5 Most Popular Posts: January 2021
- February 8, 2021
We here at the Independent love every piece we run. There are no winners or losers. But all kidding aside, here are January’s winners.
- “5 Good Books about the U.S. Constitution.” “The Constitution may have been written more than two centuries ago, but its contents are urgently relevant today. If you’ve never read this foundational text — or are murky on its origins — explore the titles below. Understanding how America got started is key to ensuring we keep going.”
- K.L. Romo’s review of The Exiles: A Novel by Christina Baker Kline (Custom House). “The Exiles poignantly explores the issues of social identity, fate, loyalty, and survival during a time in history when women were ‘less than,’ and Anglo society believed itself entitled to decimate indigenous tribes living on confiscated land. From the squalid straw floors and suffering of Newgate, to a ship’s dark and foul hold, to a penal colony in Hobart Town, readers follow these brave women on their journey of survival through inexplicable sorrow, hardship, and loss.”
- Sarah Shoemaker’s review of The Center of Everything: A Novel by Jamie Harrison (Counterpoint). “Harrison deftly weaves the story of Polly’s present life in the summer of 2002 Montana with remembrances of her 8-year-old self in 1968, living on Long Island Sound with her parents (who were often not home) and her great-grandparents: the mythical Papa, an anthropologist in his late 80s, and his wife, Dee, for whom food and the acquiring, preparing, and eating of it was an art and a celebration. It was Papa and Dee whom she remembers most: his stories and his wisdom; her gentleness and, of course, her cooking.”
- Jennifer Bort Yacovissi’s review of The Boy in the Field: A Novel by Margot Livesey (Harper). “It’s funny how external factors influence what readers are in the mood for. Especially when times are fraught and uncertain, we tend toward stories that offer a sense of warmth and comfort. In the hellscape that is 2020, Margot Livesey delivers such balm.”
- Kitty Kelley’s review of Robert E. Lee and Me: A Southerner’s Reckoning with the Myth of the Lost Cause by Ty Seidule (St. Martin’s Press). “Few others could write this book with such sterling credibility. Only a man of the South, a Virginian, and a soldier with a Ph.D. in history could so persuasively mount the case against a national hero, and label him a traitor. For even today, the image of Lee, who fought against his country to preserve slavery, is revered with monuments, parks, military bases, counties, roads, schools, ships, and universities named in his honor. Yet, armed with years of documented research, Seidule demonstrates that Lee, like Judas, was guilty of base betrayal.”