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The Bookshelf: April 23, 2014

In this week's Bookshelf, our content partner Kirkus Reviews highlights The Boom and Unreal City.

The Boom How Fracking Ignited the American Energy Revolution and Changed the World by Russell Gold

Trib+Water is joining with respected books authority Kirkus Reviews to bring you select reviews of books of note in the field of water studies. For more book reviews and recommendations, visit

THE BOOM: How Fracking Ignited the American Energy Revolution and Changed the World

by Russell Gold

One of the most respected and practiced energy journalists in the United States, Gold (the Wall Street Journal) was most recently a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for his reporting on the Deepwater Horizon disaster. Here, the author delivers one of the first of a slate of books scheduled to tackle the provocative practice of hydraulic fracturing to mine natural gas, a process better known to most Americans as “fracking.” It’s a complex technique, and Gold gets deep into the science and engineering. Bookended by the story of his parents’ decision to sell fracking rights to their farm in rural Pennsylvania, Gold takes a coast-to-coast journey, interviewing energy moguls, roughnecks, mud men and market analysts to present a mostly comprehensive snapshot of the subject today.

For full review, visit


UNREAL CITY Las Vegas, Black Mesa, and the Fate of the West

by Judith Nies

A hard-hitting chronicle of the hidden history behind the creation of Las Vegas, including a large-scale resource grab and a grand plan to drive the Navajo people off their lands, abetted by corruption at the highest levels of government. … She also investigated the broader water politics of the region, including the current depletion of major water sources such as Lake Mead and the Colorado River — a situation made worse by climate change. “Las Vegas has the highest per capita use of water in the country,” she writes. Coal-powered plants are required to light the casinos and pump in the water for their ostentatious displays and to support the large population of visitors and residents. Nies situates what began as an apparently local issue in a broader context.

For full review, visit

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