Nature & Travel Book Reviews

ARE WE SMART ENOUGH TO KNOW HOW SMART ANIMALS ARE? by Frans de Waal
NATURE & TRAVEL
Released: April 25, 2016

"After this edifying book, a trip to the zoo may never be the same."
Intrigued by the search for intelligent life? No need for space travel—it's happening right here on Earth, and the results are amazing. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 19, 2016

"A well-documented, brave, and useful overview."
A journey through the Middle East in the post-Arab Spring landscape. Read full book review >

FAR AND AWAY by Andrew Solomon
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 19, 2016

"Agile, informative, even revelatory pieces that, together, show us both the great variety of humanity and the interior of a gifted writer's heart."
A veteran journalist and travel writer collects pieces dating back to the late 1980s. Read full book review >
BRILLIANT BEACONS by Eric Jay Dolin
HISTORY
Released: April 18, 2016

"A delightful journey with excellent sketches, renderings, and resources for museums and organizations."
A fine history of lighthouses, "among the most beloved and romanticized structures in the American landscape." Read full book review >
GETTING TO GREEN by Frederic C. Rich
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: April 18, 2016

"Essential reading for anyone with a stake in the environmental debate."
A corporate lawyer and conservation leader argues that only a new bipartisan coalition can end the legislative logjam facing the American environmental movement. Read full book review >

THE MOST PERFECT THING by Tim Birkhead
HISTORY
Released: April 12, 2016

"One doesn't have to be a bird enthusiast to relish this book, but it would be the most perfect gift for anyone who is."
A thrilling voyage through what most of us think of as an ordinary item sold at the supermarket. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 5, 2016

"A captivating history of two men who dramatically changed their contemporaries' view of the past."
Daring adventurers unearth a buried civilization. Read full book review >
ERUPTION by Steve Olson
HISTORY
Released: March 7, 2016

"A riveting trek combining enthralling nature writing with engaging social history."
A National Book Award finalist unravels the compelling back story of the 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens. 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 >
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 >
BLOOD AND EARTH by Kevin Bales
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Jan. 19, 2016

"A cleareyed account of man's inhumanity to man and Earth. Read it to get informed, and then take action."
In a heart-wrenching narrative, Bales (Ending Slavery: How We Free Today's Slaves, 2007, etc.) explores modern slavery and the devastating effects on its victims as well as the environmental degradation caused by this morally reprehensible institution.Read full book review >
ONE BREATH by Adam Skolnick
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Jan. 12, 2016

"A worthy addition to the growing body of literature on adventures that test the limits of nature and mankind."
A fatality spurs an inquiry into an extreme sport, illuminating the risks—as well as the rewards—of free diving. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Marilu Henner
author of CHANGING NORMAL
April 26, 2016

After they’d been dating only a short while, and as they were falling in love, Marilu Henner and Michael Brown were hit with the ultimate bad news: Michael was diagnosed with cancer. Refusing traditional care, they pieced together a personal and holistic view on battling his cancer, all while forging an unbreakable bond. In this moving and informative book, Marilu pulls back the curtain on how they dealt with the blow. She relates her holistic perspective on health—including the superfoods, exercises, and immunotherapy they used to fight back—and why a diagnosis doesn’t have to be the end of romance or of a happy and fulfilling life. “An inspiring love story wrapped in a serious call for new ways to treat disease,” our reviewer writes. View video >