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10 New Books This Week
Ask any reading group: People disagree about books all the time. But it’s rare for a novel to be quite as polarizing, or as controversial in the wider culture, as Jeanine Cummins’s new book, “American Dirt,” has turned out to be.
Essentially a narcothriller — it’s about a Mexican woman and her son fleeing to the border to escape a murderous drug lord — the book is already a huge hit. Oprah Winfrey recently picked it for her book club, and it enters this week’s best-seller list at No. 1. But it has also been widely condemned, on political grounds by readers who say it resorts to stereotypes and exploits current events to make a fetish out of trauma, and on aesthetic grounds by readers who say it’s just badly written. (That’s where The Times’s critic Parul Sehgal landed in her review.) In the wake of the outcry, the book’s publishers announced on Wednesday that they were canceling a planned author tour.
So why are we recommending it?
For one thing, “American Dirt” is clearly the book of the moment. It has spawned a galvanizing conversation — if not the one that Cummins might have been hoping for — and anybody who wants to follow along would probably do well to read the book at the center of the discourse. For another thing, both Lauren Groff (in the Book Review) and the editor who assigned it to her were genuinely impressed by the book’s propulsive momentum and topical concerns. You might be, too — or you might hate it! Either way, you’ll have something to talk about at your next book group.
If you’d rather fight about nonfiction, we can help with that too. This week we recommend a book about Donald Trump’s presidency, a study of economic conditions in some of the world’s most troubled environments, the history of a racist coup in Reconstruction-era North Carolina and a look back at the speculative and largely fraudulent Florida land boom of the 1920s, along with a cultural critic’s take on the enduring appeal of minimalism. In fiction, we offer a collection of Zora Neale Hurston’s short stories, a novel about body image among the girls at a British boarding school, and a debut novel about a Chinese physicist who immigrates to America intent on hiding her past. Finally, poetry: The venerable Robert Hass returns with his first new collection in almost a decade. http://bit.ly/KindleUnlimitedUK http://bit.ly/StoriesThatSpeakToYou http://bit.ly/EdgarAllanPoeAudioBooks
Search Books: https://amzn.to/2WRm4T6
Edgar Allan Poe (1809–1849) was a writer and critic famous for his dark, mysterious poems and stories, including ‘The Raven,’ ‘The Black Cat’ and ‘The Tell-Tale Heart.’
Who Was Edgar Allan Poe?
Edgar Allan Poe was an American writer, poet, critic and editor best known for evocative short stories and poems that captured the imagination and interest of readers around the world. His imaginative storytelling and tales of mystery and horror gave birth to the modern detective story.
Many of Poe’s works, including “The Tell-Tale Heart” and “The Fall of the House of Usher,” became literary classics. Some aspects of Poe’s life, like his literature, is shrouded in mystery, and the lines between fact and fiction have been blurred substantially since his death.