Atlantic 10: Books That Make Us Think

This is a special issue of our Books Briefing newsletter. As always, expect to hear from us again on Friday.

Year-end lists are subjective in nature, and choosing books as such can be particularly difficult. Tens of thousands of books are published in the US each year, and the reader’s time is limited. We can only digest so much. Every publication, every jury making such judgments has a filter. This time we asked ourselves: What were the books of special value to us back then? Atlantic Ocean? We sought out those who impress us with the power of their ideas, who attract us not because of a platonic ideal of greatness, but because they train our brains and offer new angles to the world. In a word, it was nice to think together.

And so we arrived at Atlantic 10.

Between the covers of these books, readers will find a wide variety of topics and an array of authorial moods, from the whimsical to the deadly serious. What binds them together is they, who gave us a new perspective in 2022, forced us to stop and think, and let us back to our lives as smarter as soon as we turned the last page. people.

Julia Schimautz

​ ​We get together every Friday at the Books Briefing Atlantic stories from books that share similar ideas. Know of other book lovers who might like this guide? Forward them this email.

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Cover of Spin Dictators

📚 Dictators of Spin: The Changing Face of Tyranny in the 21st Centuryby Sergei Guriev and Daniel Treisman
“Dictators have gotten smarter. The blind tools of a Stalin or a Mao—blocking the roads to freedom of expression, suppressing any sign of protest, imprisoning or killing dissidents—provided the groundwork for more sophisticated means of control. This new ‘low-intensity strain’ is the subject of the timely and indispensable work of Guriev and Treisman. Rotation Dictators. The emboldened authoritarian leaders of the world in Russia, Turkey, and Venezuela do not think of ruling primarily through fear; instead, they manipulate their country’s information ecosystem using tactics such as armies of bots and sarcastic memes.”

Cover of Consequences

📚 Resultsby Manuel Muñoz
“The stories in ResultsMuñoz’s first book in over a decade, it’s hauntingly simple. Its language is strong and layered; does not perform or attempt to impress readers. The streamlined style subtly underscores the collection’s continued focus on the lives and families of Mexican and Mexican-American farmers in Central California. In these startling, vivid stories, anxieties are deeply felt, but often not voiced, and the necessity of kinship and the need to survive outweigh most other things.”

Cover of My Phantoms

📚 my ghostsby Gwendoline Riley
“Our family’s narratives of love and loss can hover, shape, and sometimes haunt our own experiences of the world. Riley understands this enigmatically, and officially her daring, indelible novel, [the narrator] Bridget’s own story may be overshadowed by those of her parents, namely her mother Helen. For most of Bridget’s life, Helen was emotionally dull, reluctant to reveal her weak points, yet the book follows Bridget as she tries to get over that resistance.”

Read the entire list.

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