Nature & Travel Book Reviews (page 34)

Released: Oct. 1, 2002

"'I'm a shad fisherman,' says McPhee. True, but also a talented portraitist of the fish, a Gilbert Stuart of the species, and a William Hogarth, too, sticking an elbow into the ribs of his obsession."
A blue-chip tour of the American shad from McPhee (Annals of the Former World, 1998, etc.), maestro of the extended essay, if not the fly rod. Read full book review >
Released: Aug. 14, 2002

"Consider inviting Tatiana to your next dinner party—most assuredly there'll never be a dull moment."
In the guise of an advice-to-the-lovelorn column, evolutionary biologist Judson masterfully conveys astonishing facts and figures about the sex lives of many, many creatures great and small. Read full book review >

LAND’S END by Michael Cunningham
Released: Aug. 1, 2002

"And 'if I die tomorrow, Provincetown is where I want my ashes scattered.' That's a sense of place called home."
A leisurely walking tour and shrewd exposition of that "eccentrics' sanctuary"—Provincetown, Massachusetts—from Pulitzer-winning novelist Cunningham (The Hours, 1998, etc.). Read full book review >
Released: July 22, 2002

"Smart, evocative, and memorable: nature-writing done right."
Lyrical nature essays set mostly in the American Southwest, with excursions to the tropics to escape the desert sun. Read full book review >
THE LAST AMERICAN MAN by Elizabeth Gilbert
Released: May 20, 2002

"Backing her on-the-ground account with asides on communal movements, idealistic failures, and our deeply flawed culture, Gilbert delivers a first-rate work of reportage."
An absorbing, sometimes strange profile of the last of the back-to-the-landers, if not the last "real" man. Read full book review >

DIAMOND by Matthew Hart
Released: Nov. 8, 2001

"Hart doubtless keeps a few secrets for himself, but he unlocks many more in a text studded with oddments, lore, and technical data, all lightly related. Diamond fanciers and geology buffs alike will find this a trove of information."
An absorbing voyage into the demimonde of the diamantaire. Read full book review >
Released: Oct. 8, 2001

"Like Pan, Ackerman is an unpredictable sensualist in the garden, and one with lots of facts. A more gladdening companion would be hard to imagine."
A rapt and lovely seasonal pilgrimage, perfectly attuned, through Ackerman's (Deep Play, 1999, etc.) home garden to points beyond. Read full book review >
Released: Oct. 2, 2001

"Written with authority and zeal, this rich narrative is popular history at its best."
A harrowing history of the one-armed Civil War hero's 1869 expedition down the Colorado River that focuses on the dangers involved in the momentous journey rather than on Powell's political views. Read full book review >
Released: Sept. 13, 2001

"An appalling story of industry abuse and regulatory stupidity (and that's the generous reading)."
Have some lead with your french fries? Seattle Times reporter Wilson delivers a crackerjack investigative report on the toxic wastes in the fertilizer that helps grow the food on your table. Read full book review >
Released: Sept. 1, 2001

"The happy ending is that Leakey is on the job, albeit less than sanguine: 'Kenya's politics are rough,' understates the man who has given his legs, after a suspicious plane crash, to the cause."
Combining his passion for Kenya and all that country's living creatures—poachers excepted—with a lucid, humanistic appreciation of what both need to survive, Leakey (The Sixth Extinction, 1995, etc.) offers a vision not just for the Kenyan Wildlife Service but for the nation as a whole. Read full book review >
Released: Sept. 1, 2001

"Unlike the pilots of ASA 529, Pomerantz is in control all the way in this spellbinding and horrifying death ride."
A heart-in-your-throat story of a small commercial plane headed for a crash landing. Read full book review >
Released: Aug. 20, 2001

"Sobering and compelling: a must-read."
A biologist estimates the pace at which we're depleting Earth's resources, and the numbers he comes up with are grim. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Frank Bruni
March 31, 2015

Over the last few decades, Americans have turned college admissions into a terrifying and occasionally devastating process, preceded by test prep, tutors, all sorts of stratagems, all kinds of rankings, and a conviction among too many young people that their futures will be determined and their worth established by which schools say yes and which say no. In Where You Go Is Not Who You’ll Be, New York Times columnist Frank Bruni explains why, giving students and their parents a new perspective on this brutal, deeply flawed competition and a path out of the anxiety that it provokes. “Written in a lively style but carrying a wallop, this is a book that family and educators cannot afford to overlook as they try to navigate the treacherous waters of college admissions,” our reviewer writes. View video >