PositiveBooklistCuddly koalas may be ubiquitous in children’s literature, but there aren’t that many adult tales out there, a situation that author and animal behavior specialist Clode seeks to redress in this engaging, authoritative overview.
PositiveBooklistThe text takes on the humorous, slightly irreverent tone of a popular humanities professor; misconceptions are skewered, and Janega’s points go down nice and easy, including her view that not a whole lot has changed. This book offers fresh, insightful takes on the medieval period from a feminine standpoint.
RaveBooklistPorizkova sheds her public persona and speaks up for herself ... Fans looking for celebrity gossip won’t find it here. Instead, this is a candid retrospective about what Porizkova has learned and the many things she wishes she had known earlier. An honest and engaging writer, Porizkova comes across as wise, experienced, and relatable.
Nancy Marie Brown
PositiveBooklist... rambling ... Brown admits that she feels a special connection to nature in Iceland, unlike any other place she’s ever been. This results in glorious descriptions of Iceland’s geysers and lava formations, plus some unforgettable descriptions of erupting volcanoes. Wherever readers stand on the elf question, they’ll come away with a new appreciation for Iceland and its mysteries.
PositiveBooklistIf life is hard, as Setiya posits in the title and introduction to this book, the following chapter headings do not seem to offer much reassurance: Infirmity, Loneliness, Grief, Failure, Injustice, and Absurdity. Readers who persist, though, will find the MIT philosophy professor’s engaging musings on the definitions and properties of these emotional, intellectual, and physiological conditions as defined by both ancient and contemporary philosophers and social commentators. Setiya pulls examples from literature, poetry, movies, comedy, religious tracts, and personal anecdotes to illustrate his points, managing to make abstract theories and arguments accessible ... Readers will find much to ponder.
PositiveBooklistProviding historical context, Yacovone...weaves in political and social settings, profiles of influential individuals and their writings, and excerpts and illustrations from period textbooks ... Despite contemporary efforts to remove racist language and imagery from texts, Yacovone recounts distressing examples of offensive actions and assignments drawn from today’s headlines. He entreats educators to adopt a new framework for teaching history, based on the truth.
PositiveBooklistDetailed ... Sattin makes unexpected connections and draws novel comparisons, using an effective storytelling style. Sattin, who has spent considerable time with nomadic tribes in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East, maintains that traditional historical accounts tend to ignore the contributions of nomadic societies, concentrating instead on empires and superpowers. This informative account effectively changes that narrative.
RaveBooklistEngrossing and engaging ... he author’s smooth storytelling style effectively blends recaps of their developing relationship with landmark judicial decisions and political events. She offers fresh insights into the dealings of Capitol Hill and the Supreme Court, but her personal anecdotes...her numerous shout-outs to other women who helped her in her career, and her musings about the nature of friendship are the most compelling parts. Totenberg’s story includes triumphs and failures, good times and bad, and a poignant account of Ginsburg’s final illnesses and death.
RaveBooklistCampbell’s genuine curiosity, careful reporting, and insightful commentary make for an engrossing read. Without sensationalizing or squeamishness, Campbell offers interviews rich in candid insights. One strong thread that emerges is the desire to be of service; another is deep, profound respect ... Readers who share Campbell’s healthy obsession will appreciate both her meticulous reporting and her marked compassion.
Nancy Schwartzman and Nora Zelevansky
PositiveBooklist... brings to it the benefit of historical perspective and her filmmaker’s eye, laying out the events and aftermath in exacting detail. Schwartzman, working with coauthor Zelevansky, also includes the perspectives of a California-based crime blogger who spent her youth in the Ohio Valley and Steubenville women residents who came forward with stories of personal sexual assault from previous decades. This compelling account offers heartbreaking evidence of the pervasive, systemic, and toxic misogyny that thrives in many American communities.
RaveBooklistWhile some might wonder if the world really needs another biography of the queen (especially one that runs almost 700 pages), this offering is truly noteworthy. Readers will find political history, social commentary, and fresh observations mixed in with interviews and anecdotes from an array of twentieth- and twenty-first-century luminaries, devotees and detractors alike ... Hardman, an avowed royalist, sorts fact from fiction, covers an amazing amount of territory (coverage extends through the end of 2021), and seeks to mitigate misconceptions arising from recent media creations ... It’s all here: the scandals, the triumphs, the minutiae of court life, and the grandeur of the British Empire, all framed within heartfelt appreciation for a woman who has dedicated her entire life to her country. As long as Queen Elizabeth reigns, consider this to be Her Majesty’s definitive biography
Nell McShane Wulfhart
PositiveBooklist... engaging ... offers insightful profiles of two women who successfully led these campaigns against seemingly impossible odds ... Their compelling stories unfold against the backdrop of the turbulent 1960s and ‘70s ... Travel journalist Wulfhart explains union wranglings, emerging legislation, and lengthy court battles within context, exposing the era’s expectations regarding women’s roles as sex objects, wives, and mothers in stark reality. This is an eye-opening chapter in the history of feminism and women’s rights.
