Social Sciences Book Reviews

LITTLE SOLDIERS by Lenora  Chu
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 19, 2017

"An informative, personal view of the Chinese and their educational system that will have many American readers cringing at the techniques used by the Chinese to create perfect students."
A comparison of American and Chinese education systems based on the author's observations of her young son. Read full book review >
WE NEED TO TALK by Celeste  Headlee
Released: Sept. 19, 2017

"A thoughtful discussion and sometimes-passionate plea for civility and consideration in conversation."
In this era of social media and increasing political and cultural polarization, we need to think more about how and why we converse with one another. Read full book review >

Released: Sept. 19, 2017

"Good, readable pop psychology that doesn't get too arcane but explores hidden mental corners all the same."
A pop-science tour of the brain and the "systematic mistakes we make when we attempt to change minds, as well as [an illumination of] what occurs during those instances in which we succeed." Read full book review >
THE ALL-OR-NOTHING MARRIAGE by Eli J. Finkel
Released: Sept. 19, 2017

"Finkel puts marriage under the microscope in this more-history-than-self-help scrutiny of the institution."
A thorough analysis of American marriage throughout the ages. Read full book review >
GASLIGHT LAWYERS by Richard H. Underwood
NON-FICTION
Released: Sept. 19, 2017

"An accessible, marvelously rigorous account of a bygone legal era."
A historical study of the often dysfunctional judicial system in late-19th-century New York City. Read full book review >

THE ORIGIN OF OTHERS by Toni Morrison
ESSAYS & ANTHOLOGIES
Released: Sept. 18, 2017

"As sharp and insightful as one would expect from this acclaimed author."
Essays focused on an overarching question: "What is race (other than genetic imagination), and why does it matter?" Read full book review >
Released: Sept. 15, 2017

"A galvanizing forecast of global warming's endgame and a powerful indictment of America's current stance."
A well-researched and grim exploration of the connections between climate change and the political hostility toward the refugees it creates. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 12, 2017

"During a time of political, economic, and social upheaval across the United States, Williams' grounded optimism is a refreshing corrective."
The singer/songwriter builds on her decades as a touring performer to offer bracing examples of small cities that have found ways to thrive. Read full book review >
ANOTHER FINE MESS by Helen Epstein
Released: Sept. 12, 2017

"A sizzling indictment of Uganda's current strongman and of the American policy in Africa that supports his corrupt regime with generous foreign aid."
A valiant attempt to disentangle the many threads snarled in the continuing African tragedy. Read full book review >
THE NAUGHTY NINETIES by David Friend
Released: Sept. 12, 2017

"A witty, comprehensively researched time capsule from an unforgettable age of excess, scandal, and sex."
How multiculturalism and sexual liberation shaped a distinctive decade. Read full book review >
Released: Sept. 12, 2017

"A generous and instructive book on working through relationships, with much to recommend for readers, whether they are fans of The Princess Bride or not."
A Buddhist approach to navigating key relationships with lessons from the cult classic film. Read full book review >
THE FAR AWAY BROTHERS by Lauren  Markham
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 12, 2017

"One of the most searing books on illegal immigration since Sonia Nazario's Enrique's Journey (2006)."
Markham relies on her roles as a journalist and a worker in the realm of refugee resettlement and immigrant education to craft a powerful narrative about an experience that plays out every day in the United States. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Katey Sagal
author of GRACE NOTES
April 10, 2017

In her memoir Grace Notes, actress and singer/songwriter Katey Sagal takes you through the highs and lows of her life, from the tragic deaths of her parents to her long years in the Los Angeles rock scene, from being diagnosed with cancer at the age of twenty-eight to getting her big break on the fledgling FOX network as the wise-cracking Peggy Bundy on the beloved sitcom Married…with Children. Sparse and poetic, Grace Notes is an emotionally riveting tale of struggle and success, both professional and personal: Sagal’s path to sobriety; the stillbirth of her first daughter, Ruby; motherhood; the experience of having her third daughter at age 52 with the help of a surrogate; and her lifelong passion for music. “While this book is sure to please the author’s many fans, its thoughtful, no-regrets honesty will no doubt also appeal to readers of Hollywood memoirs seeking substance that goes beyond gossip and name-dropping,” our critic writes. “A candid, reflective memoir.” View video >