Nature & Travel Book Reviews

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 >
THE NOODLE MAKER OF KALIMPONG by Gyalo Thondup
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 14, 2015

"A thorough but not always convincing story of foreign intrigue."
From Thondup, the current Dalai Lama's elder brother, a personal perspective on the history of Tibet since the Chinese occupation. Read full book review >
COAL WARS by Richard Martin
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: April 14, 2015

"Martin is unequivocal and persuasive: The best use of coal is in holiday stockings."
Coal will never stop blighting our planet, writes energy analyst Martin (SuperFuel: Thorium, the Green Energy Source for the Future, 2012), and its good riddance can't come too soon.Read full book review >
FIVE NIGHTS IN PARIS by John Baxter
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 14, 2015

"This is not a walking guide to Paris, but it is most certainly a guide to seeing and knowing Paris, one no Francophile should be without."
Having lived in Paris for more than 20 years, Baxter (The Most Beautiful Walk in the World: A Pedestrian in Paris, 2011, etc.), a guide to literary walks through the city, won't show you exactly which streets to follow; rather, he'll teach you how to know Paris and truly feel the enjoyment of flânerie.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 >