Social Sciences Book Reviews

THE GREAT DIVIDE by Joseph E. Stiglitz
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS
Released: April 20, 2015

"Smart, sometimes-stinging prose that rejects the doctrines of strangled government and artificial austerity, doctrines that require us to 'pay a high economic price for our growing inequality and declining opportunity.'"
Nobel Prize-winning economist Stiglitz (The Price of Inequality, 2012, etc.) examines some of the macro dollars-and-cents issues that separate the haves from the have-nots—and money is just of them. Read full book review >
THE PROFESSOR IN THE CAGE by Jonathan Gottschall
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 14, 2015

"A personal history of violence that makes Norman Mailer look nuanced by comparison."
An English professor becomes a mixed martial arts cage fighter and then examines the history of human violence to justify the act. Read full book review >

COURSE CORRECTION by Ginny Gilder
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 14, 2015

"A passionate memoir of a woman rower who battled numerous odds in search of becoming the best in her sport."
How one woman overcame numerous obstacles to become an Olympic silver medalist in rowing. Read full book review >
COOL by Steven Quartz
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS
Released: April 14, 2015

"Some points are more provocative than convincing, but the authors put a lively spin on an age-old argument."
A counterintuitive analysis suggesting that consumers instinctively know more about the value of the signals they are sending than their critics do. Read full book review >
TWO by Ann Patchett
edited by Ann Patchett, photographed by Melissa Ann Pinney
ESSAYS & ANTHOLOGIES
Released: April 14, 2015

"A quietly ambitious multimedia production that doesn't quite live up to its potential."
Salt-of-the-earth collection of photos paired with loosely related essays by contemporary literary luminaries. Read full book review >

EVERY FATHER'S DAUGHTER by Margaret McMullan
ESSAYS & ANTHOLOGIES
Released: April 9, 2015

"Consistently elucidating portraits."
A collection of essays on the father-daughter dynamic. Read full book review >
A LETTER TO MY MOM by Lisa Erspamer
SOCIAL SCIENCES
Released: April 7, 2015

"The sap flows heavily in this book about mothers who are heroes, role models, guardian angels and superwomen."
A collection for readers who admire or can relate to those who wholly revere their selfless, sainted mothers. Read full book review >
HAPPINESS by Frédéric Lenoir
PSYCHOLOGY
Released: April 7, 2015

"A brief though well-considered guide to a wide range of the many schools of thought regarding contentment, joy and happiness."
A philosopher's exploration of all the angles of happiness. Read full book review >
NOT WHAT I EXPECTED by Rita Eichenstein
PSYCHOLOGY
Released: April 7, 2015

"Clinical distancing undercuts Eichenstein's otherwise compassionate advice for parents of atypical children."
As a pediatric neuropsychologist, Eichenstein tries to answer all of the questions parents ask when their children are diagnosed with dyslexia, autism spectrum disorder, ADHD, OCD and other brain differences that affect learning and development. Read full book review >
THE PRIME OF LIFE by Steven Mintz
HISTORY
Released: April 7, 2015

"A thoughtful and strangely encouraging tour of an often difficult life stage."
Mintz (History/Univ. of Texas; Huck's Raft: A History of American Childhood, 2004, etc.) puts into historical perspective the changes and continuities that have marked adulthood over, principally, the last 200 years.Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 7, 2015

"A snappy, potty-mouthed guidebook for stressed-out mommies."
A tongue-in-cheek guide to surviving modern motherhood. Read full book review >
A CURIOUS MIND by Brian Grazer
PSYCHOLOGY
Released: April 7, 2015

"An appealing argument for maintaining open-minded receptivity, with special appeal for film buffs."
Academy Award-winning film and TV producer Grazer ranks curiosity with innovation and creativity as keys to shaping a successful career and a happy life. 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 >