Steam Vade Mecum. A Compendium of Simple Rules and Formulae, based on Original Investigation for the Solution of all Problems in the Application of Steam, with Examples. By Julien Deby, Civil and Mechanical Engineer. Late Professor at the Bcole Gentrale, Brussels, and at the Georgia Scientific Institute. New York : Julien Deby, 37 Park Row. We have been favored by the author "with the advance sheets of this publication, which is now in press, and shortly to be issued. "We have not yet found time to review ths numerous formulae, based upon the law of steam, which the author claims to have discovered, and an enunciation of which was published on page 246, current volume, of the SCIENTIF to AMERICAN. The formulae, of course, stand or fall with this law. If it prove in future to be a fallacy, its truth has not yet been disputed, so far as we have learned. The formulas seem concise, and are in each case interpreted and expressed in plain language, so as to meet the wants of the practical man as well as the mathematician. A supplement is also added containing useful tables and a short essay on boiler explosio ns. THE MISSISSIPPI VALLEY: its Physical Geography, including Sketches of the Typography, Botany, Climate, Geology, and Mineral Resources; and of the Progress of Development in Population and Material Wealth. By J. W. Foster, LL.D. Illustrated by Maps and Sections. Octavo, cloth. Price, $3'50. Chicago : S. C. Grigg & Co. London : Trubner & Co. Sold ?n New York city by D. Van Nostrand. This work is the production of an earnest worker in the field of science, and is deserving of a cordial welcome as a valuable addition to our treatises on natural history. Every topic in a range of subjects singularly wide is discussed with such a mastery of its essentialfeaturesthat tiie reader is always presented with a clear, sharp, and well-defined mental conception of the author's arguments. Possessing, as it does now, so important a bearing, and destined to exercise a still greater influence on the industries, commercial and material, not only of the United States, but of the civilized world, the region of the Mississippi is eminently deserving of careful study. The student, the agriculturist, and the engineer will find in Mr. Foster's book facts and phenomena, as observed by a disciplined mind, of great practical utility; while the physicist and the political economist will discover therein food for much profitable thought, and a key to the solution of not a few problems in their respective spheres of investigation. In order that the work might be adapted to all clases of readers, the learned author dispensed with technicalities so far as was consistent with perspicuity. The typography and binding do credit to the publishers. HAND-BOOK OF CHEMISTRY FOR SCHOOL AND HOME USE. By W. J. Rolfe and J. A. Gillet. Boston: Woolworth, Ainsworth & Co. New York : A. S. Barnes & Co. The attempt to reduce the science of chemistry to so elementary a form as to make the science generally available to youth is worthy of praise. This book seems to be as successful an effort to accomplish that desirable object as we have met with. We have always been doubtful, however, whether such facts as may be given in the form adopted by books of this character could not be better taught by familiar lectures, illustrated by such simple experiments as may be necessary, without the employment of text-books at all. Certainly there is no science to which the principles of j object teaching can be more successfully applied than this, or one which is more difficult to acquire b y the use of books alone. HAND-BOOK OF NATURAL PHILOSOPHY FOR SCHOOL AND HOME USE. By W. J. Rolfe and J. A. Gillet, Teachers in the High School, Cambridge, Mass. Published by Woolworth, Ainsworth & Co., 117 Washington street, Boston, and 111 State street, Chicago. A small elementary treatise like the one before us, fully brought up to the latest discoveries in physics, is very much needed in the public schoo Is of the United States. So far as we have found time to examine it, this book seems well calculated supply this need. THE ELEMENTS OF THEORETICAL AND DESCRIPTIVE ASTRONOMY FOR THE USE OF COLLEGES AND ACADEMIES. By Charles J. White, A.M., Assistant Professor of Astronomy and Navigation in the United States Naval Academy. Philadelphia: Claxton, Remsen & Haffelfinger, 819 and 821 Market street. We have carefully examined this work, and regard it as one of the very best elementary text-books we have seen. It is an octavo of moderate thickness, bound and printed in an excellent manner. GUIDE TO THE STUDY OF INSECTS. By A. S. Packard. Price, 50 cents. Published by the Essex Institute, Salem, Mass. We have receivedpart of this truly valuable work. It is full of interest* ing and useful information pertaining to the propagation and habits of all kinds of insects. The number before us contains nearly one hundred illustrations.