Social Sciences Book Reviews

LONE WOLF TERRORISM by Jeffrey D. Simon
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Sept. 27, 2016

"Some of Simon's research validates common-sense conclusions about extreme human behavior, but the book contains enough fresh findings to recommend it to those who want to delve into such dark corners."
In the second edition of his book originally published in 2013, Simon (The Terrorist Trap: America's Experience with Terrorism, 1994, etc.) focuses his scholarship on spree killers who act alone or with minimal assistance. Read full book review >
SING FOR YOUR LIFE by Daniel Bergner
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 27, 2016

"A disjointed structure occasionally hobbles this swiftly written life story of music, forgiveness, and resilience."
The biography of an emerging African-American opera singer who overcame a tough Southern childhood. Read full book review >

CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Sept. 27, 2016

"An intelligent, rigorous manifesto that could use more direction for action."
An impassioned social and political critique with glimmers of hope for change. Read full book review >
HISTORY
Released: Sept. 27, 2016

"A fruitful if arguable thesis yields a book worth reading in this election year."
A stimulating look at the presidency from the vantage point of the wars America has fought—and, in some instances, the none-too-noble reasons for them. Read full book review >
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS
Released: Sept. 27, 2016

"A thoughtful and enthusiastic analysis of how more and more people are inventing and creating truly remarkable products and services."
The story behind modern tinkerers, inventors, and creators of all sorts of good stuff. Read full book review >

BLOOD AT THE ROOT by Patrick Phillips
HISTORY
Released: Sept. 20, 2016

"An impressive reckoning with a shameful piece of the past that 'most natives of Forsyth would prefer to leave…scattered in the state's dusty archives or safely hidden in plain sight.'"
A history of white supremacy's endurance in a Georgia county. Read full book review >
TRAINWRECK by Sady Doyle
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTS
Released: Sept. 20, 2016

"A well-rounded, thoughtful analysis of what can make and break a woman when she's placed in the spotlight."
How and why women are alternately idolized and then given hell for being the way they are. Read full book review >
JUNIPER by Kelley French
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 13, 2016

"A fierce and fact-filled love story with few holds barred."
Two skilled journalists collaborate on the most personal of stories: their extremely premature daughter's struggle to survive. Read full book review >
PSYCHOLOGY
Released: Sept. 13, 2016

"It's no match for Jesse Sheidlower's fluent, fun The F Word (1995), but Bergen's study is still a winner for the psycholinguistics nerd in the house."
An examination of the sub rosa language that sets us all atwitter—and athwart. Read full book review >
WHEN STRANGERS MEET by Kio Stark
SOCIAL SCIENCES
Released: Sept. 13, 2016

"Hardly groundbreaking but a pleasant little book about making connections."
Don't be a stranger advises this short book on connecting with others. Read full book review >
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTS
Released: Sept. 13, 2016

"A wide-ranging, highly positive assessment of the El Sistema movement, serving as both inspiration and manual for would-be social activists."
In this follow-up to Tunstall's Changing Lives (2011), which examined the growth of El Sistema in Venezuela, the authors look at the expansion of this artistic-social project around the world. Read full book review >
HISTORY
Released: Sept. 13, 2016

"A comprehensive primer for how to contemplate urban spaces as they evolve for the future."
A creative city planner takes inspiration from the ancients' sense of urban integrity to propound a holistic approach to crafting the city space. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Melissa Sweet
author of SOME WRITER!
September 26, 2016

“SOME PIG,” Charlotte the spider’s praise for Wilbur, is just one fondly remembered snippet from E. B. White’s Charlotte’s Web. In Some Writer!, two-time Caldecott Honor winner and 2014 Kirkus Prize finalist Melissa Sweet mixes White’s personal letters, photos, and family ephemera with her own exquisite artwork to tell his story, from his birth in 1899 to his death in 1985. Budding young writers will be fascinated and inspired by the journalist, New Yorker contributor, and children’s book author who loved words his whole life. This authorized tribute is the first fully illustrated biography of E. B. White and includes an afterword by Martha White, E. B. White's granddaughter. “Like Charlotte, Sweet spins a terrific story,” our reviewer writes in a starred review. “A masterful biography that will enchant young readers.” View video >