RaveThe New York Times Book ReviewPeskin writes about these conditions and the patients consumed by them with a grace and humanity that recall Oliver Sacks. Her slim volume also manages to tell the stories of the doctors and researchers who chased down these treacherous molecules in the field and in the lab; she has a flair for the quick character sketch and an eye for vivid detail ... Kane’s doctor is a dazzling stylist and a compassionate observer.
MixedThe New York Times... getting on in years doesn’t have to mean becoming elderly, Steele argues — and in his new book, Ageless, he does a surprisingly effective job of decoupling the two ... In precise and sometimes dense detail he lays out the means by which science could effectively eliminate human aging ... when it does occur, then what? Herein lies this book’s flaw. Steele does not begin to grapple with the deeper implications of the project he champions so enthusiastically. Aging, much as we may dread it, is an essential part of the human experience. It can’t simply be excised, snipped out by science, without causing enormous disruption to our social structures and practices, and without plundering the meaning we make of our lives ... The question of what it means to age — and what it would mean not to — goes entirely unaddressed in Ageless, a book that is technically impressive but morally and emotionally shallow.
PositiveThe Washington PostWeird is a distinctly odd creation. A medley of social science reporting, autobiographical confession and in-depth interviews with an array of \'weird\' people, it is held together—just barely—by the singular voice of its author ... By turns insouciantly candid, calmly authoritative and poignantly insightful, Khazan’s persona has a startling freshness that ultimately wins over the reader, though not without inspiring a fair amount of head-scratching and eyebrow-raising along the way ... a voluminous catalogue of the ways humans create groups that include some and exclude others...extending deep empathy and genuine curiosity to her subjects ... Weird is at its strongest when Khazan allows herself to explore, with bracing candor and unexpected humor, what it feels like to be weird ... Even readers who have not organized their identity around being different, as Khazan has, will relate to the fundamentally human experience of being the odd man or woman out.
MixedThe New York Times Book ReviewMissing from these pages are the subtle insight and informed judgment for which she was once known ... Ravitch takes a defiant leap over the line separating reasoned case-building from empty sloganeering and ad hominem attacks ... she writes, adopting an imperious tone that is new to her books ... her portraits of these valiant fighters are curiously selective. Not included among them are the mothers and fathers, many of them people of color, who engage in activism ... In Ravitch’s rather cynical calculus, those who don’t agree with her on issues like charter schools have either been bought or been duped ... even if Ravitch has often been justified in raising alarms, it’s painful to see the absence of nuance she exhibits here ... Occasionally visible are flashes of the sharp but fair-minded writer from her previous works ... Ravitch has let go of some admirable intellectual practices and well-founded convictions. She would be wise to recover them.
PositiveThe Washington Post[King] offers the full complement of heartwarming, feel-good stories we would expect from a book about Mister Rogers ... King is a skilled storyteller who captures the essence of not only Rogers the person but also the very particular American scene that produced him ... The Good Neighbor guides us smoothly from Rogers’s childhood though his early adulthood and the start of his professional career ... King seems to recognize the dangers of regarding Rogers as too good — so impossibly virtuous as to seem not quite mortal — and does his best to excavate Rogers’s dark side.
RaveThe Washington PostSeidenberg unravels the science of reading with great flair. He is the ideal guide — and it turns out that we need a guide to reading, even though we’ve been doing it most of our lives ... If we appreciate the science of reading and its fascinating history and sociology, Seidenberg contends, we will arrive at the insight that 'understanding this complex skill means understanding something essential about being human.'”