PositiveLos Angeles TimesChristopher Ketcham’s important book...is an urgent cry to expose the greed, stubbornness and neglect that is harming public lands. Journalist and wanderer, Ketcham has written a psalm to nature and a manifesto to stop the forces that are threatening a territory that stretches from Colorado to the Pacific Coast ... Ketcham is a passionate guide. He can be polemical and overheated. But he is righteous and poetic when he writes about places like the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument in Utah, where the walls in Paradise Gulch \'rise sheer, cream pink, tall as sky\' ... Ketcham embodies the fervor of past environmentalist writers, including Edward Abbey’s Desert Solitaire and Aldo Leopold’s A Sand County Almanac. He is itinerant, tracing the tack of rivers and the edges of cliffs. His book forces readers to consider how beauty can be spoiled even in the outreaches of the West. Such violation, he warns, will wound land and soul, and betray a nation’s promise to its citizens.
Malin Persson Giolito, Trans. by Rachel WIllson-Broyles
PositiveThe Los Angeles Times... a taut, sobering ride, playing out against cold, rain and flinty skies ... The novel evokes a Scandinavia where herring is pondered and directness is a virtue even in its cunning ... A lawyer herself, Giolito is clever in the intricacies and personalities, including prosecutors, judges and journalists, propelling a justice system that whirs on sensation and jurisprudence ... The pace is quick and the writing fluid, although at times sentences ring flat, as if missing a beat or a bit of evocative imagery.
PositiveThe Los Angeles TimesThe book echoes with an insider’s righteousness of a boy — weaned on the cursing and strength of his Mamaw — who grows up to reject that defeatist mind-set by enlisting in the Marines and graduating from Yale Law School ... The fascinating and flawed characters in Vance’s work do not endure racism but they struggle against a legacy of poor education and caricatures ... His lessons can appear preachy and simplistic. The memoir would have benefited from a bit more history of how the timber and coal industries dominated an Appalachia isolated by geography and tradition ... [an] important and bracingly honest story.