RaveBooklistOwusu’s dispatches from the trenches of what she calls madness are brutally metaphoric, elegantly honest, and familiar to readers with similar experiences ... Aftershocks is a stunning, visceral book about the ways that our stories—of loss, of love, of borders—leave permanent marks on our bodies and minds.
Mychal Denzel Smith
RaveBooklistJournalist Smith (Invisible Man, Got the Whole World Watching, 2016) takes on the failure and possibility of the American dream in this slim, impactful book. While Stakes Is High begins with Donald Trump’s election, Smith makes it clear that Trump is a symptom of a bigger disease: the belief in an America whose ideals set it apart from other countries, an America in which hard work ensures success, an America that offers liberty and justice for all. ... Stakes Is High is a polemic in the best sense of the word, holding up a mirror to America in the hope that a clear-eyed glimpse of its failings will assist in the never-ending struggle to bring about the righteous nation it has always aspired to be.
PositiveBooklistOluo persuasively argues that the result of leaving power in the hands of men like Cody and Preston is not equal, fair, or even advantageous. Mediocre is an eloquent and impassioned plea for the moral and practical value of pursuing a more just future.
PositiveBooklistAt times the book’s ambition is more hindrance than help, as Gosden bewilderingly dedicates a single chapter to three continents while electing not to discuss South Asian magic at all. Despite such gaps in the story, Magic is an authoritative history of humanity’s engagement with the supernatural.
PositiveBooklistIn this compelling and inspiring book, Levenstein ensures that the feminist groups of the nineties will take their rightful place in women’s history.
PositiveBooklistThe ballot victory in the 2018 election was the culmination of many years’ hard work, and Meade speaks with affection and admiration of the many allies who made it possible. Though an epilogue acknowledges the political efforts to hollow out the rights of returning citizens, this is nevertheless a moving and triumphant story of how ordinary citizens can make a difference.
RaveBooklistWith a keen eye to intersectional ace experiences, Ace begins to unpack the ways in which our society posits sexual desire as both normal and compulsory, a narrative that leaves little room for the lives of asexuals. Chen recognizes the complexity of these conversations ... Ace is a necessary and thoughtful book that accessibly communicates a wide array of ace experiences.
PositiveBooklist... deeply researched ... Meticulously sourced and careful to prioritize the perspectives of the marginalized, Blood on the River offers a fascinating glimpse of the complex history of slavery in the Americas.
Lesley M. M. Blume
PositiveBooklistThough the story of Fallout is rather slight—Hersey and his New Yorker editors faced little opposition and few consequences—it is engagingly told and painstakingly researched, with an unerring eye for the vivid detail that brings to life postwar society and the stakes of making the world understand the true horror of nuclear fallout. Blume’s history will remind readers of the vital role the fourth estate plays in upholding American ideals
PositiveBooklistResearcher and activist Scott examines how male financial domination holds back economic growth, assembling a breathtaking array of data and case studies from settings as disparate as rural Ugandan schools and the board rooms of venture capitalists ... As the book’s title signals, Scott sometimes falls into the trap of gender essentialism, and she gives little consideration to the impact of intersectional oppression, particularly in developed nations. Despite these flaws, The Double X Economy is a thorough, authoritative rebuke to the sexist exclusion of women from financial systems across the world.
Ed. by Annie Finch
RaveBooklist... [a] moving collection ... the pieces in Choice Words eloquently explore the emotions, circumstances, and desires involved in abortions ... the book neither celebrates nor condemns abortion, choosing instead to represent the complex tapestry of legal, social, and personal pressures that influence the decision to bear, or not bear, a child. While the collection skews—perhaps inevitably—to modern, Western experiences of abortion, Finch has clearly worked to incorporate a multiplicity of voices spanning the boundaries of era and nationality. Choice Words is a landmark anthology of writing about abortion that gives weight and dignity to all sides and experiences of this controversial issue.
