Nature & Travel Book Reviews (page 206)

Released: Aug. 19, 1993

"Allison plans a summer 1993 assault on the world's most treacherous peak, K2; this memoir, despite its unnecessary soapiness, will find its own place in that small pile of really first-rate mountaineering books. (Twenty-five b&w photographs—not seen)"
Nail-biting mountaineering wins out over soap-operatics in this absorbing tale of a woman conquering internal and external mountains. Read full book review >
Released: Aug. 13, 1993

"The authors believe that rural, working-class, reluctant activists are reviving grass-roots democracy after decades of pervasive disengagement from civic responsibility—the one positive note in a sobering, effective alert. (Thirty photographs)"
In surveying communities across the country that have served as toxic-waste dumping grounds, journalist Setterberg and photojournalist Shavelson tell an increasingly familiar story: Residents are plagued by mysterious health problems. Read full book review >

THE HIDDEN LIFE OF DOGS by Elizabeth Marshall Thomas
Released: Aug. 3, 1993

"A four-woof salute to Thomas and a vigorous tail-wag to boot. (Drawings—not seen)"
An astonishing work of ethology that asks—and answers clearly—a question about dogs that's so simple that, apparently, no one has ever tackled it before: ``What do dogs want?'' Thomas—a trained scientist and novelist who brings her storytelling skills (The Animal Wife, 1990, etc.) fully to bear in this beautifully written study—explains that, years ago, she realized that ``despite a vast array of publications on dogs, virtually nobody...had ever bothered to ask what dogs do when left to themselves.'' And so she set out to ask just that, first by unobtrusively bicycling along with a two-year-old husky, Misha, as the dog went about its daily roamings in the Cambridge, Massachusetts, area. Read full book review >
Released: Aug. 1, 1993

"No one could convey the potential tragedy of this statement more convincingly than this author, who has done something to remedy it."
In a captivating plea for more effective management of the rain forest's botanical, medicinal, and cultural resources, the chief ethnobotanist at Conservation International vividly recalls his apprenticeships to the tribal shamanic healers of the northeast Amazon. ``There exists no shortage of `wonder drugs' waiting to be found in the rain forests,'' says Plotkin, yet ``we know little or nothing about the chemical composition of 98.6% of the Brazilian flora''—and this despite the fact that, even now, the value of medicines derived from tropical plants is more than $6 billion a year. Read full book review >
BLOODTIES by Ted Kerasote
Released: Aug. 1, 1993

"A winning hand of up-to-date cards in the deadly serious hunting game."
A potent exploration of the gray line between ``sport'' and subsistence hunting. Read full book review >

Released: July 28, 1993

"A suspenseful confrontation between a roaring inferno and an elephantine bureaucracy, in which everyone gets burned."
With one eye cocked for high drama, the other for any hint of bureaucratic bungling, Morrison (a reporter for Insight magazine) tells in fascinating detail the story of Yellowstone's 1988 firestorm. Read full book review >
Released: July 19, 1993

"Science presented with enthusiasm—entertaining and enlightening. (Eight pages of color photographs—not seen)"
A lively introduction to research on avian intelligence that builds to a passionate cry for a revolution in human thought. Read full book review >
Released: July 19, 1993

"Ultimately less than the sum of its parts—but, still, a well-written and evocative account of a remarkable community of strong individuals faced with powerful external forces. (Twelve- page photo insert—not seen)"
Jiler (Wild Berry Moon, 1982) brings a novelist's approach to this ``true account'' of the impact of Hurricane Gloria on Fire Island in 1985—blending history, meteorology, and vivid character portraits to convey a sense not just of a natural disaster but of a unique setting (socially as well as geographically) in which the larger events took place. Read full book review >
Released: July 16, 1993

"A wealth of current ecological thinking that will prove a gold mine to those behind in their reading, with enough new material to keep the well-versed interested."
DiSilvestro (Living with the Reptiles, 1990, etc.) draws on a number of cutting-edge ecotheories to fashion this strong critique of our nation's pitiful handling of its wild areas. Read full book review >
ALONE by Gerard d'Aboville
Released: July 11, 1993

"Not up to its namesake (Richard Byrd's classic tale of Antarctic survival) but, still, a memorable tale of salt-drenched fortitude. (Sixteen pages of color photos—not seen)"
D'Aboville, who rowed across the Atlantic in 1980, proves that the age of adventure is still upon us—as he now rows across the Pacific in a 26-foot craft, ``alone, alone, alone.'' Skip the first third of the text, which is filler: d'Aboville deciding on his mission, rounding up sponsors, working the press. Read full book review >
Released: July 1, 1993

"Could achieve a cult following. (Twenty-seven lithographs by Davis Teselle) (First serial to New Age Journal)"
Twenty-seven lyrical, beautifully illustrated essays about communing with trees. Read full book review >
Released: July 1, 1993

"The ICF story is wooden—but the cranes dance. (Color & b&w photographs—not seen)"
An uneven history of the International Crane Foundation (ICF) and its efforts to save the world's cranes, by biologist/writer Katz (Bird Watcher's Digest, etc.—not reviewed). Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Mona Eltahawy
April 28, 2015

In her debut book, Headscarves and Hymens: Why the Middle East Needs a Sexual Revolution, Egyptian-American journalist and commentator Mona Eltahawy mounts an angry indictment of the treatment of women throughout the Arab world. Born in Egypt, she spent her childhood in London, moving with her family to Saudi Arabia when she was 15. Her shock was immediate and visceral: “It felt as though we’d moved to another planet whose inhabitants fervently wished women did not exist,” she recalls. Women could not travel, work or even go to a doctor’s appointment without male approval. We talk to Eltahawy this week on Kirkus TV about her arresting new book. View video >