Nature & Travel Book Reviews

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 >

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 >
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 >
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 >

CUCKOO by Nick Davies
NATURE & TRAVEL
Released: March 26, 2015

"'My hope is that this reads like a nature detective story,' writes Davies. He has achieved his goal and more in this fascinating study of 'an evolutionary arms race.'"
Davies (Behavioral Ecology/Univ. of Cambridge; Cambridge Cuckoos, Cowbirds and Other Cheats, 2000, etc.) chronicles his 30-year attempt to solve what he calls "an enduring puzzle: how does the cuckoo get away with such outrageous behavior?"Read full book review >
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: March 24, 2015

"An earnest, eye-opening, important account for Western readers."
A brave, excoriating exposé of the systematic ruination of resource-rich countries of Africa, leaving "penury and strife" for its millions of inhabitants. Read full book review >
FOOD & COOKING
Released: March 24, 2015

"A fine addition to the single-issue science genre."
"From tropical rain forests to alpine meadows and arctic tundra, seed plants dominate landscapes and define ecosystems." In fact, they make up more than 90 percent of land flora. Read full book review >
RUST by Jonathan Waldman
HISTORY
Released: March 10, 2015

"Waldman is a bright and curious companion in this lively adventure in search of the scourge of rust and its ingenious opponents."
How the world turns to rust. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: March 10, 2015

"An emotion- and action-packed story of the author's tenacious, dogged pursuit of his goals."
The story of one man's ability to rise above his physical disability to achieve his dreams. Read full book review >
THE LAST UNICORN by William deBuys
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: March 10, 2015

"A riveting and disturbing account of the clash between the beauty of the wilderness and civilization's unrelenting demands on the natural world."
Dedicated conservationist deBuys (A Great Aridness: Climate Change and the Future of the American Southwest, 2011 etc.) undertakes an arduous trek through the wilds of central Laos in a quest to help save one of the most elusive animals on the planet, the large grazing mammal known as a saola.Read full book review >
AMERICAN VANDAL by Roy Morris Jr.
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: March 10, 2015

"A brisk narrative and sensitive insights make this book a delight."
The story of the beloved American novelist's nearly 12 years abroad. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Fatima Bhutto
April 14, 2015

Set during the American invasion of Afghanistan, Fatima Bhutto’s debut novel The Shadow of the Crescent Moon begins and ends one rain-swept Friday morning in Mir Ali, a small town in Pakistan’s Tribal Areas close to the Afghan border. Three brothers meet for breakfast. Soon after, the eldest, Aman Erum, recently returned from America, hails a taxi to the local mosque. Sikandar, a doctor, drives to the hospital where he works, but must first stop to collect his troubled wife, who has not joined the family that morning. No one knows where Mina goes these days. But when, later in the morning, the two are taken hostage by members of the Taliban, Mina will prove to be stronger than anyone could have imagined. Our reviewer writes that The Shadow of the Crescent Moon is “a timely, earnest portrait of a family torn apart by the machinations of other people’s war games and desperately trying to survive.” View video >