book review

Category archives for book review

I have some theories about both children’s books and about science-themed graphic works. There are basically two kinds of children’s books: those that are designed to please children versus those that are designed to attract the adults that buy most children’s books. There are also basically two kinds of science-themed graphic works: those that are…

Extremophiles are fun! Basically, they’re the biggest, smallest, hardiest and definitely the oddest bunch of beasties to be found anywhere on this planet. The Palumbi father and son team — one scientist and one writer — bring us this fun little book on the extremophiles of the sea. And literally, the book covers all the…

Two recentish entries into the growing field of graphic novel scientific biographies, both very good, both suitable for a wide audience: Darwin: A Graphic Biography by Eugene Byrne and Simon Gurr and Mind Afire: The Visions of Tesla by Abigail Samoun and Elizabeth Haidle. If I had to count one of these a little bit…

Sometimes a book isn’t quite what you expected. And you’re disappointed. Sometimes a book isn’t quite what you expected and you’re pleasantly surprised. Chris Impey and Holly Henry’s Dreams of Other Worlds: The Amazing Story of Unmanned Space Exploration definitely falls into the latter category. What was I expecting? From the subtitle I was hoping…

Looking over all the books I read in 2013, there’s one non-fiction book that really stands out as the best. Former astronaut Chris Hadfield’s memoir An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth. wasn’t the deepest or most information-packed book I read last year, but it was the most entertaining and involving. And it’s core message…

The story on Albert Einstein is pretty well known. Great scientist, had probably the best year anybody ever had in anything, made a lot of important discoveries revolutionized the way we understand the physical world. But. But somehow he never seemed to get on board with quantum theory. Relativity was his thing and somehow he…

As I’ve often said, there are two kinds of science-themed graphic novels. The kind that’s usually more fun reading are historical or biographical in nature, like a couple of my favourites Feynman or Logicomix. Generally in this species of graphic novel, the actual science content kind of takes a back seat to the historical or…

Some capsule reviews of books I’ve finished over the last little while, in the spirit of catching up. van Grouw, Katrina. The Unfeathered Bird. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2013. 304pp. ISBN-13: 978-0691151342 This is a seriously beautiful coffee table-sized scientific illustrations book on birds. Basically the idea of the book is to explore birds through…

Chris Turner’s The War on Science: Muzzled Scientists and Wilful Blindness in Stephen Harper’s Canada (website) is a book that absolutely must be read by every Canadian interested in the future of science and science policy in the country. And the Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s Conservative government is wagering that that’s a pretty low percentage…

Nikola Tesla is a science rockstar. How can you tell? Like any great rockstar, he’s dead. And he has a rock band named after him. He’s wild and colourful. He epitomizes the mad scientist. He was flamboyant and yet strangely ascetic, he was fond of spectacle and showmanship yet also a bit of a hermit.…

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