Current Affairs Book Reviews

2017 SOCIAL SECURITY GUIDE by Bob Jennings
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Jan. 21, 2017

"An accessible and helpful primer for those thinking about Social Security."
Jennings (Paid For, 2017, etc.) walks retirees through the federal social insurance program in this manual.Read full book review >
THE IDIOCY OF PERFECTION by Jesus Silva-Herzog Marquez
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: April 5, 2017

"A judicious, agile look at the limits of reason and modern liberalism."
A series of biographical vignettes captures a shared skepticism about the rewards of modernity. Read full book review >

DEMOCRACY by Condoleezza Rice
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: May 9, 2017

"Some readers may not be convinced, but this book deserves a broad audience, especially in our current political climate."
George W. Bush's secretary of state returns to her academic roots with this accessibly written study of that imperfect but ideal form of government. Read full book review >
THE AMERICAN SPIRIT by David McCullough
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: April 18, 2017

"Clio, the muse of history, smiles and nods her head on every page."
A collection of speeches by the Pulitzer Prize- and National Book Award-winning historian and biographer. Read full book review >

THE END OF LOYALTY by Rick Wartzman
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS
Released: May 30, 2017

"A lively history with relevance to every worker."
A sharp-edged examination of why large American employers shifted from loyalty to their workers to loyalty focused primarily on stockholders. Read full book review >
ANATOMY OF TERROR by Ali H. Soufan
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: May 2, 2017

"In a dizzying scenario of violence, Soufan provides clarity and balance."
Tracing the hydra-headed reach of al-Qaida and how its leadership morphed into the Islamic Caliphate of Iraq and elsewhere. Read full book review >
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: May 2, 2017

"Fans of Kiefer Sutherland, to say nothing of the X-Files and Terry Southern, will already know some of what Graff reveals here. For the rest, it's a frightening eye-opener."
When the missiles start raining down, don't look for your senator. As this spry but sobering book reveals, government officials will already be tucked away underground, ready to legislate in the ashes. Read full book review >
JANESVILLE by Amy  Goldstein
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS
Released: April 18, 2017

"A simultaneously enlightening and disturbing look at working-class lives in America's heartland."
A Midwestern town struggles to survive in the aftermath of an economic disaster. Read full book review >
DESTINED FOR WAR by Graham Allison
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: May 30, 2017

"A timely, reasoned treatise by a keen observer and historian."
A pertinent study of the relationship between the United States and China, in which "a rapidly ascending China [is] challeng[ing] America's accustomed predominance." Read full book review >
KINGDOM OF OLIVES AND ASH by Michael Chabon
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: May 30, 2017

"Deeply unsettling, important stories call for urgent responses to the Middle East conflict."
On the 50th anniversary of Israeli occupation of Palestine, top writers bear witness to oppression and despair. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: May 9, 2017

"A dramatic, honest, moving narrative of how hard life can get and how one can still overcome seemingly insurmountable adversity to do good in the world."
How one woman finally broke away from a cycle of imprisonment and went on to help hundreds of other women re-enter normal life. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Laini Taylor
March 27, 2017

In bestselling YA writer Laini Taylor’s new fantasy novel, Strange the Dreamer, the dream chooses the dreamer, not the other way around—and Lazlo Strange, war orphan and junior librarian, has always feared that his dream chose poorly. Since he was five years old he's been obsessed with the mythic lost city of Weep, but it would take someone bolder than he to cross half the world in search of it. Then a stunning opportunity presents itself, in the person of a hero called the Godslayer and a band of legendary warriors, and he has to seize his chance to lose his dream forever. What happened in Weep two hundred years ago to cut it off from the rest of the world? What exactly did the Godslayer slay that went by the name of god? And what is the mysterious problem he now seeks help in solving? “Lovers of intricate worldbuilding and feverish romance will find this enthralling,” our critic writes. View video >