Current Affairs Book Reviews

THE NEW THREAT by Jason Burke
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Nov. 3, 2015

"General readers looking for a comprehensive guide to this serious global challenge will find this a rewarding, if sobering, read."
A concise summary of the background and present state of Islamic militancy. Read full book review >
THE PLANET REMADE by Oliver Morton
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Nov. 3, 2015

"An important account of cutting-edge research that will fascinate serious readers and demand the attention of policymakers."
Economist briefings editor Morton (Eating the Sun: How Plants Power the Planet, 2008, etc.) offers a calm, rational discussion of deliberate technological interventions to cool the planet's climate system.Read full book review >

THE COSMOPOLITES by Atossa Araxia Abrahamian
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS
Released: Nov. 10, 2015

"A slim but powerful book of great interest to students of international law and current events."
Swiss-Canadian-Iranian journalist Abrahamian looks closely at modern internationality and the legal liminality that can accompany it. Read full book review >
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS
Released: Nov. 24, 2015

"Rock-solid evidence on the rise of identity theft and the multiple steps one can take to counteract an attack."
Useful advice on protecting your identity. Read full book review >
THE ROAD TAKEN by Henry Petroski
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Feb. 16, 2016

"Anyone with an interest in the way things work will want this book—and will doubtless emerge as a fan of the ever curious author."
Noted engineer and writer Petroski (Civil Engineering/Duke Univ.; To Forgive Design: Understanding Failure, 2012, etc.) gives readers a characteristically eye-opening look at America's infrastructure.Read full book review >

THE CON MEN by Terry Williams
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS
Released: Nov. 10, 2015

"A thoroughly researched academic study accessible to general readers."
Two sociology professors' survey of New York con artists and how these reviled but crafty opportunists manage to make a living in the city's informal economy. Read full book review >
The Abolition of Cash by David R. Warwick
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS
Released: July 8, 2015

"A spirited argument to move beyond a cherished American institution, the physical dollar, into a digital payment future."
An intriguing, balanced study of a future cashless society. Read full book review >
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Aug. 15, 2015

"A witty, compassionate read from a thoughtful author."
A mature, thoughtful perspective on American warfare in the 21st century and a detailed explanation of the advantages and drawbacks of Transcendental Meditation. Read full book review >
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Oct. 6, 2015

"An accomplished chronicle of the setbacks and successes by a journalist in the trenches."
A committed gay rights journalist thoroughly tracks the president's hard-won "evolution" in embracing the national LBGT agenda. Read full book review >
Intimate Rivals by Sheila A. Smith
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: April 17, 2015

"A thorough account of a political dynamic that reverberates globally."
In her debut, Smith offers a searching, scholarly discussion of Sino-Japanese relations. Read full book review >
THE LAWS OF MEDICINE by Siddhartha Mukherjee
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Oct. 13, 2015

"A splendid exploration of how medicine might be transformed."
Oncologist and Pulitzer Prize winner Mukherjee (Medicine/Columbia Univ.; The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer, 2010) skillfully dives into the hidden side of medicine in this elaboration of the author's 18-minute TED talk.Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Oct. 26, 2015

"A courageous tale of physical and mental endurance sure to bring to further light conditions in North Korea."
One woman's life in, and desperate escape from, North Korea. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Vanessa Diffenbaugh
September 1, 2015

Vanessa Diffenbaugh is the New York Timesbestselling author of The Language of Flowers; her new novel, We Never Asked for Wings, is about young love, hard choices, and hope against all odds. For 14 years, Letty Espinosa has worked three jobs around San Francisco to make ends meet while her mother raised her children—Alex, now 15, and Luna, six—in their tiny apartment on a forgotten spit of wetlands near the bay. But now Letty’s parents are returning to Mexico, and Letty must step up and become a mother for the first time in her life. “Diffenbaugh’s latest confirms her gift for creating shrewd, sympathetic charmers,” our reviewer writes. View video >