The Best American Infographics 2015
edited by Gareth Cook
Mariner, 2015 (($20))

At their best, information graphics can bridge the practical and the poetic, writes journalist Maria Popova in the introduction to this collection. The displays curated by Scientific American Mind contributing editor Cook do just that, catapulting readers into a world of data designed to enthrall. (Scientific American editor in chief Mariette DiChristina and senior graphics editor Jen Christiansen were advisers for the book.) One graphic maps the voyaging path of Jean Harlow's beauty mark, rarely spotted in the same place twice. Another, more sobering page pairs rows of empty baby clothes with the ages of infants who died in Virginia day care centers. The diverse charts range in topic from trilobites and bioluminescent critters to blueprints of start-up costs and Ebola's entry into the immune system.