Marshmallow Tests and Swimming Puppies | More Nonfiction Previews, Sept. 2014, Pt. 5

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Aptowicz, Cristin O’Keefe. Dr. Mütter’s Marvels: True Tale of Intrigue and Innovation at the Dawn of Modern Medicine. Gotham. Sept. 2014. 352p. ISBN 9781592408702. $27.50. BIOGRAPHY/MEDICINE Whether you know it or not, you are deeply indebted to Thomas Dent Mütter, a plastic surgeon in mid-19th-century Philadelphia who pioneered the use of anesthesia and the sterilization […]

Technology in Love & War | Nonfiction Previews, Sept. 2014, Pt. 3

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Rudder, Christian. Dataclysm: Who We Are (When We Think No One’s Looking). Crown. Sept. 2014. 368p. ISBN 9780385347372. $28; ebk. ISBN 9780385347389. CD/downloadable: Penguin Random Audio. SOCIAL SCIENCE/DATA MODELING When it’s not being used to manipulate us, data mining can tell us reams of interesting information about human nature. Rudder plunders sites like Twitter, Facebook, […]

Ackerman, Carr, Darnton, Fukuyama, Kissinger | Barbara’s Nonfiction Picks, Sept. 2014, Pt. 3

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Ackerman, Diane. The Human Age: The World Shaped by Us. Norton. Sept. 2014. 352p. ISBN 9780393240740. $27.95. SCIENCE Humans now dominate 75 percent of the landmass, and our technological prowess allows us to gift orangutans with iPads and collect DNA samples even as species are killed off. As distinguished naturalist and poet Ackerman notes, “Our […]

The Sixth Extinction | RA Crossroads

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Extinctions and their multiple causes leads readers down a winding path of discovery.

Aczel on Science and Religion, Hadlow on King George III, Jessye Norman on Her Life, & More | Nonfiction Previews, May 2014, Pt. 5

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Aczel, Amir. Why Science Does Not Disprove God. Morrow. Apr. 2014. 288p. ISBN 9780062230591. $27.99. SCIENCE/RELIGION Aczel, the award-winning author of Fermat’s Last Theorem and recipient of a doctoral degree in mathematics from Berkeley, profoundly disagrees with the decree by the so-called New Atheists that modern breakthroughs in science prove that there is no God. […]

Science & Technology Reviews | October 15, 2013

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Reviews of World Beer, Cracked Open: Liberty, Fertility, and the Pursuit of High Tech Babies, and From Dust to Life: The Origin and Evolution of Our Solar System, plus a full list of Science & Technology reviews from the October 15, 2013 issue.

Big Science Titles from Tim Flannery, Michio Kaku, & More | Barbara’s Picks, Feb. 2014, Pt. 4

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Ferreira, Pedro G. The Perfect Theory: A Century of Geniuses and the Battle Over General Relativity. Houghton Harcourt. Feb. 2014. 304p. ISBN 9780547554891. $28; ebk. ISBN 9780547554907. SCIENCE Oxford astrophysicist Ferreira writes for trade as well as academic publications and frequently appears on the BBC, so we can trust him to write limpidly about a […]

Barbara’s Picks, Jan. 2014, Pt. 4: Elisabeth de Waal, Alan Lightman, Gary Shteyngart, & More

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  de Waal, Elisabeth. The Exiles Return. Picador. Jan. 2014. 336p. ISBN 9781250045782. $26; ebk. ISBN 9781250045799. LITERARY/HISTORICAL FICTION Like Irène Némirovsky and Hans Keilson, de Waal bore witness to the tragedy of World War II; as her grandson recounts in his best-selling The Hare with Amber Eyes, their Jewish banking family’s possessions were appropriated […]

Barbara’s Picks, Dec. 2013, Pt. 2: Data Mining, Gold, Suspense, Fiction in Translation, & a Big Debut Novel

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Aiden, Erez & Jean-Baptiste Michel. Uncharted: Big Data and an Emerging Science of Human History. Riverhead: Penguin Group (USA). Dec. 2013. 256p. ISBN 9781594487453. $27.95. SCIENCE/HISTORY Harvard Society Fellow Aiden and Harvard University scientist Michel, a 2012 TED Fellow recently named one of Forbes’s “30 under 30,” here address a hot (indeed, controversial) topic: mining […]

Barbara’s Picks, Oct. 2013, Pt. 3: Basbanes, Boyle, Cahill, Drabble, Goleman, Holmes, Lepore, MacGregor, Venter, & Winterson

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Basbanes, Nicholas A. On Paper: The Everything of Its Two-Thousand-Year History. Knopf. Oct. 2013. 448p. ISBN 9780307266422. $35. HISTORY Having given us a much-loved trilogy of books about books—A Gentle Madness, Patience and Fortitude, and A Splendor of Letters—Basbanes has written a thoroughgoing chronicle about the stuff books are traditionally made of: paper. He starts […]

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