I have many friends that are fabulous writers, but I chose not to include them here. Well, except for one. Couldn’t help myself.
1) Tenth of December (stories), George Saunders. No surprise here. I need to write a post solely about the story The Semplica Girl Diaries. Absolute perfection.
2) and 3) Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies (novels), Hilary Mantel.
4) This is How You Lose Her (stories), Junot Diaz. What else can I say about him? I would read his grocery lists.
5) Middle Men (stories), Jim Gavin.
6) The Good Lord Bird (novel), James McBride. This just won the National Book Award. Deservedly so. Tenth of December deserved to win as well. But that takes nothing away from the excellence of McBride’s book. Thoroughly unique and unforgettable narrator.
7) Before You Suffocate Your Own Fool Self (stories), Danielle Evans.
8) The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed out the Window and Disappeared (novel), Jonas Jonasson. This was a wonderful book that I stumbled across at Powells Books in Portland. The story is nearly as charming as the author.
9) What We Talk About When We Talk About Anne Frank (stories), Nathan Englander. The whole collection was good, but no story was nearly as great as this one. Chills.
10) The Yellow-Lighted Bookshop (memoir/history), Lewis Buzbee. My writing mentor and cherished friend. I can’t believe I haven’t read this before. It is delightful and the embodiment of curling up with a great book on a rainy day.