about the human brain.”


Naming Nature: The Clash Between Instinct and Science by Carol Kaesuk Yoon. W.W. Norton, $27.95, 344 pages. Publication date August 24. The author, a biologist and journalist, argues that “our reliance upon science is undermining our understanding of nature and distancing us from other living things.”


Mathematical Amazements and Surprises: Fascinating Figures and Noteworthy Numbers by Alfred S. Posamentier and Ingmar Lehmann. Prometheus paperback original, $20.98, 269 pages. Publication date August 4. Both coauthors are mathematics professors, Posamentier at CCNY and Lehmann at Berlin’s Humboldt University. They are authors and coauthors of many previous books on mathematics. This book “will instill insights into the nature of numbers, improve your ability to manipulate them, and give you an appreciation for the inherent elegance of mathematics.”


Now Available in Paperback

Almost Human: Making Robots Think by Lee Gutkind. W.W. Norton; hardback published in 2007, paperback now available for $15.95; 284 pages. Publication date August 24.


Received during the week ended 8/14/09

Something Incredibly Wonderful Happens: Frank Oppenheimer and the World He Made Up by K. C. Cole. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $27, 416 pages. Cole is a journalism professor at the University of Southern California and the author of seven previous books, including Mind Over Matter. This book tells the story of Frank Oppenheimer (Robert’s brother) who created San Francisco’s Exploratorium, which became “a ‘museum of human awareness’ that combined art and science while it encouraged play, experimentation, and a sense of joy and wonder.”


The Philosophical Baby: What Children’s Minds Tell Us About Truth, Love, and the Meaning of Life by Alison Gopnik. Farrar, Strauss and Giroux, $25, 288 pages. Publication date August 11. Gopnik is a psychology professor at the University of California at Berkeley and coauthor of The Scientist in the Crib. Here, she “compiles the latest in her field’s research [developmental psychology] to paint a new picture of our inner lives at inception — one in which we are, in some ways, more conscious than adults.”


The Nature of Technology: What It Is and How It Evolves by W. Brian Arthur. Free Press, $27, 256 pages. Publication date August 11. The author is a professor at the Santa Fe Institute. This book offers “an elegant and powerful theory of the origins and evolution of technology ... [and] why some cultures — Silicon Valley; Cambridge, England in the 1920s — are so extraordinarily inventive.”


Heart of Dryness: How the Last Bushmen Can help Us Endure the Coming Age of Permanent Drought by James G. Workman. Walker, $26, 336 pages. Publication date August 11. The author “travels to the driest place on earth to see how, against all odds and under brutal government repression, an indigenous people draws on ancient wisdom to survive the extreme scarcity of life’s essential resource.” 


Following the Water: A Hydromancer’s Notebook by David M. Carroll. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $24, 188 pages. Advance reading copy. Publication date August 12. Carroll is a naturalist and the author od several previous books, including The Year of the Turtle. This book “is the intensely observed chronicle of Carroll’s annual March-to-November wetlands immersion ...[and] a gorgeous evocation of nature...””


Now Available in Paperback

Gamma: Exploring Euler’s Constant by Julian Havil. Princeton; hardback published in 2003, paperback now available for $17.95; 304 pages. Publication date July 26.


Received during the week ended 8/7/09

50 Diabetes Myths That can Ruin Your Life: And the 50 Diabetes Truths That can Save It by Riva Greenberg. Da Capo paperback original, $14.95, 316 pages. Publication date August 1. This “guide identifies the fifty most prevalent diabetes myths and their life-changing, life-saving truths.”


Medical Mysteries: From the Bizarre to the Deadly...The Cases That Have Baffled Doctors by Ann Reynolds and Kenneth Wapner. Hyperion paperback original, $14.99, 228 pages. Publication date August 4. “From the files of the hit ABC primetime show Medical Mysteries comes ... a collection that provides an examination of real-life medical oddities that will shock and amaze you.”


Before the Big Bang: The Prehistory of Our Universe by Brian Clegg. St. Martin’s, $25.99, 306 pages. Publication date August 4. Clegg is the author of numerous books of popular science, including A Brief History of Infinity. Here, he “gives the reader insight into theories of the origin of the universe, and why the Big Bang has become generally accepted ... and why we just might have to rethink our assumptions about its very existence.”


The Invisible Kingdom: From the Tips of Our Fingers to the Tops of Our Trash, Inside the Curious World of Microbes by Idan Ben-Barak. Basic Books, $24, 288 pages. Publication date August 10. “Revealing the bizarre invisible world all around us and under our very noses (inside our noses too, Ben-Barak would remind us) ... [the book] is a wild, joyful romp covering the entire spectrum from genetic epistemology to sheep burps.”


Received during the week ended 7/31/09

Carl Sagan: A Biography by Ray Spangenburg and Kit Moser. Prometheus paperback original, $16.98, 181 pages. Publication date July 21. Spangenburg and Moser have coauthored many books together, including Niels Bohr. This “biography examines Carl Sagan’s steady growth as a man, as a scientist, and as a communicator — a man who had odd quirks and great charisma...”


Crow Planet: Essential Wisdom from the Urban Wilderness by Lyanda Lynn Haupt. Little, Brown; $23.99; 240 pages. Publication date July 27. Haupt is the author of two previous books, including Pilgrim on the Great Bird Continent. This book “documents Haupt’s journey to becoming an ‘urban naturalist’ through the study of crows — the big, gutsy, boisterous, intelligent, and sometimes unsettling birds that have managed to adapt and thrive in expanding urban and suburban areas...”


Your Brain After Chemo: A Practical Guide to Lifting the Fog and Getting Back Your Focus by Dan Silverman and Idelle Davidson. Da Capo. $25, 284 pages. Publication date August 1. Silverman is director of the nuclear imaging section at the UCLA Medical Center; his coauthor is a journalist in Los Angeles. Here they provide “the first authoritative guide to living with ‘chemo brain.’ From depression and fatigue to lack of concentration and confusion...” 


Why Does E=mc2? (And Why Should We Care?) by Brian Cox and Jeff Forshaw. Da Capo, $24, 249 pages. Publication date August 1. Both authors are physicists involved with the Large Hadron Collider project. This book shows “how a simple equation contains the backbone of nature, and how recognizing that can challenge you to change your perspective of space and time.”


Now Available in Paperback

Loneliness: Human Nature and the Need for Social Connection by John T. Cacioppo and William Patrick. W.W. Norton; hardback published in 2008, paperback now available for $17.95; 317 pages. Publication date August 10.


Received during the week ended 7/24/09

The Neuro Revolution: How Brain Science Is Changing Our World by Zack Lynch. St. Martin’s Press, $25.99, 256 pages. Publication date July 19. The author is executive director of a trade association of companies involved in neuroscience. This book aims “to provide a comprehensive view of the impact brain science will have” on almost every aspect of society.


The Essential Hospital Handbook: How to Be an Effective Partner in a Loved One’s Care by Patrick Conlon. Yale; hardback $30, paperback $18; publication date July 21. Conlon is the author of two previous books, including No Need to Trouble the Heart. Here, he spells out “how a family can form a partnership with medical providers to ensure the best patient care possible.”


Bugs and the Victorians by J.F.M. Clark. Yale, $55, 336 pages. Publication date July 21. The author is director of the Institute for Environmental History at the University of St. Andrews. This book “explores how science became increasingly important in nineteenth-century British culture and how the systematic study of insects permitted entomologists to engage the most pressing questions of Victorian times ...”


The Medicine Cabinet of Curiosities: A Unconventional Compendium of Health facts and Oddities from Asthmatic Mice to Plants That can Kill by Nicholas Bakalar. Time Books paperback original, $15, 240 pages. Publication date July 21. Bakalar is the “Vital Signs” columnist for The New York Times and author or coauthor of numerous books, including Where the Germs Are. This book “reveals delightful doses of medical miscellany about curious patients and wacky doctors ... from medical firsts to medical onlys.”


Now Available in Paperback

The Body Toxic: How the Hazardous Chemistry of Everyday Things Threatens Our Health and Well-being by Nena Baker. North Point Press; hardback published in 2008, paperback now available for $15; 277 pages. Publication date August 4.


Received during the week ended 7/17/09

You Are Here: Why We Can Find Our Way to the Moon but Get Lost in the Mall by Colin Ellard. Doubleday, $25, 328 pages. Publication date July 7. The author is a psychologist at the University of Waterloo. Here, he tells readers why we “[h]umans have an abundance of tools to help us find our way, yet we still get lost in the mall ...while our dogs remember exactly where they buried a chew toy three summers ago...”


The Age of Wonder: How the Romantic Generation Discovered the Beauty and Terror of Science by Richard Holmes. Pantheon,$40, 552 pages. Publication date July 14. Holmes is the author of several previous books, including Coleridge: Darker Reflections. This book is a “history of the men and women whose discoveries and inventions at the end of the eighteenth century gave birth to the Romantic Age of Science.”


The Root of Thought: Unlocking Glia, the Brain Cell That Will Help Us Sharpen Our Wits, Heal Injury, and Treat Brain Disease by Andrew Koob. FT Press, $24.99, 158 pages. Advance reading copy. Publication date July. The author is a neuroscientist working at the University of Munich. This book focuses on the brain’s glial cells and “reveals what we’ve learned about these remarkable cells — from their unexpected role in information storage to their function as ‘adult stem cells’ ...”


Unscientific America: How Scientific Illiteracy Threatens Our Future by Chris Mooney and Sheril Kirshenbaum. Basic Books, $24, 209 pages. Publication date July 20. Mooney is the author of three previous books, including The Republican War on Science; Kirshenbaum is marine scientist and research associate at Duke University. In this book, they “explore the troubling disconnect between the world of science and the rest of society, and offer a strategic plan for reconnecting the two ...” 


Now Available in Paperback

Guilty Robots, Happy Dogs: The Question of Alien Minds by David McFarland. Oxford; hardback published in 2008, paperback now available for $15.95; 252 pages. Publication date July 9.


Bottlemania: How Water Went on Sale and Why We Bought It by Elizabeth Royte. Bloomsbury; hardback published in 2008, paperback now available for $15; 272 pages. Publication date July 14.


Received during the week ended 7/10/09

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder Demystified: An Essential Guide for Understanding and Living with OCD by Cheryl Carmin. Da Capo paperback original, $15.95, 304 pages. Advance reading copy. Publication date July 1. The author is a professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago. In this book, she “dispels the mystery around ... OCD — from the factors that complicate its diagnosis to the benefits of treatment through cognitive behavior therapy and/or medication.”


The Book of the Moon by Rick Stroud. Walker, $27, 368 pages. Publication date July 1. The author is an Emmy-nominated television director. This “book is a visual striking cornucopia of everything worth knowing about our nearest neighbor in space.”


The Life You Save: Nine Steps to Finding the Best Medical Care — and Avoiding the Worst by Patrick Malone. Da Capo paperback original, $15.95, 296 pages. Publication date July 6. The author is a graduate of Yale Law School and a fellow of the International Academy of Trial Lawyers. “Medical mistakes claim more lives each year than breast cancer, AIDS, and motor vehicle crashes combined ... [this] book explains why patients should worry ... about the quality and safety of their care.”


Say Everything: How Blogging Began, What It’s Becoming, and Why It Matters by Scott Rosenberg. Crown, $26, 404 pages. Publication date July 7. Rosenberg is the author of Dreaming in Code. Here, he “chronicles blogging’s unplanned rise and improbable triumph, tracing its impact on politics, business, the media, and our personal lives.” 


Paperback Now Available

The Time Paradox: The New Psychology of Time that Will Change Your Life by Philip Zimbardo and John Boyd. Free Press; hardback published in 2008, paperback now available for $16; 378 pages.  Publication date July 7.

Late Arrivals

The Monty Hall Problem: The Remarkable Story of Math’s Most Contentious Brain Teaser by Jason Rosenhouse. Oxford, $24.99, 208 pages. Publication date June 4.


Received during the week ended 7/3/09

Science Under Siege: Defending Science, Exposing Pseudoscience edited by Kendrick Frazier, Prometheus paperback original, $21.98, 370 pages, Publication date June 16. Frazier is the editor of Skeptical Inquirer and four previous collections, including Encounters with the Paranormal. Here, “thirty-seven stimulating articles explore science and skeptical inquiry, public controversies, and ... pseudoscientific claims.”


Magnificent Desolation: The Long Journey Home from the Moon by Buzz Aldrin with Ken Abraham. Harmony Books, $27, 336 pages. Publication date  June 23. Aldrin was the Apollo 11 lunar module pilot and the second man to set foot on the moon, behind Neil Armstrong. This book “is Aldrin’s brutally honest, thoroughly human account of his life, which has taken him quite literally from the top of the world the darkest depths and back again.”


Rocket Men: The Epic Story of the First Men on the Moon by Craig Nelson. Viking, $27.95, 404 pages. Publication date June 29. Nelson is the author of several previous books, including The First Heroes. Here, he “reminds us why this mission was the greatest adventure of the 20th century, and the greatest technological achievement of all time.”


Seasons of Life: The Biological Rhythms That Enable Living Things to Thrive and Survive by Russell G. Foster and Leon Kreitzman. Yale, $28, 320 pages. Publication date June 30. Foster is a professor of neuroscience at the University of Oxford; Kreitzman is a science writer and the author of The 24 Hour Society. This book “explains how seasonal change affects organisms, and how plants and animals over countless generations have evolved exquisite sensitivities and adaptations to the seasons.” 


Paperback Now Available

What Is Life? Investigating the Nature of Life in the Age of Synthetic Biology by Ed Regis. Oxford; hardback published in 2008, paperback now available for $13.95; 198 pages. Publication date July 2.


Received during the week ended 6/26/09

Life After Loss: A Practical Guide to Renewing Your Life after Experiencing Major Loss, 5th edition by Bob Deits. Da Capo paperback, $15.95, 291 pages. Publication date June. “This practical user-friendly guide walks you through the grieving process, explaining he steps to recovery that everyone shares, characteristics of health versus unhealthy grief, mileposts during your recovery, and signs that you should seek help.”


Life Ascending: The Ten Great Inventions of Evolution by Nick Lane. W.W. Norton, $26.95, 344 pages, Publication date June 22. Lane is a biochemist at University College London and the author of Power, Sex, Suicide. Here, he provides “access to the wonder, beauty, and mystery of the key factors in the development of of our contemporary understanding of evolution.”


Paperback Now Available

The Black Death: A Personal History by John Hatcher. Da Capo; hardback published in 2008, paperback now available for $16; 318 pages. Publication date June 15.


Simplexity: Why Simple Things Become Complex (and How Complex Things Can Be Made Simple) by Jeffrey Kluger. Hyperion paperback; hardback published in 2008, paperback now available for $15.99; 324 pages. Publication date June 16.


Panic in Level 4: Cannibals, Killer Viruses, and Other Journeys to the Edge of Science by Richard Preston. Random House; hardback published in 2008, paperback now available for $15; 194 pages. Publication date June 16. 


Late Arrivals

The Carbon Age: How Life’s Core Element Has Become Civilization’s Greatest Threat by Eric Roston. Walker; hardback published in 2008, paperback now available for $16; 320 pages. Publication date May 26.


Fiction Worth Considering

Far North by Marcel Theroux. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, $25, 314 pages. Publication date June 16.


Received during the week ended 6/19/09

Stephen Jay Gould and the Politics of Evolution by David F. Prindle. Prometheus, $26.98, 249 pages. Publication date June 9. Prindle is a professor of government at University of Texas at Austin and the author of The Paradox of Democratic Capitalism. In this book, he “argues that Gould’s mind worked along two tracks simultaneously — the scientific and the political. All of his concepts ... were bona fide contributions to science, but all of them also contained specifically political implications.”


Sleeping Naked Is Green: How an Eco-cynic Unplugged Her Fridge, Sold Her Car, and Found Love in 366 Days by Vanessa Farquharson. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt paperback original, $13.95, 267 pages. Publication date June 11. The author is a reporter and film critic at Toronto’s National Post. This is a “story about a women’s effort to reduce her carbon footprint in 365 days, while confronting environmental hypocrisy, practicing both realistic and extreme green life choices, and laughing along the way.”


The Depression Cure: The 6-Step Program to Beat Depression Without Drugs by Stephen S. Ilardi. Da Capo, $25, 289. Publication date June 15. The author is associate professor of clinical psychology at the University of Kansas. This book “reveals how ... lifestyle changes can improve or eradicate depression.”


Paperback Now Available

On the Origins of Cognitive Science: The Mechanization of the Mind by Jean-Pierre Dupuy, translated by M. B. De Bevoise. MIT Press; hardback published in French in 1994, paperback now available for $25; 238 pages. Publication date June 8.


Neurophilosophy of Free Will: From Libertarian Illusions to a Concept of Natural Autonomy by Henrik Walter, translated by Cynthia Klohr. MIT Press; hardback published in German in 1999, paperback now available for $27; 391 pages. Publication date June 11.


Late Arrivals

The Great Equations: Breakthroughs in Science from Pythagoras to Heisenberg by Robert P. Crease. Norton. $25.95, 315 pages. Publication date January.


Received during the week ended 6/12/09

The Illustrious Dead: The Terrifying Story of How Typhus Killed Napoleon's Greatest Army by Stephan Talty. Crown, $27, 336 pages. Publication date June 2. Talty is the author of two previous books, including Empire of Blue Water. Here, he “tells the story of the Grande Army’s savage thrust into Russia, the sacking of Moscow. and their desperate against-all-odds retreat, but it also shows typhus lurking in the shadows, watching and waiting ...”


Weather’s Greatest Mysteries Solved! by Randy Cerveny. Prometheus, $26.98, 328 pages. Publication date June 2. Cerveny is a professor of geographical sciences at Arizona State University and the author of Freaks of the Storm. This book “takes the reader on a fascinating tour of some of the world’s most perplexing and provocative climate mysteries, past and present.”


Smallpox: The Death of a Disease by D.A. Henderson. Prometheus, $27.98, 334 pages. Publication date June 2. The author is a professor of medicine and public health at the University of Pittsburgh. This book is the Henderson’s “story of how he led the World Health Organization’s campaign to eradicate smallpox — the only disease in history to have been deliberately eliminated.”


Why Socrates Died: Dispelling the Myths by Robin Waterfield. W.W. Norton, $27.95, 253 pages. Publication date June 8. Waterfield lives in Greece and is the author of two previous books, including The Rise and Fall of Athens. This book recounts ”the circumstances that led to the philosopher’s death, and of his deep engagement with the tumultuous Athenian politics of the fifth century BCE.”


Now Available in Paperback

Wesley the Owl: The Remarkable Love Story of an Owl and His Girl by Stacey O’Brien. Free Press; hardback published in 2008, paperback now available for $15; 256 pages. Publication date June 2.


Fiction Worth Considering

Pythagoras’ Revenge: A Mathematical Mystery by Arturo Sangalli. Princeton, $24.95, 224 pages. Publication date June 3.


Received during the week ended 6/5/09

What’s Next? Dispatches on the Future of Science edited by Max Brockman. Vintage paperback original, $14.95, 256 pages. Publication date May 26. “In this collection of eighteen never-before-published essays, rising stars in the scientific community give us a head start in understanding what scientific challenges lay ahead.”


Catching Fire: How Cooking Made Us Human by Richard Wrangham. Basic Books, $26.95, 288 pages. Publication date June 1. Wrangham is professor of biological anthropology at Harvard University and the co-author of Demonic Males. Here, he “posits that the innovation of cooking food — breaking down its components into more digestible forms — is what unleashed sufficient energy and nutrients to make possible the fueling of the mighty human mind.”


Fixing My Gaze: A Scientist’s Journey into Seeing in Three Dimensions by Susan R. Barry. Basic Books, $26, 256 pages. Publication date June 1. The author is a professor of neurobiology at Mount Holyoke College. Barry spent 50 years without stereovision. After vision therapy cured her, she was amazed at the difference it made. “... I had no idea just how different and how magnificent the world would appear in all its glorious dimensions.”


The Economic Naturalist’s Field Guide: Common Sense Principles for Troubled Times by Robert H. Frank. Basic Books, $26, 234 pages. Publication date June 1. The author is a professor of management and economics at Cornell University and the author of several previous books, including The Winner-Take-All Society. This one is a collection of columns that appeared in The New York Times in which he “applies insight and wit to issues that, in the currently anxious economic climate, have more bearing on our pocketbooks, policies, and personal happiness than ever.”


Now Available in Paperback

Snoop: What Your Stuff Says About You by Sam Gosling. Basic Books; hardback published in 2008, paperback now available for $15.95; 263 pages. Publication date June 1.


Received during the week ended 5/29/09

Wetware: A Computer in Every Living Cell by Dennis Bray. Yale, $28, 280 pages. Publication date May 26. The author is professor emeritus at the University of Cambridge and the coauthor of several textbooks on molecular and cell biology. Here, he “taps the findings of the new discipline of systems biology to show that the internal chemistry of living cells is a form of computation.”


Squeezed: What You Don’t Know About Orange Juice by Alissa Hamilton. Yale, $30, 288 pages. Publication date May 26. The author is a Woodcock Foundation Food and Society Policy Fellow. This book “investigates what’s actually in a glass of orange juice — and why so many of us drink it.”


Time and Tide in Acadia: Seasons on Mount Desert Island by Christopher Camuto. W.W. Norton, $24.95, 199 pages. Publication date May 26. Camuto teaches creative writing at Bucknell University and is the author of several previous books, including Hunting from Home. “This stunning work of nature writing is also a companion to anyone traveling to Acadia [National Park] and Mount Desert.”


The Atmosphere of Heaven: The Unnatural Experiments of Dr Beddoes and His Sons of Genius by Mike Jay. Yale, $30, 304 pages. Publication date May 26. Jay is the author of The Air Loom Gang. This book tells “the story of Dr. Beddoes and the brilliant circle who surrounded him... [including] Humphrey Davy, who identified nitrous oxide and tested it on himself, with spectacular results.”


The Universe — Order without Design by Carlos I Calle. Prometheus, $27.98, 304 pages. Publication date May 26. Calle is a physicist at the Kennedy Space Center and the author of three previous books, including Coffee with Einstein. This book explores a question: Does recent scientific “evidence reveal a purpose behind the order of the universe”?


Now Available in Paperback

The Design of Future Things by Donald A. Norman. Basic Books; hardback published in 2007, paperback now available for $16.95; 240 pages. Publication date June 1.


Received during the week ended 5/22/09

Mathematics in 10 Lessons: The Grand Tour by Jerry P. King. Prometheus paperback original, $18.95, 394 pages. Publication date May 12. King is professor emeritus of mathematics at Lehigh University and the author of The Art of Mathematics. With this book, he has “designed a grand tour of mathematics in ten essential lessons for the general reader who wants to know how mathematics is done.”


Conservation Refugees: The Hundred-Year Conflict Between Global Conservation and Native Peoples by Mark Dowie. MIT Press, $27.95, 336 pages. Publication date May 18. Dowie is a journalist and the author of six previous books, including Losing Ground. Both conservation organizations and indigenous people “have admirable goals ... Yet the two have been seriously at odds over the past century, sometimes violently ... When conservationists and native peoples acknowledge [their] interdependence ... they can together create a new and much more effective paradigm for conservation.”


Counterclockwise: Mindful Health and the Power of Possibility by Ellen J. Langer. Ballantine, $25, 224 pages. Publication date May 19. Langer is a professor of psychology at Harvard and the author of Mindfulness. Here, she contends that “well-being and longevity are, more than we realize, determined by our assumptions and attitudes. If we can learn to reconsider those assumptions and attitudes, we have a chance to replace years of decline with years of growth and purpose.”


Quantum Gods: Creation, Chaos, and the Search for Cosmic Consciousness by Victor J. Stenger. Prometheus, $26.98, 292 pages. Publication date May 19. Stenger is emeritus professor of physics and astronomy at the University of Hawaii and the author of God: The Failed Hypothesis. This book “presents a rigorously argued challenge to many popular notions of God and spirituality.”


The Link: Uncovering Our Earliest Ancestor by Colin Tudge. Little, Brown; $25.99; 262 pages. Publication date May 20. Tudge is a biologist and the author of four previous books, including The Time Before History. In this book, he tells the story of “the discovery of a 47-million-year-old primate fossil that is set to revolutionize our understanding of human evolution.”


Now Available in Paperback

The Man Who Found Time: James Hutton and the Discovery of the Earth’s Antiquity by Jack Repcheck. Basic Books; hardback published in 2003, paperback now available for $16.95; 247 pages. Publication date May 11.


Received during the week ended 5/15/09

Eating for Autism: The 10-step Nutrition Plan to Help Treat Your Child’s Autism, Asperger’s, or ADHD by Elizabeth Strickland. Da Capo paperback original, $17.95, 292 pages. Publication date May 1. The author is a registered dietitian specializing in nutrition therapy for autism spectrum disorders. This book provides a plan “to help parents get their child’s diet on the right track toward treating the symptoms of autism.” 


Einstein’s Riddle: Riddles, Paradoxes, and Conundrums To Stretch Your Mind by Jeremy Stangroom. Bloomsbury, 16, 144 pages. Publication date May. Stangroom is the author of several books, including The Little Book of Big Ideas: Philosophy. Here, he presents a collection of “[r]iddles, paradoxes, and puzzles [that] have been confusing and delighting people for millennia.” 


One Hundred Essential Things You Didn’t Know: Math Explains Your World by John D. Barrow. W.W. Norton,$25.95, 284 pages. Publication date May 18. Barrow is a professor of mathematical science at Cambridge University and the author several previous books, including The Book of Nothing. There are no “requirements for understanding (or enjoying) this clever read; it simply requires a desire to be enlightened about the minutiae of everyday life and a willingness to play well with mathematics!”


Spent: Sex, Evolution, and Consumer Behavior by Geoffrey Miller. Viking, $26.95, 374 pages. Publication date May 18. Miller is an associate professor of psychology at the University of New Mexico and the author of The Mating Mind. In this book, he applies the principles of evolutionary psychology “to a new domain: the sensual wonderland of marketing and status seeking that we call American consumer culture.”


Now Available in Paperback

Elizabeth Blackburn and the Story of Telomeres: Deciphering the Ends of DNA by Catherine Brady. MIT Press; hardback published in 2007, paperback now available for $15.95; 408 pages. Publication date May 22.


Received during the week ended 5/8/09

Bozo Sapiens: Why to Err Is Human by Michael and Ellen Kaplan. Bloomsbury, $26, 304 pages. Publication date May 1. The Kaplans are son and mother and coauthors of Chances Are: Adventures in Probability. Human beings, they argue,   appear to be ”hardwired to get things wrong ... In fact, our cognitive, logical, and romantic failures may be a fair price for our extraordinary success as a species ...”


The Why Files: The Science Behind the News ... by David J. Tenenbaum and Terry Devitt. Penguin paperback original, $15, 304 pages. Advance reading copy. Publication date May. Tenenbaum is head writer for whyfiles.org and his coauthor is the editor. In this book, “science is less a measured, clinical examination of nature than a raconteur's delight, where every cranny of the scientific enterprise, no matter how geeky, has a story.”


What We Know About Emotional Intelligence: How It Affects Learning, Work, Relationships, and Our Mental Health by Moshe Zeidner, Gerald Matthews, and Richard D. Roberts. MIT Press, $29.95, 441 pages. Publication date May 15. Zeidner and Matthews are university psychology professors; Roberts is a research scientist at the Center for New Constructs, Educational Testing Service. Here, the coauthors, “who are actively involved in the research provide an accessible and intense account of EI [emotional intelligence] in theory and practice as well as a critique of the science behind it.”


The Good Doctors: The Medical Committee for Human Rights and the Struggle for Social Justice in Health Care by John Dittmer. Bloomsbury, $30, 384 pages. Advance reading copy. Publication date May. Dittmer is a professor of history at DePauw University and the author of Local People: The Struggle for Civil Rights in Mississippi. This book tells the story of a group of doctors who “realized that fighting segregation would mean not just caring for white activists but exposing and correcting shocking inequality in segregated medicine.”


Received during the week ended 5/1/09

The Metabolism Miracle: 3 Easy Steps to Regain Control of Your Weight ... Permanently by Diane Kress. Da capo, $25, 304 pages. Publication date May 1. The author is a registered dietitian and weight-loss specialist. This book advocates a program to help dieters with “Metabolism B: a condition in which the over-production of of insulin causes the body to over-process carbohydrate foods into excess body fat.”


Swimming with Piranhas at Feeding Time: My Life Doing Dumb Stuff with Animals by Richard Conniff. W.W. Norton, $25.95, 299 pages. Publication date May 4. Conniff is the author of Spineless Wonders and other books. In this collection of previously published magazine articles, “Coniff uses a wry mixture of science, humor, and deft observation to reveal the curious behaviors of creatures on two, four, six, and eight legs.”


Larry’s Kidney: Being the True Story of How I Found Myself in China with My Black Sheep Cousin and His Mail-Order Bride, Skirting the Law to Get Him a Transplant — and Save His Life by Daniel Asa Rose. Morrow, $25.99, 301 pages. Publication date May 12. Rose is a writer, editor, and author of Hiding Places. This book “... is a poignant look at a man struggling to save his life and a feel-good story of two estranged friends who reconnect in the most surprising of ways.”


Now Available in Paperback

The Drunkard’s Walk: How Randomness Rules Our Lives by Leonard Mlodinow. Vintage; hardback published in 2008, paperback now available for $15; 272 pages. Publication date May 5.


Jacob’s Legacy: A Genetic View of Jewish History by David B. Goldstein. Yale; hardback published in 2008, paperback now available for $17; 176 pages. Publication date May 12.


Received during the week ended 4/24/09

Masters of Sex: The Life and Times of William Masters and Virginia Johnson, the Couple Who America How to Love by Thomas Maier. Basic Books, $27.50, 432 pages. Publication date April 20. Maier is the author of several previous books, including Dr. Spock: An American Life. “Before Sex in the City and Viagra, we had Masters and Johnson — the pioneering research team that, through the biggest sex experiment in U.S. history, uncovered the mysteries of sex and taught America how to love.”


Fighting Cancer with Knowledge and Hope: A Guide for Patients, Families, and Health Care Providers by Richard C. Frank. Yale; hardback $28, paperback $18; 264 pages. Publication date April 21. The author is director od cancer research at Norwalk Hospital in Connecticut. This book “offers comfort and help to cancer patients, their families, and caretakers ... explaining in plain language the ways to confront and combat [the disease].”


The Vanishing Face of Gaia: A Final Warning by James Lovelock. Basic Books, $25, 288 pages. Publication date May 1. Lovelock is a fellow of the Royal Society and the author of six previous books, including The Revenge of Gaia. In this book, he “argues that there is nothing we can do now to prevent he Earth from moving toward a hotter state, and explores practical ways we can still save ourselves ...” 


Wednesday Is Indigo Blue: Discovering the Brain of Synesthesia by Richard E. Cytowic and David M. Eagleman. MIT Press, $29.95, 309 pages. Publication date May 1. Cytowic teaches at George Washington University Medical Center and is the author of Synesthesia; his coauthor is a neuroscientist at Baylor College of Medicine. Here, they “explain the neuroscience behind synesthesia’s multisensory experiences.”


Now Available in Paperback

The Woman Who Can’t Forget: The Extraordinary Story of Living with the Most Remarkable Memory Known to Science — A Memoir by Jill Price (with Bart Davis). Free Press; hardback published in 2008, paperback now available for $15; 263 pages. Publication date May 5. 


Received during the week ended 4/17/09

The Ego Tunnel: The Science of the Mind and the Myth of the Self by Thomas Metzinger. Basic Books, $24.50, 288 pages. Publication date April 6. Metzinger directs the The Theoretical Philosophy Group at Johannes Gutenberg University and is the author of several books, including Being No One. Here, he presents a new “view of consciousness, reality, and the self. He claims that a ‘self’ is simply a model created by our brain — a virtual reality that we create for ourselves.” Advance reading copy previewed here on 4/3/09.


Summer World: A Season of Bounty by Bernd Heinrich. Ecco, $26.99, 272 pages. Publication date April 7. Heinrich is professor emeritus of biology at the University of Vermont and the author of several previous books, including Winter World. Here, he “gives readers an up close and personal, accessible and eloquent look at animal survival in summer.” 


In Mortal Hands: A Cautionary History of the Nuclear Age by Stephanie Cooke. Bloomsbury, $27, 496 pages. Advance reading copy. Publication date April. The author is a reporter and editor covering the nuclear industry. “This provocative history of nuclear power is perfectly timed for today, when Americans are gravely concerned with nuclear terrorism and a nuclear renaissance is seen as a possible solution to global warming.”


Pavlov’s Dogs and Schrödinger’s Cat: Scenes from the Living Laboratory by Rom Harré. Oxford, $34.95, 322 pages. Publication date April 16. The author is emeritus professor of philosophy at Linacre College, Oxford. In this book he “sets aside moral reflection to simply examine over five centuries of history of how and why living creatures have been used for the purposes of discovery.”


The Lives of Ants by Laurent Keller and Elisabeth Gordon. Oxford, $27.95, 252 pages. Publication date April 17. Keller is professor of ecology at the University of Lausanne; Gordon is a freelance journalist. This book plumbs “the depths of ant behavior to expose even the most elaborate habits and inclinations ... [including] apparent genetic altruism ...” 


Now Available in Paperback

The Legacy of the Mastodon: The Golden Age of Fossils in America by Keith Thomson. Yale; hardback published in 2008, paperback now available for $23; 424 pages. Publication date April 28.


Received during the week ended 4/3/09

Life List: A Woman’s Quest for the World’s Most Amazing Birds by Olivia Gentile. Bloomsbury, $26, 352 pages. Publication date April 7. The author was a reporter for The Hartford Courant. Here, she tells the story of Phoebe Snetsinger, a “housewife from the Midwest ... [who] travelled the world for ... 18 years and saw more bird species than anyone in history.”


Understanding Perennials: A New Look at an Old Favorite by William Cullina. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $40, 272 pages. Publication date April 9. Cullina is the plant and garden curator at the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens and the author of Understanding Orchids, Native Trees, Shrubs. This book is a “visually beautiful guide to working with perennials and helping them flourish ...” 


Triumph of the Heart: The Story of Statins by Jie Jack Li. Oxford, $29.95, 201 pages. Publication date April 9. Li is the author of Laughing Gas, Viagra, and Lipitor: The Human Stories Behind the Drugs We Use. In this book, “he traces the evolution of the statins from the beginning up through the present-day.”


The Ego Tunnel: The Science of the Mind and the Myth of the Self by Thomas Metzinger. Basic Books, $27.50, 288 pages. Advance reading copy. Publication date April. Metzinger directs the The Theoretical Philosophy Group at Johannes Gutenberg University and is the author of several books, including Being No One. Here, he presents a new “view of consciousness, reality, and the self. He claims that a ‘self’ is simply a model created by our brain — a virtual reality that we create for ourselves.”


Received during the week ended 3/27/09

Nanoscale: Visualizing an Invisible World by Kenneth S. and Stephen E. Deffeyes. MIT Press, $21.95, 133 pages. Publication date March 31. Kenneth is professor emeritus of geology at Princeton; Stephen is an illustrator. This book gives “a beautiful, fascinating, and charming tour of the molecular structure of materials,”


Clouds in the Perturbed Climate System: Their Relationship to Energy Balance, Atmospheric Dynamics, and Precipitation edited by Jost Heintzenberg and Robert J. Charlson. MIT Press, $40, 576 pages. Publication date March 31. Heintzenberg is a professor at the University of Leipzig; Charlson is professor emeritus at Washington University. “This book... explores the boundaries of current knowledge on the spatial/temporal variability of clouds and cloud-related aerosols...”


The Day We Found the Universe by Marcia Bartusiak. Pantheon, $27.95, 338 pages. Publication date April 7. Bartusiak teaches science writing at MIT and is the author of several previous books, including Through a Universe Darkly. This book tells the story of Edwin Hubble, who discovered that the universe “was a thousand trillion times larger than previously believed and filled with myriad galaxies like our own.” 


Owls of the World by Claus König and Friedhelm Weick. Yale, $75, 512 pages. Publication date April 7. König is emeritus professor of zoology at Stuttgart University; Weick is an established bird artist. This is an “important reference book as well as identification guide...[that] encompasses the 250 known species and many subspecies of owl...”


Now Available in Paperback

Fixing Climate: What Past Climate Changes Reveal About the Current Threat — and How to Counter It by Wallace S. Broecker and Robert Kunzig. Hill and Wang; hardback published in 2008, paperback now available for $15; 253 pages. Publication date April 7.


Received during the week ended 3/20/09

Healing Through Exercise: A New Way to Prevent and Overcome Illness — and Lengthen Your Life by Jörg Blech. Da Capo, $26, 243 pages. Publication date March 15. The author “concludes that exercise not only prevents but treats many of the major diseases afflicting Americans today, including osteoporosis, asthma, osteoarthritis, chronic pain, and type 2 diabetes.” Advance reading copy previewed here on March 6.


Finding Our Tongues: Mothers, Infants & the Origins of Language by Dean Falk. Basic Books, $26.96, 256 pages. Publication date March 23. Falk is professor of anthropology at the Florida State University and the the author of Braindance. In this book, she offers a theory “that baby talk — or ‘Motherese’ — established the foundation for spoken language, music, and art.” Advance reading copy previewed here on February 27.


Adam’s Tongue: How Humans Made Language, How Language Made Humans by Derek Bickerton. Hill and Wang, $27.50, 286 pages. Publication date March 24. Bickerton is professor emeritus of linguistics at he University of Hawaii and the author of Bastard Tongues. Here, he “deploys his trademark informal style to tackle ... [a big] issue: the origin and evolution of language itself.”


How God Changes Your Brain: Breakthrough Findings from a Leading Neuroscientist by Andrew Newberg and Mark Robert Waldman. Ballantine, $27, 348 pages. Publication date March 24. Newberg is the director of and Waldman is an associate fellow of the Center for Spirituality and the Mind at the University of Pennsylvania. “Based on new evidence from brain-scan studies ... [the authors] “prove that active and positive spiritual belief changes the human brain for the better.”


Late Arrivals

Einstein’s Telescope: The Hunt for Dark Matter and Dark Energy in the Universe by Evalyn Gates. W.W. Norton, $25.95, 305 pages. Publication date February 23.


Received during the week ended 3/13/09

Bond of Union: Building the Erie Canal and the American Empire by Gerard Koeppel. Da Capo, $27.95, 454 pages. Publication date March 15. Koeppel is the author of Water for Gotham. This book “tells the story of the creation of the Eerie Canal, from its conception in 1807 ... to the canal’s completion in 1825, making it the first great bond between the seaboard American nation and the vast continental interior.”


How to Build a Dinosaur: Extinction Doesn’t Have to Be Forever by Jack Horner and James Gorman. Dutton, $25.95, 246 pages. Publication date March 19. Horner is the author of several previous books and a professor of paleontology at Montana State University; Gorman is the editor of The New York Times Science Times section. This book reveals “how scientists are laying the ground work needed to build a dinosaur — a chickenosaurus — without using ancient dinosaur DNA or changing a single gene.”


What I Require from Life: Writings on Science and Life from J.B.S. Haldane edited by Krishna Dronamraju. Oxford, $29.95, 231 pages. Publication date March 19. The editor was a student and an associate of Haldane in India. This book is “a collection of Haldane’s popular science essays.”


Normal at Any Cost: Tall Girls, Short Boys, and the Medical Industry’s Quest to Manipulate Height by Susan Cohen and Christine Cosgrove. Tarcher/Penguin, $26.95, 405 pages. Publication date March 19. The coauthors are veteran journalists. This book tells how children “who don’t fit into socially constructed height norms have been given pills, injections, hormones and supplements ... even though the long term effects remain unknown.”


Received during the week ended 3/6/09

Loch Ness Monsters and Raining Frogs: The World’s Most Puzzling Mysteries Solved by Albert Jack. Random House trade Paperback, $15, 247 pages. Publication date March 10. Jack is the author of Red herrings and White Elephants. In this book, he goes “hunting for the truth behind more than thirty of the most famous and baffling conundrums in history.”


Crave: Why You Binge Eat and How to Stop by Cynthia M. Bulik. Walker paperback original, $16, 288 pages. Advance reading copy. Publication date March. The author is director of the Eating Disorders Program at the University of North carolina. “binge eating disorder is the most prevalent eating disorder in the Unite States ... this new book shows the binge eater, step by step, how to “curb the crave.’”


Healing Through Exercise: A New Way to Prevent and Overcome Illness — and Lengthen Your Life by Jörg Blech. Da Capo, $26, 240 pages. Advance reading copy. Publication date March. The author “concludes that exercise not only prevents but treats many of the major diseases afflicting Americans today, including osteoporosis, asthma, osteoarthritis, chronic pain, and type 2 diabetes.”


Now Available in Paperback

The Secret Pulse of Time: Making Sense of Life’s Scarcest Commodity by Steffan Klein. Da Capo; hardback published in 2007, paperback now available for $14.95; 352 pages. Publication date March 1.


The Future of the Internet — And How to Stop It by Jonathan Zittrain. Yale; hardback published in 2008, paperback now available for $17; 352 pages. Publication date March 17.


Late Arrivals

On the Origin of the Human Mind by Andrey Vyshedskiy. MobileReference, $24.95, 196 pages. Publication date December 2008.


Received during the weeks ended 2/27/09

Uranium: War, Energy, and the Rock That Shaped the World by Tom Zoellner. Viking, $26.95, 337 pages. Publication date March 9.  Zoellner is a journalist and the author of The Heartless Stone. This book is an “up-to-date ‘biography’ of uranium ... [which is] at the center of the standoffs with North Korea and Iran, and part of the debate on global warming.”


