July2016 Booklist 7 www.booklistonline.com
to people who identify with the “hearing”
world.) Born Deaf to hearing parents, editor Gertz is a dean at Gallaudet University, a
university for the Deaf in Washington, D.C.
Coeditor Boudreault, also at Gallaudet University, is a researcher in the field of Deaf
studies. Written by an international team of
subject specialists at a level appropriate for
a general audience, the more than 320 alphabetically arranged, signed entries average
several pages in length. References for further
reading are provided at the end of the entries.
A few illustrations and photographs supplement the text.
Broad areas include Deaf community
diversity, health, history, organizations,
psychology, and sociology as well as Deaf
education, employment, language, law, and
technology. Sample entries include Adoption;
Bullying; Deaf history; Eastern Europe;
Eugenics; Literacy; Mainstreaming and social capital;
People of Illinois v. Lang; Sign language; Arabic
fingerspelling; and Social media. There is a detailed, lengthy index. With an estimated 20
million hearing-impaired individuals in the
U.S. alone, this encyclopedia should have
broad appeal. Notable for authoritative international coverage, this work merits high
recommendation for academic and public libraries. —Nancy Cannon
Sixty: A Diary of My Sixty-First Year.
By Ian Brown.
Aug. 2016. 320p. Experiment, $24.95 (9781615193509).
As far as birthday milestones go, turning
60 looms large. When Canadian journalist
and author Brown was facing the start of this
new decade of his life, he decided to chronicle the year through diary entries. The result
is an account focused on all aspects of coming to terms with aging, from the seemingly
trivial to serious ruminations on mortality.
Brown is personable and relatable, whether
he’s discussing his unruly and rapidly disappearing hair or his sudden tentativeness
about engaging in physical activities. Among
Brown and his friends, there’s a certain disbelief that they are indeed getting older, an
unwillingness to be pigeonholed into stereotypes even as they recognize that they are
changing. As the reality settles in that the
time he has left is limited, Brown confronts
his regrets, the loss of his parents, and asks
where the years, even decades, of his life had
gone. A spark of humor shines through even
these serious topics, which he handles gracefully. Well considered and illuminating, Sixty
allows readers to delve deeply into the real
meaning of maturity. —Bridget Thoreson
Substitute: Going to School with a
By Nicholson Baker.
Sept. 2016. 736p. Penguin/Blue Rider, $30
Award-winning novelist and nonfiction au-
thor Baker (Traveling Sprinkler, 2012) brings
his inimitable perspective and literary style
to the classroom in this compelling, enor-
mously detailed, endlessly surprising chronicle
of working for 28 days as
a substitute teacher in his
Maine public-school district.
In a brief introduction, he
describes the book as a “mo-
and he’s not kidding. He
teaches every subject, moni-
tors cafeteria time and recess,
attends mandatory assemblies, and keeps
exhausted teenagers awake in homeroom.
In each chapter, Baker records what he sees,
hears, and experiences in kindergarten through
high-school classrooms. Nearly every word he
hears is in these pages, the petty arguments
and complaints, the frustrations and fears,
the excitement and joy. Baker makes no wide
pronouncements about the education system
or curriculum, but rather reports on the rigid
schedule that keeps everyone moving from one
topic to another as students fight fatigue and
boredom on an hourly basis and as dreaded
worksheets evoke horror in everyone, includ-
ing Baker. There is no need for Baker to quote
experts; all he had to do was listen. What he
learned and what he so clearly recounts is
powerful. —Colleen Mondor
The Terror Years: From al-Qaeda to the
By Lawrence Wright.
Aug. 2016. 400p. Knopf, $28.95 (9780385352055).
During his tenure as a staff writer for the
New Yorker, Wright (Thirteen Days in September, 2014) has built a reputation as a leading
authority on Middle East terrorism, in part for
his acclaimed study on al-Qaeda, The Looming
Tower (2006), which garnered a Pulitzer Prize.
The research that Wright did for the 10 essays
contained in his latest work, all of which first
appeared in the magazine, also contributed
to Wright’s deeper insight into the jihadist
mindset, including its latest embodiment in
ISIS. In “The Man behind Bin Laden” Wright
recounts his return to Egypt, where he taught
English decades earlier, to investigate the
background of Bin Laden’s sidekick Ayman
al-Zawahiri, describing a country embroiled
in post-9/11 political turmoil. “The Counterterrorist” profiles John O’Neill, the former
FBI head of counterterrorism who sadly and
ironically died in the 2001 attacks shortly
after he became the World Trade Center’s
security chief. Other pieces on Saudi Arabia,
ISIS violence, and Israel round out a brilliant
volume that is a must-read for anyone looking
for greater illumination of the baffling world
of religious extremism. —Carl Hays
Utopia Drive: A Road Trip through
America’s Most Radical Idea.
By Erik Reece.
Aug. 2016. 368p. Farrar, $26 (9780374106577). 335.
Reece (An American Gospel, 2009) takes us
on a delightful road trip into the optimistic
past of a unique form of American idealism.
The early 1800s saw the proliferation of a
widespread notion that life in this new world
could be better, that the
new continent deserved a
society based upon something nobler, more uplifting
than transplanted European
industrialism. The philosophy of the day bore the
newly coined term,
socialism, and between 1820 and
1850, some two-hundred separate communities sprang up across the country. Following
in the philosophical footsteps of the likes of
Emerson, Thoreau, John Humphrey Noyes,
and the Shakers, Reece visits the homes of
these rugged individualists. Clearly, he’s enamored of their dreams and their resolve,
and he observes that whatever fault brought
them down, it wasn’t their embrace of socialism. Rather, it was the crush of “an American
consumer culture so unsustainable . . . that
we now stand on the verge of both environmental calamity and an intractable federal
plutocracy.” Even as he acknowledges the failures of these communities, Reece is confident
that we can learn from them and create a
sustainable future. Hitching a ride on Reece’s
journey and catching his contagious optimism
is entertaining and engaging. —Donna Chavez
Water in Plain Sight: Hope for a Thirsty
By Judith D. Schwartz.
July 2016. 256p. St. Martin’s, $26.99 (9781250069917).
In her optimistic Cows Save the Planet
and Other Improbable Ways of Restoring Soil
to Heal the Earth (2013), which won the
Nautilus Book Award for Sustainability, environmental writer Schwartz mapped out
a path to climate-change recovery through
improved soil-management practices. In this
equally inspiring follow-up, she demonstrates
how paying closer attention to nature’s own
methods for delivering moisture where it’s
most needed will help forestall a looming,
• Young adult recommendations for adult,
audio, and reference titles reviewed in
this issue have been contributed by the
Booklist staff and by reviewers Poornima
Apte, Diego Báez, Michael Cart, John
Charles, Sarah Grant, Valerie Hawkins,
Kristine Huntley, Krista Hutley, Ilene
Lefkowitz, Lucy Lockley, Shelley Mosley,
Hazel Rochman, June Sawyers, Becky
Spratford, and Henrietta Verma.
• Adult titles recommended for teens are
marked with the following symbols: YA,
for books of general YA interest; YA/C,
for books with particular curriculum
value; YA/S, for books that will appeal
most to teens with a special interest in
a specific subject; and YA/M, for books
best suited to mature teens.