Nature & Travel Book Reviews

THE NAMES OF THE STARS by Pete Fromm
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 27, 2016

"Fromm's finely tuned reflections on this small but fully inhabited piece of the backwoods make this an adventure worth savoring."
A middle-aged novelist and creative-writing teacher spends a month in the wilderness keeping an eye on baby fish for the National Forest Service and reliving his earlier experiences in the wild. Read full book review >
HISTORY
Released: Sept. 27, 2016

"A lovingly written book that should appeal to most city dwellers and all tree lovers."
A comprehensive look at the trees of American cities. Read full book review >

TREEHAB by Bob Smith
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 27, 2016

"A truth-telling tour conducted by an agile guide."
The first openly gay comedian to perform on the Tonight Show delivers a collection of witty essays exploring his remarkable career and life. Read full book review >
THE ESSENTIAL OYSTER by Rowan Jacobsen
FOOD & COOKING
Released: Oct. 4, 2016

"Jacobsen may leave noncoastal readers drooling with jealousy, but vicarious oyster slurping is better than none."
This verbally and visually succulent book covers 99 types of oysters, most from the shores of North America. Read full book review >
BEING A DOG by Alexandra Horowitz
NATURE & TRAVEL
Released: Oct. 4, 2016

"Dog owners curious about the lives of their pets will savor this book, but it deserves a wider audience than just animal lovers."
If the olfactory ability of dogs seems like a dull topic, be prepared for a surprise. This engrossing book takes on not just canine noses, but what we can do with our own—with a little experience and a good guide. Read full book review >

THE MOTH SNOWSTORM by Michael McCarthy
NATURE & TRAVEL
Released: Oct. 4, 2016

"A heartfelt, lovely, and thoroughly lived-through meditation on the natural world and its central part in any civilized life."
It is not enough that we rush to stanch the wounds our kind has inflicted on the world, writes British environmental journalist McCarthy (Say Goodbye to the Cuckoo: Migratory Birds and the Impending Ecological Catastrophe, 2010, etc.). More than that, "we should offer up its joy." Read full book review >
THE LION IN THE LIVING ROOM by Abigail Tucker
NATURE & TRAVEL
Released: Oct. 18, 2016

"Read this entertaining book and you will be convinced that house cats are 'the most transformative invaders the world has ever seen'—except for humans, of course."
The intriguing history of how house cats found their way onto our hearths and into our hearts. Read full book review >
HISTORY
Released: Nov. 1, 2016

"Long, leisurely, and vastly entertaining."
The story of a 1913 Arctic expedition to investigate what the New York Tribune called "the last considerable mass of unknown land on our planet." Read full book review >
BLACK SQUARE by Sophie Pinkham
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Nov. 1, 2016

"First-rate reporting, research, and writing in a debut that will make readers care as much as the author does."
A journalist's first book, a graceful mix of personal memoir and political research, illuminates the complexities of Ukraine culture. Read full book review >
COAST RANGE by Nick Neely
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Nov. 8, 2016

"Neely capably explores the complexity of his subjects with polish and finesse, looking carefully and thinking deeply."
A collection of essays that focuses on the interaction between humans and the natural world in and around the Rogue River in Oregon, where the author spent six months doing a writing residency. Read full book review >
SAINT-GERMAIN-DES-PRÉS by John Baxter
NATURE & TRAVEL
Released: Nov. 8, 2016

"Whether you're planning your first trip to Paris or absolutely have to stop in Paris on your way anywhere, this book, in addition to the author's previous guides, is essential."
Baxter (Hemingway's Paris: A User's Guide, 2016, etc.) provides another delightful salute to Paris. Read full book review >
THE UNNATURAL WORLD by David Biello
NATURE & TRAVEL
Released: Nov. 15, 2016

"In this well-written, significant book, Biello insists that humans, the world's most successful invasive species, have the ability to engage in planetary protection and human survival, but it will require wisdom, innovation, and restraint."
In his first book, Scientific American editor Biello argues that it is not a lack of money or technology that prevents our addressing environmental and societal ills but rather a lack of motivation. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Jeff Chang
September 20, 2016

In the provocative essays in journalist Jeff Chang’s new book We Gon’ Be Alright, Chang takes an incisive and wide-ranging look at the recent tragedies and widespread protests that have shaken the country. Through deep reporting with key activists and thinkers, personal writing, and cultural criticism, We Gon’ Be Alright links #BlackLivesMatter to #OscarsSoWhite, Ferguson to Washington D.C., the Great Migration to resurgent nativism. Chang explores the rise and fall of the idea of “diversity,” the roots of student protest, changing ideas about Asian Americanness, and the impact of a century of racial separation in housing. “He implores readers to listen, act, and become involved with today’s activists, who offer ‘new ways to see our past and our present,’ ” our reviewer writes in a starred review. “A compelling and intellectually thought-provoking exploration of the quagmire of race relations.” View video >