PositiveThe Seattle TimesSome of the most interesting passages of the book deal with the backstory of some of the landmark cases decided during his tenure, including Bush v. Gore and District of Columbia v. Heller ... With newer appointees venerating Scalia and his restrictive approach to our Constitution, it’s refreshing to consider Stevens’ common-sense rejoinder ... The Los Angeles Times once called Stevens a \'national treasure.\' At age 99, with this book, he cements that legacy.
RaveThe Seattle TimesO’Sullivan won acclaim with her first book, Is it All in Your Head? True Stories of Imaginary Illness, winning the 2016 Wellcome Book Prize. This is a terrific follow-up ... O’Sullivan’s patients help to tell the history of neurology and illustrate its hopeful breakthroughs ... In the space between cold diagnostic data and the personal challenges facing her patients, O’Sullivan’s sympathy, compassion and understanding come through ... Many mourn the passing of Oliver Sacks...who was known for his neurological case histories including The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat. Brainstorm deserves a place on the same bookshelf.
RaveThe Seattle TimesIn Small Fry, Brennan-Jobs paints a rich portrait of her childhood, alternating between a mother barely able to support herself and a father almost pathologically distant. It’s a heartbreaking memoir, beautifully rendered ... This isn’t an attack on a distant and emotionally cold father. It’s a love story for the father that she had, flaws and all ... Brennan-Jobs’ memoir is a wise, thoughtful and ultimately loving portrayal of her father.
RaveThe Seattle TimesThere are several ways to react when you wake up with an aching hangover, realizing that at some point in the night you drunkenly crashed your car into a fire hydrant ... This isn’t a soft pedaled version of wartime service but a cold, devastating self-examination of the decidedly personal costs of war. It is creative, exhausting and illuminating, all at once.
RaveThe Seattle TimesGuinn is a master storyteller with a unique expertise in murderous psychotics. The book reads like a thriller, each page forcing your attention to the next as the Peoples Temple slowly slides from groundbreaking progressivism toward madness.
RaveThe Seattle TimesToobin, a staff writer at the New Yorker and a legal analyst for CNN, is well matched to the story, with a keen eye for detail and a powerful narrative style ... Toobin’s book is a fascinating ride through a troubled time, as the more innocent ’60s faded to memory and were replaced by something far darker. American Heiress is a terrific study.
RaveThe Seattle TimesThis is history at its most compelling: political machinations, military jostling and outright treachery. And Philbrick’s vivid writing brings the whistling cannon balls and half-frozen soldiers to life (and death) in vivid detail.
Annette Gordon Reed and Peter S. Onuf
PositiveThe Seattle Times...an approach that allows exploration of Jefferson, unleashed from a chronological narrative. But perhaps more interesting, the book returns, like a touchstone, to remind the reader that Monticello and all that it stood for was built on the backs of enslaved African-Americans. Jefferson may have preferred to turn his face and avoid the harsh reality of his slaveholding, but neither these authors, nor history, will allow that contradiction to stand unexamined ... an important contribution to understanding Jefferson in light of his now-confirmed relationship with Hemings. Sex, as they say, changes everything. Even our understanding of Jefferson himself.
PositiveThe Seattle TimesSanders’ research is meticulous and his writing demonstrates the strength that won him the Pulitzer. He uses vivid imagery to bring the story to life ... Unfortunately, the effort is marred by two flaws. First, in recounting Teresa and Jennifer’s life and romance Sanders awkwardly reverts to the present tense, presumably in an effort to infuse immediacy in the telling. The device is more distracting than useful. Second, Sanders devotes the final pages of the book to an extended denunciation of inadequate funding for mental health services. He’s right beyond a doubt, but the discussion seems oddly out of place here, like an opinion column mistakenly tacked onto the end of the book.