The Longevity Revolution: The Benefits and Challenges of Living a Long Life by Robert N. Butler. Public Affairs, $30, 477 pages. Advance reading copy. Publication date March. Butler is a physician, a founding director of the NIH’s National Institute on Aging. and the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Why Survive. Here, “he brings his formidable knowledge and experience in aging issues to a recent and unprecedented achievement: the extension of human life expectancy by thirty years.”


Finding Our Tongues: Mothers, Infants & the Origins of Language by Dean Falk. Basic Books, $26.96, 240 pages. Advance reading copy. Publication date March. Falk is professor of anthropology at the Florida State University and the the author of Braindance. In this book, she offers a theory “that baby talk — or ‘Motherese’ — established the foundation for spoken language, music, and art.”


Now Available in Paperback

Scientists Debate Gaia: The Next Century edited by Stephen H. Schneider, James R. Miller, Eileen Crist, and Penelope J. Boston. MIT Press; hardback published in 2004, paperback now available for $30; 377 pages. Publication date February 23.


The Man Who Shocked the World: The Life and Legacy of Stanley Milgram by Thomas Blass. Basic Books; hardback published in 2004, paperback now available for $16.95; 368 pages. Publication date March 3.


Received during the weeks ended 2/20/09

Lies, Damned Lies, and Science: How to Sort Through the Noise Around Global Warming, the Latest Health Claims, and Other Scientific Controversies by Sherry Seethaler. FT Press, $24.99, 184 pages. Advance reading copy. Publication date February. The author is a science writer. In this book, she reveals “the tricks self-interested players use to mislead and confuse the American public ... [and] identifies sources of information that can be relied upon to make better informed decisions in regards to personal health ...”


Decoding the Heavens: A 2,000 Year Old Computer — And the Century-Long Search to Discover Its Secrets by Jo Marchant. Da Capo, $25, 328 pages. Publication date March 1. The author is a science journalist. Here, she “takes readers on the one-hundred year quest to decode this ancient computer [the Antikythera Mechanism] — an adventure that mingles fate, historical intrigue, and modern scientific innovation.”


Now Available in Paperback

The Nurture Assumption: Why Children Turn Out the Way They Do by Judith Rich Harris. Free Press; hardback published in 1998, updated paperback now available for $16.95; 448 pages. Publication date February 24.


The Secret History of the War on Cancer by Devra Davis. Basic Books; hardback published in 2007, paperback with new author’s epilogue now available for $18.95; 560 pages. Publication date March 2.


Floods, Famines, and Emperors: El Nino and the Fate of Civilizations by Brian Fagan. Basic Books; hardback published in 1999, paperback now available for $17.95; 352 pages. Publication date March 2.


Received during the weeks ended 2/13/09

Made for Each Other: The Biology of the Human-Animal Bond by Meg Daley Olmert. Da Capo, $26, 320 pages. Publication date February 15. The author is a television producer. This book identifies “the biological components that have made the human/animal bond possible.”


It Takes a Genome: How a Clash Between Our Genes and Modern Life Is Making Us Sick by Greg Gibson. FT Press, $24.99, 208 pages. Advance reading copy. Publication date February. The author is a professor of genetics at North Carolina State University and at University of Queensland, Australia. Here, he contends that “our genes and our cultures are at war. Our bodies were never designed to subsist on fat and sugary foods; our immune systems weren’t for today’s clean, bland environments ... And that is why so many of us suffer from chronic diseases that barely touched our ancestors.”


The House of Wisdom: How the Arabs Transformed Western Civilization by Jonathan Lyons. Bloomsbury, $26, 272 pages. Advance reading copy. Publication date February. The author has been an editor and foreign correspondent in the Muslim world. In this book, he “shows just how much ‘Western’ culture owes to the glories of medieval Arab civilizations ...”


Chemical Bonds by Phillip Manning. Chelsea House, $35, 134 pages. Publication date January 31. This book is aimed at high school students who want to learn some serious chemistry. The author, although undistinguished, is a favorite of mine. 


Now Available in Paperback

Gaming the Vote: Why Elections Aren’t Fair (and What We Can Do About It) by William Poundstone. Hill and Wang; hardback published in 2008, paperback now available for $15; 338 pages. Publication date February 24.


Received during the weeks ended 2/6/09

Remarkable Creatures: Epic Adventures in the Search for the Origins of Species by Sean B. Carroll. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $26, 331 pages. Publication date February 10. Carroll is professor of molecular biology and genetics at the University of Wisconsin and the author of two previous books, including Endless Forms Most Beautiful. “Weaving the stories of ... pioneering naturalists into an accessible and compelling narrative, Carroll delivers an unforgettable and inspiring account of two centuries of dramatic discoveries that revealed the history of our world ...”


Sum: Forty Tales from the Afterlives by David Eagleman. Pantheon, $20, 110 pages. Publication date February 10. The author is a neuroscientist at Baylor College of Medicine. This book “offers us forty brilliantly original glimpses of what may be the world that awaits us.”


Cogent Science in Context: The Science Wars, Argumentation Theory, and Habermas by William Rehg, MIT Press, $40, 345 pages. Publication date February 12. The author is an associate professor of philosophy at Saint Louis University. Here, he “examines what makes scientific arguments cogent--that is, strong and convincing--and how we should assess that cogency.”


The Young Charles Darwin by Keith Thomson, Yale,$28, 288 pages, Publication date February 12. Thomson is professor emeritus of natural history at the University of Oxford and the author of numerous books, including The Legacy of the Mastodon. This book “concentrates on Darwin’s early life as a schoolboy, as a medical student at Edinburgh, as a theology student at Cambridge, and as a naturalist aboard the Beagle on its famous five-year voyage.”


Late Arrivals

Science and Islam: A History by Ehsan Masood. Icon Books, $21.25, 256 pages. Publication date January 8. This book ties in with a three-part series for BBC Radio 4 that starts on 16 February and will also be available as a podcast on www.bbc.co.uk/radio4.


Received during the weeks ended 1/30/09

Darwin’s Sacred cause: How a Hatred of Slavery Shaped Darwin’s Views on Human Evolution by Adrian Desmond and James Moore. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $30, 485 pages. Publication date January 28. The coauthors have numerous books to their credit, including The Devil’s Chaplain. In this book, they “argue that the driving force behind Darwin’s theory of evolution was his fierce abolitionism ... reinforced by his voyage on the Beagle as well as by events in America ...” 


The 10,000 Year Explosion: How Civilization Accelerated Human Evolution by Gregory Cochran and Henry Harpending. Basic Books, $27, 256 pages. Publication date February 2. Cochran is a physicist; his coauthor is a professor of anthropology at the University of Utah. “By studying human genomes in light of evolutionary theory ... [they] contend that the past 10,000 years — the period during which evolution is thought to have come to a halt — has actually been a time of rapid evolutionary change ...”


Blank Spots on the Map: The Dark Geography of the Pentagon’s Secret World by Trevor Paglen. Dutton, $25.95, 324 pages. Publication date February 5. Paglen is a geographer and the author of two previous books, including Torture Taxi. Here, he “embarks on an eye-opening journey, uncovering hidden underworlds across the globe that the government doesn’t want us to see ....”


The Crowded Universe: The Search for Living Planets by Alan Boss, Basic Books, $26, 256 pages. Publication date February 9. The author is a scientist at the Carnegie Institution of Washington. This book “takes readers on a journey through the past two decades of planet hunting, providing an inside, behind-the-scenes view of the science, the people,and the politics ...”


Received during the weeks ended 1/23/09

The Cosmic Connection: How Astronomical Events Impact Life on Earth by Jeff Kanipe. Prometheus, $27.98, 296 pages. Publication date January 13. Kanipe was managing editor of Astronomy magazine and the author three previous books, including Chasing Hubble’s Shadow. Here, he shows “how events in the near and far universe have influenced life on Earth today, and how they might influence life in the future.”


The Well Dressed Ape: A Natural History of Myself by Hannah Holmes. Random House, $25. 351 pages. Publication date January 20. Holmes is a science journalist and the author of two previous books, including The Secret Life of Dust. In this book, she compares and contrasts “the biology and behavior of humans with that of other creatures ... [and] demonstrates our position as an animal among other animals. a product of — and subject to — the same evolutionary processes.”  

 

What Intelligence Tests Miss: The Psychology of Rational Thought by Keith E. Stanovich. Yale, $30, 328 pages. Publication date January 27. Stanovich is a professor at the University of Toronto and the author of several previous books, including How to Think Straight about Psychology. Here, he “shows that IQ tests... fail to assess traits that most people associate with ‘good thinking,’ skills such as judgment and decision making.”


Foul Bodies: Cleanliness in Early America by Kathleen M. Brown. Yale, $45, 452 pages. Publication date January 27. The author is a professor of history at the University of Pennsylvania and the author of Good Wives, Nasty Wenches, and Anxious Patriarchs. This book “shows how a culture’s standards of cleanliness reveal its fear of disease, its ideals of civilization, and its expectations for public life.”


Now Available in Paperback

The Telephone Gambit: Chasing Alexander Graham Bell’s Secret by Seth Shulman. Norton; hardback published in 2008, paperback now available for $14.95; 256 pages. Publication date January 26.


Received during the weeks ended 1/16/09

Scientific Collaboration on the Internet edited by Gary M. Olson, Ann Zimmerman, and Nathan Bos. MIT Press, $45, 432 pages. Publication date January 12. Olson and Zimmerman are professors at the University of Michigan; Bos is a research scientist at the Applied Physics Lab of Johns Hopkins University. This book contends that “Modern science is increasingly collaborative ... and provides both broad and in-depth views of how new technology is enabling novel kinds of science and engineering collaboration.”


Banquet at Delmonico’s: Great Minds, the Gilded Age, and the Triumph of Evolution in America by Barry Werth. Random House, $27, 362 pages. Publication date January 13. Werth has authored several previous books, including 31 Days. Here, he tells “How a British book of science [Darwin’s The Origin of Species] came to radically change our entire national identity ...”


The Earth After Us: What Legacy Will Humans Leave in Rock? by Jan Zalasiewicz. Oxford, $34.95, 272 pages. Publication date January 15. The author is a lecturer in geology at the University of Leicester. This book “takes readers on a journey one hundred million years into the future and shares what interstellar explorers might discover within future strata.”


The New Glucose Revolution: Shopper’s Guide to GI Values by Jennie Brand-Miller and Kaye Foster-Powell, with Fiona Atkinson. Lifelong Books paperback original, $7.99 268 pages. Publication date January 15. This book is a “quick-reference resource to 1,250 foods and their GI [glycemic index] nutritional values.” 


Now Available in Paperback

Your Inner Fish: A Journey into the 3.5-Billion-Year History of the Human Body by Neil Shubin. Vintage; hardback published in 2008, hardback now available for $13,95; 240 pages. Publication date January 6.


Received during the weeks ended 1/9/09

The ESP Enigma: The Scientific Case for Psychic Phenomena by Diane Hennacy Powell. Walker, $25, 288 pages. Publication date January 2. The author is a physician. “Building from several well-designed and rigorously supervised experiments documenting the existence of telepathic interconnection, clairvoyance, precognition, psychokinesis, and out-of-body experiences, Powell constructs her theory [on the meaning and nature of consciousness].” Advance reading copy previewed here on 12/12/08.


Behind the Yellow Tape: On the Road with Some of America’s Hardest Working Crime Scene Investigators by Jarrett Hallcox and Amy Welch. Berkley paperback original, $15, 299 pages. Publication date January 6. The authors are former employees of the National Forensics Academy. In this book, “they reveal the fascinating details of forensic investigation hat, while gruesome, are much truer-to-life than even the boldest crime shows on television.” 


Why Evolution Is True by Jerry A. Coyne. Viking, $27.95, 282 pages. Publication date January 6. The author is a professor of ecology and evolution at the University of Chicago. This book aims to “dispel common misunderstandings about what evolution is, whether it’s a fact or only a ‘theory,’ and what its implications are for human culture ...”


The Bomb: A New History by Stephen M. Younger. Ecco, $26.99, 256 pages. Publication date January 6. The author was a senior fellow at Los Alamos National Laboratory. Here, he “describes how weapons work, the myths and realities of what happens after a nuclear explosion, and how nuclear policy evolved to what it is today."


Professor Stewart’s Cabinet of Mathematical Curiosities by Ian Stewart. Basic Books paperback original, $16.95, 336 pages. Publication date January 12. Stewart is a mathematics professor at the University of Warwick and the author of numerous books, including Letters to a Young Mathematician. This book “is the perfect introduction to the quirky and entertaining side of math for math-phobes -- and a refreshing reminder of its joys for math geeks.”

Received during the weeks ended 1/2/09

Food Fray: Inside the Controversy over Genetically Modified Food by Lisa H. Weasel. AMACOM, $23, 240 pages, Publication date December 30. The author os a professor of biology at Portland State University. In this book, she “sheds light on critical facts about agricultural biotechnology overshadowed by all the hype and hysteria ... [and] acknowledges both the potential peril and the promise of GM foodstuffs.”


The Age of Anxiety: A History of America’s Turbulent Affair with Tranquilizers by Andrea Tone. Basic Books, $26.95, 320 pages. Publication date January 5. Tone holds a research chair in the Social History of medicine at McGill University and is the author of Devices and Desires: A History of Contraceptives in America. This book “explores the ways we have sought to calm our nerves, from the Miltown sensation of the 1950s to Xanax and Paxil in the 21st century.”


Is God a Mathematician? by Mario Livio. Simon & Schuster, $26, 308 pages. Publication date January 6. Livio is an astrophysicist at the Hubble Space telescope Science Institute and the author of three previous books, including The Golden Ratio. Here, the author asks the following question and attempts to answer it: “If mathematics is an abstract construction of the human mind, as Einstein famously postulated, then why does it so perfectly explain the physical world.“


Now Available in Paperback

Copernicus’ Secret: How the Scientific Revolution Began by Jack Repcheck. Simon & Schuster Paperbacks; hardback published in 2007, paperback now available for $16; 239 pages. Publication date December 9.


Censoring Science: Inside the Political Attack on Dr. James Hansen and the Truth of Global Warming by Mark Bowen. Plume; hardback published in 2007, paperback now available for $16; 324 pages. Publication date December 30. 


Intern: A Doctor’s Initiation by Sandeep Jauhar. Farrar, Straus & Giroux; hardback published in 2008, paperback now available for $15; 300 pages. $25, Publication date January 5.


Emerald City: An Environmental History of Seattle by Matthew Klingle. Yale; hardback published in 2007, paper back now available for $20; 400 pages. Publication date January 6.


What Is Emotion? by Jerome Kagan. Yale; hardback published in 2007, paperback now available for $17; 288 pages. Publication date January 6.


Received during the week ended 12/12/08

Every Living Thing: Man’s Obsessive Quest to Catalog Life, from Nanobacteria to New Monkeys by Rob Dunn. Smithsonian, $26.95, 272 pages. The author is an assistant professor of ecology at North carolina State University. This book “is the engaging story of humanity’s unending quest to discover every living thing in our natural world ...”


The ESP Enigma: The Scientific Case for Psychic Phenomena by Diane Hennacy Powell. Walker, $25, 288 pages. Advance reading copy. Publication date January 2. The author is a physician. “Building from several well-designed and rigorously supervised experiments documenting the existence of telepathic interconnection, clairvoyance, precognition, psychokinesis, and out-of-body experiences, Powell constructs her theory [on the meaning and nature of consciousness].”


Now Available in Paperback

A Force of Nature: The Frontier Genius of Ernest Rutherford by Richard Reeves. Atlas; hardback published earlier this year, paperback now available for $14.95; 208 pages. Publication date December 15.


Late Arrivals

The Airplane: How Ideas Gave Us Wings by Jay Spencer. Collins/Smithsonian Books, $25.95, 320 pages. Publication date November.


Received during the week ended 12/5/08

Paracelsus: Medicine, Magic and Mission at the End of Time by Charles Webster. Yale, $40, 344 pages. Publication date December 16. Webster is a historian of medicine, a professional fellow at All Souls College, Oxford, and the author of several previous books, including From Paracelsus to Newton. This book is a biography of the 16th century “physician, natural magician, radical activist of the early Reformation, and commentator on the social and religious issues of his day.”


The Invention of Air: A Story of Science, Faith, Revolution, and the Birth of America by Steven Johnson, Riverhead, $25.95, 256 pages. Publication date January 2. Johnson is the author of several previous books, including The Ghost Map. This book tells the story of Joseph Priestley, the acclaimed English scientist who emigrated to the United States in 1794. It offers “stimulating new perspectives on the Founding Fathers and the current debate about the relationship between science and religion ...”


Now Available in Paperback

The Internet Imaginaire by Patrice Flichy. MIT Press; hardback published in 2007, paperback now available for $15.95; 264 pages. Publication date November 28.


Received during the week ended 11/28/08

The Pleasure Center: Trust Your Animal Instincts by Marten L. Kringelbach. Oxford, $24.95, 291 pages. Publication date December 4. The author is a research fellow in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Oxford. He argues that we should “give into what we are craving instead of assuming that our desires are only temptations we need to resist.” 


Freaks of Nature: What Anomalies Tell Us About Development and Evolution by Mark S. Blumberg. Oxford, $22.95, 326 pages. Publication date December 4. Blumberg is a professor at the University of Iowa and the author of two previous books, In this book, he “turns a scientist’s eye on the oddities of nature, showing how a subject once relegated to the sideshow can help explain some of the deepest complexities of biology.”


Late Arrivals

The Complete Idiot's Guide to String Theory by George Musser. Alpha paperback original, $16.95, 334 pages.


Received during the week ended 11/21/08

Eating the Sun: How Plants Power the Planet by Oliver Morton. HarperCollins, $28.95, 480 pages. Publication date November 18. Morton is an editor at the journal Nature and the author of Mapping Mars. “Too understand the complicated energy issues we face ... Morton argues that we have to understand the biology that shapes our world, in particular the process of photosynthesis.”


Sex and War: How Biology Explains Warfare and Terrorism and Offers a Path to a Safer World by Malcolm Potts and Thomas Hayden. BenBella Books, $24.95, 387 pages. Publication date December 1. Potts is a professor at the University of California, Berkeley, and the author of Queen Victoria’s Gene; Hayden is a freelance journalist and coauthor of On Call in Hell. In this book, they “examine the biological origins of organized violence, tracing its development from ancient raids and battles to modern warfare and terrorism.”


Now Available in Paperback

Overdose: How Excessive Government Regulation Stifles Pharmaceutical Innovation by Richard A. Epstein. Yale; hardback published in 2006, paperback now available for $22; 283 pages. Publication date December 2.


Shyness: How Normal Behavior Became a Sickness by Christopher Lane. Yale; hardback published in 2007, paperback now available for $18; 272 pages. Publication date December 2.


Babies by Design: The Ethics of Genetic Choice by Ronald M. Green. Yale; hardback published in 2007, paperback now available for $17; 288 pages. Publication date December 2.


Received during the week ended 11/14/08

Life Explained by Michel Morange, translated from the French by Matthew Cobb and Malcolm DeBevoise. Yale, $25, 224 pages. Publication date November 25. Morange is a professor of biology at the Ecole Normale Supérieure in Paris and the author of two previous books, including The Misunderstood Gene. This book “draws on recent advances in molecular genetics, evolutionary biology, astrobiology, and other disciplines to find today’s answers to the question of life.”


Wooden Books. This is Walker & Company’s series of “concise, accessible introductions to timeless sciences and vanishing arts .... Recreating the essence of medieval texts through elegant designs and writing, they are invaluable sources of information and inspiration.” What follows is the latest in this series of small books, each of which sells for $12 and is 64 pages long.

 *The Elements of Music: Melody, Rhythm, and Harmony by 

  Jason Martineau.

 *Evolution: The Little History of a Great Idea by Gerard 

  Cheshire.

 *Mind Tricks: Ancient and Modern by Steven Saunders.


Now Available in Paperback

Evil Genes: Why Rome Fell, Enron Failed, and My Sister Stole My Mother’s Boyfriend by Barbara Oakley. Prometherus; hardback published in 2007, paperback now available for $18.98; 471 pages. Publication date November.


The Great Lead Water Pipe Disaster by Werner Troesken. MIT; hardback originally published in 2006, paperback now available for $15.95; 328 pages. Publication date November 17.


Received during the week ended 11/7/08

Earthrise: How We First Saw Ourselves by Robert Poole. Yale, $26, 256 pages. Advance reading copy. Publication date November 6. The author is a Reader in History at the University of Cumbria. This book “tells the remarkable story of the first photographs of Earth from space and the totally unexpected impact of those images.”


Don’t Sleep, There Are Snakes: Life and Language in the Amazonian Jungle by Daniel L Everitt. Pantheon, $26.95, 282 pages. Publication date November 11. The author is the Chair of Language, Literatures, and cultures at Illinois State University. The author spent years deep in the Amazonian jungles studying t a remote tribe of natives. His work with the tribe led him “to he remarkable conclusion that language is not universally constructed, but rather that it is culturally conceived and ultimately linked to how and where we live our lives.”


The Age of Entanglement: When Quantum Physics Was Reborn by Louisa Gilder. Knopf, $27.50, 432 pages. Advance reading copy. Publication date November 12. “A wonderfully inventive and illuminating exploration of entanglement — the seemingly telepathic correlation between two separated particles — one of the fundamental concepts of quantum physics.


The Inner History of Devices edited by Sherry Turkle. The MIT Press, $24.95, 208 pages. Publication date November 15. Turkle is Professor of the Social Studies of Science and Technology at MIT and the author of several previous books, including The Second Self. The author tells how “technology enters our private lives.  ... [and] reveals how what we make is woven into our ways of seeing ourselves.” 


The Georgian Star: How William and Caroline Herschel Revolutionized Our Understanding of the Cosmos by Michael Lemonick. Atlas/W.W. Norton, $23.95, 199 pages. Publication date November 17. Lemonick was a senior writer for Time magazine and is the author of three previous books, including Other Worlds. This book tells the story of two eighteenth-century self-taught astronomers, William and Caroline Herschel, who discovered the planet Uranus. The author “illuminates their pursuit in a lively biography of a time, a science, and a family who made history.” 


Now Available in Paperback

The Dirt on Clean: An Unsanitized History by Katherine Ashenburg. North Point Press; hardback published in 2007, paperback now available for $15; 356 pages. $24, 356 pages. Publication date November 4.


Bears: A Brief History by Bernd Brunner, translated from German by Lori Lantz. Yale; hardback published in 2007, paperback now available for $15; 272 pages. Publication date December 2.


Received during the week ended 10/31/08

Sun in a Bottle: The Strange History of Fusion and the Science of Wishful Thinking by Charles Seife. Viking, $25.95, 304 pages. Publication date October 30. Seife is an associate professor of journalism at New York University and the author of several books, including Zero. Here, he “explores mankind’s attempts to harvest the power of the sun, and the political and scientific battles and misfires surrounding fusion research.”


Snake Oil Science: The Truth About Complementary and Alternative Medicine by R. Barker Bausell. Oxford, $24.95, 352 pages. Publication date October 31. Bausell is a professor at the University of Maryland and the author of several books, including Designing Meaningful Experiments. This book is “an authoritative critique of the strangely zealous world of CAM [complementary and alternative medicine] belief and practice ...”


Jetpack Dreams: One Man’s Up and Down (but Mostly Down) Search for the Greatest Invention That Never Was by Mac Montandon. Da Capo, $25, 262 pages. Publication date November 1. The author is a journalist. This book chronicles his “quest for the promised new millennium that never quite arrived: a world where any person, at any time, could strap on a rocket and take flight.”


Blunder: Why Smart People Make Bad Decisions by Zachary Shore. Bloomsbury, $25, 264 pages. Publication date November 3. Shore ia professor of national security affair at the Naval Postgraduate School and the author of two previous books, including What Hitler Knew. In this book, he “explains how people end up continually defeating themselves: with rigid mind-sets that lead to bad decision making.” 


Now Available in Paperback

Terra: Our 100-Million-Year-Old Ecosystem — and the Threats That Now Put It at Risk by Michael Novacek. Farrar, Sraus & Giroux; hardback published in 2007, paperback now available for $16; 448 pages. Publication date November 18.


Late Arrivals

The Unimaginable Mathematics of Borges’ Library of Babel by William Goldbloom Bloch. Oxford, ,$19.95, 192 pages. Publication date August 25.


Received during the week ended 10/24/08

Cathedrals of Science: The Personalities and Rivalries That Made Modern Chemistry by Patrick Coffey. Oxford, $29.95, 379 pages. Publication date October 2. The author is the cofounder of several scientific instrument companies. This book “explores the birth of modern chemistry through the trials and tribulations of its creators ... Svante Arrhenius, Walther Nernst, Gilbert Lewis and Fritz Haber ...”


Six-legged Soldiers: Using Insects as Weapons of War by Jeffrey A. Lockwood. Oxford, $27.95, 377 pages. Publication date October 16. Lockwood is Professor of Natural Sciences & Humanities at the University of Wyoming and the author two previous books, including Grasshopper Dreaming. Here, he “chronicles the many ways that scientists, military strategists, and terrorists have used bugs to torture, starve, and kill their targets.”


Flowers and Herbs of Early America by Lawrence D. Griffin, photography by Barbara Temple Lombardi. Yale, $50, 304 pages. Publication date October 28. Griffin is a plant curator at the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation; his coauthor is a photographer who has contributed to books sponsored by the Foundation. Their book is a “guide for today’s heirloom gardeners as well as an important contribution to our understanding of colonial and early Federal life.”


Now Available in Paperback

Solar Revolution: The Economic Transformation of the Global Energy Industry by Travis Bradford. MIT Press; originally published in 2006, paperback now available for $14.95; 254 pages. Publication date October 21.


Late Arrivals

Blessed days of Anaesthesia: How Anaesthetics Changed the World by Stephanie J. Snow. Oxford, $34.95, 256 pages. Publication date September 24.


Feathered Dinosaurs: The Origin of Birds by John Long and Peter Schouten. Oxford, #39.95, 208 pages. Publication date September 18.


Received during the week ended 10/17/08

The Best American Science and Nature Writing edited by Jerome Groopman. Houghton Mifflin; hardback $28, paperback $14; 320 pages. Advance reading copy. Publication date October 8. Groopman is a professor of medicine at Harvard, a staff writer for The New Yorker, and the author of several books, including How Doctors Think. Contributors include Robin Marantz Henig, Freeman Dyson, and Oliver Sacks.


Dolphin Mysteries: Unlocking the Secrets of Communication by Kathleen M. Dudzinski and Toni Frohoff. Yale, $30, 272 pages. Publication date October 14. Both authors are scientists with extensive backgrounds in studying dolphin behavior. In this book, they “take us into the dolphins’ aquatic world to witness first hand how they live their lives ...”


CO2 Rising: The World’s Greatest Environmental Challenge by Tyler Volk. The MIT Press, $22.95, 223 pages. Publication date October 20. Volk is an associate professor of biology at New York University and the author of Gaia’s Body. “Tyler Volk explains the process at the heart of global warming ...The most colossal environmental disturbance in human history ...”


Now Available in Paperback

The Jewel House: Elizabethan London and the Scientific Revolution by Deborah Harkness. Yale University Press; hardback published in 2007, paperback now available for $18; 384 pages. Publication date October 28.


Received during the week ended 10/10/08

Future Bioethics: Overcoming Taboos, Myths, and Dogmas by Ronald A. Lindsay. Prometheus, $28.95, 340 pages. Publication date September 30. The author is a senior research fellow at the Center for Inquiry. “Each novel development in biomedical technology seems to spark rancorous disputes.” This book “seeks to reframe the debates surrounding surrounding current controversies in bioethics.” 


The Unfinished Game: Pascal, Fermat, and the Seventeenth-Century Letter that Made the World Modern by Keith Devlin. Basic Books, $24.95, 208 pages. Publication date October 1. Devlin is a consulting professor of mathematics at Stanford University and the author twenty-six books, including The Math Instinct. Here, he “shows how a single correspondence created the field of probability theory, giving rise to the insurance industry, finance, casinos, risk analysis, and much more.”


Cultivating Science, Harvesting Power: Science and Industrial Agriculture in California by Christopher R. Henke. MIT Press, $32, 256 pages. Publication date October 1. The author is an assistant professor of sociology at Colgate University. This book “explores the ways science helped build the Salinas Valley and California’s broader farm industry.”


Hello Everybody: The Dawn of American Radio by Anthony Rudel. Harcourt, $26, 416 pages. Publication date October 6. Rudel was a radio station executive and is the author of three previous books. In this book, he “tells the story of the boisterous years when radio took its place in the nation’s living room ...”


Now Available in Paperback

Present at the Future: From Evolution to Nanotechnology. Candid and Controversial Conversations on Science and Nature by Ira Flatow. Collins, $13.95, 362 pages. Publication date August 26.


Late Arrivals

Hippocrates’ Shadow: Secrets from the House of Medicine by David H. Newman. Scribner, $25, 226 pages. Publication date September 9. Advance reading copy previewed on September 12 in “What’s New in Science Books” at http://www.scibooks.org


Received during the week ended 10/3/08

The Faith of Scientists: In Their Own Words edited by Nancy K. Frankenberry. Princeton, $29.95, 542 pages. Publication date September 24. The editor is a professor of religion at Dartmouth College. This book is “an anthology of writings by twenty-one legendary scientists, from ... [Galileo to Hawking] about their faith, their views about God, and the place religion holds — or doesn’t — in their lives ...” 


The Woman Who Walked into the Sea: Huntington’s and the Making of a Genetic Disease by Alice Wexler. Yale, $30, 288 pages. Publication date September 30. Wexler is a research scholar at UCLA and the author of Mapping Fate. “This book is the first history of Huntington’s [disease] in America.”


Stuck in the Shallow End: Education, Race, and Computing by Jane Margolis. MIT Press, $24.95, 201 pages. Publication date September 30. Margolis is a researcher at UCLA’s Graduate School of Education and Information Studies and the coauthor of Unlocking the Clubhouse. This book “looks at how existing social inequalities (overcrowding, etc.) were exacerbated in the computer science curriculum ...”


The Crime of Reason: And the Closing of the Scientific Mind by Robert B. Laughlin. Basic Books, $25.95, 224 pages. Publication date October 1. Laughlin is a physics professor at Stanford University and the author of A Different Physics. Here, he he “Argues that we are collectively relinquishing our intellectual rights  and that certain aspects of knowledge are already disappearing  ... because they are either deemed too dangerous or because hey are intellectual property.”


Now Available in Paperback

What Einstein Told His Cook: Kitchen Science Explained by Robert L. Wolke, W.W. Norton; hardback published in 2002, paperback now available for $15.95; 350 pages. Publication date October 13.


Received during the week ended 9/26/08

The Alchemy of Air: A Jewish Genius, a Doomed Tycoon, and the Scientific Discovery That Fed the World but Fueled the Rise of Hitler by Thomas Hager. Harmony Books, $24.95, 336 pages. Publication date September 9. Hager is the author of two previous books, including The Demon Under the Microscope. In 1898 one prominent scientist predicted mass starvation in a few decades. This book “tells the story of two geniuses [Fritz Haber and Carl Bosch] and the scientific discovery that ... averted the disaster ...”


Sustainability by Design: A Subversive Strategy for Transforming Our Consumer Culture by John R. Ehrenfeld. Yale, $28, 272 pages. Publication date September 23. Recently retired from MIT, the author is a Senior Research Scholar at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. Here, he “shifts the focus from the problem-oriented, remedial frame of sustainable development to a positive vision ...”


The Kingdom of Infinite Space: A Portrait of Your Head by Raymond Tallis. Yale, $28, 344 pages. Publication date September 23. Tallis is emeritus professor of medicine at the University of Manchester, UK, and the author of several books, including The Hand. His new book “challenges the currently dominant theory of the ‘neurophilosophers’ that the brain is the be all and end all of human consciousness.”


Now Available in Paperback

The Boys of Everest: Chris Bonington and the Tragedy of Climbing’s Greatest Generation by Clint Willis. Carroll & Graf imprint, distributed by Da Capo; hardback published in 2006, paperback now available for $18; 536 pages. Publication date September 28.


The Very First Light: The True Inside Story of the Scientific Journey Back to the Dawn of the Universe by John C. Mather and John Boslough, Basic Books; hardback published in 1996, revised and updated paperback edition now available for $17.95; 288 pages. Publication date October 6.


Quirkology: How We Discover the Big Truths in Small Things by Richard Wiseman. Basic Books; hardback published in 2007, paperback now available for $16; 323 pages. Publication date October 6.


Received during the week ended 9/19/08

H.G. Bronn, Ernst Haeckel, and the Origins of German Darwinism: A Study in Translation and Transformation by Sander Gliboff. MIT Press, $35, 272 pages. Publication date September 15. The author is a professor of history and the philosophy of science at Indiana University. This book “tells the story of how The Origin of Species came to translated into German, how it served Bronn’s purposes as well as Darwin’s, and how it challenged German scholars  to think in new ways ...”


Fruitless Fall: The Collapse of the Honeybee and the Coming Agricultural Crisis by Rowan Jacobsen. Bloomsbury, $25, 288 pages. Publication date September. Jacobsen is the author of two previous books, including A Geography of Oysters. Here, he “explains how the disappearance of the world’s honeybee population puts the food we eat at risk.”


The Castle of Dreams by Michel Jouvet. The MIT Press, $24.95, 313 pages. Publication date September 18. Jouvet is Emeritus Professor of Experimental Medicine at the University of Lyon and the author of The Paradox of Sleep. The author’s “cutting edge sleep research of the 1950s is intertwined with a fictitious story set two centuries ago.”


Lost Land of the Dodo: The Ecological History of Mauritius, Réunion, and Rodrigues by Anthony Cheke and Julian Hume. Yale, $55, 480 pages. Publication date September 23. Cheke has led expeditions to the Mascarene Islands; his coauthor is an artist and research fellow at the Natural History Museum in London. This book “deftly untangles the complex causes and effects of the Mascarenes’ ecological deterioration.”


Now Available in Paperback

Good Germs, Bad Germs: Health and Survival in a Bacterial World by Jessica Snyder Sachs. Hill and Wang; hardback published in 2007, paperback now available for $14; 290 pages. Publication date October 7.


Received during the week ended 9/12/08

Hot, Flat, and Crowded: Why We Need a Green Revolution -- and How It Can Renew America by Thomas L. Friedman. Farrar, Straus, & Giroux, $27.95, 438 pages. Publication date September 8. Friedman is a New York Times columnist and the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of four previous books, including The World is Flat. In this book, he “explains how drastic climate change, runaway population growth, and the swelling of the middle class ... have converged in a way that could make our planet dangerously unstable.”


Hippocrates’ Shadow: Secrets from the House of Medicine by David H. Newman. Scribner, $25, 226 pages. Advance reading copy. Publication date September 9. The author is an emergency room physician in New York City. The book “gives readers critical tools for questioning their doctors, and helps them to become informed partners in the decisions ...”


A Life Worth Living by Robert Martensen. Farrar, Straus & Giroux, $23, 220 pages. Publication date September 10. Martensen is a director at the National Institutes of Health and the author of a previous book The Brain takes Shape. In this book, he “demonstrates how we and our loved ones can maintain dignity and resilience in he face of [serious illnesses] life’s most daunting circumstances.”


Power Struggles: Scientific Authority and the Creation of Practical Electricity Before Edison by Michael Brian Schiffer. MIT Press, $38, 432 pages. Publication date September 12. Schiffer is professor of anthropology at the University of Arizona and the author of six previous books on technology. Here, he “examines the pioneering technologies and enterprises that paved the way for the commercialization of electricity ...”


Now Available in Paperback

The Psychology of Science and the Scientific Mind by Gregory J. Feist. Yale; hardback published in 2006,  paperback now available for $25; 336 pages. Publication date September 9.


Matters of Exchange: Commerce, Medicine, and Science in the Dutch Golden Age by Harold J. Cook. Yale; hardback published in 2007, paperback now available for $25; 576 pages. Publication date September 23.


Received during the week ended 9/5/08

Born Digital: Understanding the First Generation of Digital Natives by John Palfrey and Urs Gasser. Basic Books, $25.95, 288 pages. Publication date September 2. The authors are professors of law, Palfrey at Harvard and Gasser at the University of St. Gallen. This book “cuts through a lot of the hysteria that surrounds our constantly changing digital world and takes a reasoned, clear-eyed loot at the first generation of young people born into the digital age.”


Europe Between the Oceans: 9000 BC - AD 1000 by Barry Cunliffe. Yale, $39.95, 480 pages. Publication date September 2. Cunliffe is emeritus professor of archeology at the University of Oxford and the author od several books, including The Ancient Celts. This is “a bold book of exceptional scholarship, erudite and engaging, and it heralds an entirely new understanding of Old Europe.”


Global Catastrophes and Trends: The Next Fifty Years by Vaclav Smil. The MIT Press, $29.95, 320 pages. Publication date September 5. Smil is a professor at the University of Manitoba and the author numerous books, including Energy in Nature and Society. Here, he “assesses the probabilities over the coming five decades of the most important natural and anthropogenic catastrophes that are most likely to have global impact ...”


The Gulf Stream: Tiny Plankton, Giant Bluefin, and the Amazing Story of the Powerful River in the Atlantic by Stan Ulanski. University of North Carolina Press, $28, 232 pages. Publication date September 8. Ulanski is professor of geology and environmental science at James Madison University and the author of The Science of Fly Fishing. This book “explores the oceanography, biology, and human history of one of the last vestiges of wilderness on earth, the Gulf Stream ...”


Now Available in Paperback

Treatment Kind and Fair: Letters To a Young Doctor by Perri Klass. Basic Books; hardback published in 2007, paper back now available for $16; 256 pages. Publication date September 2.


The Body Has a Mind of Its Own: How Body Maps in Your Brain Help You Do (Almost) Everything Better by Sandra and Matthew Blakeslee. Random House; hardback published in 2007, paperback now available for $15; 228 pages. Publication date September 9.


Late Arrivals

Furnace of Creation, Cradle of Destruction: A Journey To the Birthplace of Earthquakes, Volcanoes, and Tsunamis by Roy Chester. Amacom Books, $24.95, 256 pages. Publication date August 12.


Received during the week ended 8/15/08

Dyslexia, Learning, and the Brain by Roderick I. Nicolson and Angela J. Fawcett. The MIT Press, $38, 283 pages. Publication date August 29. Nicolson is a psychology professor at the University of Sheffield; her coauthor is a professor at Swansea University. This book provides “a uniquely broad and coherent analysis of dyslexia theory.”


Fallen Giants: A History of Himalayan Mountaineering from the Age of Empire to the Age of Extremes by Maurice Isserman and Stewart Weaver. Yale, $39.95, 592 pages. Publication date September 2. The two authors are professors of history. Isserman is at Hamilton College; his coauthor teaches at the University of Rochester. This book is “the first comprehensive history of Himalayan mountaineering to be published since the 1950s ...”


The Lightness of Being: Mass, Ether, and the Unification of Forces by Frank Wilczek. Basic Books, $26.95, 270 pages. Publication date September 2. Wilczek. a physics professor at MIT, won the 2004 Nobel Prize in Physics and is the author of Longing for the Harmonies. This book tells of “the search for a theory that will explain the structure of all physical life — what some call the Holy Grail of physics.”



Now Available in Paperback

The Calculus Gallery: Masterpieces from Newton to Lebesque by William Dunham. Princeton University Press; hardback published in 2005, paperback now available for $19.95; 236 pages. Publication date July.


Storm World: Hurricanes, Politics, and the Battle Over Global Warming by Chris Mooney. Houghton Mifflin; hardback published in 1007, paperback now available for $15; 416 pages. Publication date August 4.


An Ocean of Air: Why the Wind Blows and Other Mysteries of the Atmosphere by Gabrielle Walker. Houghton Mifflin; hardback published in 2007, paperback now available for $14; 288 pages. Publication date August 4


Present at the Future: From Evolution to Nanotechnology. Candid and Controversial Conversations on Science and Nature by Ira Flatow. Collins; originally published in 2007, paperback now available for $13.95; 362 pages. Publication date August 26.


Received during the week ended 8/8/08

You Are What You Remember: A Pathbreaking Guide to Understanding and Interpreting Your Childhood Memories by Patrick Estrade, translated by Leah Brumer. Da Capo paperback original, $16.95, 254 pages. Publication date August 1. Estrade is a psychologist and psychotherapist and the author of several other books. In this book, “Estrade presents readers with a guide to unlocking their earliest memories ... [and] explains the meaning behind memories common to everyone ..


Building Biotechnology: Business * Regulations * Patents * Law * Politics * Science, Third Edition by Yali Friedman. Logos Press; hardback $89.95, paperback $64.95; 460 pages. Publication date August. The author is managing editor of the Journal of Commercial Biotechnology. This book “describes the convergence of scientific, political, regulatory, and commercial factors that drive the biotechnology industry ...”


The Global Achievement Gap: Why Even Our Best Schools Don’t Teach the New Survival Skills Our Children Need — and What We Can Do about It by Tony Wagner. Basic Books, $26.95. 283 pages. Publication date August 18. Wagner is Co-Director of the Change Leadership Group at the Harvard Graduate School of Education and the author of several previous books, including Making the Grade. Here, ”he asserts that students in even the best high schools in the country are not getting the education they need to be successful college students, competitive employees, and responsible citizens.”


Peterson Field Guide to Birds of North America by Roger Tory Peterson. Houghton Mifflin, $26, 544 pages. Publication date August 28. This is an updated version of the 1934 classic, featuring new paintings, revised text, and video podcasts.


