Nature & Travel Book Reviews (page 8)

CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Nov. 11, 2014

"A passionately committed environmental activist unearths China's criminal, ongoing policy of resource extraction."
A grim, relentless exposé of the plundering of Tibet's natural resources by China. Read full book review >
THE PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC OF CHEMICALS by William J. Kelly
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Nov. 11, 2014

"A powerful warning that 'a growing cloud of toxins aloft [are] swirling in the winds around the world' and recirculating the pollution we hoped to shed."
A scathing denunciation of how America outsourced its industrial capacity to China, a package that included catastrophic pollution. Read full book review >

NATURE & TRAVEL
Released: Nov. 11, 2014

"A well-documented, upbeat alternative to doom-and-gloom prognostications."
Science journalist Vince chronicles a two-year journey around the globe to evaluate warnings that we face an ecological tipping point. Read full book review >
SHACKLETON by Michael Smith
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Nov. 11, 2014

"An illuminating perspective of the man, his mission and the era in which he lived."
"[Ernest] Shackleton today is a cult figure who has assumed a mythical, almost saintly status," writes journalist Smith (Great Endeavour: Ireland's Antarctic Explorers, 2010, etc.) in this fascinating exploration of the man behind the myth.Read full book review >
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Nov. 11, 2014

"Not always cohesive, but the stylish rendering of the Russian culture, which both attracts and appalls the author, will keep the reader captivated."
Everything you know about Russia is wrong, according to this eye-opening, mind-bending memoir of a TV producer caught between two cultures. Read full book review >

ANIMAL WEAPONS by Douglas J. Emlen
NATURE & TRAVEL
Released: Nov. 11, 2014

"Solid natural history, along with a well-turned thought or two about when weapons spell their owner's doom."
Emlen (Biology/Univ. of Montana) presents a bestiary equipped with outsize weaponry. Read full book review >
LIVES IN RUINS by Marilyn Johnson
NATURE & TRAVEL
Released: Nov. 11, 2014

"An engrossing examination of how archaeologists re-create much of human history, piece by painstaking piece."
Science reporter Johnson (This Book Is Overdue!: How Librarians and Cybrarians Can Save Us All, 2010, etc.) explores the work of archaeologists.Read full book review >
MARCO POLO by John Man
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Nov. 11, 2014

"Marvelous tales that first inspired the Western traveler to see and learn more."
British historian Man (Samurai: A History, 2014, etc.) chronicles his journey to Asia where Marco Polo first led the Western traveler. The book was first published in the U.K. in 2009 as Xanadu.Read full book review >
SISSINGHURST by Vita Sackville-West
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Nov. 4, 2014

"Enjoyable for gardeners and lovers of quaint British landscapes."
British gardener Raven (Wild Flowers, 2012) integrates Sackville-West's writings into a gardener's guide to one of England's finest landscapes, which was laid out with a studied nonchalance. Read full book review >
A BACKPACK, A BEAR, AND EIGHT CRATES OF VODKA by Lev Golinkin
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Nov. 4, 2014

"A mordantly affecting chronicle of a journey to discover that 'you can't have a future if you don't have a past.'"
An ex-Iron Curtain refugee-turned-American citizen tells the emotional story of how he and his parents fled the Ukraine two years before the collapse of the Soviet Union. Read full book review >
CAPTIVE PARADISE by James L. Haley
HISTORY
Released: Nov. 4, 2014

"A pertinent work of keen understanding of the complex Hawaiian story."
Revisionist, evenhanded look at Hawaiian dynastic tenacity against ceaseless challenges by larger imperialist powers. Read full book review >
AMORE by Roger Friedland
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Nov. 4, 2014

"Intelligent, thoughtful and well-researched, Friedland's book is not only a love letter to Rome, but also to his daughters and the members of their generation, for whose personal happiness he fears."
Cultural sociologist Friedland (Religious Studies and Sociology/Univ. of California, Santa Barbara; The Fellowship: The Untold Story of Frank Lloyd Wright and the Taliesin Fellowship, 2006, etc.) examines the life-changing "love lessons" he learned from the city of Rome. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Fatima Bhutto
April 14, 2015

Set during the American invasion of Afghanistan, Fatima Bhutto’s debut novel The Shadow of the Crescent Moon begins and ends one rain-swept Friday morning in Mir Ali, a small town in Pakistan’s Tribal Areas close to the Afghan border. Three brothers meet for breakfast. Soon after, the eldest, Aman Erum, recently returned from America, hails a taxi to the local mosque. Sikandar, a doctor, drives to the hospital where he works, but must first stop to collect his troubled wife, who has not joined the family that morning. No one knows where Mina goes these days. But when, later in the morning, the two are taken hostage by members of the Taliban, Mina will prove to be stronger than anyone could have imagined. Our reviewer writes that The Shadow of the Crescent Moon is “a timely, earnest portrait of a family torn apart by the machinations of other people’s war games and desperately trying to survive.” View video >