Posts Tagged ‘Books’

Brendan Koerner storyboards a hijacking tale

During the late 1960s and early 1970s, hijackers commandeered U.S. flights on an almost regular basis. And the hijackers themselves were usually American: often idealistic and sometimes mentally unstable protesters, or, later, the down-and-out intent on ransom. Airlines treated the phenomena a cost of doing business. A few years ago, Brendan Koerner discovered this episode in […]

The big leap: From article to book

Hannah Nordhaus’s 2011 book The Beekeeper’s Lament tells the story of troubled honeybees through one beekeeper. The Ten Most Beautiful Experiments is George Johnson’s look at … well, 10 beautiful science experiments. In The Sports Gene, David Epstein examines the debate over nature vs. nurture in the world of sports. These books all have something […]

Richard Todd on Good Prose

In 1973, Richard Todd was a young editor at The Atlantic Monthly. His boss, Atlantic editor-in-chief Bob Manning, had just handed him a manuscript with a note scrawled across the top, “Let’s face it, this fellow can’t write.” The story was about a mass murder in California and its author was a student at the […]

Florence Williams takes the measure of modern breasts

“For such an enormously popular feature of the human race,” writes Florence Williams in Breasts: A Natural and Unnatural History, “it’s remarkable how little we know about their basic biology.” Breasts make us mammals, says Williams, but they also seem to make us confused: Our theories about their enduring appeal are muddled, and our understanding […]

Making the leap from news to books: Critical questions

Authors of science books often begin as writers of science news. As a science journalist who is looking to write a book, I’ve become very curious as to how other science journalists made the leap forward. I suspected that the questions that go into books might be different from those that drive newspaper and magazine […]

Deborah Blum traces a poisonous history

Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Deborah Blum’s five books have immersed her in the worlds of animal rights, the psychology of affection, the neurology of sex, the search for paranormal phenomena, and the chemistry of poisons. Her best-selling book The Poisoner’s Handbook: Murder and the Birth of Forensic Medicine in Jazz Age New York, published in 2010, traces […]

How Rebecca Skloot built The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

Rebecca Skloot needs little introduction to most readers of The Open Notebook: Her book The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks has been a bestseller since its publication in February 2010, and she has toured the U.S. and Europe almost constantly since then talking about the book and the many issues of race, science, and privacy […]

Holly Tucker animates a centuries-old science story

In her new book Blood Work: A Tale of Medicine and Murder in the Scientific Revolution, historian Holly Tucker weaves a tale of the first blood transfusion experiments (at the time, such transfusions were all animal-to-human) during the mid-17th century, about 150 years before blood transfusion began to enter modern medicine in earnest. Tucker delves into […]

Maryn McKenna describes life as “Scary-Disease Girl”

For nearly all her career, journalist and author Maryn McKenna has written about public health, from Midwest droughts to bird flu to Gulf War Syndrome. While covering the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, McKenna got the nickname “Scary-Disease Girl,” a moniker that befits the infectious disease beat she has […]

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