STEM Stars: Nonfiction Previews, Oct. 2022, Pt. 3 | Prepub Alert

Old worlds and brave new ones in science. 

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Flores, Dan. Wild New World: The Epic Story of Animals and People in America. Norton. Oct. 2022. 384p. ISBN 9781324006169. $30. PALEONTOLOGY

An award-winning author (Coyote America) and distinguished scholar of the U.S. West, Flores surveys human–wildlife interactions across North America, from the emergence of its flora and fauna and the Pleistocene mass extinctions to the impact of white settlement and the decline (and sometimes rescue) of species in recent centuries.

Grandin, Temple. Visual Thinking: The Hidden Gifts of People Who Think in Pictures, Patterns, and Abstractions. Riverhead. Oct. 2022. 320p. ISBN 9780593418369. $28. Downloadable. NEUROSCIENCE

A professor of animal science best known as an advocate for the autism community, Grandin first reconfigured our understanding of how the brain functions with her New York Times best-selling memoir, Thinking in Pictures, an illumination of visual thinking. Here she suggests new ways of educating, parenting, employing, and working with visual thinkers.

Mukherjee. Siddhartha. The Song of the Cell: The Transformation of Medicine and the New Human. Scribner. Oct. 2022. 576p. ISBN 9781982117351. $32.50. CD. MEDICINE/BIOLOGY

Mukherjee gives us the story of those minuscule, self-regulating packages called cells, from their groundbreaking discovery by English scientist/architect Robert Hooke and Dutch cloth merchant Antonie van Leeuwenhoek to revolutionary new ways cells are being manipulated today to improve human health. Following the Pulitzer Prize–winning The Emperor of All Maladies and the No. 1 New York Times best-selling The Gene.

Preston, Diana. The Evolution of Charles Darwin: The Epic Voyage of the Beagle That Forever Changed Our View of Life on Earth. Atlantic Monthly. Oct. 2022. 448p. ISBN 9780802160188. $30. HISTORY/EXPEDITIONS

An historian with a scientific bent—her Before the Fallout: From Marie Curie to Hiroshima won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Science and Technology—Preston reconstructs Charles Darwin’s journey on HMS Beagle through letters, diary entries, recollections of contemporaries, and accounts by both Darwin and ship captain Robert FitzRoy.

Tyson, Neil deGrasse. Starry Messenger: Cosmic Perspectives on Civilization. Holt. Sept. 2022. 288p. ISBN 9781250861504. $28.99. CD. SCIENCE

Director of the Hayden Planetarium at the American Museum of Natural History, Tyson takes an interesting turn here, applying science to offer an overarching perspective on holding civilization together despite the issues fracturing us. With a 500,000-copy first printing.

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Barbara Hoffert

Barbara Hoffert (, @BarbaraHoffert on Twitter) is Editor, LJ Prepub Alert; winner of ALA's Louis Shores Award for reviewing; and past president, awards chair, and treasurer of the National Book Critics Circle, which awarded her its inaugural Service Award in 2023.

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