A science book recommendation: Red Famine: Stalin’s War on Ukraine by Anne Applebaum

A critic review (source Guardian) can be read at: http://bit.ly/2Dyhtc5.
It is grim but essential reading, and does much to explain the legacy of burning resentment in Ukraine, which led to the country’s clash with Vladimir Putin, a strongman seen by many as from the same mould as Stalin.
Book description from Google Books:
AN ECONOMIST BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR From the author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning Gulag and the National Book Award finalist Iron Curtain, a revelatory history of one of Stalin’s greatest crimes–the consequences of which still resonate today In 1929 Stalin launched his policy of agricultural collectivization–in effect a second Russian revolution–which forced millions of peasants off their land and onto collective farms. The result was a catastrophic famine, the most lethal in European history. At least five million people died between 1931 and 1933 in the USSR. But instead of sending relief the Soviet state made use of the catastrophe to rid itself of a political problem. In Red Famine, Anne Applebaum argues that more than three million of those dead were Ukrainians who perished not because they were accidental victims of a bad policy but because the state deliberately set out to kill them. Applebaum proves what has long been suspected: after a series of rebellions unsettled the province, Stalin set out to destroy the Ukrainian peasantry. The state sealed the republic’s borders and seized all available food. Starvation set in rapidly, and people ate anything: grass, tree bark, dogs, corpses. In some cases, they killed one another for food. Devastating and definitive, Red Famine captures the horror of ordinary people struggling to survive extraordinary evil. Today, Russia, the successor to the Soviet Union, has placed Ukrainian independence in its sights once more. Applebaum’s compulsively readable narrative recalls one of the worst crimes of the twentieth century, and shows how it may foreshadow a new threat to the political order in the twenty-first.
The book is rated 4.40/5 at goodreads.com, from 300 ratings. See 70 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2D4ktw3.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2D5JoPA.

A science book recommendation: Red Famine: Stalin’s War on Ukraine by Anne Applebaum

A critic review (source Guardian) can be read at: http://bit.ly/2Dyhtc5.
It is grim but essential reading, and does much to explain the legacy of burning resentment in Ukraine, which led to the country’s clash with Vladimir Putin, a strongman seen by many as from the same mould as Stalin.
Book description from Google Books:
AN ECONOMIST BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR From the author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning Gulag and the National Book Award finalist Iron Curtain, a revelatory history of one of Stalin’s greatest crimes–the consequences of which still resonate today In 1929 Stalin launched his policy of agricultural collectivization–in effect a second Russian revolution–which forced millions of peasants off their land and onto collective farms. The result was a catastrophic famine, the most lethal in European history. At least five million people died between 1931 and 1933 in the USSR. But instead of sending relief the Soviet state made use of the catastrophe to rid itself of a political problem. In Red Famine, Anne Applebaum argues that more than three million of those dead were Ukrainians who perished not because they were accidental victims of a bad policy but because the state deliberately set out to kill them. Applebaum proves what has long been suspected: after a series of rebellions unsettled the province, Stalin set out to destroy the Ukrainian peasantry. The state sealed the republic’s borders and seized all available food. Starvation set in rapidly, and people ate anything: grass, tree bark, dogs, corpses. In some cases, they killed one another for food. Devastating and definitive, Red Famine captures the horror of ordinary people struggling to survive extraordinary evil. Today, Russia, the successor to the Soviet Union, has placed Ukrainian independence in its sights once more. Applebaum’s compulsively readable narrative recalls one of the worst crimes of the twentieth century, and shows how it may foreshadow a new threat to the political order in the twenty-first.
The book is rated 4.40/5 at goodreads.com, from 298 ratings. See 70 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2D4ktw3.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2D5JoPA.

