1. The Man in My Basement
The idea is a delicious one: successful white man filled with guilt locks himself in a cage to be watched over by a penniless African American. "The Man in My Basement" becomes a series of intriguing dialogues between warden and prisoner. Bennet, the white man, who has long operated in the most covert international circles, attempts to educate Blakely, his warden, on many of society's issues, including the always-changing chalk line between good and evil. Not surprisingly, Bennet reveals the world to be a complex place held together by an amorphous moral structure that operates outside geopolitical boundaries.
2. The Constant Gardener
(John Le Carre)
3. Another Bull**it Night in Suck City
Flynn's wayward father, a self-styled writer and ex-con, describes his life on Boston's streets as "another bull**it night in Suck City": he hangs out in ATM lobbies, stuffs his coat with newspaper and is often "still drunk from the night before." This biting memoir describes the years poet Flynn (Some Ether; Blind Huber) spent, in his late 20s, working at one of the city's homeless shelters, where his path crisscrossed with his down-and-out father's.
4. Hidden: A Novel
An Indiana woman whose world was shattered in one fateful night spends the entirety of this meditative literary debut/sleepy thriller unraveling its events. Twenty-two-year-old Maggie's crumbling marriage takes its final blow when she is beaten nearly to death in her idyllic farmhouse, and Nate, her domineering and abusive husband, is put in prison for the crime.