Subscriber-Only Content; You must be a PW subscriber to access the backissue database. PW has integrated its print and digital subscriptions, offering exciting new benefits to subscribers, who are now entitled to both the print edition and the digital edition via our app or online. For more information on PW's new integrated subscription plan, click here. If you are currently a PW subscriber, click "Login" for full access to the site (if you have not done so already, you will need to set up your account for the new system by going here), or click the "Subscribe" button to become a PW subscriber. Email service@publishersweekly.com with questions.

Login or Subscribe
The Infinite Sea

Rick Yancey. Putnam, $18.99 (320p) ISBN 978-0-399-16242-8

From an explosive start that reveals the boundless malevolence of Yancey's conquering alien Others, this gut-wrenching sequel to The 5th Wave careens on a violent course of nonstop action. Heroine Cassie, renegade soldier Ringer, and fellow survivor Ben have led a band of military camp escapees to a decaying hotel somewhere in Ohio. With winter approaching, they squabble over how to attempt survival, with Ringer questioning whether Cassie's refusal to budge until they know what happened to Evan, who helped them escape but who may be an Other, means she's fallen in love with the enemy. Reversals and double-reversals abound. At one point, Ringer admits to dizziness, a sensation readers may share. "Bluffs inside bluffs, feints within counterfeints. I'm in a game," she says, "in which I don't know the rules or even the object." Despite the gore, inhumanity, and senseless losses, Yancey manages an ending that both shatters and uplifts. While readers may not yet fully understand what the Others are up to, the title, an allusion to a speech made by Shakespeare's Juliet, is a clue to what's driving the survivors: love. Ages 14–up. Agent: Brian DeFiore, DeFiore and Co. (Sept.)

Reviewed on 09/19/2014 | Details & Permalink

show more
The Third Tower: Journeys in Italy

Antal Szerb, trans. from the Hungarian by Len Rix. Pushkin Press, $16 trade paper (112p) ISBN 978-1-782270-53-9

In this melancholic travelogue, first published in Hungarian in 1936, Szerb writes, "My impressions of Italy always feel like the last visions of a dying man," and the reader can sense the whole weight of the catastrophe to come; and can not help but immediately think of Szerb's tragic death in a labor camp in 1945. Translated by Len Rix, this slim, elegant volume traces Szerb's farewell journey to his beloved Italy. Written in short chapters with titles such as "A Thought" (only a paragraph long, asking whether the water or the city first populated Venice) or simply "Bologna," the prose is intimate and disarming; as if we are on the train with Szerb, looking over his shoulder as he writes his notes. While nominally it is an account of Szerb's solitary travels—he sees the sites most tourists seem to search for—what elevates it is Szerb's ability to not only describe the physical landscape but the mental—sitting on a train becomes a meditation on solitude; Venice is femininity, "mysterious and alluring"; and the third tower of San Marino stands for the individual spirit, in defiance of fascism. Szerb deftly weaves Italy's timeless allure ("everything there is so old") with observations on its contemporary fever, which is "as terrifying as the Day of Salvation." With the weight of hindsight, the work's final words echo with sadness and hope: "Whatever becomes of Europe, trust in your inner stars. Somewhere, always, a Third Tower will wait for you. It's enough." (Aug.)

Reviewed on 09/12/2014 | Details & Permalink

show more
A Beautiful Mess: Happy Handmade Home: Painting, Crafting, and Decorating a Cheerful, More Inspiring Space

Elsie Larson and Emma Chapman. Potter Style, $21.99 trade paper (240p) ISBN 978-0-7704-3405-2

In the cover photo, the authors, two sisters who produce A Beautiful Mess blog, lounge on turquoise couches, a white shag rug on the floor; one is typing on the laptop while the other fluffs a polka-dotted pillow. Whether or not the reader likes the aesthetic of crafty meets hipster chic, there will be a desire to be friends with the author-hosts so as to be invited to their next party for a "Birthday Cake Martini." The book mostly consists of beautiful, if standard, porn-with-pillow-shams photography (lots of light filtering through filmy window coverings), but the authors do show a bit of decorating daring, including a black living room accent wall that actually looks good. Every few pages, the sisters offer a craft idea, which range from the unoriginal, such as creating a kids art gallery wall using wire and clothespins, to the bizarre, in which white electrical tape is employed to give style to a black refrigerator. In the introduction, the authors instruct readers to identify what features stand out in "favorite spaces" of all kinds, to make lists of how rooms might be used unconventionally (playing cards in a dining room), and to do some soul searching ("Make a list of 100 things about YOU.") The idea is to make home an expression of one's personality, a skill that the authors have clearly mastered. (Aug.)

