Social Sciences Book Reviews

ISLAND PEOPLE by Joshua Jelly-Schapiro
HISTORY
Released: Nov. 22, 2016

"An eminently well-informed narrative."
A geographer's exuberant travel narrative about the nations and people of the Caribbean. Read full book review >
HEALTH & MEDICINE
Released: Nov. 15, 2016

"A lively contribution to popular histories of New York and its institutions, worthy of shelving alongside Robert Caro's The Power Broker and Edwin Burrows and Mike Wallace's Gotham."
An eye-opening history of the Manhattan hospital whose name is a byword for asylums everywhere. Read full book review >

THE DOULAS by Mary Mahoney
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Nov. 15, 2016

"A gripping chronicle that will be especially useful for expectant or aspirational mothers."
The story of the transformative Doula Project. Read full book review >
WONDERLAND by Steven Johnson
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTS
Released: Nov. 15, 2016

"There's an infectious spirit of delight in the prose, which matches the themes in a book that will engage even those not entirely convinced by its thesis to take a look from a different perspective."
An illumination of how civilization advances through the ways in which it plays. Read full book review >
THE ATTENTION MERCHANTS by Tim Wu
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS
Released: Oct. 18, 2016

"Forget subliminal seduction: every day, we are openly bought and sold, as this provocative book shows."
When something online is free, then the product being sold is you. Wu (Columbia Law School; The Master Switch: The Rise and Fall of Information Empires, 2010) elaborates on that sobering note. Read full book review >

HISTORY
Released: Oct. 18, 2016

"An endlessly fascinating kaleidoscope of American history. A fantastic historical resource."
From the Dutch to the British, featuring a concentration on the waves of Irish and German in the late 19th century, this thoroughgoing work offers a host of immigrant sagas that were integral to the creation of the New York City cauldron. Read full book review >
Making Out Like a Virgin by Catriona McHardy
SOCIAL SCIENCES
Released: Oct. 18, 2016

"A valuable compilation that represents multiple paths for healing and thriving after sexual trauma."
Sexual abuse survivors from around the world detail their journeys to healthy sexuality and bodily autonomy in this collection. Read full book review >
VITAL LITTLE PLANS by Jane Jacobs
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS
Released: Oct. 11, 2016

"A timely volume that supports Jacobs' aim to 'stir up some independent thinking urgently needed as a wake-up call for America.' A perfect complement to Robert Kanigel's excellent biography, Eyes on the Street (2016)."
A collection of short pieces by an outspoken champion of urban diversity. Read full book review >
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Oct. 4, 2016

"A nuanced, forthright, emotionally compelling take on a painful subject."
How family dynamics can reflect racial prejudices in society as a whole. Read full book review >
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS
Released: Oct. 4, 2016

"A delightfully witty, enjoyable read."
A Brit living in the United States exposes the dark side of the happiness business in her adopted country. Read full book review >
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTS
Released: Oct. 4, 2016

"From the rigidly stratified life in the 1920s and '30s during J&L's 'despotic prime,' to the brief, postwar golden age, 'a moment of civic equipoise,' to today's 'company town without a company,' where the combination of unemployment, drugs, and crime crushes hope, Price's football story is really that of America's Rust Belt in poignant miniature."
A senior Sports Illustrated writer tells a multigenerational story about Aliquippa, a Pennsylvania steel town, and its legendary high school football team. Read full book review >
THE BITCH IS BACK by Cathi Hanauer
ESSAYS & ANTHOLOGIES
Released: Oct. 1, 2016

"A provocative collection about 'what happens later, after those frantic, demanding, exhausting years with work and very young kids and, sometimes, not enough money.'"
Successful women writers reflect on being mature and female in early-21st-century America. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Kendare Blake
November 16, 2016

Bestseller Kendare Blake’s latest novel, Three Dark Crowns, a dark and inventive fantasy about three sisters who must fight to the death to become queen. In every generation on the island of Fennbirn, a set of triplets is born: three queens, all equal heirs to the crown and each possessor of a coveted magic. Mirabella is a fierce elemental, able to spark hungry flames or vicious storms at the snap of her fingers. Katharine is a poisoner, one who can ingest the deadliest poisons without so much as a stomachache. Arsinoe, a naturalist, is said to have the ability to bloom the reddest rose and control the fiercest of lions. But becoming the Queen Crowned isn’t solely a matter of royal birth. Each sister has to fight for it. The last queen standing gets the crown. “Gorgeous and bloody, tender and violent, elegant, precise, and passionate; above all, completely addicting,” our reviewer writes in a starred review. View video >