Critical Linking for August 5th, 2015


My list is personal, idiosyncratic, argumentative–and intended to provoke debate about what makes a science book great. Facts, ideas, rigor, substance? Or rhetoric, imagination, style? If ongoing research undermines a book’s credibility, is it no longer “great”? Can it persist as literature? Feel free to challenge my picks or offer your own.

In the non-fiction binge I am currently on, I am always looking for good science recommendations. This list of the 25 Great Science(y) Books fits the bill.


I sent the six queries I had planned to send that day. Within 24 hours George had five responses—three manuscript requests and two warm rejections praising his exciting project. For contrast, under my own name, the same letter and pages sent 50 times had netted me a total of two manuscript requests. The responses gave me a little frisson of delight at being called “Mr.” and then I got mad. Three manuscript requests on a Saturday, not even during business hours! The judgments about my work that had seemed as solid as the walls of my house had turned out to be meaningless. My novel wasn’t the problem, it was me—Catherine.

This is the story everyone in the book world is talking about. And rightly so.


To celebrate the 125th anniversary of the birth of the world’s best-selling novelist, academics have created a formula that they claim will enable the reader to identify the killer before the likes of Hercule Poirot or Miss Jane Marple have managed the feat.

Legitimately head-scratchingly cool.


Japanese readers will spend the most on electronic editions in 2015 — an average of $86.50. U.K. readers will follow closely, with U.S. readers somewhere down the middle, spending an average of $46 this year. Chinese readers will spend an average of only $4.30 this year on electronic editions.

So interesting, but WHY is the UK so different than the US?

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