Kirkus Reviews Stars & Recommendations

DISGRACED by Gwen Florio
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Feb. 8, 2016

"Lola's third (Dakota, 2014, etc.) is a gut-wrenching mystery/thriller that explores prejudice and the incredible stress on soldiers in a seemingly unending war with no clear goals."
A favor for a friend leads a reporter to a stunning story and life-altering decisions. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 8, 2016

"Fascinating to dip into casually and essential to students of the Kennedy administration, the Cold War, and late-20th-century world history."
Three months, 1,700 pages. But what months they were: a season in the midterm administration of John F. Kennedy marked by faltering polls, the aftermath of near nuclear war, and one crisis after another. Read full book review >

THE DRUM WITHIN by James R. Scarantino
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Feb. 8, 2016

"Come what may, Aragon never loses her focus on tying Cody to an older homicide he was linked to years ago, with results equally surprising to her and the reader. First of a welcome series."
A Santa Fe homicide detective fights to make a case against a high-profile killer she's responsible for setting free. Read full book review >
THE ABYSS SURROUNDS US by Emily Skrutskie
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Released: Feb. 8, 2016

"Personal and cultural complexities distinguish this fresh and fascinating look at a lawless future. (Science fiction. 14 & up)"
The world's geopolitical balance rests on a genetically modified sea monster and his 17 1/2-year-old trainer. Can she resist the adrenaline rush of a pirate's life to keep the world aright? Read full book review >
PIECE OF MIND by Michelle Adelman
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Feb. 8, 2016

"This labor of love pens a soft-edged portrait of a subject who struggles to grasp complexity."
A wayward woman with little executive function tries to wrest back control of her life. Read full book review >

OUTPATIENTS by Sasha Issenberg
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Feb. 6, 2016

"Policymakers will benefit from the author's densely detailed but accessible, on-the-ground reporting of an increasingly commonplace phenomenon with serious implications for the future of health care."
Monocle Washington correspondent Issenberg (The Victory Lab: The Secret Science of Winning Campaigns, 2012, etc.) describes the rise of medical tourism, which draws patients from around the world to such unexpected places as Hungary, the acknowledged dental capital of Europe, and Thailand, whose government touts it as the "Medical Hub of Asia." Read full book review >
SHRINKING THE EARTH by Donald Worster
HISTORY
Released: Feb. 3, 2016

"A bracing, intelligent survey of wealth become immiseration, essential for students of environmental history."
Eminent historian Worster (Emeritus, American History/Univ. of Kansas; A Passion for Nature: The Life of John Muir, 2008, etc.) offers a concise, often elegiac account of the end of the American centuries.Read full book review >
UNITED STATES OF JIHAD by Peter L. Bergen
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Feb. 2, 2016

"Thoughtful and sensitive, Bergen's book faces a nightmare scenario head-on."
A frightening survey of Islamic terrorists bred on American soil. Read full book review >
HONKY TONK SAMURAI by Joe R. Lansdale
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Feb. 2, 2016

"Let's hope there's more of that good feeling to come in this terrific series."
Hap and Leonard, the East Texas duo of two-fisted do-gooders, return in the ninth novel about their adventures. Read full book review >
A WEIRD AND WILD BEAUTY by Erin Peabody
CHILDREN'S AND TEEN
Released: Feb. 2, 2016

"A lively, richly detailed account of exploration, conservation, and natural history. (photos, maps, endnotes, bibliography) (Nonfiction. 12-18)"
If Peabody's impassioned, vividly written chronicle of how Yellowstone became a national park does not make readers want to visit, nothing will. Read full book review >
THE POINT IS by Lee Eisenberg
HEALTH & MEDICINE
Released: Feb. 2, 2016

"Challengingly thought-provoking, Eisenberg's self-probing processes will encourage anyone to further ponder the meaning of life."
A meditation on the relevance of celebrating one's ever unfolding life story through the preservation and recognition of memories. Read full book review >
KINGFISHER by Patricia A. McKillip
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Feb. 2, 2016

"Fantasy lovers looking for a lighter touch amid all those vampires, zombies, werewolves, and industrial-strength malefactors will find this a refreshing change of pace."
A delicately wrought, twinkle-eyed fantasy from the accomplished author of The Bards of Bone Plain (2010, etc.).Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Michael Eric Dyson
February 2, 2016

In Michael Eric Dyson’s rich and nuanced book new book, The Black Presidency: Barack Obama and the Politics of Race in America, Dyson writes with passion and understanding about Barack Obama’s “sad and disappointing” performance regarding race and black concerns in his two terms in office. While race has defined his tenure, Obama has been “reluctant to take charge” and speak out candidly about the nation’s racial woes, determined to remain “not a black leader but a leader who is black.” Dyson cogently examines Obama’s speeches and statements on race, from his first presidential campaign through recent events—e.g., the Ferguson riots and the eulogy for the Rev. Clementa Pinckney in Charleston—noting that the president is careful not to raise the ire of whites and often chastises blacks for their moral failings. At his best, he spoke with “special urgency for black Americans” during the Ferguson crisis and was “at his blackest,” breaking free of constraints, in his “Amazing Grace” Charleston eulogy. Dyson writes here as a realistic, sometimes-angry supporter of the president. View video >