Monday, January 25, 2016

The Point Is: New & Newsy Books



The Point Is... that people are talking about books, one way or the other, a lot of the time. Here's the first in our regularly irregular roundup of what we've been hearing and reading about what to read.

Triumph TrumpAs primaries loom, so to does the release of dozens of political, or politically minded, books. I'm thinking of this past Sunday's New York Times Book Review, which boasts a red-lettered-headline section called, aptly, Politics. An interesting mix of titles are reviewed therein – the ones you'd expect like Jane Mayer's Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right and E.J. Dionne Jr.'s Why the Right Went Wrong, but somebody smart had the idea of applying perspective with a review of Karl Rove's The Triumph of William McKinley. Its juxtaposition among all the up-to-the-minute analyses makes me want to understand its subtitle: Why the Election of 1896 Still Matters. But lest you think all election-related books from now until November are going to be heavy tomes, consider the tiny red book that arrived in my mailbox this week: Quotations from Chairman Trump, a collection of tweets, statements and one-liners from you know who. It's hard to know whether to laugh or to cry....

Then there's The Millions, which calls What Belongs to You the next great gay novel. I haven't read it yet, but this debut is also getting plenty of traction on social media and from such writers as Hanya Yanagihara and Edmund White.

YoungbloodThis month's sleeper-hit-to-be is an Iraq war novel that's getting buzz from everybody from the New York Times' Michiko Kakutani to Richard Ford: Youngblood. Phil Klay (author of 2014's National Book Award winner, Redeployment, an Amazon Best Book of the Year for 2014) calls Matt Gallagher's book "urgent" and "thrilling" and "flat out great." Sounds like we should have a look....



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