Social Sciences Book Reviews

DARING TO DRIVE by Manal al-Sharif
Released: June 13, 2017

"An intimate and powerful book from what is hopefully only the first of many Saudi voices to speak out."
Inside the walls of segregation and oppression dictating the lives of Saudi women. Read full book review >
AMERICAN FIRE by Monica Hesse
Released: July 11, 2017

"A true-crime saga that works in every respect."
A captivating narrative about arson, persistent law enforcers, an unlikely romantic relationship, and a courtroom drama. Read full book review >

WE ARE DATA by John  Cheney-Lippold
Released: May 2, 2017

"Essential reading for anyone who cares about the internet's extraordinary impact on each of us and on our society."
How algorithms shape our lives online. Read full book review >
HOMING INSTINCTS by Sarah Menkedick
Released: May 2, 2017

"Menkedick's driving question is to figure out 'whether returning home signifies growing up or giving up or both—and if it's both, what exactly we want to give up in exchange for what.' The magic of this book is that she makes so personal a question so easily accessible to readers."
An account of the author's transition from wandering spirit to anchored, responsible mother. Read full book review >
JANESVILLE by Amy  Goldstein
Released: April 18, 2017

"A simultaneously enlightening and disturbing look at working-class lives in America's heartland."
A Midwestern town struggles to survive in the aftermath of an economic disaster. Read full book review >

Released: May 9, 2017

"A dramatic, honest, moving narrative of how hard life can get and how one can still overcome seemingly insurmountable adversity to do good in the world."
How one woman finally broke away from a cycle of imprisonment and went on to help hundreds of other women re-enter normal life. Read full book review >
Released: April 1, 2017

"Powerful, persuasive encouragement toward better and wiser loving."
A spirited analysis of the concept of love and romanticrelationships.Read full book review >
MID-LIFE EX-WIFE by Stella Grey
Released: May 2, 2017

"A frank, guileless, and useful account of a 50-something's search for love through online dating services."
One woman's adventures in the online dating scene. Read full book review >
Released: May 7, 2017

"An informed, important exposé of the nation's institutionalized racism that would have been even more reader-friendly with the inclusion of more individual case histories."
How government policies have perpetuated the caste system of slavery. Read full book review >
AWAKENING by Nathaniel Frank
Released: April 24, 2017

"Frank's strikingly detailed, essential reportage reminds readers of the gay community's enduring fight for equality."
A diligent archive of gay marriage equality from its roots as a hopeful pipe dream to its realization as a civil right. Read full book review >
Released: Oct. 9, 2015

"A remarkably exhaustive account of one of the 20th century's—and perhaps the 21st century's as well—most impactful ideologies."
A book offers a comprehensive tour of the history of socialism. Read full book review >
Released: Dec. 1, 2015

"Narrow in scope, this homeless tale still offers a testimonial with undeniable value."
A first-person account explores homelessness in Massachusetts. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Brad Parks
author of SAY NOTHING
March 7, 2017

In Brad Parks’ new thriller Say Nothing, judge Scott Sampson doesn’t brag about having a perfect life, but the evidence is clear: a prestigious job. A beloved family. On an ordinary Wednesday afternoon, he is about to pick up his six-year-old twins to go swimming when his wife, Alison, texts him that she’ll get the kids from school instead. It’s not until she gets home later that Scott realizes she doesn’t have the children. And she never sent the text. Then the phone rings, and every parent’s most chilling nightmare begins. A man has stolen Sam and Emma. For Scott and Alison, the kidnapper’s call is only the beginning of a twisting, gut-churning ordeal of blackmail, deceit, and terror; a high-profile trial like none the judge or his wife has ever experienced. Their marriage falters. Suspicions and long-buried jealousies rise to the surface. Fractures appear. Lies are told. “The nerve-shredding never lets up for a minute as Parks picks you up by the scruff of the neck, shakes you vigorously, and repeats over and over again till a climax so harrowing that you’ll be shaking with gratitude that it’s finally over,” our critic writes in a starred review. View video >