Book Reviews

“Our Only World” by Wendell Berry

The 10 essays in "Our Only World" convey outrage over environmental and community ruin while also expressing hope that the very species that inflicted such harm is capable of doing better.

Stern but compassionate, Berry raises broader issues that environmentalists rarely focus on.

“Unseen City” by Nathanael Johnson  /  for AP

Nature writing is full of men heading off into the wilderness in search of something,

but journalist Nathanael Johnson brings the genre into the 21st century with a refreshing, thought-provoking and humorous father-and-daughter eco-quest.

“Daring to Drive: A Saudi Woman’s Awakening” by Manal Al-Sharif   /  for AP

The book provides a rare glimpse into Saudi society, and especially into the lives

and emotions of women. Rules — especially for women — are everywhere,

and so are the punishments for breaking them.

"The Great Texas Wind Rush,” by Kate Galbraith and Asher Price

Millions of people are asking how or if the country can transition from fossil fuels

to renewable energy — and ironically Texas is leading the way in actually doing it.

"A Prayer Journal" by Flannery O'Connor

Flannery O'Connor's "A Prayer Journal" is a moving glimpse

of a young writer seeking to balance her art with her faith.

"Untamed: The Wildest Woman in America and the Fight for Cumberland Island"

(Grove Press), by Will Harlan

Boys and men who love the rugged outdoors have long had plenty of role models,

from James Fenimore Cooper's Deerslayer to Huck Finn and Teddy Roosevelt.

But what about women who prefer woods and swamps to modern society?

"The Telling Room: a Tale of Love, Betrayal, Revenge, and the

World's Greatest Piece of Cheese" by Michael Paterniti

What makes a great cheese? The skill of the cheesemaker, the freshness of the raw milk,

or perhaps the variety of grass and herbs the animals ate?

Michael Paterniti's "The Telling Room" suggests one more secret ingredient: weaving all those elements into a story that's savored just like the cheese itself.

"The Telling Room" is ostensibly about "the world's greatest piece of cheese,"

yet it's also "a tale of love, betrayal, and revenge."