PositiveBooklistThis involving account... shifts back and forth from descriptions of current unfair labor practices to the historic labor movement prompted by the 1911 Triangle shirtwaist factory fire. Some passages address Alma directly, documenting her and the author’s shared union activities and bringing immediacy to Alma’s experiences ... There’s also running commentary about Pitkin’s fascination with moths ... This sounds like a lot, but it all comes together in a sobering narrative that gives a human face to the plight of often overlooked essential labor in the U.S.
PositiveBooklistKastner, a former archivist at Hearst Castle, peppers her detailed narrative with quotes, anecdotes, excerpts from personal correspondence, period newspaper clippings, family photos, sketches, and architectural renderings. Her subject emerges as soft spoken and driven, an independent woman completely dedicated to her profession. Roughly the last half of the book addresses the construction of Hearst Castle, a project that lasted 28 years. Many of Morgan’s other structures still stand, as documented in numerous full-color, full-page photographs. This is an intimate portrait of a true trailblazer, and a fitting tribute to the first female recipient of the American Institute of Architects’ prestigious Gold Medal.
RaveBooklistKrouse weaves these elements into a compelling account as she describes building the case, including empathetic profiles of individuals involved, and shares her struggles with past and present trauma. With graphic descriptions of horrifying events, Krouse’s brutal candor and perceptive insights make for powerful storytelling.
PositiveBooklistThis scrupulously documented biography packs in period details, historical context, and lots of juicy gossip ... At times the name-dropping...and never-ending scandals (elopements! mistresses! inheritances!) become overwhelming, and occasional psychological musings interrupt the flow ... However, readers who yearn for the extravagant lifestyles of the 1700s should love this.
PositiveBooklistPuhak’s engaging, chronological account creates detailed profiles of these sisters-in-law ... Undaunted by scattered, often conflicting primary sources and virtually nonexistent popular-culture referrals, Puhak painstakingly fills in political, religious, and social context ... She is careful to distinguish between fact and speculation and readily identifies gaps in historical chronicles. A final chapter addresses how male archivists attempted to erase both Brunhild and Fredegund, even as recent archaeological discoveries increasingly attest to their influence. This is a fast-paced and intriguing account of two remarkable women who deftly subverted the medieval patriarchy.
PositiveBooklistPages are filled with well-documented accounts of horrid mistreatment, legal wrangling, unimaginable spending, lavish lifestyles, and general depravity. In short, authoritative, eye-opening, and gloriously gossipy.
PositiveBooklistIn this deep dive into the history of clothing, Thanhauser confronts the economic impact and environmental damage wreaked by cloth manufacturers throughout history ... After all this, readers might need a little positivity, and will find it in accounts of contemporary weavers returning to traditional methods and sensibilities. This is a fresh and thoughtful reconsideration about the clothes we wear.
John Della Volpe
PositiveBooklistScrupulously documented, Della Volpe’s assertions will seem controversial to some, but only the future will tell.
RaveBooklistIn this enlightening and entertaining survey of women and alcohol, feminist and very funny author O’Meara takes readers on a dipsomaniacal journey through numerous cultures ... O’Meara deftly blends in equal measures of social history, gossip, and solid research, and adds enjoyable footnotes. The final take-away is that despite male interference, ranging from sanctimonious condemnation of women who drink in public to harsh punishments...women have discovered, invented, advanced, championed, and celebrated alcohol.
RaveBooklist[An] engaging offering ... Marshall has decades of experience as a foreign correspondent, and his writing is clear and concise and sprinkled with wry observations. His ten maps mentioned in the subtitle offer readers fresh perspectives.
PositiveBooklistVogel spins an engaging, suspenseful, and often heartbreaking account of her bumbling performances as an untested trial lawyer ... Vogel is a good storyteller, and this stirring account is testimony to her continuing work as a strong advocate for America’s farmers.
RaveBooklistUndaunted by this scant personal information, Picardie still creates compelling profiles of both Catherine and Christian ... Picardie’s writing reflects touching introspection, meticulous research, and shrewd organization, and every chapter includes intriguing archival photos. Readers will respect Catherine’s strength and quiet dignity; recognize Christian’s iconic fashions and glamorous clientele, and grimly anticipate the fates of Nazi sympathizers and collaborators. Ultimately this complex account is profoundly moving, surprisingly fresh, and deeply satisfying.
PositiveBooklist... unabashedly patriotic ... plenty of insightful anecdotes. She is always brutally honest, even when recounting instances of messing up (and there are some real doozies). Equally effective are the stories that highlight her considerable leadership skills ... Throughout, McGrath candidly describes the horrors of war and the physical, emotional, and spiritual struggles she has faced. Then, events speed up: a job at the Pentagon, a child, a master’s degree, another child, a promotion, a professorship at Annapolis, a third child, and her unsuccessful bid for Congress. This account ends with the January 6, 2020, Capitol attacks, but there’s little doubt that readers will be hearing more about McGrath in years to come.
