Social Sciences Book Reviews

POPS by Michael Chabon
ESSAYS & ANTHOLOGIES
Released: May 22, 2018

"Even when he's driving at cruising speed, Chabon takes his readers for an enjoyable ride."
A compact collection of thematically linked essays, perfectly timed for Father's Day. Read full book review >
Released: May 22, 2018

"A frustrating account of the current exasperating state of affairs. For a more penetrating portrait of similar issues, head back to Detroit."
A notorious journalist attempts to unpack the complex political, social, and cultural issues that have come to dominate the American discourse. Read full book review >

HARVEY MILK by Lillian Faderman
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: May 22, 2018

"Harvey Milk as seen through fresh, highly knowledgeable eyes."
A new biography of the controversial and groundbreaking Harvey Milk (1930-1978). Read full book review >
THE LAST COWBOYS by John Branch
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: May 15, 2018

"Packed with fascinating information, lively writing, and a certain pleasant nostalgia, this book is a good candidate for reading one chapter per day; eventually, the narrative becomes unwieldy—too many family members to track easily, too many long drives to rodeo after rodeo, and too many abrupt narrative shifts from cattle to rodeo to environmental degradation."
Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times reporter Branch (Boy on Ice: The Life and Death of Derek Boogaard, 2014) immerses himself in a huge Utah family to understand contemporary cattle rearing, rodeo riding, and the endangered environment of the American West, which is owned primarily by the American government but leased to private ranchers. Read full book review >
SEX MONEY MURDER by Jonathan Green
Released: May 15, 2018

"A disturbing yet necessary, significant book by a journalist willing to place himself in danger."
The bloody history of a violent Bronx-based gang in the middle of the crack epidemic. Read full book review >

Released: May 15, 2018

"A trip well worth taking, eye-opening and even mind-blowing."
Noted culinary writer Pollan (Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation, 2013, etc.) makes the transition from feeding your body to feeding your head. Read full book review >
KICKFLIP BOYS by Neal Thompson
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: May 15, 2018

"A highly candid memoir of parenthood that often fascinates and occasionally frustrates as the author tries to come to terms with the causes that have produced these particular effects."
Permissive parenting clashes with adolescent rebellion amid the skateboarding subculture. Read full book review >
Released: May 15, 2018

"A powerful and necessarily uncomfortable text lacking suggestions for a path forward."
The impassioned story of one woman's journey into activism. Read full book review >
Released: May 15, 2018

"A book rich in speculation about how collective thinking might solve big problems such as climate change; of interests to fans of Daniel Dennett, Steven Pinker, and other big-picture thinkers."
Forget artificial intelligence. Instead, think collective intelligence, putting "AI in combination with humans who provide whatever skills and general intelligence the machines don't yet have themselves." Read full book review >
BULLSHIT JOBS by David Graeber
Released: May 15, 2018

"Overlong, but the book offers comfort to those who are performing the white-collar version of burger-flipping and hating every minute of it."
Forget Piketty or Marx. Graeber (Anthropology/London School of Economics; The Utopia of Rules: On Technology, Stupidity, and the Secret Joys of Bureaucracy, 2015, etc.) is calling bullshit when it comes to the wage-slave economy. Read full book review >
Released: May 15, 2018

"Refreshingly, Stadiem mostly avoids making the narrative overly gossipy, and it's good fun to see what devils some of our political and cultural heroes really were."
An eye-opening biography of "the elegant French Queen of Sex." Read full book review >
THE ART OF GATHERING by Priya Parker
Released: May 15, 2018

"Useful to those whose job it is to plan meetings, conferences, and the like and a worthy survival manual for consumers of the same."
Wherever two or more of you gather, you're probably doing it wrong. 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 >