A science book recommendation: Autumn by Karl Ove Knausgaard

A critic review (source NY Times) can be read at: http://nyti.ms/2C8Y3Jv.
…in “Autumn,” Knausgaard keeps us on the shore. The shells he gives us to admire are intricate, absorbing and beautiful; this book is full of wonders. But it isn’t, just yet, the whole story.
Book description from Google Books:
The New York Times bestseller. “This book is full of wonders…Loose teeth, chewing gum, it all becomes noble, almost holy, under Knausgaard’s patient, admiring gaze. The world feels repainted.” –The New York Times From the author of the monumental My Struggle series, Karl Ove Knausgaard, one of the masters of contemporary literature and a genius of observation and introspection, comes the first in a new autobiographical quartet based on the four seasons. 28 August. Now, as I write this, you know nothing about anything, about what awaits you, the kind of world you will be born into. And I know nothing about you… I want to show you our world as it is now: the door, the floor, the water tap and the sink, the garden chair close to the wall beneath the kitchen window, the sun, the water, the trees. You will come to see it in your own way, you will experience things for yourself and live a life of your own, so of course it is primarily for my own sake that I am doing this: showing you the world, little one, makes my life worth living. Autumn begins with a letter Karl Ove Knausgaard writes to his unborn daughter, showing her what to expect of the world. He writes one short piece per day, describing the material and natural world with the precision and mesmerising intensity that have become his trademark. He describes with acute sensitivity daily life with his wife and children in rural Sweden, drawing upon memories of his own childhood to give an inimitably tender perspective on the precious and unique bond between parent and child. The sun, wasps, jellyfish, eyes, lice–the stuff of everyday life is the fodder for his art. Nothing is too small or too vast to escape his attention. This beautifully illustrated book is a personal encyclopaedia on everything from chewing gum to the stars. Through close observation of the objects and phenomena around him, Knausgaard shows us how vast, unknowable and wondrous the world is.
The book is rated 3.69/5 at goodreads.com, from 1674 ratings. See 241 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2CbjHgi.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2CEYYlV.

A science book recommendation: Linescapes: Remapping and Reconnecting Britain’s Fragmented Wildlife by Hugh Warwick

A critic review (source Guardian) can be read at: http://bit.ly/2CEYs7w.
Warwick is a generous companion and never a prickly know-it-all, even as he presents his manifesto for reconnection.
Book description from Google Books:
Selected as a Book of the Year 2017 in the Guardian ‘This is a beautifully crafted book . . . timely and essential reading’ Kathy Willis, Director of Science, Kew Gardens It is rare to find a landscape untouched by our lines – the hedges, walls, ditches and dykes built to enclose and separate; and the green lanes, roads, canals, railways and power lines, designed to connect. This vast network of lines has transformed our landscape. In Linescapes, Hugh Warwick unravels the far-reaching ecological consequences of the lines we have drawn: as our lives and our land were being fenced in and threaded together, so wildlife habitats have been cut into ever smaller, and increasingly unviable, fragments. Hugh Warwick has travelled across the country to explore this linescape from the perspective of our wildlife and to understand how, with a manifesto for reconnection, we can help our flora and fauna to flourish. Linescapes offers a fresh and bracing perspective on Britain’s countryside, one that proposes a challenge and gives ground for hope; for while nature does not tend to straight lines and discrete borders, our lines can and do contain a real potential for wildness and for wildlife.
The book is rated 4.40/5 at goodreads.com, from 5 ratings. See 2 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2CcyNlL.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2Cdd6BY.

A science book recommendation: Linescapes: Remapping and Reconnecting Britain’s Fragmented Wildlife by Hugh Warwick

A critic review (source Guardian) can be read at: http://bit.ly/2CEYs7w.
Warwick is a generous companion and never a prickly know-it-all, even as he presents his manifesto for reconnection.
Book description from Google Books:
Selected as a Book of the Year 2017 in the Guardian ‘This is a beautifully crafted book . . . timely and essential reading’ Kathy Willis, Director of Science, Kew Gardens It is rare to find a landscape untouched by our lines – the hedges, walls, ditches and dykes built to enclose and separate; and the green lanes, roads, canals, railways and power lines, designed to connect. This vast network of lines has transformed our landscape. In Linescapes, Hugh Warwick unravels the far-reaching ecological consequences of the lines we have drawn: as our lives and our land were being fenced in and threaded together, so wildlife habitats have been cut into ever smaller, and increasingly unviable, fragments. Hugh Warwick has travelled across the country to explore this linescape from the perspective of our wildlife and to understand how, with a manifesto for reconnection, we can help our flora and fauna to flourish. Linescapes offers a fresh and bracing perspective on Britain’s countryside, one that proposes a challenge and gives ground for hope; for while nature does not tend to straight lines and discrete borders, our lines can and do contain a real potential for wildness and for wildlife.
The book is rated 4.40/5 at goodreads.com, from 5 ratings. See 2 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2CcyNlL.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2Cdd6BY.