PositiveBooklistJournalist Nudson offers a strong argument that makeup affects everyone, whether they wear it or not. She digs into the history of cosmetics, and thoughtfully explores signals that can indicate class, status, power, or wealth, not to mention sexual desire or gender identity ... Despite this, she offers readers engaging historical accounts and profiles of past trend-setting beauties and entrepreneurs.
Tracy Swinton Bailey
PositiveBooklistBailey’s personality shines through here, and it’s especially powerful when she brings in her personal experiences as a descendant of formerly enslaved people ... Readers will appreciate Bailey herself, both for her powerful insights and her dedication to her cause.
RaveBooklistThis is a thoroughly captivating history ... Evans recreates the era through richly detailed profiles of women from various backgrounds ... the author captures these wildly disparate experiences as played out within historical context, providing interesting angles on how women’s roles evolved from 1900 to the 1950s. First-hand accounts bring an immediacy to the never-ending action, and Evans is a good storyteller, deftly weaving individual women’s adventures into contemporary current events ... Readers will marvel at these stories about the golden age of luxury cruise ships, and, more importantly, learn how millions of women changed their lives by going to sea.
PositiveBooklistThis perceptive and rather chatty offering considers the sociological research behind why human beings are so averse to making connections with strangers, and why it’s so important to do so ... Journalist Keohane is a good storyteller and great proponent of engaging with the unknown, extolling the informational, emotional, and psychological benefits of talking to new people ... This authoritative, thoroughly entertaining read comes along just at the right time, and will help readers re-engage after their long quarantines.
RaveBooklistRothschild’s compelling, comprehensive, meticulously-documented reporting provides ample context. He occasionally slips into a wry tone when describing some farcical episode or badly misspelled manifesto, but things turn dark as he lists the acts of violence perpetuated by QAnon believers: death threats, kidnapping, even murder. He also exposes the reluctance of social-media platforms and e-marketers to shut down QAnon’s incendiary messaging.
PositiveBooklist... exhaustive, detailed, and authoritative ... Issenberg keeps the story moving, providing context and balanced coverage ... Issenberg’s nuanced and insightful reporting brings clarity to this important milestone.
RaveBooklistKlobuchar reviews past monopolies, starting with a certain tea party, and continuing through the Gilded Age and the Sherman Act to current day, providing plenty of social, political, and legislative context ... She argues for swift, sweeping reform in economic, legislative, social welfare, and human rights policies. A steady stream of period political cartoons help keep things lively, and her style is engaging and energetic. Expect significant interest.
PositiveBooklistIn this empathetic account, Washington Post reporter Brown exposes the pressures society exerts on boys ... This authoritative and accessible consideration offers insights, solutions, and hope.
RaveBooklist... seemingly recounts every known detail of this driven, complicated woman’s life. Interviews, society columns, previously published accounts, personal letters, mind-boggling minutiae, and even state documents from the Reagan Presidential Library inform scenarios that often refute versions of events from Reagan’s 1989 autobiography or stepdaughter Patti’s 1992 tell-all ... Tumulty, a political columnist, does offer commentary and analysis, but mostly lets the facts tell the story. Expect high demand.
PositiveBooklistIn this approachable guide, Stanford University ethics lecturer Liautaud empathizes with people striving to apply ethical reasoning in contemporary society. She walks readers through a framework designed to evaluate situations and get through the confounding clutter of grey areas and misinformation ... Throughout, Liautaud emphasizes that individual choices do matter, and urges readers to take responsibility for their actions and hold public officials and personalities responsible for theirs. Her final message is that ethics are a crucial component of our humanity, and that we all should take action, raise our voice, and take a stand. Readers will appreciate her logical guidance.
PositiveBooklistVeteran correspondent Morton zeros in on the relationship between sisters Queen Elizabeth and Princess Margaret. He covers aspects of their upbringing from infancy to adulthood, closely documenting their celebrated but ultimately lonely lives ... Morton carefully distinguishes between the media versions of events compared to the carefully worded press releases put forth by palace officials, and actual, often complicated personal experiences ... Time and time again, Morton shows how the sisters were absolutely loyal to each other throughout their entire lives, defending and supporting each other at every turn ... Morton denies rumors of jealousy and attempts at one-upmanship, providing multiple examples to the contrary. The writing can be cliché-ridden, and archaic expressions abound, but loyal royalists (whose numbers are legion) won’t care. Deliciously detailed, sometimes gossipy, often moving, this in-depth examination of royal siblings is sure to be in demand.
