Staff Pick
As he did in his elegant Seven Brief Lessons on Physics, Rovelli here makes theoretical physics accessible. And it’s amazing. He includes equations, but don’t worry about those (even Einstein needed help with the math); the beauty of his explanations is their simplicity. Defining reality as “a world of vibrations, a continuous fluctuation,” he boils everything down to three essentials: granularity, indeterminism, and relationality. These provide all you need to understand why space is not the continuity we take it for, why time is “information we don’t have,” why there’s no such thing as infinity—and much more, including what the universe might have been before the Big Bang.
Reality Is Not What It Seems: The Journey to Quantum Gravity Cover Image
By Carlo Rovelli, Simon Carnell (Translated by), Erica Segre (Translated by)
ISBN: 9780735213920
Availability: Special Order—Subject to Availability
Published: Riverhead Books - January 24th, 2017

Staff Pick

Bill Nye’s new book tackles one of the critical issues confronting today’s world, climate change and global warming. It is an incontrovertible fact that the Earth becomes warmer every year and the polar ice caps are melting. If that doesn’t scare you enough, the resources we need to survive are becoming more and more scarce. Nye argues that we should all stop and rethink the way we live and try not to leave to future generations an Earth that is dirty, overheated, and depleted of resources. By his own admission, Bill Nye is an engineer and a tinkerer so he always looks for technical solutions to a problem, and that is what this book offers. Among other things, he says we need to find new sources of energy, new ways to store and transmit that energy, and new ways to include our government and citizens everywhere in this immense undertaking. You don’t need to be a science nerd or to have a lot of knowledge on the topic to understand this book. It is, after all Bill Nye, The Science Guy who wrote it! He is undeniably unstoppable in his optimism and putting a positive spin on negative issues, and he has a way of explaining things in a way that is both understandable and entertaining.

Unstoppable: Harnessing Science to Change the World Cover Image
ISBN: 9781250109446
Availability: Backordered
Published: St. Martin's Griffin - October 18th, 2016

Staff Pick

In 2011, when the Pulitzer committee awarded Siddhartha Mukherjee the non-fiction prize, it praised The Emperor of All Maladies as “an elegant inquiry, at once clinical and personal.” Well, he’s done it again in The Gene: An Intimate History (Scribner, $32), which tells the story of the development of genetics by weaving science and social history with some of Mukherjee’s personal narrative about his own relatives. As Mukherjee recalls in the acknowledgments, he was actually so physically and mentally exhausted after Emperor that he hadn’t expected to write another book. But The Gene turns out to be a natural pairing with Emperor—a sort of prequel in that it focuses on biological normalcy before things get distorted into the malignancy of cancer. If you’ve ever wondered how much of our lives is determined by genes or by external environmental factors, read this book. But don’t expect a simple answer!

The Gene: An Intimate History Cover Image
ISBN: 9781476733500
Availability: Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Scribner - May 17th, 2016

The Gene: An Intimate History Cover Image
ISBN: 9781476733524
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Scribner - May 2nd, 2017