Nature & Travel Book Reviews (page 5)

CITY BY CITY by Keith Gessen
ESSAYS & ANTHOLOGIES
Released: May 12, 2015

"From Whittier, Alaska, to Williston, North Dakota, to Palm Coast, Florida, these varied essays offer compelling snapshots of how Americans live, move, and work."
In these 37 singular essays, some reading like research papers, others as personal as memoirs, n+1 editor Gessen (All the Sad Young Literary Men, 2008, etc.) and Harvard graduate student Squibb find in certain American cities the crucible of enormous change since the financial meltdown of 2008.Read full book review >
THE MERCY OF THE SKY by Holly Bailey
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: May 12, 2015

"Storm chasers will find thrills in this tale of nature's wrath."
Tracking a furious, lethal storm. Read full book review >

LAST MAN OFF by Matt Lewis
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: May 12, 2015

"A darkly exhilarating memoir of tragedy at sea."
A harrowing high-seas, high-stakes adventure where dread pools slowly like the first signs of seawater collecting on the deck of a cursed ship. Read full book review >
THE SOUL OF AN OCTOPUS by Sy Montgomery
NATURE & TRAVEL
Released: May 12, 2015

"A fascinating glimpse into an alien consciousness."
Naturalist Montgomery (Birdology, 2010, etc.) chronicles her extraordinary experience bonding with three octopuses housed in the New England Aquarium and the small group of people who became devoted to them.Read full book review >
RHYTHM OF THE WILD by Kim Heacox
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: May 7, 2015

"Top-notch environmental writing to shelve alongside George Perkins Marsh, Aldo Leopold, Robert Marshall and Barry Lopez."
Former National Park Service ranger Heacox (John Muir and the Ice that Started a Fire: How a Visionary and the Glaciers of Alaska Changed America, 2014, etc.) lyrically recounts his passionate and enduring relationship with Alaska's Denali National Park, a chunk of Alaskan land the size of Massachusetts with only one road.Read full book review >

LESSER BEASTS by Mark Essig
FOOD & COOKING
Released: May 5, 2015

"A lively, informative farm-to-table feast."
An enlightening culinary history of an "uncanny beast." Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: May 5, 2015

"Weintraub's research on the prisoners' experiences in the camps is remarkable as he narrates Judy and Frank's heroic tale."
An unusual and moving story of a singular hero among fellow POWs of the Japanese during World War II: a loyal British pointer named Judy. Read full book review >
DAUGHTERS OF THE SAMURAI by Janice P. Nimura
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: May 4, 2015

"An extraordinary, elegantly told story of the beginning of Japan's education and emancipation of its women."
Through her fascinating tapestry of history and biography, New York scholar Nimura weaves the strange, vibrant tale of an insular nation coming to terms with currents of modernism it could no longer keep out. Read full book review >
THE WORLD BETWEEN TWO COVERS by Ann Morgan
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: May 4, 2015

"Morgan's intrepid literary project underscores the crucial importance of stretching the boundaries of one's aesthetic and intellectual worlds."
Exploring the world, one book at a time. Read full book review >
THE LOST WORLD OF THE OLD ONES by David Roberts
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: May 4, 2015

"For fans of all things Southwestern—not quite as robust and thoughtful as Craig Childs' House of Rain (2007) but a pleasure to read."
More travels in the Southwest of yore by outdoorsman/writer Roberts (Alone on the Ice: The Greatest Survival Story in the History of Exploration, 2013, etc.).Read full book review >
HOW TO CLONE A MAMMOTH by Beth Shapiro
NATURE & TRAVEL
Released: May 1, 2015

"Extinction is still forever, writes Shapiro, but fashioning a first cousin—with all its intriguing and alarming possibilities—possessing the same behavioral quirks is within reach."
MacArthur fellow Shapiro (Ecology and Evolutionary Biology/Univ. of California, Santa Cruz) considers the nature and prospects of "de-extinction," the return of creatures gone the way of the dodo. Read full book review >
A BUZZ IN THE MEADOW by Dave Goulson
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: May 1, 2015

"A charming but serious warning of the need to protect our natural ecosystems from heedless, irreversible destruction."
When we speak of endangered species, our focus is usually on the plight of mammals. However, writes Goulson (Biological and Environmental Sciences/Univ. of Sterling; A Sting in the Tale: My Adventures with Bumblebees, 2014, etc.), they are only a small section of the "perhaps ten-million different species," many yet to be named, that inhabit our planet and play a critical role in maintaining its ecosystems.Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Vanessa Diffenbaugh
September 1, 2015

Vanessa Diffenbaugh is the New York Timesbestselling author of The Language of Flowers; her new novel, We Never Asked for Wings, is about young love, hard choices, and hope against all odds. For 14 years, Letty Espinosa has worked three jobs around San Francisco to make ends meet while her mother raised her children—Alex, now 15, and Luna, six—in their tiny apartment on a forgotten spit of wetlands near the bay. But now Letty’s parents are returning to Mexico, and Letty must step up and become a mother for the first time in her life. “Diffenbaugh’s latest confirms her gift for creating shrewd, sympathetic charmers,” our reviewer writes. View video >