18 Best Books 2016
Our reviews editors pick 100 of their favorite adult titles and 50 of
their favorite children’s and young adult titles from the nearly 9,000
books we reviewed in 2016. They also select an overall top 10,
which includes The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead, who
is this year’s cover author.
46 “I Love My Characters,
But I Don’t Like Them”
We talk with Ottessa Moshfegh, who follows up the acclaimed novel
Eileen with her first story collection, Homesick for Another World.
5 Reed Sets a New Direction for BEA
In 2017, the trade fair will be more focused, while BookCon, the
consumer-oriented show, will grow. Reed, the organizer of both events,
also says that BookExpo America is being rebranded as BookExpo.
6 Changes at the Copyright Office
Carla Hayden, the new librarian of Congress, made her first big
move this month, ousting Register of Copyrights Maria Pallante.
6 The Weekly Scorecard
Unit sales of print books fell 1% in the week ended October 23,
compared to the similar week last year.
11 Found in Translation
A collection by Ashraf Fayadh, a Palestinian poet, is being released
in a dual English-Arabic edition in the U.S. by the Operating System.
The book was banned in Saudi Arabia, where it was first published,
and where the author is currently imprisoned for heresy.
Editorial cover photo © Matthew Peyton
; Selection Day
Aravind Adiga. Scribner, $26 (304p) ISBN 978-1-5011-5083-8
With his brilliant, raw energy ricocheting off of every line,
Booker-winner Adiga ( White Tiger) turns his wry wit and his
scrutiny to the youth leagues of cricket in Mumbai, following
the successes and failures of teenage brothers Radha Krishna
and Manjunath Kumar, who have been both formed and broken by their visionary but abusive father, Mohan. Brought to
Mumbai as children after their mother left, the boys have
grown up in a “one-room brick shed, divided by a green curtain.” Ever since, they’ve spent every hour hoping and preparing for a different future, which they know depends on their
ability to outshine all the other boys on the cricket field. To
either help or hinder this process comes a cast of scouts,
recruiters, and hangers-on, each of whom is etched with Adiga’s trademark clarity—they are as defined by their fate as
they are resentful of it. “Revenge is the capitalism of the poor,”
he writes, describing Mohan’s resolve to prove the potential of
his sons, as well as their eventual attempts to escape him. But
the claim also fuels the energy of the novel as a whole, unraveling the tremendous grit and fierce inner conflicts that come
with the pursuit of revenge. Though Radha is known throughout Mumbai as the “best batsman” and Manju the “second
best batsman,” this is shockingly upturned, a move from which
no one ever quite recovers. Meanwhile, as Manju in particular
comes of age, he wrestles with what the sport demands and
what he’s willing to sacrifice in turn. (Jan.)
Pick of the week
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