PositiveBooklistThe text can get pretty technical at times, but Chapman employs a conversational tone and sprinkles in stories and wry observations that will keep readers entertained ... Readers will happily follow along as Chapman covers centuries of speculation, unexplained anomalies, informed conjectures, and current reasoned suppositions. Her enthusiasm is contagious, and should strike just the right notes with audiences who enjoy pondering the mysteries of the universe.
Richard Thompson Ford
PositiveBooklistHis engaging text provides ample historical and social context, and is sprinkled with period quotes, cartoons, photos, and advertisements. Whether addressing codpieces, Ruth Bader Ginsberg’s lace collars, dreadlocks in the workplace, or pandemic curbside cocktail party attire, Ford’s writing is fresh, informative, and thoroughly enjoyable.
PositiveBooklistThe parallel stories are engrossing, and the action continues apace as the two strands come together. The satisfying conclusion describes the trial and its aftermath, and fills in the later lives of Williams, Tarbell, and Schindler. A condemnation of lynching on a stark, personal level.
Anna Malaika Tubbs
RaveBooklistTubbs does a masterful job of interweaving the facts of these women’s lives into the evolving social and political histories of civil rights, including accounts of the horrific injustices suffered by women of color. This book arose out of Tubbs’ doctoral dissertation on Black motherhood. Her passion to give voices to overlooked people of color is evident, and her storytelling is compelling. This important piece of scholarship and profoundly personal portrayal of African American women deserves a wide audience.
RaveBooklistPogue cites an array of resources: national and international demographic analyses, topological studies, economic statistics, case studies, agricultural reports, medical data. He includes all sorts of maps, charts, and graphs, but he’s not trying to prove anything; it’s sort of assumed that anyone who picks up this book accepts that things are not going well. Pogue’s tone is reasoned and nonsensationalized, and at times he’s even reassuring as he offers best-practice survival tips. His final chapter is all about hope: successful interventions, large-scale cooperative movements, and promising innovations in everything from fuel sources to future foods. His final message? Prepare. That’s one thing readers can control, and this extensive guide offers lots to think about and plenty of practical advice.
PositiveBooklist... relentlessly cheerful ... Adults need to realize that their learning should never stop, no matter what age. Having a cheerleader like Vanderbilt makes this task a little easier.
RaveBooklist[Bond\'s] meticulously documented accounts provide day-by-day replays of monumental events, enlivened by contemporary media coverage, interviews, police reports, and even jail-cell chatter ... It’s easy to understand why these courses would have been popular. His lectures are accessible, comprehensive, and compelling, and Bond, who once hosted Saturday Night Live, and who appeared in a couple of commercial films, was a charismatic presence. This authoritative testimony is bound to become a staple of American civil rights literature.
RaveBooklistWith engaging writing and fresh research, everything comes together in a thoroughly enjoyable package. Readers will find humor, pathos, and surprises. Lots to consider, especially with Thanksgiving just around the corner.
PositiveBooklistWhether he’s reporting from Frankfurt (Schopenhauer) or Kyoto (Sei Shonagon), his musings are engaging. And, since he’s often reading the material for the first time himself, his writing is also fresh and even revelatory as he pulls together seemingly disparate notions and asks meaningful (and often unanswered) questions. His tone alternates between informative and insightful to cheeky and challenging, and he delights in sharing anecdotes that highlight his subjects’ various peccadilloes. Whether steeped in philosophical knowledge or somewhat unfamiliar with the field, most readers will enjoy Weiner’s unique approach and ultimately satisfying conclusions.
PositiveBooklistHarding’s compelling memoir introduces readers to her emotionally fragile family and shares how being kidnapped and brutally raped at age 14 affected her life ... Harding is completely honest ... Her unsparing and candid observations allow readers to really get to know this strong, determined survivor.
PositiveBooklist... thoroughly enjoyable ... From antiquity through modern day, historian Hughes (Istanbul, 2017) artfully weaves together elements of myth, history, religion, philosophy, literature, art, and pop culture to demonstrate this deity’s centuries-long impact on matters pertaining to love, lust, sex, creation, destruction, and just about everything else. The extensively documented (and quite entertaining) text demonstrates time and again that no matter what name she’s had (Astarte, Ishtar, Aphrodite, Isis, Mary) or role she’s played (mother, lover, seductress, epitome of beauty, wanton wild woman), Venus has exerted a profound influence on western civilization. Readers are treated to scandalous tales of romping gods and cross-dressing emperors, saucy tidbits about aphrodisiacs and festive fertility rites, and historical insights. Julius Caesar claimed to be her descendant; Cleopatra claimed to be her, and just about everyone from Ovid to Sappho to Savonarola (not a fan) to Shakespeare to Napoleon, Freud, Andy Warhol, and Lady Gaga have considered her a muse. Fun and fascinating history.
PositiveBooklistThis is a book of nonfiction, but parts of it read like horror stories ... Kleeman makes every attempt to be open-minded, provides ample context, and asks insightful, probing questions. Responses can evoke bemusement, disbelief, or outrage, as it becomes clear that none of these innovations are solutions, but rather circumventions to worldwide problems, many created by technology in the first place ... Kleeman urges finding real solutions for human problems, and not turning to technology for nonexistent panaceas.
