Friday, December 21, 2012

Last Minute Stocking Stuffers: #bestreads2012

Christmas is coming, and it's coming fast. My top 5 book recommendations to fill your favorite reader's--or writer's--stocking.

The Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving (Jonathan Evison): One of my favorite books of the year, when a stay-at-home dad loses his reason to stay at home, he finds work taking care of a disabled young man. A road story, a love story, a coming-of-age story, Revised Fundamentals hits every emotional peak, and then some. I covered Evison's recent visit to Baltimore's Book Festival HERE.

City of Thieves (David Benioff): A love story of sorts between two unlikely young men who become best of friends. Leningrad is under seige by the Germans, and a Russian soldier AWOL and a literary kid caught stealing from a dead German are tasked with procuring a dozen eggs for a high-ranking officer's daughter's wedding--or face execution.

Let the Great World Spin (Colum McCann): I read this book every year and always find more to marvel at McCann's mastery. The thread of a tightrope walker balancing between the World Trade Towers in the 1970s makes the present that much palpable and poignant.

The Meadow (James Galvin): A poetic transport to the meadows and mountains of the American West. Non-fiction that reads like the finest fiction.

Stories for Nighttime and Some for the Day (Ben Loory): A fabulous short story collection with Carver-esque prose and unpredictable plots. For writers wanting to study the opening line 'hook', read no farther.

And a couple of other short but not necessarily sweet offerings:

Conversations with S.Teri O'Type (Christopher Allen): Goofy, high-camp, and amazingly good fun from one of the most promising emerging writers.

Shortly Thereafter (Colin D. Halloran): Heart-stopping poems about war written by a soldier-poet stationed in Afghanistan.



  1. Thank you - and happy holidays to you and yours.

  2. I keep meaning to pick up McCann. It looks like such a strong work, but I'm not allowed to buy more books until I've read my pile back down to double digits. So frustrating - but I'm still glad you're loving his work.

  3. Hi, Linda! Forgive me for having just seen this. I've been away for a while. Thank you so much for mentioning Conversations with S. Teri O'Type and for your encouragement. Looking forward to meeting at AWP