MixedThe Associated PressPrerequisites almost are required – biology 101 and chemistry 101 would be helpful in grasping the roles of introns and cryocooling crystals, as examples ... a hefty reading-time investment with big doses of science. A tough read at times with textbook-like digressions into the supporting science ... Isaacson conveys all this though with unflagging enthusiasm, as if he can barely restrain himself from turning into a scientist himself.
RaveThe Associated Press... sometimes sad, often funny, always revealing portrait ... Rosen offers an engaging tutorial on how 60 Minutes\' signature high-quality mini-documentaries are produced but perhaps the book’s most important contribution comes in ratifying the essential role of skilled, tenacious journalism in maintaining a democracy.
PositiveThe Associated PressGates has crafted a calm, reasoned, well-sourced explanation of the greatest challenge of our time and what we must change to avoid cooking our planet ... What should make Gates’ book compelling to climate-change skeptics however are the concise, straightforward explanations of, for example, how much carbon is produced in the making of electricity and what we can do to reduce that. One conclusion sure to provoke debate is Gates’ contention that to conquer global warming, we need to produce at least some of our electricity from nuclear power, which he notes, is clean and safer than ever ... Gates’ book is high on solutions and low on dire warnings, the staple of many other writings on climate change.
PositiveThe Associated Press[Philpott] makes a solid case that our intensive, industrial farm practices are draining California aquifers and causing severe fertile soil erosion in the Plains states ... The book acknowledges a body of news reporting on this issue but deftly pulls together the whole crisis. Philpott is a veteran reporter for Mother Jones magazine and he has himself been a farmer, so he knows the language of agriculture.
PositiveThe Associated Press... an unusual mix of essays, narratives, poems, pictures and musings ... Rankine offers compelling stories that illuminate, often through conversations with white people, how they have benefited from their skin tone since birth ... Some of these talks are emotionally painful ... It’s impossible to read Rankine\'s book and not conclude that we must address, as Rankine writes, the elaborate \'set of assumptions, privileges and benefits that accompany the status of being white\' ... To these and other truths of a past we have avoided reckoning, Rankine will be helping America understand itself, one conversation at a time.
Rosayra Pablo Cruz and Julie Schwietert Collazo
MixedThe Associated Press... tips into advocacy ... Rosy’s story offers ammo for both those who deplore the Trump administration’s border policies and those who support them ... it’s hard to imagine such a happy ending for other immigrants who, as did Rosy, arrive at the border with little more than a desperate hope and the clothes they are wearing.
Alan D. Gaff
PositiveThe Associated PressGaff astutely crafts a biography to accompany Gehrig\'s columns and focuses on details that parallel Gehrig\'s generosity of spirit ... Perhaps most movingly, Gaff revisits the Yankee great\'s post-baseball career.
RaveThe Associated PressGoudeau agreed to use pseudonyms for the two women she expertly draws out in this book. While the absence of pictures and real names makes it more difficult to mentally and emotionally connect with the two main characters, Goudeau rises to the reporting and writing challenge, showing how seemingly ordinary tasks such as struggling to operate a shower control amplifies loneliness and the loss of everything the refugees once knew ... [Godeau\'s] book may not change national policy implemented by a president reflexively opposed to welcoming refugees, but in bringing the stories of Mu Naw and Hasna to us, the author shows that welcoming them doesn’t just save their lives and their children’s, but that their contribution to the American story ultimately enriches us all.
RaveThe Associated Press... sweeping but insightful ... Caldwell’s analysis of our Vietnam legacy is particularly masterful but the book brims with brisk evaluations of how a confident nation became an argumentative, fragmented one ... Perhaps because he was writing as his book’s natural finale crashed into the arena – Donald Trump’s election – Caldwell is less sure-footed in a grand conclusion. What does all this mean? Where are we? Where do we go to reconnect with our better angels? ... Caldwell offers the best analysis and theory yet as to how we perhaps unwittingly arrived at a place where we would elect a president bent on unraveling our institutions, assumptions and beliefs about ourselves and where we no longer even start with a set of accepted facts about anything.
PositiveThe Associated PressYaffa builds on...deeply reported and detailed profiles of Russians who have rationalized the constraints imposed on them and yet have learned how to become adept at what readers might call in the U.S. \'gaming the system.\' It’s a fascinating exploration into the beliefs and psyches of Russians in many different career fields who reveal their souls to Yaffa, often to a surprising degree but with little apparent fear of reprisal.
RaveThe Associated PressMitchell’s work deserves applause for his tenacity in bringing justice where the system failed miserably. His work also highlights the value of high-ideals journalism in a democracy. Were he reporting in Washington or New York, Mitchell would be a nationally renowned journalist, mentioned in the same sentence as Woodward, Bernstein and Hersh.
MixedThe Associated PressThe book is rich in detail, perhaps too much so — accounts of conversations decades ago occasionally bog down a meticulous and frightening rendering of how the United States and Russia remain on alert to launch enough nuclear weapons to make global warming seem like a minor annoyance.
PositiveThe Associated Press... an anthem to decluttering, recycling, making better quality goods and living a simpler life with less stuff. The book is a compelling argument for tempering acquisitions, especially now that global warming compels people to rethink how they live.
PositiveThe Associated PressOur Wild Calling is a thoughtful, calm, reasoned book, best read at a chapter-a-day pace, allowing time to think and digest what the author has presented ... Louv is given to digressions—to climate change, psychology, theologians, indigenous healers, loneliness and especially the degradation of the environment ... For many readers, though, the most interesting parts focus on the emerging evidence showing that our relationships with animals extend further than we have thought.