Aimee Nezhukumatathil, Illustrated by Fumi Nakamura
PositiveBooklist... fresh and engaging, and offers frequent surprises and perceptive commentary. Author Nezhukumatathil has previously published volumes of poetry, and now her prose flows effortlessly, with precise vocabulary that evokes clear images and captures insightful nuance ... Nezhukumatathil’s essays, with vibrant illustrations from Fumi Mini Nakamura, are in turn humorous, poignant, relatable, passionate (especially when she’s bemoaning disappearing species and habitats), and always interesting.
RaveBooklistThis engaging memoir seamlessly weaves together three narratives ... It doesn’t matter whether the text is describing a particularly painful social interaction or explaining the mechanics behind a billion-dollar proposal; Seager’s writing is unfailingly accessible and compelling. Sometimes the chapters alternate between biographical and scientific developments, other times events are intertwined, but again, readers will remain fully engaged throughout. They’ll appreciate Seager’s honesty and empathize with her as she describes the agony of watching her husband being consumed by cancer, vents frustration over professional setbacks and snubs, or shares her hard-won victories. This is technical writing at its best, shared by a thoroughly companionable and relatable scientist, writer, and woman. Readers will cheer for the happy ending.
PositiveBooklist... intensely reflective and honest ... As readers follow Fiona’s precarious first years, Lanier candidly explores her evolving emotions: guilt, despair, grief, acknowledgment of ingrained parental competitiveness, and questioning of what constitutes normal ... Readers share moments of anguish, terror, laughter, and triumph, as feisty Fiona grows and conquers milestones in her own unique ways. The book ends as Fiona enters Kindergarten, confident, quirky, and rare, indeed.
RaveBooklistThis entertaining look at \'the world’s favorite insect\' tells about butterflies’ captivating beauty, and the ways these bugs have fascinated people throughout history ... Accessible ... Williams (The Horse, 2015) shares how she has been mesmerized on more than one occasion by the exotic beauty of butterflies; her enthusiasm is convincing and contagious.
RaveBooklistThis memoir by comedy writer Zweibel includes all the elements of a polished routine: one-liners, funny stories, running gags, a bit of adults-only material, and general musings on the human condition. The best part is that Zweibel’s chosen persona—a slightly oversize, thoroughly likable Jewish kid—remains constant, so readers feel like they really get to know this nice guy, loyal friend, devoted family man, and talented writer ... SNL fans will appreciate the cameos and references to iconic skits, and all readers will find plenty of new, behind-the-scenes details and celebrity anecdotes. This is a truly fun romp.
PositiveBooklistJournalist and political analyst Ball’s first book is an entertaining and balanced biography of Nancy Pelosi, veteran politician and current Speaker of the House ... Along the way, Ball offers plenty of insightful anecdotes, presenting events within historical perspective so that readers can fully appreciate their import ... In her afterword, Ball maintains that she ultimately found Pelosi to be a very private person and \'somewhat impenetrable.\' Considering this claim, Ball’s profile seems pretty satisfying.
RaveBooklist... meticulous research. This compelling testimonial details the deprivations German citizens faced during the war and reveals a dark part of Danish history. The perspective is enlightening and the accounts of sexual abuse are timely to the continuing Me Too discourse. This memoir deserves a wide audience.
RaveBooklistIt’s obvious that Goudeau was able to gain the two women’s trust, resulting in compelling stories that offer intimate looks into their personal lives and uncover horrific details about what they’ve seen and experienced. Their histories emerge through alternating chapters broken up by excerpts that provide social and political background about American refugee resettlement from the nineteenth century to the present day. These profiles are sympathetic and ultimately profoundly moving.
PositiveBooklistIn this deep dive on the universal failure to recognize female genius, Kaplan...includes a little bit of everything ... This sounds like an awful lot, and it is, but Kaplan’s writing style is engaging and full of relatable examples. Her tone ranges from strident to self-depreciating ... Her commentary goes far beyond intellectual matters ... Expect this well-reasoned account to generate a lot of interest and conversation.
PositiveBooklistWhether describing scenes of delicacy or debauchery, these insider accounts are fascinating. Glenconner is unfailingly perceptive, honest, and amazingly down-to-earth, a survivor who embodies the British trait of \'getting on with it.\' A definite thrill for royal watchers and fans of Downton Abbey, this entertaining peek behind the royal curtain should attract a wide audience.
Anne De Courcy
PositiveBooklistThis detailed social history uses copious name-dropping and gloriously gossipy text to highlight Coco Chanel’s considerable influence on the south of France during the 1930s, providing insights into the decadent lifestyles and extravagant fashions favored by glamorous visitors to the Riveria. De Courcy...is adept at describing displays of opulence, and proves equally capable when portraying the deprivations and reversals of fortune occasioned by the onset of WWII ... This will be popular with royal watchers, fashionistas, and readers who relish the international social scene, and should cover new territory for most.
