Honor roll: Science/Technology books

Each of these Science/Technology books has received at least one award nomination. They are ranked by honors received.

Book:Balloons over Broadway

Balloons over Broadway: The True Story of the Puppeteer of Macy's Parade

Melissa Sweet

Who invented the first balloons for Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade? Meet Tony Sarg, puppeteer extraordinaire! Everyone’s a New Yorker on Thanksgiving Day, when young and old rise early to see what giant new balloons will fill the skies for Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Who first invented these “upside-down puppets”? In brilliant collage illustrations, the award-winning artist Melissa Sweet tells the story of the puppeteer Tony Sarg, capturing his genius, his dedication, his zest for play, and his long-lasting gift to America—the inspired helium balloons that would become the trademark of Macy’s Parade.

Book:The Information (James Gleick)

The Information: A History, a Theory, a Flood

James Gleick

James Gleick, the author of the best sellers Chaos and Genius, now brings us a work just as astonishing and masterly: a revelatory chronicle and meditation that shows how information has become the modern era’s defining quality—the blood, the fuel, the vital principle of our world.

The story of information begins in a time profoundly unlike our own, when every thought and utterance vanishes as soon as it is born. From the invention of scripts and alphabets to the long-misunderstood talking drums of Africa, Gleick tells the story of information technologies that changed the very nature of human consciousness. He provides portraits of the key figures contributing to the inexorable development of our modern understanding of information: Charles Babbage, the idiosyncratic inventor of the first great mechanical computer; Ada Byron, the brilliant and doomed daughter of the poet, who became the first true programmer;…[more]

Book:The Emperor of All Maladies

The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer

Siddhartha Mukherjee

The Emperor of All Maladies is a magnificent, profoundly humane “biography” of cancer—from its first documented appearances thousands of years ago through the epic battles in the twentieth century to cure, control, and conquer it to a radical new understanding of its essence. Physician, researcher, and award-winning science writer, Siddhartha Mukherjee examines cancer with a cellular biologist’s precision, a historian’s perspective, and a biographer’s passion. The result is an astonishingly lucid and eloquent chronicle of a disease humans have lived with—and perished from—for more than five thousand years.

The story of cancer is a story of human ingenuity, resilience, and perseverance, but also of hubris, paternalism, and misperception. Mukherjee recounts centuries of discoveries, setbacks, victories, and deaths, told through the eyes of his predecessors and peers, training their wits against an infinitely resourceful adversary that, just three decades ago, was thought to be easily…[more]

Book:More Forensics and Fiction

More Forensics and Fiction: Crime Writers Morbidly Curious Questions Expertly Answered

D.P. Lyle, M.D.

This compilation of medical and forensic science questions from crime writers around the world provides insight into medical and forensic science as well as a glimpse into the writer’s creative mind.

How do hallucinogenic drugs affect a blind person? Will snake venom injected into fruit cause death? How would you perform CPR in a helicopter? What happens when someone swallows razor blades? How long does it take blood to dry? Can DNA be obtained from a half-eaten bagel?

D. P. Lyle, MD, answers these and many more intriguing questions. The book is a useful and entertaining resource for writers and screenwriters, helping them find the information they need to frame a situation and write a convincing description. TV viewers, readers who enjoy crime fiction, and those who want to know more about forensic science can keep up with the news and understand the science behind criminal investigation. From traumatic injuries to the coroner’s office, the questions and answers are divided into five parts, making it a compendium of the incredible information that lies within the world of medicine and forensics.

Book:Charles and Emma

Charles and Emma: The Darwins' Leap of Faith

Deborah Heiligman

Charles Darwin published The Origin of Species, his revolutionary tract on evolution and the fundamental ideas involved, in 1859. Nearly 150 years later, the theory of evolution continues to create tension between the scientific and religious communities. Challenges about teaching the theory of evolution in schools occur annually all over the country. This same debate raged within Darwin himself, and played an important part in his marriage: his wife, Emma, was quite religious, and her faith gave Charles a lot to think about as he worked on a theory that continues to spark intense debates.