Received during the week ended 8/2/08

Buzzed: The Straight Facts about the Most Used and Abused Drugs from Alcohol to Ecstasy (third edition) by Cynthia Kuhn, Scott Swartzwelder, and Wilkie Wilson. W.W. Norton paperback original, $18.95, 367 pages. Publication date August 4. The authors are professors at Duke University Medical Center. Originally published in 2008, this third edition aims “to provide unbiased, research-based information about how drugs affect the brain ...”


The Body Toxic: How the Hazardous Chemistry of Everyday Things Threatens Our Health and Well-being by Nena Baker. North Point Press, $24, 277 pages. Publication date August 12. The author is a journalist; this is her first book. Here, she posits that pollutants from ordinary things, from canned foods to dental floss, are “accumulating inside our bodies ... and the effects may be deadly.” 


Now Available in Paperback

The Physics of Christianity by Frank J. Tipler. Doubleday; hardback published in 2007, paperback now available for $15.95; 288 pages. Publication date August.


Received during the week ended 7/25/08

The Time Paradox: The New Psychology of Time that Will Change Your Life by Philip Zimbardo and John Boyd. Free Press, $27, 368 pages, Publication date August 5. Zimbardo is professor emeritus of psychology at Stanford and the author of The Lucifer Effect; Boyd is a manager at Google. With this book, “readers can understand their mental biases and what’s kept them too attached to the past, too focused on immediate gratification, or unhealthily obsessed with the future.”


Wild China: Natural Wonders of the World’s Most Enigmatic Land by Phil Chapman, et al. Yale soft cover, $29.95, 224 pages. Publication date August 5. Chapman has produced a BBC series, Wild China, that will air in August; his coauthors are also members of the Wild China team. This book explores China’s “dazzling array of ecosystems and ... wildlife habitats so diverse as to nearly stagger the imagination.”


Now Available in Paperback

The New Psychology of Love edited by Robert J. Sternberg and Karin Weis. Yale; hardback published in 2006, paperback now available for $20, 352 pages. Publication date July 29.


Received during the week ended 7/18/08

Six Impossible Things Before Breakfast by Lewis Wolpert. W. W. Norton paperback original, $15.95, 243 pages. Publication date July 21. Wolpert is a professor of biology at University College, London, and the author of Malignant Sadness. The author “leads us through he minds of psychedelic drug-takers, children, animals, and the average man-next-door to determine the biological, evolutionary basis of belief ...”


Now Available in Paperback

I Am a Strange Loop by Douglas Hofstadter. Basic Books,; hardback published in 2007, paperback now available for $16.95;  $26.95, 412 pages. Publication date July 14.


The Annotated Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions by Edwin A. Abbot, with Introduction and Notes by Ian Stewart. Basic Books; hardback published in 2002, paperback now available for $17.95; 239 pages. Publication date July 21.


Received during the week ended 7/11//08

“You Are What You Remember: A Pathbreaking Guide to Understanding and Interpreting Your Childhood Memories” by Patrick Estrade (translated from French by Leah Brumer). Da Capo paperback original, $17, 272 pages. Advance reading copy. Publication date July 15. Estrade is a psychologist and psychotherapist and the author of several other books. In this book, “Estrade presents readers with a guide to unlocking their earliest memories ... [and] explains the meaning behind memories common to everyone ..”


“Starting with Serotonin: How a High-Rolling Father of Drug Discovery Repeatedly Beat the Odds” by Ann G. Sjoerdsma. Improbable Books, $27.50, 615 pages. Publication date July 15. Ms. Sjoerdsma, a former journalist, tells the story of her father’s career in clinical pharmacology, including his discovery “a breakthrough antihypertensive drug (Aldomet) ...”


“Where the Wild Things Were: Life, Death, and Ecological Wreckage in a Land of Vanishing Predators” by William Stolzenburg. Bloomsbury, $24.99, 291 pages. Publication date July 21. The author writes features and columns for magazines. Here, he “profiles pioneering scientists as they explore diminished landscapes around the world, searching for the causes of and the solutions to the damage in ecosystems that have lost their great flesh-eating beasts.”


Received during the week ended 7/4//08

The Black Hole War: My Battle with Stephen Hawking to Make the World Safe for Quantum Mechanics by Leonard Susskind. Little, Brown; $27.99; 480 pages. Publication date July 7.

Susskind is  a professor of theoretical physics at Stanford and the author of The Cosmic Landscape. This book tells the story of the battle between Susskind, Hawking, and Gerard ‘t Hooft “over the true nature of black holes -- with nothing less than our understanding of the entire universe at stake.”


Barbarians to Angels: The Dark Ages Reconsidered by Peter S. Wells. W.W. Norton, $24.95. 240 pages. Publication date July 14. Wells is a professor of archeology at the University of Minnesota and the author of two previous books, including The Barbarians Speak. This book “shows how archeology is quickly rewriting a critical chapter in European history ... [[because new] archeological digs are unearthing a trove of evidence that proves this time period was vibrant in all ways ...”


The Carbon Age: How Life’s Core Element Has Become Civilization’s Greatest Threat by Eric Roston. Walker, $25, 309 pages. Publication date July 14. The author is a Senior Associate in the Washington, D. C., office of Duke University’s Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy. This book “chronicles how we have used it [carbon], often to surprising, and sometimes catastrophic, effect.”


Received during the week ended 6/27/08

Simplexity: Why Simple Things Become Complex (and How Complex Things Can Be Made Simple) by Jeffrey Kluger. Hyperion, $25.95, 324 pages. Publication date June 3. Kluger is a writer and editor at Time magazine and the author of several previous books, including Splendid Solution. “Things that seem complicated can be astoundingly simple; things that seem simple can be dizzyingly complex.” This realization has led to “ a whole new science — simplexity — that is redefining how we look at our world ...”


Side Effects: A Prosecutor, a Whistleblower and a Bestselling Antidepressant on Trial by Alison Bass. Algonquin Books, $24.95, 246 pages. Publication date June 17. Bass has covered medicine, science, and technology for the Boston Globe and other publications. This book tells how “The authors of an influential Paxil trial misrepresented data in order to minimize the [drug’s] suicide-related risks ...” which led to Paxil becoming the world's best-selling antidepressant in 2002. Advance reading copy previewed here on 6/13/08.


Rebels, Mavericks, and Heretics in Biology edited by Oren Harman and Michael R. Dietrich. Yale, $40, 416 pages. Publication date June 19. Harman is an assistant professor at Bar Ilan University in Israel; Dietrich an associate professor at Dartmouth. “This book is the first devoted to modern biology’s innovators and iconoclasts: men and women who challenged prevailing notions in their fields.” It features, among many others, Alfred Russel Wallace, Oswald Avery, and Carl Woese. 


Thank God for Evolution: How the Marriage of Science and Religion Will Transform Your Life and Our World by Michael Dowd, Viking, $24.95, 420 pages. Publication date June 23. Reverend Dowd “brings together believers and non-believers on both sides of the generation-old debate by showing how evolution is not meaningless blind chance; rather, it is the sacred story that embraces and includes all religions.”


Mortal Coil: A Short History of Living Longer by David Boyd Haycock. Yale, $30, 320 pages. Publication date July 3. The author is historian of culture and medicine at the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich, England. This book “explores the changing medical, scientific, and philosophical theories behind the quest for prolongation of human life.”


Now Available in Paperback

To Follow the Water: Exploring the Ocean to Discover Climate by Dallas Murphy. Basic Books; hardback published in 2007, paperback now available for $15.95; 278 pages. Publication date July 7.


Late Arrivals

How Math Explains the World: A Guide to the Power of Numbers, from Car Repair to Modern Physics by James D. Stein. Smithsonian Books, $24.95, 264 pages. Publication date April 22


Received during the week ended 6/13/08

The Power Makers: Steam, Electricity, and the Men Who Invented Modern America by Maury Klein. Blooomsbury, $29.99, 560 pages. Publication date June 12. Klein is professor emeritus at the University of Rhode island and the author of numerous books, including The Life and Legend of Jay Gould. “The story of America’s energy revolution is peopled by remarkable visionaries, and Maury Klein synthesizes their tales in a sweeping narrative ...”


A Question of Balance: Weighing the Options on Global Warming Policies by William Nordhaus. Yale, $28, 256 pages. Publication date June. Nordhaus is a professor of economics at Yale and the author of several books, including Invention, Growth, and Welfare. In this book, he “integrates the entire spectrum of economic and scientific research  to weigh the costs of reducing emissions against the benefits of reducing the long-term damages from global warming.”


Only a Theory: Evolution and the Battle for America’s Soul by Kenneth R. Miller. Viking, $25.95, 235 pages. Advance reading copy. Publication date June 16. The author is a professor of biology at Brown University. Here, he “dissects the claims of the ID [intelligent design] movement in the same incisive style that marked his testimony as an expert witness in the landmark 2005 evolution trial in Dover, Pennsylvania.”


Side Effects: A Bestselling Drug on Trial by Alison Bass. Algonquin Books, $24.95, 240 pages. Advance reading copy. Publication date June 17. Bass has covered medicine, science, and technology for the Boston Globe and other publications. This book tells the tale of “deception behind one of the most successful drug campaigns in history ...” which led to Paxil becoming the world's best-selling antidepressant in 2002.


Toward the Setting Sun: Columbus, Cabot, Vespucci, and the Race for America by David Boyle. Walker, $27.99, 432 pages. Publication date June 18. Boyle is the author of three previous books, including The Money Changers. “With a completely new take on the contest to claim America, Boyle reve[a]ls that the race was as much about commerce and trade as it was about discovery and conquest.”


Received during the week ended 6/6/08

Jane Goodall: A Biography by Meg Greene. Prometheus paperback original, $16.95, 146 pages. Publication date May 20. The author is an architectural historian. In this book, she “describes how Goodall’s work challenged and changed perceptions of the relations between the primate and human world.”


Snoop: What Your Stuff Says About You by Sam Gosling. Basic Books, $25, 256 pages. Publication date June 2. The author is an associate professor of psychology at the University of Texas at Austin. In this book, “he shows how to discover psychological truths in the way we talk or walk, sign an email, create an online profile, or decorate our offices.”


The Snake Charmer: A Life and Death in the Pursuit of Knowledge by Jamie James. Hyperion, $24.95, 260 pages. Publication date June 3. James has written for several publications, including the New Yorker, and is the author of eight books, including The Music of the Spheres. This book tells the story of Joe Slowinski, an explorer and herpetologist, who was bitten by a rare poisonous snake during an expedition in Burma. “This book tells the true story of this modern-day adventurer’s final battle against nature: a riveting tale of exploration, dedication, and tragic death in the jungle.”


Bottlemania: How Water Went on Sale and Why We Bought It by Elizabeth Royte. Bloomsbury, $24.99 248 pages. Publication date June 9. Royte is a journalist and the author of two previous books, including Garbage Land. “The demand for expensive bottled water in a country where tap water is clean, plentiful, and cheap is spectacular example of marketing over common sense.” This book details “the surprising environmental cost and social toll of simply quenching our thirst.”


Now Available in Paperback

Every Other Thursday: Stories and Strategies from Successful Women Scientists by Ellen Daniell. Yale; hardback published in 2006, paperback now available for $17; 296 pages. Publication date July 1.


Received during the week ended 5/30/08

Worried Sick: A Prescription for Health in an Overtreated America by Nortin M. Hadler. University of North Carolina Press, $28, 376 pages. Publication date June 2. Hadler is a professor of medicine at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the author of The Last Well Person. “Hadler urges that before we commit to paying for whatever pharmaceutical companies and the medical establishment tell us we need, American consumers need to adopt an attitude of skepticism and arm themselves with enough information to make some of their own decisions ...”


Panic in Level 4: Cannibals, Killer Viruses, and Other Journeys to the Edge of Science by Richard Preston. Random House, $26, 188 pages. Advance reading copy. Publication date June 3. Preston is the author of several books, including The Hot Zone. This book “is a collection of Preston’s most gripping accounts yet, dramatic true stories — all of which have been updated since they appeared in the New Yorker.”


Sway: The Irresistible Pull of Irrational Behavior by Ori Brafman and Rom Brafman. Doubleday, $21.95, 206 pages. Publication date June 3. Ori is the coauthor of The Starfish and the Spider; his brother is a psychologist. In this book, they “reveal the ongoing dynamic forces that act on us repeatedly over time, affecting nearly every aspect of our personal and business lives ...”


Now Available in Paperback

Memory Practices in the Sciences by Geoffrey C. Bowker. MIT; originally published in 2006, paperback now available for $17.95; 280 pages. Publication date May 30.


Late Arrivals

Titan Unveiled: Saturn’s Mysterious Moon Explored by Ralph Lorenz and Jacqueline Mitton. Princeton, $29.95, 296 pages. Publication date April.


On Being Certain: Believing You Are Right Even When You Are Not by Robert A. Burton. St. Martin’s, $24.95, 272 pages. Publication date February.


Received during the week ended 5/23/08

Year Million: Science at the Far Edge of Knowledge edited by Damien Broderick. Atlas paperback original, $16, 304 pages. Publication date May 19. The editor is a senior fellow at the School of Culture and Communication at the University of Melbourne. In this book, a group of writers “daringly envision what the world, humanity, and the universe might look like in the Year Million.”


Jacob’s Legacy: A Genetic View of Jewish History by David B. Goldstein. Yale, $26, 176 pages. Publication date May 28. The author is a professor of molecular genetics and microbiology at Duke University. Here, he he “analyzes modern DNA studies of Jewish populations and examines the intersections of these scientific findings with the history ... and oral tradition of the Jews.”


Falling for Science: Objects in Mind edited by Sherry Turkle. The MIT Press, $24.95, 318 pages. Publication date May 30. Turkle is Professor of the Social Studies of Science and Technology at MIT and the author of several previous books, including The Second Self. The author assigned “her own students the task of writing about an object from their childhood or adolescence that had an influence on their path into science.” The result is this collection of essays. 


The Legacy of the Mastodon: The Golden Age of Fossils in America by Keith Thomson. Yale, $35, 424 pages. Publication date May 31. The author is professor emeritus of natural history at the University of Oxford. This book “tells the story of the grandest period of fossil discovery in American history -- 1750 to 1890.”


Late Arrivals

Guesstimation: Solving the World’s Problems on the Back of a Cocktail Napkin by Lawrence Weinstein and John A. Adam. Princeton University Press paperback original, $19.95, 320 pages. Publication date April.


Received during the week ended 5/16/08

My Stroke of Insight: A Brain Scientist’s Personal Journey by Jill Bolte Taylor. Viking, $24.95, 183. Publication date May 12. The author is a neuroanatomist affiliated with the Indiana School of Medicine in Indianapolis. In 1996, Taylor “suffered a massive stroke when a blood vessel exploded in the left side of her brain.” In this book, she “shares her unique, and somewhat ironic, journey into, and back out of, the silent abyss of the wounded brain.”


Doubt Is Their Product: How Industry’s Assault on Science Threatens Your Health by David Michaels. Oxford, $27.95, 400 pages. Publication date May. The author is a scientist and former Assistant Secretary of Energy for Environment, Safety and Health. This book “explains how many of the scientists who spun science for tobacco have become practitioners in the lucrative world of product defense. Whatever the story ... these scientists generate studies designed to make dangerous exposures appear harmless.”


The Brightest Stars: Discovering the Universe through the Sky’s Most Brilliant Stars by Fred Schaaf. Wiley paperback original, $19.95, 281 pages. Publication date May. Schaaf teaches astronomy at Rowan University and is the author of numerous books on the subject. “This book offers detailed portraits of  [the brightest] stars, the latest scientific discoveries, and the fascinating lore inspired by them.”


Mirroring People: The New Sense of How We Connect with Others by Marco Iacoboni. Farrar, Straus & Giroux, $25, 308 pages. Publication date May 21. The author is a neurologist at the UCLA school of medicine. “Mirror neurons are cells that ... allow us to imitate and gauge the emotions and intentions of others.” This book makes “the last decade’s pathbreaking research on mirror neurons accessible to the general reader.”


Notes on the Underground: An Essay on Technology, Society, and the Imagination (New Edition) by Rosalind Williams. The MIT Press paperback, $19.95, 283 pages. Publication date May 22. Williams is a professor of the history of science and technology at MIT and the author of Retooling. “The underground has always played a significant role for people, both as a place of refuge and a source of fear.” In this book, Williams gives “equal treatment to actual and imaginary undergrounds.”


Received during the week ended 5/9/08

The Jinn from Hyperspace: And Other Scribblings — Both Serious and Whimsical by Martin Gardner. Prometheus, $25.95, 307 pages. Publication date April 29. Gardner wrote Scientific American’s “Mathematical Games” model for years and is the author of many books, including Relativity Simply Explained.” This book is a collection of the author’s “elegant, witty, and highly intelligent” literary and scientific essays


Ensuring Greater Yellowstone’s Future: Choices for Leaders and Citizens by Susan G. Clark. Yale, $45, 320 pages. Publication date May 13. Clark is adjunct professor of Wildlife, Ecology and Policy Sciences at Yale and the author of several previous books, including Averting Extinction. From her experience in the Yellowstone region, Clark “looks at leadership and policy in managing natural resources ... [and] assesses accomplishments toward sustainability over the past forty years.”


Harpoon: Into the Heart of Whaling by Andrew Darby. Da Capo, $25,320 pages. Publication date May 15. The author reports on environmental issues and Antarctica for Australia’s Sydney Morning Herald. This is a story about whaling. “of human ingenuity and technology applied to unethical ends ... [and] a call to action to curtail this ecological destruction before it is too late.”


Tomorrow’s Table: Organic Farming, Genetics, and the Future of Food by Pamela C. Ronald and Raoul W. Adamchak. Oxford, $29.95, 208 pages. Publication date May 15. Ronald is professor of plant pathology at the University of California, Davis; Adamchak manages the university’s organic market garden. In this book, they “argue that a judicious blend of two important strands of agriculture -- genetic engineering an organic farming -- is key to helping feed the world’s growing population in an ecologically balanced manner.”


Received during the week ended 5/2/08

The Woman Who Can’t Forget: The Extraordinary Story of Living with the Most Remarkable Memory Known to Science — A Memoir by Jill Price (with Bart Davis) Free Press, $26, 263 pages. Publication date May 9. Price “is the first case of superior memory for autobiographical recall ...” In this book, she “narrates her quest to come to terms with her singular and astonishing abilities, which have often tormented her.”


Reinventing the Sacred: A New View of Science, Reason, and Religion by Stuart A. Kauffman. Basic Books, $27, 320 pages. Publication date May 12. Kauffman is a professor at the University of Calgary, an External Professor at the Santa Fe Institute, and the author of several previous books, including The Origins of Order. “Can societies really be explained by laws about people, which in turn can be explained by laws about organs, then cells, then biochemistry, chemistry, and particle physics?” They cannot, the author argues in this book.


The Murder of Nikolai Vavilov: The Story of Stalin’s Persecution of One of the Great Scientists of the Twentieth Century by Peter Pringle. Simon & Schuster, $26, 370 pages. Publication date May 13. Pringle is the author of several previous books, including the novel Day of the Dandelion. This the story of geneticists “battling bravely against powerful government zealots determined to discredit legitimate scientific inquiry.”


Now Available in Paperback

Mistakes Were Made (but not by me): Why We Justify Foolish Beliefs, Bad Decisions, and Hurtful Acts by Carol Tavris and Elliott Aronson. Harcourt; hardback published in 2007, paperback now available for $15; 304 pages. Publication date May 5.


Why Beauty Is Truth: A History of Symmetry by Ian Stewart. Basic Books; hardback published in 2007, paperback now available for $16.95; 291 pages. Publication date May 5.


Einstein: His Life and Universe by Walter Isaacson. Simon & Schuster; hardback published in 2007, paperback now available for $17.95; 675 pages. Publication date May 13.


Late Arrivals

Energy, Environment, and Climate by Richard Wolfson. W.W. Norton paperback original, $84.38, 532 pages. Publication date March.


Received during the week ended 4/25/08

The Coming Convergence: The Surprising Ways Diverse Technologies Interact to Shape Our World and Change the Future by Stanley Schmidt. Prometheus, $27.95, 275 pages. Publication date April 15. Schmidt is a physicist, editor of a respected science fiction magazine, and the author of several books of fiction and nonfiction. In this book, “He shows how past convergences have led to today’s world, then considers tomorrow’s main currents in biotechnology, cognitive science, information technology, and nanotechnology.”


Emergence: Contemporary Readings in Philosophy and Science edited by Mark A. Bedau and Paul Humphreys. MIT Press paperback original, $40, 480 pages. Publication date April 28. Bedau is a professor at Reed College; Humphreys is a professor of philosophy at the University of Virginia. “... the idea of emergence offers a way to understand a wide variety of complex phenomena in ways that are intriguingly different from more traditional approaches.”


Thousand Mile Song: Whale Music in a Sea of Sound by David Rothenberg. Basic Books, $27.50, 287 pages. Publication date May 5. Rothenberg is professor of philosophy and music at the New Jersey Institute of Technology and the author of Why Birds Sing. This book “is a majestic and enlightening voyage into the great mystery of whale song ...”


Microcosm: E. coli and the New Science of Life by Carl Zimmer. Pantheon, $25.95, 244 pages. Publication date May 6. Zimmer is an award-winning science writer and the author of five previous books, including Evolution. “From altruism to death, genetic destiny versus individualism and the possibility of life beyond our planet, E. coli can answer many of our deepest questions about existence.”


The Man Who Loved China: The Fantastic Story of the Eccentric Scientist Who Unlocked the Mysteries of the Middle Kingdom by Simon Winchester. HarperCollins, $27.95, 315 pages. Publication date May. Winchester is the author of numerous books, including The Professor and the Madman. This book tells the tory of Joseph Needham who “embarked on a series of extraordinary expeditions ... and ultimately created one of the twentieth century’s most monumental works of scholarship -- the twenty-four volume masterpiece Science and Civilization in China.


Now Available in Paperback

The Canon: A Whirligig Tour of the Beautiful Basics of Science by Natalie Angier. Houghton Mifflin; hardback published in 2007, paperback now available for $15.95; 304 pages. Publication date April 


Received during the week ended 4/18/08

Kluge: The Haphazard Construction of the Human Mind by Gary Marcus. Houghton Mifflin, $24, 224 pages. Publication date April 16. Marcus is professor of psychology at New York University and the author of The Birth of the Mind. “Arguing against a whole tradition that praises our human brain as the most perfect result of evolution, Marcus shows how ill adapted this organ really is.”


Lost Worlds: Adventures in the Tropical Rainforest by Bruce M. Beehler. Yale, $28, 272 pages. Publication date April 22. Beehler is vice president of Conservation International and the author of three previous books, including A Naturalist in New Guinea. “Beehler, a widely traveled expert on birds and tropical ecology, recounts fascination details from twelve field trips he has taken to the tropics over the past three decades.”


Beyond Revenge: The Evolution of the Forgiveness Instinct by Michael McCullough. Jossey-Bass, $24.95, 282 pages. Advance reading copy. Publication date April. McCullough is professor of psychology at the University of Miami and the author of several previous books, including The Psychology of Gratitude. Here, he argues that “natural selection created our penchant for revenge because it helped our ancestors solve social dilemmas they encountered ...”


God, the Failed Hypothesis: How Science Shows That God Does Not Exist by Victor J. Stenger. Prometheus paperback, $17.95, 302 pages. Publication date April. Stenger is professor emeritus of physics and astronomy at the University of Hawaii and the author of several books, including Has Science Found God? In this book, he “concludes that beyond a reasonable doubt the universe and life appear exactly as we might expect if there were no God.”


Now Available in Paperback

It’s a Jungle Up There: More Tales from the Treetops by Margaret D. Lowman, Edward Burgess, and James Burgess. Yale; hardback published in 2006, paperback now available for $18; 320 pages. Publication date May 20.

Received during the week ended 4/11/08

What Is Life? Investigating the Nature of Life in the Age of Synthetic Biology by Ed Regis. Farrar, Straus & Giroux, $22, 198 pages. Publication date April 9. Regis is a science writer and the author of several books, including The Biology of Doom. Paying tribute to Schrödinger’s original book, ... Regis offers a new perspective on ... what the concept of life actually means.” 


Lifting Depression: A Neuroscientist’s Hands-On Approach to Activating Your Brain’s Healing Power by Kelly Lambert. Basic Books, $26, 289 pages, Advance reading copy. Publication date April 14. Lambert is a professor of psychology at Randolph-Macon College and the coauthor of Clinical Neuroscience. “Offering an alternative [physical activities] to costly and often risky medication Lifting Depression will change the way we think about mental and physical health.”


The Future of the Internet — And How to Stop It by Jonathan Zittrain. Yale, $30, 342 pages. Publication date April 14. The author holds the Chair in Internet Governance and Regulation at Oxford University. “We must recognize that an utterly open Internet does not mean freedom if it becomes so dangerous that we retreat to gated communities.”


Grand Theft Childhood: The Surprising Truth About Violent Video Games and What Parents Can Do by Lawrence Kutner and Cheryl K. Olson. Simon & Schuster, $25, 260 pages. Publication date April 15. The authors are directors of the Center for Mental Health and Media at Massachusetts General Hospital and are on the faculty at Harvard medical School. In this book, they conclude, “It’s clear that the ‘big fears’ bandied about in the press — that violent video games make children significantly more violent in the real world ... are not supported by the current research ...”


Now Available in Paperback

Coming to Life: How Genes Drive Development by Christiane Nüsslein Volhard. Kale Press; Hardback published in 2006, paperback now available for $17.95, 176 pages. Publication date April.


Science and Nonbelief by Taner Edis. Prometheus; hardback published in 2005, paperback now available for $18.95; 285 pages. Publication date April 8.


Received during the week ended 4/4/08

Group Theory in the Bedroom, and Other Mathematical Diversions by Brian Hayes. Hill & Wang, $25, 270 pages. Publication date April 8. Hayes writes the “Computing Science” column for American Scientist magazine and is the author of Infrastructure. In this book, he “uses computing and mathematics to explore everything from the deadly serious (war and peace) to the utterly frivolous (the mathematics of mattress flipping).”


Head cases: Stories of Brain Injury and Its Aftermath by Michael Paul Mason. Farrar, Straus & Giroux, $25, 310 pages. Publication date April 8. The author was a brain injury case manager for the Neurologic Rehabilitation Institute at Brookhaven Hospital. He collected these stories “in an effort to help survivors of severe traumatic brain injury find appropriate treatment.”


The Ten Most Beautiful Experiments: by George Johnson. Knopf, $22, 208 pages. Publication date April 8. Johnson writes about science for many publications and is the author of four previous books, including Fire in the Mind. This book tells the stories behind “the ten most fascinating experiments in the history of science...”


Now Available in Paperback

To Die Well: Your Right to Comfort, Calm, and Choice in the Last Days of Life by Sidney Wanzer and Joseph Glenmullen. Da Capo; hardback published in 2007, paper back now available for $15; 209 pages. Publication date March 15.


The Economic Naturalist: In Search of Explanations for Everyday Enigmas by Robert H. Frank. Basic Books; hardback published in 2007, paperback now available for $14.95; 227 pages. Publication date April 14.


Late Arrivals

Earth Science: Decade by Decade by Christina Reed. Facts On File, $49.50, 364 pages. Publication date March. 


Received during the week ended 3/28/08

No More Joint Pain by Joseph A. and Soo Kim Abboud. Yale, $27, 288 pages. Publication date March 31. The authors are physicians at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. This book “offers a frank discussion of common medications and how they work; when you should have surgery and when you should forgo it; as well as alternative therapies.”


Blood Matters: From Inherited Illnesses to Designer Babies, How the World and I Found Ourselves in the Future of the Gene by Masha Gessen. Harcourt, $25, 336 Pages. Publication date April 1. Gessen is a journalist and the author of two previous books, including Dead Again: The Russian Intelligentsia After Communism. “[G]enetic testing revealed that Masha Gessen had a mutation that predisposed her to ovarian and breast cancer.” This book “is a much-needed field guide to this unfamiliar and unsettling territory.”


Do No Harm: How a Magic Bullet for Prostate Cancer Became a Medical Quandary by Stewart Justin. Ivan R. Dee, Pub.; $26; 236 pages. Publication date April 4. Justin teaches English at the University of Montana and is the author of several previous books, including Seeds of Mortality. This “is a tale about the reception for a promising new drug [finasteride for prostate cancer] by a skeptical medical community...”


The Hot Topic: What We Can Do About Global Warming by Gabrielle Walker and Sir David King, Harvest Paperback Original. $13, 256 pages. Publication date April 7 Walker is the author of Ocean of Air; King was the United Kingdom’s chief science adviser. The authors “lay out the science behind the [global warming] problem, and the technological, political, and personal solutions that can help address it.”


The Music of Pythagoras: How an Ancient Brotherhood Cracked the Code of the Universe and Lit the Path from Antiquity to Outer Space by Kitty Ferguson. Walker, $26.95, 368 pages. Publication date April 22. Ferguson is the author of four previous books, including Tycho & Kepler. This book “shows how Pythagorus’ ideas spread in antiquity, and chronicles the remarkable influence he and his followers have had on ... Western thought and science.”


Now Available in Paperback

Newton on the Tee: A Good Walk Through the Science of Golf by John Zumerchik. Simon & Schuster; hardback published in 2002, paperback now available for $14; 240 pages. Publication date April 15.


Received during the week ended 3/21/08

Our Daily Meds: How the Pharmaceutical Companies Transformed Themselves into Slick Marketing Machine and Hooked the Nation on Prescription Drugs by Melody Petersen, Farrar, Straus & Giroux, $25, 409 pages. Advance reading copy. Publication date March 26. The author covered the pharmaceutical beat for the New York Times for four years. This book “is a devastating look at how and industry that once promised hope for patients ...has been transformed into a marketing-driven monolith ... making executives, doctors, and stockholders wealthy, sometimes at the cost of patients’ health.”


The Bridge at the End of the World: Capitalism, the Environment, and Crossing from Crisis to Sustainability by James Gustave Speth. Yale, $28, 295 pages. Publication date March 28. Speth is dean of the School of Forestry and Environmental studies at Yale and the author of several books, including Red Sky at Morning. In this book, “he’s marshaled formidable evidence that American-style consumer capitalism ... is incompatible with maintaining quality of life for all of us.”


A Portrait of the Brain by Adam Zeman. Yale, $27.50, 256 pages. Publication date March 31. Zeman is professor of cognitive and behavioral neurology at Peninsula Medical School and the author of Consciousness. This book “takes us to the very frontiers of current scientific knowledge and elucidates the working of the brain in astonishing detail."


When Science Goes Wrong: Twelve Tales from the Dark Side of Discovery by Simon LeVay. Plume paperback original, $15, 304 pages. Publication date March 25. LeVay is a neuroscientist and the author several books, including The Sexual Brain. Among other reasons, science can go wrong because of “...pressure to obtain results, and even fraud.” This book “provides a compelling glimpse into human ambition in scientific pursuit.” Advance reading copy previewed here on 3/14/08.


Big Brain: The Origins and Future of Human Intelligence by Gary Lynch and Richard Granger. Palgrave Macmillan, $26.95, 249 pages. Publication date March 4. Lynch is a professor at the University of California, Irvine; Granger is a professor at Dartmouth. In this book, the two neuroscientists “explain: the stunning evolution of the human brain, language function, memory, and learning, and what the significance of a giant brain is.” Advance reading copy previewed here on 2/29/08.


Received during the week ended 3/14/08

Bastard Tongues: A Trailblazing Linguist Finds Clues to Our Common Humanity in the World’s Lowliest Languages by Derek Bickerton. Hill & Wang, $26, 270 pages. Publication date March 11. Bickerton is a professor emeritus of linguistics at the University of Hawaii and the author of several books, including Roots of Language. This book tells “an exciting firsthand study of ... what language is, how it works, how it passes from generation to generation, even in places where historical accidents have made normal transmission almost impossible.”


The Great Warming: Climate Change and the Rise and fall of Civilizations by Brian Fagan.. Bloomsbury, $26.95, 282 pages. Publication date March 11. The author is emeritus professor of anthropology at University of California, Santa Barbara, and the author of several books, including Fish on Friday. This book tells the “story of climate change between the 10th and 15th centuries ... [and argues] that drought, often ignored by climate commentators, is actually the hidden, most dangerous element in today’s global warming.” 


When Science Goes Wrong: Twelve Tales from the Dark Side of Discovery by Simon LeVay. Plume paperback original, $15, 304 pages. Advance reading copy. Publication date March 25. LeVay is a neuroscientist and the author several books, including The Sexual Brain. Among other reasons, science can go wrong because of “...pressure to obtain results, and even fraud.” This book “provides a compelling glimpse into human ambition in scientific pursuit.”


Now Available in Paperback

Survival of the Sickest: The Surprising Connections Between Disease and Longevity by Sharon Moalem (with Jonathan Prince). Harper Perennial Paperback; hardback published in 2007, paperback now available for $13.95; 283 pages. Publication date March 18. Moalem is a physiologist and student at Mount Sinai School of Medicine; Prince was a speechwriter and advisor to President Clinton. This book “answers the riddles behind many diseases ... starting with the biggest riddle of them all: If natural selection is supposed to get rid of harmful genetic traits, why are there so many hereditary diseases in the first place?”


The Future of Everything: The Science of Prediction by Davis Orrell. Thunder’s Mouth Press; hardback published in 2007, paperback now available for $18.95; 449 pages. Publication date March. Orrell was educated as a mathematician; he is the author of The Other Side of the Coin. This “may be the first book to explain why next week’s weather forecast is less accurate than your average horoscope reading.”


Received during the week ended 3/7/08

Welcome To Your Brain: Why You Lose Your Car Keys But Never Forget How to Drive and Other Puzzles of Everyday Life by Sandra Aamodt and Sam Wang. Bloomsbury, $24.95, 240 pages. Publication date March 11. Aamodt is editor-in-chief of Nature Neuroscience; Wang is a professor of neuroscience at Princeton. This book is “a fun and enlightening tour of your brain filled with truths to widely held myths, practical tips to help you use your brain better, and plenty of ‘did you knows’ that will come in handy at any cocktail party.”


Earth: The Sequel by Fred Krupp and Miriam Horn. W.W. Norton, $24.95, 256 pages. Advance reading copy. Publication date March. Krupp is president of Environmental Defense Fund; Horn is a journalist. Here, the authors “journey around the globe to discover he innovators with the potential to recast the future of our planet — environmentally and economically.”


Life as It Is: Biology for the Public Sphere by William F. Loomis. University of California, $24.95, 272 pages. Publication date March. The author is professor of biology at the University of California, San Diego. “He reviews recent insights into molecular and human evolution, the role of DNA sequences in determining traits, and the biological basis for consciousness ...”


Amazon Expeditions: My Quest for the Ice-Age Equator by Paul Colinvaux. Yale, $32.50, 328 pages. Publication date March 3. The author is senior research scientist at the Marine Biological Laboratory, Woods Hole, and professor emeritus at The Ohio State University. “The story of how Paul Colinvaux arrived at a new understanding of the Amazon is at once an adventurous saga, a stunning memoir, and a cautionary tale about the temptation to treat a favored hypothesis with a reverence that subverts unbiased research.”


Riding the Waves: A Life in Sound, Science, and Industry by Leo Beranek. The MIT Press, $24.95, 335 pages. Publication date March 4. The author is a pioneer in acoustical research. “Known for his work in noise control and concert acoustics, Beranek devised the world’s largest muffler to quiet jet noise and served as acoustical consultant to concert halls around the world ...”


Now Available in Paperback

Darwin’s Origin of Species: A Biography by Janet Browne. Grove; hardback published in 2007, paperback now available for $13; 192 pages. Publication date March.


Received during the week ended 2/29/08

Sizwe’s Test: A Young Man’s Journey through Africa’s AIDS Epidemic by Jonny Steinberg. Simon & Schuster, $26, 349 pages. Publication date February 12. Steinberg is a South African journalist and the author to two previous books, including The Number. This book “reveals a powerful true story of superstition, stigma, and the overwhelming cultural gap at the center of Africa’s AIDS crisis.”


What Bugged the Dinosaurs? Insects, Disease, and Death in the Cretaceous by George Poinar, Jr. and Roberta Poinar. Princeton $29.95, 312 pages. Publication date February 13. The Poinars are scientists and coauthors of two previous books,, including The Amber Forest Here, they “make a compelling case for disease-carrying insects as the cause for dinosaur extinction ...”


Native Ferns, Moss, and Grasses by William Cullina. Houghton Mifflin, $40, 256 pages. Publication date February 19. Cullina is director of horticultural research of the New England Wildflower Society and the author of several other books, including Understanding Orchids. In this book, he “brings a witty, playful approach to those plants often though of as mere background ...””


From Rainforest to Cane Field in Cuba: An Environmental History since 1492 by Reinaldo Funes Monzote, translated by Alex Martin. University of North Carolina Press; hardback $65, paperback $24.95; 384 pages. Publication date March 3. The author is associate professor of history at the University of Havana. Here, he “emphasizes the two processes that have had the most dramatic impact on the island’s landscape: deforestation and sugar cultivation.”


Big Brain: The Origins and Future of Human Intelligence by Gary Lynch and Richard Granger. Palgrave Macmillan, $26.95, 249 pages. Advance reading copy. Publication date March 4. Lynch is a professor at the University of California, Irvine; Granger is a professor at Dartmouth. In this book, the two neuroscientists “explain: the stunning evolution of the human brain, language function, memory, and learning, and what the significance of a giant brain is.”


Now Available in Paperback

Storm Warning: The Story of a Killer Tornado by Nancy Mathis. Touchstone; hardback published in 2007, paperback now available for $14; 256 pages Publication date March 4.


Late Arrivals

The Firecracker Boys: H-Bombs, Inupiat Eskimos, and the Roots of the Environmental Movement by Dan O'Neill. Basic Books, this paperback is a revised edition of the hardback published in 1994; $16.95, 418 pages. Publication date November 2007.


Received during the week ended 2/15/08

How to Fossilize Your Hamster: And Other Amazing Experiments for the Armchair Scientist by Mick O’Hare. Holt paperback original, $14, 240 pages. Publication date February 4. The author is the editor of two previous books, including Why Don’t Penguin’s Feet Freeze? “Observing everything from the unusual chemical reaction between Mentos and cola that provokes a geyser to the geological conditions necessary to preserve a family pet for eternity [this book] is fun, hands-on science ...”


Comfortably Numb: How Psychiatry Is Medicating a Nation by Charles Barber. Pantheon, $26, 282 pages. Publication date February 5. Barber is a lecturer in psychiatry at Yale University School of Medicine and the author of Songs from the Black Chair. “Barber reveals how America’s belief that drugs are the ultimate answer to our emotional difficulties is dangerously misguided and disturbingly ignores those who are in desperate need of effective treatment options.”


Physics for Entertainment by Yakov Perelman. Hyperion, $18.95, 332 pages. Publication date February 12. Perelman (1882-1942) was the author of many popular science books. This one is a reissue of his best seller first published in the 1930s. In this book, he “uses examples from literary giants as well as great scientists to examine both the wonder and the found in everyday life.”


The Age of American Unreason by Susan Jacoby. Pantheon, $26, 362 pages. Publication date February 12. Jacoby is the author of several previous books, including Freethinkers: A History of American Secularism. This book is her “provocative and erudite analysis of the anti-rationalism and anti-intellectualism that increasingly characterize American cultural life and corrupt the nation’s electoral process.”


Now Available in Paperback

Quantum Physics and Theology: An Unexpected Kinship by John Polkinghorne. Yale; hardback published in 2007, paperback now available for $15; Publication date February 19.


Received during the week ended 2/1/08

Coal River by Michael Shnayerson. Farrar, Straus & Giroux, $25, 321 pages. Publication date January 15. Shnayerson is the author of two previous books, one of which is The Killers Within. This book tells the story of West Virginia activists and attorneys who are trying to save their homes and communities by fighting the coal-mining technique of mountaintop removal.


Your Inner Fish: A Journey into the 3.5-Billion-Year History of the Human Body by Neil Shubin. Pantheon, $24, 240 pages. Publication date January 15. The author is a professor of anatomy at the University of Chicago. This book “tells the story of evolution by tracing the organs of the human body back millions of years, long before the first creatures walked the earth.”


Banana: The Fate of the Fruit That Changed the World by Dan Koeppel. Hudson Street Press, $23.95, 281 pages. Publication date January. Koeppel is the author of To See Every Bird on Earth. A spreading blight is threatening the banana. This book gives “a fascinating look at the intersection of food and science.”


The Soul of the Rhino: A Nepali Adventure with Kings and Elephant Drivers, Billionaires and Bureaucrats, Shamans and Scientists, and the Indian Rhinoceros by Hemanta Mishra. Lyons Press, $24.95, 228 pages. Advance reading copy. Publication date January. The author is a conservationist who is trying to save the endangered one-horned Asian rhino from extinction. 


Now Available in Paperback

Unstrange Minds: Remapping the World of Autism by Roy Richard Grinker. Basic Books; hardback published in 2007, paperback now available for $15.95; 340 pages. Publication date February 4.


Received during the week ended 1/25/08

101 Funny Things About Global Warming by Sidney Harris and colleagues. Bloomsbury, $15.95, 128 pages. Publication date January 6. Cartoons from a distinguished science cartoonist.


A Force of Nature: The Frontier Genius of Ernest Rutherford. by Richard Reeves. W.W. Norton, $23.95, 207 pages. Publication date January 7. Reeves is a lecturer at the Annenberg School of Communication at the University of Southern California and the author of several previous books, including President Nixon: Alone in the White House. In this biography of Ernest Rutherford, the author “seamlessly weaves Rutherford’s personal story with a lucid account of his enormous achievements in physics ...”


