RaveThe Washington PostSaslow awakens our psychological immune system. He gets us to feel again ... There are a few brief moments in Saslow’s collection when the overwhelming emotions come from awe and gratitude rather than pain ... In his author’s note, Saslow writes that the stories offered him inspiration and perspective about how the pandemic was often overcome. They didn’t for me, because the world is still very much amid the global health crisis. The surge of infection and death continues. Perhaps, as we reflect on this blight in a decade’s time, the stories Saslow gathered will ground readers emotionally, evoking gratitude for the health and safety we’ll hopefully have in the future. But now, these stories terrify me. And that might be one of the greatest gifts this collection can offer us—the opportunity to feel what we have lately grown immune to feeling, and a compelling reason to do what we need to do to keep ourselves, our families and our communities safe, healthy and alive.
PositiveThe Washington PostEvents are too artless to describe. But emotions have real gravitas. Warmth fluctuates in its emotional tone ... I first found his emotional flipflopping to be jarring and challenging to interpret. But later, I came to think that Sherrell’s diverse emotional palate may in fact reflect the ambivalence most of us feel when it comes to issues of climate change ... For those readers who already know the difference between hoot owls and barn owls, and for those who never knew of their existence, Sherrell awakens a new urgency for reform ... in Warmth, Sherrell makes concrete what is generally too abstract or distant for us to really feel.
Annie Murphy Paul
PositiveThe Washington Post[Paul] engagingly weaves together diverse narratives to explain this form of intelligence ... Paul does not offer do’s and don’ts for designing childhood education centers, corporate office floor plans, public parks or our own homes. She does not advise directly on how to prepare for a public address at a shareholders meeting, how to gesture to most effectively persuade others or how to best take advantage of the collective intelligence of teams. However, the diverse and deeply researched information she presents about the impact of our surroundings, our bodies and the people around us on our thought process can certainly be translated into that. Our minds are bigger than our brains, and if we embrace that fact, there’s so much more we can accomplish.