PositiveThe San Francisco ChronicleOccasionally, Scutts’ stated bias against most self-help (aside from Hillis’) leads her to conflate shallow nostrums with practices such as mindfulness, as if both were distractions from pressing social and economic problems. That’s a small quibble, however, in a book that is both absorbing and, in the best way, unsettling. The Live-Aloner’s fight to be accepted in her full humanity is a battle her great-granddaughters (or great-grandnieces) are still waging.
RaveThe San Francisco ChronicleCarew juxtaposes deep and recent past with ease, nesting the intimate into the political. She ranges from her father’s friendship with William Colby — the CIA head who died in a 1996 canoeing accident that many considered suspicious — to hilariously misguided capers ... Her father laughs hard and weeps often, for his lost past, his lost self — a bereavement we all recognize, or will. Part memoir, part biography, part military history, Dadland is also a lovingly unconventional elegy for a generation.
RaveThe San Francisco ChronicleBetween Them is a powerful reckoning with the in-between: the chemistry between two people — man and woman, parent and child — the gap between what we wish we’d done and what we did, and the inexpressible feelings that reside in the space between words.
PositiveThe San Francisco ChronicleNot surprisingly, Stroh’s most powerful subject is her family ... In 1999, Stroh’s was sold to Pabst and Miller, having lost hundreds of millions of dollars. The blood-red trucks vanished from Detroit’s ravaged landscape. A decade later, Eric Stroh died alone. But the haunting photographs he took punctuate these pages, along with his daughter’s work — art emerging from the wreckage.