Current Affairs Book Reviews (page 3)

CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: March 7, 2017

"Though replete with engaging vignettes, Erzen's work is too narrowly focused and unrevealing."
Erzen (Religion and Gender Studies/Univ. of Puget Sound; Fanpire: The Twilight Saga and the Women Who Love It, 2012, etc.) examines the rise of ministries in some of America's largest prison systems, critiquing their motives and effectiveness. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: March 7, 2017

"A gripping chronicle by a daring pilot with an indomitable spirit."
A memoir from an Air National Guard pilot who was shot down on a search-and-rescue mission during her third tour of duty in Afghanistan. Read full book review >

HOW THE HELL DID THIS HAPPEN? by P.J. O’Rourke
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: March 7, 2017

"It's not Hunter S. Thompson, and O'Rourke has been funnier, lots funnier—but then again, it may just be that our current political situation is no laughing matter."
Tossed-off bons mots on "this obnoxious political spectacle, the election of 2016." Read full book review >
WE DO OUR PART by Charles Peters
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: March 7, 2017

"A cogent and meaningful call for citizens to share the benefits and burdens of a unified society—hopefully an argument that isn't already past its sell-by date."
A legendary journalist offers a plea for national civility and unity rooted in the ethos of the New Deal. Read full book review >
THE GIRL AT THE BAGGAGE CLAIM by Gish Jen
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: March 1, 2017

"While Jen's findings are undoubtedly intriguing, she is not fully convincing in her portrayal of the modest, hardworking flexi-self and the big pit self 'with high self-esteem and a lack of stick-to-it-ness.'"
A Chinese-American novelist and essayist investigates how culture shapes identity. Read full book review >

A COUNTRY BETWEEN by Stephanie Saldaña
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: March 1, 2017

"A serene memoir in which the author takes valuable time to regard the character of the Palestinian people and their way of life."
Reflections of a young American wife and mother trying to make a home in war-torn Jerusalem. Read full book review >
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: March 1, 2017

"A sharp analysis of an increasingly pressing problem, but Nichols falls short of proposing a satisfying solution."
Some fresh twists on a familiar theme: the dumbing down of America amid the defiant distrust of expertise. Read full book review >
THE COMPLACENT CLASS by Tyler Cowen
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS
Released: Feb. 28, 2017

"A book that will undoubtedly stir discussion—as many of Cowen's books do—with readers divided about how they stand based on where they currently sit."
An influential economist seeks to persuade readers that American citizens have gotten overly complacent, that a crisis point is near, and that a widespread rebellion may alter the existing order. Read full book review >
FAST-FOOD KIDS by Amy L. Best
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 28, 2017

"The book may be useful for sociology teachers and students, but general readers and policymakers will find this tough to digest."
A cultural analysis of what kids eat and why. Read full book review >
THE HOME THAT WAS OUR COUNTRY by Alia Malek
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 28, 2017

"Provocative, richly detailed reading."
A Syrian-American journalist/civil rights lawyer interweaves narratives about her family with the history of modern Syria. Read full book review >
LOWER ED by Tressie McMillan Cottom
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS
Released: Feb. 28, 2017

"Cottom does a good job of making the name 'Lower Ed' stick, and she makes a solid case for reviewing the entire system of higher education for openness of opportunity."
An informal sociological study of diploma mills and their often ripped-off discontents. Read full book review >
ILLUSION OF JUSTICE by Jerome F.  Buting
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Feb. 28, 2017

"A fantastic look behind the scenes of the U.S. justice system."
A defense attorney from the trial made famous in Making a Murderer tells his story. 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 >