A science book recommendation: Autumn by Karl Ove Knausgaard

A critic review (source NY Times) can be read at: http://nyti.ms/2C8Y3Jv.
…in “Autumn,” Knausgaard keeps us on the shore. The shells he gives us to admire are intricate, absorbing and beautiful; this book is full of wonders. But it isn’t, just yet, the whole story.
Book description from Google Books:
The New York Times bestseller. “This book is full of wonders…Loose teeth, chewing gum, it all becomes noble, almost holy, under Knausgaard’s patient, admiring gaze. The world feels repainted.” –The New York Times From the author of the monumental My Struggle series, Karl Ove Knausgaard, one of the masters of contemporary literature and a genius of observation and introspection, comes the first in a new autobiographical quartet based on the four seasons. 28 August. Now, as I write this, you know nothing about anything, about what awaits you, the kind of world you will be born into. And I know nothing about you… I want to show you our world as it is now: the door, the floor, the water tap and the sink, the garden chair close to the wall beneath the kitchen window, the sun, the water, the trees. You will come to see it in your own way, you will experience things for yourself and live a life of your own, so of course it is primarily for my own sake that I am doing this: showing you the world, little one, makes my life worth living. Autumn begins with a letter Karl Ove Knausgaard writes to his unborn daughter, showing her what to expect of the world. He writes one short piece per day, describing the material and natural world with the precision and mesmerising intensity that have become his trademark. He describes with acute sensitivity daily life with his wife and children in rural Sweden, drawing upon memories of his own childhood to give an inimitably tender perspective on the precious and unique bond between parent and child. The sun, wasps, jellyfish, eyes, lice–the stuff of everyday life is the fodder for his art. Nothing is too small or too vast to escape his attention. This beautifully illustrated book is a personal encyclopaedia on everything from chewing gum to the stars. Through close observation of the objects and phenomena around him, Knausgaard shows us how vast, unknowable and wondrous the world is.
The book is rated 3.69/5 at goodreads.com, from 1650 ratings. See 238 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2CbjHgi.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2CEYYlV.

A science book recommendation: Chief Engineer: Washington Roebling, The Man Who Built the Brooklyn Bridge by Erica Wagner

A critic review (source NY Times) can be read at: http://nyti.ms/2D7bCcp.
Along with Emily’s presence, Washington’s dry wit and even tone give life and personality to Wagner’s already enjoyable prose. The book is also peppered with cheerfully informative footnotes.
Book description from Google Books:
The first full biography of a crucial figure in the American story–Washington Roebling, builder of the Brooklyn Bridge.”I know that nothing can be done perfectly at the first trial; I also know that each day brings its little quota of experiences, which with honest intentions, will lead to perfection after a while.” –Washington RoeblingHis father conceived of the Brooklyn Bridge, but after John Roebling’s sudden death, Washington Roebling built what has become one of American’s most iconic structures–as much a part of New York as the Statue of Liberty or the Empire State Building. Yet, as recognizable as the bridge is, its builder is too often forgotten–and his life is of interest far beyond his chosen field. It is the story of immigrants, of the frontier, of the greatest crisis in American history, and of the making of the modern world. Forty years after the publication of The Great Bridge, David McCullough’s classic chronicle of how the East River was spanned, Erica Wagner has written a fascinating biography of one of America’s most distinguished engineers, a man whose long life was a model of courage in the face of extraordinary adversity. Chief Engineer is enriched by Roebling’s own eloquent voice, unveiled in his recently-discovered memoir that was previously thought lost to history.The memoir reveals that his father, John-a renowned engineer who made his life in America after humble beginnings in Germany-was a tyrannical presence in Washington’s life, so his own adoption of that career was hard won. A young man when the Civil War broke out, Washington joined the Union Army, building bridges that carried soldiers across rivers and seeing action in many pivotal battles, from Antietam to Gettysburg-aspects of his life never before fully brought to light. Safely returned, he married the remarkable Emily Warren Roebling, who would play a crucial role in the construction of the unprecedented Brooklyn Bridge. It would be Washington Roebling’s grandest achievement-but by no means the only one.Elegantly written with a compelling narrative sweep, Chief Engineer will introduce Washington Roebling and his era to a new generation of readers.
The book is rated 4.04/5 at goodreads.com, from 27 ratings. See 7 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2BZkce6.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2BZkm5c.

A science book recommendation: Caesar’s Last Breath: Decoding the Secrets of the Air Around Us by Sam Kean

A critic review (source Dear Author) can be read at: http://bit.ly/2C35FxX.
Information is conveyed easily and as if I’m talking to an especially learned friend who is excited to “tell me all about it.” Some things are hilarious as well as gross…
Book description from Google Books:
The Guardian’s Best Science Book of 2017 The fascinating science and history of the air we breatheIt’s invisible. It’s ever-present. Without it, you would die in minutes. And it has an epic story to tell.In Caesar’s Last Breath, New York Times bestselling author Sam Kean takes us on a journey through the periodic table, around the globe, and across time to tell the story of the air we breathe, which, it turns out, is also the story of earth and our existence on it.With every breath, you literally inhale the history of the world. On the ides of March, 44 BC, Julius Caesar died of stab wounds on the Senate floor, but the story of his last breath is still unfolding; in fact, you’re probably inhaling some of it now. Of the sextillions of molecules entering or leaving your lungs at this moment, some might well bear traces of Cleopatra’s perfumes, German mustard gas, particles exhaled by dinosaurs or emitted by atomic bombs, even remnants of stardust from the universe’s creation.Tracing the origins and ingredients of our atmosphere, Kean reveals how the alchemy of air reshaped our continents, steered human progress, powered revolutions, and continues to influence everything we do. Along the way, we’ll swim with radioactive pigs, witness the most important chemical reactions humans have discovered, and join the crowd at the Moulin Rouge for some of the crudest performance art of all time. Lively, witty, and filled with the astounding science of ordinary life, Caesar’s Last Breath illuminates the science stories swirling around us every second.
The book is rated 4.23/5 at goodreads.com, from 602 ratings. See 124 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2DcSQjN.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2Dcm9Dp.

