Monday, December 14, 2009

Stuff Those Stockings!

There's still some time to boost this year's economy, and what better way than buying a book for your favorite curmudgeon -- or yourself. Here's my top ten picks published this year.

Indy Debut Fiction
--Peter Selgin marries schizophrenia, filmography, and the detritus of Vietnam in my personal favorite novel of the year: Life Goes to the Movies (Dzanc Books)

--A moving story of race and poverty in the deep South: Mudbound (Hillary Jordan; Algonquin Books)

--A coming-of-age story like no other, Holden Caulfield meets James Frey All about Lulu (Jonathan Evison, Soft Skull Press)

--Family dysfunction in upper class New England, belly-aching funny mixed with a good dose of tears Apologize, Apologize! (Elizabeth Kelly, Twelve)

Other Notable Fiction
--Await Your Reply (Dan Chaon). Amazing story about identity and loss and love and life. Amazing.

--Beautiful Children (Charles Bock). The underbelly of Las Vegas. Also a debut novel, one that makes my socks curl with envy.

--What happens when an anthologist and a photographer infiltrate the heroin-using society that lives under the freeway ramps of San Francisco? A riveting narrative about the daily struggles of our invisible citizens: Righteous Dopefiend (Philippe Bourgois and Jeff Schonberg, University of California Press)

--Michael Greenberg's story about the summer of his daughter's psychotic break is pure poetry in motion: Hurry Down Sunshine (The Other Press)

--The amazing thing about Stephen Elliott's story is that it's true: The Adderall Diaries

Fabulous and Free
--Fabulous flash fiction -- download it for free. Read my story -- DEFECTION -- and the other 49 smashing tales: Flash Fiction 40


A heartfelt thanks to all of you for your support and kindness these past few weeks. Your words floated me more than you will ever realize. Peace, Linda


  1. Thanks for the recommendations. I’ve been curious about the “Beautiful Children” book for some time.

    I’ll throw in a recommendation for The Collected Stories of Lydia Davis (Farrar, Straus, and Giroux). I don’t have it yet (hopefully, I get it for Christmas), but look at it every time I go to the bookstore. If you’re not familiar with Lydia Davis, you’re in for a treat. She’s not only a great short story writer but she’s also great at flash and micro fiction (which this collection has plenty of). This book collects all of her short stories and is over 700 pages long.

  2. So many books, so little time.

    Here's one from the "throwback" pile that I read recently that I really liked "One Monday We Killed Them All" by John D. McDonald. Even though the story takes place in the 60's you can see how little has changed in many aspects. Bad prison system. Domestic violence. Dying towns. Overtaxed police. People making excuses for other people's bad behavior.


  3. Christian, you're like the third person who's mentioned Lydia Davis to me -- off I go a-shopping. Thanks! And John, I adore John McD. I haven't read this book, and I do like books about bad behavior. Thanks!

    Peace, Linda

  4. People making excuses for other people's bad behavior.

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