Grave Secrets of Dinosaurs: Soft Tissues and Hard Science by Phillip Manning. National Geographic,$28, 316 pages. Publication date January 8. The author (no relation) is a paleontologist and fossil hunter. In this book, Manning tells the story of how scientists “embarked on an extraordinary project to excavate, preserve and analyze” the remains of a dinosaur that included “some soft tissues like skin, tendons and ligaments.”


This Republic of Suffering: Death and the American Civil War by Drew Gilpin Faust. Knopf, $27.95, 368 pages. Advance reading copy. Publication date January 10. Faust is the president of Harvard University and the author of five previous books, including Mothers of Invention. This book is a “fascinating study of the American struggle to comprehend the meaning and practicalities of death in the face of the unprecedented carnage of the Civil War.”


Now Available in Paperback

The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins. Mariner Books; hardback published in 2006, paperback now available for $15.95; 464 pages. Publication date January 16.


Late Arrivals

Ebb and Flow: Tides and Life on Our Once and Future Planet by Tom Koppel. Dundurn paperback original, $26.99, 296 pages. Publication date September 15, 2007.


Received during the week ended 1/11/08

The Telephone Gambit: Chasing Alexander Graham Bell’s Secret by Seth Shulman. Norton, $24.95, 256 pages. Publication date January. Shulman is a science journalist and the author of several books, including Unlocking the Sky. In this book, he contends that “[Alexander Graham] Bell furtively -- and illegally -- copied part of Elisha Gray’s invention in the race to secure what would become the most valuable U.S. patent ever issued.”

Intern: A Doctor’s Initiation by Sandeep Jauhar. Farrar, Straus & Giroux, $25, 299 pages. Publication date January 2. The author is the director of the Heart Failure Program at Long Island Jewish Medical Center. This book “chronicles the first year of [the author’s] medical residency, the legendarily brutal apprenticeship that many doctors consider the most trying time of their professional lives.” 


Irreligion: A Mathematician Explains Why the Arguments for God Just Don’t Add Up by John Allen Paulos. Hill and Wang, $20, 158 pages. Publication date January 3. Paulos is a professor of mathematics at Temple University and the author of several books, including Innumeracy. In this book, using logic and probability,“he refutes twelve of the most popular arguments for God ...”


How To Build a Robot Army: Tips on Defending the Planet Against Alien Invaders, Ninjas, and Zombies by Daniel H. Wilson. Bloomsbury paperback original, $13.95, 176 pages. Publication date January 5. Wilson is the author of two previous books, including How to Survive a Robot Uprising. How can humans survive “the coming apocalypse? ... we need to harness the power of robots...”


Late Arrivals

Fight Global Warming Now: The Handbook for Taking Action in Your Community by Bill McKibben and the Step It Up Team. Henry Holt paperback original, $13, 224 pages. Advance reading copy. Publication date November 2007.


Received during the week ended 1/4/08

Stephen Hawking: A Biography by Kristine Larsen. Prometheus paperback original, $16.95, 215 Pages. Publication date December 11. Larsen is a physics professor at Central Connecticut State University and the author of Cosmology 101. This biography “presents a candid and insightful portrait of Hawking’s personal and professional life.”


The Handbook of Science and Technology Studies, third edition edited by Edward J. Hackett, Olga Amsterdamska, Michael Lynch and Judy Wajcman. MIT Press, $55, 1080 pages. Publication date December 17. This book “provides a comprehensive and authoritative overview of the field, reviewing current research and major theoretical and methodological approaches.”


The Living Cosmos: Our Search for Life in the Universe by Chris Impey. Random House, $27.95, 416 pages. Publication date December 11. The author is an astronomy professor at the University of Arizona. This book explores the foundations of this rapidly developing discipline [astrobiology], where it’s going and what it’s likely to find. 


Elizabeth Blackburn and the Story of Telomeres: Deciphering the Ends of DNA by Catherine Brady. MIT Press, $29.95, 392 pages. Publication date December 20. Brady is an assistant professor in the MFA in Writing Program at the University of San Francisco and the author of two collections of short stories. This book is a biography of the scientist who predicted the existence of and discovered the enzyme telomerase.


Drugs and Justice: Seeking a Consistent, Coherent, Comprehensive View by Margaret P. Battin, Erik Luna, Arthur G. Lipman, Paul M. Gahlinger. Douglas E. Rollins, Jeanette C. Roberts, and Troy L. Booher. Oxford paperback original, $21.95, 312 pages. Publication date December. Battin and her contributors lay a foundation for a wiser drug policy by promoting consistency and coherency in the discussion of drug issues and by encouraging a unique dialog across disciplines.”


Late Arrivals

The Living End: The Future of Death, Aging and Immortality by Guy Brown. Macmillan, $24.95, 288 pages. Publication date November.


Now Available in Paperback

The Origins of the Future: Ten Questions for the Next Ten Years by John Gribbin. Yale University Press; hardback published in 2006, paperback now available for $17; 320 pages. Publication date December 18.


Received during the week ended 12/14/07

Stem Cell Century: Law and Policy for a Breakthrough Technology by Russell Korobkin with Stephen R. Munzer. Yale, $29.95, 336 pages. Publication date November 28. The lead author is professor of law at the UCLA Law School. This book “provides the first thorough analysis of the unsettled legal and policy issues surrounding stem cell science.”


The Secret Pulse of Time: Making Sense of Life’s Scarcest Commodity by Stefan Klein. Marlowe & Company, $25, 368 pages. Publication date November 15. Klein is a Berlin-based science journalist and the author of The Science of Happiness. Here, he “explores the hidden dimensions of time -- the phenomena that can’t be reduced and hours -- and demonstrates how we can better learn to master time.”


A Short History of Medicine by F. Gonzalez-Crussi. The Modern Library, 424.95, 250 pages. Publication date November. Gonzalez-Crussi is professor emeritus of psychology at Northwestern and the author of two previous books, including Suspended Animation. “Insightful, informed, and at time controversial in its conclusions [this book] offers an exceptional introduction to the major and many minor facets of its subject.”


Dragon Sea: A True Tale of Treasure, Archeology, and Greed Off the Coast of Vietnam. Harvest Paperback original, $14, 368 pages. Publication date December 1. The author is diver who works on underwater expeditions. This book “delivers an engrossing tale of danger, adventure, and ambition -- a fascinating lesson in what happens when scholarship and join forces to recover a lost treasure.”


Now Available in Paperback

The Boy Who Was Raised as a Dog: And Other Stories from a Child Psychiatrist’s Notebook by Bruce D. Perry and Maia Szalavitz. Basic Books; originally published in 2007, paperback now available for $15.95; 275 pages. Publication date January 1.


Received during the week ended 12/7/07

The Human, the Orchid, and the Octopus by Jacques Cousteau and Susan Schiefelbein. Bloomsbury, $25.95, 320 pages. Advance reading copy. Publication date November. Cousteau was a well known ocean explorer, film maker, and the author of numerous books, including The Silent World. His coauthor is a journalist who worked with Cousteau for years. In this book, “Cousteau relates the early experiences that developed his boundless curiosity and penchant for exploration as well as some of the perilous escapades of his long, exciting life.”


Einstein Adds a New Dimension by Joy Hakim. Smithsonian Books, $27.95, 468 pages. Publication date November. Hakim is the author of several books, including the 10-volume series A History of Us. This lavishly illustrated book is one in the author’s multivolume series of science books intended for young readers.


Babies by Design: Can We Use Genetic Choice to Make a Better World? by Ronald M. Green. Yale $26, 288 pages. Publication date November 28. The author is a professor and and director of the Ethics Institute at Dartmouth College. Here, he “argues that humans will and indeed should undertake the direction of our own evolution.”

Late Arrivals

Your Brain Is (Almost) Perfect: How We Make Decisions by Read Montague. Plume; hardback previously published as Why Choose This Book? -- paperback now available for $15; 335 pages. Publication date September 25.


When the Earth Moves: Rogue Earthquakes, Tremors, and Aftershocks by Patricia Barnes-Svarney. Thunder’s Mouth Press paperback, $15.95, 272 pages. Publication date October.


Received during the week ended 11/30//07

Energy Victory: Winning the War on Terror by Breaking Free of Oil by Robert Zubrin. Prometheus, $25.95, 336 pages. Publication date November 20. Zubrin is the author of several books of fiction and nonfiction, including The Case for Mars. In this book, he “shows how we could be using fuel dollars that are now being sent to countries with ties to terrorism to help farmers here and abroad, booting our own economy and funding world development.”


Terra: Our 100-Million-Year-Old Ecosystem — and the Threats That Now Put It at Risk by Michael Novacek. Farrar, Sraus & Giroux, $27, 451 pages. Publication date November 20. Novacek is Senior Vice President and Provost of Science at the American Museum of Natural History and the author of several previous books, including Time Traveler. Here, he argues that “the natural world is experiencing a mass extinction comparable to the prehistoric ones ... and this has dire implications for the future of all species, including our own.”


What Is Emotion? by Jerome Kagan. Yale, $27.50, 288 pages. Publication date November 26. Kagan is professor emeritus of psychology at Harvard and the author of numerous books, including An Argument for Mind. This book “examines what exactly we do know about emotions ... and how scientific study must proceed if we are to uncover the answers to persistent and evasive questions about emotions.”


Received during the week ended 11/23//07

Augie’s Quest: One Man’s Journey from Success to Significance by Augie Nieto and T.R. Pearson. Bloomsbury, $21, 205 pages. Publication date November 13. Nieto is co-chair of the ALS division of the Muscular Dystrophy Association; Pearson is the author of numerous books and screenplays. In 2005, Nieto was diagnosed with ALS, aka Lou Gehrig’s disease. Working with the MDA, he began a cure-driven initiative, which “combines fund raising and research in a business model that is both nimble and efficient....”


The Joy of Physics by Arthur W. Wiggins. Prometheus, $26.95, 390 pages. Publication date November 13. Wiggins is a professor emeritus of physics at Oakland Community College and the coauthor of three previous books, including The Five Biggest Ideas in Science. “Easy, practical experiments pepper the book and connect the ideas of physics with the reality of the universe.”


The Dirt on Clean: An Unsanitized History by Katherine Ashenburg. North Point Press, $24, 356 pages. Publication date November 15. Ashenburg is the author of two previous books, including The Mourner’s Dance. Here, she “reveals how cleanliness, or the lack of it, is in fact intimately connected to ideas as large as spirituality and sexuality and historical events that include plagues, the Civil War, and the discovery of germs.”


The American Chestnut: The Life, Death, and Rebirth of a Perfect Tree by Susan Freinkel. University of California Press, $27.50, 294 pages. Publication date November 19. The author is a freelance science journalist. The chestnut blight wiped this common and beloved tree in the 20th century. This book “tells the story of a stubborn band of optimists who have refused to let this cultural icon go.”


Now Available in Paperback

Minding the Body, Mending the Mind by Joan Borysenko. This Da Capo paperback is a revised edition of a book published 20 years ago, $16.95, 258 pages. Publication date November 15.


Late Arrivals

Dr. Bernstein’s Diabetes Solution by Richard K. Bernstein. Little, Brown; $29.99, 521 pages. Publication date March 22.


Received during the week ended 11/16//07

The Genetic Strand: Exploring a Family History Through DNA by Edward Ball. Simon & Schuster, $25, 265 pages. Publication date November 6. Ball is the author of three previous books, including Slaves in the Family, which won the 1998 National Book Award. In this book, the author uses “DNA testing to pinpoint where his proudly white forebears may have intermingled with other races, and in the process demonstrates how this breakthrough science has the potential to reshape everyone’s family tree.”


Atoms, Molecules, and Compounds by Phillip Manning. Chelsea House, $35, 144 pages. Publication date November 15. This book is aimed at high school students and college freshmen who are interested in learning some serious chemistry. The author, while relatively undistinguished, is a favorite of mine. 


Love and Sex With Robots: The Evolution of Human-Robot Relationships by David Levy. HarperCollins, $24.95, 352 pages. Publication date November 6. Levy is the author of Robots Unlimited. “Levy explores how the human-robot relationship develops in this groundbreaking look at how, through the progression of technology, emotional and physical relationships with artificial intelligence is more likely to take place and flourish.” 


Wooden Books is Walker & Company’s series of “introductions to timeless sciences and vanishing arts .... Recreating the essence of medieval texts through elegant designs and writing, they are invaluable sources of information and inspiration.” What follows is the latest in this series of small books, each of which sells for $10 and is 64 pages long. Publication date November 6.

Islamic Design: A Genius for Geometry by Daud Sutton 

The Mayan and Other Ancient Calendars by Geoff Stray

Perspective and Other Optical Illusions by Phoebe  McNaughton 


Late Arrivals

Dinosaurs: The Most Complete, Up-to-Date Encyclopedia for Dinosaur Lovers of All Ages by Thomas R. Holtz, Jr., with illustrations by Luis V. Rey. Random House, $34.99, 432 pages. Publication date October 23.


Where We Stand: A Surprising Look at the Real State of Our Planet by Seymour Garte. Amacom Books, $24.95, 320 pages. Publication date October 9.


The Secret History of the War on Cancer by Devra Davis. Basic Books, $27.95, 304 pages. Publication date October 1.


Received during the week ended 11/9//07

The Science of Leonardo by Fritjof Capra. Doubleday, $26, 329 pages. Publication date October 30. Capra is a physicist and the author of four previous books, including The Tao of Physics. The author discusses Leonardo’s science from the point of view of “its essential nature — a holistic science of organic forms undergoing constant transformation.”


Objectivity by Lorraine Daston and Peter Galison. Zone Books, $38.95, 502 pages. Publication date October 31. Daston is director of the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science; Galison is a professor of the history of science at Harvard. The authors recount the emergence of objectivity in science, which they contend began in the late nineteenth century. Before that, “the idea had been prized over the actual....”


The Archimedes Codex: How a Medieval Prayer Book Is Revealing the True Genius of Antiquity’s Greatest Scientist by Reviel Netz and William Noel. Da Capo, $27.50, 312 pages. Publication date November 1. Netz is a professor of Classics and Philosophy at Stanford; his coauthor is director of the Archimedes Palimpsest Project. A recently discovered medieval prayer book was written over an earlier text, which turned out to be “the lost works of Archimedes — the greatest mathematician of antiquity.” This is the story of how the prayer book was found and what it contains.


Proust Was a Neuroscientist by Jonah Lehrer. Houghton Mifflin, $24, 224 pages. Publication date November 1. The author is a science journalist. This book is a “sparkling and original blend of biography, criticism, and first-rate science writing arguing that science is not the only path to knowledge.”


Received during the week ended 11/2//07

Earth on Fire: How Global Warming Is Changing the World by Gary Braasch. University of California Press, $34.95, 295 pages. Publication date October 15. Braasch is a photojournalist and the author of Photographing the Patterns of Nature. “In more that one hundred illustrations, including before-and-after photographs, Braasch records communities, landscapes, and animals at risk because of receding glaciers, eroding coastlines, rising sea levels, and thawing permafrost.”


The Toothpick: Technology and Culture by Henry Petroski. Knopf, $27.95, 443 pages. Publication date October 16. Petroski is a professor of civil engineering at Duke and the author of numerous books, including The Pencil. “As old as mankind and as universal as eating, this useful and ubiquitous tool finally gets its due ....”


The Haunted Observatory: Curiosities from the Astronomer’s Cabinet by Richard Baum. Prometheus, $28, 416 pages. Publication date October 23. Baum is director emeritus of British Astronomical Association and coauthor of In Search of Planet Vulcan. This book ”vividly conveys the romance of astronomy at a time when the vistas of outer space were a new frontier and astronomers ... set forth on uncharted seas and were haunted for a lifetime by marvels both seen and imagined.”


Crime Scene Chemistry for the Armchair Sleuth by Cathy Cobb, Monty L. Fetterolf, and Jack G. Goldsmith. Prometheus, $26, 400 pages. Publication date October 23. Cobb and Fetterolf teach chemistry and are coauthors of The Joy of Chemistry; Goldsmith is a police officer. In this book, they team up for an “intriguing trek through the science of chemistry, this time using the fascinating field of forensic chemistry as their framework.”


The Jewel House: Elizabethan London and the Scientific Revolution by Deborah Harkness. Yale University Press, $32.50, 368 pages. Publication date October 24. The author is a professor of history at the University of California and the author of John Dee’s Conversation with Angels. “The book examines several fascinating episodes of scientific inquiry and dispute in sixteenth-century London, bringing to life the individuals involved and the challenges they faced.”


What Are You Optimistic About? edited by John Brockman. Harper Perennial paperback original, $13.95, 400 pages. Advance reading copy. Publication date October 30. Brockman has written or edited more than 20 books, including Curious Minds. This book “is a collection of essays from brilliant and influential scientific thinkers that offer their hopeful visions for what lies ahead.”


Received during the week ended 10/26//07

A Life Decoded: My Genome: My Life by J. Craig Venter. Viking, $25.95, 390 pages. Publication date October 22. A pioneer in genomic research, the author published the completed sequence of the human genome in 2001. In this autobiography, he describes how he “transformed himself from an aimless young man into one of the leading scientists of our time ....”


Musicophilia: Tales of Music and the Brain by Oliver Sacks. Knopf, $26, 381 pages. Publication date October 22. Sacks is a professor of clinical neurology and psychiatry at Columbia University and the author of nine previous books, including Uncle Tungsten. This book “tackles the whole spectrum of the human body’s experience of music by studying it from the aesthetic as well as medical viewpoint.” 


Abraham’s Children: Race, Identity, and the DNA of the Chosen People by Jon Entine. Grand Central Publishing, $27.99, 320 pages. Publication date October 24. Entine is an adjunct fellow at the American Enterprise Institute and the author of or editor of four previous books, including TABOO: Why Black Athletes Dominate Sports and Why We Are Afraid to Talk About It. Here, he “tackles the vexed question of whether Jews, the most successful minority group in the history of the world, are genetically programmed to be intelligent.”


Hurricanes and the Middle Atlantic States: A Surprising History; Jamestown to the Present by Rick Schwartz. Blue Diamond Books, $32.95, 416 pages. Well illustrated with 200 photos and track maps.  “This book is a groundbreaking reference that examines the region’s 400-year recorded hurricane history, from Jamestown to the present.”


Now Available in Paperback

The Emotion Machine: Commonsense Thinking, Artificial Intelligence, and the Future of the Human Mind by Marvin Minsky. Simon & Schuster; originally published in 2006, paperback now available for $16; $26, 387 pages. Publication date November 13.


Received during the week ended 10/19//07

The Best American Science and Nature Writing 2007 edited by Richard Preston. Houghton Mifflin; hardback $28, paperback $14; 300 pages. Publication date October 10. Preston is a contributor to the New Yorker and the author of seven books, including The Hot Zone. This book contains a “collection of thought-provoking pieces” selected by the editor from magazines published in 2006, including one by NASW list serve regular Mike Lemonick. 


Amazing Rare Things: The Art of Natural History in the Age of Discovery by David Attenborough, Susan Owens, Martin Clayton, and Rea Alexandratos. Yale University Press, $37.50, 224 lavishly illustrated pages. Publication date October 15. “From the fifteenth century onward ... European explorers sailed forth on grand voyages of discovery.... [R]enowned naturalist and documentary-maker David Attenborough joins with expert colleagues to explore how artists portrayed the natural world during this era of burgeoning scientific interest.” 


Evil Genes: Why Rome Fell, Enron Failed, and My Sister Stole My Mother’s Boyfriend by Barbara Oakley. Prometheus, $28.95, 459 pages. Publication date October 16. The author is associate professor of engineering at Oakland University. “... Oakley uses cutting-edge images of the working brain to provide startling support for the idea that ‘evil’ people act the way they do mainly as a result of dysfunction.” She suggests that some people have ‘evil genes’ and “really are born to be bad.” 


Good Germs, Bad Germs: Health and Survival in a Bacterial World by Jessica Snyder Sachs. Hill and Wang, $25, 290 pages. Publication date October 21. Sachs is a freelance science journalist and the author of Corpse. She “explores our emerging understanding of the symbiotic relationship between the human body and its resident microbes ....” She also points out the not-always-beneficial health effects of improved public sanitation and the wide use of antibiotic drugs.


Received during the week ended 10/12//07

The Far Traveler: Voyages of a Viking Woman by Nancy Marie Brown. Harcourt, $25, 320 pages, Publication date October 1. Brown is a science writer and the author or coauthor of two previous books, including Mendel in the Kitchen. “Gudrid, a Viking woman .... was a leader and adventurer who .... twice tried to establish a Viking colony in North America 500 years before Columbus.”


The Jesuit and the Skull: Teilhard de Chardin, Evolution, and the Search for Peking Man by Amir D. Aczel. Riverhead, $24.95, 288 pages. Publication date October 4. Aczel is the author of 14 books, including Fermat’s Last Theorem. “...Teilhard de Chardin fought courageously against the entrenched beliefs and doctrines of his own church in an effort to reconcile religion with science ....”


Break Through: From the Death of Environmentalism to the Politics of Possibility by Ted Nordhaus and Michael Shellenberger. Houghton Mifflin, $25, 344 pages. Publication date October 4. The two men are directors of American Environics and authors of the 2004 essay “The Death of Environmentalism.” This book articulates “a new politics for a new century, one focused not on complaints and ecological limits but on aspirations and human possibility.”


Switching Time: A Doctor’s Harrowing Story of Treating a Woman with 17 Personalities by Richard Baer. Crown, $24.95, 368 pages. Publication date October 9. The author is a psychiatrist. This book is “the first full account by a treating physician of a multiple personality case.”


Now Available in Paperback

Second Nature: Brain Science and Human Knowledge by Gerald M. Edelman. Yale; originally published in 2006, paperback now available for $13; 204 pages. Publication date October 30.


Received during the week ended 10/5//07

Avoid Boring People: Lessons from a Life in Science by James D. Watson. Knopf, $26.95, 347 pages. Publication date September 27. Watson was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine in 1962. He is the author of several books, including The Double Helix. In this book, he “shares the less revolutionary secrets he has found to getting along and getting ahead in a competitive world.”


What We Know About Climate Change by Kerry Emanuel. MIT Press, $14.95, 85 pages. Publication date September 27. Emmanuel is a climate scientist at MIT and the author of Divine Wind. Despite extreme views showcased in the media, “reasonable scientists agree that human activity has significantly increased greenhouse gases in the atmosphere ... and that there is good reason for concern.”


The Spiritual Brain: A Neuroscientist’s Case for the Existence of the Soul by Mario Beauregard and Denyse O’Leary. Harper One, $25.95, 400 pages. Publication date September. Beauregard is on the faculty at the University of Montreal; O’Leary is freelance journalist. This book argues “for what many in science are unwilling to consider — that it is God that creates religious experiences, not the brain.”


Memoirs of a Monster Hunter: A Five-Year Journey in Search of the Unknown by Nick Redfern. New Page Books paperback original, $14.99, 255 pages. Publication date September. Redfern is a researcher and writer on the paranormal and the author several other books. “You thought that monsters don’t exist?” he writes. “It’s time to think again.” 


Human Body Size and the Laws of Scaling Physiological, Performance, Growth, Longevity and Ecological Ramifications edited by Thomas T. Samaras. Nova Science Publishers, $89, 381 pages. Publication date September. The author is the Director and Senior Researcher at Reventropy Associates in San Diego. This book applies the laws of scaling to “human performance, health, longevity, and the environment. Numerous examples ... illustrate the impact of increasing body size on ... work output, athletics and intellectual performance.”


Received during the week ended 9/28/07

Into the Minds of Babes: How Screen Time Affects Children From Birth to Age Five by Lisa Guernsey. Basic Books, $25, 287 pages. Publication date September. The author is a former reporter for the New York Times. In her book, she “goes beyond the headlines to explore what exactly is ‘educational’ about educational media.”


Smoot’s Ear: The Measure of Humanity by Robert Tavernor. Yale, $25, 224 pages. Publication date September 24. Tavernor is professor of architecture and urban design at the London School of Economics and the author of several books, including On Alberti and the Art of Building. This book “offers a fascinating account of the various measuring systems human beings has devised over two millennia.”


A Field Guide To Household Bugs by Joshua Abarbanel and Jeff Swimmer. Plume paperback original, $12, 115 pages. Publication date September 25. Abarbanel is an artist who creates large-scale works on paper; Swimmer is a journalist and filmmaker. “Using humor and in-your-face microphotography Field Guide reveals how our homes and bodies are in fact ‘wild kingdoms’ of rampaging bloodsuckers, web-weavers, and pillow-jumpers.”


Ten Discoveries That Rewrote History by Patrick Hunt. Plume paperback original, $13, 226 pages. Publication date September 25. The author is in the classics department at Stanford University. Here, he ranks “the greatest archeological discoveries since the creation of the discipline....”


Now Available in Paperback

Technology Matters: Questions to Live With by David E. Nye. MIT Press; originally published in 2006, paperback now available for $14.95; 304 pages. Publication date October 22.


Received during the week ended 9/21/07

The Body Has a Mind of Its Own: How Body Maps in Your Brain Help You Do (Almost) Everything Better by Sandra and Matthew Blakeslee. Random House, $24.95, 228 pages. Publication date September 11. The authors are a mother- and-son team of highly experienced science writers. In this book, they “explore the exciting science of ‘body maps’ in the brain — and how startling new discoveries about the mind-body connection can change and improve our lives.” 


The Best American Science Writing 2007 edited by Gina Kolata. Ecco, $14.95, 330 pages. Publication date September 18. Kolata is a science and medicine reporter for the New York Times and the author of several books, including Clone: The Road to Dolly. This book “features articles from a wide variety of publications and provides a comprehensive overview of the year’s most interesting, thought-provoking, and exciting scientific developments.”


Red Moon Rising: Sputnik and the Hidden Rivalries That Ignited the Space Age by Matthew Brzezinski. Time Books, $26, 304 pages. Publication date September 18. The author is a former Moscow correspondent for The Wall Street Journal. In this book, the author argues that “the impetus behind Sputnik had nothing to do with a desire to explore the heavens and everything to do with the Soviet Union’s quest to build a weapon hat could strike the United States without warning.”


Apollo’s Fire: A Day on Earth in Nature and Imagination by Michael Sims. Viking, $24.95, 296 pages. Publication date September 24. Sims is the author of several books, including Adam’s Navel. This book “combines Sims’s keen knowledge of myth, literature and folklore with his intimate understanding of astronomy and earth science, and takes us on a romantic and fascinating journey through a single day on Earth.”


Now Available in Paperback

Fatigue as a Window to the Brain by John DeLuca. The MIT Press; originally published in 2005, now available in paperback for $28; 360 pages. Publication date September 20.


Received during the week ended 9/14/07

A Ball, a Dog, and a Monkey: 1957 — The Space Race Begins by Michael D’Antonio. Simon & Schuster, $26, 291 pages. Publication date September. D’Antonio shared a Pulitzer Prize with a team of reporters for Newsday. He is the author of several books, including Atomic Harvest. The book tells how the 1957 launch of Sputnik “sparked the world’s imagination and spread fear that the Soviet Union had surpassed the U.S. [and] it spurred America to reach for the stars.” Advance reading copy previewed here on 8/10/07.


Quirkology: How We Discover the Big Truths in Small Things by Richard Wiseman. Basic Books, $26, 323 pages. Publication date September 6. Wiseman is a professor at the University of Hertfordshire and the author of eight books, including The Luck Factor. In this book, he “reveals the secret psychology of particular aspects of our lives, whether it is selfishness, superstition, or decision-making.”


Climate Change: What It Means for Us, Our Children, and Our Grandchildren edited by Joseph F.C. DiMento and Pamela Doughman. MIT Press paperback original, $19.95, 232 pages. Publication date September 7. DiMento is a professor at the University of California, Irvine; Doughman is an assistant professor at University of Illinois at Springfield. This book “explains the science behind it [climate change] clearly and concisely in nontechnical language, describes its potential effects, and suggests how action may be taken to combat it.”


Of a Feather: A Brief History of American Birding by Scott Weidensaul. Harcourt, $25, 358 pages. Publication date September 10. Weidensaul is a naturalist and the author of several books, including Living on the Wind. Here, he “traces the colorful history of American birding — from the moment Europeans arrived in North America, awestruck by a continent awash with birds — to its modern-day explosion in popularity ....” 


The Stuff of Thought: Language as a Window into Human Nature by Steven Pinker. Viking, $29.95, 512 pages. Publication date September 11. Pinker is a professor of psychology at Harvard and the author three previous books, including The Blank Slate. “By looking closely at our everyday speech — our conversations, our jokes, our legal disputes — Pinker paints a vivid picture of the thoughts and emotions that populate our mental lives.”


Received during the week ended 9/7/07

The Immeasurable Mind: The Real Science of Psychology by William R. Uttal. Prometheus, $29, 300 pages. Publication date July 31. Uttal is professor emeritus of psychology at the University of Michigan, professor emeritus of engineering at Arizona State University, and the author of numerous books. This book attempts to answer the question: “Is psychology a science? ... Uttal comes to the conclusion that psychology is a science only to the extent that it is behaviorist in orientation.”


“Live from Cape Canaveral”: Covering the the Space Race, from Sputnik to Today by Jay Barbree, Smithsonian Books, $26.95, 321 pages. Publication date September 1. Barbree has covered the space race for NBC since Sputnik. He is also coauthor of Moonshot. This memoir  “offers Jay’s personal history of the first half century of space exploration.”


Present at the Future: From Evolution to Nanotechnology. Candid and Controversial Conversations on Science and Nature by Ira Flatow. Collins, $24.95, 354 pages. Publication date September 4. Flatow is NPR’s science correspondent and the author of several books of popular science, including They All Laughed. In this book, “Flatow offers an in depth look at the pioneers of today’s science and technology and explains what it all means in a language we can understand.”


The Heart edited by James Peto. Yale, $35, 272 pages. Publication date September 6. The editor is a curator of the Wellcome Collection’s 2007 exhibition, The Heart. “This lavishly illustrated new book presents a vivid picture of the human heart and its place in culture and medicine.”


Now Available in Paperback

The Homework Myth: Why Our Kids Get Too Much of a Bad Thing by Alfie Kohn. Da Capo; originally published in 2006, paperback now available for $14.95; 250 pages. Publication date September 1.


Received during the week ended 8/31/07

Supervolcano: The Catastrophic Event That Changed the Course of Human History by John Savino and Marie D. Jones. New Page Books paperback original, $17.99, 288 pages. Publication date August. Savino is a geophysicist; Jones is the author of PSIence. This book “explores the eruption 

of the Toba supervolcano in Sumatra, Tunisia, [75,000 years ago] and the strong possibility of another supervolcano eruption in our lifetime.”


The Numbers Behind Numb3rs by Keith Devlin and Gary Lorden. Plume paperback original, $14, 243 pages. Publication date August 28. Devlin is executive director of Stanford’s Center for the Study of Language and Information and the author of The Math Gene; Lorden is a consultant for the television program Numb3rs. The authors “present compelling examples that illustrate how advanced mathematics can be used in state-of-the-art crime-fighting.”


Death in the Pot: The Impact of Food Poisoning on History by Morton Satin. Prometheus $24, 262 pages. Publication date August 28. Satin is the author of Food Alert! The Ultimate Sourcebook for Food Safety. “Satin spans the ancient world to the present day, documenting [food poisoning] events both tragic and bizarre.”


Previously Published

Sputnik: The Shock of the Century by Paul Dickson. Walker; originally published in 2001, rereleased as a hardback for $19.95; 320 pages. Publication date August 15.


Received during the week ended 8/24/07

Beyond AI: Creating the Conscience of the Machine by J. Storrs Hall. Prometheus, $28, 408 pages. Publication date July 31. The author is a research fellow at the Institute for Molecular Manufacturing. “There is new excitement in the field [artificial intelligence] over the amazing capabilities of the latest robots and renewed optimism that achieving human-level intelligence is a reachable goal.”


Ghosthunters: On the Trail of Mediums, Dowsers, Spirit Seekers, and Other Investigators of America’s Paranormal World by John Kachuba. New Page Books paperback original, $15.99, 256 pages. Publication date August. Kachuba is the author of Ghosthunting, Ohio. In this book, “Kachuba examines the cultural phenomena surrounding spirits and delves into some of the many theories pertaining to the supernatural ....”


Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America by Eric R. Eaton and Kenn Kaufman. Houghton Mifflin, $18.95, 392 pages. Eaton is an entomologist; Kaufman is a naturalist and coauthor of three other field guides in this series. The authors have “put together a beautiful and educational guide that is guaranteed to bring out the bug lover in anyone ....”


The Second Law of Life: Energy, Technology, and the Future of Earth as We Know It by John E.J. Schmitz. William Andrew Publishing, $27.99, 206 pages. The author works in semiconductor technology research. “This fascinating and easily understood journey through the second law of thermodynamics,” may help us “find ways to reduce energy loss.”


Wild Caribbean: The Hidden Wonders of the World’s Most Famous Islands by Michael Bright, with Karen Bass and Scott Alexander. Yale paperback original, $25, 224 pages. Publication date September 6. Bright is a producer with the BBC, as are his two coauthors. Bright is also the author of numerous books, including Andes to Amazon. “This book is a gorgeously illustrated exploration and celebration of the wild life and the wild places of the Caribbean.”


Now Available in Paperback

An Argument for Mind by Jerome Kagan. Yale; originally published in 2006, paperback now available for $17; 304 pages. Publication date September 13. 


The Cutter Incident: How America’s First Polio Vaccine Led to the Growing Vaccine Crisis by Pauk A. Offit. Yale; originally published in 2005, paperback now available for $17; 256 pages. Publication date September 13.


Received during the week ended 8/10/07

Science and Ethics: Can Science Help Us Make Wise Moral Judgments? edited by Paul Kurtz with the assistance of David Koepsell. Prometheus paperback original, $21, 358 pages. Publication date July 31. Kurtz is professor emeritus of philosophy at the University of Buffalo; his coauthor is executive director of the Council for Secular Humanism. “Editor Paul Kurtz maintains that there is a modified form of naturalistic ethics that is deeply relevant to both science and ethics and provides guidelines for our moral choices.”


A Ball, a Dog, and a Monkey: 1957 — The Space Race Begins by Michael D’Antonio. Simon & Schuster, $26, 291 pages. Advance reading copy. Publication date September. D’Antonio shared a Pulitzer Prize with a team of reporters for Newsday. He is the author of several books, including Atomic Harvest. The book tells how the 1957 launch of Sputnik “sparked the world’s imagination and spread fear that the Soviet Union had surpassed the U.S. [and] it spurred America to reach for the stars.”


Now Available in Paperback

A Man on the Moon: The Voyages of the Apollo Astronauts by Andrew Chaiken, Penguin; originally published in 1994, paperback now available for $18; 720 pages. Publication date August 28.


The Trouble with Physics: The Rise of String Theory, The Fall of a Science, and What Comes Next by Lee Smolin. Houghton Mifflin; originally published in 2006, paperback now available for $15.95; 416 pages. Publication date September 4.


Madhouse: A Tragic Tale of Megalomania and Modern Medicine by Andrew Scull. Yale; originally published in 2005, paperback now available for $18; 384 pages. Publication date September 4.


Received during the week ended 8/3/07

The Fabulous Fibonacci Numbers by Alfred S. Posamentier and Ingmar Lehmann. Prometheus, $28, 385 pages. Publication date July 24. Posamentier is a professor of mathematics education at City University of New York. Lehmann is on the mathematics faculty of Humboldt University in Berlin. The Fibonacci sequence of numbers “recurs in structures throughout nature — from the arrangement of whorls on a pinecone to the branches of certain plant stems.”


Mammals of Madagascar: A Complete Guide by Nick Garbutt. Yale University Press paperback original, $39.95, 304 pages. Publication date August 28. Garbutt is a wildlife photographer and author. This book is “the definitive guide to the mammals of the world’s fourth-largest island.”


Now Available in Paperback

Before Darwin: Reconciling God and Nature by Keith Thomson. Yale University Press; originally published in 2005, paperback now available for $18; 336 pages. Publication date August 28.


This Is Your Brain on Music: The Science of a Human Obsession by Daniel J. Levitin. Plume; originally published in 2006, paperback now available for $15; 322 pages. Publication date August 28.


Received during the week ended 7/27/07

How Mathematics Happened: The First 50,000 Years by Peter S. Rudman. Prometheus, $26, 320 pages. Publication date July 24. Previewed here on 9/29/06. The author is a physics professor at Technion-Israel Institute of Technology. This book "traces the evolution of number systems from finger counting in hunter-gatherer cultures to pebble counting in in herder-farmer cultures of the Nile and Tigris-Euphrates valleys, which defined the number systems that continued to be used even after the invention of writing.”


To Follow the Water: Exploring the Ocean to Discover Climate by Dallas Murphy. Basic Books, $26, 278 pages. Publication date August 1. Murphy is the author of Rounding the Horn. In this book, he “narrates the history of man’s relationship with the ocean beginning with the Great Age of Exploration and proceeding through today’s efforts ... to understand the ocean’s role in determining climate.”


An Ocean of Air: Why the Wind Blows and Other Mysteries of the Atmosphere by Gabrielle Walker. Harcourt, $25, 272 page. Publication date August 6. The author is a science journalist. “A triumphant celebration of the Earth’s atmosphere .... the most extraordinary — and most underrated — substance on earth, responsible for just about every aspect of our lives.”


Now Available in Paperback

The Casebook of Forensic Detection: How Science Solved 100 of the World’s Most Baffling Crimes by Colin Evans. Berkley Trade; originally published in 1996, updated paperback now available for $15; 387 pages. Publication date August 7.


Received during the week ended 7/20/07

The Pythagorean Theorem: A 4,000 Year History by Eli Maor. Princeton, $24.95, 286 pages. Publication date July 11. Maor teaches the history of mathematics at Loyola University and is the author of four previous books, including Venus in Transit. This book tells “the full story of this famous theorem.”


The Upright Ape: A New Origin of the Species by Aaron G, Filler. New Page Books, $24.99, 288 pages. Publication date July. Filler is a neurosurgeon at the Institute for Spinal Disorders at Cedars Sinai Medical Center and the author of Do You Really Need Back Surgery? Filler “questions and rejects the reigning scientific orthodoxy, and show how humans and apes may have had a common upright ancestor — an ‘upright ape’....”


Fear of Physics: A Guide for the Perplexed by Lawrence M. Krauss. Basic Books paperback, originally published in 1992, now revised and updated; $15.95; 257 pages. Publication date July. Krauss is a professor of physics and astronomy at Case Western Reserve University and the author of several books, including The Fifth Essence. He “presents the most up-to-date, unified picture of the ay physicists understand nature....” 


The Physics of Star Trek by Lawrence M. Krauss. Basic Books paperback, originally published in 1994, now revised and updated; $15; 251 pages. Publication date July. See author’s note above. This book explores the physics behind the television program, including quantum teleportation, warp, and extra dimensions. It also lists some of the biggest bloopers in the series.


Received during the week ended 7/13/07

Parts Per Million: The Poisoning of Beverly Hills High School by Joy Horowitz. Viking, $25.95, 442 pages. Publication date July 23. The author is a graduate of Beverly Hills High School and a journalist whose work has appeared in several publications, including The New Yorker. “{A} staggering number of Horowitz’s classmates, fellow alumni, residents, and former teachers have been diagnosed with or died from cancer .... This mass tort case explores the troubling possibility that this town could have been knowingly poisoning itself for decades.”


Straight Talk About Cosmetic Surgery by Arthur W. Perry. Yale University Press; hardback $45, paperback $18; 284 pages. Publication date July 26. The author is a New York plastic surgeon. In this book, he “explains the pros and cons of cosmetic surgery and skin care to help you determine what is — or isn’t — right for you.”

 

The Blue Death: Disease, Disaster, and the Water We Drink by Robert D. Morris. HarperCollins, $24.95, 310 pages. Advance reading copy. Publication date July 31. The author is a physician specializing in environmental health. This book “is a probing, eye-opening look at the murky dangers lurking in our drinking water....”


Now Available in Paperback

Every Second Counts: The Race to Transplant the First Human Heart by Donald McRae. Berkley Trade; originally published in 2006, paperback now available for $16;; 390 pages. Publication date August 7.


Received during the week ended 7/6/07

Treatment Kind and Fair: Letters To a Young Doctor by Perri Klass. Basic Books, $24.95, 233 pages. Publication date June 18. Klass is a practicing pediatrician and the author of several books, including the novel The Mystery of Breathing. In this book, she “writes a series of letter to her son addressing what it really means to enter the medical profession.” Advance reading copy previewed here on 6/15/07.


Gut Feelings: The Intelligence of the Unconscious by Gerd Gigerenzer. Viking, $25.95, 288 pages. Publication date July 9. The author is the director of the Max Planck Institute for Human Development. This book “shows how gut feelings not only lead to good practical decisions, but also underlie the moral choices that make our society function.” 


Lives of the Planets: A Natural History of the Solar System by Richard Corfield. Basic Books, $27.50, 268 pages. Publication date July 9. Corfield is a senior lecturer at the Open University and the author of two previous books, including The Silent Landscape. Here, he “reveals how scientists are working, for the first time, towards a clear understanding of the geological history of the solar system.”


The Third Domain: The Untold Story of Archaea and the Future of Biotechnology by Tim Friend. Joseph Henry Press, $27.95, 296 pages. Advance reading copy. Publication date July 12. Friend is science writer, reporter, and the author of Animal Talk. This book “tells the story of the discovery of Archaea, a new form of life that exists in the most extreme environments on Earth.”