Reviewed on 09/12/2014 | Details & Permalink

show more
This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate

Naomi Klein. Simon and Schuster, $30 (576p) ISBN 978-1-4516-9738-4

The struggle for a sustainable world is really a fight against capitalism, according to this sprawling manifesto from Nation columnist Klein (The Shock Doctrine). She gives a rousing, if familiar, rundown of the perils of global warming and singles out energy corporations in particular, and the "extractivist" economic system and ideology in general, as the planet's great enemies. Her proposed remedies include strict regulation of fossil fuels and investments in renewable energy, but also a vision of a low-consumption, no-growth, localist, people-over-profits economy coupled to a social transformation that emphasizes cooperation with nature instead of dominion over it. Klein's gifts for catchy, aphoristic prose and vivid journalistic montage are well-displayed and her critiques sometimes trenchant, as when she skewers hubristic geoengineering schemes, carbon offset scams, and the pseudo-green billionaire Richard Branson. Unfortunately, her grasp of energy policy is questionable: she uncritically repeats renewables boosterism while ignoring their limitations and her dismissal of nuclear power as a low-carbon energy source is ill-informed. By drawing "everything" into her thesis Klein dilutes her over-stuffed book's consistency and coherence; worse, her tendency to demonize more than analyze leaves unaddressed the real-world conflicts and contradictions that make climate policy so intractable. Agent: Amanda Urban, ICM. (Sept.)

Reviewed on 09/12/2014 | Details & Permalink

show more
Race Unmasked: Biology and Race in the Twentieth Century

Michael Yudell. Columbia Univ., $40 (304p) ISBN 978-0-231-16874-8

Science shows that only 0.1% of nucleic acids in the human genome differ on average between individuals, yet despite such evidence, science is still used to fuel racism says Drexel University public health professor Yudell. Indeed, while geneticist J. Craig Venter gave a White House talk in 2000 noting that race has little to do with genetics, and social scientist W.E.B. DuBois penned a similar message a century before, as Yudell writes, "we are having frustratingly similar arguments about race and human difference despite the benefit of 100 years of knowing better." Venter explains in his foreword that it may once have been a selective advantage to fear the "stranger coming to your cave," though a similar condemnation of racism—as an obsolete hunter-gatherer instinct—was attacked as a rationalization when articulated by Pulitzer-Prize winning biologist E.O. Wilson in Sociobiology (1975). Yudell notes that "the intellectual claims of sociobiology—intentionally or not—could and did serve the needs of those who harbored racist ideas by giving them scientific legitimacy." From Darwin's "survivorship of the fittest," misused by eugenicists, to Linnaeus' taxonomic classifications—misused by Linnaeus himself—science has long played a role in perpetuating racism. This intensely deliberative book unearths many subtle and not-so-subtle examples of this complex historic relationship. (Sept.)

Reviewed on 09/12/2014 | Details & Permalink

show more
Forty Years that Created America: The Story of the Explorers, Promoters, Investors, and Settlers Who Founded the First English Colonies

Edward M. Lamont. Rowman & Littlefield, $38 (320p) ISBN 978-1-4422-3659-2

Lamont (The Ambassador from Wall Street) examines English colonization of the New World from 1585-1625 while taking a close look at the activities of Captain John Smith of Jamestown and Governor William Bradford of Plymouth. Between the uneven trajectory of colonization and the various obstacles settlers had to overcome along the way, Lamont arrives at the conclusion that to be motivated by profit was by no means a harbinger of success for colonists. Indian skirmishes, disease, and various disasters made it a wonder any of them survived at all. Lamont covers a lot of literal ground (from Quebec to Florida and beyond) and enlivens his narrative through diaries, letters and publications, and historical legends. John Smith plays a prominent role, particularly in his role as a promoter of English settlement. Many parts of Lamont's story will feel familiar, but readers will learn a great deal more about Sir Walter Raleigh, Pocahontas, and the investors in the settlements. Lamont offers a concise but thorough profile of a period through the eyes of those who lived it. (Sept.)

Reviewed on 09/12/2014 | Details & Permalink

show more
Choose Love

Stormie Omartian. Harvest House, $14.99 (272p) ISBN 978-0736958974

Popular Christian author Omartian (The Power of a Praying Woman) suggests three choices for altering the course of one's life: "Choose to Receive God's Love for You," "Choose to Express Your Love for God," and "Choose to Love Others in a Way That Pleases God." Omartian first encourages readers to understand love from God's point of view by making the choice to receive God's love. Next, choosing to express love for God is the natural response for accepting that love. "…we can't really love others in a powerful way without first learning to show our love for God," she explains. The third choice is perhaps the most difficult: "to love others in a way that pleases God." How can people love with the consistency that God does? This choice comprises the smallest section in the book. Omartian offers ways to show love to others—through prayer, patience, kindness, humility, thoughtfulness, compassion, and other behaviors and quiet intercessions. Choosing to love as God does requires strength, faith, and motivation. Readers ready to make those choices will gain encouragement. (Sept.)

