As a bookseller, I see a lot of memoirs about caregiving, from established authors to folks who have chosen contract publishing. And why not? Caregiving is an almost universal experience and one that generates a lot of memories and moments. It is hard not to see ourselves in the folks we care for, leading to more than one bout of philosophical musing. But not every writer can get at those small moments like Elizabeth Berg. Her father was a military man, while her mother seemed to accept her role to serve him, as long as she got time for little pleasures, like shopping with her sisters at Herberger’s. But with Art in decline, Jeanne chafes at his constant presence and rebels at leaving her longtime house in St. Paul for assisted living. The story has a diary structure, offering immediacy to the story, and showing Berg’s skill at quickly bringing to life family, friends, and even incidental characters. But most importantly, I’ll Be Seeing You succeeds at what it set out to do, sharing that story that so many of us must face, with all the drama and insight of one of her novels.
— Daniel Goldin
Alexandra Petri glares into maw of the American abyss, and the abyss stares back, but then Petri smirks, and the abyss kinda chuckles, and everybody says, aw, jeez, and gets to have a laugh at our horrible, horrible mess. If good comics punch up, then Petri is firing a bazooka at the sky, blowing up the bad faith charlatans in charge with a direct and deviously brilliant trick: asking you realize just how baldly, absurdly evil the president and his sycophants are if you take them and their lies at face value. Petri doesn’t flinch in the only book about politics this year worth the time it takes to read. Standing ovation.
— Chris Lee
Tag along with a doctoral student undertaking the first significant study of largest owl in the world. The fish owl, with a wingspan of 2 meters, lives in a narrow habitat in Japan and far eastern Russia. Slaght spends four intense winters in a remote, sparsely populated area of Russia, accompanied by two to three characters with knowledge of the habitat and/or simply a willingness to endure extreme, often dangerous conditions. Obviously a dedicated researcher, Slaght is also a gifted writer, giving the reader vivid experiences of the vast wilderness, of barely avoided disasters, of the exhaustion brought by unexpected setbacks, and of the delights of learning firsthand about fish owls.
— Kay Wosewick
From the pen of a bestselling journalist, Denise Kiernan focuses on a richly drawn slice of American cultural life, portraying it through the concept of gratitude. Tracing the celebrations of gathering for 'giving thanks' from the time of the Romans into the 21st century, Kiernan's expansive narrative is enlightening in its abundance of anecdotal details. Most notably, the author rescues from 19th century American history the under-recognized backstory of Sarah Josepha Hale, a widow with five children, who, in spite of little formal education, for 40 years served as the 'editress' of Godey's Lady's Book, a 19th century magazine that became the arbiter of good taste and influence. Hale early on recognized that the regional celebrations of 'thanksgiving' needed to be elevated to a national observance. Through four presidential administrations, Hale steadfastly petitioned this effort until President Lincoln responded in 1863 by officially proclaiming an annual national day of Thanksgiving, hoping that it could unify a nation deeply divided by the Civil War. Sarah Josepha Hale's remarkably inspirational effort continued beyond her death in 1879 as the national celebration of Thanksgiving became more legislatively formalized. Engaging readers for not only its meticulously researched content, this is a fascinating chronicle that serves as a reminder of the endlessly yielding power of gratitude.
— Jane Glaser