Now Available in Paperback

Many Worlds in One: The Search for Other Universes by Alex Vilenkin. Hill & Wang; originally published in 2006, paperback now available for $15; 235 pages. Publication date July 17.


Received during the week ended 6/29/07

The Telescope: Its History, Technology, and Future by Geoff Anderson. Princeton, $29.95, 248 pages. Publication date May. The author is a physicist at the Air Force Academy. “This book covers every aspect of optical telescopes — from the humblest backyard setup, to state-of-the-art observatories, to the Hubble Space Telescope and spy satellites.”


The Clean Tech Revolution: The Next Big Growth and Investment Opportunity by Ron Pernick and Clint Wilder. Collins, $26.95, 308 pages. Publication date June 12. The authors are cofounder and contributing editor (respectively) at the research and publishing firm Clean Edge. This book shows “how developing clean technologies [solar energy, wind power, etc.]... “is “a money-making enterprise moving solidly into the business mainstream ....”


Storm World: Hurricanes, Politics, and the Battle Over Global Warming by Chris Mooney. Harcourt, $26, 400 pages. Publication date July 9. Mooney is a science journalist and the author of The Republican War on Science. Is “human-induced global warming increasing the ferocity of hurricanes? Between interest group politicking, media excesses, scientific suppression by the Bush administration, and hurricanes slamming the coast, the debate has spun up a storm of controversy."


Glut: Mastering Information Through the Ages by Alex Wright. Joseph Henry Press, $27.95, 296 pages. Advance reading copy. Publication date July. The author is a journalist and information architect. In this book, he suggests “that the future of the information age may lie deep in our cultural past."


Received during the week ended 6/22/07

DNA: How the Biotech Revolution Is Changing the Way We Fight Disease by Frank H. Stephenson. Prometheus, $26, 333 pages. Publication date June 19. Stephenson is a biochemist and the author of Calculations for Molecular Biology and Biotechnology. “With a gift for making the complexities of of genetics and biochemistry understandable to the average reader, Stephenson offers a fascinating tour of the mechanisms of our body and ... therapeutic techniques ....”


The Last Human: A Guide to Twenty-Two Species of Extinct Humans by Esteban Sarmiento, G.J. Sawyer, and Richard Milner. Yale, $45, 256 pages. Publication date June 28. Sawyer and Milner are associated with American Museum of Natural History; Sarmiento has done extensive field work in Africa. Lavishly illustrated, the book tells how “More that 20 species of now extinct humans made their way on Earth before Homo sapiens. Their story is part of our story.” 


Wired Shut: Copyright and the Shape of Digital Culture by Tarleton Gillespie. MIT Press, $29.95, 395 pages. Publication date June 29. The author is an assistant professor in the Department of Communications at Cornell University. The core of these [copyright] changes is a shift from regulating the use of cultural work through law, to regulating the design of the technology so as to constrain its use.”


Now Available in Paperback

Underwater to Get Out of the Rain: A Love Affair with the Sea by Trevor Norton. DaCapo, $14.95, 385 pages. Publication date June 1.


Hollow Earth: The Long and Curious History of Imagining Strange Lands, Fantastical Creatures, Advanced Civilizations, and Marvelous Machines Below the Earth’s Surface by David Standish. Da Capo, $24.95, 295 pages. Publication date July 1.


Received during the week ended 6/15/07

Treatment Kind and Fair: Letters To a Young Doctor by Perri Klass. Basic Books, $24.95, 272 pages. Advance reading copy. Publication date June 18. Klass is a practicing pediatrician and the author of several books, including the novel The Mystery of Breathing. In this book, she “writes a series of letter to her son addressing what it really means to enter the medical profession.”


Nature’s Engraver: A Life of Thomas Bewick by Jenny Uglow. Farrar, Strauss & Giroux, $30, 458 pages. Publication date June 19. Uglow is the author of three previous book, including The Lunar Men. “Working with his own tools ... Bewick [1753-1828] transformed the hitherto humble medium of the woodblock into art, producing accurate images of birds and animals ....”


Barry Commoner and the Science of Survival: The Remaking of American Environmentalism by Michael Egan. MIT Press, $28, 320 pages. Publication date June 20. The author is an assistant professor of history at McMaster University. The author “argues that Commoner’s belief in the importance of dissent, the dissemination of scientific information, and the need for citizen empowerment were critical planks in the remaking of American environmentalism.” 


Poincaré’s Prize: The Hundred-Year Quest To Solve One of Math’s Greatest Puzzles by George G. Szpiro. Dutton, $24.95, 309 pages. Publication date June 21. The author is a mathematician and assistant professor of finance at Hebrew University. In 2003, almost a century after it was posed, a mysterious Russian, Grigory Perelman, proved the Poincaré conjecture. This story revolves around Perelman, who “looks like Rasputin, lives in poverty with his mother, refuses prizes, and avoids almost everyone including the press.” 


Now Available in Paperback

The Revenge of Gaia: Earth’s Climate Crisis and the Fate of Humanity by James Lovelock, Basic Book; originally published in 2006, paperback now available for $15.95; 177 pages. Publication date June 12.


Received during the week ended 6/8/07

Why Don’t Penguin’s Feet Freeze? And 114 Other Questions by New Scientist Magazine. Free Press paperback original, $14, 212 pages. Publication date June 5. This book is “a funny collection of quirky questions and astonishing answers straight from the pages of New Scientist magazine.”


Group Genius: The Creative Power of Collaboration by Keith Sawyer. Basic Books, $26.95, 288 pages. Publication date June 11. Sawyer is an associate professor of psychology at Washington University and the author of Explaining Creativity. In this book, the author argues that creativity never comes from a single source — “collaboration is always at the heart of creative breakthroughs.” Advance reading copy previewed here on June 1.


Balance: In Search of the Lost Sense by Scott McCredie. Little, Brown; $24.99, 296 pages. Publication date June 12. The author is an award-winning journalist. This book is “a fascinating scientific, historical, and cultural look at balance, without which we would not be able to maintain upright posture, focus our vision, or even think clearly.”


Now Available in Paperback

Unknown Quantity: A Real and Imaginary History of Algebra by John Derbyshire. Plume; hardback published in 2006, paperback now available for $16. Publication date May 29.


In the Company of Crows and Ravens by John M. Marzluff and Tony Angell. Yale; hardback published in 2005, paperback now available for $18; 408 pages. Publication date June 5.


Received during the week ended 6/1/07

Group Genius: The Creative Power of Collaboration by Keith Sawyer. Basic Books, $26.95, 288 pages. Advance reading copy. Publication date June. Sawyer is an associate professor of psychology at Washington University and the author of Explaining Creativity. In this book, the author argues that creativity never comes from a single source — “collaboration is always at the heart of creative breakthroughs.” 


Silence of the Songbirds by Bridget Stuchbury. Walker, $24.95, 272 pages. Publication date June 1. The author is a professor of biology at York University in Toronto and coauthor of Behavioral Ecology of Tropical Birds. “Our songbirds are disappearing and I am convinced that our natural world will be shaken to the core if their numbers drop so far that they can no longer play their traditional and crucial ecological roles in our natural communities....”


A Crack in the Earth: A Journey up Israel’s Rift Valley by Haim Watzman. Farrar, Strauss and Giroux, $23, 194 pages. Publication date June 3. Watzman is a journalist and the the author of Company C: An American’s Life as a Citizen Soldier in Israel. This book “takes on the whole of the geological and human history as they developed in the Rift Valley, the defining geological feature between Israel, Jordan and the Palestinian West Bank....”


Now Available in Paperback

The Cloudspotter’s Guide: The Science, History, and Culture of Clouds by Gavin Pretor-Pinney. Berkley; hardback published in 2006, paperback now available for $13.95; 320 pages. Publication date June 5.


Received during the week ended 5/25/07

A Culture of Improvement: Technology and the Western Millennium by Robert Friedel. MIT Press, $39.95, 588 pages. Publication date May 18. Friedel is a professor of history at the University of Maryland and the author of several previous books, including Edison’s Electric Light. This book argues that humans have a “deep-rooted belief that things could be done in a better way.” 


Breathing Space: How Allergies Shape Our Lives and Landscapes by Gregg Mitman. Yale University Press, $39, 312 pages. Publication date May 28. Mitman is a professor of the history of science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the author of two previous books. “More than fifty million Americans suffer from allergies ....Yet despite advances in biomedicine and enormous investment in research over the past fifty years, the burden of allergic disease continues to grow.”


Hubbub: Filth, Noise, and Stench in England by Emily Cockayne. Yale, $35, 335 page. Publication date May 28. The author is a research assistant in history at the Open University. This book “examines in vivid detail the often stomach-turning assault on the senses that marked the pre-industrial urban experience.


The Questions Science Can’t Answer (Yet!): A Guide to Science’s Greatest Mysteries by Michael Hanlon. Macmillan, $24.95, 192 pages. Publication date May 29. Hanlon is the author of three previous books, including The Science of the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. In this book, he “identifies ten scientific questions that we simply can’t seem to answer and explains why these compelling mysteries will remain unsolved for years to come.”


Reversing Dry Eye Syndrome: Practical Ways To Improve Your Comfort, Vision, and Appearance by Steven L. Maskin. Yale; $45 hardback, $17 paperback; 272 pages. Publication date May 31. Maskin is a practicing ophthalmologist in Tamp, Florida; Thomas is a freelance writer. Dry eye syndrome is one of the most common eye diseases ....This clear accessible book ... offers detailed medical information and expert treatment advice.”


Received during the week ended 5/11/07

The Snoring Bird: My Family’s Journey Through a Century of Biology by Bernd Heinrich. Ecco, $29.95, 460 pages. Publication date May 8. Heinrich is a professor of biology at University of Vermont and the author of numerous books, including Mind of the Raven. This memoir “takes readers on a multi-generation, cross-continent journey, from his father’s days as a soldier in both World Wars, to his family’s daring escape from the Red Army in 1945 ....”


Marshes: The Disappearing Edens by William Burt. Yale, $35, 192 pages. Publication date May 16. The author is a writer and photographer whose work has appeared in magazines and museums. In this book, “his photographs explore all aspects and seasons od marsh life but focus especially on such shy inhabitants as rails, bitterns, grebes, and gallinules.”


Aftermath, Inc.: Cleaning Up After CSI Goes Home by Gil Reavill. Gotham Books, $25, 284 pages. Publication date May 17. Reavill writes about true crime and is the author or coauthor of several books, including Smut. This book is his “account of encountering graphic death scenes and philosophizing about the psychological impact of being exposed to death on a daily basis.”


Now Available in Paperback

Epic of Evolution: Seven Ages of the Cosmos by Eric Chaisson. Columbia University Press; hardback published in 2005, paperback now available for $22.95; 478 pages. Publication date March 30.


Ghost Hunters: William James and the Hunt for Scientific Proof of Life After Death by Deborah Blum. Penguin; hardback originally published in 2006, paperback now available for $15; 384 pages. Publication date May 29.


Received during the week ended 5/4//07

Mistakes Were Made (but not by me): Why We Justify Foolish Beliefs, Bad Decisions, and Hurtful Acts by Carol Tavris and Elliott Aronson. Harcourt, $25, 304 pages. Publication date May. Tavris is a writer with several books to her credit, including Anger: The Misunderstood Emotion; Aronson, who taught at the University of California and Stanford. is the author of many books, including The Social Animal. This book “digs deeper to offer an objective and startlingly honest assessment of human nature .... [and] highlights the frailties and resilience of the psyche, and the impact it has on both everyday life and on world issues.”


The Internet Imaginaire by Patrice Flichy. MIT Press, $29.95, 255 pages. Publication date May 11. The author is a professor of sociology at University of Marne de la Valleé, France. This book “examines the social imagination that produces ... [the World Wide Web] with its rich soil for information, activism, artistic production, and innovation.”


The Man Who Stopped Time: The Illuminating Story of Eadweard Muybridge — Pioneer Photographer, Father of the Motion Picture, Murderer by Brian Clegg. Joseph Henry Press, $27.97, 276 pages. Advance reading copy. Publication date May 12. Clegg is the author of four previous books, including The God Effect. This book is a biography of Muybridge, the inventor of the stop-motion photograph, the predecessor of “today’s cinema and television.”


Darwin’s Gift To Science and Religion by Francisco J. Ayala. Joseph Henry press, $24.95, 256 pages. Publication date May 15. The author is professor of biological sciences at University of California, Irvine, and a member of the National Academy of Sciences. This book “offers a way to reconcile religion and science on the issue of evolution.”


Now Available in Paperback

Evolution and Learning: The Baldwin Effect Reconsidered Bruce H. Weber and David J. Depew, ed. MIT Press; hardback originally published in 2003, paperback now available for $25; 342 pages. Publication date May 3.


Received during the week ended 4/27//07

Nonplussed! Mathematical Proof of Implausible Ideas by Julian Havil. Princeton University Press, $24.95, 196 pages. Publication date March. Havil teaches mathematics at Winchester College, England, and is the author of Gamma: Exploring Euler’s Constant. This book “is a delightfully eclectic collection of paradoxes from many different areas of math ...” and “shows the truth of these and many other unbelievable ideas.”


The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable by Nassim Nicholas Taleb. Random House, $26.95, 366 pages. Publication date April 17. Taleb is a former professor in the Sciences of Uncertainty at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and the author of Fooled by Randomness. “A Black Swan is a highly improbable event that is unpredictable, has massive impact, and after the fact, people concoct explanations in order to lessen its randomness.”


The Fragile Edge: Diving and Other Adventures in the South Pacific by Julia Whitty. Houghton Mifflin, $25, 304 pages. Publication date May 7. Whitty is a television writer and producer and the author of a short-story collection, A Tortoise for the Queen of Tonga. In this book, she “brings to life not only the goings-on beneath the oceans surface, but also stories from the topside. painting lively portraits of those individuals whose fates are interwoven with that of the sea.”


Justinian’s Flea: Plague, Empire, and the Birth of Europe by William Rosen. Viking, $27.95, 367 pages. Publication date May 7. The author was an executive at two New York publishing companies. This “is the story of the forces that transformed the Mediterranean world of late antiquity and the role played in that evolution by the plague that decimated the classical world — and ushered in the birth of medieval Europe.”


Received during the week ended 4/20//07

The Physics of Christianity by Frank J. Tipler. Doubleday, $27.50, 320 pages. Publication date May 1. Tipler is professor of mathematical physics at Tulane University and the author several books, including The Physics of Immortality. “Tipler’s defense of the scientific consistency of miracles, which do not violate physical laws, provides an impressive, credible scientific foundation for many of Christianity’s most profound claims ....”


Faux Real: Genuine Leather and 200 Years of Inspired Fakes by Robert Kanigel. Joseph Henry Press, $27.95, 296 pages. Advance reading copy. Publication date May 1. Kanigel is a professor of science writing at MIT and the author of three previous books, including The One Best Way. Leather has had many imitators over the years from Leatherette to Naugahyde. This book “explores the borderland of the almost-real, the ersatz, and the fake, illuminating a centuries-old culture war between the authentic and the imitative.”


Degrees That Matter: Climate Change and the University by Ann Rappaport and Sarah Hammond Creighton. MIT Press paperback original, $24.95, 376 pages. Publication date May 4. Rappaport is on the faculty at Tufts University; Creighton is a project manager there. Both authors have published previous books. “As laboratories for learning and centers research, they [universities] can reduce their own emissions of greenhouse gases, educate students about global warming, and direct scholarly attention to to issues related to climate change and energy.” 


Gertrude Bell: Queen of the Desert, Shaper of Nations by Georgina Howell. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, $27.50, 481 pages. Publication date April 25. The author is a British journalist. “At one time, [Gertrude Bell] was the most powerful woman in the British Empire, a nation builder, the driving force behind the creation of Iraq.”


Now Available in Paperback

The Voyage of the Vizcaína: The Mystery of Christopher Columbus’ Last Ship by Klaus Brinkbäumer and Clemens Höges. Harvest Paperbacks; hardback published in 2006, paperback now available for $15; 328 pages. Publication date May 7.


Received during the week ended 4/13//07

An Illusion of Harmony: Science and Religion in Islam by Taner Edis. Prometheus,, $28, 265 pages. Publication date March 27. Edis is associate professor of physics at Truman State University and the author of several books, including The Ghost in the Universe. “Edis examines the range of Muslim thinking about science and Islam from blatantly pseudoscientific fantasies to comparatively sophisticated efforts to ‘Islamize science.’”


How To Remember Anything: The Total Proven Memory Retention System by Dean Vaughn. St. Martin’s Griffin paperback original, $13.95, 242 pages. Publication date April 19. The author is president of Dean Vaughn Learning Systems. This book “outlines a practical ten-step system that he has used to help millions sharpen their memory skills.”


Side Effects by Adam Phillips. Harper Perennial paperback original, $13.95, 336 pages. Publication date April 24. Publication date April 24. Phillips is a psychoanalyst and the author of eleven previous books, including Going Sane. This book “is a brilliant collection of interwoven essays exploring the links between psychoanalysis and literature.” Advance reading copy previewed here on March 9.


Now Available in Paperback

Organic, Inc.: Natural Foods and How They Grew by Samuel Fromartz. Harcourt; hardback published in 2006, paperback now available for $14; 309 pages. Publication date March 5.



Received during the week ended 4/6//07

The Brain That Changes Itself: Stories of Personal Triumph from the Frontiers of Brain Science by Norman Doidge. Viking, $24.95, 427 pages. Publication date March. The author is a psychiatrist on the faculty of Columbia University Psychoanalytic Center. In this book, he argues that “the brain can change itself .... through thought and activity.”


The Evolving Brain: The Known and the Unknown by R. Grant Steen. Prometheus, $28, 437 pages. Publication date March. Steen is a neurophysiologist at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine. This “fascinating tour of the brain provides the general reader with the latest information on one of the most intriguing and burgeoning areas of scientific research.” Advance reading copy previewed here on 11/10/06.


After Sputnik: 50 Years of the Space Age by Martin Collins, ed. Smithsonian Books, $35, 256 pages. Publication date April 1. Collins is a curator at the Smithsonian and the author of several books, including Space Race. This book “tells the story of the first half-century of space exploration through a close consideration of 140 items selected from the holdings of the National Air and Space Museum ....”


Why Beauty Is Truth: A History of Symmetry by Ian Stewart. Basic Books, $26.95, 290 pages. Publication date April 16. Stewart is professor of mathematics at the University of Warwick and the author of numerous books, including Letters To a Young Mathematician. This book “chronicles the symmetrical relationship between mathematical ideas and the physical world ....” Advance reading copy previewed here on 3/12/07.


Now Available in Paperback

Wired for Speech: How Voice Activates and Advances the Human-Computer Relationship by Clifford Nass and Scott Brave. MIT Press; originally published in 2005, now available in paperback for $17.95; 296 pages. Publication date April 30.

Received during the week ended 3/30//07

Freud’s Wizard: Ernest Jones and the Transformation of Psychoanalysis by Brenda Maddox. Da Capo Press, $26, 352 pages. Publication date March 15. Maddox is the author of several books, including Rosalind Franklin: The Dark Lady of DNA. This book is a biography of Ernest Jones. “As Sigmund Freud’s disciple, colleague, biographer, and empire builder, Jones brought the international psychiatric movement to London and helped spread to Toronto, New York and Boston.” Previewed here on 2/16/07.


Einstein: His Life and Universe by Walter Isaacson. Simon & Schuster, $32, 704 pages. Publication date April 10. Isaacson is the author of several books, including Benjamin Franklin: An American Life. “[T]his is the first full biography of Albert Einstein since all of his papers have become available, a fully realized portrait of this extraordinary human being and great genius.” Previewed here 3/2/07.


Einstein: A Biography by Jürgen Neffe, translated by Shelley Frisch. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, $30, 442 pages. Advance reading copy. Publication date April 30. The author is a journalist with a background in physics. This book “provides a sensitive, nuanced, and remarkably human portrait of the 20th century's most celebrated mind."

Now Available in Paperback

Sky in a Bottle by Peter Pesic. MIT Press; hardback published in 2005, paperback now available for $12.95; 256 pages. Publication date April 30.


Received during the week ended 3/23//07

Uncertainty: Einstein, Heisenberg, Bohr, and the Struggle for the Soul of Science by David Lindley. Doubleday, $26, 257 pages. Publication date February. Lindley is a physicist, editor, and author of four previous books, including Degrees Kelvin. This book tells how the uncertainty principle undermined the belief “that science could reveal the physical world with limitless detail ...” and “placed Heisenberg in direct opposition to the revered Albert Einstein.”


A Natural History of North American Trees by Donald Culross Peattie. Houghton Mifflin, $40, 528 pages. Publication date April 2. Peattie (1898-1964) authored several books about natural history. In this collection of his writings, he “does not just spew facts and figures about trees ... he tells their stories ...” with humor and a reverence for the natural world.


The Motion Paradox: The 2,500 Year-Old Puzzle Behind All the Mysteries of Time and Space by Joseph Mazur. Dutton, $24.95, 262 pages. Publication date April 19. Mazur is professor of mathematics at Marlboro College and the author of Euclid in the Rainforest. This book ”shows how historic breakthroughs in our understanding of motion bring us closer to Zeno’s paradox.”


Now Available in Paperback

Exploring Reality: The Intertwining of Science and Religion by John Polkinghorne. Yale; hardback published in 2005, paperback now available for $15; 208 pages. Publication date April 4.


The First Scientific American: Benjamin Franklin and the Pursuit of Genius by Joyce E. Chaplin. Basic Books; hardback published in 2006, paperback now available for $17.50; 421 pages. Publication date April 9.


Received during the week ended 3/16//07

Animal Architects: Building and the Evolution of Intelligence by James L. Gould and Carol Grant Gould. Basic Books, $26.95, 324 pages. Publication date March 19. James is a professor of ecology at Princeton University and the coauthor of several books with science writer Carol, including The Animal Mind. “...the Goulds explain that each nest and den is a startling window into animal intelligence; a unique blend of instinct, practice, and individual cognition, which often rivals human architecture.”

 

The Elephant’s Secret Sense: The Hidden Life of the Wild Herds of Africa by Caitlin O’Connell. Free Press, $24, 241 pages. Publication date March 20. The author is a research associate in the Department of Otolaryngology at Stanford University. In 1992, O’Connell “began a three-year study of elephant movements and interactions in Namibia that led her on an unexpected fourteen-year journey to prove a controversial theory of elephants’ seismic communication.”


I Am a Strange Loop by Douglas Hofstadter. Basic Books, $26.95, 412 pages. Publication date April 2. Hofstadter is professor of cognitive science at Indiana University and the author of several books, including the Pulitzer Prize winning GÖdel, Escher, Bach. This book “is an eerily beautiful meditation on the nature of consciousness and the meaning of life itself.”


Now Available in Paperback

Before the Dawn: Recovering the Lost History of Our Ancestors by Nicholas Wade. Penguin; hardback published in 2006, paperback now available for $15; 314 pages. Publication date March.


Received during the week ended 3/9//07

Why Beauty Is Truth: A History of Symmetry by Ian Stewart. Basic Books, $26.95, 304 pages. Advance reading copy. Publication date April. Stewart is professor of mathematics at the University of Warwick and the author of numerous books, including Letters To a Young Mathematician. This book “chronicles the symmetrical relationship between mathematical ideas and the physical world ....”


Side Effects by Adam Phillips. Harper Perennial paperback original, $13.95, 319 pages. Advance reading copy,. Publication date April 24. Phillips is a psychoanalyst and the author of eleven previous books, including Going Sane. This book “is a brilliant collection of interwoven essays exploring the links between psychoanalysis and literature.”


Now Available in Paperback

The Jasons: The Secret History of Science’s Postwar Elite by Ann Finkbeiner. Penguin; hardback published in 2006, paperback now available for $15; 304 pages. Publication date March 27.


Posttraumatic Stress Disorder: Malady or Myth? by Chris R. Brewin. Yale; hardback published in 2003, paperback now available for $22; 288 pages. Publication date March 27. 


Received during the week ended 3/2//07

Bipolar Kids: Helping Your Child Find Calm in the Mood Storm by Rosalie Greenberg. Da Capo, $26, 294 pages. Publication date March 1. The author is assistant professor of clinical psychiatry at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. Greenberg “brings us a comprehensive parents’ guide to understanding the disorder....”


Einstein: His Life and Universe by Walter Isaacson. Simon & Schuster, $35, 720 pages. Advance reading copy. Publication date April. Isaacson is is the author of several books, including Benjamin Franklin: An American Life. “[T]his is the first full biography of Albert Einstein since all of his papers have become available, a fully realized portrait of this extraordinary human being and great genius.”


Now Available in Paperback

Fab: The Coming Revolution on Your Desktop — from Personal Computers to Personal Fabrication by Neil Gershenfeld. Basic Books; hardback published in 2005, paperback now available for $15.95; 278 pages. Publication date February 5.


Received during the week ended 2/23//07

The Poincaré Conjecture: In Search of the Shape of the Universe. Walker, $26.95, 293 pages. Publication date March 9. The author is a professor of mathematics at Mount Holyoke College. The conjecture posed by Poincaré in 1904 “is a guess about the shape of our universe. This book tells the story of “the Russian Mathematician Grigory Perelman [who] posted a series of papers on the internet ... and was ultimately credited with proving the conjecture.” Advance reading copy previewed here on 2/2/07.


Plutonium: A History of the World’s Most Dangerous Element by Jeremy Bernstein. Joseph Henry Press, $27.95, 224 pages. Advance reading copy. Publication date April 12. The author is professor emeritus of physics at Stevens Institute of Technology and a staff writer for the New Yorker. This book describes how plutonium was transformed “from a laboratory novelty into the nuclear weapon that destroyed Nagasaki.” 


Where’s My Jetpack? A Guide to the Amazing Science Fiction Future That Never Arrived by Daniel H. Wilson. Bloomsbury paperback, $14.95, 192 pages. Advance reading copy. Publication date April. Wilson is the author of How to Survive a Robot Uprising. “You’ll be privy to behind the scenes glimpses into cutting edge experiments in teleportation, space exploration, and bioengineering that are astonishing.”


Received during the week ended 2/16//07

The Boy Who Was Raised as a Dog: What Traumatized Children Can Teach Us About Loss, Love and Healing by Bruce D. Perry and Maia Szalavitz. Basic Books, $26, 275 pages. Publication date January. Perry is a psychiatrist and senior fellow at The ChildTrauma Academy; Szalavitz is a science and health journalist and the coauthor of Help at Any Cost. This book tells stories that “are a testament to the healing power of compassion and love, offering hope amid tragedy and despair.” 


Exploring the Geology of the Carolinas: A Field Guide to Favorite Places from Chimney Rock to Charleston by Kevin G. Stewart and Mary-Russell Roberson. University of North Carolina Press, hardback $39.95, paperback $19.95, 320 pages. Publication date February 26. Stewart is associate professor of geology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; Roberson is a freelance writer. The authors “combine a brief geological history of the Carolinas with thirty-one field trips to famous and lesser-known sites in both states.”


Freud’s Wizard: Ernest Jones and the Transformation of Psychoanalysis by Brenda Maddox. Da Capo Press, $26, 384 pages. Publication date March. Maddox is the author of several books, including Rosalind Franklin: The Dark Lady of DNA. This book is a biography of Ernest Jones. “As Sigmund Freud’s disciple, colleague, biographer, and empire builder, Jones brought the international psychiatric movement to London and helped spread to Toronto, New York and Boston.”


Happy Accidents: Serendipity in Modern Medical Breakthroughs by Morton Meyers. Arcade, $27.95, 408 pages. Advance reading copy. Publication date March. The author is emeritus professor of radiology and internal medicine at the State University of new York at Stony Brook. “Happy accidents happen everyday, but it takes intelligence, insight, and creativity to recognize a ‘Eureka!’ moment and know what to do next.” 


Received during the week ended 2/2//07

Sleep: The Mysteries, the Problems, and the Solutions by Carlos H. Schenck. Avery/Penguin, $24.95, 294 pages. Publication date March. The author is a psychiatrist and an associate professor at the University of Minnesota Medical School. This book “is an essential guide for anyone suffering from a sleeping disorder, and offers new hope for patients and their families."


The Poincaré Conjecture: In Search of the Shape of the Universe. Walker, $25.95, 304 pages. Advance reading copy. Publication date March. The author is a professor of mathematics at Mount Holyoke College. The conjecture posed by Poincaré in 1904 “is a guess about the shape of our universe. This book tells the story of “the Russian Mathematician Grigory Perelman [who] posted a series of papers on the internet ... and was ultimately credited with proving the conjecture.” 


Now Available in Paperback

Chances Are: Adventures in Probability by Michael Kaplan and Ellen Kaplan. Penguin; hardback published in 2006, now available in paperback for $15; 319 pages. Publication date January.


A World on Fire: A Heretic, an Aristocrat, and the Race To Discover Oxygen by Joe Jackson. Penguin; hardback published in 2005, now available in paperback for $16; 414 pages. Publication date January.


Received during the week ended 1/26/07

God: The Failed Hypothesis by Victor J. Stenger. Prometheus, $28, 300 pages. Publication date January 30. Stenger is emeritus professor of physics and astronomy at the University of Hawaii and the author of several books, including Has Science Found God? “After evaluating all the scientific evidence. Stenger concludes that beyond a reasonable doubt the universe and life appear exactly as we might expect if there were no God.”


Monkey Girl: Evolution, Education, Religion, and the Battle for America’s Soul by Edward Humes. Ecco, $25,95, 380 pages. Publication date February. Humes is a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist and the author several books, including Mississippi Mud. This book examines the Dover, Pennsylvania, evolution controversy billed as the ”Science vs, Faith” trial. The author uses the drama in Dover as a lens to view “this front line in America’s culture wars.”


The Grid: A Journey Through the Heart of Our Electrified World by Phillip F. Schewe. Joseph Henry Press, $27.95, 320 pages. Advance reading copy. Publication date March 15. The author works at the American Institute of Physics, where he edits a weekly newsletter and contributes to Physics Today magazine. This book offers “the first history of the electrical grid intended for general readers ....”


Now Available in Paperback

The Undercover Economist: Exposing Why the Rich Are Rich, the Poor Are Poor — and Why You Can Never Buy a Decent Used Car by Tim Harford. Random House; hardback published in 2005 by Oxford University Press, now available in paperback for $14.95; 265 pages. Publication date January 30.


Life as We Do Not Know It: The NASA Search for (and Synthesis of) Alien Life by Peter Ward. Penguin; hardback published in 2005, now available in paperback for $15; 298 pages. Publication date January.


Received during the week ended 1/19/07

Useless Arithmetic: Why Environmental Scientists Can’t Predict the Future by Orrin H. Pilkey and Linda Pilkey-Jarvis. Columbia University Press, $29.50, 246 pages. Publication date February 2007. Pilkey is emeritus professor of geology at Duke University and the author of numerous books, including A Celebration of the World’s Barrier Islands; Pilkey-Jarvis is geologist who works for the state of Washington. “Using examples from the environmental sciences, the authors show how unquestioned faith in mathematical models can blind us to the hard data and sound judgment of experienced scientific fieldwork.”


Galápagos: The Islands That Changed the World by Paul D. Stewart, lead author. Yale softcover original, $29.95, 240 pages. Publication date March 1. Stewart is, among other things, the producer for the BBC’s Natural History Unit. This beautifully illustrated book “explores the diverse land and marine habitats that shelter Galapagos species and considers the archipelago’s importance today as a frontier for science and a refuge for true wilderness.”


Now Available in Paperback

Sky Walking: An Astronaut’s Memoir by Tom Jones. Smithsonian Books; hardback published in 2006, paperback now available for $14.95; 369 pages. Publication date February 1. 


Destination Moon: The Apollo Missions in the Astronauts’ Own Words by Rod Pyle. Smithsonian Books; hardback published in 2005, paperback now available for $14.95; 192 pages. Publication date February 1. 


Received during the week ended 1/12/07

African Queen: The Real Life of the Hottentot Venus by Rachel Holmes. Random House, $23.95, 161 pages. Publication date January 2. Holmes is a former professor of English at the University of  London and the author of Scanty Particulars, the story of James Barry. This book is “the dramatic story of ... Saartjie Baartman, who at twenty-one years of age was taken from her native South Africa and shipped to London .... where she was hailed as the Hottentot Venus.


Undermining Science: Suppression and Distortion in the Bush Administration by Seth Shulman. University of California Press, $24.95, 222 pages. Publication date January. Shulman is the author of several books, including Unlocking the Sky. This book “shows how the Bush administration has systematically misled Americans on a wide range of scientific issues affecting public health, foreign policy and the environment ....”


Born on a Blue Day: Inside the Extraordinary Mind of an Autistic Savant by Daniel Tammet. Free Press, $24, 240 pages. Advance reading copy. Publication date January. The  author is one of fifty living savants. “By high school, Daniel was diagnosed as autistic and he began to discover his own superhuman abilities — calculating huge sums in head in seconds,learning new  languages in one week, and memorizing more than 22,000 digits of pi.”


Now Available in Paperback

The Oracle: Ancient Delphi and the Science Behind Its Lost  Secrets by William J. Broad. Penguin; hardback published in 2006, paperback now available for $15; 336 pages. Publication date January 30.


Breaking the Spell: Religion as a Natural Phenomenon by Daniel C. Dennett. Penguin; hardback published in 2006, paperback now available for $16; 464 pages. Publication date January 30.


Decoding the Universe: How the New Science of Information Is Explaining Everything in the Cosmos, from Our Brains to Black Holes by Charles Seife. Penguin; hardback published in 2006, paperback now available for $15, 296 pages. Publication date January.


Received during the week ended 1/5/07

Six Impossible Things Before Breakfast: The Evolutionary Origins of Belief by Lewis Wolpert. W.W. Norton, $25.95, 256 pages. Advance reading copy. Publication date January. Wolpert is a professor of biology at University College, London and the author of Malignant Sadness. This book “tackles one of the most important causes on the horizon of public debate: the nature of belief.” 


The Intention Experiment: Using Your Thoughts to Change Your  Life and the World by Lynne McTaggert. Free Press, $26, 289 pages. Publication date January 9. McTaggert is the author of five books, including The Field. This book “shows that thought is a thing and can have physical effects, and it shows us myriad ways that all this information can be used.”


Dreaming in Code: Two Dozen Programmers, Three Years, 4,372 Bugs, and One quest for Transcendent Software by Scott  Rosenberg. Crown, $25.95, 416 pages. Publication date January 23. The author is a cofounder of Salon.com. This book attempts to answer the question, “if our civilization now runs on software, why is the art of creating it still such a dark mystery?”


Received during the week ended 12/29/06

Infection: The Uninvited Universe by Gerald N. Callahan. St. Martin’s Press, $24.95, 288 pages. Publication date December 8. The author has a joint appointment in Pathology and English at Colorado State University. “This chilling, inspiring, and above all, fascinating narrative explores the world of the microscopic creature that live on, in, and around us.”


The Physics of the Buffyverse by Jennifer Ouellette. Penguin paperback original, $15, 352 pages. Publication date December 26. Ouellette is an associate editor of APS News, a publication of the American Physical Society, and the author of Black Bodies and Quantum Cats. This book “uses the characters, concepts and plot lines of” Buffy the Vampire Slayer and its spinoff Angel “to illustrate a wide range of fundamental concepts in the physical sciences....” 


The Last Man Who Knew Everything: Thomas Young, the Anonymous Genius Who Proved Newton Wrong and Deciphered the Rosetta Stone, Among Other Surprising Feats by Andrew Robinson. Plume paperback, $15, 287 pages. Publication date December 26. Robinson is a visiting fellow at Wolfson College, Cambridge, and the author of numerous books, including Einstein: A Hundred Years of Relativity. This book tells the story of Thomas Young, “who could make the grandiose claim to have been the last man who knew everything, but cared less about what others thought of him than for the joys of the pursuit of knowledge.”


Chrysalis: Maria Sibylla Merian and the Secrets of Metamorphosis by Kim Todd. Harcourt, $27, 336 pages. Publication date January 8, 2007. Todd is the author of Tinkering with Eden, which won several prizes, including PEN/Jerard Fund Award. Here, she tells the story of Maria Sibylla Merian who sailed for the New World in 1699 “to study insect metamorphosis — an unheard of journey for any naturalist at that time, much less a woman .....” 


Received during the week ended 12/15/06

Space On Earth: Saving Our World by Seeking Others by Charles S. Cockell. MacMillan, $24.95, 180 pages. Publication date December 1. Cockell is a professor of microbiology at the Open University and the author of Impossible Extinction. In this book, he says “hat a fusion of environmentalism and and exploration is the only way to move forward .... because we are ruining the the world we live in.” 


The Top 10 Myths about Evolution by Cameron M. Smith and Charles Sullivan. Prometheus paperback original, $14, 200 pages. Publication date December 5. Smith is science journalist and an adjunct faculty member in the department of anthropology at Portland State University; Sullivan is an adjunct faculty member at Portland Community Colleges writing department. Here, they “clearly dispel the ten most common myths about evolution that continue to mislead average Americans.”


Now Available in Paperback

Hiding in the Mirror: The Quest for Alternate Realities, from Plato to String Theory (by Way of Alice in Wonderland an, Einstein, and The Twilight Zone by Lawrence M. Krauss. Penguin; hardback published in 2005, paperback now available for $15; 277 pages. Publication date December 5.


Received during the week ended 12/8/06

Extreme Waves by Craig B. Smith. Joseph Henry Press, $27.95, 336 pages. Advance reading copy. Publication date November 27. Smith is the author of How the Great Pyramid Was Built. “The 2004 tsunami demonstrated that some waves are absolutely devastating. Science is the best tool for understanding and predicting the most extreme waves.”


Grand Canyon: Solving the Earth’s Grandest Puzzle by James Lawrence Powell. Plume paperback original, $16, 309 pages. Powell is executive director of the National Physical Science Consortium and the author of Night Comes to Cretaceous. Publication date November 28. This book “follows the explorers adventurers, and geologists whose efforts led to a full understanding of the canyon’s mystery.”


Is Pluto a Planet? A Historical Journey through the Solar System by David A. Weintraub. Princeton University Press, $27.95, 336 pages. Publication date November 29. The author is an astronomy professor at Vanderbilt University. “On August 24, 2006, the International Astronomical Union (IAU) voted to demote Pluto to the status of a dwarf planet Pluto’s fate has captured headlines and imaginations ....”


Received during the week ended 12/1/06

Shattered Nerves: How Science Is Solving Modern Medicine's Most Perplexing Problem by Victor D. Chase. Johns Hopkins University Press, $27.50, 312 pages. Publication date November 3. The author is a science and technology writer. This book “takes the reader on a journey through a new medical frontier, where sophisticated devices, known as neural prosthetics, enable the deaf to hear, the blind to see, and the paralyzed to move.”


Postcards from Mars: The First Photographer on the Red Planet by Jim Bell. Dutton, $50, 196 pages. Publication date November 16. The author is an associate professor of astronomy at Cornell University and the lead scientist on the Pancam color imaging system on the Mars Rovers. This lavishly illustrated book tells “the photographic story of the most ambitious and ultimately most successful mission of robotic exploration ever attempted by NASA.” 


Into the Black: JPL and the American Space Program by Peter J. Westwick. Yale University Press, $40, 408 pages. Publication date November 17. Westwick is a visiting researcher in the history department at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and the author of National Labs. “This comprehensive book the remarkable story of [JPL’s] accomplishments, failures, and evolution from 1976 to the present day.”


The Origins of the Future: Ten Questions for the Next Ten Years by John Gribbin. Yale, $27.50, 304 pages. Publication date November 23. Gribbin is a visiting fellow in astronomy at the University of Sussex and the author of numerous books, including In Search of ShrÖdinger’s Cat. This book “focuses on what we know — or think we know — about ten controversial, unanswered questions in the physical sciences ....”


Now Available in Paperback

Vicious: Wolves and Men in America by Jon T. Coleman. Yale University Press; hardback published in 2005, paperback now available for $17; 288 pages. Publication date November 15.


Received during the week ended 11/24/06

Get the Trans Fat Out: 601 Simple Ways to Cut the Trans Fat Out of Any Diet by Suzanne Havala Hobbs. Paperback original by Three Rivers Press, $13.95, 276 pages. Publication date October. Hobbs is a clinical assistant professor in the School of Public Health at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the author of eight other books, including Vegetarian Cooking for Dummies. This book “shows you how you can identify and avoid these damaging fats — without sacrificing taste or convenience.”


Thumbs, Toes, and Tears: And Other Traits That Make Us Human by Chip Walter. Walker, $25.95, 272 pages. Publication date November. Walter teaches science writing at Carnegie Mellon University and is the author of Space Age. This book "explores the fascinating evolutionary links between our big toe, thumb, pharynx, and the human emotions of love, laughter, and tears." Advance reading copy previewed here on 10/20/06.


The Strangest Song: One Father’s Quest To Help His Daughter Find Her Voice by Teri Sforza with Howard and Sylvia Lenhoff. Prometheus, $24, 300 pages. Publication date November 14. The author is a senior writer at the Orange County Register. This book “tells the story of Willliams syndrome” an genetic aberration that leads to “profound mental disabilities” and “extraordinary musicality.”


The Comprehensible Cosmos: Where Do the Laws of Physics Come from? by Victor Stenger. Prometheus, $28, 340 pages. Publication date November 14. Stenger is professor emeritus of physics and astronomy at the University of Hawaii at Manoa and the author of three other books, including Has Science Found God? “For those fascinated by how physics explains the universe and affects philosophy, Stenger’s in-depth presentation ... makes accessible to lay readers findings normally available only to professional scientists.”


