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The NASW bookstore sells books, music, video, software, and other merchandise via Amazon.com. Every purchase you make on Amazon can support NASW programs and services: Just go to https://www.nasw.org/amazon when you start your shopping. Books featured below were written by NASW members or reviewed in ScienceWriters magazine. Appearance here does not indicate endorsement.

Lasers, Death Rays, and the Long, Strange Quest for the Ultimate Weapon

Jeff Hecht

From Zeus’ thunderbolts to sci-fi fiction, films, and comics, death rays rouse public interest. The Pentagon has explored the potential of the laser, invented in the late 1950s, to shoot down ballistic missiles and achieve other military aims. That involved many alluring but ultimately false starts, Jeff Hecht reports in Lasers, Death Rays, and the Long, Strange Quest for the Ultimate Weapon.

The Handy Forensic Science Answer Book

Patricia Barnes-Svarney and Thomas E. Svarney

What comprises evidence at a crime scene? What do forensic entomologists do? Forensic scientists face a profusion of daunting tasks, some as rare as determining the effects of a poison dart filled with ricin or tea containing active radionucleotide polonium-210. In The Handy Forensic Science Answer Book, Patricia Barnes-Svarney and Thomas Svarney reveal the field’s mysteries.

Public Speaking Super Powers

Carma Spence

“It usually takes me more than three weeks to prepare a good impromptu speech,” Mark Twain asserted. In Public Speaking Super Powers, Carma Spence tells how to structure a speech for coherence and flexibility, develop the right stories for your message, and overcome fears of speaking in public. With practice, Spence maintains, everyone can become a better public speaker.

David A. Taylor

In 1940, as German U-boats blocked ships attempting Atlantic crossings, a 15-alarm blaze at Baltimore’s Crown Cork and Seal factory consumed nine acres of baled cork, a sealant crucial to the defense industry. Was the fire caused by Nazi sabotage? In Cork Wars: Intrigue and Industry in World War II, David Taylor describes this event and its impact on the lives of three men and their families

Melissa Gaskill

Perhaps 20-40 percent of worldwide tourists partake in wildlife-watching. When done right, that experience enriches travelers’ lives without interfering with those of animals. In Pandas to Penguins: Ethical Encounters with Animals at Risk, Melissa Gaskill profiles twenty-five species and one endangered ecosystem that draw tourists. She highlights local ecofriendly travel outfitters in each area.

Simson L. Garfinkel and Rachel H. Grunspan

A 1970 Monty Python sketch in which a group of Vikings chant “spam, spam…” to overwhelm conversation around them sparked use of “spam” for unsolicited email. JPEG stands for the “joint photographic experts group” that devised the now standard way to compress images. In The Computer Book, Simson Garfinkel and Rachel Grunspan provide backstories for 250 seminal events in the history of computing.

Betsy Mason & Greg Miller

In 1680, an English pirate captured a Spanish ship near Panama, neglecting a trove of unrefined silver but seizing an atlas of Pacific Ocean sailing charts and maps. On receiving it, King Charles II of England made him a captain in the Royal Navy. Betsy Mason and Greg Miller recount this and dozens of other fascinating tales in All Over the Map, illuminating worlds both real and imagined.

Deborah Blum

In the late 1800s, US consumers unwittingly bought diluted and artificially whitened milk, and canned peas and beans greened with copper sulfate. Adulterated butter, meat, and other foods sometimes proved fatal. In The Poison Squad: One Chemist’s Single-Minded Crusade for Food Safety at the Turn of the Twentieth Century, Deborah Blum chronicles the birth of federal consumer protection.

Rachel Nuwer

While Western audiences widely oppose the slaughter of wildlife and marketing of tusks, horns, and other body parts, polls show little shift in favor of conservation in Asia, Rachel Nuwer reports in Poached: Inside the Dark World of Wildlife Trafficking. Nuwer traveled to 12 countries to examine the illegal demand for wildlife and efforts underway made to halt impending species extinctions.