Nev Schulman
author of IN REAL LIFE
Nev Schulman is famous as the host of MTV’s Catfish, where he investigates situations where people fall in love online with…someone who’s not entirely the person they say they are. Schulman is a good investigator because the same thing happened to him. In his new book In Real Life, Schulman explains how to stay sane online (and why to occasionally stay off social media), all while honestly revealing his own vulnerabilities.


Searching for the overlap of our online selves and our “real life” selves.

It wasn’t all that long ago that the words “Internet dating” were a badge of dishonor, considered the last-ditch effort for single men and women. Of course, with the Internet now entirely fluid in popular culture, it becomes easy to misrepresent yourself online. Catfish is the MTV series started by Schulman (itself an extension of his earlier documentary of the same name), someone who fell hook, line and sinker for online dating deception. With this book, the author aspires to create an extension of that show, to “dig into the deeper issues that motivate” such deception and that motivate anyone who spends significant time on their online relationships. Schulman makes inroads deep into armchair-quarterbacking territory with broad psychological generalizations that seem derived from his own experience and the carefully chosen examples his show has chosen to feature. A section titled “Fear” declares, “No duh, right? Hiding behind a fake profile is a pretty good sign that someone is terrified of being themselves.” Catfish fans could take umbrage at a reviewer pulling a quote that makes Schulman an easy target, but every page is peppered with bromides that offer little in the way of useful insight, aimed more at establishing the author as, in his words, “a guru on digital love.” There are islands of good advice, however—e.g., “invest in creating the content of your life” rather than a well-curated Facebook timeline—but more than half the book is more concerned with Schulman’s positioning himself as a guru than attaining any depth.

Another quote from the book, one more telling about “catfishing,” comes from comedian Marc Maron, who said that every status update is essentially a plea: “Would someone please acknowledge me?”

Recent Interviews

Elin Hilderbrand


October 13, 2015
WINTER STROLL by Elin Hilderbrand In Winter Stroll, a sequel to last year's holiday novel Winter Street, Elin Hilderbrand improves on the first by delving deeper into the emotional lives of the Quinn clan. Christmas on Nantucket finds Winter Street Inn owner Kelley Quinn and his family busily preparing for the holiday season. Though the year has brought tragedy, the Quinns have much to celebrate: Kelley has reunited with his first wife Margaret, Kevin and Isabelle have a new baby; and Ava is finally dating a nice guy. But when Kelley's estranged wife Mitzi shows up on the island, along with Kevin's devious ex-wife Norah and a dangerously irresistible old fling of Ava's, the Inn is suddenly overrun with romantic feuds, not to mention guests. “Although some of the Quinns' problems are resolved, many are not, happily promising a third installment next year,” our reviewer writes. View video >

John Sandford

author of SATURN RUN

October 6, 2015
SATURN RUN by John Sandford Saturn Run, John Sandford’s new novel, is quite a departure for the bestselling thriller writer, who sets aside his Lucas Davenport crime franchise (Gathering Prey, 2015, etc.) and partners with photographer and sci-fi buff Ctein to leave Earth’s gravitational field for the rings of Saturn. The year is 2066. A Caltech intern inadvertently notices an anomaly from a space telescope—something is approaching Saturn, and decelerating. Space objects don’t decelerate; spaceships do. A flurry of top-level government meetings produces the inescapable conclusion: whatever built that ship is at least 100 years ahead in hard and soft technology, and whoever can get their hands on it exclusively and bring it back will have an advantage so large, no other nation can compete. A conclusion the Chinese definitely agree with when they find out. The race is on. “James Bond meets Tom Swift, with the last word reserved not for extraterrestrial encounters but for international piracy, state secrets, and a spot of satisfyingly underhanded political pressure,” our reviewer writes. View video >

Upcoming Kirkus Interviews

October 20, 2015
Richard Grant
October 27, 2015
Adam Makos
author of DEVOTION