Jane Goodall: The Woman Who Redefined Man by Dale Peterson. Houghton Mifflin, $35, 752 pages. Advance reading copy. Publication date November 15. Peterson is the coauthor with Jane Goodall of Visions of Caliban and the author of several other books. The author, “in the first-ever full biography, reveals the story behind Goodall’s amazing life ....”


Now Available in Paperback

The Fated Sky by Benson Bobrick. Simon & Schuster; hardback published in 2005, paperback now available for $15, 369 pages. Publication date November 14.


A Left-Hand Turn Around the World: Chasing the Mystery and Meaning of All Things Southpaw by David Wolman, Da Capo; hardback published in 2004, paperback now available for $14.95; 236 pages. Publication date November 15.

Received during the week ended 11/17/06

The American Plague: The Untold Story of Yellow Fever, the Epidemic That Shaped Our History by Molly Caldwell Crosby. Berkley, $24.95 308 pages. Publication date November 2. The author is a freelance journalist. Crosby “delves into America’s not-so-distant past to recount the yellow fever epidemic .... and the four men who changed medical history with their battle against this invisible foe.”


The Varieties of Scientific Experience: A Personal View of the Search for God by Carl Sagan, edited by Ann Druyan. Penguin, $27.95, 288 pages. Publication date November 6. Sagan was an astronomy professor at Cornell. His many books, include Cosmos and his many awards include a Pulitzer Prize. This book, edited by his widow, is a release of of his 1985 Gifford Lectures concerning “his thoughts about the relationship between science and religion as well as his own personal search for God.”


The Emotion Machine: Commonsense Thinking, Artificial Intelligence, and the Future of the Human Mind by Marvin Minsky. Simon & Schuster, $26, 387 pages. Publication date November 7. Minsky is Toshiba Professor of Media Arts and Sciences at M.I.T. and the author of The Society of Mind. He “explains how each of our major Ways to Think — including states of mind such as Love, Attachment, Grief, and Depression — results from our brains turning certain resources on while turning certain others off.”


Why Size Matters: From Bacteria to Blue Whales by John Tyler Bonner. Princeton University Press, $16.95, 176 pages. Publication date November 8. Bonner is professor emeritus of ecology and evolutionary biology at Princeton University and the author of numerous books, including Lives of a Biologist. In this book, he “argues that size really does matter — that it is the supreme and universal determinant of what any organism can be and do.”


The Curious History of Relativity: How Einstein’s Theory of Gravity Was Lost and Found Again by Jean Eisenstaedt. Princeton, $29.95, 394 pages. Publication date November 8. Eisenstaedt is a senior researcher at France’s National Center for Scientific Research and the author of Avant Einstein. This book “tells the story of historical events surrounding general relativity and the techniques employed by Einstein and the relativists to construct, develop, and understand this impenetrable theory.”


Received during the week ended 11/10/06

The Evolving Brain: The Known and the Unknown by R. Grant Steen. Prometheus, $28, 394 pages. Advance reading copy. Publication date November. Steen is an associate professor of psychiatry at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine, Chapel Hill, and the author of DNA and Destiny. In this book, the author “provides us with a crash course on how the brain works.”


Writing for Science by Robert Goldbort. Yale; $50 hardback, $20 paperback; 352 pages. Publication date November 1. The author is associate professor of English at Indiana State University. This book “covers every type of science writing, from routine forms, such as laboratory notes, abstracts, and memoranda, to the more complex writing required in dissertations, journal articles, and grant proposals.”


The Culture of Our Discontent: Beyond the Medical Model of Mental Illness by Meredith F. Small. Joseph Henry Press, $27.95, 224 pages. Advance reading copy. Publication date November 1. Small is professor of anthropology at Cornell and the author of several books, including Our Babies Ourselves. “Looking at social, evolutionary, and nutritional influences, Small deconstructs mental illnesses like depression and anxiety within the context of the culture that defines them.”


Wooden Books is Walker & Company’s series of accessible “introductions to timeless sciences and vanishing arts .... Recreating the essence of medieval texts through elegant designs and writing, they are invaluable sources of information and inspiration.” What follows is the latest in this series of small books, each of which sells for $10 and is 64 pages long.

The Golden Section: Nature’s Greatest Secret by Scott Olson 

The Alchemist’s Kitchen: Extraordinary Potions and Curious Notions by Guy Ogilvy

Symmetry: The Ordering Principle by David Wade 


Why Choose This Book? How We Make Decisions by Read Montague. Dutton, $24.95, 331 pages. Publication date November 2. The author is professor of neuroscience at Baylor College of Medicine and a fellow at the Institute for Advanced Studies. This book “explains everything from how we decide what we consume to what kind of music we like, and even the romantic, ethical, and financial choices we make.”


Now Available in Paperback

The Planets by Dava Sobel. Penguin; hardback published in 2005, paperback now available for $13; 288 pages. Publication date October 31.


Received during the week ended 11/3/06

The Man Who Tried To Clone Himself: And Other True Stories of the World’s Most Bizarre Research and the Ig Nobel Prizes by Marc Abrahams. Plume paperback original, $12, 261 pages. Publication date October. The author is editor of the science humor magazine Annals of Improbable Research and the master of ceremonies at the awarding of the annual Ig Nobel Prizes. 


From Lucy to Language by Donald Johanson and Blake Edgar. Simon & Schuster, $65, 288 pages. Publication date October 17. Johanson is a professor of anthropology at Arizona State University and the author of seven previous books. Edgar is an editor at the University of California Press and coauthor of The Dawn of Human Culture. This lavishly illustrated book traces the origins of humans beginning with apes that adapted to open woodlands as the African forests gradually evolved into savannah grasslands about 7 million years ago.


Descartes: The Life and Times of a Genius by A.C. Grayling. Walker, $26.95, 352 pages. Publication date November. Grayling is professor of philosophy at Birkbeck College, University of London and the author of several books, including Among the Dead Cities. In this biography, the author argues that Descartes' 

"contributions to philosophy and mathematics altered the way in which we observe nature and ourselves."


The First Copernican: Georg Joachim Rheticus and the Rise of the Copernican Revolution by Dennis Danielson. Walker, $25.95, 288 pages. Publication date November. The author is a professor of English at the University of British Columbia at Vancouver. Georg Joachim Rheticus urged Copernicus to finish and publish De revolutionibus. His actions changed the course of civilization. Without his intervention, Copernicus's seminal work would likely have sunk into oblivion."


Now Available in Paperback

Monkeyluv: And Other Essays on Our Lives as Animals by Robert M. Sapolsky. Scribner; hardback published in 2005, paperback now available for $14; 209 pages. Publication date October.


Received during the week ended 10/20/06

Thunderstruck by Erik Larson. Crown, $25.95, 463 pages. Publication date October 24. Larson is the author of four previous books, including Isaac's Storm. This book "enmeshes the parallel narratives of two men: Dr. Hawley Crippen (a mild-mannered murderer ...) and Guglielmo Marconi whose obsessive quest to invent and perfect the wireless would eventually change the world."


The Old Way: A Story of the First People by Elizabeth Marshall Thomas. Farrar, Straus and Giroux; $27; 343 pages. Publication date October 26. Thomas is the author of seven books, including The Hidden Life of Dogs. This book tells how the hunter-gatherer lifestyle of our ancestors "reveals great hidden truths about human evolution, and how much their culture, past and present, has to teach us."


The Origins of the Future: Ten Questions for the Next Ten Years by John Gribbin. Yale, $27.50, 304 pages. Advance reading copy. Publication date November. Gribbin is a prolific British science writer and the author many books of popular science, including In Search of SchrÖdinger's Cat." He focuses on what we know — or think we know — about ten controversial, unanswered issues in the physical sciences and explains how current cutting-edge research may yield solution in the very near future."


Thumbs, Toes, and Tears: And Other Traits That Make Us Human by Chip Walter. Walker, $25.95, 272 pages. Advance reading copy. Publication date November. Walter teaches science writing at Carnegie Mellon University and is the author of Space Age. This book "explores the fascinating evolutionary links between our big toe, thumb, pharynx, and the human emotions of love, laughter, and tears."


The Secret of Scent: Adventures in Perfume and the Science of Smell by Luca Turin. Ecco, $23.95, 224 pages. Publication date November 7. The author is a biophysicist who works as a "fragrance chemist." For the last decade, Turin "has indulged his lifelong fascination with the scientific side of scent .... He believes that he has at last cracked the code of how we distinguish smells."


Received during the week ended 10/13/06

A Beautiful Math: John Nash, Game Theory, and the Modern Quest for a Code of Nature by Tom Siegfried. Joseph Henry Press, $27.95, 280 pages. Advance reading copy. Publication date October 20. Siegfried is a science journalist and the author of two previous books, including The Bit and the Pendulum. "Today a revolution is afoot and Nash's beautiful math is being applied in ways that enhance our approach to understanding our world."


The Making of the Fittest: DNA and the Ultimate Forensic Record of Evolution by Sean B. Carroll. W.W. Norton, $25.95, 301 pages. Publication date October 23. Carroll is a genetics professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the author of Endless Forms Most Beautiful. "Our ancestors' many different forms along the path to evolution are present in all of us today" and "we can now turn to DNA for proof that evolution is a reality."


Overdose: How Excessive Government Regulation Stifles Pharmaceutical Innovation by Richard A. Epstein. Yale University Press, $30, 272 pages. Publication date October 23. Epstein is a professor of law at the University of Chicago. a senior fellow at Hoover Institution, and the author of several books, including Mortal Peril: Our Inalienable Right to Healthcare? In this book, he "shows us how the ever-increasing regulatory apparatus smothering the [pharmaceutical] industry threatens to crush innovation, destroy efficiency, and damage American public health."


Second Nature: Brain Science and Human Knowledge by Gerald M. Edelman. Yale, $24, 224 pages. Publication date October 24. The author is a Nobel laureate and chairman of the Department of Neurobiology, The Scripps Research Institute. "Edelman's brain-based approach to knowledge has rich implications for our understanding of creativity, of the normal and abnormal functioning of the brain, and of the connections among the different ways we have of knowing." Advance reading copy previewed here on 9/22/06.


Received during the week ended 10/6/06

The Theory of Almost Everything: The Standard Model, the Unsung Triumph of Modern Physics by Robert Oerter. Plume paperback original, $15, 327 pages. Publication date October. The author teaches physics at George Mason University. Oerter "shows how the Standard Model explains the structure of the universe as we know it, and he argues that it is the gateway to understanding the future off physics."


Codebreaker: The History of Codes and Ciphers from the Ancient Pharaohs to Quantum Cryptography by Stephen Pincock. Walker, $19.95, 176 pages. Publication date October 16. The author is a science journalist. This book "chronicles the fascinating story of codes — from Julius Caesar and Mary Queen of Scots to quantum cryptography — and the history that has turned on them."


In the Beat of a Heart: Life, Energy, and the Unity of Nature by John Whitfield. Joseph Henry Press, $27.95, 280 pages. Publication date October 18. The author is a science journalist in Britain. This book "tells the story of the scientists who have sought to find universal laws in the bewildering diversity of biology ...."


The Ghost Map: The Story of London’s Most Terrifying Epidemic — and How It Changed Science, Cities, and the Modern World by Steven Johnson. Riverhead, $26.95, 287 pages. Publication date October 19. Johnson is the author of several books, including Everything Bad Is Good for You. In this book, he "takes readers back to Dickensian London in a gripping narrative about how two young men bucked conventional wisdom to track down the source of a lethal cholera outbreak."


Now Available in Paperback

Hunger: An Unnatural History by Sharman Apt Russell. Basic Books, $15, 262 pages. Publication date September 29.


The Patient from Hell: How I worked with My Doctors To Get the Best of Modern Medicine and How You Can Too by Stephen H. Schneider (with Janica Lane). Da Capo, $15.95, 300 pages. Publication date October.


Received during the week ended 9/29/06

How Mathematics Happened: The First 50,000 Years by Peter S. Rudman. Prometheus, $26, 291 pages. Advance reading copy. Publication date October. The author is a retired physics professor at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology. This book "traces the evolution of number systems from finger counting in hunter-gatherer cultures to pebble counting in in herder-farmer cultures of the Nile and Tigris-Euphrates valleys, which defined the number systems that continued to be used even after the invention of writing."


The Altruism Equation: Seven Scientists Search for the Origins of Goodness by Lee Alan Dugatkin. Princeton University Press, $24.95, 188 pages. Publication date October 4. Dugatkin is a biology professor at the University of Louisville and the author of many books, including Cheating Monkeys and Citizen Bees. Here, he "traces the quest for an evolutionary explanation of altruism through the efforts of seven scientists," including Charles Darwin and William Hamilton.


The Best American Science and Nature Writing Brian Greene, ed., Tim Folger, series ed. Houghton Mifflin; hardback $28, paperback $14; 290 pages. Advance reading copy. Publication date October 11. Greene is a professor of physics and mathematics at Columbia University and the author of The Elegant Universe. The editor selects outstanding literary nonfiction writing on diverse scientific topics. This year's collection contains short, previously published pieces from blue-chip science writers such as Frans de Waal and Oliver Sacks.


Out of Thin Air: Dinosaurs, Birds, and Earth’s Ancient Atmosphere by Peter Ward. Joseph Henry Press, $27.95, 276 pages. Advance reading copy. Publication date October 11. Ward is professor of biology and professor of earth and space studies at the University of Washington in Seattle. He the author of 12 books, including The End of Evolution. "By tracing the evolutionary path back through time ... from birds to dinosaurs, Ward describes the unique form of breathing shared by these two distant relatives and demonstrates how this simple but remarkable characteristic provides the elusive explanation" of how the dinosaurs endured for so long.


Received during the week ended 9/22/06

Best American Science Writing 2006 edited by Atul Gawande. HarperPerennial, paperback $13.95, 384 pages. Publication date September 5. Gawande is an assistant professor at Harvard Medical School, a New Yorker staff writer, and the author of Complications. "The collection explores the full range of scientific inquiry ranging fro biochemistry, physics, and astronomy to genetics, evolutionary theory and cognition."

 

The Queen of Fats: Why Omega-3s Were Removed from the Western Diet and What We Can Do to Replace Them by Susan Allport. University of California Press, $22.50, 232 pages. Publication date September 12. Allport is the author of several books, including The Primal Feast. This book "gives a fascinating account of how we have become deficient in a nutrient that is essential for good health: the fatty acids known as omega-3s."


The Trouble with Physics: The Rise of String Theory, The Fall of a Science, and What Comes Next by Lee Smolin. Houghton Mifflin, $26, 416 pages. Publication date September 19. Smolin is a physicist, a founder of the Perimeter Institute, and author of two other books, including Three Roads to Quantum Gravity. "String theory ... has captured the public's imagination and seduced many physicists. But as Smolin reveals, there is a deep flaw in the theory: no part of it has been proven, and no one knows how to prove it."


Second Nature: Brain Science and Human Knowledge by Gerald M. Edelman. Yale, $24, 224 pages. Advance reading copy. Publication date October. The author is a Nobel laureate and chairman of the Department of Neurobiology, The Scripps Research Institute. "Edelman's brain-based approach to knowledge has rich implications for our understanding of creativity, of the normal and abnormal functioning of the brain, and of the connections among the different ways we have of knowing."


Received during the week ended 9/15/06

Pandora’s Baby: How the First Test Tube Babies Sparked the Reproductive Revolution by Robin Marantz Henig. Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press; originally published in 2004, paperback now available for $15.95; 326 pages. Henig is the author of eight books, including The Monk in the Garden. In this book, she "tells about the early days of in vitro fertilization (IVF) and the ethical and legal battles waged in the 1970s, as well as the scientific advances that eventually changed the public perception of 'test tube babies.'"


Why We Believe What We Believe: Uncovering Our Biological Need for Meaning, Spirituality, and Truth by Andrew Newberg and Mark Robert Waldman. Free Press, $26, 321 pages. Publication date September 20. Newberg is Associate Professor in the Department of Radiology and Psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania and coauthor of Why God Won't Go Away; Waldman is Associate Fellow at the Center for Spirituality and the Mind also at the University of Pennsylvania. This book bridges "science, psychology,, and religion to uncover how the brain transforms our perceptions of the world into a wide range of ... beliefs that give our lives meaning and purpose.."


The Singularity Is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology by Ray Kurzweil. Penguin; hardback published in 2005, paperback now available for $18; 652 pages. Publication date September 26. Kurzweil is the author of several books, including The Age of Intelligent Machines. Kurzweil calls the "Singularity" in the book's title as "...a future period during which the pace of technological change will be so rapid, its impact so deep, that human life will be irreversibly transformed."


King of Infinite Space: Donald Coxeter, The Man Who Saved Geometry by Siobhan Roberts. Walker, $27.95, 416 pages. Publication date September 26. The author is a Canadian journalist. In this book, she "charts the remarkable course of one of the 20th centuries' most unconventional and unheralded geniuses ... who saw not just the beauty in shapes but their centrality to everything in nature." Advance reading copy previewed here on 8/4/06.


Received during the week ended 9/8/06

Sensuous Seas: Tales of a Marine Biologist by Eugene H. Kaplan. Princeton, $24.95, 288 pages. Publication date July. Kaplan is a professor of conservation and ecology at Hofstra University and the author of nine books, including a Peterson field guide to Caribbean coral reefs. "A one-of-a-kind memoir that unfolds in remarkable reaches of ocean few of us can ever visit for ourselves ...." 


Driving to Mars: In the Arctic with NASA on the Human Journey to the Red Planet by William L. Fox. Shoemaker & Hoard, paperback original $16, 272 pages. Publication date September. Fox is the author of twenty books, including Terra Antarctica. Here, he "takes readers on a wondrous excursion, ultimately addressing the question of why we explore — how we see the world, and how we see ourselves in it."


The New Psychology of Love, Robert J. Sternberg and Karin Weis, eds. Yale, $35, 352 pages. Publication date September 25. Sternberg is Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences at Tufts University and the author of numerous books, including Why Smart People Can Be So Stupid. Weis is a postdoc at the University of Connecticut. This book "presents the full range of contemporary psychological theories and data on love from a dozen expert contributors ...."


The Demon Under the Microscope: From Battlefield Hospitals to Nazi Labs, One Doctor’s Search for the World’s First Miracle Drug by Thomas Hager. Crown, $24.95, 384 pages. Publication date September 26. The author is a science and medical writer. Sulfa was the world's first antibiotic drug. This book "chronicles the dramatic history of the drug that shaped modern medicine." Advance reading copy previewed here on 8/25.


Received during the week ended 9/1/06

Dark Hero of the Information Age: In Search of Norbert Wiener the Father of Cybernetics by Flo Conway and Jim Siegelman. Basic Books; hardback published in 2005, paperback now available for $17.95; 423 pages. Publication date August 28. Conway and Siegelman are journalists and authors of two other books, including Holy Terror. Wiener "founded the revolutionary science of cybernetics." The authors "set out to rehabilitate this eccentric genius, and to explore the many ways in which his groundbreaking ideas continue to shape our lives."


The Equation That Couldn’t Be Solved: How Mathematical Genius Discovered the Language of Symmetry by Mario Livio. Simon & Schuster; hardback published in 2005, paperback now available for $15; 353 pages. Publication date September 1. Livio is a Senior Astronomer at the Space Telescope Science Institute and author of The Golden Ratio. This book "looks at the discovery of group theory -- a true miracle in the history of mathematics -- and its evolution as the 'language' we use to describe and characterize symmetry...." Hardback listed here on 9/9/05.


Stem Cell Now: A Brief Introduction to the Coming Medical Revolution by Christopher Thomas Scott. Plume Paperbacks, $15, 251 pages. Publication date September 5. The author is executive director of the Stanford Center for Biomedical Ethics Program in Stem Cells and Society. "Scott leaves the shrill rhetoric behind to provide an even-handed explanation [of] the arguments for and against the use of embryonic stem cells ...."

 

The Retreat of the Elephants: An Environmental History of China by Mark Elvin. Yale; hardback published in 2004, paperback now available for $22; 592 pages. Publication date September 21. Elvin is professor of Chinese History at the Australian National University, Canberra, and the author of The Pattern of the Chinese Past. This book "is the first environmental history of China during the three thousand years for which there written records,"


Received during the week ended 8/25/06

Not Even Wrong: The Failure of String Theory and the Search for Unity in Physical Law by Peter Woit. Basic Books, $26, 291 pages. Publication date September 4. The author is a lecturer in the mathematics department of Columbia University. "For nearly twenty-two years, the most advanced work in particle theory has centered around string theory .... Woit describes string theory as 'not even wrong': an idea so incomplete that it makes no predictions, even incorrect ones."


The Creation:An Appeal to Save Life on Earth by E.O. Wilson. Norton, $21.95, 175 pages. Publication date September 5. Wilson is Harvard professor of biology, winner of two Pulitzer Prizes, and the author of many books, including The Diversity of Life. Written as a letter to a minister, this book "celebrates miracles of nature, examines arguments for evolution, laments the erosion of the environment, and champions a unified and humanistic approach to environmentalism." Advance reading copy previewed here on 8/4/06. 


The Demon Under the Microscope: From Battlefield Hospitals to Nazi Labs, One Doctor’s Search for the World’s First Miracle Drug by Thomas Hager. Crown, $24.95, 331 pages. Advance reading copy. Publication date September 19. The author is a science and medical writer. Sulfa was the world's first antibiotic drug. This book "chronicles the dramatic history of the drug that shaped modern medicine."


Received during the week ended 8/18/06

Noise by Bart Kosko. Viking, $24.95, 272 pages. Publication date August 21. Kosko is the author of several books, including Fuzzy Thinking. "Debunking many commonly held beliefs about noise. Kosko covers many compelling topics, from noise's possible role in the ice ages to noise pollution laws, [and] the use of noise to generate synthetic speech ...."


The Magic Circle of Rudolph II: Alchemy and Astrology in Renaissance Prague by Peter Marshall. Walker, $24.95, 288 pages.Publication date August 31. Marshall is the author of numerous books, including The Philosopher's Stone. In sixteenth century Prague, the Holy Roman Emperor Rudolf II gathered the "greatest mathematicians, alchemists, artists, philosophers, and astronomers to lay the foundation for the Enlightenment." Advance reading copy previewed here on 7/14/06. 


Darwinism and Its Discontents by Michael Ruse. Cambridge University Press, $30, 328 pages. Publication date August 31. Ruse is the author of numerous books, including Can a Darwinian be a Christian? "This book presents an ardent defense of Charles Darwin's theory of evolution against its many critics by one of the leading experts on this subject."


Received during the week ended 8/11/06

Moral Minds: How Nature Designed Our Universal Sense of Right and Wrong by Marc D. Hauser. Ecco, $27.95, 474 pages. Advance reading copy. Publication date August 28. Hauser is professor of psychology at Harvard University and the author of Wild Minds. "Each of us is born with an innate 'moral grammar' that drives our judgments of right and wrong, Hauser believes, a moral instinct that is part of the human machinery that has evolved with our species."


Human Remains: Dissection and Its Histories by Helen MacDonald. Yale, $35, 224 pages. Publication date September 1. The author is a postdoc at the Australian Center, University of Melbourne. "[S]he sheds light on the ways human remains have sometime been stripped of their sacred meaning in the name of science or even in the name of entertainment."


Relativity: The Special and General Theory by Albert Einstein, with an Introduction by Roger Penrose, Commentary by Robert Geroch, and Historical Essay by David C. Cassidy. Plume Paperbacks, $11, 288 pages. Publication date September 2. This author needs no introduction. This edition of his 1916 classic features over 35 percent new material. 


Received during the week ended 8/4/06

A Madman Dreams of Turing Machines by Janna Levin. Knopf, $23.95, 240 pages. Advance reading copy. Publication date August 25. Levin is a professor of physics at Barnard College of Columbia University and the author of How the Universe Got Its Spots. This book is a novel about "a physicist obsessed with Kurt Gödel , the greatest logician of many centuries, and with Alan Turing, the extraordinary mathematician ...."


The Creation: A Meeting of Science and Religion by E.O. Wilson. Norton, $21.95, 178 pages. Advance reading copy. Publication date September. Wilson is Harvard professor of biology, winner of two Pulitzer Prizes, and the author of many books, including The Diversity of Life. Written as a letter to a minister, this book "celebrates miracles of nature, examines arguments for evolution, laments the erosion of the environment, and champions a unified and humanistic approach to environmentalism."


King of Infinite Space: Donald Coxeter, The Man Who Saved Geometry by Siobhan Roberts. Walker, $27.95, 416 pages. Advance reading copy. Publication date September. The author is a Canadian journalist. In this book, she "charts the remarkable course of one of the 20th centuries' most unconventional and unheralded geniuses ... who saw not just the beauty in shapes but their centrality to everything in nature."


Received during the week ended 7/28/06

Shadows of Existence: Discoveries and Speculations in Zoology by Matthew Bille. a paperback original by Hancock House, $19.95, 317 pages. Publication date July. Bille is the author of The Space Race and Rumors of Existence. “New whales, deer, snakes, sharks, and birds are just some of the creatures we have learned about in the past decade....The discoveries, rediscoveries, controversies, and mysteries of modern zoology are collected here ....”


The Father of Forensics: The Groundbreaking Cases of Sir Bernard Spilsbury, and the Beginnings of Modern CSI by Colin Evans. Berkley paperback original, $14, 326 pages. Publication date August 1. Evans is the author of two other books about forensics, including The Casebook of Forensic Detection. Long before CSI, man was investigating crime scenes in Victorian London. “His name was Sir Bernard Spilsbury, and this is the story of how he became known as the father of forensics.”


Saving Our Environment from Washington: How Congress Grabs Power, Shirks Responsibility, and Shortchanges the People by David Schoenbrod. Yale; hardback published in 2005, paperback now available for $20; 320 pages. Publication date August 22. Schoenbrod is a professor at the New York Law School and the author of Power Without Responsibility. “Through vivid tales of the pollution wars, a veteran environmental advocate shows that the Environmental Protection Agency is so big and remote that it must fail....”


Received during the week ended 7/21/06

Hollow Earth: The Long and Curious History of Imagining Strange Lands, fantastical Creatures, Advanced Civilizations, and Marvelous Machines Below the Earth's Surface by David Standish. Da Capo, $24.95, 295 pages. Publication date July 15. Standish teaches magazine writing at Northwestern University and is the author of The Art of Money. Here, he offers a "fascinating and beautifully illustrated cultural history about what might exist under the Earth's surface ...." Advance reading copy previewed here on 6/16/06.

Why Darwin Matters: The Case Against Intelligent Design by Michael Shermer. Times Books, $22, 224 pages. Publication date August 8. Shermer is the founder of Skeptic magazine and the author of eight previous books, including Science Friction. He examines "what is really occurring when the science behind the origins of human life are replaced with the newest brand of creationism -- intelligent design...."

Bicycle: The History by David V. Herlihy. Yale; hardback published in 2004, paperback now available for $25; 480 pages. Publication date August 16. The author is a historian and freelance writer. "This lively book tells the extraordinary story of an invention that precipitated nothing short of a social revolution."

Received during the week ended 7/14/06

The Language of God: A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief by Francis S. Collins. Free Press, $26, 283 pages. Publication date July 17. The author was the director of the Human Genome Project. This book "makes the most powerful case for the existence of God since C.S. Lewis' Mere Christianity." Advance reading copy previewed on 6/16/06.

Relativity: The Special and General Theory by Albert Einstein. Penguin Original (paperback), $12, 135 pages. Publication date July 25. Einstein is the one author who needs no introduction. Originally published in 1916, Einstein wrote that this book was intended "to give an exact insight into the theory of Relativity to those readers who ... are interested in the theory, but who are not conversant with the mathematical apparatus of theoretical physics."

The Magic Circle of Rudolph II: Alchemy and Astrology in Renaissance Prague by Peter Marshall. Walker, $25, 288 pages. Advance reading copy. Publication date August. Marshall is the author of numerous books, including The Philosopher's Stone.In sixteenth century Prague, the Holy Roman Emperor Rudolf II gathered the "greatest mathematicians, alchemists, artists, philosophers, and astronomers to lay the foundation for the Enlightenment."

Received during the week ended 7/7/06

Many Worlds in One: The Search for Other Universes by Alex Vilenkin. Farrar, Straus & Giroux, $24, 233 pages. Publication date July 6. The author is the director of the Tufts Institute of Cosmology. In this book, he "proceeds to explain recent discoveries in cosmology, from dark energy to why scientists are absolutely certain there are multiple universes ...." Advance reading copy previewed here on 6/16/06.

The Worst of Evils: The Fight Against Pain by Thomas Dormandy. Yale, $35, 448 pages. Publication date July 31. Dormandy is a retired professor of chemical pathology and the author of The White Death. In this book, he "takes us around the globe and through the centuries to discover how different cultures have sought to alleviate physical pain."

Blame It on the Rain: How the Weather Has Changed History by Laura Lee. Harper paperback original, $13.95, 256 pages. Advance reading copy. Publication date August. Lee is the author of eleven books, including The Pocket Encyclopedia of Aggravation. Here, she "tells the stories of governments that toppled due to weather-induced plagues and religious panics brought on by lightening strikes." Talk about weather is often trivial, but "Lee points out that its role in our lives
is immeasurable."

Received during the week ended 6/30/06

Beyond Oil: The View from Hubbert's Peak by Kenneth S. Deffeyes. Hill and Wang; hardback published in 2005, paperback with a new preface now available for $13; 224 pages. Publication date June 13. Deffeyes is a professor emeritus at Princeton University and the author of Hubbert's Peak: The Impending Oil Shortage. In his newest book, he "explores some of the far-reaching consequences of [his previous] book's central thesis: that world oil production will soon peak -- Thanksgiving Day, 2005 ...." Hardback edition written up here on 3/25/05.

The God Effect: Quantum Entanglement, Science's Strangest Phenomenon by Brian Clegg. St. Martin's, $24.95, 269 pages.Publication date July 6. Clegg is the author of several books, including A Brief History of Infinity. "Quantum entanglement is the fascinating process by which two particles are connected in such a way that when one particle changes, those changes are reflected instantly [in the other particle] even if they are light years apart." This book details "the history of entanglement and its applications."

My Einstein: Essays by Twenty-four of the World's Leading Thinkers on the Man, His Work, and His Legacy edited by John Brockman. Pantheon, $25, 263 pages. Advance reading copy. Publication date July 25. Brockman has edited numerouis books and is the author of three, including The Third Culture. This book "features twenty-four of the world's leading theoretical and experimental physicists, cosmologists, science historians and science writers writing about their own personal Einstein -- the ways his life and science influence how they approach their own work ...."

Received during the week ended 6/23/06

Lonesome George: The Life and Loves of a Conservation Icon by Henry Nicholls. Palgrave/Macmillan, $24.95, 256 pages. Publication date April 4. The author is an editor who also writes for Science and Nature. Lonesome George is the last remaining member of a species of tortoise believed to be extinct before George was discovered on a remote Galapagos island. The "five foot long two hundred pound tortoise aged between sixty and two hundred ... has come to embody the mystery, complexity and fragility of the unique Galapagos archipelago." Advance reading copy written up on 4/7/06.

Big Coal: The Dirty Secret Behind America's Energy Future by Jeff Goodell. Houghton Mifflin, $25.95, 320 pages. Publication date June 8. Goodell is a journalist and the author of several books, including Our Story. "Despite a century-long legacy that has claimed millions of lives and ravaged the environment, how has our nation come to be so reliant on coal?"

After Dolly: The Uses and Misuses of Human Cloning by Ian Wilmut and Roger Highfield. W.W. Norton, $24.95, 335 pages.Publication date June 12. Wilmut, formerly of the Roslin Institute where Dolly was cloned is now a professor at the University of Edinburgh; Highfield is the science editor of The Daily Telegraph and the author of several books. "Wilmut illuminates the steadfast commitment and scientific breakthroughs of his peers, while addressing public concerns .... And, he champions the eradication of hereditary disease through both cloning and genetically altering humans."

Received during the week ended 6/16/06

Hollow Earth: The Long and Curious History of Imagining Strange Lands, Fantastical Creatures, Advanced Civilizations, and Marvelous Machines Below the Earth's Surface by David Standish. Da Capo, $24.95, 295 pages. Advance reading copy. Publication date July. Standish teaches magazine writing at Northwestern University and is the author of The Art of Money. Here, he offers a "fascinating and beautifully illustrated cultural history about what might exist under the Earth's surface ...."

Many Worlds in One: The Search for Other Universes by Alex Vilenkin. Farrar, Straus & Giroux, $24, 222 pages. Advance reading copy. Publication date July. The author is the director of the Tufts Institute of Cosmology. In this book, he "proceeds to explain recent discoveries in cosmology, from dark energy to why scientists are absolutely certain there are multiple universes ...."

The Language of God: A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief by Francis S. Collins. Free Press, $26, 283 pages. Advance reading copy. Publication date July 17. The author was the director of the Human Genome Project. This book "makes the most powerful case for the existence of God since C.S Lewis' Mere Christianity."

Received during the week ended 6/9/06

The Cloudspotter's Guide: The Science, History, and Culture of Clouds by Gavin Pretor-Pinney. Berkley, $19.95, 320 pages. Publication date June 6. The author is a London-based journalist and the founder of the Cloud Appreciation Society. "Complete with graphic illustrations and cloud artwork, a breakdown of scientific theories, and breathtaking photographs, [this book] is a must read for anyone interested in the remarkable ways that clouds influence popular science, history, and culture."

Francis Crick: Discoverer of the Genetic Code by Matt Ridley. Atlas/HarperCollins, $19.95, 213 pages. Publication date June 12. Ridley is a visiting professor at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory and the author of four other books, including The Agile Gene, which won the National Academy of Science's best science book award for 2003. "This is the first biography of this scientific titan, who as the co-discoverer of the structure of DNA led the revolution in biology that continues to change our fundamental understanding of life." Advance reading copy written up on 5/19/06.

The Reluctant Mr. Darwin: An Intimate Portrait of Charles Darwin and the Making of His Theory of Evolution by David Quammen.Atlas/Norton, $22.95, 286 pages. Advance reading copy. Publication date July. Quammen is an award-winning writer and the author of several books, including The Song of the Dodo. Here, he "captures the private side of this famous scientist, the deeply conflicted man who would struggle for decades with the notion of publishing his thoughts."

Received during the week ended 5/26/06

Sex, Drugs and DNA: Science's Taboos Confronted by Michael Stebbins. Palgrave/Macmillan, $24.95, 256 pages. Publication date April 4. The author is Director of Biology Policy for the Federation of American Scientists. Here, he "tells the straight story about the issues that matter to every American.... from gender to race, cloning to stem-cells and bioweapons to bird flu." Advance reading copy written up on 3/24/06.

Another Day in the Frontal Lobe: A Brain Surgeon Exposes Life on the Inside by Katrina Firlik. Random House, $24.95, 271 pages. Publication date May 2. The author is a neurosurgeon practicing in Greenwich, Connecticut, and a clinical assistant professor at the Yale School of Medicine. One of the few female neurosurgeons, she "walks us through her process of decision making when time is of critical importance after a patient has suffered a head injury or a stroke."

Underwater to Get Out of the Rain: A Love Affair with the Sea by Trevor Norton. DaCapo, $25, 400 pages. Publication date June 1. Norton is Professor of Marine Biology at the University of Liverpool and the author of several books, including the award-winning Stars Beneath the Sea. "I grew up beside a sullen sea rimmed with coal dust, and that was where I first felt the tug of the tide. But the whisper in the shells was of bluer oceans beyond the horizon, salt-scented and transparent, alive with strange creatures. So I searched for their shores and this is the story of my journey." --from the Preface.

Received during the week ended 5/19/06

The Way We Eat: Why Our Food Choices Matter by Pete Singer and Jim Mason. Rodale, $25.95, 336 pages. Publication date May 2. Both Singer and Mason have written several books, including Animal Factories, which they coauthored. "By tracing the foods ... back to the production process, Singer and Mason are able to examine what ethical issues arise and thus to mine the impact our food choices have on humans, animals, and the environment."

The Storm: What Went Wrong and Why During Hurricane Katrina - the Inside Story from One Louisiana Scientist by Ivor van Heerden and Mike Bryan, Viking, $25.95, 320 pages. Publication date May 22. Van Heerden is the Director of the Louisiana State University Center for the Study of Public Health Impacts of Hurricanes and an associate professor in the department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. Bryan is the author of several books, including The Only Way I Know (with Cal Ripken). This "is the first book about Hurricane Katrina disaster from a major voice in the story. It is an epic of natural history, cutting-edge science, and human failure and folly ...."

Francis Crick: Discoverer of the Genetic Code by Matt Ridley. Atlas/HarperCollins, $19.95, 213 pages. Advance reading copy. Publication date June 1. Ridley is a visiting professor at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory and the author of four other books, including The Agile Gene, which won the National Academy of Science's best science book award for 2003. "This is the first biography of this scientific titan, who as the co-discoverer of the structure of DNA led the revolution in biology that continues to change our fundamental understanding of life."

Received during the week ended 5/12/06

The Voyage of the Vizcaína: The Mystery of Christopher Columbus' s Last Ship by Klaus Brinkbäumer and Clemens Höges. Harcourt, $26, 336 pages. Publication date May 1. The authors are writers and editors of the German magazine Der Spiegel. This book "is a riveting account of shipwreck and adventure, giving readers the story of how the wreck was found and salvaged."

An Argument for Mind by Jerome Kagan. Yale, $27.50, 287 pages. Publication date May 2. Kagan is professor of psychology emeritus at Harvard and the author of numerous books, including Birth to Maturity. Here, he constructs "an intellectual history of psychology ... an analysis of the tensions between psychology and biology, and a critique of a number of popular ideas in contemporary psychology today."

Intelligent Thought: Science Versus the Intelligent Design Movement, John Brockman, ed. Vintage paperback original, $14, 288 pages. Advance reading copy. Publication date May 30. Brockman is the editor of many books and the author of several others, including Digerati: Encounters with the Cyber Elite. In this book, "sixteen leading scientists discuss the debate over Intelligent Design."

Received during the week ended 5/5/06

Coming to Life: How Genes Drive Development by Christiane Nüsslein-Volhard. Kale Press, $29.95, 176 pages. Publication date May. Advance reading copy written up on 3/24/06. The author was one of three scientists who won the 1995 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. She "brings us the newest knowledge about embryonic forms, explains the genetic mechanisms that influence adult development of all animals, and shares insights into the ethical standards facing new scientific discoveries."

When a Gene Makes You Smell Like a Fish ... and Other Tales About the Genes in Your Body by Lisa Seachrist Chiu. Oxford, $27, 208 pages. Publication date May. The author is a science journalist. Strangely enough, there is a gene that can make a person smell like a fish. Another gene may explain why picky eating runs in families. "In addition to the anecdotes of genetic peculiarities, Chiu also delves into cutting-edge research in modern genetics."

Received during the week ended 4/28/06

The Devil's Doctor: Paracelsus and the World of Renaissance Magic and Science by Philip Ball. Farrar, Straus, Giroux, $27, 436 pages. Publication date April 26. Ball is the author of several books, including Critical Mass, which won the Aventis Science Book Prize. "[B]y uniting the diverse disciplines of medicine, biology, and alchemy, he [Paracelsus] assisted, almost in spite of himself, in the birth of science and the emergence of the age of rationalism."

Seed To Seed: The Secret Life of Plants by Nicholas Harberd. Bloomsbury, $24.95, 320 pages. Advance reading copy. Publication date May. The author is a plant biologist at the John Innes Centre. Harberd decided to leave the lab "and examine a plant's hidden life from the ground level." For a year, he studied a common weed, thale-cress, growing in a churchyard. This book is his account of that experiment.

Walking Zero: Discovering Cosmic Space Along the Prime Meridian by Chet Raymo. Walker, $23, 208 pages. Advance reading copy. Publication date May. Raymo is emeritus professor of physics and astronomy at Stonehill College and the author of several books, including The Path. "Walking across southeastern England from Brighton to Greenwich, Raymo illuminates astronomy and geology in his stops along the way ...."

Received during the week ended 4/21/06

Organic, Inc.: Natural Foods and How They Grew by Samuel Fromartz. Harcourt, $25, 320 pages.Publication date April 10. The author is a freelance business journalist. Organic products are a fast-growing segment of the food industry. "But what is organic food? Is it really better for you? ... and why are so many of us buying it?"

The First Human: The Race To Discover Our Earliest Ancestors by Ann Gibbons. Doubleday, $26, 306 pages. Publication date April 16. Gibbons writes about human evolution for the journal Science. She follows "the spellbinding quest to find the earliest human ancestors who were alive at the dawn of humankind, in the real Garden of Eden in Africa, sometime between 5 million and 8 million years ago."

Forests in Time: The Environmental Consequences of 1,000 Years of Change in New England edited by Davis R. Foster and John D. Aber.Yale; hardback published in 2004, paperback now available for $30; 496 pages.Publication date April 27. Foster is the director of Harvard Forest at Harvard University; Aber is a professor at the University of New Hampshire. This book "is one of a few select works that documents how the history of land use, climate, physiography, and ecology interact to shape the contemporary landscape."

Received during the week ended 4/14/06

Strange Angel: The Otherworldly Life of Rocket Scientist John Whiteside Parsons by George Pendle. Harcourt; hardback published in 2005, paperback now available for $15; 350 pages. Publication date April 3. The author writes about science, art, and culture for several publications, including The Times (London). Parsons was a founder of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena. Pendle "recounts Parson's extraordinary story for the first time, exploring a fascinating life and the consequences of unruly genius."

The Psychology of Science and the Origins of the Scientific Mind by Gregory J. Feist. Yale, $38, 336 pages. Publication date April 6. Feist is lecturer in psychology at the University of California, Davis, and the author of Theories of Personality. "He offers the most comprehensive perspective yet on the evolutionary origins of the human mind and on the important role of psychological forces in an individual's development of scientific interest, talent, and creativity."

