POVERTY is one subject Matthew Desmond knows intimately. That he has personally experienced what it is like to grow up poor in the richest country in the world, and received a Pulitzer Prize for writing about it, sets him apart from other sociologists who study only the poor, but not why they are poor. In his newest book, Poverty, By America, Desmond examines in depth the causes and consequences of the abject poverty affecting millions of Americans.
Mark Wagstaff’s new novel, On the Level, crashes the Jason Bourne films into Catcher in the Rye. Non-stop intrigue drives a coming-of-age story in which protagonist Riz Montgomery is both an unforgettably troubled, smart, and passionate fifteen-year-old and a seasoned, mysterious older woman narrating from a distant place scented by tequila and motorcycle fuel.
For those who enjoy the unconventional bildungsroman—or are thirsting for some adventure—read this memoir by Laurie Lee. Originally published in 1969, it recounts the poet's long walk across Spain in the 1930s.
Category Unknown by Koushik Banerjea is a dense and ambitious book that continues the conversation relaunched by the racial reckoning of 2020, "and reminds us that the conversation isn't the least bit new."
The Regular, the new novel by Dave Buckhout, is a philosophical novel, and its main protagonist, Marvin Goodspeed, is a philosopher. That said, what is the philosophy of this modern day southern Cynic? And what, ultimately, is the book’s (and Buckhout’s) take on him?