RaveBooklistIn Zimmerman’s skillful hands, the compelling narrative unfolds seamlessly and convincingly ... The first-person narrative occasionally veers into excerpts about the psychology and physiology of addiction, citing research and statistics. Author Zimmerman’s brutally honest account identifies several telltale signs that, in hindsight, seem painfully obvious. They help underscore her revelation that addiction knows no demographic barriers.
Julie Des Jardins
PositiveBooklistCombining accessible political history and social registry, this sympathetic biography tells the story of Missy Meloney, a pioneering early twentieth-century journalist, magazine editor, lobbyist, and political advisor ... There are plenty of quotes, anecdotes, and quick studies of members of her vast inner circle, encompassing presidents, royalty, movie stars, and literati ... A frail woman who walked with a limp and suffered from chronic tuberculosis as well as a wife and mother, Meloney managed to raise public consciousness regarding women as a significant political demographic, always celebrating the contributions and capabilities of others. It’s about time she got some attention for herself, and this deft offering does an admirable job.
PositiveBooklist... thoroughly researched ... Madrick’s research shows that current efforts are woefully inadequate, and he makes a reasonable and passionate plea for change.
RaveBooklist... engaging ... history writing at its best. Parkin skillfully weaves in extensive background to establish context for readers unfamiliar with the Atlantic war at sea while offering documented details, telling anecdotes, and perceptive profiles that will appeal to audiences already familiar with WWII military campaigns ... Parkin also shows a flair for the dramatic, recreating suspenseful, real-time scenarios that bring the urgency and full import of breakthroughs and battles into sharp focus. Most importantly, this account shines a spotlight on the largely overlooked contributions of the Wrens, many of whom were still in their teens. An informative, satisfying, and overall great read.
RaveBooklistFrenkel’s chronological first-person narration details narrow escapes, serendipitous respites, and acts of unbelievable cruelty, indifference, bravery, and kindness. Her story is compelling not only because it sheds light on a unique aspect of WWII (foreign nationals trapped in France during the German occupation) but due to the circumstances of its publication. Originally published in France in 1945 under the title No Place to Lay One’s Head, the book remained largely forgotten until a copy surfaced in southern France in 2010, leading to this English-language release. Insightful, sympathetic, suspenseful, and eventually triumphant, this memoir is a worthy addition to the WWII canon.
Francesca Cartier Brickell
RaveBooklistInvolving gifted artists and crafty entrepreneurs, it offers everything bling-loving readers could want. Stories about fabulous diamonds, perfectly matched pearls, glittering tiaras, iconic watches, and other jaw-dropping adornments are intertwined with detailed accounts of family lore and business dealings, descriptions of myriad social events, displays of unimaginable wealth, and copious name-dropping: royals, movie stars, maharajas, mistresses, moguls, and other glitterati. This is not mere society-page reportage, though ... insightful portraits of the Cartier family and intriguing insider looks at evolving high-society social scenes. There are archival photos, genealogy and time lines, chapter notes, and an extensive bibliography. There’s also a massive publisher advertising campaign in the works; expect plenty of well-deserved interest.
Kassia St. Clair
PositiveBooklistThis is a fascinating look at one of those everyday things many of us take for granted: fabric. Instead of tackling fabric’s entire history, St. Clair...skips across centuries and around the world, sharing accessible and telling stories about the development, production, and myriad uses of fabric ... Whether sharing the silk-making secrets of Chinese empresses or exposing the benefits of performance-enhancing swimsuits, this extensively documented and always entertaining overview works equally well for reading cover to cover or dipping into for snippets.
PositiveBooklist... [a] detailed social history ... Prolific author Standiford...weaves in local history, business dealings, political maneuvering (railroad deals, zoning and tax disputes), and scintillating scandals: divorces, affairs, suicides, shenanigans, and other activities that rocked social registries. Over two hundred pages go by before Trump even puts in an appearance; by this point, readers should already be sufficiently sated with instances of name-dropping and accounts of lavish entertainments. This is enjoyable social voyeurism for those who hanker after tales of the rich and famous, past and present.
PositiveBooklistPyne provides sufficient context to engage readers, explaining how curators and scientists have been duped in the past, and what they have learned as a result. This slightly off-beat account should be of great interest to collectors, amateur archaeologists, historians, and art connoisseurs.
PositiveBooklistThis entertaining account flows along like a love letter to the Seine, the second longest river in France. Tracing its storied history and many complexities, author Sciolino...offers brief chapters that integrate historical research, personal anecdotes, interviews, and perceptive observations ... Readers will enjoy this engaging and authoritative account, whether planning a trip, reminiscing about past travels, or sitting in an armchair, dreaming of wandering along romantic riverbanks.
