Nature & Travel Book Reviews

BARBARIAN DAYS by William Finnegan
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: July 21, 2015

"A lyrical and intense memoir."
An award-winning staff writer for the New Yorker offers a probing account of his lifetime passion for surfing.Read full book review >
SPIRALS IN TIME by Helen Scales
NATURE & TRAVEL
Released: July 21, 2015

"An enchanting, accessible tour of the seashell and its place and purpose within the natural world."
British marine biologist Scales (Poseidon's Steed: The Story of Seahorses, from Myth to Reality, 2009) reinvigorates conchology and the lost art of seashell appreciation.Read full book review >

DRIVING HUNGRY by Layne Mosler
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: July 14, 2015

"Mosler's lively and accessible writing style joyfully captures the satisfaction gained by trusting your instincts and seeking out new places, food, and people."
Building on the success of her blog, Taxi Gourmet, Mosler recounts the story of her transcontinental search for a vocation, which propelled the author into dancing in tango clubs in Buenos Aires, becoming a cab driver in New York City, and falling in love with the city of Berlin. Read full book review >
BEYOND WORDS by Carl Safina
NATURE & TRAVEL
Released: July 14, 2015

"A profound, scientifically based appeal for recognition of the kinship of all living things."
Award-winning ecologist Safina (Nature and Humanity/Stony Brook Univ.; The View from Lazy Point: A Natural Year in an Unnatural World, 2011 etc.) disputes the dogma among scientists that forbids speculations about the "the inner lives of animals." Read full book review >
THE GOOD SHUFU by Tracy Slater
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: June 30, 2015

"A heartfelt and moving tale, coupling insights into two remarkably different cultures with a love story that, as much as any true love story can, delivers a happy ending."
A writer goes to the far side of the world for work and finds a home. Read full book review >

THE OREGON TRAIL by Rinker Buck
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: June 30, 2015

"By turns frankly hilarious, historically elucidating, emotionally touching, and deeply informative."
A crazy whim of a trip on a covered wagon turns into an inspired exploration of American identity. Read full book review >
OF ORCAS AND MEN by David Neiwert
NATURE & TRAVEL
Released: June 16, 2015

"A wide-ranging, interesting book that should be required reading for school-aged environmentalists."
A champion for orcas convincingly spells out the threats to their survival, their misery in captivity, and what scientists can learn by studying them. Read full book review >
FASTEST THINGS ON WINGS by Terry Masear
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: June 16, 2015

"Not just for birders, this captivating book brims with warmth, humor, and drama that will have wide appeal."
The frantic, rewarding life of a hummingbird-rescue hotline worker. Read full book review >
SKYFARING by Mark Vanhoenacker
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: June 3, 2015

"The anatomy of an airliner and peripatetic aerial travel, as well as a sophisticated worldview, combine for first-class reading—sure to enhance your next flight."
Vanhoenacker's workplace is the cockpit of a 747. Leaving a contrail of information with lapidary prose, he shows why he loves his job. Read full book review >
GEORGE THE DOG, JOHN THE ARTIST by John Dolan
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: June 2, 2015

"A disarmingly modest yet profound tale of redemption."
The story of a desperately poor Londoner and a twice-abandoned Staffordshire bull terrier named George poses the question, "Who rescued whom?" Read full book review >
TEACHING PLATO IN PALESTINE by Carlos Fraenkel
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: June 1, 2015

"Fresh, iconoclastic, stimulating debates."
A valiant attempt to provoke philosophical questions about identity and purpose in unlikely hotspots. Read full book review >
THE WORLD ON A PLATE by Mina Holland
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: May 26, 2015

"A culinary adventure that delights on many levels and leaves readers hungering for more."
In her first book, Guardian Cook editor Holland salutes classic dishes from a few dozen different countries. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Sabaa Tahir
August 4, 2015

Sabaa Tahir’s novel An Ember in the Ashes reveals a world inspired by ancient Rome and defined by brutality. Seventeen-year-old Laia has grown up with one rule for survival: Never challenge the Empire. But when Laia’s brother Darin is arrested for treason, she leaves behind everything she knows, risking her life to try and save him. She enlists help from the rebels whose extensive underground network may lead to Darin. Their help comes with a price, though. Laia must infiltrate the Empire’s greatest military academy as a spy. Elias is the Empire’s finest soldier—and its most unwilling one. Thrown together by chance and united by their hatred of the Empire, Laia and Elias will soon discover that their fates are intertwined—and that their choices may change the destiny of the entire Empire. We talk to An Ember in the Ashes author Sabaa Tahir this week on Kirkus TV. View video >