Vivek H. Murthy
PositiveBooklist... surprising ... Together resists the temptation to romanticize the past, recognizing that many close-knit communities can be suffocating to people who don’t conform to a narrow, limiting set of ideals. Drawing from real-life initiatives across the world, Murthy offers a road map to a future that is less stifling than a purely collectivist culture and less isolating than an individualistic one, in which kindness and care for others become the reigning principles of American society. This book is a welcome tonic for an increasingly divided country.
PositiveBooklist... takes the reader on a lively tour of the best and worst of nutritional epidemiology ... Though occasionally unfocused, Ingredients employs a lighthearted tone and approachable language to enlighten even the least science-inclined reader on the strengths and pitfalls of the science that tells us what’s best for our bodies.
PositiveBooklistThe result is as engrossing as a mystery novel. Vinocour uncovers the numerous points at which the social safety net might have helped Dunn and even saved Raymie’s life, but failed to do so due to prejudice, apathy, and underfunding. While it’s clear that Vinocour is an experienced, compassionate professional, she uses some dehumanizing language about Dunn and other people with mental disabilities...Despite these failings, Nobody’s Child is an eloquent indictment of a legal system that makes little accommodation for the mentally ill, particularly those—like Dunn—who are already at a disadvantage based on skin color or socioeconomic status.
Nathan Raab, with Luke Barr
PositiveBooklistThough Raab is an avid history buff with a wide range of expertise, he sometimes oversimplifies American history for the reader, as his admiration for American presidents leads him to gloss over many of their well-known misdeeds. Nevertheless, his book is a fascinating glimpse at the day-to-day operations of an unusual profession, and Raab’s exploits will delight lovers of history like himself.
PositiveBooklistMaher offers a nuanced portrait of Baloch in the many roles she tried and discarded over the course of her short life ... This compassionate and careful book offers a vivid depiction of traditional values clashing with modern moral atmospheres to form Pakistan’s rapidly changing online and social landscapes.
PositiveBooklistRavitch...explores the promises and failures of the charter school movement in this passionate polemic ... [a] well-sourced account ... With a strong balance of big-picture statistics with local case studies, Slaying Goliath will inform and energize readers interested in improving public education.
PositiveBooklisthis book is an engaging and informative reminder of the sun’s centrality to human evolution, biology, and daily life.
PositiveBooklist... deftly chronicled ... Eastman’s work and its challenges feel sharply relevant to today’s changing world, and this engaging and careful biography will appeal to activists and students of history alike.
Anne Sverdrup-Thygeson, Trans. Lucy Moffat
PositiveBooklistSverdrup-Thygeson, a professor at the Norwegian University of Life Sciences, offers a lively introduction to the six-legged creatures that share our planet, while making the case that their survival is inextricably linked to ours. The author possesses an infectious enthusiasm for the bugs she profiles and manages to imbue every maxilla and mating habit with wonder ... Ably translated by Moffatt, Buzz, Sting, Bite will foster affection for its winged, creeping, and crawling subjects, even among its most bug-shy readers.
RaveBooklist... clever, informative, and unexpectedly charming ... Schlossberg is careful to remind readers that we’re all in this (planet) together ... Though the subject matter is bleak, Schlossberg takes care to emphasize that while individual choices matter, governmental and corporate transparency matters much, much more. To halt the climate crisis, we must first understand the many factors that create and sustain it, and this book offers the tools for that understanding. The author breaks complex issues down to be understandable to the lay reader, while her humor and wit ensure that readers will close the book feeling energized rather than hopeless.
PositiveBooklistJournalist Blum...breaks down the near-unimaginable complexity of the weather forecasting system into its component parts ... Though readers may occasionally get lost in a sea of acronyms, Blum most often manages to draw clear lines between theory and practice. This is a lucid and approachable guide to the satellites, scientists, and supercomputers that make up the forecasting system we so often take for granted.