Current Affairs Book Reviews

GIVE US THE BALLOT by Ari Berman
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Aug. 4, 2015

"Not just a compelling history, but a cry for help in the recurring struggle to gain what is supposed to be an inalienable right."
An incisive look at the many issues surrounding the right to vote. Read full book review >
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Aug. 4, 2015

"For a country that uses standardized testing more than any other in the world, this skills-based model represents a shift in thinking that could very well establish a shift in results."
Embedded with teachers on the front lines of education, Mother Jones education reporter Rizga delivers a firsthand report on a "failing" school system.Read full book review >

THE BORN FREES by Kimberly Burge
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Aug. 3, 2015

"An affecting portrait of post-apartheid South Africa, particularly useful for writing instructors serving at-risk constituencies."
Journalist Burge recounts a sojourn in a township outside Cape Town working with a writing group called Amazw'Entombi, or "Voices of the Girls."Read full book review >
A THOUSAND MILES TO FREEDOM by Eunsun Kim
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: July 21, 2015

"An urgent cry for compassion for the author's fellow North Koreans, trapped and strangled of liberty and life."
A sobering account of survival of the fittest in North Korea by a young woman on the run for nearly a decade. Read full book review >
CIRCLING THE SQUARE by Wendell Steavenson
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: July 21, 2015

"An intensive firsthand exploration of modern Egyptian liberation and solidarity."
Impassioned coverage from the front lines of a historic Middle Eastern uprising. Read full book review >

BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: July 14, 2015

"An urgent call for corporate compassion by a woman with a baby in peril."
A first-person account of a woman who became a cause célèbre following the grievous circumstances of her baby's birth. Read full book review >
ZEROZEROZERO by Roberto Saviano
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS
Released: July 14, 2015

"Saviano says he can no longer look at a beach or a map without seeing cocaine, and many will share that view after reading this dark, relentless, hyperreal report."
An inside account of the international cocaine trade. Read full book review >
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: July 14, 2015

"A comprehensive, intelligent look at the evolving world of spies."
Investigative journalist Grey (Ghost Plane: The True Story of the CIA Torture Program, 2006) has his finger on the pulse of all things espionage. While explaining the changes in the spying world since the end of the Cold War, he delves deeply into the strengths and weaknesses of the industry and discloses previously unknown events.Read full book review >
BETWEEN THE WORLD AND ME by Ta-Nehisi Coates
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: July 8, 2015

"This moving, potent testament might have been titled 'Black Lives Matter.' Or: 'An American Tragedy.'"
The powerful story of a father's past and a son's future. Read full book review >
FORENSICS by Val McDermid
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: July 7, 2015

"A satisfying insider's excursion into the scientific realities behind CSI-style pop culture."
From a bestselling mystery author, a curiosity-fueled look at the realities behind crime science. Read full book review >
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS
Released: July 7, 2015

"An eye-opening, maddening read that is not likely to make the Heritage Foundation's best-books list."
Of graft, fictional math, and the American way: an urgent look at the "political assault weapon" that is transforming the country—for the better if you're rich, for the worse if you're not. Read full book review >
BLOOD RANSOM by John Boyle
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: July 7, 2015

"An eye-opening look at what would seem a localized phenomenon but that has implications for developed-developing world encounters generally."
What movie is in heavy rotation on DVD players in Mogadishu? Why, Captain Phillips, of course. And perhaps Black Hawk Down, too. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Sabaa Tahir
August 4, 2015

Sabaa Tahir’s novel An Ember in the Ashes reveals a world inspired by ancient Rome and defined by brutality. Seventeen-year-old Laia has grown up with one rule for survival: Never challenge the Empire. But when Laia’s brother Darin is arrested for treason, she leaves behind everything she knows, risking her life to try and save him. She enlists help from the rebels whose extensive underground network may lead to Darin. Their help comes with a price, though. Laia must infiltrate the Empire’s greatest military academy as a spy. Elias is the Empire’s finest soldier—and its most unwilling one. Thrown together by chance and united by their hatred of the Empire, Laia and Elias will soon discover that their fates are intertwined—and that their choices may change the destiny of the entire Empire. We talk to An Ember in the Ashes author Sabaa Tahir this week on Kirkus TV. View video >