The View from the Center of the Universe: Discovering Our Extraordinary Place in the Cosmos by Joel R. Primack and Nancy Ellen Abrams. Riverhead, $25.95, 386 pages. Publication date April 6. Primack is a professor of physics at the University of California, Santa Cruz; Abrams is a science writer. The authors "make the case that understanding the nature of our universe has profound implications for everyone here on earth ... because the universe is not just 'out there' -- it's here."

Received during the week ended 4/7/06

Lonesome George: The Life and Loves of a Conservation Icon by Henry Nicholls. Palgrave/Macmillan, $24.95, 256 pages. Advance reading copy. Publication date April. The author is an editor who also writes for Science and Nature. Lonesome George is the last remaining member of a species of tortoise believed to be extinct before George was discovered on a remote Galapagos island. The "five foot long two hundred pound tortoise aged between sixty and two hundred ... has come to embody the mystery, complexity and fragility of the unique Galapagos archipelago."

Hippo Eats Dwarf: A Field Guide to Hoaxes and Other B.S. by Alex Boese. Harvest Original/Harcourt paperback, $14, 278 pages. Publication date April 1. Boese is the author of The Museum of Hoaxes. This book "is the essential field guide to today's Misinformation Age, a ticket to survival in a world that is fake and growing faker by the day."

Forensic Detective: How I Cracked the World's Toughest Cases by Robert Mann and Miryam Williamson. Ballantine, $24.95, 305 pages. Publication date April 4. Mann is a forensic anthropologist and deputy scientific director of the U.S. Central Identification Laboratory; Williamson is the author of several books on health and longevity. Dr. Mann "has been called upon to unmask killers with nothing but the bone of their victims to guide him ... and piece together the events that can unlock the truth behind the most baffling deaths."

Received during the week ended 3/31/06

The Secret Life of Numbers: 50 Easy Pieces on How Mathematicians Work and Think by George G. Szpiro. Joseph Henry Press, $24.95, 210 pages. Publication date March 15. Szpiro is the author of Kepler's Conjecture. "Chock full of stories, anecdotes, and entertaining vignettes, The Secret Life of Numbers shows how mathematics really does affect almost every aspect of life...."

Medical Marvels: The 100 Greatest Advances in Medicine by Eugene W. Straus and Alex Straus. Prometheus, $28, 425 pages. Publication date March 21. Advance reading copy written up on 12/2/05.E. Straus is emeritus professor of medicine at the State University of New York and the author of Rosalyn Yalow, Nobel Laureate. A. Straus is an editor at Maxim magazine. In this book, the authors "celebrate the noble science and art of medicine by highlighting the one hundred greatest advances."

Why Conservation Is Failing and How It Can Regain Ground by Eric T. Freyfogle. Yale, $35, 320 pages. Publication date April. Advance reading copy written up on 3/17/06. The author is a professor of law at the University of Illinois College of Law. Here, he "explores why the conservation movement has responded ineffectually to the many cultural and economic criticisms leveled against it."

Received during the week ended 3/24/06

Sex, Drugs and DNA: Science's Taboos Confronted by Michael Stebbins. Palgrave/Macmillan, $24.95, 256 pages. Advance reading copy. Publication date April. The author is Director of Biology Policy for the Federation of American Scientists. Here, he "tells the straight story about the issues that matter to every American.... from gender to race, cloning to stem-cells and bioweapons to bird flu."

Coming to Life: How Genes Drive Development by Christiane Nüsslein-Volhard. Kales Press, $29.95, 170 pages. Advance reading copy. Publication date April 1. The author is the first German woman to win a Nobel Prize. She helps us "understand why children look like their parents, how an embryonic cell knows to become an eye rather than an eyelash, and other incredible influences that result in variety in life."

Received during the week ended 3/17/06

The Gospel of the Flying Spaghetti Monster by Bobby Henderson. Villard Trade Paperback Original, $13.95, 176 pages. Publication date March 28. The author has a degree in physics and is the prophet for the church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster. "In a witty response to the Kansas Board of Education's debate on teaching Intelligent Design (I.D.) ... " Henderson argued "that there are multiple theories of I.D. and they should all be taught in classrooms, including Pastafarianism ... the religion of the Flying Spaghetti Monster."

Windswept: The Story of Wind and Weather by Marq de Villiers. Walker, $24.95 243 pages. Publication date April. De Villiers is author of Sahara and Water: The Fate of Our Most Precious Resource, This book is a natural history of wind through the ages and "provides a rare anatomy of Category 5 hurricane from its humble origins in the Sahara Desert to its ravaging culmination on the Gulf Coast of the U.S."

Why Conservation Is Failing and How It Can Regain Ground by Eric T. Freyfogle. Yale, $35, 320 pages. Advance reading copy. Publication date April. The author is a professor of law at the University of Illinois College of Law. Here, he "explores why the conservation movement has responded ineffectually to the many cultural and economic criticisms leveled against it."

Received during the week ended 3/10/06

Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol S. Dweck. Random House, $23.95, 276 pages. Publication date March 7. Dweck is professor of psychology at Stanford University and the author of Self-Theories: Their Role in Motivation, Personality, and Development. In this book, she argues that if you have the right mindset, "you know that talents can be developed and that great abilities are cultivated over time." This "is the path of opportunity and success."

It's a Jungle Up There: More Tales from the Treetops by Margaret D. Lowman, Edward Burgess, and James Burgess. Yale, $27.50, 304 pages. Publication date March 19. Advance copy written up on 1/20/06. Lowman is Director of Environmental Initiatives at New College in Florida and the author of Life in the Treetops. Her coauthors are her sons, both of whom are enrolled as undergraduate students at Princeton. "Lowman explains with frank humor the logistics of conducting critical research with children in tow and the joys of sharing scientific discovery with her family."

The Electrical Life of Michael Faraday by Alan Hirshfeld. Walker, $24, 258 pages. Publication date March 24. Advance copy written up on 12/16/05. Hirshfeld is a professor of physics at the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth and the author of Parallax: The Race to Measure the Cosmos. "Born into poverty in 1791 and trained as a bookbinder, Faraday miraculously rose the through the ranks of the scientifically elite .... inventing the electric generator and electric motor."

Received during the week ended 3/3/06

China Syndrome: The True Story of the 21st Century's Great Epidemic by Karl Taro Greenfeld. HarperCollins, $25.95, 442 pages. Publication date March 14. Greenfeld is is a writer, editor, and the author of two previous books, including Speed Tribe. "Infectious diseases have reemerged as one of the globe's most pressing problems." The author tells the story of the 2003 outbreak of SARS and contends that it "gives us a crucial blueprint for how an epidemic starts -- and how the next time it might not be stopped."

The Weather Makers by Tim Flannery. Atlantic Monthly Press, $25, 332 pages. Publication date March 15. Flannery is Director of the South Australian Museum, a professor at the University of Adelaide, and the author of several books, including an ecological history of North America titled The Eternal Frontier. In this book, he writes that global warming is an undeniable fact and "argues that we are approaching some sort of global tipping point -- one we still may have time to avoid if both governments and individuals take the right action."

Programming the Universe: A Quantum Computer Scientist Takes On the Cosmos by Seth Lloyd. Knopf, $25.95, 221 pages. Advance reading copy. Publication date March 17. The author is a professor of mechanical engineering at MIT. "Is the universe actually a giant quantum computer? According to Seth Lloyd ... the answer is yes, and in this wonderfully accessible study, he explains why and how."

Received during the week ended 2/24/06

Designer Evolution: A Transhumanist Manifesto by Simon Young. Prometheus, $28, 417 pages. Publication date February 21. The author is a pianist who has performed in Europe. Transhumanism is a philosophy that "declares unequivocal support for the attempt to eliminate disease, defeat death, and enhance the body and mind beyond the limitations of the age-old human condition." Young "calls for a rejection of premodern superstition and postmodern nihilism in favor of a renewed belief in human progress through scientific rationality."

Fish On Friday: Feasting, Fasting, and the Discovery of the New World by Brian Fagan. Basic, $26.95, 256 pages. Publication date March 1. Fagan is Emeritus Professor of Anthropology at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and the author of several books, including The Little Ice Age. Here, he argues "that discovery of America was not driven by well-financed individuals with familiar names; instead it was the product of the long sweep of history ... and of hundreds of unknown fishermen who explored the North Atlantic for centuries before the Santa Maria crossed the sea."

Field Notes from a Catastrophe: Man, Nature, and Climate Change by Elizabeth Kolbert. Bloomsbury, $22.95, 192 pages. Publication date March 14. The author is a staff writer for the New Yorker. Kolbert "spoke with many sober-minded, coolly analytical experts who warned of the end of the world as we know it. So why aren't people listening? ... The official policies of our President stand in the way of progress."

Received during the week ended 2/17/06

The First Idea: How Symbols, Language, and Intelligence Evolved from Our Primate Ancestors to Modern Humans by Stanley I. Greenspan and Stuart G. Shanker. Da Capo; hardback published in 2004, paperback now available for $18, 504 pages. Greenspan, a professor of psychiatry and pediatrics at George Washington University Medical School, is the author of numerous books, including The Secure Child. Shanker is Distinguished Research Professor of Philosophy and Psychology at York University in Toronto and the author of several books, including Wittgenstein's Remarks on the Foundation of AI. In this book, they explore "how human beings first created symbols and how those abilities initially evolved ...."

Every Other Thursday: Stories and Strategies from Successful Women Scientists by Ellen Daniell. Yale, $27.50, 304 pages. Publication date March 8. The author is a writer and consultant and formerly an assistant professor of molecular biology at University of California, Berkeley. Here, she tells the story of "seven accomplished women ... who are committed to solving professional problems together."

Sky in a Bottle by Peter Pesic. MIT Press, $24.95, 262 pages. Publication date December 16, 2005. Pesic, a physicist and Tutor and Musician-in-Residence at St. John's College, Santa Fe, is the author of Labyrinth: A Search for the Hidden Meaning of Science. Why is the sky blue? This book "takes us on a quest to the very heart of this mystery, tracing our various (and often misguided) attempts to solve it."

Received during the week ended 2/10/06

Parallel Worlds: A Journey Through Creation, Higher Dimensions, and the Future of the Cosmos by Michio Kaku. Anchor paperback (hardback originally published by Doubleday in 2005), $15.95, 428 pages. Publication date February 14. For a description of this book, see my write up for the week ended 12/18/04.

The Oracle: The Lost Secrets and Hidden Message of Ancient Delphi by William J. Broad. Penguin, $25.95, 304 pages. Publication date February 20. Broad is a writer for the New York Times and author or coauthor of six books, including Germs: Biological Weapons and America's Secret War. Here he "tells the story about a renegade team of scientists who band together to discover the truth behind ...." the Oracle of Delphi of ancient Greece.

Pilgrim on the Great Bird Continent:The Importance of Everything and Other Lessons from Darwin's Lost Notebooks by Lyanda Lynn Haupt. Little, Brown; $24.95, 288 pages. Advance reading copy. Publication date March 6. Haupt is the author of Rare Encounters with Ordinary Birds. In this book, she puts us inside the young [Charles] Darwin's shoes .... and examines the process through which the boy, an amateur, became the man, the great thinker with whom we are familiar today."

Received during the week ended 2/3/06

Splendid Solution: Jonas Salk and the Conquest of Polio by Jeffrey Kluger. Berkley paperback (originally published by Putnam's in 2005), $15, 373 pages. Publication date February. Kluger is a writer at Time and the coauthor of Lost Moon: The Perilous Voyage of Apollo 13. This book tells "the riveting story behind one of the greatest scientific accomplishments of the twentieth century -- Jonas Salk's polio vaccine...."

Condor: To the Brink and Back - The Life and Times of One Giant Bird by John Nielson. HarperCollins, $25.95, 257 pages. Publication date February 10. The author is an environmental reporter for NPR. "In this book the story of the fight to save the condor becomes a proxy for the story of the fight to save the whole idea of wildness, and a proxy for the story of the fight to save the soul of California."

The Winds of Change: Climate, Weather, and the Destructions of Civilizations by Eugene Linden. Simon & Schuster, $26, 302 pages. Publication date February 13. Linden is the author of seven books, including The Future in Plain Sight. In this book, "Linden takes a hard and timely look at climate's role in past disasters that will help us understand, anticipate, and avoid coming threats."

Received during the week ended 1/27/06

Nano-Hype: The Truth Behind the Nanotechnology Buzz by David M. Berube. Prometheus, $28, 520 pages. Publication date January 10. The author is professor of communication studies and associate director of Nanoscience Technology Studies at the University of South Carolina. "Based on over a decade of research and interviews with many of the movers and shakers in nanotechnology, this critical study will help the reader separate the realistic prospects from the hype surrounding this important cutting-edge technology."

Chasing Hubble's Shadows: The Search for Galaxies at the Edge of Time by Jeff Kanipe. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, $24, 205 pages. Publication date February 1. Kanipe is a science journalist and the author of A Skywatcher's Year. This book "is an account of the continuing efforts of astronomers to probe the outermost limits of the observable universe." This information "promises to yield clues to many cosmic puzzles ...."

Sky Walking: An Astonaut's Memoir by Tom Jones. Smithsonian Books/Collins, $26.95, 369 pages. Publication date February 1. The author is an astronaut who flew four missions on the space shuttle. He is also the coauthor of several books, including The Complete Idiot's Guide to NASA. Here, he "tells the story of the modern space program as experienced by by a veteran astronaut .... His experiences and opinions ... are essential reading for anyone interested in the astronauts and their families, the science and technology of spaceflight, and the history and future of the space program."

Received during the week ended 1/20/06

It's a Jungle Up There: More Tales from the Treetops by Margaret D. Lowman, Edward Burgess, and James Burgess. Yale, $27.50, 304 pages. Advance reading copy. Publication date March. Lowman is Director of Environmental Initiatives at New College in Florida and the author of Life in the Treetops. Her coauthors are her sons, both of whom are enrolled as undergraduate students at Princeton. "Lowman explains with frank humor the logistics of conducting critical research with children in tow and the joys of sharing scientific discovery with her family."

Field Notes from a Catastrophe: Man, Nature, and Climate Change by Elizabeth Kolbert. Bloomsbury, $22.95, 192 pages. Advance reading copy. Publication date March 14. The author is a staff writer for the New Yorker. Kolbert "spoke with many sober-minded, coolly analytical experts who warned of the end of the world as we know it. So why aren't people listening? ... The official policies of our President stand in the way of progress."

Received during the week ended 1/13/06

Extinction: How Life on Earth Nearly Ended 250 Million Years Ago by Douglas H. Erwin. Princeton, $24.95, 306 pages. Publication date February. The author is a scientist in the Department of Paleobiology at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History. About 250 million years ago, 95 percent of all species then living were wiped out. "Here, the world's foremost authority on the subject provides a fascinating overview of the evidence for and against a whole host of hypotheses...." about the cause of this cataclysmic event.

Received during the week ended 1/6/06

Epic of Evolution: Seven Ages of the Cosmos by Eric Chaisson. Columbia University Press, $34.50, 504 pages. Publication date January. Chaisson is a research professor in physics, astronomy, and education at Tufts University and the author of numerous books, including Cosmic Dawn: The Origins of Matter and Life. This book "offers a stunning view of how various changes, operating across almost incomprehensible domains of space and nearly inconceivable stretches of time and through the evolutionary combination of necessity and chance, have given rise to our galaxy, our star, our planet, and ourselves."

The Mature Mind: The Positive Power of the Aging Brain by Gene D. Cohen. Basic, $24.95, 232 pages. Publication date January 16. Cohen is the founding chief of the Center on Aging at the National Institute of Mental Health and the author of The Creative Age. Here, he "goes on to show how we can jump-start positive change at any age and under any circumstances, actively building brain reserves and new potential."

Received during the week ended 12/30/05

Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed by Jared Diamond. Penguin, now available in paperback for $17, 575 pages. Publication date December 27. For a description of this book, see my write up for the week ended 1/28/05.

Black Bodies and Quantum Cats: Tales from the Annals of Physics by Jennifer Ouellette. Penguin paperback original, $15, 320 pages. Publication date December 27.For a description of this book, see my write up for the week ended 9/16/05.

Bodies We've Buried: Inside the National Forensic Laboratory, The World's Top CSI Training School by Jarrett Hallcox and Amy Welch. Berkley, $24.95, 265 pages. Publication date January 2006. For a description of this book, see my write up for the week ended 11/25/05.

Received during the week ended 12/16/05

The Electrical Life of Michael Faraday by Alan Hirshfeld. Walker, $24, 234 pages. Advance reading copy. Publication date March. Hirshfeld is a professor of physics at the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth and the author of Parallax: The Race to Measure the Cosmos. "Born into poverty in 1791 and trained as a bookbinder, Faraday miraculously rose the through the ranks of the scientifically elite .... inventing the electric generator and electric motor."

Fish On Friday: Feasting, Fasting, and the Discovery of the New World by Brian Fagan. Basic, $26, 324 pages. Advance reading copy. Publication date March 1. Fagan is Emeritus Professor of Anthropology at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and the author of several books, including The Little Ice Age. Here, he argues "that discovery of America was not driven by well-financed individuals with familiar names; instead it was the product of the long sweep of history ... and of hundreds of unknown fishermen who explored the North Atlantic for centuries before the Santa Maria crossed the sea."

Received during the week ended 12/9/05

Molecular Gastronomy: Exploring the Science of Flavor by Hervé This, translated by Malcolm DeBevoise. Columbia University Press, $29.95, 360 pages. Advance reading copy. Publication date February. Hervé This is a physical chemist, cookbook author, and French television personality. This book is a "provocative look at the chemical basis behind the art of cooking."


The Weather Makers by Tim Flannery. Atlantic Monthly Press, $25, 332 pages. Advance reading copy. Publication date March. Flannery is Director of the South Australian Museum, a professor at the University of Adelaide, and the author of several books, including an ecological history of North America titled The Eternal Frontier. In this book, he writes that global warming is an undeniable fact and "argues that we are approaching some sort of global tipping point -- one that we still may have time to avoid if both governments and individuals take the right action."

Received during the week ended 12/2/05

The Cosmic Landscape: String Theory and the Illusion of Intelligent Design by Leonard Susskind. Little, Brown and Co., $24.95, 404 pages. Publication date December 12. The author is a professor of theoretical physics at Stanford University and prominent string theorist. Here, he discuses the Anthropic Principle, which "holds that the universe must be set up to support life in order that people can be here to observe it.... Leonard Susskind shows how String Theory ... has led to a vastly expanded concept of the universe ... where the Anthropic Principle makes perfect sense."

Medical Marvels: The 100 Greatest Advances in Medicine by Eugene W. Straus and Alex Straus. Prometheus, $28, 360 ages. Advance reading copy. Publication date January 2006. E. Straus is emeritus professor of medicine at the State University of New York and the author of Rosalyn Yalow, Nobel Laureate. A. Straus is an editor at Maxim magazine. In this book, the authors "celebrate the noble science and art of medicine by highlighting the one hundred greatest advances."

Received during the week ended 11/25/05

Fields That Dream: A Journey To the Roots of Our Food by Jenny Kurzweil. Fulcrum paperback original $14.95, 198 pages. The author is a professional cook and an editor for a nonprofit organization. In this book, she interviews farmers and gives readers "a glimpse of the daily rewards and challenges of putting healthy foods on our tables while struggling to sustain a vanishing way of life."


Bodies We've Buried: Inside the National Forensic Laboratory, The World's Top CSI Training School by Jarrett Hallcox and Amy Welch. Berkley, $24.95, 265 pages. Advance reading copy. Publication date January 3, 2006. The authors are directors of the National Forensic Academy where investigators receive hands-on crime scene instruction. In this book, they reveal "the fascinating details of forensic investigation that, while gruesome, are much truer to life than even the boldest crime shows on television."

Received during the week ended 11/18/05

Thin Ice: Unlocking the Secrets of Climate in the World's Highest Mountains by Mark Bowen. Henry Holt, $30, 480 pages. Publication date November 3. The author is a physicist and veteran mountain climber. He has climbed with paleoclimatologist Lonnie Thompson in "fieldwork that demonstrates that tropical glaciers hold the clues to global climate change and the world's environmental future."

Tracking Trilobites: Adventures in Paleontology by Judy Lundquist. Kentucky Geological Survey paperback original, $9.43, 70 pages. The author has "20 years experience in commicating science to the public." This short, nicely illustrated book is "an excellent introduction to trilobites for amateurs, and a captivating view of them even for professionals."

World as Laboratory: Experiments with Mice, Mazes, and Men by Rebecca Lemov. Hill & Wang; paperback original, $30; 291 pages. Publication date December 6. For a description of this book, see my write up for the week ended 10/14/05.

Received during the week ended 11/11/05

Deep Sky Objects: The Best and Brightest from Four Decades of Comet Chasing by David Levy. Prometheus, paperback original $20, 362 pages. Publication date November 7. The famous comet chaser David Levy is the author of three other books, including The Quest for Comets. In this book, "he takes amateur sky watchers on a fascinating journey into deep space in ... [an] enthusiastic and informative survey of the many far distant yet observable objects in the night sky."

The Discoveries: The Great Breakthroughs in 20th Century Science by Alan Lightman. Pantheon, $32.50, 526 pages. Publication date November 8. For a description of this book, see my write up for the week ended 10/14/05.

The Fated Sky: Astrology in History by Benson Bobrick. Simon & Schuster, $26, 369 pages. Publication date November 8. Bobrick is the author of eight previous books, including a history of the American revolution. "While most of today's astronomers consider astrology as fraudulent as palm reading, the author reminds us that"astrology and astronomy were originally one' .... Bobrick paints vibrant portraits of astrologers ... who combined their immense knowledge of science with their skill in determining the significance of the configuration of the planets and stars."


Received during the week ended 11/4/05


The Story of Science: Newton at the Center by Joy Hakim. Smithsonian Books, $24.95, 480 pages. Publication date November. Hakim is a newspaper writer and editor and the author of A History of Us. This lavishly illustrated book is the second in a six-volume series that will cover the history of science. Dramatic stories about scientists from Newton to Faraday will appeal to youngsters and newcomers to science.

A Left-Hand Turn Around the World: Chasing the Mystery and Meaning of All Things Southpaw by David Wolman, Da Capo, $23.95, 256 pages. Publication date November 1. For a brief description, see my write up for the week ended 10/7/05.

Destination Moon: The Apollo Missions in the Astronauts' Own Words by Rod Pyle.Smithsonian Books/Collins, $24.95, 192 pages. Publication date November 1. The author is a producer, writer, and director for the History Channel. In this book, he "tells the entire story of the Apollo program, primarily in the words of the astronauts and project leaders involved."


Received during the week ended 10/28/05


Life Before Life: A Scientific Investigation of Children's Memories of Previous Lives by Jim B. Tucker. St. Martin's, $23.95, 251 pages. Publication date September 16. The author is a child psychiatrist at the University of Virginia and medical director of the Child & Family Psychiatry Clinic. "What would cause young children to think they remembered living before -- and dying before? ... Dr. Tucker eventually concludes that ... memories and emotions can sometimes carry over from one life to another ...."

Snowstruck: In the Grip of Avalanches by Jill Fredston. Harcourt, $24, 352 pages. Publication date November. For more information, see write up under week ended 7/22/05.


Received during the week ended 10/21/05


Rhythms of Life: The Biological Clocks that Control the Daily Lives of Every Living Thing by Russell G. Foster and Leon Kreitzman. Yale; originally published in 2004, now available in paperback for $18; 276 pages. Foster is a professor of neuroscience at Imperial College, London; Kreitzman is the author of The 24 Hour Society. The book addresses the questions: "Why do some plants open and close their at the same time each day? Why do so many people suffer the misery of jet lag? How do bees tell time?"


Received during the week ended 10/14/05


The Discoveries: Great Breakthroughs in 20th Century Science by Alan Lightman. Pantheon, $32.50, 526 pages. Advance reading copy. Publication date November 8. Lightman is a novelist, essayist, physicist, and the author of several books of nonfiction, including A Sense of the Mysterious: Science and the Human Spirit. In this book, "he chronicles the story of twenty-four of the most influential discoveries [of the 20th century] .... and assesses the initial and lasting significance of the work...." Included are the initial scientific papers announcing these discoveries.


World as Laboratory: Experiments with Mice, Mazes, and Men by Rebecca Lemov. Hill & Wang, $25, 282 pages. Advance reading copy. Publication date December. The author teaches anthropology and history at the University of Washington. The book explores the science of behavioral engineering, which "has opened vistas of understanding about how we make decisions ... and how these decisions can be manipulated."


Received during the week ended 10/7/05


In the Company of Crows and Ravens by John M. Marzluff and Tony Angell. Yale, $30, 400 pages. Publication date October 31. Marzluff is a professor of Sustainable Resource Sciences and professor of Wildlife Science at the College of Forest Resources, University of Washington; Angell is an artist and writer. The authors "take us on a tour of crow history and culture in their beautifully illustrated and delightfully written new book ...."

A Left-Hand Turn Around the World: Chasing the Mystery and Meaning of All Things Southpaw by David Wolman, Da Capo, $23.95, 256 pages. Advance reading copy. Publication date November 1. The author is a journalist whose work has appeared in numerous magazines, including Discover. For this book, he "committed a year of his life to traveling the world in order to explore left-handedness -- specifically, what cause it and how left-handers might differ from the right-handed majority ...."


Received during the week ended 9/30/05


Descartes' Secret Notebook: A True Tale of Mathematics, Mysticism, and the Quest to Understand the Universe by Amir D. Aczel. Broadway Books, $24.95, 275 pages. Publication date October 18. Aczel is the author of two textbooks and nine other nonfiction books, including Fermat's Last Theorem. The author "lucidly explains the science, mystery and mathematics of Descartes, who has never been as lively as he is in the pages of this first-rate biography and social history."

The Cutter Incident: How America's First Polio Vaccine Led to the Growing Vaccine Crisis by Paul A. Offit. Yale, $27.50, 238 pages. Publication date October 19. The author is chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases at the Children's Hospital and a professor of pediatrics at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. Shortly after the introduction of the polio vaccine in 1955, "70,000 who had placed their faith in modern medicine contracted polio, two hundred were paralyzed, and 10 died.... He shows how this incident helped create problems that plague our healthcare system today."

The E-Bomb: How America's New, Directed Energy Weapons Will Change the Way Future Wars Will Be Fought by Doug Beason. Da Capo, $26, 256 pages. Publication date October 1. For more information, see write up on 7/29/05.


Received during the week ended 9/23/05

Meta Math! The Quest for Omega by Gregory Chaitin. Pantheon, $26, 220 pages. Publication date October 4. Chaitin works at IBM's Watson Research Center and is the author of several books, including The Limits of Mathematics. The author "has devoted his life to the attempt to understand what mathematics can and cannot achieve .... He also tells us how he discovered the celebrated Omega number, which marks the current boundary of what mathematics can achieve."

The Best American Science and Nature Writing by Jonathan Weiner, ed., and Tim Folger, series ed. Houghton Mifflin, 27.50 (paperback $14), 304 pages. Publication date October 5. Weiner is the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of several books, including Time, Love, Memory: A Great Biologist and His Quest for the Origins of Behavior. The editor selects "the finest literary nonfiction writing on diverse scientific topics." This year's collection contains short, previously published pieces from blue-chip science writers such as Jared Diamond, Timothy Ferris, Oliver Sacks, and Malcolm Gladwell.

Our Inner Ape: A Leading Primatologist Why We Are Who We Are by Frans de Waal. Riverhead, $29.95, 288 pages. Publication date October 6. Frans de Waal is Professor of Primate Behavior at Emory University and the author of six previous books, including The Ape and the Sushi Master. In this book, he "illuminates human nature by comparing our behavior directly with that of our two closest ape relatives: bonobos and chimpanzees."

The Plausibility of Life: Resolving Darwin's Dilemma by Marc W. Kirschner and John C. Gerhart. Yale, $30, 336 pages. Publication date October 19. Kirschner is a professor in the department of Systems Biology at Harvard Medical School; Gerhart is a professor in the Graduate School, University of California, Berkeley. The authors "pull together the major discoveries of the last few decades from molecular biology and genetics to explain for all interested readers how novelty arises ... how evolution really works."


Received during the week ended 9/16/05


The Planets by Dava Sobel. Viking, $24.95, 288 pages. Advance reading copy. Publication date October 11. Sobel is the author of Longitude and Galileo's Daughter. In this book, she "takes readers on a journey through the Cosmos -- from the Sun and the origins of the Solar System out to Pluto's discovery in the 1930s ...."

A Concise History of Ornithology by Michael Walters. Yale; originally published in 2003, paperback now available for $22; 256 pages. Publication date October 12. The author is Emeritus Fellow at the Natural History Museum at Walter Rothschild Zoological Museum in the United Kingdom. "This informative and entertaining history vividly describes the ornithologists who have been most influential in the field and the discoveries they have made."

Black Bodies and Quantum Cats: Tales from the Annals of Physics by Jennifer Ouellette. Penguin Original, paperback $15, 304 pages. Advance reading copy. Publication date October 25. The author is associate editor of APS News, a publication of the American Physical Society. She "takes the broadest possible view of physics, writing about milestones from the development of the telephone and the rocket to the invention of the roller coaster and the debut of Reddi-Wip."


Received during the week ended 9/9/05

The Equation That Couldn't Be Solved: How Mathematical Genius Discovered the Language of Symmetry by Mario Livio. Simon & Schuster, $26.95, 353 pages. Publication date September 19. Livio is a Senior Astronomer at the Space Telescope Science Institute and author of The Golden Ratio. This book "looks at the discovery of group theory -- a true miracle in the history of mathematics -- and its evolution as the 'language' we use to describe and characterize symmetry...."

The Ig Nobel Prizes 2: An All-New Collection of the World's Unlikeliest Research by Marc Abrahams. Dutton, $18.95, 261 pages. Publication date September 22. The author is founder and master of ceremonies of the annual Ig Nobel Prize awards and a columnist for The Guardian newspaper. This book "will make you laugh, will make you cry, and will make you wonder, 'why?'"

Fantastic Voyage: Live Long Enough to Live Forever by Ray Kurzweil and Terry Grossman. Plume Books; originally published in 2004, now available in paperback for $16, 452 pages. Publication date October 4. Kurzweil is the author of three books, including The Age of Intelligent Machines; Grossman is the author of The Baby Boomer's Guide to Living Forever. "By following their program, which includes such simple recommendations as eating a balanced, low glycemic index diet, and taking powerful anti aging supplements, anyone will be able to tap into today's technological breakthroughs to live longer and better."


Received during the week ended 9/2/05


The Universe in a Single Atom: The Convergence of Science and Spirituality by Tenzin Gyatso, the Dalai Lama. Morgan Road Books, $24.95, 216 pages. Publication date September 13. The author is the Fourteenth Dalai Lama and the recipient of a Nobel Peace Prize. He "shows how the scientific and religious mindsets, at war in this country and around the world, can be reconciled if we open our minds and hearts to the connections between science and faith ...."

Fortune's Formula: The Untold Story of the Scientific Betting System That Beat the Casinos and Wall Street by William Poundstone. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, $27, 386 pages. Publication date September 14. Poundstone is the author of nine nonfiction books, including The Recursive Universe. "For decades, savvy investors, gamblers, scientists, and even mobsters have been using the Kelly formula to strike it rich .... [T]he scientific formula is virtually foolproof for those who understand it."

Wooden Books is Walker & Company's "series of concise, accessible introductions to timeless sciences and vanishing arts .... Recreating the essence of medieval texts through elegant designs and writing, they are invaluable sources of information and inspiration." These are the latest three books in this series, each of which sells for $10 and is 58 pages long.

Sacred Number: The Secret Qualities of Quantities by Miranda Lundy. Lundy is the author of Sacred Geometry. This book "introduces basic counting systems; significant numbers from major religious texts ...."
The Compact Cosmos by Matt Tweed. Tweed is the author of Essential Elements. Here, he "offers a primer on the cosmos for anyone fascinated by the heavens."
Weaving: Methods, Patterns, and Traditions of the Oldest Art by Christina Martin. The author is an artist and freelance illustrator. In this book, she "presents the history, folklore, and techniques of weaving through various cultures.


Received during the week ended 8/26/05


Just a Theory: Exploring the Nature of Science by Moti Ben-Ari. Prometheus, paperback $21, 237 pages. Publication date August 23. Ben-Ari is associate professor of science teaching at the Weizmann Institute in Israel and the author several textbooks. The book offers "an overview of the modern concepts of science. A clear understanding of the nature of science will enable you to distinguish science from pseudoscience ... and real social issues in science from the caricatures portrayed in postmodernist critiques."

Locust: The Devastating Rise and Mysterious Disappearance of the Insect That Shaped the American Frontier by Jeffrey A. Lockwood. Basic Books; originally published in 2004, now available in paperback for $25; 294 pages. Publication date August 23. Lockwood is a professor of entomology at the University of Wyoming and the author of Grasshopper Dreaming. "Throughout the 19th century, gigantic schools of locusts regularly swept across the continent, turning noon into dusk, devastating farm communities and bringing trains to a halt as the crushed bodies of the insects greased the rails." This book tells the "story of how one insect shaped the history of the western United States...."

The Last Giant of Beringia: The Mystery of the Bering Land Bridge by Dan O'Neill. Basic Books; originally published in 2004, now available in paperback for $15; 232 pages. Publication date September 6. O'Neill is a historian and author of Firecracker Boys. This book is the story of the geologist Dave Hopkins, who proved the existence of a vanished land bridge between Siberia and North America.


Received during the week ended 8/19/05


Emotional Design: Why We Love (or Hate) Everyday Things by Donald A. Norman. Basic Books, paperback edition now available for $15.95, 288 pages. Publication date August 1. Norman is professor of computer science at Northwestern University and the author of several books, including The Design of Everyday Things. "Norman is the first to make the connection between our emotions and how we relate to ordinary objects -- from juicers to Jaguars...."

Hunger: An Unnatural History by Sharman Apt Russell. Basic Books, $23.95, 262 pages. Publication date September 1. Russell teaches writing at Western New Mexico University. She is the author of An Obsession with Butterflies and other books. "[G]enerations have used hunger to make spiritual and political statements. Russell highlights these remarkable cases where hunger can inspire and even heal, but she also addresses the devastating impact of famine and starvation on cultures around the world today."

The Republican War on Science by Chris Mooney. Basic Books, $24.95, 328 pages. Publication date September 12. The author is a journalist specializing in science and politics. "Mooney ties together the disparate strands of the attack on science into a compelling and frightening account of our government's increasing lack of interest in distinguishing between scientific truth and carefully calibrated pseudoscience.


Received during the week ended 8/12/05


Moondust: In Search of the Men Who Fell to Earth by Andrew Smith. 4th Estate, $24.95, 372 pages. Publication date August 16. The author has worked as a critic and feature writer for several publications, including the Sunday Times. "Smith wondered how the lives of the nine surviving men who walked on the moon turned out ... tracking down each man to ask the question, 'What do you do after you've walked on the surface of the moon?'"

The Best American Science and Nature Writing 2005 by Jonathan Weiner, ed. and Tim Folger, series ed. Houghton Mifflin, $27.50 (paperback $14), 304 pages. Advance reading copy. Publication date October 5. Weiner is the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of several books, including Time, Love, Memory: A Great Biologist and His Quest for the Origins of Behavior. The editor selects "the finest literary nonfiction writing on diverse scientific topics." This year's collection contains short, previously published pieces from blue-chip science writers such as Jared Diamond, Timothy Ferris, Oliver Sacks, and Malcolm Gladwell.

The Infinite Book: A Short Guide to the Boundless, Timeless, and Endless by John D. Barrow. Pantheon, $26, 352 pages. Publication date August 2, 2005. (An advance reading copy was previewed here on 4/29/05.) Barrow is a professor of mathematical sciences at the University of Cambridge and the author of The Book of Nothing. "From the simple idea of the infinity of integers to the more complex notions of infinity in the physical world, Barrow explains the layers, levels, and multiple permutations of infinity ...."


Received during the week ended 8/5/05


Dam!: Water, Power, Politics, and Preservation in Hetch Hetchy and Yosemite National Park by John Warfield Simpson. Pantheon, $28.50, 356 pages. Publication date July 12. Simpson is professor of Landscape Architecture and natural Resources at Ohio State University and the author of two books, including Visions of Paradise: Glimpses of Our Landscape's Legacy. "Simpson details the history and construction of the enormous dam." He also discusses the "ongoing controversy over whether to refurbish, repair, and enlarge the system or to tear down the dam and restore the valley to its prior splendor."

Liberation Biology: The Scientific and Moral Case for the Biotech Revolution by Ronald Bailey. Prometheus, $28, 332 pages. Publication date July 19. Baily is the author of two previous books, including Eco-Scam: The False Prophets of the Apocalypse. "What was once the stuff of science fiction may now be within reach in the not-too-distant future: 20-to-40-year leaps in average life spans, enhanced human bodies, drugs and therapies to boost memory and speed up mental processing .... The book makes the case "that the biotechnology revolution will improve our lives and the future of our children...."


Received during the week ended 7/29/05


Deep Water: The Epic Struggle Over Dams, Displaced People, and the Environment by Jacques Leslie. Farrar, Straus & Giroux, $25, 368 pages. Advance reading copy. Publication scheduled for September. Leslie is the author of The Mark: A War Correspondent's Memoir of Vietnam and Cambodia. "Dams are one of the most monumentally destructive inventions of mankind....[A]nd scientists are just now seeing the major repercussions of these structural giants."

The E-Bomb: How America's New, Directed Energy Weapons Will Change the Way Future Wars Will Be Fought by Doug Beason. Da Capo, $26, 320 pages. Advance reading copy. Publication scheduled for October 1. The author is Associate Director (Threat Reduction) at Los Alamos National Laboratory. "Perhaps more influential than the atomic bomb, the lasers and high-powered microwaves that make up these weapons .... [might] forever change the way we fight our wars."


Received during the week ended 7/22/05


The Genome War: How Craig Venter Tried to Capture the Code of life and Save the World by James Shreeve. Ballantine Books paperback, $14.95, 403 pages. Publication scheduled for 7/5/05. This book was originally published by Knopf in 2004. Shreeve is the author of The Neandertal Enigma: Solving the Mystery of Modern Human Origins. The Genome War is "the definitive account of the exciting story of one man's quest to unravel the greatest mystery in all biology -- the genetic code of human existence."

Snowstruck: In the Grip of Avalanches by Jill Fredston. Harcourt, $24, 352 pages. Advance reading copy, publication scheduled for 11/05. Fredston is the author of Rowing to Latitude: Journeys Along the Arctic's Edge, which won a 2002 National Outdoor Book Award. In this book, she "brings to life the awesome forces of nature and sheds light on why it is human nature to seek out dangerous places to play and the deadly repercussions that can follow."


Received during the week ended 7/15/05


Shockwave: Countdown to Hiroshima by Stephen Walker. HarperCollins, $26.95, 384 pages. (An advance reading copy was previewed here on 6/25/05.) The author is a BBC film director whose documentary about the bombing of Hiroshima won an Emmy. This book "gives readers an almost minute-by-minute view of the drama in the air, on the ground in Hiroshima, and back home in the States ... on the morning of August 6th 1945 -- the instant the bomb exploded over the city with the heat of ten suns."

Mining California: An Ecological History by Andrew C. Isenberg. Hill and Wang, $27, 242 pages. Isenberg is an associate professor of History at Temple University and the author of The Destruction of the Bison. Because of the introduction of hydraulic mining during the gold rush, "thousands of tons of poisonous debris entered California's rivers. The profitability of hydraulic mining spurred other forms of resource exploitation in the state, including logging, large-scale ranching, and city-building. This resource-intensive development, typical of American industrialization, became the template for the transformation of the West."


Received during the week ended 7/8/05


Before Darwin: Reconciling God and Nature by Keith Thomson. Yale, $25, 314 pages. This book was published earlier in Great Britain as The Watch on the Heath: Science and Religion Before Darwin. Thomson is professor emeritus of natural history at the University of Oxford and the author of 12 books, including The Common but Less Frequent Loon and Other Essays. This book "celebrates the intellectual arguments and the glorious writings of Enlightenment scholars on the impact of scientific discoveries on religious beliefs."

Heavenly Intrigue: Johannes Kepler, Tycho Brahe, and the Murder Behind One of History's Greatest Scientific Discoveries by Joshua Gilder and Anne-Lee Gilder. Anchor Books paperback, $15, 304 pages. This book was originally published by Doubleday in 2004. Joshua is a former magazine editor and author of the novel Ghost Image. Anne-Lee, the other half of this husband-and-wife team, is a former producer and reporter for German television. Kepler and Brahe were one of science's most productive partnerships. The Gilders believe that Brahe was murdered in 1601. They use "twentieth-century forensics to uncover the poison in his remains ... and identify the prime suspect -- the ambitious , envy-ridden Kepler himself."


Received during the week ended 7/1/05


From Blue Moons to Black Holes: A Basic Guide to Astronomy, Outer Space, and Space Exploration by Melanie Melton Knocke. Prometheus, paperback $19, 313 pages. Knocke is the former director of science education at the Mount Wilson and Lowell Observatories and the author of several books, including Observing for the Fun of It. This book was "written specifically for those who have always been intrigued by ... astronomy and space, but have had little time to explore ... " this amazing world.

