Social Sciences Book Reviews

AWAKENING by Nathaniel Frank
NON-FICTION
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 >
OPTION B by Sheryl Sandberg
NON-FICTION
Released: April 24, 2017

"A book that provides illuminating ways to make headway through the days when there doesn't seem to be a way forward."
A memoir of the loss of a husband and finding a path forward beyond the grieving process. Read full book review >

BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 18, 2017

"Newlyweds and couples looking to jump-start a foundering relationship will find Piazza's analysis of marriage useful, amusing, and engaging."
How women from different cultures handle the complexities of marriage. Read full book review >
JANESVILLE by Amy  Goldstein
NON-FICTION
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 >
DOWN THE UP STAIRCASE by Bruce D. Haynes
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 11, 2017

"A candid and profoundly personal contribution to America's racial history."
A family's story reflects social upheaval. Read full book review >

DOUBLE BIND by Robin Romm
ESSAYS & ANTHOLOGIES
Released: April 11, 2017

"A thoughtfully provocative anthology."
Romm (MFA Program/Warren Wilson Coll.; The Mercy Papers: A Memoir of Three Weeks, 2009, etc.) gathers essays by successful women about the meaning of ambition in their lives. Read full book review >
THE GIVERS by David Callahan
NON-FICTION
Released: April 11, 2017

"An eye-opening view of a vast sector of the economy that lies in the shadows but has undue influence, for ill or good."
Intriguing look at the world of big-ticket philanthropy, which shows promise of surpassing much governmental social-service spending in the near future. Read full book review >
THE IDIOCY OF PERFECTION by Jesus Silva-Herzog Marquez
ESSAYS & ANTHOLOGIES
Released: April 5, 2017

"A judicious, agile look at the limits of reason and modern liberalism."
A series of biographical vignettes captures a shared skepticism about the rewards of modernity. Read full book review >
THE SEX EFFECT by Ross Benes
NON-FICTION
Released: April 4, 2017

"A book marinated in provocative assertions that are certain to instigate debate and productive discussion."
A witty discussion of the indirect role sex plays across political, economic, religious, and cultural landscapes. Read full book review >
THE AUTHENTIC LOVER by Chris  Hakim
ESSAYS & ANTHOLOGIES
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 >
A COLONY IN A NATION by Chris Hayes
NON-FICTION
Released: March 21, 2017

"A timely and impassioned argument for social justice."
Profound contrasts in policing and incarceration reveal disparate Americas. Read full book review >
NON-FICTION
Released: March 21, 2017

"This hybrid narrative, enhanced by the author's considerable skills as a literary stylist, succeeds on every level."
Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Powers (Mark Twain: A Life, 2005, etc.) presents two searing sagas: an indictment of mental health care in the United States and the story of his two schizophrenic sons. 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 >