Nature & Travel Book Reviews

KALEIDOSCOPE CITY by Piers Moore Ede
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 21, 2015

"A thoughtful and incisive memoir/travelogue."
A British travel writer's account of an extended stay in the northern Indian city of Varanasi, a 5,000-year-old "experiment in human cohabitation" on the banks of the Ganges River. Read full book review >
CHILDREN OF THE STONE by Sandy Tolan
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: April 21, 2015

"A resolute, heart-rending story of real change and possibility in the Palestinian-Israeli impasse."
Musicians who play together break down the barriers separating them. Read full book review >

RAIN by Cynthia Barnett
HISTORY
Released: April 21, 2015

"Highlights the severity of some of our environmental problems with knowledge, humor, urgency and hope."
An environmental journalist returns with a multifaceted examination of the science, the art, the technology and even the smell of rain throughout history. Read full book review >
ALL THE WILD THAT REMAINS by David Gessner
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 20, 2015

"Stegner and Abbey 'are two who have lighted my way,' nature writer Wendell Berry admitted. They have lighted the way for Gessner, as well, as he conveys in this graceful, insightful homage to their work and to the region they loved."
The lives and legacies of two influential environmentalists. Read full book review >
BETTING THE FARM ON A DROUGHT by Seamus McGraw
FOOD & COOKING
Released: April 15, 2015

"McGraw discovers that the respectful middle of the road is the most likely place to find a bridge to a sustainable energy future."
Environmental journalist McGraw (The End of Country: Dispatches from the Frack Zone, 2011) engages a handful of citizens—scientists and outdoorsmen, conservative and liberal—to gain a sense of our understanding of climate change.Read full book review >

HISTORY
Released: April 15, 2015

"A brilliant history of the Dark Ages showing the growth and development of science, business, fashion, law, politics and other significant institutions—a joy to read and reread."
Novelist, journalist and historian Pye (The Pieces from Berlin, 2004, etc.) challenges all our notions of the Dark Ages and shows the vast accomplishments completed long before the Renaissance.Read full book review >
BORDER ODYSSEY by Charles D. Thompson, Jr.
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: April 15, 2015

"A potent cri de coeur for a more compassionate, sane and humane border policy."
An exploration of 2,000 miles of fraught, rugged and deeply contested territory. Read full book review >
THE END OF THE RAINY SEASON by Marian E. Lindberg
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 14, 2015

"Earnest and convoluted, Lindberg's story awards patient, adventurous readers."
The shadowy disappearance of the author's grandfather into the jungles of Brazil spurs a literary and emotional investigation. Read full book review >
FINDING SAMUEL LOWE by Paula Williams Madison
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 14, 2015

"A well-structured memoir told in brief, punchy vignettes alternating between past and present."
A spirited pursuit of her mother's roots takes one African-American woman from Jamaica to Harlem to China. Read full book review >
HISTORY
Released: April 14, 2015

"As ambitious as our perennial desire to discover the road less traveled, as expressionistic as Pollock's action paintings, and as poetically driven as the Beat generation, this book is equal parts mystery, journalism, poetry and bildungsroman, ultimately in search of its own American voice."
Imagine taking a road trip through Iowa with a chatty Jack Kerouac in the passenger seat and Dwight D. Eisenhower sitting impatiently beside a disinterested Jackson Pollock in the back seat. Read full book review >
THE INTIMATE BOND by Brian Fagan
HISTORY
Released: April 14, 2015

"Though reminding us of the cruelties still visited upon animals and insisting that we respect them anew—not merely as pets or idealized creatures of the wild—Fagan offers no resolutions to our conflicting attitudes toward them, but his compelling, cohesive book calls for further enlightenment."
Fagan (Emeritus, Anthropology/Univ. of Calif., Santa Barbara; The Attacking Ocean: The Past, Present, and Future of Rising Sea Levels, 2013, etc.) brings consummate skill to this frequently horrifying study of humanity's interaction with animals.Read full book review >
THE BIG SWIM by Carrie Saxifrage
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 14, 2015

"A soulful and sobering memoir of climate change and personal responsibilities."
An American-born Canadian journalist contemplates mindful living in a world threatened by climate change. 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 >