City Paper is not for tourists
The National Book Critics Circle has launched a new monthly series listing books that are most recommended by its members, as well as by authors like John Updike, Adrian Nicole LeBlanc, and Tobias Wolff. As a way of tracking what books get talked about by critics and writers instead of just what sells a lot, it’s a bright idea, even if I’m skeptical about the usefulness of consensus-building exercises these days. The Best Recommended List kicks off today with tabulations for fiction, nonfiction, and poetry published in 2007. For my part, I put in for what turned out to be the top selection in nonfiction—Edwidge Danticat’s memoir, Brother, I’m Dying. But apparently I was alone in making a noise about Bolivian author Juan de Recacoechea’s noir American Visa (translated by a local, Adrian Althoff), a book we featured twice in CP this year.