Deborah Heiligman’s new biography of Charles Darwin is a thought-provoking account of the man behind evolutionary theory: how his personal life affected his work and vice versa. The end result is an engaging exploration of history, science, and religion for young readers.  

Book:Can We Save the Tiger?

Can We Save the Tiger?

Martin Jenkins, Vicky White

The team behind the award-winning Ape returns with an inspiring look at a range of endangered species sure to engage every child who loves animals.

Tigers are pretty special—and so are ground iguanas and partula snails and even white-rumped vultures. But these and many other animals are in danger of disappearing altogether, joining the dodo, the marsupial wolf, the great auk, and countless other animals we will never see again. Using the experiences of a few endangered species as examples, Martin Jenkins highlights the ways human behavior can either threaten or conserve the amazing animals that share our planet. Vicky White’s stunning portraits of rare creatures offer a glimpse of nature’s grace and beauty—and give us a powerful reason to preserve it.

Book:The Elephant Scientist

The Elephant Scientist

Caitlin O'Connell, Donna M. Jackson, Timothy Rodwell

In the sprawling African scrub desert of Etosha National Park, they call her “the mother of all elephants.” Camouflaged and peering through binoculars, Caitlin O’Connell—the American scientist who traveled to Namibia to study African elephants in their natural habitat—could not believe what she was seeing. As the mighty matriarch scanned the horizon, the other elephants followed suit, stopping midstride and standing as still as statues. The observation would be one of many to guide O’Connell to a groundbreaking discovery!

Book:Private Empire: ExxonMobil and American Power

Private Empire: ExxonMobil and American Power

Steve Coll

In Private Empire Steve Coll investigates the largest and most powerful private corporation in the United States, revealing the true extent of its power. ExxonMobil’s annual revenues are larger than the economic activity in the great majority of countries. In many of the countries where it conducts business, ExxonMobil’s sway over politics and security is greater than that of the United States embassy. In Washington, ExxonMobil spends more money lobbying Congress and the White House than almost any other corporation. Yet despite its outsized influence, it is a black box.

Private Empire pulls back the curtain, tracking the corporation’s recent history and its central role on the world stage, beginning with the Exxon Valdez accident in 1989 and leading to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010. The action spans the globe, moving from Moscow, to impoverished African capitals, Indonesia, and elsewhere…[more]

Book:Unnatural Selection: Choosing Boys Over Girls

Unnatural Selection: Choosing Boys Over Girls, and the Consequences of a World Full of Men

Mara Hvistendahl

Lianyungang, a booming port city, has China’s most extreme gender ratio for children under four: 163 boys for every 100 girls. These numbers don’t seem terribly grim, but in ten years, the skewed sex ratio will pose a colossal challenge. By the time those children reach adulthood, their generation will have twenty-four million more men than women.

The prognosis for China’s neighbors is no less bleak: Asia now has 163 million females “missing” from its population. Gender imbalance reaches far beyond Asia, affecting Georgia, Eastern Europe, and cities in the U.S. where there are significant immigrant populations. The world, therefore, is becoming increasingly male, and this mismatch is likely to create profound social upheaval.

Historically, eras in which there have been an excess of men have produced periods of violent conflict and instability. Mara Hvistendahl has written a stunning, impeccably-researched book that does not flinch from examining not only the consequences of the misbegotten policies of sex selection but Western complicity with them.

Book:The Poisoner's Handbook

The Poisoner's Handbook: Murder and the Birth of Forensic Medicine in Jazz Age New York

Deborah Blum

A beguiling concoction-equal parts true crime, twentieth-century history, and science thriller.

A fascinating Jazz Age tale of chemistry and detection, poison and murder, The Poisoner’s Handbook is a page-turning account of a forgotten era. In early twentieth-century New York, poisons offered an easy path to the perfect crime. Science had no place in the Tammany Hall-controlled coroner’s office, and corruption ran rampant. However, with the appointment of chief medical examiner Charles Norris in 1918, the poison game changed forever. Together with toxicologist Alexander Gettler, the duo set the justice system on fire with their trailblazing scientific detective work, triumphing over seemingly unbeatable odds to become the pioneers of forensic chemistry.

Views: 8,845 • Modified: • Elapsed: 0.021 sec