10 New Books We Recommend This Week | Modern Society of USA

10 New Books We Recommend This Week

10 New Books We Recommend This Week

THE HEARTBEAT OF WOUNDED KNEE: Native America From 1890 to the Present, by David Treuer. (Riverhead, $28.) This response to Dee Brown’s “Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee” highlights the numerous achievements of Native Americans over the past century, and celebrates their resilience and adaptability in the face of prejudice, violence and the many other obstacles placed in their way. “Rarely has a single volume in Native American history attempted such comprehensiveness,” Ned Blackhawk writes in his review. “The result is an informed, moving and kaleidoscopic portrait.”

HARK, by Sam Lipsyte. (Simon & Schuster, $27.) The attraction and repulsion between a would-be messiah and his apostle anchors this madcap skewering of contemporary culture packed with fake gurus, cheating spouses, junk-food obsessions and yoga. “Lipsyte’s point,” according to our reviewer, Josh Tyrangiel, is that “modern life is so grim, people will bend far below the limbo bar of logic in search of some peace.”

INHERITANCE: A Memoir of Genealogy, Paternity, and Love, by Dani Shapiro. (Knopf, $24.95.) A DNA test submitted on a whim upends Shapiro’s assumptions about her family history and forms the basis for her new book, a searching exploration of the power of blood ties to shape our sense of who we are. “The true drama of ‘Inheritance’ is not Shapiro’s discovery,” Ruth Franklin writes in her review, “but the meaning she makes of it.” The book, she adds, “is beautifully written and deeply moving — it brought me to tears more than once.”

AN ORCHESTRA OF MINORITIES, by Chigozie Obioma. (Little, Brown, $28.) A sweeping epic centered on a fraught romance between a humble poultry farmer and the daughter of a prosperous chief, Obioma’s new novel travels from rural Nigeria to Cyprus and to the cosmic domain of the Igbo guardian spirit who watches over and recounts the proceedings. “The ‘orchestra of minorities’ refers to the crying of birds mourning the slaughtered among them,” Esi Edugyan explains in her review. “It extends, symbolically, to the broader human community of the poor, the dispirited, the silenced, the plundered — those whose spirits have been savaged, those who have been stripped of all dignity, those who risk everything or make impossible journeys to better their lives. It’s a story as old as the epic, but, sadly, an all too modern one.”

ARISTOTLE’S WAY: How Ancient Wisdom Can Change Your Life, by Edith Hall. (Penguin Press, $27.) Aristotle was concerned with how to achieve a virtuous, happy life. Hall sees his answer as a source of great comfort, his most important insight being that people need to find their own purpose and search out a middle way — “nothing in excess,” the philosopher said. Reviewing Hall’s book, John Kaag praises her “tight yet modest prose” as well as her thesis: “In our culture, virtuous moderation and prudence rarely sell but, taking her cues from Aristotle, Hall offers a set of reasons to explain why they should.”

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