Nature & Travel Book Reviews (page 34)

AMSTERDAM by Russell Shorto
NON-FICTION
Released: Oct. 22, 2013

"Vigorous, erudite and eminently readable."
The dynamic historical account of a vibrantly complex European city and the legacy of social, political and economic liberalism it bequeathed to the Western world. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Oct. 22, 2013

"Warmly written, balanced but unsparing in its portraits, and culminating in a touching coda, Barr's persuasive book overcomes the occasional longueur to offer an enhanced appreciation of some groundbreaking cooks and their acolytes."
In his debut, Travel & Leisure editor Barr revisits a pivotal moment in culinary history with a brio and attention to detail that rivals that of his subjects. Read full book review >

THE DYNAMICS OF DISASTER by Susan W.  Kieffer
NON-FICTION
Released: Oct. 21, 2013

"Sharp, timely, slightly terrifying science writing."
Kieffer (Emerita, Geology/Univ. of Illinois) argues that all natural disasters that disrupt the Earth and its atmosphere are the result of a rapid shift in matter and energy that she calls a "change of state." Read full book review >
EMPIRE ANTARCTICA by Gavin Francis
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Oct. 15, 2013

"A literate, stylish memoir of personal adventure rich in history, geography and science."
A highly readable, enjoyable account of one man's year serving as a doctor at Halley Research Station, the British Antarctic Survey's base on the Brunt Ice Shelf. Read full book review >
THE MOUNTAIN by Ed Viesturs
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Oct. 8, 2013

"The depth of feeling here and the writers' hard-earned experience elevate this volume above many other books in the popular 'snow and ice' genre."
The world's most widely known high-altitude mountaineer reflects on his Everest career. Read full book review >

COUNTDOWN by Alan Weisman
NON-FICTION
Released: Sept. 24, 2013

"Some news is hopeful, and a few nations have taken action, so this is not a jeremiad but a realistic, vividly detailed exploration of the greatest problem facing our species."
Following up The World Without Us (2007), which explored how the Earth might heal from our depredations if humans became extinct, journalist Weisman writes a more conventional but equally astute analysis of how humans might avoid extinction. Read full book review >
SIGHTLINES by Kathleen Jamie
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 17, 2013

"A lyrical work of profound insight."
A Scottish poet's eloquent meditations on nature and on the art of observing the world around her "even when there's nothing much to see." Read full book review >
THE CONSOLATIONS OF THE FOREST by Sylvain Tesson
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 17, 2013

"Moving, wise and profound."
A French journalist's eloquently philosophical diary of the six months he spent fulfilling his dream to "live as a hermit deep in the woods" of Siberia. Read full book review >
OIL AND HONEY by Bill McKibben
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 17, 2013

"A personal, enjoyably rancor-free account, filled with praise for his colleagues and some pokes at opponents but void of harangues."
From the founder of the environmental organization 350.org, a chatty, warm memoir of his double life as globe-trotting activist and part-time novice beekeeper. Read full book review >
THEIR FATE IS OUR FATE by Peter Doherty
NON-FICTION
Released: Sept. 10, 2013

"The author, an enthusiastic bird-watcher, combines bird lore and cutting-edge science in an attractive mix that should inspire citizen scientists to pursue their hobby with renewed vigor and convince others to join in."
Like the canary in the coal mine, "[b]irds in the wild function as a roaming, natural detection system" for environmental pollution and may themselves spread potentially dangerous viruses, writes Nobel laureate Doherty (Microbiology and Immunology/Univ. of Melbourne; The Beginner's Guide to Winning the Nobel Prize: Advice for Young Scientists, 2006, etc.). Read full book review >
A HOUSE IN THE SKY by Amanda Lindhout
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 10, 2013

"A vivid, gut-wrenching, beautifully written, memorable book."
With the assistance of New York Times Magazine writer Corbett, Lindhout, who was held hostage in Somalia for more than a year, chronicles her harrowing ordeal and how she found the moral strength to survive. Read full book review >
OLD MAN RIVER by Paul Schneider
NON-FICTION
Released: Sept. 3, 2013

"A wild ride well worth taking, though readers may want to portage around some of the narrative rapids."
Another chockablock, environmentally focused, ambitious volume from Schneider (Bonnie and Clyde: The Lives Behind the Legend, 2010, etc.). Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Katey Sagal
author of GRACE NOTES
April 10, 2017

In her memoir Grace Notes, actress and singer/songwriter Katey Sagal takes you through the highs and lows of her life, from the tragic deaths of her parents to her long years in the Los Angeles rock scene, from being diagnosed with cancer at the age of twenty-eight to getting her big break on the fledgling FOX network as the wise-cracking Peggy Bundy on the beloved sitcom Married…with Children. Sparse and poetic, Grace Notes is an emotionally riveting tale of struggle and success, both professional and personal: Sagal’s path to sobriety; the stillbirth of her first daughter, Ruby; motherhood; the experience of having her third daughter at age 52 with the help of a surrogate; and her lifelong passion for music. “While this book is sure to please the author’s many fans, its thoughtful, no-regrets honesty will no doubt also appeal to readers of Hollywood memoirs seeking substance that goes beyond gossip and name-dropping,” our critic writes. “A candid, reflective memoir.” View video >