What should you read next? Here are the top reviewed books of the week ‹ Literary Hub

Mohsin Hamids The Last White ManAnthony Marras mercury pictures gifts, and Emmanuel Carreres yoga all are among the top rated books of the week.

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fiction

1. The Last White Man by Mohsin Hamid
(river head)

7 enthusiastic • 4 positive • 2 mixed • 2 pan
Read an excerpt The Last White Man here

“Provocative, euphonious… Hamid’s opening deliberately echoes the language of Kafka and Lewis, telling a compelling story that restrains transformations large and small… Hamid’s technique is indelible, a hilarity that belies the gravity of his themes. Most (not all) of his paragraphs are single beautiful sentences, rippling and flowing over punctuation marks scattered like pebbles, with repetitions and cadences that gently drag the reader forward… The Last White Man the fairy dust may be missing West exitbut it is another invigorating achievement from a consummate master whose silky prose breathes new life into musty debates about race and identity.”

—Hamilton Cain (Oprah daily)

Anthony Marra_Mercury Pictures presents covers

2. Mercury Pictures presents by Anthony Marra
(Hogart)

6 enthusiastic • 4 positive • 2 mixed

“Epicically entertaining… It retains the noir sensibility of the era… Readers of his earlier fiction… will know that Marra is a masterful writer with characters that are deep, truthful and often very funny.” but Mercury Pictures presents is both a novel about an era and a novel about its characters… It asks the big questions… And, like all good novels, it answers, engaging its readers with stories that are personal, vivid, and heartbreaking.”

—Samantha Schoech (The Chronicle of San Francisco)

Tess Gunty_The Rabbit Hutch Cover

3. The rabbit hutch by Tess Gunty
(Button)

6 enthusiastic • 2 positive
Read an excerpt The rabbit hutch here

“Seriously impressive… Excitingly combines the vivid realism and comical experimentalism so beloved of American fiction.” The writing style is stunning, the variety of styles and voices remarkable… Fun and funny… I found myself cackling and covering the pages of the book in exclamation marks as I read… The novel leaps through a variety of styles with great confidence … There is so much dazzling stuff out here it can be difficult to know where to look. And in truth the novel succumbs a little to its Byzantine structure and sentimentality. What remains, however, is something simple: the sparkling inwardness of his characters. Gunty didn’t need so many fireworks to make such a brilliant entrance as a new writer.”

—RobertCollins (The Sunday Times)

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nonfiction

Yoga_Emmanuel Carrère, tr. Johann Lambert

1. yoga through Emmanuel Carrere
(Farrar, Straus and Giroux)

6 enthusiastic • 5 positive • 1 mixed

“Like tai chi, Carrère’s denominational spelling, cleverly captured here in John Lambert’s translation, demands that he move ‘as slowly and as quickly’ as possible – ‘to meditate and kill’… Carrère’s gift is to do all of this tell with the intimacy of a diarist. His books, associative and rambling, move with ease between observer and participant, between small, remembered moments and incommensurable realities. In exploring his own consciousness, he seems to be exploring ours as well… The absence of his wife partly explains one of the book’s weaknesses: the women in it are mostly outlines that he fills with his wants or his needs. If his portrayals sound off-key at times, so do some of the storylines required by the fictional twist yogalasts … Having become accustomed to finding ourselves in an intimate dialogue with Carrère, we cannot help but wonder what he has been holding back. At the same time, he suggests that if we sometimes make up stories (as the migrants may have done), it may simply be because the ones we would like to tell cannot be made available to others. Our suffering is no less terrible, our moments of clarity no less hard-earned.”

—Sheila Glaser (New York Times book review)

Acceptance: A memory_Emi Nietfeld

2. Acceptance: A reminder by Emily Nietfeld
(Penguin)

3 Delighted • 5 Positive

“Looking back from a vantage point of professional security, somewhere beyond her own ambitions, Nietfeld writes to survey the tumultuous psychological landscape of class mobility. Breaking with the Cinderella story convention of the social mobility memoir, assumption achieves extraordinary frankness and beauty… By showing this compassion, assumption gaining independence from the professional reader’s sentimental identification… Never does a reader suspect that Nietfeld is smuggling a coming-of-age story alongside a personal narrative for a hazy set of societal ideals that are vindicated by their dispute. The drama in this tale is an uphill battle fought on the road to becoming human, an individual clashing with truths that cannot be reconciled with the striving conspiracy of her own life. Harvard gave Neitfeld “a special voice that I used on the phone”; in assumptionshe learns to speak for herself.”

– Lauren Bittrich (Cleveland Review of Books)

Read an excerpt here.

Inventors of the Future: The Visionary Life of Buckminster Fuller_Alec Nevala-Lee

3. Inventors of the Future: The Visionary Life of Buckminster Fuller by Alec Nevala-Lee
(day road)

3 enthusiastic • 3 positive

“Nevala-Lee examines Fuller’s life and work in a comprehensive and detailed manner. He seems to have spoken to everyone alive who had a personal or professional connection with Fuller; There are 129 pages of endnotes… The author clearly admires his subject matter, which makes some aspects of his dispassionate narrative all the more disturbing… For someone like this reader, who was met and influenced by Fuller, reading these revelations is a chastening experience. In his public appearances, Fuller could appear like a selfless seer, almost like a worldly saint; in Nevala-Lee’s biography he is all too human… The strength of this carefully researched and fair biography is that the reader walks away with a better understanding of a deeply complicated individual who has overcome obstacles – many of them himself – to achieve something kind of imperfect size.”

– Witold Rybczynski (New York Times book review)

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