Social Sciences Book Reviews

AN EXCELLENT CHOICE by Emma Brockes
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: June 26, 2018

"A disarming and casually hilarious take on the opposite of co-parenting."
A fertility memoir with a whiff of Tristram Shandy. Read full book review >
DEAD GIRLS by Alice Bolin
ESSAYS & ANTHOLOGIES
Released: June 26, 2018

"An illuminating study on the role women play in the media and in their own lives."
In this engrossing debut collection of essays, Bolin (Creative Nonfiction/Univ. of Memphis) looks at two things: America's cultural obsession with dead girls in works of literature and on TV and Los Angeles from the perspective of both a newcomer and a veteran. Read full book review >

MANY LOVE by Sophie Lucido Johnson
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: June 26, 2018

"Illuminating and entertaining."
A writer and illustrator reveals how she went from serial monogamist to happily married polyamorist. Read full book review >
SQUEEZED by Alissa Quart
Released: June 26, 2018

"Well-written, wide-ranging, and vital to understanding American life today."
Fighting to stay in the middle class. Read full book review >
Released: July 10, 2018

"There have been plenty of books covering similar territory—and there will be many more in the years to come—but rarely are they as persuasive and engaging as this one."
A stirring defense of "identity politics" and the need to reclaim narratives as well as a powerful account of the transformation of a journalist into an activist. Read full book review >

TORN FROM THE WORLD by John Gibler
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: July 15, 2018

"The reasons why this book can't tell the whole story—and how the stories it tells conflict—are fascinating tales in their own right."
An account of a guerrilla prisoner's torture in—and eventual escape from—a secret Mexican prison. Read full book review >
Released: July 24, 2018

"A penetrating probe into one of the most intriguing and misunderstood sporting stories of our time."
A fascinating investigation into the role of football in American Samoan culture and the role of Samoans in American football. Read full book review >
Released: Aug. 7, 2018

"An urgent, eye-opening look at a problem that promises to grow much worse in the face of inaction and indifference.
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Harrowing travels through the land of the hypermedicated, courtesy of hopelessness, poverty, and large pharmaceutical companies. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Aug. 7, 2018

"A valuable portrait of a society moving toward fulfilling 'the promises of freedom and democracy' of the Arab Spring—but with a way to go still."
Former New York Times Cairo bureau chief Kirkpatrick delivers a sharply detailed firsthand look at Tahrir Square and its aftershocks. Read full book review >
AMATEUR by Thomas Page McBee
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Aug. 14, 2018

"Provocative and illuminating—a winning follow-up to McBee's acclaimed debut."
A journalist's account of why he decided to train as a boxer and become the first transgender man to fight a cisgender man in Madison Square Garden. Read full book review >
SMALL ANIMALS by Kim Brooks
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Aug. 21, 2018

"An engaging, enlightening story that reveals the potential harm parents and society can do to children when they don't allow them any freedoms at all."
An incisive investigation of the many complex "points of intersection" between "parenthood and fear." Read full book review >
ARTHUR ASHE by Raymond Arsenault
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Aug. 21, 2018

"Readers uninterested in tennis will find the detailed match coverage tedious, but Arsenault skillfully guides readers to match point in a book that will be a go-to resource."
A well-informed doorstop biography of Arthur Ashe (1943-1993). 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 >