Friday, January 21, 2011

Five Great Books I'm Sure You Haven't Read

A wonderful site called The Hipster Book Club asked me to take part in their annual Five Bests lists for 2010. The Tucson tragedy and a few other events in my life delayed me posting this, but it was a lot of fun.

They said I could pick five of anything, so I decided to go with Five Gems You Haven't Read.

Here's the opening of my entry:

I was unaware that writing a book would produce more of them—in my mailbox. It's pretty cool, getting galleys. If only they came with the time to read them. Mostly, I don't make it ten pages, but man, when one connects . . .

These first three are minor masterpieces. I'm about halfway through each of one. I'm slow. And I'm savoring.  Look for them in early 2011. You will be richer for it.

1. The Architect of Flowers by William Lychack (out March)

This one made me a little sad. My dream is to write like Nabokov, and this guy is too damn far ahead. I kept questioning whether I could get there. Now it's revving me up to try. 

Architect is the first book to remind me of my mentor, Lucia Berlin. They both tell deceptively simple stories about "ordinary" working class characters. William brings them to life with tiny insights and dazzling images he seems to exhale into every line.

I was hooked by the title story, but still went, Ugh. I don’t want to read about flowers. But three pages later, I was wishing it would roll on and on.

Read my four other picks here. (Scroll down toward the bottom, by my pic.)

And check out the other great entries, too. They include Jillian Lauren, Benjamin Percy, David Bezmozgis, and Jill Alexander Essbaum.

1 comment:

  1. I am so jealous people send you free books. I've really got to work on that...