A science book recommendation: The Darkening Web: The War for Cyberspace by Alexander Klimburg

A critic review (source Toronto Star) can be read at: http://bit.ly/2D7oEqv.
The 2016 election is a cautionary tale and just one reason why The Darkening Web: The War for Cyberspace is indispensable reading for anyone keen to understand what lies ahead as cyberspace displaces conventional battlefields as the preferred venue for resolving conflict.
Book description from Google Books:
“A chilling but well-informed and readable tour of cyber interdependence. Anyone interested in our growing global vulnerabilities should read this book.” –Joseph S. Nye, Jr., author of The Future of Power No single invention of the last half century has changed the way we live now as much as the Internet. Alexander Klimburg was a member of the generation for whom it was a utopian ideal turned reality: a place where ideas, information, and knowledge could be shared and new freedoms found and enjoyed. Two decades later, the future isn’t so bright any more: increasingly, the Internet is used as a weapon and a means of domination by states eager to exploit or curtail global connectivity in order to further their national interests. Klimburg is a leading voice in the conversation on the implications of this dangerous shift, and in The Darkening Web, he explains why we underestimate the consequences of states’ ambitions to project power in cyberspace at our peril: Not only have hacking and cyber operations fundamentally changed the nature of political conflict–ensnaring states in a struggle to maintain a precarious peace that could rapidly collapse into all-out war–but the rise of covert influencing and information warfare has enabled these same global powers to create and disseminate their own distorted versions of reality in which anything is possible. At stake are not only our personal data or the electrical grid, but the Internet as we know it today–and with it the very existence of open and democratic societies. Blending anecdote with argument, Klimburg brings us face-to-face with the range of threats the struggle for cyberspace presents, from an apocalyptic scenario of debilitated civilian infrastructure to a 1984-like erosion of privacy and freedom of expression. Focusing on different approaches to cyber-conflict in the US, Russia and China, he reveals the extent to which the battle for control of the Internet is as complex and perilous as the one surrounding nuclear weapons during the Cold War–and quite possibly as dangerous for humanity as a whole. Authoritative, thought-provoking, and compellingly argued, The Darkening Web makes clear that the debate about the different aspirations for cyberspace is nothing short of a war over our global values.
The book is rated 3.42/5 at goodreads.com, from 72 ratings. See 18 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2C2drrN.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2C2dDY3.

A science book recommendation: Esther the Wonder Pig: Changing the World One Heart at a Time by Steve Jenkins

A critic review (source Dear Author) can be read at: http://bit.ly/2D57Q39.
The amazing story of finding the dream farm and reaching for what seemed an impossible goal then getting it made me smile. Esther does live up to her billing as a truly wonderful ambassadress to all things pig.
Book description from Google Books:
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLERAMAZON BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR Unlikely pig owners Steve and Derek got a whole lot more than they bargained for when the designer micro piglet they adopted turned out to be a full-sized 600-pound sow! This funny, inspirational story shows how families really do come in all shapes and sizes. In the summer of 2012, Steve Jenkins was contacted by an old friend about adopting a micro piglet. Though he knew his partner Derek wouldn’t be enthusiastic, he agreed to take the adorable little pig anyway, thinking he could care for her himself. Little did he know, that decision would change his and Derek’s lives forever. It turned out there was nothing “micro” about Esther, and Steve and Derek had actually signed on to raise a full-sized commercial pig. Within three years, Tiny Esther grew to a whopping 600 pounds. After some real growing pains and a lot of pig-sized messes, it became clear that Esther needed much more space, so Steve and Derek made another life-changing decision: they bought a farm and opened the Happily Ever Esther Farm Sanctuary, where they could care for Esther and other animals in need. Funny, heartwarming, and utterly charming, ESTHER THE WONDER PIG follows Steve and Derek’s adventure–from reluctant pig parents to farm-owning advocates for animals.
The book is rated 4.19/5 at goodreads.com, from 1377 ratings. See 276 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2BVSAX0.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2BUbIop.