Nature & Travel Book Reviews

THE FISH LADDER by Katharine Norbury
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Aug. 11, 2015

"A beautifully written book about a journey through wild places in the landscape and the heart."
British writer Norbury's debut memoir takes readers on vigorous walks through lochs, rivers, and soggy marshes in Scotland, England, and Wales. Read full book review >
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Aug. 11, 2015

"Well-written and superbly reported."
An absorbing account of the clash between environmentalists and oyster farmers in the coastal towns north of San Francisco. Read full book review >

BUSINESS & ECONOMICS
Released: Aug. 11, 2015

"A hackle-raising book about nature and human nature, venality and justice, and how disasters—before, during, and after—sharply mirror society."
How the most significant deleterious factor in natural disasters may be the human element. Read full book review >
KATRINA by Gary Rivlin
HISTORY
Released: Aug. 11, 2015

"Deeply engrossing, well-written, and packed with revealing stories."
Former New York Times reporter Rivlin (Broke, USA: From Pawnshops to Poverty, Inc.—How the Working Poor Became Big Business, 2010, etc.) delivers a magnificently reported account of life in a broken, waterlogged city. 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 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 >
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 >
DOMESTICATED by Richard C. Francis
NATURE & TRAVEL
Released: May 25, 2015

"A highly illuminating look at the cross-species biological basis for human culture and sociability."
"The human population explosion has been bad for most other living things, but not so for those lucky enough to warrant domestication," writes science journalist Francis (Epigenetics: The Ultimate Mystery of Inheritance, 2011, etc.) in this provocative account of the latest developments in the field of evolutionary biology.Read full book review >
DAUGHTERS OF THE SAMURAI by Janice P. Nimura
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: May 4, 2015

"An extraordinary, elegantly told story of the beginning of Japan's education and emancipation of its women."
Through her fascinating tapestry of history and biography, New York scholar Nimura weaves the strange, vibrant tale of an insular nation coming to terms with currents of modernism it could no longer keep out. Read full book review >
A PASSION FOR PARIS by David Downie
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 28, 2015

"Anyone who loves Paris will adore this joyful book. Readers visiting the city are advised to take it with them to discover countless new experiences."
Join Downie (Paris to the Pyrenees: A Skeptic Pilgrim Walks the Way of St. James, 2013, etc.) for a top-notch walking tour of Paris.Read full book review >
RAIN by Cynthia Barnett
HISTORY
Released: April 21, 2015

"Highlights the severity of some of our environmental problems with knowledge, humor, urgency and hope."
An environmental journalist returns with a multifaceted examination of the science, the art, the technology and even the smell of rain throughout history. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Vanessa Diffenbaugh
September 1, 2015

Vanessa Diffenbaugh is the New York Timesbestselling author of The Language of Flowers; her new novel, We Never Asked for Wings, is about young love, hard choices, and hope against all odds. For 14 years, Letty Espinosa has worked three jobs around San Francisco to make ends meet while her mother raised her children—Alex, now 15, and Luna, six—in their tiny apartment on a forgotten spit of wetlands near the bay. But now Letty’s parents are returning to Mexico, and Letty must step up and become a mother for the first time in her life. “Diffenbaugh’s latest confirms her gift for creating shrewd, sympathetic charmers,” our reviewer writes. View video >