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