PositiveBooklist... rather gloomy ... There are occasional wry observations and several humorous quotes from Mark Twain sprinkled throughout the brief chapters ... Whether or not readers agree with his pessimistic outlook or chafe against his fatalistic assertions, his writing is engaging, extensively documented, well-organized, and thought provoking.
PositiveBooklistUsing a combination of recent studies and accessible examples drawn from real life (dieting, personal finance, exercise) Wood posits that habits are born out of repetitive tasks and routines that can be encouraged. Bad habits are not necessarily the result of lack of will power or self control; they persist because of obstacles and negative cues to better choices. Eliminate these barriers, these sources of friction, and it becomes easier to adopt desirable habits ... Readers interested in making lifestyle changes will find this a good source for logical, realistic, and supportive encouragement.
PositiveBooklistAs these series of episodic accounts show, there’s no such thing as an ordinary day—especially when a persistent reporter digs behind the headlines to uncover detailed backstories and follows through to update accounts of individuals whose lives were changed that day ... Everybody loves a good story, especially when it’s told by a master storyteller. This collection should have wide appeal, whether read straight through, cover to cover, or dipped into for an occasional article.
RaveBooklistThis in-depth, insightful, and profoundly sympathetic biography...spins an engaging chronological tale peppered with insider details, anecdotes, quotes, quips, and other liberal references taken from Fisher’s own autobiographical musings ... Above all, the thoroughly documented text reveals Fisher’s willingness to examine and share the truth about every part of her life. This is a worthy tribute to a strong, intelligent woman, and readers will appreciate Weller’s honest portrayal and thoughtful analysis.
PositiveBooklistTough does highlight a few successes, but overall, this is a sobering look at American higher education, and an appeal for change.
PositiveBooklist... entertaining and highly readable ... Chapter notes and \'Taxonomies of Stupidity and Wisdom\' support [Robson\'s] arguments, giving readers plenty to think about.
RaveBooklist... entertaining and nuanced ... O’Mara goes far beyond familiar stories of humble beginnings in garages to trace the roles moneymen, politics, real estate, big business, marketing, Wall Street, the media, and foreign competition have played ... Much of this material has been covered before, but rarely in such detail, let alone with such insightful context. Concerned technology users—which pretty much sums up all of us—will find much of interest here.
John H. Halpern and David Blistein
PositiveBooklistHalpern identifies misunderstandings about opioid addiction that fuel well-intentioned but ultimately futile social and government interventions, especially in our era of the Dark Web, Mexican drug cartels, and medical breakthroughs like OxyContin. Authoritative, engaging, and accessible, this call for action offers solutions—insurance and criminal justice reforms, alternative treatments, and eradication of punishment—and avenues to greater overall understanding.
PositiveBooklistWagner...provides multiple examples from nature that mirror how medical breakthroughs, artistic spurts, and technological innovations often come after multiple failures or as unanticipated results of seemingly unrelated experimentation ... His readable insights provide fresh ways of defining success with implications for business, research, and education.
PositiveBooklistThis take is positive and entertaining ... The text is upbeat and peppered with wry observations ... the conclusion is that while food may someday look and taste a little different, science and ingenuity will keep it on our tables.
William D. Cohan
PositiveBooklistCohan incorporates personal memories, interviews with friends and family members, news headlines, and police reports, documenting incidents of teenage misbehavior, convoluted family histories, and thwarted expectations ... Readers who enjoy behind-the-scenes details about the lives of the elite, including their foibles, will appreciate these accounts.
RaveBooklistHirshman documents behind-the-scenes details, political maneuvering, evidence that was presented or suppressed, truths that became apparent long after decisions went into effect, and how these developments affect current events. The unabated, continuing public outcry against sexual harassment is a reminder that resolution is long overdue.
RaveBooklistThis thoroughly researched, extensively documented romp ... spins an intriguing tale, smoothly integrating more than 100 years’ worth of social, economic, and cultural facts and minutiae. [Satow] deftly navigates through topics such as architecture, menus, labor disputes, parties, balls, civil unrest, jewel heists, suicides, city politics, high-end financial maneuvering, and lots and lots of great celebrity gossip ... the narrative never flags ... Readers will happily soak up period details and take notes on how the stalwart staff dealt with class snobbery, prohibition and gangsters, wartime privations, the turbulent 1960s, wealthy dowagers, blushing debutantes, persistent groupies, omnipresent prostitutes, and brawling Indian billionaires. This is social history at its best: thoughtful, engaging, and lots of fun.
RaveBooklistWhether already aware of Mulgrew’s charming and unique voice, or new to her compelling, introspective storytelling, audiences will appreciate this new memoir, an account of her parents during the final years of their lives ... This engrossing story of a daughter’s love, told with brutal honesty, will resonate with readers.
