1. Health & Medicine

    BOOK LIST | On Speed: The Many Lives of Amphetamine

    The rise, fall and resurgence of the original “anti-depressants.” ON SPEED: THE MANY LIVES OF AMPHETAMINE New York Univ. Press, 2008, 352 p., $29.95 (cloth).

  2. Humans

    BOOK REVIEW | Naked in the Woods: Joseph Knowles and the Legacy of Frontier Fakery

    Last summer, the Discovery Channel temporarily suspended airing its hit survivalist show Man vs. Wild. The producer admitted that the protagonist would get help from staff or spend nights in hotels — all along claiming to rough it alone in the world’s most inhospitable places. Yet, Man vs. Wild was not the first high-profile case […]

  3. Space

    BOOK REVIEW | Einstein and Oppenheimer: The Meaning of Genius by Silvan S. Schweber

    In mid-20th century America, two scientists towered over all others in the public mind: Albert Einstein and Robert Oppenheimer. Oppenheimer was the man who built the atomic bomb; Einstein’s theories explained how such a vast release of energy was possible. Both were acclaimed as geniuses of the highest order. Yet they were dissimilar in numerous […]

  4. BOOK LIST | Global Fever: How to Treat Climate Change

    An opening image of Edvard Munch’s “The Scream” will have you flipping quickly to “Turning Around by 2020.” Univ. of Chicago Press, 2008, 337 p., $22.50. GLOBAL FEVER: HOW TO TREAT CLIMATE CHANGE

  5. Humans

    BOOK LIST | Human Origins: What Bones and Genomes Tell Us about Ourselves

    A guided tour of our pre-history and how we understand it. Texas A&M Univ. Press, 2008, 216 p., $29.95. HUMAN ORIGINS: WHAT BONES AND GENOMES TELL US ABOUT OURSELVES

  6. Health & Medicine

    BOOK LIST | Guilty Robots, Happy Dogs: The Question of Alien Minds

    The alien minds are of animals. The question: Can robots mimic them? Oxford Univ. Press, 2008, 252 p., $34.95. GUILTY ROBOTS, HAPPY DOGS: THE QUESTION OF ALIEN MINDS

  7. Life

    BOOK LIST | Finding Home

    For young readers, the story of a koala who survived a brush fire. Charlesbridge, 2008, 16 p., $15.95. FINDING HOME

  8. Ecosystems

    BOOK LIST | Trees, Truffles, and Beasts: How Forests Function

    An argument that simple policies will not save complex forests.Rutgers Univ. Press, 2008, 280 p., $26.95 (paperback). TREES, TRUFFLES, AND BEASTS: HOW FORESTS FUNCTION

  9. Humans

    BOOK REVIEW | Curiosity and Enlightenment: Collectors and Collections from the Sixteenth to the Nineteenth Century

    Chock-full of unicorn horns (narwhal teeth), griffin claws (antelope antlers), leopard skins, petrified wood or other gems hand-picked from nature, “cabinets of curiosities” have developed a modern-day reputation as whimsical caboodles of miscellaneous oddities. This book will overturn that impression. A proper collection was “a model of universal nature, made private,” as Francis Bacon, the […]

  10. Health & Medicine

    BOOK REVIEW | Microcosm: E. coli and the New Science of Life

    When science writer Carl Zimmer looks into a petri dish teeming with E. coli, he sees himself, humanity and all life. In Microcosm, Zimmer traces the lessons biologists have learned from the microbe, which calls our guts its home. He also uses it to discuss some of the most fundamental questions in biology: What is […]

  11. Life

    BOOK LIST | Manipulative Monkeys: The Capuchins of Lomas Barbudal

    Primatologists follow the social lives of these big-brained Costa Rican monkeys. Harvard Univ. Press, 2008 358 p. $45 MANIPULATIVE MONKEYS

  12. Math

    BOOK LIST | Guesstimation: Solving the World’s Problems on the Back of a Cocktail Napkin

    Learn to use simple arithmetic to approximate anything. Princeton Univ. Press, 2008, 300 p. $19.95 GUESSTIMATION