Nature & Travel Book Reviews (page 6)

DISPATCHES FROM PLUTO by Richard Grant
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Oct. 13, 2015

"An appealing stew of fecklessness and curiosity, social psychology and social dysfunction, hope and despair."
Calling himself "a misfit Englishman…with a taste for remote places," the author of God's Middle Finger: Into the Lawless Heart of the Sierra Madre (2008) buys a former plantation house, deep in the Mississippi Delta, and thus commences an education—his and ours.Read full book review >
BOUNDLESS by Kathleen Winter
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Oct. 13, 2015

"With the eye of a poet and the stamina of an Amundsen, Winter proves a delightful guide into unexplored realms. Worthy of shelving alongside Barry Lopez's Arctic Dreams (1986)."
Literate, luminous travels in the far north. Read full book review >

GOWANUS by Joseph Alexiou
HISTORY
Released: Oct. 9, 2015

"This thorough, overdue, rambling history reaches for special significance but fails to grasp it."
The history of a Brooklyn neighborhood and its fetid canal. Read full book review >
ATMOSPHERE OF HOPE by Tim Flannery
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Oct. 6, 2015

"A sharp summary of energy potentialities, where the good and the bad reside in human hands, hearts, and minds."
Flannery (An Explorer's Notebook: Essays on Life, History, and Climate, 2014, etc.) argues for renewed optimism in human capabilities to reverse the destabilizing effects of climate change.Read full book review >
THE AGE OF ASPIRATION by Dilip Hiro
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS
Released: Oct. 6, 2015

"As comprehensive and knowledgeable as Hiro's earlier Inside India Today (1977; reissued 2013)."
An insider's economic report on the perils and scandals of India's precipitous drive into a market economy over the last decades. Read full book review >

BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Oct. 6, 2015

"More maudlin than inspirational, though ardent dog lovers may be touched by certain scenes and find Kopp's story satisfying."
A memoir that attempts to weave together two themes of deep interest to the author: her eating disorder and her love for dogs, especially pit bulls. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Oct. 6, 2015

"Earnest and well-meaning but unlikely to sway climate deniers, Monsanto lobbyists, and others in need of convincing."
An environmental scolding by climate activist Stephenson. Read full book review >
SIDEWALKING by David L. Ulin
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Oct. 6, 2015

"Those who know the city will have the advantage, but Ulin casts his net widely, so most readers will enjoy his observations of Los Angeles in literary and popular art as well as his thoughtful personal views."
Writers love New York, Chicago, and San Francisco. They do not ignore Los Angeles, but love is often in short supply, writes book critic and former Los Angeles Times book editor Ulin (The Lost Art of Reading: Why Books Matter in a Distracted Time, 2010, etc.) in this mostly affectionate, rambling exploration of his adopted city. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Oct. 1, 2015

"An unabashedly sentimental and affecting portrait of a modern-day animal-loving hero."
One man's dedicated mission to rescue death-row dogs across the country. Read full book review >
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS
Released: Oct. 1, 2015

"Serious readers will delight in these pages."
An unusually rewarding meditation on how a wild mushroom can help us see the world's ruined condition after the advent of modern capitalism. Read full book review >
THE DEAD LADIES PROJECT by Jessa Crispin
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Oct. 1, 2015

"An eloquently thought-provoking memoir."
Bookslut founder and editor Crispin's account of how she set off in search of meaning by following in the footsteps of dead writers, artists, and composers. Read full book review >
THE BATTLE FOR PARADISE by Jeremy Evans
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Oct. 1, 2015

"An informative and well-documented story for readers interested in the intersection of business and ecology."
How a group of surfers and Central American villagers banded together to fight a multinational company and save an environmentally fragile stretch of Costa Rican shoreline. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Michael Eric Dyson
February 2, 2016

In Michael Eric Dyson’s rich and nuanced book new book, The Black Presidency: Barack Obama and the Politics of Race in America, Dyson writes with passion and understanding about Barack Obama’s “sad and disappointing” performance regarding race and black concerns in his two terms in office. While race has defined his tenure, Obama has been “reluctant to take charge” and speak out candidly about the nation’s racial woes, determined to remain “not a black leader but a leader who is black.” Dyson cogently examines Obama’s speeches and statements on race, from his first presidential campaign through recent events—e.g., the Ferguson riots and the eulogy for the Rev. Clementa Pinckney in Charleston—noting that the president is careful not to raise the ire of whites and often chastises blacks for their moral failings. At his best, he spoke with “special urgency for black Americans” during the Ferguson crisis and was “at his blackest,” breaking free of constraints, in his “Amazing Grace” Charleston eulogy. Dyson writes here as a realistic, sometimes-angry supporter of the president. View video >