Essays & Anthologies Book Reviews

Snapshots from my Uneventful Life by David I. Aboulafia
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
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 >
A WOMAN IN ARABIA by Gertrude Bell
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
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 >

BROWSINGS by Michael Dirda
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
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 >
WRITING ACROSS THE LANDSCAPE by Lawrence Ferlinghetti
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
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 >
MYSTERIES OF THE MALL by Witold Rybczynski
ESSAYS & ANTHOLOGIES
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
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTS
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 >
THE NIXON TAPES by Douglas Brinkley
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
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 >
ME, MY HAIR, AND I by Elizabeth Benedict
ESSAYS & ANTHOLOGIES
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
ESSAYS & ANTHOLOGIES
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 >
CHANGING THE SUBJECT by Sven Birkerts
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTS
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 >
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Oct. 13, 2015

"Wildly creative ideas from intelligent females who want more for women, regardless of race, religion, or sexual preference."
A few dozen female writers envision a more balanced world. Read full book review >
HUMANS OF NEW YORK by Brandon Stanton
ESSAYS & ANTHOLOGIES
Released: Oct. 13, 2015

"A wondrous mix of races, ages, genders, and social classes, and on virtually every page is a surprise."
Photographer and author Stanton returns with a companion volume to Humans of New York (2013), this one with similarly affecting photographs of New Yorkers but also with some tales from his subjects' mouths.Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Sara Paretsky
author of BRUSH BACK
July 28, 2015

No one would accuse V. I. Warshawski of backing down from a fight, but there are a few she’d be happy to avoid. High on that list is tangling with Chicago political bosses. Yet that’s precisely what she ends up doing when she responds to Frank Guzzo’s plea for help in Brush Back, the latest thriller from bestselling author Sara Paretsky. For six stormy weeks back in high school, V.I. thought she was in love with Frank. He broke up with her, she went off to college, he started driving trucks for Bagby Haulage. She forgot about him until the day his mother was convicted of bludgeoning his kid sister, Annie, to death. Stella Guzzo was an angry, uncooperative prisoner and did a full 25 years for her daughter’s murder. Newly released from prison, Stella is looking for exoneration, so Frank asks V.I. for help. “Paretsky, who plots more conscientiously than anyone else in the field, digs deep, then deeper, into past and present until all is revealed,” our reviewer writes. View video >