by The Week Staff
1. Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates (Spiegel & Grau, $24)
Ta-Nehisi Coates’ landmark book issued “an essential clarion call to our collective conscience,” said Pamela Newkirk at the San Francisco Chronicle. Presented as an open letter to Coates’ 15-year-old son, Between the World and Me is in part a survival guide for living as a black man in America. But it is above all a “blistering” critique of the injustices inflicted on the nation’s marginalized by a majority culture too ready to believe in feel-good myths. Coates, a Baltimore native who now writes for The Atlantic, begins by describing the choking effects of coming of age in an impoverished community warped by a constant fear of violence at the hands of the police. But from start to finish, his extended essay makes the effects of racism visceral, said Thomas Chatterton Williams at The Washington Post. Rarely does a book come along that delivers all that this one does: “a mature writer entirely consumed by a momentous subject and working at the extreme of his considerable powers when national events most conform to his vision.”
A dissent: Coates offers no hope for a solution to the institutional racism he describes, said Jesse McCarthy at The Nation.
continue reading at: http://theweek.com/articles/594925/best-nonfiction-books-2015
If you want to face a book to kick off
2016, look no further.
Someone Like Me centers on Graham Boyce, an FBI agent who is depressed. To lift his spirits, his psychiatrist suggest that he goes out and is social. He goes out, struggles to connect with others. He feels rejected. During that night, he leaves the restaurant for a walk to clear his head. He is being followed and realize with astonishment, that the man that follows him looks familiar to him or, more precisely, that man looks exactly like him. He feels threaten and fears for his life. Against his own best judgment, Boyce decides to follow his double through the night. What happens next is a wonderfully twisted reflection of personality and uniqueness? It is an amazing, brilliant thriller in this haunting tale of appearance versus reality. Greg Bolen described his objectives for the book: “I want to place the reader into the body of Graham Boyce with this book and to make the experience of the reader’s imagination, from beginning to end, an absolutely personal one.”