An accessible combination of policy analysis and reminiscences from a half-century–long forestry career.

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Forestry Flavours of the Month

THE CHANGING FACE OF WORLD FORESTRY

A retired forester recounts his experiences working with trees and the logging industry around the world.

In this blend of memoir and science, British author Fraser (Ghosts on the Somme, 2016, etc.) combines his personal experiences with broader economic, environmental, and policy questions to tell a story of forest management from the 1960s to the present. The author has worked with trees in Suriname, Nigeria, Thailand, and Indonesia, among other places, and offers travel stories in addition to details of the work assignments that brought him to the far-flung locales. His variety of professional experiences gives him the knowledge to critique forestry policies around the world as well as those of other related sectors, from poverty elimination to climate change strategy. The book presents a coherent, levelheaded take on sustainable forest management and on the role that forestry experts may play in policy discussions. To that end, Fraser offers examples from his own work and concrete recommendations for the future; for example, he notes that small logging enterprises and large multinationals may both succeed, but “intermediate scale” operations lose out in a globalized market. Although the narrative occasionally gets waylaid by overly complex sentences (“This first part of this story is more about Suriname than the sustainable management of tropical forests, but the reason for being in Suriname was to work out how to improve the management of their forests and that will come later”), it succeeds in engagingly presenting a unique perspective on global issues. Although the author is clearly well-versed in the details of forestry, he avoids jargon and provides clear explanations of key concepts, making the book accessible to nonspecialists. Fraser also does an excellent job of painting a vivid picture of the early decades of his career, when he tracked the paths of logging trucks without the aid of GPS and evaluated Soviet furniture manufacturing during the days of glasnost in the late 1980s.

An accessible combination of policy analysis and reminiscences from a half-century–long forestry career.

Pub Date: May 20, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-5246-2890-1

Page Count: 228

Publisher: AuthorHouseUK

Review Posted Online: Sept. 21, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2016

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Doyle offers another lucid, inspiring chronicle of female empowerment and the rewards of self-awareness and renewal.

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UNTAMED

More life reflections from the bestselling author on themes of societal captivity and the catharsis of personal freedom.

In her third book, Doyle (Love Warrior, 2016, etc.) begins with a life-changing event. “Four years ago,” she writes, “married to the father of my three children, I fell in love with a woman.” That woman, Abby Wambach, would become her wife. Emblematically arranged into three sections—“Caged,” “Keys,” “Freedom”—the narrative offers, among other elements, vignettes about the soulful author’s girlhood, when she was bulimic and felt like a zoo animal, a “caged girl made for wide-open skies.” She followed the path that seemed right and appropriate based on her Catholic upbringing and adolescent conditioning. After a downward spiral into “drinking, drugging, and purging,” Doyle found sobriety and the authentic self she’d been suppressing. Still, there was trouble: Straining an already troubled marriage was her husband’s infidelity, which eventually led to life-altering choices and the discovery of a love she’d never experienced before. Throughout the book, Doyle remains open and candid, whether she’s admitting to rigging a high school homecoming court election or denouncing the doting perfectionism of “cream cheese parenting,” which is about “giving your children the best of everything.” The author’s fears and concerns are often mirrored by real-world issues: gender roles and bias, white privilege, racism, and religion-fueled homophobia and hypocrisy. Some stories merely skim the surface of larger issues, but Doyle revisits them in later sections and digs deeper, using friends and familial references to personify their impact on her life, both past and present. Shorter pieces, some only a page in length, manage to effectively translate an emotional gut punch, as when Doyle’s therapist called her blooming extramarital lesbian love a “dangerous distraction.” Ultimately, the narrative is an in-depth look at a courageous woman eager to share the wealth of her experiences by embracing vulnerability and reclaiming her inner strength and resiliency.

Doyle offers another lucid, inspiring chronicle of female empowerment and the rewards of self-awareness and renewal.

Pub Date: March 10, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-9848-0125-8

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Dial

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2020

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An eye-opening glimpse into the attempted self-unmaking of one of Hollywood’s most recognizable talents.

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The debut memoir from the pop and fashion star.

Early on, Simpson describes the book she didn’t write: “a motivational manual telling you how to live your best life.” Though having committed to the lucrative deal years before, she “walked away,” fearing any sort of self-help advice she might give would be hypocritical. Outwardly, Simpson was at the peak of her success, with her fashion line generating “one billion dollars in annual sales.” However, anxiety was getting the better of her, and she admits she’d become a “feelings addict,” just needing “enough noise to distract me from the pain I’d been avoiding since childhood. The demons of traumatic abuse that refused to let me sleep at night—Tylenol PM at age twelve, red wine and Ambien as a grown, scared woman. Those same demons who perched on my shoulder, and when they saw a man as dark as them, leaned in to my ear to whisper, ‘Just give him your light. See if it saves him…’ ” On Halloween 2017, Simpson hit rock bottom, and, with the intervention of her devoted friends and husband, began to address her addictions and underlying fears. In this readable but overlong narrative, the author traces her childhood as a Baptist preacher’s daughter moving 18 times before she “hit fifth grade,” and follows her remarkable rise to fame as a singer. She reveals the psychological trauma resulting from years of sexual abuse by a family friend, experiences that drew her repeatedly into bad relationships with men, most publicly with ex-husband Nick Lachey. Admitting that she was attracted to the validating power of an audience, Simpson analyzes how her failings and triumphs have enabled her to take control of her life, even as she was hounded by the press and various music and movie executives about her weight. Simpson’s memoir contains plenty of personal and professional moments for fans to savor.

An eye-opening glimpse into the attempted self-unmaking of one of Hollywood’s most recognizable talents.

Pub Date: Feb. 4, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-06-289996-5

Page Count: 416

Publisher: Dey Street/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Feb. 16, 2020

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