HARMATTAN by Michael Jackson
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 21, 2015

"A slim but thoughtful rendering of an exotic locale that recalls The Quiet American."
A New Zealand-born philosopher reflects on his years studying an ethnic group in Sierra Leone, weaving in the fictional tale of a young Englishman searching for personal transformation. Read full book review >
THE ROAD HOME by Ethan Nichtern
RELIGION
Released: April 21, 2015

"Not to be confused with Jim Harrison's book of the same name, the product of another bodhisattva, though both are steeped in the same spirit. Thoughtful and helpful alike."
"The pond never stops rippling." Buddhist teacher Nichtern (One City: A Declaration of Interdependence, 2007) offers a wise, humane, and deeply sympathetic introduction to the practice of Buddhism.Read full book review >

IF THE OCEANS WERE INK by Carla Power
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 7, 2015

"Intelligent and exceptionally informative."
An award-winning journalist's account of the year she spent probing the meaning of the Quran with a conservative Muslim religious scholar. Read full book review >
ONE NATION UNDER GOD by Kevin K. Kruse
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS
Released: April 7, 2015

"In a book for readers from both parties, Kruse ably demonstrates how the simple ornamental mottoes 'under God' and 'In God We Trust,' as well as the fight to define America as Christian, were parts of a clever business plan."
Kruse (History/Princeton Univ.; White Flight: Atlanta and the Making of Modern Conservatism, 2007, etc.) explains the links between capitalism and Christianity.Read full book review >
ORDINARY LIGHT by Tracy K. Smith
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 2, 2015

"Guilt and regret pervade Smith's recollection of her mother's illness and death, darkening the edges of this light-filled memoir."
A daughter's journey to claim her identity. Read full book review >

RELIGION
Released: March 31, 2015

"Contains a wealth of information for secular or mixed-religion families preparing for the God talk with kids."
Written for secular parents from a nonreligious perspective, this guide explores methods of teaching youngsters about God, religion, and spirituality. Read full book review >
ALL WHO GO DO NOT RETURN by Shulem Deen
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: March 24, 2015

"In this moving book, Deen lays bare his difficult, muddled wrestling with his faith, the challenges it posed to everything he thought he knew about himself, and the hard-won redemption he eventually found."
A former member of an extremely insular Hasidic sect tells his story of becoming curious about the outside world—and the consequences of that curiosity. Read full book review >
ISIS by Jessica Stern
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: March 24, 2015

"Despite being dense reading, this book offers much to learn about ISIS and an expanded understanding of current events."
A detailed study of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria from its rise out of al-Qaida to its intended fulfillment of apocalyptic prophecies. Read full book review >
RELIGION
Released: March 17, 2015

"One has the sense that the author set out to write a kind of rejoinder to Into the Wild, but the result lacks Jon Krakauer's sense of insight into what drives people in their quest of something beyond."
A diffuse tale of spiritual misadventure. Read full book review >
THE FUTURE OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH WITH POPE FRANCIS by Garry Wills
RELIGION
Released: March 10, 2015

"A welcome, thoughtful menu for the new pope on how to proceed with reform."
Beautifully conceived and wrought essays that systematically address the wrongheadedness of the Catholic Church over centuries—and the space therein for Francis' long-needed reforms. Read full book review >
BAD FAITH by Paul A. Offit
HEALTH & MEDICINE
Released: March 10, 2015

"A thought-provoking discussion of the conflict between society's right to protect all children and the constitutional guarantee of religious freedom."
"Every year, tens of thousands of Americans refuse medical care for their children in the name of God," writes Offit (Vaccinology and Pediatrics/Univ. of Pennsylvania School of Medicine; Do You Believe in Magic: The Sense and Nonsense of Alternative Medicine, 2013, etc.) in this exposé. Read full book review >
HISTORY
Released: March 7, 2015

"A roundabout historical lesson that employs the classical texts with irony and irreverence."
Georgetown University provost and author O'Donnell (The Ruin of the Roman Empire: A New History, 2008, etc.) offers a revisionist tour of the reach and purpose of the gods for the Romans, from the height of Rome's temple building by Augustus in 17 B.C. to the Christian incursions of the A.D. fourth century.Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Luis Alberto Urrea
April 21, 2015

Examining the borders between one nation and another, between one person and another, Luis Alberto Urrea’s latest story collection, The Water Museum, reveals his mastery of the short form. This collection includes the Edgar-award winning "Amapola" and his now-classic "Bid Farewell to Her Many Horses," which had the honor of being chosen for NPR's "Selected Shorts" not once but twice. Urrea has also recently published a poetry collection, Tijuana Book of the Dead, mixing lyricism and colloquial voices, mysticism and the daily grind. We talk to Urrea about both of his new books this week on Kirkus TV. View video >