Rachel Louise Snyder
PositiveBooklistAlthough domestic violence is a difficult subject, this sympathetic look at victims, perpetrators, and intervention efforts by law enforcement and social agencies makes for compelling reading ... This is not a series of individual commentaries but rather honest, ongoing conversations, with multiple instances of horror, fear, guilt, bravado, remorse, forgiveness, and frustration ... Snyder’s chilling body of evidence shows that domestic abuse is a pervasive epidemic that can and does happen everywhere.
PositiveBooklistThis engaging account of the conflict surrounding the enactment of the Nineteenth Amendment, which granted women the right to vote, is an extensively researched, easy-to-follow narrative. Cassidy makes the struggle personal by providing telling insights into the lives of two main adversaries ... Details abound, whether appearing in biographical anecdotes, records of sordid prison conditions, or evolving slogans on protest placards. Readers will come away with increased appreciation for these heroic efforts devoted to women’s suffrage plus new-found empathy for the combatants on both sides.
Amy S Greenberg
PositiveBooklistExtensively documented ... More social history than biography, the text traces Polk’s steadily growing expertise in charming, manipulating, and exerting pressure to abet her husband’s political career, which made for lasting change in Democratic Party policies. This is an in-depth, telling account of a largely overlooked woman who was able to effect profound influence while working within the constraints of her time and place.
PositiveBooklistReaders will find telling insights into the events that shaped Buttigieg’s biggest decisions and share a typical day in the mayor’s office; relive Buttigieg’s tour of duty in Afghanistan (while he was still acting mayor); and understand his angst over being a young, gay public figure trying to get a date (spoiler alert: there’s a happy ending!). First and foremost a great, engaging read, this is also an inspiring story of a millennial making a difference.
PositiveBooklistStraightforward, accessible tech talk ... whether ultimately alarmed or comforted, readers will come away enlightened and entertained.
RaveBooklistPoignant and compelling ... [Yip-Williams\'] writing is honest and, by turns, angry, humorous, and heart-breaking, especially when she talks about her two little girls, who are just starting elementary school. Even though readers know the ending—the prologue indicates that if they’re reading this, she’s already gone—every bit of new bad news hits like a blow to the gut. Readers’ will smile when Yip-Williams facetiously describes the slutty second wife she envisions for her husband and share in her grief as she makes plans for her funeral. Never mawkish, The Unwinding of the Miracle will resonate with readers.
The March for Our Lives Founders
RaveBooklist\"This is a detailed, totally relatable account of how the anti-gun, anti-school-violence grassroots movement #NeverAgain grew and gained momentum and turned into the March 2018 March for Our Lives, an event that drew an estimated one million participants to Washington, D.C. The story is narrated by the teens who organized the march, mostly survivors of the February 14, 2018, Parkland High School shooting ...The contributions, mostly essays, are written in first person, and the accounts come across as genuine and authentic. This is a clarion call to action for teens, by teens, and it is moving and powerful.
Jane Sherron de Hart
PositiveBooklistThis extensively documented account, incorporating more than 100 pages of chapter notes and a bibliography that cites hundreds of resources, is also quite engaging and very easy to read. Expect plenty of interest.
PositiveBooklist OnlineEngaging ... a structure that encourages cover-to-cover reading ... the sort of offering that will ensnare browsers and prove irresistible to chefs and foodies.
Anne de Courcy
PositiveBooklist OnlineDe Courcy documents the exhaustive efforts undertaken by wealthy nineteenth-century American mothers to secure titled British husbands for their hapless daughters ... Stories abound about American mamas who sacrificed their offspring to ensure entrance into the inner circles of New York society and invitations to posh summer affairs at Newport. Vanderbilts, Astors, Churchills, Marlboroughs; diamonds, tiaras, yachts, mansions; all are documented in glorious detail and should satisfy those readers with insatiable thirst for all things peerage.
PositiveBooklist\"The human race has been seeking personal validation since the early Greeks (\'know thyself\'); this eye-opening account gives readers insight into how one evaluation method morphed into a neat, satisfying packaging system for our complicated psyches.\
PositiveBooklistLowrey...maintains that just like on The Jetsons or Star Trek, we now have the technology to manipulate and redistribute money. Perhaps it’s time to consider a move toward a cashless, and hopefully more equitable, global society.
PositiveBooklist...knowledgeable, witty, irreverent, provocative, and very entertaining ... For us normal earthlings, he also incorporates accessible references to H. G. Wells, Carl Sagan, the Mars rovers, Easter Island, and prosthetic Klingon foreheads. This offers solid science and lots of fun, so expect high demand.
RaveBooklistThis engaging, documented, and thoughtfully presented overview of advice givers begins in 1691, with British \'seers\' ... Weisberg provides historical context that frames trending angsts within bygone eras, explaining the consuming popularity of these pundits. This journey through collective incertitude doesn’t seek to answer any of life’s pressing questions, but it sure offers an enjoyable ride.