Year in Reading

A Year in Reading: Ed Yong

By posted at 3:00 pm on December 12, 2016 0

In a year of bleak and shocking world events, my bookshelf has been similarly characterized by heartbreak, subversion, and sometimes both.

covercovercoverIn Everything I Never Told You, Celeste Ng uses familiar thriller elements — a normal family rocked by tragedy! — as the backbone for a singular and exceptional story about how every generation is oppressed by the restrictions of the current one and the pressures of the last. In War of the Whales, Joshua Horwitz reveals how military sonar has repeatedly and fatally driven whales onto beaches. It’s a dark and unfamiliar twist on the familiar “save the whales” conservation trope, told through a rich and precise narrative; a sequence midway through, from a whale’s perspective, remains the most moving passage I’ve read this year. In A Burglar’s Guide to the City, Geoff Manaugh takes the most mundane aspects of architecture — walls, ceilings, fire escapes — and imbues them with a wondrous new quality by showing them through the eyes of burglars, the “idiot masters of the built environment, drunk Jedis of architectural space.”

coverAnd in White Rage, Carol Anderson describes the history of black rights in America, from the end of the Civil War to the finale of the administration of Barack Obama, showing how every advancement has been met by an insidious rollback, not from obvious quarters like the Klan, but from bureaucrats and legislators. “With so much attention on the flames,” she writes, “everyone had ignored the kindling.” It’s shocking, beautifully written, and, with white supremacy knocking on the White House door, more important than ever. Some books are great, some books are essential. White Rage is the latter.

More from A Year in Reading 2016

Do you love Year in Reading and the amazing books and arts content that The Millions produces year round? We are asking readers for support to ensure that The Millions can stay vibrant for years to come. Please click here to learn about several simple ways you can support The Millions now.

Don’t miss: A Year in Reading 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005

The Millions' future depends on your support. Become a member today!




Share this article

More from the Millions

Post a Response

Comments with unrelated links will be deleted. If you'd like to reach our readers, consider buying an advertisement instead.

Anonymous and pseudonymous comments that do not add to the conversation will be deleted at our discretion.

NEW COMMENTING RULE: Comments may be held for moderation and/or deleted. Whitelisted commenters will see their comments appear immediately. Don't be a jerk. We reserve the right to delete your comment or revoke commenting privileges for any reason we want.