Reviewed on 09/12/2014 | Details & Permalink

show more
Cheap and Clean: How Americans Think about Energy in the Age of Global Warming

Stephen Ansolabehere and David M. Konisky. MIT, $27.95 (272p) ISBN 978-0-262-02762-5

Ansolabehere (The End of Inequality) professor of government at Harvard, and Konisky (Superfund's Future), professor of public policy at Georgetown, guide readers to a single conclusion in this rigorous study of the nation's attitudes toward our energy supply. The authors base their work on a decade-long series of surveys that convincingly demonstrate that American citizens have a clear preference for energy that is both cheap and clean, regardless of its source. They further show that concerns over reducing local pollution outweigh price considerations. After they have driven home the first two points, the authors turn to policy implications for attempts at abating climate change. Americans, although concerned about local environmental harms are, as it turns out, unwilling to pay "substantially higher energy prices in order to substantially reduce carbon emissions." Yet, what Americans may support and Californians have already supported is legislation pitched as pollution control. In-depth statistical analyses make it clear that this work is intended for policy wonks, academics, and others who work on these issues at a high level, but it should nonetheless prove to be an important contribution to the ongoing debate over energy and environmental policy. (Sept.)

Reviewed on 09/12/2014 | Details & Permalink

show more
Sacred Success: A Course in Financial Miracles

Barbara Stanny. BenBella (Perseus, dist.), $24.95 (256p) ISBN 978-1-940363-23-3

"I truly believe money is God made visible." The author of Prince Charming Isn't Coming places a high value on money and financial success, as well she should. Born into money as the daughter of Richard Bloch, co-founder of H&R Block, Stanny only grasped her own financial ignorance when, early in her marriage, she realized her husband was a gambling addict. Determined to take charge of her life and help other women do the same, she started a career counseling firm, The Career Management Center. But her life truly changed after she experienced a vision while attending a friend's church and subsequently discovered the popular Christian self-help text A Course in Miracles. Stanny's thoughtful, rich guide to achieving prosperity and peace draws heavily on that earlier book, but with the decided twist of promoting power and agency to female readers. Women are up against a lot, as Stanny points out. In her words, truly powerful women are those who have attained "sacred success," which allows them to help others and create a meaningful life. Higher-minded than your average financial guide, this smart, cogent book emphasizes doing God's work while also attaining power, integrity, and personal accountability. The only question is whether or not it will reach a broader audience than just existing Course in Miracles devotees. (Oct.)

Reviewed on 09/12/2014 | Details & Permalink

show more
Relicts of a Beautiful Sea: Survival, Extinction, and Conservation in a Desert World

Christopher Norment. Univ. of North Carolina, $28 (320p) ISBN 978-1-4696-1866-1

In a moving meditation on nature "woven out of science, poetry, aesthetics, and personal experience," Norment, a professor of environmental science and biology at SUNY College at Brockport, calls attention to six desert animals "restricted to aquatic habitats: a salamander, four types of pupfishes, and a toad." Though they don't have the cachet of poster-friendly endangered species like the California condor or the giant panda, Norment argues they are "stunning and compelling" in their own ways, demonstrating resilience and adaptability. He locates the creatures in and around California's Death Valley National Park and Nevada's Ash Meadows National Wildlife Refuge, appreciating the stark landscapes and coming "to love the creatures that have endured in the face of so much adversity." For example, Norment is amazed that the Inyo Mountains slender salamander (Batrachoseps campi) even exists, considering it's a "lungless salamander that breathes only through its moist skin" that survives in "one of the most unreasonable and inhospitable places in the world." In examining small details in nature, Norment manages to effectively address larger existential issues. (Oct.)

Reviewed on 09/12/2014 | Details & Permalink

show more
X
Stay ahead with
Tip Sheet!
Free newsletter: the hottest new books, features and more
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Email Address

Password

Log In Lost Password

PW has integrated its print and digital subscriptions, offering exciting new benefits to subscribers, who are now entitled to both the print edition and the digital editions of PW (online or via our app). For instructions on how to set up your accout for digital access, click here. For more information, click here.

The part of the site you are trying to access is now available to subscribers only. Subscribers: to set up your digital subscription with the new system (if you have not done so already), click here. To subscribe, click here.

Email pw@pubservice.com with questions.

Not Registered? Click here.