Social Sciences Book Reviews

RAMP HOLLOW by Steven Stoll
Released: Nov. 21, 2017

"Which is better, cornfields or clean coal? Stoll's sharp book complicates our understanding of a much-misunderstood, much-maligned region that deserves better than it has received."
A searching economic and political history of a dispossessed, impoverished Appalachia that progress has long eluded. Read full book review >
DAVID BOWIE MADE ME GAY by Darryl W.  Bullock
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Nov. 21, 2017

"Well-researched and brimming with intrigue, Bullock's comprehensive study not only makes the work of scores of musicians sing anew; it also demonstrates how the pendulum of acceptance can swing from era to era."
An encyclopedic look at the lives of formative Western LGBT musicians and performers. Read full book review >

BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Nov. 14, 2017

"A sparklingly intelligent and well-researched cultural history."
A New-York Historical Society historian examines the impact of 20th-century newspaper columnist and women's self-help guru Marjorie Hillis (1889-1971). Read full book review >
A WORLD WITHOUT "WHOM" by Emmy J.  Favilla
ESSAYS & ANTHOLOGIES
Released: Nov. 14, 2017

"A lighthearted take on communicating in the digital age."
An irreverent grammar guru advises, "follow your heart." Read full book review >
SUPERNORMAL by Meg Jay
Released: Nov. 14, 2017

"A well-researched, abundantly documented, readable work of social science."
Probing the nature of resilience through the stories behind the people who thrive in adversity. Read full book review >

THE NEWCOMERS by Helen Thorpe
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Nov. 14, 2017

"Humane and informative stories about refugees and their plights in America."
Personal stories of child refugees as they integrate into American society. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Nov. 14, 2017

"A fierce and persuasive call to action that demands women, especially millennials, rethink the relationship between maternity and career ambitions."
An impassioned guide for working women, especially working mothers, to dismantling the patriarchal systems that hold them back at work and at home, as told by a woman who shattered the mold. Read full book review >
Released: Nov. 14, 2017

"A potent, convincing manifesto on how female sexual equality marches onward despite cultural roadblocks."
A feminist perspective on sexual power and its uses and abuses in America. Read full book review >
Released: Nov. 14, 2017

"A sharp, thoughtful, sometimes-surprising account of how we build trust with strangers now."
How technology is changing our attitudes toward trust. Read full book review >
THE ABU DHABI BAR MITZVAH by Adam Valen  Levinson
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Nov. 14, 2017

"While Karachi or Aleppo may not be next year's hot vacation destinations, Levinson proves there's ample reason to go."
While the blank spaces on the maps have long since been filled in, the psychological barriers walling off regions of the world where Westerners dare not tread are as tall as ever. Here, a "multimedia backpack journalist" explores some of them. Read full book review >
REAL WOMEN'S STORIES by Beth Kallman Werner
ESSAYS & ANTHOLOGIES
Released: Nov. 12, 2017

"The best of these pieces stand on their own but also serve as invitations for responses by other aspiring writers."
A collection of brief essays in an annual volume by emerging writers recounting women's experiences in the world. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Nov. 11, 2017

"A good-natured, thoughtful, and often comic joyride, well worth reading before listing your new year's resolutions."
An earnest scholarly effort devolves into a funny, sometimes-sardonic tour of the possibilities of changing your life—or not. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Katey Sagal
author of GRACE NOTES
April 10, 2017

In her memoir Grace Notes, actress and singer/songwriter Katey Sagal takes you through the highs and lows of her life, from the tragic deaths of her parents to her long years in the Los Angeles rock scene, from being diagnosed with cancer at the age of twenty-eight to getting her big break on the fledgling FOX network as the wise-cracking Peggy Bundy on the beloved sitcom Married…with Children. Sparse and poetic, Grace Notes is an emotionally riveting tale of struggle and success, both professional and personal: Sagal’s path to sobriety; the stillbirth of her first daughter, Ruby; motherhood; the experience of having her third daughter at age 52 with the help of a surrogate; and her lifelong passion for music. “While this book is sure to please the author’s many fans, its thoughtful, no-regrets honesty will no doubt also appeal to readers of Hollywood memoirs seeking substance that goes beyond gossip and name-dropping,” our critic writes. “A candid, reflective memoir.” View video >