Next book

SOLVABLE

HOW WE HEALED THE EARTH, AND HOW WE CAN DO IT AGAIN

Solomon’s review of answers to big problems displays her expertise and optimism in a pragmatic, inspiring package.

A study of how successful campaigns to curb dangerous chemicals and pollution point to a way forward on climate change.

Apocalyptic despair over the issue of climate change is common. However, according to veteran atmospheric chemist Solomon, it is a waste of energy that could be productively employed. She has won acclaim for her four decades of work in her field, and in this book, she examines how a range of environmental crises have been addressed. She was directly involved in some, such as repairing the hole in the ozone layer; regarding other projects, she has drawn together extensive primary and secondary research. Compiled in this way, the list is surprisingly long, including the removal of lead from paint and gasoline, the banning of dangerous pesticides, and reductions in air pollution and acid rain. The ban on chlorofluorocarbons, writes the author, provides a framework for effective cooperative action. Beginning with scientific research, the process moved to policy changes in a few countries, followed by global agreements and workable regulation and action. Problems bring forth answers, which might be new technology or a change in thinking. Trying to bully people into acceptance of painful reform is usually counterproductive. Explanation and persuasion might be slow but will be more effective in the end. In relation to the climate change debate, Solomon does not underestimate the problems, but she believes that a tipping point for dynamic action has been reached. “If we seize the day within this decade, we can craft a better future for life on Earth,” she writes. “Understanding the basic science, the global politics, key economic factors, and the essential roles of the public and of technology-steering shows that the world is on the cusp of a brighter future.”

Solomon’s review of answers to big problems displays her expertise and optimism in a pragmatic, inspiring package.

Pub Date: June 13, 2024

ISBN: 9780226827933

Page Count: 312

Publisher: Univ. of Chicago

Review Posted Online: March 14, 2024

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2024

Next book

WHAT THIS COMEDIAN SAID WILL SHOCK YOU

Maher calls out idiocy wherever he sees it, with a comedic delivery that veers between a stiletto and a sledgehammer.

The comedian argues that the arts of moderation and common sense must be reinvigorated.

Some people are born snarky, some become snarky, and some have snarkiness thrust upon them. Judging from this book, Maher—host of HBO’s Real Time program and author of The New New Rules and When You Ride Alone, You Ride With bin Laden—is all three. As a comedian, he has a great deal of leeway to make fun of people in politics, and he often delivers hilarious swipes with a deadpan face. The author describes himself as a traditional liberal, with a disdain for Republicans (especially the MAGA variety) and a belief in free speech and personal freedom. He claims that he has stayed much the same for more than 20 years, while the left, he argues, has marched toward intolerance. He sees an addiction to extremism on both sides of the aisle, which fosters the belief that anyone who disagrees with you must be an enemy to be destroyed. However, Maher has always displayed his own streaks of extremism, and his scorched-earth takedowns eventually become problematic. The author has something nasty to say about everyone, it seems, and the sarcastic tone starts after more than 300 pages. As has been the case throughout his career, Maher is best taken in small doses. The book is worth reading for the author’s often spot-on skewering of inept politicians and celebrities, but it might be advisable to occasionally dip into it rather than read the whole thing in one sitting. Some parts of the text are hilarious, but others are merely insulting. Maher is undeniably talented, but some restraint would have produced a better book.

Maher calls out idiocy wherever he sees it, with a comedic delivery that veers between a stiletto and a sledgehammer.

Pub Date: May 21, 2024

ISBN: 9781668051351

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: March 5, 2024

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2024

Awards & Accolades

Likes

  • Readers Vote
  • 13


Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT


  • Kirkus Reviews'
    Best Books Of 2020

Next book

BEYOND THE GENDER BINARY

From the Pocket Change Collective series

A fierce, penetrating, and empowering call for change.

Awards & Accolades

Likes

  • Readers Vote
  • 13


Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT


  • Kirkus Reviews'
    Best Books Of 2020

Artist and activist Vaid-Menon demonstrates how the normativity of the gender binary represses creativity and inflicts physical and emotional violence.

The author, whose parents emigrated from India, writes about how enforcement of the gender binary begins before birth and affects people in all stages of life, with people of color being especially vulnerable due to Western conceptions of gender as binary. Gender assignments create a narrative for how a person should behave, what they are allowed to like or wear, and how they express themself. Punishment of nonconformity leads to an inseparable link between gender and shame. Vaid-Menon challenges familiar arguments against gender nonconformity, breaking them down into four categories—dismissal, inconvenience, biology, and the slippery slope (fear of the consequences of acceptance). Headers in bold font create an accessible navigation experience from one analysis to the next. The prose maintains a conversational tone that feels as intimate and vulnerable as talking with a best friend. At the same time, the author's turns of phrase in moments of deep insight ring with precision and poetry. In one reflection, they write, “the most lethal part of the human body is not the fist; it is the eye. What people see and how people see it has everything to do with power.” While this short essay speaks honestly of pain and injustice, it concludes with encouragement and an invitation into a future that celebrates transformation.

A fierce, penetrating, and empowering call for change. (writing prompt) (Nonfiction. 14-adult)

Pub Date: June 2, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-593-09465-5

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Penguin Workshop

Review Posted Online: March 14, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2020

Close Quickview