Nature & Travel Book Reviews

DANCING WITH THE DEVIL IN THE CITY OF GOD by Juliana Barbassa
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: July 28, 2015

"Energetic, intrepid reporting by an insider."
Frank, fluid dispatches from her hometown by an Associated Press correspondent relocated to Rio de Janeiro just as the city was supposed to be poised for greatness—or was it? Read full book review >
BARBARIAN DAYS by William Finnegan
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: July 21, 2015

"A lyrical and intense memoir."
An award-winning staff writer for the New Yorker offers a probing account of his lifetime passion for surfing.Read full book review >

SPIRALS IN TIME by Helen Scales
NATURE & TRAVEL
Released: July 21, 2015

"An enchanting, accessible tour of the seashell and its place and purpose within the natural world."
British marine biologist Scales (Poseidon's Steed: The Story of Seahorses, from Myth to Reality, 2009) reinvigorates conchology and the lost art of seashell appreciation.Read full book review >
HISTORY
Released: July 21, 2015

"A volume that is like a Eurail Pass that will carry you through gorgeous terrain you will want to explore in more depth."
With a subtitle that serves as a swift, sweet summary, an adjunct professor (Entomology and Ecology, Evolutionary Biology/Univ. of Arizona) compresses the cultural and natural history of flowers into a few hundred graceful pages. Read full book review >
GREEN HILLS OF AFRICA by Ernest Hemingway
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: July 21, 2015

"Papa's best and worst on full display, sometimes in the same paragraph."
A Hemingway son and grandson present a reprinting of their ancestor's 1935 work (Hemingway Library Edition) along with some illuminating supplementary material. Read full book review >

BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: July 15, 2015

"Not for the fainthearted, but a good wake-up call for those concerned with decent treatment of animals and healthy food on the table."
A searing exposé of the brutal treatment animals receive on their ways to our dinner plates. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: July 14, 2015

"A feel-good, bittersweet memoir with few surprises."
Veterinarian Vogelsang pays tribute to the dogs that have played important roles in her life and professional practice. Read full book review >
DRIVING HUNGRY by Layne Mosler
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: July 14, 2015

"Mosler's lively and accessible writing style joyfully captures the satisfaction gained by trusting your instincts and seeking out new places, food, and people."
Building on the success of her blog, Taxi Gourmet, Mosler recounts the story of her transcontinental search for a vocation, which propelled the author into dancing in tango clubs in Buenos Aires, becoming a cab driver in New York City, and falling in love with the city of Berlin. Read full book review >
A BEAUTIFUL QUESTION by Frank Wilczek
NATURE & TRAVEL
Released: July 14, 2015

"A commendable investigation of the nature of reality."
Nobel Prize winner Wilczek (Physics/MIT; The Lightness of Being: Mass, Ether and the Unification of Forces, 2008, etc.) posits that a powerful Creator made the world because of "an impulse to make something beautiful."Read full book review >
BEYOND WORDS by Carl Safina
NATURE & TRAVEL
Released: July 14, 2015

"A profound, scientifically based appeal for recognition of the kinship of all living things."
Award-winning ecologist Safina (Nature and Humanity/Stony Brook Univ.; The View from Lazy Point: A Natural Year in an Unnatural World, 2011 etc.) disputes the dogma among scientists that forbids speculations about the "the inner lives of animals." Read full book review >
BORN TO BE WILD by Randy D. McBee
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTS
Released: July 1, 2015

"A dynamite subject whose explosions are somewhat muted by the generally dispassionate tenor of the text."
A thorough, academic cultural history of the motorcycle and its riders since the second world war. Read full book review >
THE GOOD SHUFU by Tracy Slater
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: June 30, 2015

"A heartfelt and moving tale, coupling insights into two remarkably different cultures with a love story that, as much as any true love story can, delivers a happy ending."
A writer goes to the far side of the world for work and finds a home. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Sabaa Tahir
August 4, 2015

Sabaa Tahir’s novel An Ember in the Ashes reveals a world inspired by ancient Rome and defined by brutality. Seventeen-year-old Laia has grown up with one rule for survival: Never challenge the Empire. But when Laia’s brother Darin is arrested for treason, she leaves behind everything she knows, risking her life to try and save him. She enlists help from the rebels whose extensive underground network may lead to Darin. Their help comes with a price, though. Laia must infiltrate the Empire’s greatest military academy as a spy. Elias is the Empire’s finest soldier—and its most unwilling one. Thrown together by chance and united by their hatred of the Empire, Laia and Elias will soon discover that their fates are intertwined—and that their choices may change the destiny of the entire Empire. We talk to An Ember in the Ashes author Sabaa Tahir this week on Kirkus TV. View video >