Essays & Anthologies Book Reviews

LENS OF WAR by J. Matthew Gallman
ESSAYS & ANTHOLOGIES
Released: April 15, 2015

"A brilliant starting point for truly understanding the Civil War. As the authors point out, there is still much to explore."
A pictorial guide to the changes in our historical views of the Civil War, curated by Gallman (History/Univ. of Florida; Northerners at War, 2010, etc.) and Gallagher (History/Univ. of Virginia; The Union War, 2012, etc.).Read full book review >
FIRST LADIES by Susan Swain
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 14, 2015

"Though presented in a stilted fashion, all the portraits are rendered with sympathy and detail."
Selections from the popular yearlong C-SPAN series exploring the lives of the first ladies, each offering conversational, somewhat truncated viewpoints by various historians. Read full book review >

TWO by Ann Patchett
edited by Ann Patchett, photographed by Melissa Ann Pinney
ESSAYS & ANTHOLOGIES
Released: April 14, 2015

"A quietly ambitious multimedia production that doesn't quite live up to its potential."
Salt-of-the-earth collection of photos paired with loosely related essays by contemporary literary luminaries. Read full book review >
THE CARTOON INTRODUCTION TO PHILOSOPHY by Michael F. Patton
ESSAYS & ANTHOLOGIES
Released: April 14, 2015

"A fun, clear and clever introduction to the rich history of philosophy in the Western world."
An obscure, pre-Socratic Greek philosopher takes readers down the long river of philosophy, explaining movements, theories, breakthroughs and ethics with the help of a few special guest stars. Read full book review >
VERY GOOD LIVES by J.K. Rowling
ESSAYS & ANTHOLOGIES
Released: April 14, 2015

"That second matter is a point that could stand elaboration. On the strength of this sharp, inspirational piece, we hope that Rowling will add a book of essays to her CV."
Harry Potter's creator faces a crowd of uber-Muggles—the graduating class of Harvard University—whom she enjoins to stretch their minds and be awesome. Read full book review >

EVERY FATHER'S DAUGHTER by Margaret McMullan
ESSAYS & ANTHOLOGIES
Released: April 9, 2015

"Consistently elucidating portraits."
A collection of essays on the father-daughter dynamic. Read full book review >
AFTER THE TALL TIMBER by Renata Adler
ESSAYS & ANTHOLOGIES
Released: April 7, 2015

"Although this volume amply reveals the author's attention to language and commitment to politically engaged journalism, many pieces seem dated, and a few are tediously long."
A collection of articles by an outspoken writer. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 7, 2015

"A snappy, potty-mouthed guidebook for stressed-out mommies."
A tongue-in-cheek guide to surviving modern motherhood. Read full book review >
LISTEN TO YOUR MOTHER by Ann Imig
ESSAYS & ANTHOLOGIES
Released: April 7, 2015

"The essays are short, which enables the book to cover a lot of ground, but they also pack a strong emotional punch—and they're almost certain to leave any mother feeling less alone."
A collection of personal essays about the importance of connecting mothers to each other for support. Read full book review >
THE LIFE OF IMAGES by Charles Simic
ESSAYS & ANTHOLOGIES
Released: April 7, 2015

"Lucid, lyrical, educative and engaging virtually all areas of the brain."
A Pulitzer Prize-winning poet, essayist and translator presents a motley, intriguing collection of nonfiction pieces from the past 30 years. Read full book review >
SELFISH, SHALLOW, AND SELF-ABSORBED by Meghan Daum
ESSAYS & ANTHOLOGIES
Released: April 1, 2015

"A courageous defense of childlessness and a necessary corrective to the Cult of Mommy, but Daum's collection could have benefitted from a more diverse pool of contributors and a fuller consideration of contrary opinions."
Daum (The Unspeakable: And Other Subjects of Discussion, 2014, etc.) compiles essays from a group of noted writers—including Kate Christensen, Geoff Dyer and Lionel Shriver—holding forth on the topic of deliberate childlessness.Read full book review >
ESSAYS & ANTHOLOGIES
Released: April 1, 2015

"Not all the speeches break new ground, but they are uplifting in their overarching focus: There is important work to be done in this world, regardless of the large and small events of our lives."
A collection of recent graduation speeches meant to inspire, edited by New Press education editor Grove and recent Harvard grad Ostrer. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Luis Alberto Urrea
April 21, 2015

Examining the borders between one nation and another, between one person and another, Luis Alberto Urrea’s latest story collection, The Water Museum, reveals his mastery of the short form. This collection includes the Edgar-award winning "Amapola" and his now-classic "Bid Farewell to Her Many Horses," which had the honor of being chosen for NPR's "Selected Shorts" not once but twice. Urrea has also recently published a poetry collection, Tijuana Book of the Dead, mixing lyricism and colloquial voices, mysticism and the daily grind. We talk to Urrea about both of his new books this week on Kirkus TV. View video >