Current Affairs Book Reviews

Released: Nov. 22, 2017

"On the dry side but with provocative suggestions for how to revive democratic practices through citizen action and institutional reform alike."
Gridlock, inaction, inequality: is it any wonder that democracy seems an endangered species in the U.S. and elsewhere? Read full book review >
RAMP HOLLOW by Steven Stoll
Released: Nov. 21, 2017

"Which is better, cornfields or clean coal? Stoll's sharp book complicates our understanding of a much-misunderstood, much-maligned region that deserves better than it has received."
A searching economic and political history of a dispossessed, impoverished Appalachia that progress has long eluded. Read full book review >

Released: Nov. 21, 2017

"Mossfon remains a maze worthy of a Cretan palace, but Bernstein does first-rate work in providing a map to a scandal that has yet to unfold completely."
A searching look at the tangled, deeply buried financial network exposed by the publication of the so-called Panama Papers. Read full book review >
COLLUSION by Luke Harding
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Nov. 16, 2017

"Collusion? The Trump administration, by Harding's account, is soaking in it. Stay tuned."
Guardian foreign correspondent Harding (The Snowden Files: The Inside Story of the World's Most Wanted Man, 2014, etc.) offers a sneak peek at details of the "Steele dossier" that have yet to unfold—and the evidence is damning indeed. Read full book review >
THE NEWCOMERS by Helen Thorpe
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Nov. 14, 2017

"Humane and informative stories about refugees and their plights in America."
Personal stories of child refugees as they integrate into American society. Read full book review >

Released: Nov. 14, 2017

"The great enemy of social media, it would seem, is any notion of objective truth. This eye-opening book reveals a theater of conflict that aims to destroy reality, waged by all sides."
We shall fight them on the beaches, we shall fight them on the landing grounds, we shall fight them with our thumbs…. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Nov. 14, 2017

"A fierce and persuasive call to action that demands women, especially millennials, rethink the relationship between maternity and career ambitions."
An impassioned guide for working women, especially working mothers, to dismantling the patriarchal systems that hold them back at work and at home, as told by a woman who shattered the mold. Read full book review >
Released: Nov. 14, 2017

"A potent, convincing manifesto on how female sexual equality marches onward despite cultural roadblocks."
A feminist perspective on sexual power and its uses and abuses in America. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Nov. 14, 2017

"Repetitive in detail but cumulatively very moving."
An oral history of one horrific night when busloads of unarmed students were attacked by local Mexican police. Read full book review >
Released: Nov. 14, 2017

"A frightening, scientifically grounded, and starkly relevant look at how climate change will affect coastal cities."
How the impending rise in sea levels caused by increasing amounts of carbon dioxide in the air will make life on the edge of the ocean very different over the next century. Read full book review >
THE ABU DHABI BAR MITZVAH by Adam Valen  Levinson
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Nov. 14, 2017

"While Karachi or Aleppo may not be next year's hot vacation destinations, Levinson proves there's ample reason to go."
While the blank spaces on the maps have long since been filled in, the psychological barriers walling off regions of the world where Westerners dare not tread are as tall as ever. Here, a "multimedia backpack journalist" explores some of them. Read full book review >
Released: Nov. 14, 2017

"Fellow members of the author's choir will find some useful nuggets, but readers seeking to learn more about microbial soil health and its implications for farm practices and climate change should look elsewhere. Regarding microbes and our bodies, a good start is Alanna Collen's 10% Human (2015)."
A journalist, activist, and filmmaker examines how soil-conscious farming practices may affect climate change and aims to move consumer sentiment to support them. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Katey Sagal
author of GRACE NOTES
April 10, 2017

In her memoir Grace Notes, actress and singer/songwriter Katey Sagal takes you through the highs and lows of her life, from the tragic deaths of her parents to her long years in the Los Angeles rock scene, from being diagnosed with cancer at the age of twenty-eight to getting her big break on the fledgling FOX network as the wise-cracking Peggy Bundy on the beloved sitcom Married…with Children. Sparse and poetic, Grace Notes is an emotionally riveting tale of struggle and success, both professional and personal: Sagal’s path to sobriety; the stillbirth of her first daughter, Ruby; motherhood; the experience of having her third daughter at age 52 with the help of a surrogate; and her lifelong passion for music. “While this book is sure to please the author’s many fans, its thoughtful, no-regrets honesty will no doubt also appeal to readers of Hollywood memoirs seeking substance that goes beyond gossip and name-dropping,” our critic writes. “A candid, reflective memoir.” View video >