Tuesday, May 10, 2016


Although we cannot always keep up with what’s new in the world of science, we can take a look at some of the newest books about science.  Many of them show up on the New York Times bestsellers list.

For Monrovia Public Library readers, here are some science titles on the New Books shelves.
The scientific and technical professions do not have a good record hiring women and there was a time during the 1940’-1960’s prior to the development of reliable computing machines, when the only way women could work at JPL was as human computers. Natalia Holt’s The Rise of the Rocket Girls traces how women were hired to make the calculations that male scientists used to design space craft and figure out trajectories. The book’s appeal is that it shares both the personal stories of these female mathematicians and the technical work they did to contribute to space exploration. This book opens a door on little known history.

M.I.T. graduate J. Kenji Lopez-Alt explains how scientific methods can be used to cook in The Food Lab: Better Home Cooking Through Science.  Whether addressing how to best boil eggs, get a flavorful soup or put a crust on a steak, the author shows how using the principles of physics and chemistry will result in delicious meals. Looking like a large text book with great color pictures this is a title that will intrigue home cooks and get them thinking about the how the fundamentals of food and science converge.

The New York Times review said the essays in Seven Brief Lessons on Physics “arrive like shots of espresso.” In this slim volume by Carlo Ravelli the concepts of physics, which we probably ignore because we think they are beyond us, are explained in clear language. The author is almost poetic in his descriptions and the book will light a fire in readers’ imaginations and cause them to look at physics in a new way.

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