Essays & Anthologies Book Reviews

Released: Oct. 6, 2015

"Cogent and thoughtful, if nostalgic, essays urging our attention not to iPads and smartphones but to art."
A literary critic questions the effect of digital technology on minds, literature, and creativity. Read full book review >
ME, MY HAIR, AND I by Elizabeth Benedict
Released: Sept. 29, 2015

"Surprisingly engaging reading."
A distinguished novelist gathers together essays that attempt to untangle the complicated relationship of females to their hair. Read full book review >

THE 50s by The New Yorker
Released: Sept. 29, 2015

"Superb: a gift that keeps on giving and a fine introduction to the life and letters of a supposedly (but not really) gray decade."
Following on the previous anthology, The 40s (2014), the editors of the New Yorker continue to mine the magazine's impossibly rich history.Read full book review >
THE NIXON TAPES by Douglas Brinkley
Released: Sept. 22, 2015

"Essential for students of late-20th-century American history and the Nixon presidency."
Brinkley and Nichter (The Nixon Tapes: 1971-1972, 2014, etc.) conclude their project of publishing highlights from Richard Nixon's infamous tapes with this volume from the last year of recording.Read full book review >
WHY NOT ME? by Mindy Kaling
Released: Sept. 15, 2015

"Intrepid and often irreverent, Kaling humbly probes her own triumphs and defeats with laugh-out-loud results."
Light yet insightful personal essays from one of Hollywood's cleverest writers. Read full book review >

MYSTERIES OF THE MALL by Witold Rybczynski
Released: Sept. 8, 2015

"A superb book for those interested in architectural history, written in an easygoing style by a man with encyclopedic knowledge and an obvious great love for building."
In this illuminating collection of essays, Rybczynski (Emeritus, Architecture/Univ. of Pennsylvania; How Architecture Works, 2013, etc.) documents the wide-ranging effects of the men who built America in the 20th century.Read full book review >
THE STATE OF PLAY by Daniel Goldberg
Released: Sept. 8, 2015

"A consistently engaging and insightful reckoning with the serious implications of the ascendant entertainment medium of the 21st century."
What video games mean and why they matter. Read full book review >
Released: Sept. 7, 2015

"The artistic intensity of life suffuses this epic memoir spanning the 'interior monologues' of a gifted American artist."
Six glorious decades in the life of an iconic artist, poet, and self-described philosophical anarchist. Read full book review >
Taxifornia 2016: 14 Essays on the Future of California by James V. Lacy
Released: Aug. 20, 2015

"A spirited, thoughtful anthology."
A collection of essays that skewers California state government for confiscatory taxation and ideological partisanship. Read full book review >
BROWSINGS by Michael Dirda
Released: Aug. 15, 2015

"Dirda's comradely essays are unfailingly informative and amusing, punctuated with poignant asides on the aging artist and paeans to great literary scholars. His almost single-minded passion, the exhilaration of a life in literature, glows on every page."
Author and literary journalist Dirda (On Conan Doyle: Or, The Whole Art of Storytelling, 2011, etc.) presents a collection of light, conversational essays drawn from a year of writing on books and book collecting for the American Scholar.Read full book review >
A WOMAN IN ARABIA by Gertrude Bell
Released: Aug. 11, 2015

"An impressive anthology by a scholar who knows how to separate the wheat from the chaff within the massive amount of primary source material Bell left behind at her death."
Gertrude Bell (1868-1926) shattered gender stereotypes while influencing British policy in the Middle East, particularly in the areas in and around present-day Iraq. Editor Howell (Gertrude Bell: Queen of the Desert, Shaper of Nations, 2007) brings the "female Lawrence of Arabia" to life through judicious selections from Bell's massive public writings and personal papers.Read full book review >
Snapshots from my Uneventful Life by David I. Aboulafia
Released: Aug. 7, 2015

"The funny bits in this Everyman's true-life stories will remind readers to look on the bright side of life."
Debut author Aboulafia highlights absurd and memorable events from his life in humorous autobiographical essays. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
John Sandford
author of SATURN RUN
October 6, 2015

Saturn Run, John Sandford’s new novel, is quite a departure for the bestselling thriller writer, who sets aside his Lucas Davenport crime franchise (Gathering Prey, 2015, etc.) and partners with photographer and sci-fi buff Ctein to leave Earth’s gravitational field for the rings of Saturn. The year is 2066. A Caltech intern inadvertently notices an anomaly from a space telescope—something is approaching Saturn, and decelerating. Space objects don’t decelerate; spaceships do. A flurry of top-level government meetings produces the inescapable conclusion: whatever built that ship is at least 100 years ahead in hard and soft technology, and whoever can get their hands on it exclusively and bring it back will have an advantage so large, no other nation can compete. A conclusion the Chinese definitely agree with when they find out. The race is on. “James Bond meets Tom Swift, with the last word reserved not for extraterrestrial encounters but for international piracy, state secrets, and a spot of satisfyingly underhanded political pressure,” our reviewer writes. View video >