[ Thu. Jan. 31. 2013 ]

Two eerie story collections and two comic novels are part of this month’s crop, along with an anthology that has science writers aiming to explain, well, everything.

Edited by John Brockman
411 pages. Harper Perennial. $15.99.

Mr. Brockman, the editor and publisher of, asked the thinkers in his online science community to share their favorite “deep, elegant or beautiful” explanation. . . . a handy collection of 150 shortcuts to understanding how the world works. Elegance in this context means, as the evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins writes, the “power to explain much while assuming little.” . . . Among the things this book will teach you? How much you don’t know.