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[ Fri. Nov. 30. 2007 ]

Angels! Kennedys! Kay Scarpetta! Steve Martin! Put these irresistible reads under a friend's tree, by your own bedside, or both. By Cathleen Medwick


JOHN BROCKMAN, that most philosophical of editors and founder of the science-oriented Edge Foundation (, asked some 150 serious thinkers what gave them reasons to smile. In his persuasively upbeat collection, What are You Optimistic About [3]? (Harper Perennial), evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins [4] predicts a new scientific enlightenment, wiping out superstition; psychologist Steven Pinker [5] sees a decline in violence worldwide; and physicist Frank Wilczek [6] fully expects that the world will continue to surprise us in fascinating and fundamental ways." Ask a savvy question....