For all environmental activists/educators—and those new to the ongoing debate about global climate change.




The sky is falling, and no one seems to be noticing.

At least, no one around these parts. According to British journalist Lynas, “a 2001 survey found that only 15% of US citizens correctly identified fossil fuel-burning as the primary cause of global warming—far behind Mexico, with 26% getting the right answer, and just behind Cuba, with 17%.” Despite the gainsaying of First World governments and rightist think tanks, global warming is, Lynas argues, an indisputable reality: there is no other good way to explain phenomena such as the disappearance of Oceanic atolls, overwhelmed by rising seas, and the ongoing inundation of the British Isles, swept by flood-inducing rainstorms at levels not seen since the time when weather records were first kept. Is there a smoking gun? Perhaps no readily visible one, Lynas admits, but the circumstantial evidence points strongly to Western industrial lifestyles. Traveling the globe, calling on places such as Aberdeen, Tuvalu, Beijing, and Tallahassee, Lynas gathers opinions, evidence, and sightings, talks with atmospheric scientists and ordinary citizens, and assembles some disturbing arguments: at the end of the present century, he prophesies, the world sea level will have risen by a meter, flooding fertile river deltas and putting millions, and possibly billions, of people at risk. “Although the most valuable real estate in places like Manhattan or Miami is likely to be protected by sea walls for the foreseeable future,” he wryly notes, “it will be impossible to enclose all the world’s affected areas with concrete.” And what is to be done? There are no surprises in Lynas’s recommendations: approve and enforce the Kyoto Protocol, stop drilling for oil, reduce the industrial production of greenhouse gases, drive less—and make sure everyone knows that the sky is falling.

For all environmental activists/educators—and those new to the ongoing debate about global climate change.

Pub Date: June 1, 2004

ISBN: 0-312-30365-3

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Picador

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2004

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Dramatic, immersive, and wanting—much like desire itself.


Based on eight years of reporting and thousands of hours of interaction, a journalist chronicles the inner worlds of three women’s erotic desires.

In her dramatic debut about “what longing in America looks like,” Taddeo, who has contributed to Esquire, Elle, and other publications, follows the sex lives of three American women. On the surface, each woman’s story could be a soap opera. There’s Maggie, a teenager engaged in a secret relationship with her high school teacher; Lina, a housewife consumed by a torrid affair with an old flame; and Sloane, a wealthy restaurateur encouraged by her husband to sleep with other people while he watches. Instead of sensationalizing, the author illuminates Maggie’s, Lina’s, and Sloane’s erotic experiences in the context of their human complexities and personal histories, revealing deeper wounds and emotional yearnings. Lina’s infidelity was driven by a decade of her husband’s romantic and sexual refusal despite marriage counseling and Lina's pleading. Sloane’s Fifty Shades of Grey–like lifestyle seems far less exotic when readers learn that she has felt pressured to perform for her husband's pleasure. Taddeo’s coverage is at its most nuanced when she chronicles Maggie’s decision to go to the authorities a few years after her traumatic tryst. Recounting the subsequent trial against Maggie’s abuser, the author honors the triumph of Maggie’s courageous vulnerability as well as the devastating ramifications of her community’s disbelief. Unfortunately, this book on “female desire” conspicuously omits any meaningful discussion of social identities beyond gender and class; only in the epilogue does Taddeo mention race and its impacts on women's experiences with sex and longing. Such oversight brings a palpable white gaze to the narrative. Compounded by the author’s occasionally lackluster prose, the book’s flaws compete with its meaningful contribution to #MeToo–era reporting.

Dramatic, immersive, and wanting—much like desire itself.

Pub Date: July 9, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-4516-4229-2

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Avid Reader Press

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2019

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However charily one should apply the word, a beautiful book, an unconditionally involving memoir for our time or any time.


Maya Angelou is a natural writer with an inordinate sense of life and she has written an exceptional autobiographical narrative which retrieves her first sixteen years from "the general darkness just beyond the great blinkers of childhood."

Her story is told in scenes, ineluctably moving scenes, from the time when she and her brother were sent by her fancy living parents to Stamps, Arkansas, and a grandmother who had the local Store. Displaced they were and "If growing up is painful for the Southern Black girl, being aware of her displacement is the rust on the razor that threatens the throat." But alternating with all the pain and terror (her rape at the age of eight when in St. Louis With her mother) and humiliation (a brief spell in the kitchen of a white woman who refused to remember her name) and fear (of a lynching—and the time they buried afflicted Uncle Willie under a blanket of vegetables) as well as all the unanswered and unanswerable questions, there are affirmative memories and moments: her charming brother Bailey; her own "unshakable God"; a revival meeting in a tent; her 8th grade graduation; and at the end, when she's sixteen, the birth of a baby. Times When as she says "It seemed that the peace of a day's ending was an assurance that the covenant God made with children, Negroes and the crippled was still in effect."

However charily one should apply the word, a beautiful book, an unconditionally involving memoir for our time or any time.

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 1969

ISBN: 0375507892

Page Count: 235

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: May 14, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 1969

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