Nature & Travel Book Reviews (page 8)

THE BOILING RIVER by Andrés Ruzo
NATURE & TRAVEL
Released: Feb. 16, 2016

"An earnest and well-intended effort but an outline for an adventure story more than that story itself."
A brief debut book about a young, Peruvian-born geologist's adventures in the Amazon. Read full book review >
THE ROAD TAKEN by Henry Petroski
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Feb. 16, 2016

"Anyone with an interest in the way things work will want this book—and will doubtless emerge as a fan of the ever curious author."
Noted engineer and writer Petroski (Civil Engineering/Duke Univ.; To Forgive Design: Understanding Failure, 2012, etc.) gives readers a characteristically eye-opening look at America's infrastructure.Read full book review >

NATURE & TRAVEL
Released: Feb. 15, 2016

"Whitehouse takes readers on a richly rewarding journey through space and time in this scientific travelogue."
In the spirit of Jules Verne's popular classic Journey to the Center of the Earth, Royal Astronomical Society fellow Whitehouse (The Sun: A Biography, 2005, etc.) describes how modern advances in geology provide insight into the evolution and dynamic structure of the Earth. Read full book review >
INCARCERATION NATIONS by Baz Dreisinger
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Feb. 9, 2016

"An eye-opening, damning indictment of the American prison system and the way its sins reverberate around the globe."
A writer and social activist chronicles her visits to prisons around the globe to gain insight into what works and doesn't work. Read full book review >
NATURE & TRAVEL
Released: Feb. 9, 2016

"An impassioned and well-reasoned cry for 'great rising tides of affirmation of justice and human decency and shared thriving.'"
A philosopher and award-winning nature writer examines the moral arguments behind the need to end the processes that have created global warming. Read full book review >

THE SILK ROAD by Bill Porter
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 9, 2016

"Fans of Owen Lattimore, The Road to Oxiana, Aurel Stein, and other like-minded ventures and adventurers will find Porter's latest a pleasure and an inspiration."
In this latest installment in his decadeslong journey through China, Porter (South of the Clouds, 2015, etc.) wanders westward into the mountains, never quite courting danger, never quite avoiding it.Read full book review >
NEMESIS by Misha Glenny
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 9, 2016

"Glenny does an admirable investigative job, delving deeply into the complicated causes and effects of Rio's drug trafficking."
A page-turning chronicle of the life and career of a favela don illustrates the larger challenges of a deeply impoverished, class-ridden Brazilian society.Read full book review >
NATURE & TRAVEL
Released: Feb. 9, 2016

"A watery romp under the waves that will appeal to anyone wanting to broaden their knowledge of our watery planet."
Coral and reef ecologist Hardt dives into the sex lives of sea creatures. Read full book review >
OUTPATIENTS by Sasha Issenberg
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Feb. 6, 2016

"Policymakers will benefit from the author's densely detailed but accessible, on-the-ground reporting of an increasingly commonplace phenomenon with serious implications for the future of health care."
Monocle Washington correspondent Issenberg (The Victory Lab: The Secret Science of Winning Campaigns, 2012, etc.) describes the rise of medical tourism, which draws patients from around the world to such unexpected places as Hungary, the acknowledged dental capital of Europe, and Thailand, whose government touts it as the "Medical Hub of Asia." Read full book review >
SHRINKING THE EARTH by Donald Worster
HISTORY
Released: Feb. 3, 2016

"A bracing, intelligent survey of wealth become immiseration, essential for students of environmental history."
Eminent historian Worster (Emeritus, American History/Univ. of Kansas; A Passion for Nature: The Life of John Muir, 2008, etc.) offers a concise, often elegiac account of the end of the American centuries.Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 2, 2016

"A soulful memoir of adventure and one woman's love for her sled dogs."
Moderow briskly recounts her experiences in the brutally challenging Iditarod race, a journey that requires "passion, dedication to learning, and an immense amount of patience," not to mention "the collaboration of many beating hearts." Read full book review >
LIGHT by Bruce Watson
HISTORY
Released: Feb. 2, 2016

"An ingenious combination of science and art history."
The usual popular-science history of light begins with the ancient Greeks and peters out soon after Einstein, but this fine account by Smithsonian contributing writer Watson (Freedom Summer: The Savage Season of 1964 that Made Mississippi Burn and Made America a Democracy, 2010, etc.) paints with a broader brush.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 >