Nature & Travel Book Reviews (page 5)

THE HIDDEN HALF OF NATURE by David R. Montgomery
HEALTH & MEDICINE
Released: Nov. 16, 2015

"A must-read for avid gardeners, those interested in bolstering our precarious food supply, or anyone remotely concerned about their health and the soil under their feet."
A geologist and a biologist and environmental planner chronicle the transformation of their desolate Seattle backyard into a fertile garden and how they learned about the importance of beneficial microbes in their newly revived soil. Read full book review >
SOUTH OF THE CLOUDS by Bill Porter
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Nov. 10, 2015

"As satisfying as any trip by Paul Theroux but with a much less prickly and much more forgiving narrator."
Journalist/translator and intrepid traveler Porter (Zen Baggage: A Pilgrimage to China, 2008, etc.) takes readers on another virtual journey into the China few Westerners know.Read full book review >

TRACE by Lauret Savoy
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Nov. 10, 2015

"Springing from the literal Earth to metaphor, Savoy demonstrates the power of narrative to erase as easily as it reveals, yielding a provocative, eclectic exposé of the palimpsest historically defining the U.S. as much as any natural or man-made boundary."
An earth scientist explores the broad historical branches extending from her own roots. Read full book review >
THE PLANET REMADE by Oliver Morton
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Nov. 3, 2015

"An important account of cutting-edge research that will fascinate serious readers and demand the attention of policymakers."
Economist briefings editor Morton (Eating the Sun: How Plants Power the Planet, 2008, etc.) offers a calm, rational discussion of deliberate technological interventions to cool the planet's climate system.Read full book review >
THE ONLY STREET IN PARIS by Elaine Sciolino
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Nov. 2, 2015

"A pungent evocation of the conflict and compromise between tradition and innovation that define modern urbanism."
After taking a tart look at her adopted country in La Seduction (2011, etc.), Sciolino shows a softer side in this affectionate portrait of her Ninth Arrondissement neighborhood.Read full book review >

Sacred Mountains of China by Ryan Pyle
NATURE & TRAVEL
Released: Nov. 2, 2015

"Weekend warriors who crave physical challenges can use Pyle's colorful account to kick-start their own adventures."
Photographer and filmmaker Pyle (The India Ride, 2014, etc.) returns with a fast-paced travel memoir about four months that changed his life. Read full book review >
LONDON FOG by Christine L. Corton
HISTORY
Released: Nov. 1, 2015

"An eye-opening and highly readable picture of London's reactions to the killer fog that has characterized it for centuries."
Most readers would doubt that an entire book about fog could be interesting, but Corton, in her first publication, presents an intriguing biography of the weather effect that defined a national character. Read full book review >
HISTORY
Released: Oct. 29, 2015

"Those who've seen the Catskills will love how the authors capture its magic. Those who haven't will start planning a trip."
A history that demonstrates "the color, charm, and even lunacy that for the past four hundred years have characterized the Catskill Mountains and the people attracted to them." Read full book review >
RICE, NOODLE, FISH by Matt Goulding
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Oct. 27, 2015

"A food connoisseur expertly unravels the intricate dance surrounding food in Japan."
A gourmand's tour through Japan. Read full book review >
THUNDER & LIGHTNING by Lauren Redniss
NATURE & TRAVEL
Released: Oct. 27, 2015

"A highly atmospheric, entertainingly earnest, and intimate engrossment with the world's most popular topic of conversation."
Redniss (Radioactive: Marie & Pierre Curie: A Tale of Love and Fallout, 2010) delivers an arrestingly unconventional exploration of weather.Read full book review >
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Oct. 27, 2015

"Winchester's passionate research—on sea and land—undergirds this superb analysis of a world wonder that we seem hellbent on damaging."
The preternaturally curious writer about everything from the Oxford English Dictionary to volcanoes to the Atlantic Ocean (Atlantic: A Vast Ocean of a Million Stories, 2010, etc.) returns with a series of high-resolution literary snapshots of the Pacific Ocean.Read full book review >
A FIELD PHILOSOPHER'S GUIDE TO FRACKING by Adam Briggle
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS
Released: Oct. 19, 2015

"Goliath takes it right between the eyes in this unique take on the convoluted politics, science, and cultural issues at stake regarding fracking."
Out of the university and into the streets, Briggle (Philosophy/Univ. of North Texas) brings the practice of "field philosophy" to the question of whether fracking is feckless or feasible. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Fernanda Santos
author of THE FIRE LINE
May 17, 2016

When a bolt of lightning ignited a hilltop in the sleepy town of Yarnell, Arizona, in June 2013, setting off a blaze that would grow into one of the deadliest fires in American history, the 20 men who made up the Granite Mountain Hotshots sprang into action. New York Times writer Fernanda Santos’ debut book The Fire Line is the story of the fire and the Hotshots’ attempts to extinguish it. An elite crew trained to combat the most challenging wildfires, the Hotshots were a ragtag family, crisscrossing the American West and wherever else the fires took them. There's Eric Marsh, their devoted and demanding superintendent who turned his own personal demons into lessons he used to mold, train and guide his crew; Jesse Steed, their captain, a former Marine, a beast on the fire line and a family man who wasn’t afraid to say “I love you” to the firemen he led; Andrew Ashcraft, a team leader still in his 20s who struggled to balance his love for his beautiful wife and four children and his passion for fighting wildfires. We see this band of brothers at work, at play and at home, until a fire that burned in their own backyards leads to a national tragedy. View video >