Nature & Travel Book Reviews (page 2)

POSTCARDS FROM STANLAND by David H. Mould
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 1, 2016

"As a genial travel guide, Mould, an academic who doesn't write like an academic, shows how one should resist the temptations to stereotype a culture too easily and understand it too quickly."
An illuminating travelogue through Central Asia. Read full book review >
JAZZ DIASPORAS by Rashida K. Braggs
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTS
Released: Jan. 26, 2016

"A fascinating look into an important chapter in cultural history. Braggs should return to the subject in more depth."
A study of a key epoch in the transition of jazz from a distinctively American music to an international art form. Read full book review >

THE ROAD TO LITTLE DRIBBLING by Bill Bryson
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Jan. 19, 2016

"Anglophiles will find Bryson's field notes equally entertaining and educational."
Bryson (One Summer: America, 1927, 2013, etc.) takes us on another fascinating cross-country jaunt.Read full book review >
BLOOD AND EARTH by Kevin Bales
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Jan. 19, 2016

"A cleareyed account of man's inhumanity to man and Earth. Read it to get informed, and then take action."
In a heart-wrenching narrative, Bales (Ending Slavery: How We Free Today's Slaves, 2007, etc.) explores modern slavery and the devastating effects on its victims as well as the environmental degradation caused by this morally reprehensible institution.Read full book review >
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Jan. 12, 2016

"Though Zoepf demonstrates a few instances of how 'small reform turns out to be even more transformational than its most devoted proponents could have predicted,' the evolving 'personal agency' she witnessed is almost too subtle (yet) to be perceived."
New America Foundation fellow Zoepf attempts to make "the case for small gestures" by extremely circumscribed Arab women. Read full book review >

ALL MONSTERS MUST DIE by Magnus Bärtås
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Jan. 12, 2016

"A clear and troubling picture of a country forced to embrace madness."
Two Swedish artists (one visual, the other musical) record their impressions of a one-week sojourn in North Korea in 2008. Read full book review >
ONE BREATH by Adam Skolnick
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Jan. 12, 2016

"A worthy addition to the growing body of literature on adventures that test the limits of nature and mankind."
A fatality spurs an inquiry into an extreme sport, illuminating the risks—as well as the rewards—of free diving. Read full book review >
HISTORY
Released: Jan. 11, 2016

"An unusual and vastly entertaining journey into the world of mysterious plant life as experienced by a gifted nature writer."
A prolific and talented British nature writer explores 40 plant species and how they have influenced the human imagination over the centuries. Read full book review >
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS
Released: Jan. 5, 2016

"A somewhat superficial yet entertaining romp."
Where to find innovators. Read full book review >
NO BAGGAGE by Clara Bensen
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Jan. 5, 2016

"An engaging memoir of travel, love, and finding oneself."
A 20-something's debut memoir about a whirlwind romance with an eccentric professor who took her on a three-week luggageless trip in Europe. Read full book review >
BLOOD OIL by Leif Wenar
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS
Released: Jan. 2, 2016

"A fascinating reframing of large and vexing questions. Highly recommended for policymakers and energy strategists as well as students of contemporary philosophy."
A provocative examination of natural resources, their extraction, and their control. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Dec. 29, 2015

"Well-intentioned but flawed."
An environmental activist's travelogue about the 104-day coast-to-coast bike ride that he transformed into a radical experiment in low-impact living. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Michael Eric Dyson
February 2, 2016

In Michael Eric Dyson’s rich and nuanced book new book, The Black Presidency: Barack Obama and the Politics of Race in America, Dyson writes with passion and understanding about Barack Obama’s “sad and disappointing” performance regarding race and black concerns in his two terms in office. While race has defined his tenure, Obama has been “reluctant to take charge” and speak out candidly about the nation’s racial woes, determined to remain “not a black leader but a leader who is black.” Dyson cogently examines Obama’s speeches and statements on race, from his first presidential campaign through recent events—e.g., the Ferguson riots and the eulogy for the Rev. Clementa Pinckney in Charleston—noting that the president is careful not to raise the ire of whites and often chastises blacks for their moral failings. At his best, he spoke with “special urgency for black Americans” during the Ferguson crisis and was “at his blackest,” breaking free of constraints, in his “Amazing Grace” Charleston eulogy. Dyson writes here as a realistic, sometimes-angry supporter of the president. View video >