A History of the World in 6 Glasses by Tom Standage. Walker, $25, 320 pages. Although this book would not normally be considered a book of popular science, I have included it because the author is an engineer and the technology editor of The Economist magazine. And, according to some reviews, he tosses in bits of technology and chemistry. He argues that the development of mankind's most important beverages -- beer, wine, spirits, coffee, tea, and cola -- should be considered "important technological advances that reflected that reflected the societies that produced them ...."


Received during the week ended 6/25/05


Stargazer: The Life and Times of the Telescope by Fred Watson. Da Capo, $24.95, 352 pages. (An advance reading copy was previewed here on 4/29/05.) The author is Astronomer-in-Charge of the Anglo-Australian Observatory in Australia. He recently received the David Allen Prize for communicating science. Stargazer is a history of the telescope, "From its humble beginnings in seventeenth-century Holland ... to today's colossal structures housed in space-age cathedrals ...."

Shockwave: Countdown to Hiroshima by Stephen Walker. HarperCollins, $26.95, 384 pages. Advance reading copy. Publication date August 2005. The author is a BBC film director whose documentary about the bombing of Hiroshima won an Emmy. This book "gives readers an almost minute-by-minute view of the drama in the air, on the ground in Hiroshima, and back home in the States ... on the morning of August 6th 1945 -- the instant the bomb exploded over the city with the heat of ten suns."


Received during the week ended 6/17/05


Nanofuture: What's Next for Nanotechnology by J. Storrs Hall. Prometheus, $28, 320 pages. (An advance reading copy was previewed here on 4/1/05.) Hall is Chief Scientist at Nanorex, Inc. and the author of numerous scientific papers. In this book, he explains "how previous technological developments have affected us, how nanotechnology fits into the historical trends for technologies ranging from motors to medicine, and how the continuation of these trends, with nanotechnology as a strong determining factor, will have a profound impact on the future."


Received during the week ended 6/10/05


Burn Unit: Saving Lives After the Flame by Barbara Ravage. Da Capo Press paperback (hardback published in 2004), $16.95 302 pages. Ravage is a medical writer and the author of eight books. She offers "a riveting inside look at Bigelow 13, the MGH [Massachusetts General Hospital] burn unit. With unflinching urgency, Ravage follows an extraordinary team at Mass General, deftly weaving a story of the victims and the professionals who selflessly care for them...."

Gunpowder: Alchemy, Bombards, & Pyrotechnics: The History of the Explosive that Changed the World by Jack Kelly. Basic Books paperback (hardback published in 2004), $14.95 262 pages. Kelly is a novelist and a writer of popular history. The book "examines the history of one of mankind's most critical inventions. In many ways, it is the one substance that made the world as we know it possible."


Received during the week ended 6/3/05


Descartes' Baby: How the Science of Child Development Explains What Makes Us Human by Paul Bloom. Bloom is a professor of psychology at Yale University and the author of How Children Learn the Meanings of Words. Basic Books paperback (hardback published in 2004), $16, 272 pages. Bloom "uses the study of babies and young children to shed light on what these discoveries tell us about human nature."

Carnivorous Nights: On the Trail of the Tasmanian Tiger by Margaret Mittelbach and Michael Crewdson with art by Alexis Rockman. Villard, $24.95, 320 pages. The two authors' previous book is Wild New York. Rockman's work has appeared in several magazines and museums. The last confirmed sighting of the presumed-extinct Tasmanian tiger -- once the world's largest marsupial carnivore -- was in 1936. "The trio's raging curiosity leads them to the history of naturalists and explorers such as James Cook, Captain Bligh, and Charles Darwin. They also confront the futuristic, Jurassic Park-like world of maverick scientists who are working to clone the tiger."


Received during the week ended 5/27/05


Deep Water: The Epic Struggle Over Dams, Displaced People, and the Environment by Jacques Leslie. Farrar, Straus & Giroux, $25, 368 pages. Advance reading copy. Publication date September 2005. The author's previous book is The Mark: A War Correspondent's Memoir of Vietnam and Cambodia. "Dams are the most monumentally destructive inventions of mankind .... The Hoover Dam has blocked the flow of millions of tons of salt that once made its way to the Gulf of California. Now all of that salt is strewn across the irrigated landscape, slowly poisoning the soil."

The Geneticist Who Played Hoops with My DNA: ...And Other Masterminds from the Frontiers of Biotech by David Ewing Duncan. Morrow, $25.95, 288 pages. (Advance reading copy previewed here on 4/8/05.) Ewing is the author of five books, including Calendar. Here, his "readers are taken on an eye-opening and tech-savvy journey deep inside the biotech revolution revealing in depth the scientists, entrepreneurs, and philosophers at the forefront of their controversial fields."


Received during the week ended 5/20/05


Radical Evolution: The Promise of Enhancing Our Minds, Our Bodies -- and What It Means to Be Human by Joel Garreau. Doubleday, $26, 384 pages. Garreau is a reporter and editor at the Washington Post and the author of Edge City: Life on the New Frontier. "Garreau offers an intimate look at recent and imminent breakthroughs in information technology and its three offspring: genetics, robotics, and nanotechnology.... His focus, however, is not on the future of high-tech human engineering, but on the future of the human race in an increasingly high-tech world."

Empire of the Stars: Obsession, Friendship, and Betrayal in the Quest for Black Holes by Arthur I. Miller. Houghton Mifflin, $26, 364 pages. Miller is professor of the history and philosophy of Science at University College London and the author of many books, including Insights of Genius. This book is "the moving tale of one man's [Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar or Chandra, as he was called] struggle against the establishment" about the existence and nature of black holes.


Received during the week ended 5/13/05


Out of Eden: An Odyssey of Ecological Invasion by Alan Burdick. Farrar, Straus, & Giroux, $25, 324 pages. The author is a senior editor at Discover magazine. This is his first book. He "confronts the issue of invasive species head on .... " learning, "among other things, that nature is almost entirely out of our hands, it finds its way despite our best efforts (think West Nile Virus), or because of those effort (think kudzu that now blankets much of Georgia)...."

Dangerous Doses: How Counterfeiters Are Contaminating America's Drug Supply by Katherine Eban. Harcourt, $25, 480 pages. The author is an investigative medical reporter who has worked for the New York Times. She takes "readers inside the criminal networks that have infiltrated the U.S. prescription drug supply."

Before the Fallout: From Marie Curie to Hiroshima by Diana Preston. Walker, $27, 416 pages. (Advance reading copy previewed here on 2/28/05.) Preston is a historian and the author of several books, including A First Rate Tragedy. The author "examines the curious scientific road from the Paris laboratories of Marie Curie to the testing grounds of New Mexico ... an unprecedented chronicle that that places our own insecurities over WMDs in rich historical context."


Received during the week ended 5/6/05


Dark Light: Electricity and Anxiety from the Telegraph To the X-Ray by Linda Simon. Harcourt paperback (hardback published in 2004), $14, 368 pages. Simon is an English professor at Skidmore College and the author of four other books, including The Biography of Alice B. Toklas. In this book, she traces "fifty years of technological transformation, from Morse's invention of the telegraph to Roentgen's discovery of X-rays ...."

Wider Than the Sky: The Phenomenal Gift of Consciousness by Gerald M. Edelman. Yale paperback original, $15, 224 pages. The author is professor and chair of the Department of Neurobiology at the Scripps Research Institute and a winner of of the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine. In this book, he "explores the relation of consciousness to causation, evolution, the development of the self, and the origins of feelings, learning, and memory, basing his discussion on recent advances in science and medicine."


Received during the week ended 4/29/05


Stargazer: The Life and Times of the Telescope by Fred Watson. Da Capo, $24.95, 352 pages. Advance reading copy. Publication date August 2005. The author is Astronomer-in-Charge of the Anglo-Australian Observatory in Australia. He recently received the David Allen Prize for communicating science. Stargazer is a history of the telescope, "From its humble beginnings in seventeenth-century Holland ... to today's colossal structures housed in space-age cathedrals ...."

The Infinite Book: A Short Guide to the Boundless, Timeless, and Endless by John D. Barrow. Pantheon, $26, 352 pages. Advance reading copy. Publication date August 2, 2005. Barrow is a professor of mathematical sciences at the University of Cambridge and the author of The Book of Nothing. "From the simple idea of the infinity of integers to the more complex notions of infinity in the physical world, Barrow explains the layers, levels, and multiple permutations of infinity ...."


Received during the week ended 4/22/05


Descent: The Heroic Discovery of the Abyss by Brad Matsen. Pantheon, #25, 286 pages. Matsen is a science writer and the author of several books about the sea, including Planet Ocean. "Between 1930 and 1934 ... William Beebe and Otis Barton plummeted 3,000 feet beneath the ocean in a steel sphere named the Bathysphere .... Descent illuminates ... Beebe and Barton's dramatic and ground-breaking achievements ...."

Red Sky at Morning: America and the Crisis of the Global Environment by James Gustave Speth. Yale, paperback $16, 272 pages. The hardback edition was published in 2004. The author is dean and professor at Yale's School of Forestry & Environmental Studies and a cofounder of the Natural Resources Defense Council. "Speth warns that despite all the international negotiations of the past two decades, efforts to protect Earth's environment are not succeeding. He explains why this is so and presents eight specific steps government and citizens can take to achieve a sustainable future."


Received during the week ended 4/15//05


A Sense of the Mysterious: Science and the Human Spirit by Alan Lightman. Pantheon, $23, 211 pages. Lightman is a scientist, author, and teacher. His novels include Einstein's Dreams. In this collection of essays, many previously published, Lightman "explores the spaces between science and the humanities--the role of metaphor in science ... [and] the desires and passions revealed in both worlds."

Against the Grain: How Agriculture Has Hijacked Civilization by Richard Manning. North Point Press, paperback $13, 232 pages. Originally published as a hardback in 2004. Manning (no relation to this reviewer) is the author of many books, including Food's Frontier. One reviewer described this book as a "wide-ranging critique of the role of agriculture in human society ...."


Received during the week ended 4/8//05


The Language of Cells: How Cells Communicate in Health and Disease by Debra Niehoff. Joseph Henry Press, $27.95, 256 pages. Advance reading copy. Publication date May 24, 2005. Niehoff trained as a neurobiologist and is the author of The Biology of Violence. In this book, she "examines the communication breakdowns that underlie some of our most common and intractable disorders" and suggests ways to find "the drugs to cure what ails us...."

The Geneticist Who Played Hoops with My DNA: ...And Other Masterminds from the Frontiers of Biotech by David Ewing Duncan. Morrow, $25.95, 288 pages. Advance reading copy. Publication date May 10, 2005. Ewing is the author of five books, including Calendar. Here, his "readers are taken on an eye-opening and tech-savvy journey deep inside the biotech revolution revealing in depth the scientists, entrepreneurs, and philosophers at the forefront of their controversial fields."

Insights from Insects: What Bugs Can teach Us by Gilbert Waldbaur. Prometheus paperback, $18, 311 pages. Waldbaur is professor emeritus of entomology at the University of Illinois and the author of three other books, including What Good Are Bugs? "He profiles twenty such "troublesome bugs," showing how the study of these creatures has led scientists to many basic discoveries that have enhanced our understanding of life."


Received during the week ended 4/1//05


Deep Simplicity: Bringing Order to Chaos and Complexity by John Gribbin. Random House, $24.95, 275 pages. Gribbin, a Cambridge trained astrophysicist, is an incredibly prolific British science writer. His many books include In Search of Schrodinger's Cat and, more recently, The Scientists. "Deep Simplicity shows that seemingly chaotic departures from the patterns of the past...are not what they seem to be.... as chaos theory demonstrates, tiny modifications at the onset of a pattern can, in certain circumstances yield enormous results.

The Long Emergency: Surviving the End of the Oil Age, Climate Change, and Other Converging Catastrophes of the Twenty-first Century by James Howard Kunstler. Grove/Atlantic, $23, 320 pages. Advance reading copy. Publication date May 2005.The author has written nine novels and two books of nonfiction, including The Geography of Nowhere. "As a result of artificially cheap fossil-fuel energy, we have developed global models of industry, commerce, food production, and finance that will collapse--much sooner than we think."

Nanofuture: What's Next for Nanotechnology by J. Storrs Hall. Prometheus, $28, 320 pages. Advance reading copy. Publication date May 2005. Hall is Chief Scientist at Nanorex, Inc. and the author of numerous scientific papers. In this book, he explains "how previous technological developments have affected us, how nanotechnology fits into the historical trends for technologies ranging from motors to medicine, and how the continuation of these trends, with nanotechnology as a strong determining factor, will have a profound impact on the future."

 


Received during the week ended 3/25/05


Climate Crash: Abrupt Climate Change and What It Means for Our Future by John D. Cox. Joseph Henry Press, $27.95, 224 pages. Advance reading copy. Publication date June 18, 2005. A veteran journalist, Cox is the author of Storm Watchers. "New physical evidence reveals that centuries of slowly evolving climate variations have actually been punctuated by more rapid changes.... What are the mechanisms for triggering a significant climate change?...When is it likely to happen? Climate Crash seeks to answer those questions...."

The Road to Reality: A Complete Guide to the Laws of the Universe by Roger Penrose. Knopf, $40, 1,094 pages. This book was previewed here on 12/25/04. Penrose is a professor emeritus of mathematics at Oxford University and the award-winning author of The Emperor's New Mind. In The Road to Reality he "sets out not only to provide an overall picture of the laws that govern the known universe, but to impart a feeling for their deep beauty and philosophical connotations...." Keep in mind: this book is not for mathematical sissies!

Beyond Oil: The View from Hubbert's Peak by Kenneth S. Deffeyes. Hill & Wang, $24, 256 pages. This book was previewed here on 1/7/05. Deffeyes is a professor emeritus at Princeton University and the author of Hubbert's Peak: The Impending Oil Shortage. In his newest book, he "explores some of the far-reaching consequences of [his previous] book's central thesis: that world oil production will soon peak -- Thanksgiving Day, 2005 ...."


Received during the week ended 3/18/05


The Riddle of Gender: Science, Activism, and Transgender Rights by Deborah Rudacille.Pantheon, $26, 355 pages. Rudacille is a science writer based in Baltimore and the author of The Scalpel and the Butterfly. In this book, she "takes a penetrating look at the growing community of people whose bodies and psyches fall between the boundaries o male and female. She also "explores... the nature vs. nurture conflict."

The Joy of Chemistry: The Amazing Science of Familiar Things by Cathy Cobb and Monty L. Fetterolf. Prometheus, $26, 393 pages. This book was previewed here on 2/18/05. Fetterolf is a professor of chemistry at the University of South Carolina. His coauthor is an instructor at the Aiken (S.C.) Preparatory School and the author of Magick, Mayhem and Mavericks: The Spirited History of Physical Chemistry. "From the fascination of fall foliage and fireworks, to the functioning of smoke detectors and computers...the authors illustrate the concepts of chemistry in terms of everyday experience, using familiar materials."

Astro Turf: The Private Life of Rocket Science by M.G. Lord. Walker, $24, 259 pages. Ms. Lord is a freelance writer whose work has appeared in numerous, including the New Yorker and Newsday. This memoir explores her relationship with her father, "an archetypal, remote rocket engineer" who worked at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena.


Received during the week ended 3/11/05


On the Shoulders of Giants is an attractive series of important science books "edited, with commentary, by Stephen Hawking," although it is difficult to ascertain exactly what editing or commenting Hawking has contributed.The trade paperback series is published by Running Press in Philadelphia, and each book contains a note to the reader, a brief introduction, and a biographical sketch of the author. The four books I received are

* Dialogues Concerning Two New Sciences by Galileo Galilei. $12.95, 230 pages.

* Principia by Isaac Newton. $14.95, 429 pages.

* On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres by Nicolaus Copernicus. $14.95, 384 pages.

* Selections from the Principle of Relativity by Albert Einstein. $9.95, 100 pages.


Received during the week ended 3/4/05


The End of the Certain World: The Life and Science of Max Born by Nancy Thorndike Greenspan. Basic Books, $26.95, 384 pages. Previewed as an advanced reading copy on 1/7/05. Greenspan has co-authored three other books with her husband, a child psychiatrist. This biography explores the life of Max Born, "Nobel physicist, a discoverer of quantum theory, teacher to the inventors of the atomic bomb, exile from Hitler's Germany, and close friend of Einstein."

Food, Inc. Mendel to Monsanto: The Promises and Perils of the Biotech Harvest by Peter Pringle. Simon & Schuster paperback of 2003 hardback, $13, 243 pages. Pringle is a journalist and author or coauthor of several books, including Those Are Real Bullets Aren't They (with Philip Jacobson). Pringle is no friend of either the pro- or anti-GM (genetically modified) foods camps.He "suggests how, with the right mixture of public support and government regulation, biotechnology could have a brilliant future in the ongoing fight against world hunger.

A Different Universe: Reinventing Physics from the Bottom Down by Robert Laughlin. Basic Books, $26, 254 pages. The author is a professor of physics at Stanford University and a winner of the 1998 Nobel Prize in physics. Laughlin "takes us into a universe where the vacuum of space has to be considered a kind of solid matter, where sound has quantized particles just like those of light.... a universe teeming with natural phenomena still to be discovered."


Received during the week ended 2/25/05


John James Audubon: The Making of an American by Richard Rhodes, Knopf, $30, 514 pages. The Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Making of the Atomic Bomb turns his attention to Audubon, the great naturalist and artist. "Audubon's life," writes the author, "is a great example of how America became America -- became the nation with the values we cherish today.

Glowing Genes: A Revolution in Biotechnology by Marc Zimmer. Prometheus, $28, 200 pages. The author is a professor of chemistry at Connecticut College. In 1994, researchers cloned a green fluorescent protein from a jellyfish. "Today researchers are using this ancient glowing protein to pursue exciting new discoveries, from tracking the process of bacterial infection to detecting chemical and biological agents planted by terrorists."

A World Without Time: The Forgotten Legacy of Godel and Einstein by Palle Yourgrau. Basic Books, $24, 256 pages. Advance reading copy. Publication date January 2005. Yourgrau is a professor of philosophy at Brandeis University and the author of the monograph Godel Meets Einstein. Einstein and Godel were friends, sharing ideas on everything from physics to politics.. This book "attempts to rescue from undeserved obscurity the brilliant work they did together," especially their conclusions about the meaning of time.


Received during the week ended 2/18/05


When Least Is Best: How Mathematicians Discovered Many Clever Ways to Make Things as Small (or as Large) as Possible by Paul J. Nahin. Princeton University Press, $29.95, 328 pages. Advance reading copy. Publication date January 2005. Nahin is a professor of electrical engineering at the University of New Hampshire and the author of several books, including Dueling Idiots and Other Probability Puzzlers. His latest offering "is the the first book on optimization written for a large audience."

Before the Fallout: From Marie Curie to Hiroshima by Diana Preston. Walker & Co., $27, 416 pages. Advance reading copy. Publication date April 2005. Preston is the author of several books of history and biography, including A First Rate Tragedy: Robert Falcon Scott and the Race to the South Pole. In this book, she traces the story of radioactivity from Marie Curie's discovery of radium to the development of the first atomic bomb and the dropping of "Little Boy" on Hiroshima.

The Joy of Chemistry: The Amazing Science of Familiar Things by Cathy Cobb and Monty L. Fetterolf. Prometheus, $26, 330 pages. Advance reading copy. Publication date February 2005. Fetterolf is a professor of chemistry at the University of South Carolina. His coauthor is an instructor at the Aiken (S.C.) Preparatory School and the author of Magick, Mayhem and Mavericks: The Spirited History of Physical Chemistry. "From the fascination of fall foliage and fireworks, to the functioning of smoke detectors and computers...the authors illustrate the concepts of chemistry in terms of everyday experience, using familiar materials."

 


Received during the week ended 2/11/05


A Change of Heart: How the People of Framingham, Massachusetts, Helped Unravel the Mysteries of Cardiovascular Disease by Daniel Levy and Susan Brink. Knopf, $26.95, 258 pages. Dr. Levy is director of the Framingham Heart Study, and Susan Bink is a writer for U.S. News & World Report.. "Everyone knows the risk factors of heart disease: high blood pressure, high cholesterol, smoking, obesity, diabetes, and physical inactivity. ... and we owe that knowledge to the Framingham Heart Study." This the story of "a revolution in medicine."

Electric Universe: The Shocking True Story of Electricity by David Bodanis. Crown, $24, 320 pages. Bodanis is the author of three previous books. This book "intertwines the the story of invention with that of the scientific quest to uncover the mystery of electricity."

What Einstein Told His Cook 2: The Sequel by Robert L. Wolke. W.W. Norton, $25.95, 384 pages. Advance reading copy. Publication date April 2005. The author is professor emeritus of chemistry at the University of Pittsburgh, a food-science columnist for the Washington Post, and the author of the previous book in this series. This book continues Wolke's "investigations into the science behind out foods--from the farm or factory to the market, and through the kitchen to the table."


Received during the week ended 2/4/05


The Fly in the Cathedral: How a Group of Cambridge Scientists Won the International Race to Split the Atom by Brian Cathcart. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, $25, 308 pages. Cathcart is a former reporter and the author of Test of Greatness: Britain's Struggle for the Atom Bomb. "The nucleus in an atom is like a fly in a cathedral. This 1909 revelation about atomic structure launched an international contest to dissect things further -- to split the atom."

The Bottomless Well: The Twilight of Fuel, the Virtue of Waste, and Why We Will Never Run Out of Energy by Peter W. Huber and Mark P. Mills. Basic Books, $26, 214 pages. Huber is a Senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute's Center for Legal Policy; Mills is is a physicist and founding partner of Digital Power Capital. The authors "show how a better understanding of energy will radically change our views and policies on a number of very controversial issues."

The Born-Einstein Letters 1916-1955: Friendship, Politics and Physics in Uncertain Times by Max Born and Albert Einstein. Palgrave Macmillan, $26.95, 235 pages. This is a reprint of the 1971 edition of the Born-Einstein correspondence with a new preface by Kip Thorne and Diana Buchwald.


Received during the week ended 1/28/05


Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed by Jared Diamond. Viking, $29.95, 592 pages. Diamond, the Pulitzer Prize winning author of Guns, Germs, and Steel, is a professor of geography at UCLA and the recipient of a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship. In Collapse, he examines how "societies have either squandered or savored their natural and human resources, and how these different choices have led some to catastrophe, others to survival and even success."

A Different Universe: Reinventing Physics from the Bottom Down by Robert Laughlin. Advance reading copy. Publication date March 2005. The author is a professor of physics at Stanford University and a 1998 winner of the Nobel Prize in physics. "Why everything we think about fundamental physics needs to change, and why the greatest mysteries of physics are not at the ends of the universe but as close as the nearest ice cube or grain of salt."


Received during the week ended 1/21/05


Reef Madness: Charles Darwin, Alexander Agassiz, and the Meaning of Coral by David Dobbs. Pantheon, $25, 306 pages. Dobbs is the author of two previous books, The Northern Forest (with Richard Ober) and The Great Gulf. Reef Madness "is the never-before-told story of the century-long controversy about the origin of coral reefs."

Dreams of Iron and Steel: Seven Wonders of the Modern Age from the Building of the London Sewers to the Panama Canal by Deborah Cadbury. Perennial, trade paperback $14.95, 300 pages. Cadbury is the author of three previous books, including the The Lost King of France, published in 2003. In this book, "Cadbury leads us on an amazing journey from the depths of the freezing rocks under the Alps to the mosquito-ridden wilds of the Central American jungle as uncontrollable rivers are tamed, continents conquered and vast oceans joined."


Received during the week ended 1/14/05


Endless Forms Most Beautiful: The New Science of Evo Devo and the Making of the Animal Kingdom by Sean B. Carroll. W.W. Norton,$25.95, 288 pages. Advance reading copy. Publication date April 2005. Carroll is an investigator at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and a genetics professor at University of Wisconsin--Madison. For those not up on the latest scientific buzz words, evo devo is short for evolutionary developmental biology. "Perhaps the most surprising finding of Evo Devo is the discovery that a small number of primitive genes led to the formation of fundamental organs and appendages in all animal forms."


Received during the week ended 1/7/05


Beyond Oil: The View from Hubbert's Peak by Kenneth S. Deffeyes. Hill & Wang, $24, 256 pages. Advance reading copy. Publication date March 9, 2005. Deffeyes is a professor emeritus at Princeton University and the author of Hubbert's Peak: The Impending Oil Shortage. In his newest book, Deffeyes "explores some of the far-reaching consequences of [his previous] book's central thesis: that world oil production will soon peak -- Thanksgiving Day, 2005 ...."

The End of the Certain World: The Life and Science of Max Born by Nancy Thorndike Greenspan. Basic Books, $26.95, 384 pages. Advance reading copy. Publication date March 2005. Greenspan has co-authored three other books with her husband, a child psychiatrist. This biography explores the life of Max Born, "Nobel physicist, a discoverer of quantum theory, teacher to the inventors of the atomic bomb, exile from Hitler's Germany, and close friend of Einstein."


Received during the week ended 1/1/05


A Life of Discovery: Michael Faraday, Giant of the Scientific Revolution by James Hamilton. Random House, $35, 465 pages. Hamilton is Honorary Reader in the History of Art at the University of Birmingham and the author of Turner: A Life. Faraday, the son of a blacksmith made "a landmark study of induction, the connection between electricity and magnetism, and the idea of the electromagnetic field."

The Bottomless Well: The Twilight of Fuel, the Virtue of Waste, and Why We Will Never Run Out of Energy by Peter Huber and Mark Mills. Basic Books, $26, 256 pages. Advance reading copy. Publication date February 2005. Huber is a Senior Fellow at the Manhattan Institutes Center for Legal Policy and the author of many books, including Hard Green. Mills is a founding partner of a private equity firm, Digital Power Capital LLC. "Raw fuels are not running out. The faster we extract and burn them, the faster we find still more.

 


Received during the week ended 12/25/04


The Road to Reality: A Complete Guide to the Laws of the Universe by Roger Penrose. Knopf, $40, 1,094 pages. Advance reading copy. Publication date February 2005. Penrose is a professor emeritus of mathematics at Oxford University and the award-winning author of The Emperor's New Mind. In The Road to Reality he "sets out not only to provide an overall picture of the laws that govern the known universe, but to impart a feeling for their deep beauty and philosophical connotations...."

Radiation and Modern Life: Fulfilling Marie Curie's Dream by Alan E. Waltar. Prometheus, $28, 336 pages. The author, formerly a professor of nuclear engineering at Texas A & M University, is Director of Nuclear Energy for the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. This book offers "a lucid overview of radiation's many great benefits and ongoing potential...."


Received during the week ended 12/18/04


Parallel Worlds: A Journey Through Creation, Higher Dimensions, and the Future of the Cosmos by Michio Kaku. Doubleday, $27.95, 428 pages. Publication date December 28, 2004. Kaku is a professor of theoretical physics at the City University of New York and the author of four other books of popular science. In this book, he "explores the emerging theory of the 'multiverse' or 'megaverse' -- a world made up of multiple universes."

How the Earthquake Bird Got Its Name and Other Tales of an Unbalanced Nature by H.H. Shugart, Yale University Press, $27.50, 227 pages. Publication date January 10, 2005. Shugart is a professor of environmental sciences at the University of Virginia. "As he explains some of ecology's most important ideas, Shugart entertains, enlightens, and inspires us to learn how we might use this knowledge to protect Earth's landscapes and creatures.

Kindness In a Cruel World: The Evolution of Altruism by Nigel Barber. Prometheus, $28, 415 pages. The author is a freelance writer who was an assistant professor of psychology at Birmingham-Southern College. "Barber shows how the original notion of a dog-eat-dog world must now be modified by the new findings on altruism."


Received during the week ended 12/11/04


Archives of the Universe: A Treasury of Astronomy's Historic Works of Discovery by Marcia Bartusiak, ed. Pantheon, $35, 695. Bartusiak is the author of several books on astronomy and a two-time winner of the American Institute of Physics Science Writing Award. She teaches science writing at MIT. In this book, she "guides us through 100 primary documents that have shaped our evolving knowledge about astronomy."

On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen by Harold McGee. Scribner, $35, 884 pages. This is a revised edition of McGee's earlier work of the same name, which was published 20 years ago. Takes "the reader inside the cutting-edge technology today's chefs use to thicken sauces to kitchen tips that make you a better cook.... McGee delights the reader with food history, cooking tips, cultural exploration...."



Received during the week ended 12/4/04


Math Charmers:Tantalizing Tidbits for the Mind by Alfred S. Posamentier. Prometheus, paperback $20, 301 pages. The author is professor of mathematics education at the City University of New York. The book will entice "readers to to do math and discover for themselves just how stimulating the process can be!"

Puzzle Power: How to Jump-Start Your Mind by Terry H. Stickels. Prometheus, paperback $15, 161 pages. Stickels is a nationally syndicated columnist and the author numerous puzzles and puzzle books. "Puzzle Power entertains, educates, and inspires you to realize your full mental potentials."

The Math Explorer: A Journey Through the Beauty of Mathematics by Jefferson Hane Weaver. Prometheus, paperback $21, 288 pages. Weaver is the author of numerous popular science books, including The Story of Mathematics. "This enjoyable volume gives readers a working knowledge of math's most important concepts...."



Received during the week ended 11/26/04


Weighing the Soul: Scientific Discovery from the Brilliant to the Bizarre by Len Fisher. Arcade, $25, 264 pages. Winner of a 1999 IgNobel Prize, Fisher is the author of How to Dunk a Doughnut.

Sable Island: The Strange Origins and Curious History of a Dune Adrift in the Atlantic by Marq de Villiers and Sheila Hirtle. Walker, $24, 288 pages. The authors are Canadians whose previous book was Sahara: The Extraordinary History of the World's Largest Desert.

 


Received during the week ended 11/19/04


A World Without Time: The Forgotten Legacy of Godel and Einstein by Palle Yourgrau. Basic Books, $24, 226 pages. Advance reading copy. Publication date January 18, 2005. The author is a professor of philosophy at Brandeis University.

The Joy of Chemistry: The Amazing Science of Familiar Things by Cathy Cobb and Monty L. Fetterolf. Prometheus, $26, 330 pages. Cobb is the author of Magick, Mayhem, and Mavericks. She is an instructor in calculus and physics at Aiken Preparatory School in South Carolina. Fetterolf is a professor of chemistry at the University of South Carolina. Advance reading copy. Publication date February 2005.

Fitzroy: The Remarkable Story of Darwin’s Captain and the Invention of the Weather Forecast by John Gribbin and Mary Gribbin. Yale University Press, $35, 352 pages. The authors are visiting fellow at the University of Sussex. They are also a prolific science writing team with many books to their credit.


Received during the week ended 11/12/04


Earth: An Intimate History by Richard Fortey. Knopf, $30, 428 pages. Fortey, a senior paleotilogist at the Natural History Museum in London, won the Lewis Thomas prize for science writing in 2004. He is the author Life and Trilobite! and this book follows his tradition of assigning one-word titles.

The Proteus Effect: Stem Cells and Their Promise for Medicine by Ann B. Parson. Joseph Henry, $32.95, 301 pages. Parson is a science writer who has coauthored two other books.

Glowing Genes: A Revolution in Biotechnology by Marc Zimmer. Prometheus, $28, 200 pages. Advance reading copy. Publication date February 2005.


Received during the week ended 11/5/04


Parallel Worlds: A Journey Through Creation, Higher Dimensions, and the Future of the Cosmos by Michio Kaku. Doubleday, $27.50, 414 pages. Advance reading copy. Publication date December 28, 2004. Kaku is a professor of theoretical physics at the City University of New York and the author of Hyperspace.

How the Earthquake Bird Got It’s Name and Other Tales of an Unbalanced Nature by H.H. Shugart. Yale University Press, $30, 288 pages. Advance reading copy. Publication date January 2005. Shugart is a professor of environmental sciences at the University of Virginia.

Big Bang: The Origin of the Universe by Simon Singh. Fourth Estate, $26.95, 544 pages. Advance reading copy. Publication date January 2005. Singh, a physicist, is the author of Fermat’s Enigma and The Code Book. 


Received during the week ended 10/29/04


Science and Sensibility: The Elegant Logic of the Universe by Keith J. Laidler. Prometheus, $28, 233 pages. Laidler, now deceased, was a prolific author and a professor emeritus of chemistry at the University of Ottawa.

Mendel in the Kitchen: A Scientist’s View of Genetically Modified Foods by Nina Fedoroff and Nancy Marie Brown. Joseph Henry Press, $27.95, 370 pages. Fedoroff is a professor at Pennsylvania State University where she specializes in genetics and molecular biology. Brown has over two decades of experience as a science writer.

The Carolina Parakeet: Glimpses of a Vanished Bird by Noel F.R. Snyder. Princeton University Press, $29.95, 152 pages. Snyder is the author of four books of natural history and a former director of Parrot Programs for Wildlife Preservation Trust International.


Received during the week ended 10/22/04


Symmetry and the Beautiful Universe by Leon M. Lederman and Christopher T. Hill. Prometheus, $29, 365 pages. Nobel Laureate Leon Lederman teams up with Hill to explain the concept of symmetry and tell the story of Emmy Noether, the overlooked, under appreciated mathematician whose work laid the groundwork for this important idea.

Masterworks of Technology: The Story of of Creative Engineering, Architecture, and Design by E.E. Lewis. Prometheus, $28, 328 pages. Lewis is professor of mechanical engineering at Northwestern University.

Cracking More Cases: The Forensic Science of Solving Crimes by Henry C. Lee. Prometheus, $26, 315 pages. This book is a sequel to Lee’s 2002 book Cracking Cases: The Science of Solving Crimes.


Received during the week ended 10/15/04


The Science of Supervillains by Lois H. Gresh and Robert Weinberg. Wiley, $24.95, 212 pages. This book is a follow-up to the authors’ The Science of Superheroes.

The Prism and the Pendulum: The Ten Most Beautiful Experiments in Science by Robert P. Crease. Random House, $14.95, 244 pages. Paperback. Crease writes a monthly column, “Critical Point,” for Physics World magazine.

A Life of Discovery: Michael Faraday, Giant of the Scientific Revolution by James Hamilton. Random House, $35, 465 pages. Advance reading copy. Publication date December 14, 2004.


Received during the week ended 10/8/04


Origins: Fourteen Billion Years of Cosmic Evolution by Neil deGrasse Tyson and Donald Goldsmith. W.W. Norton, $27.95, 345 pages. Tyson hosted the PBS “Nova” special “Origins” in September.

Lightning Man: The Accursed Life of Samuel F.B. Morse by Kenneth Silverman. Da Capo Press, $20, 503 pages. This is the paperback edition; the hardback was published October 21, 2003

Signor Marconi’s Magic Box: The Most Remarkable Invention of the 19th Century & the Amateur Inventor Whose Genius Sparked a Revolution by Gavin Weightman. Da Capo Press, $15, 312 pages. This is the paperback edition; the hardback was published August 14, 2003


Received during the week ended 10/1/04


Dark Light: Electricity and Anxiety from the Telegraph To the X-Ray by Linda Simon. Harcourt, $25, 368 pages.


Received during the week ended 9/24/04


A Well-Ordered Thing: Dmitrii Mendeleev and the Shadow of the Periodic Table by Michael D. Gordin. Basic Books, $30, 364 pages.



Received during the week ended 9/17/04


Degrees Kelvin: A Tale of Genius, Invention, and Tragedy by David Lindley. Joseph Henry Press, $27.95, 366 pages. Reviews: Science, 3 September 2004.

DNA: The Secret of Life
by James D. Watson, with Andrew Berry. Knopf, $24.95, 446 pages. This is the paperback edition; the hardback was published April 7, 2003. Click on the title for my review of this book, which appeared in the Raleigh News & Observer on April 5, 2003. 


Received during the week ended 9/6/04


Archives of the Universe: A Treasury of Astronomy’s Historic Works of Discovery by Marcia Bartusiak, ed. Pantheon, $35, 704 pages. Advance reading copy. Publication date November 23, 2004.\

A Brighter Tomorrow: Fulfilling the Promise of Nuclear Energy by Senator Pete Domenici, with Blythe J. Lyons and Julian J. Steyn. Rowman & Littlefield, $24.95, 275 pages. Advance reading copy. Publication date October 2004.

Pushing the Limits: New Adventures in Engineering by Henry Petrosky. Knopf, $25, 288 pages.


Received during the week ended 8/28/04


The First Space Race: Launching the World’s First Satellites by Matt Bille and Erika Lishock. Texas A & M University Press, $19.95, 214 pages. Paperback edition.

Curious Minds: How a Child Becomes a Scientist by John Brockman, ed. Pantheon, $23.95, 236 pages.


Received during the week ending 8/2104


The Harmonious Universe: The Beauty and Unity of Scientific Understanding by Keith J. Laidler. Prometheus, $28, 370 pages.

Rhythms of Life: The Biological Clocks that Control the Daily Lives of Every Living Thing by Russell G. Foster and Leon Kreitzman. Yale, $30, 288 pages.

The Scientists: A History of Science Told Through the Lives of Its Greatest Inventors by John Gribbin. Random House, $16.95, 647 pages. This is the paperback edition; the hardback was published in October 2003.


August 2004


The Ancestor’s Tale: A Pilgrimage to the Dawn of Evolution by Richard Dawkins. Houghton Mifflin, $28, 516 pages. Advance reading copy. Publication date October 6, 2004. Reviews: November 2004 Discover, December 2004 Scientific American.

The First Idea: How Symbols, Language, and Intelligence Evolved from Our Primate Ancestors to Modern Humans by Stanley I. Greenspan and Stuart G. Shanker. Da Capo, $25, 504 pages.

Curious Minds: How a Child Becomes a Scientist by John Brockman. Pantheon, $23.95, 256 pages. Advance reading copy. Publication date September 1, 2004.

Radiation and Modern Life: Fulfilling Marie Curie’s Dream by Alan E Waltar. Prometheus, $28, 300 pages. Advance reading copy. Publication date November 2004.

Weighing the Soul: Scientific Discovery from the Brilliant to the Bizarre by Len Fisher. Arcade, $25, 264 pages. Advance reading copy. Publication date October 2004.

Murder 2: The Second Casebook of Forensic Detection by Colin Evans. John Wiley & Sons, $27.95, 312 pages.

Symmetry and the Beautiful Universe by Leon M. Lederman and Christopher Hill. Prometheus, $29, 450 pages. Advance reading copy. Publication date October 2004.

Origins: Fourteen Billion Years of Cosmic Evolution by Neil deGrasse Tyson and Donald Goldsmith. Norton, $27.95, 336 pages. Advance reading copy. Publication date October 2004.


July 2004


Einstein Defiant: Genius versus Genius in the Quantum Revolution by Edmund Blair Bolles. Joseph Henry, $27.95, 348 pages.

Monturiol’s Dream: The Extraordinary Story of the Submarine Inventor Who Wanted to Save the World by Matthew Stewart. Pantheon, $25, 338 pages.

The Book Nobody Read: Chasing the Revolutions of Nicolaus Copernicus by Owen Gingerich. Walker, $25, 306 pages.


Wonders in the Sky: Unexplained Arial Objects from Antiquity to Modern Times by Jacques Vallee and Chris Aubeck. Tarcher/Penguin paperback, $22.95, 508 pages. Publication date October 28.

This book “examines more than 500 historical accounts of arial sightings through a scientific lens ... [and] reveal[s] the common threads woven throughout these strange experiences -- forming a body of data that even skeptics will find hard to ignore.”

*****

The Species Seekers: Heroes, Fools, and the Mad Pursuit of Life on Earth by Richard Conniff. W.W. Norton, $26.95, 464 pages. Publication date November 1.

Conniff is the author of several previous books, including Swimming with Piranhas at Feeding Time. “[I]n the eighteenth century, a colorful band of explorers made it their mission to begin the great task of discovering and cataloguing the pantheon of life on earth.”  The author “follows these fearless pioneers, who traveled to the most perilous corners of the planet and brought back astonishing new life forms ...”

*****

Massive: The Missing Particle That Sparked the Greatest Hunt in Science by Ian Sample. Basic Books, $25.95, 272 pages. Publication date November 2.

What makes things heavy? “To get to the bottom of this weighty question, scientists built the Large hadron Collider ...” The goal? “To locate the elusive particle [the Higgs boson] that gives mass to everything in the universe.” 

*****

The Master Switch: The Rise and Fall of Information Empires by Tim Wu. Knopf, $27.95, 366 pages. Publication date November 5.

The author is a law professor at Columbia University. “[E]very American information industry, beginning with the telephone, has eventually been taken captive by some ruthless monopoly or cartel.” In this book, Tim Wu asks, could “the Internet come to be ruled by one corporate leviathan in possession of ‘the master switch.’”

*****

Sleights of Mind: What the Neuroscience of Magic Reveals About Our Everyday Deceptions by Stephen L. Macknik and Susana Martinez-Conde with Sandra Blakeslee. Henry Holt, $26, 292 pages. Publication date November 9.

Macknik and Martinez-Conde are based at the Barrow Neurological Institute in Phoenix; Blakeslee is the coauthor of several previous books, including On Intelligence. This book offers “a revolutionary look at the science behind magic -- what leads the mind to believe tricks are real and how magicians actually use the brain’s ow logic to achieve this.”

*****

Now Available in Paperback

The 10,000 Year Explosion: How Civilization Accelerated Human Evolution by Gregory Cochran and Henry Harpending. Basic Books; hardback published in 2009, paperback now available for $16.95, 304 pages. Publication date November 1.

*****

The Master and His Emissary: The Divided Brain and the Making of the Western World by Iain McGilchrist. Yale; paperback published in 2009, paperback now available for $25; 544 pages. Publication date November 2.

*****

Fiction Worth Considering

Remarkable Creatures by Tracy Chevalier. Plume; hardback published in January, paperback now available for $15; 312 pages. Publication date October 28.