Year-end gift ideas, books about Earth and life science and evolution

As promised in my last blog, I am returning with a few suggestions of recent science books that are suitable for gift-giving. I haven’t read these in detail, but they are published by reputable publishers and written by credible authors. This is the first of several postings, organized by subject area. In this case, we … Read more

Science Shelf reviews will return soon

For readers who appreciate my reviews of popular science books, I apologize for my long hiatus from posting. I had cataract surgery in August and had complications that have made reading books difficult. I have finally dealt with those complications to the point that I am beginning to catch up with a stack of books. … Read more

Science Book Roundup, Spring 2018

The arrival of Spring 2018 in my area has been marked by an unusually large outburst of pollen. In the science book world, it has been marked by an outburst of varied, interesting titles. And that is certainly nothing to sneeze at. One of the perks of being a reviewer of long standing is the … Read more

Science Shelf Blog, Pi Day 2018 edition

At the Science Shelf, our favorite dessert is pi. So although it is a week past Pi Day 2018, we offer these recently released book treats to our readers (along with my picture in my Pi Day bowtie). I archive my book reviews at my Science Shelf website, so you may want to visit there … Read more

The Math of Groundhog’s Day: An Allegory

THE GREAT GROUNDHOG’S DAY CONSPIRACY By Fred Bortz ([email protected]) Many years ago in the Allegheny Mountain town of Punxsutawney PA, a secret committee met, led by Ima Merchant, the head of the local chamber of commerce. Town statistician C. P. Adderly and P. R. Mann, head of a local advertising firm, were also in attendance. … Read more

Science Shelf Blog, January 2018

These regular blog posts are for educated but non-expert readers who love science. For many years, I regularly sold freelance book reviews to major metropolitan newspapers. Over the past few years, the market for such reviews dried up, but I did not want to leave the field entirely. Fortunately, publishers still send me their catalogs … Read more

Science Shelf Blog, Year End 2017

My standard opening disclaimer: Due to the shrinking freelance book review market, my opportunities to publish full-length reviews of science titles in major metropolitan newspapers are now few and far between. Because I do not want to leave that territory completely, I have decided to develop a blog that publishes short reviews of science books … Read more

Science Shelf Blog, October 2017

As noted in my previous blog, due to the shrinking freelance book review market, my opportunities to publish full-length reviews of science titles in major metropolitan newspapers are now few and far between. Because I do not want to leave that territory completely, I have decided to develop a blog that publishes short reviews of … Read more

Book Review: The Vaccine Race by Meredith Wadman

The Vaccine Race: Science, Politics, and the Human Cost of Defeating Diseaseby Meredith Wadman(Viking, 448 pages plus 16 page photo insert, $30, February 7, 2017) Reviewed by Dr. Fred Bortz For more reviews, see the Science Shelf Book Review Archive Note: This review is the copyrighted property of Alfred B. Bortz. Individuals may print single … Read more

Book Review: Herding Hemingway’s Cats by Kat Arney

Herding Hemingway’s Cats: Understanding How Our Genes Work by Kat Arney (Bloomsbury Sigma, 288 pages, $27, March 1, 2016) Reviewed by Dr. Fred Bortz For more reviews, see the Science Shelf Book Review Archive Note: This review is the copyrighted property of Alfred B. Bortz. Individuals may print single copies for their own use. For … Read more