Books from the Backlog #179

Posted September 16, 2021 by Carole in Books from the Backlog / 11 Comments

Books from the Backlog is a fun way to feature some of those neglected books sitting on your bookshelf unread.  If you are anything like me, you might be surprised by some of the unread books hiding in your stacks.

If you would like to join in, please feel free to enter your link, link back to this post, and then spend some time visiting some of the other posts.

This week’s neglected book

Books from the Backlog #179American Dirt Published by Flatiron Books on January 21, 2021
Genres: Fiction / Family Life / General
Pages: 399
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
Amazon | Audible | B&N | Kobo |

For readers of There There but with the emotional punch of The Nightingale, American Dirt is a rare exploration into the inner hearts of people willing to sacrifice everything for a glimmer of hope.

If it’s only a better life you seek, seek it elsewhere...This path is only for people who have no choice, no other option, only violence and misery behind you. And your journey will grow even more treacherous from here. Everything is working against you. —American Dirt

Lydia Quixano Perez lives in the Mexican city of Acapulco. She runs a bookstore. She has a son, Luca, the love of her life, and a wonderful husband who is a journalist. And while there are cracks beginning to show in Acapulco because of the drug cartels, her life is, by and large, fairly comfortable.

Even though she knows they’ll never sell, Lydia stocks some of her all-time favorite books in her store. And then one day a man enters the shop to browse and comes up to the register with four books he would like to buy—two of them her favorites. Javier is erudite. He is charming. And, unbeknownst to Lydia, he is the jefe of the newest drug cartel that has gruesomely taken over the city. When Lydia’s husband’s tell-all profile of Javier is published, none of their lives will ever be the same.

Forced to flee, Lydia and eight-year-old Luca soon find themselves miles and worlds away from their comfortable middle-class existence. Instantly transformed into migrants, Lydia and Luca ride la bestia—trains that make their way north toward America, which is the only place Javier’s reach doesn’t extend. As they join the thousands of people trying to reach American dirt, Lydia soon sees that everyone is running from something. But what exactly are they running to?

American Dirt will leave readers utterly changed when they finish reading it. It is a page-turner, it is a literary achievement, it is filled with poignancy, drama, and humanity on every page. It is one of the most important books for our times.

Why did I add American Dirt to my bookshelf?

I was so excited to receive a copy of this book from the publisher. Then reviews started coming in and this book proved to be very controversial. I hate to admit that I was scared off by all of it and put the book on the backburner. I read for fun and I really don’t want to read anything that might cause me stress, which I thought this book might based on how divided everyone seemed to be. I do want to give this book a try now that things have calmed down a bit.

I am sorry that I have been largely absent lately. This workplace move has taken a lot out of me and I am drained by the end of the day.

What are your thoughts? Have you read this book?  Would you recommend it?

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11 responses to “Books from the Backlog #179

  1. Hang in there with the move, Carole. Sorry it’s been so stressful. Though I admit this is not my kind of book, I also didn’t give it a second thought with all the drama surrounding it. I get put off by that.

  2. not my kind of book either, though it does sound interesting and when a book is controversial it makes me want to read it even more. gotta know what all the hoopla is about

  3. Debbie Haupt

    Sorry you’ve been so stressed lately. Hope things get better. I can see why you’d want to wait on this. But I also think it’s important for some people to see the story from the immigrant’s perspective

  4. Yes, this is the type of book that I would need to be in the right frame of mind to be able to read. It does sound like it will be a heavy hitter.

    Take care and rooting for you to finish up with that tough office move.

  5. I haven’t read this one but it sounds like it would be a really good story. Hopefully that guy doesn’t catch up with them wherever they end up.

    Don’t worry about being around right now, we all know you’re busy.

  6. I have also read a lot about this book. So I get why you might be a little put off by it. Maybe one day soon you will feel more like it.
    I’m sorry the move has been so draining. I hope it gets better soon 😉

  7. Haven’t read it and now want to. I have such a long tbr list and its cutting into my writing time but you make it sound too good to miss. When a book has controversy I have to read it.