Soonish: Ten Emerging Technologies That'll Improve And/Or Ruin Everything - Kelly Weinersmith, Zach Weinersmith

Staff Pick

The future is almost upon us! In their new book, Soonish (Penguin Press, $30), husband-and- wife team Zach and Kelly Weinersmith focus on ten areas of emerging technology in which we will see the next big developments. From deep space exploration to the 3-D printing of human organs, the Weinersmiths take us on a tour of what is on the horizon. This is pop science at its best. Kelly, an adjunct faculty member in the biosciences department at Rice University, makes the details clear and fascinating, while Zach, the cartoonist behind Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal, ensures that the illustrations and comics sparkle and delight. You’ll learn what’s holding us back from asteroid mining, for example, and all the new ways scientists think they can make it happen. Some visions are closer to fruition than others. The giant space elevator that would take people directly into orbit is farther away than augmented reality, for instance. So close is augmented reality that its chapter had to be updated before the book went to press due to recent technological advances in just the last year, including the Pokémon Go phenomenon. This is a fun and informative read, and will make you the smartest futurist of the new year!

Soonish: Ten Emerging Technologies That'll Improve and/or Ruin Everything By Kelly Weinersmith, Zach Weinersmith Cover Image
ISBN: 9780399563829
Availability: Special Order—Subject to Availability
Published: Penguin Press - October 17th, 2017

Endurance: A Year in Space, a Lifetime of Discovery - Scott Kelly

Staff Pick

Sir Isaac Newton famously discovered that an object at rest or in motion will remain in that state unless acted upon by an outside force. Before Scott Kelly “slipped the surly bonds of earth” as an astronaut, this Newtonian law played out in a serendipitous fashion in his early life. As he describes in his tremendous Endurance: A Year in Space, a Lifetime of Discovery (Knopf, $29.95), he was on a trajectory to nowhere in particular. Growing up in New Jersey, Kelly was a lackluster student. He drifted and daydreamed all the way to college but hadn’t settled on a direction. During his freshman year the outside force arrived in the form of The Right Stuff by Tom Wolfe. Never having been much of a reader, Kelly uncharacteristically devoured this book, finding inspiration in the tale of those early test pilots and astronauts. As a result, Kelly altered the course of his life and after years of struggle he proved he had the right stuff. The highlight of his memoir is his chronicle of his year aboard the International Space Station. Kelly vividly portrays not only the important work being done on the ISS but also daily life for a human floating in orbit. A moving, funny, and uplifting story, this is the closest you will get to experiencing the final frontier without strapping yourself to a rocket.

Endurance: A Year in Space, A Lifetime of Discovery By Scott Kelly Cover Image
ISBN: 9781524731595
Availability: Special Order—Subject to Availability
Published: Knopf - October 17th, 2017

Astrophysics for People in a Hurry - Neil Degrasse Tyson

Staff Pick

Do you ever find yourself looking at the starry sky and wondering how it all came to be, asking what is a universe and what is our place in it? Do you wish you knew more but are just too busy with your everyday life to start exploring and looking for answers? Well, then, Neil deGrasse Tyson’s new book, Astrophysics for People in a Hurry (W.W. Norton, $18.95), is just what you need. And even though Tyson starts with the premise that “the universe is under no obligation to make sense to you,” he will try to explain. There’s no reason to feel intimidated; I’m sure you remember learning about Einstein’s E=mc² and Sir Isaac Newton’s Universal Law of Gravitation, and that’s all you need to start reading this book. How it all begun, the Big Bang and the expansion of the cosmos, dark matter and black holes, everything is explained in clear and understandable language with short chapters that you can read whenever you find a spare minute. You will learn that the observable universe may contain a hundred billion galaxies, bright and beautiful and packed with stars, and that “we are stardust brought to life then empowered by the universe to figure itself out—and we have only just begun.”

Astrophysics for People in a Hurry By Neil deGrasse Tyson Cover Image
ISBN: 9780393609394
Availability: Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - May 2nd, 2017