Nature & Travel Book Reviews (page 199)

IMPERIUM by Ryszard Kapuscinski
Released: Sept. 21, 1994

"Sensitive and searching. (First serial to the New Yorker)"
A Polish journalist (The Soccer War, 1991, etc.) who has written extensively on the Third World turns a discriminating eye on the Soviet Union and post-Soviet Russia, showing once again that Russia is ``a country utterly without precedent.'' The book is based partly on his boyhood experiences of the Soviet invasion of Poland in 1939, partly on his travels (particularly in the period of decline and disintegration, 198991), and partly on his reflections. Read full book review >
Released: Sept. 16, 1994

"Unusually rewarding for readers who want to see beyond the familiar and the comfortable."
Blending paleontology and environmentalism, MacLeish (The Gulf Stream, 1988) explores the nature of America as it was before Europeans arrived. Read full book review >

Released: Sept. 12, 1994

"Short, but oh, so sweet. (Color illustrations, not seen) (First printing of 850,000; Literary Guild selection; $500,000 ad/promo)"
A delightful litter of cat stories from the master storyteller of North Yorkshire. Read full book review >
THE HOT ZONE by Richard Preston
Released: Sept. 1, 1994

"Portions of this biomedical thriller appeared in the New Yorker in somewhat different form; it will be made into a movie starring Robert Redford and directed by Ridley Scott (Alien). (Author tour)"
A bone-chilling account of a close encounter with a lethal virus, by New Yorker writer Preston (American Steel, 1991). Read full book review >
Released: Aug. 31, 1994

"Kaufman comes across as a blend of science fetishist, free- market wonk, and immense sour grape—his good points sadly lost in the blather."
In classic jilted-lover style, former environmental activist Kaufman (The Beaches Are Moving, 1979) levels some sharp and deserving criticisms at the environmental movement, but loses credibility when he just can't find one good word for his former partner. Read full book review >

TEMPORARY HOMELANDS by Alison Hawthorne Deming
Released: Aug. 8, 1994

"Nature writing that refreshingly manages to educate, entertain, and move without once resorting to the bully pulpit."
Elegant essays that seek to understand rather than define our relationships with nature and the places we call home, by an award- winning poet and director of the Poetry Center at the University of Arizona. Read full book review >
Released: Aug. 1, 1994

"Wheelwright might just be onto something here, but one hates to think what the energy companies might do with his approach. (Author tour)"
Prince William Sound may have been knocked down on its ecological knees by the Exxon Valdez, but it is far from out, claims a former science editor of Life magazine. Read full book review >
Released: Aug. 1, 1994

"A thoroughly engaging and deeply insightful study of the cat world. (Line drawings) (First serial to Atlantic Monthly Magazine; author tour)"
Following on the paws of the bestselling The Hidden Life of Dogs (1993), anthropologist/novelist Thomas now focuses her keen sense of observation on felines. Read full book review >
Released: Aug. 1, 1994

"Zesty popular science, with a nice blend of historical lore and personal observation."
A terrific popular history of hurricanes by cosmochemist and novelist Fisher (Marine Geology and Geophysics/Univ. of Miami; The Wrong Man, 1993). Read full book review >
Released: July 13, 1994

"But the narrative is often chaotic, leading the reader astray from the main focus with endless mind-numbing details."
New cures for cancer and AIDS are waiting to be discovered in the world's rain forests, and we had better find them quickly before they disappear, says Joyce. Read full book review >
Released: July 1, 1994

"Understandably incomplete as a tale of recent history, but a worthy aid to understanding Yugoslavia's demise."
An incisive and affecting Yugoslavian travelogue from May to mid-September 1991, just as the country split up and its former republics went to war. Read full book review >
Released: June 27, 1994

"A little more delineation of landscape, or a closer look at previous Antarctic expeditions, would have been a welcome relief from this nonstop tale of woe."
The story of an unsupported, near-lunatic, two-man trek across the Antarctic wastes becomes an occasion for Stroud (doctor and explorer) to pound his chest as he details the truly revolting putrefaction of his body and mind. 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 >