PositiveThe Seattle TimesFans of Sacks\' writing will find his favorite topics revisited here ... All this writing shares his well-known charm and self-effacing kindness.
PositiveThe Seattle TimesWhat may come as a surprise...is that Houston developed PTSD from a childhood of mental and physical abuse ... But there is little bitterness in Deep Creek, which describes a place of hope ... this [is] perceptive work ... One of the memoir’s most engrossing sections describes 2013’s huge West Fork fire ... Houston’s dramatic account of this includes terms she learned about fire behavior and firefighting methods, helping readers appreciate the immense threat in times of drought ... learning to care for her land showed that all this time, it had cared for her.
PositiveThe Seattle TimesMuch of the persistent misinformation about animals, she shows, recurs from early writers and medieval bestiaries (collections of descriptions of real and imaginary animals). For example: since a moose has no knees, it sleeps standing up and leaning on a tree; the hippopotamus snorts fire; swallows spend the winter underwater; some birds fly to the moon until spring and others transmute themselves into another animal, according to Aristotle. In fact, truth can be more intriguing than fiction ... Cooke’s extensive travels, research and delightful sense of humor make The Truth about Animals a fascinating modern bestiary.
MixedThe Seattle TimesRichard Ford has again crafted what his readers know to expect: characters down on their luck yet struggling toward approximations of the American dream. Once again, wide-open spaces of the West play a major role as 66-year-old Dell Parsons reminisces on the pivotal year of his childhood in Montana and Saskatchewan … The bulk of the narrative is so full of expansive descriptions and repeated mulling over how things might have gone differently or better if only this or that had or hadn't happened, that the opening works hard to propel the story … In a beautiful, bittersweet ending, the story abruptly jumps to the present. Intervening years are mostly missing. They're not important. The empty land, the failed family, Dell's determination in the face of it all, justify this cheerless novel in ways Ford has perfected.
PositiveThe Seattle Times...a veteran driver’s informative, humorous and beautifully detailed memoir … He’s learned to maneuver a 53-foot-long trailer into spaces with only inches to spare. And, having earned the appropriate trucker handle U-turn, he’s also learned from firsthand experience when not to even try … His clients, called shippers, run the gamut from friendly folks who feed and tip the crew to clueless executives who leave their dirty dishes in the sink for the movers to wash … It’s a hoot to ride along with Murphy, who advises us four-wheelers to trust maps not auto GPS systems and, whenever passing a big rig, ‘pass it fast and get ahead of it.’
PositiveThe Seattle TimesAt times, the science of this book is daunting, but its study subject is so amazing, it’s hard not to be drawn along, just as Godfrey-Smith was when he extended a hand to an octopus and it reached out to return his touch, echoing his interest.
PositiveThe Seattle TimesCity coyotes are smarter; since they and their pups live longer, we’re headed for more coyote-human conflict, Flores predicts, so we better learn to coexist. They’re not dumpster divers, he writes, but allies against rodents. They are America’s unique survivor.
PositiveThe Seattle Times...his quest to unravel a deceptively simple question is both fun and intriguing, an exploration filled with both learning and missteps, like any journey ... Following Moor’s trails in this book opens many fascinating vistas.
Terry Tempest Williams
PositiveThe Seattle Times[The Hour of Land] is less a celebration than a platform for its well-known activist author to address a variety of serious concerns such as encroaching oil and gas development, growing water shortages, global warming and privilege versus poverty ... We might expect more of a guide and history, less of the writer’s anger and her focus on its causes, but have to be satisfied with what she deems important ... Williams awakens readers to present issues easily obscured by the National Park Service’s carefully cultivated, idyllic image.
PositiveThe Seattle TimesThat we don’t yet understand how or even whether plants think is clear. But with Mabey acting as MC, this showy ensemble of actors proves quite entertaining.