Today, I start working part-time my favorite bookstore – Changing Hands in Phoenix. I am incredibly stoked because I love bookstores. I often spend any free time that I need to kill at a local indie or at Barnes & Noble. I even worked at BN in Augusta, Maine and Tempe, Arizona (where I dated someone at each one… so there’s that).
For nearly three years, now I have interviewed authors for various sites including Electric Literature and the Millions. I’ve provided some reviews and criticism as well; mostly at Writer’s Bone. If you didn’t already know, I love books. Now that I am going to be on the front lines of the book world a few days a week, I went through my favorite works of fiction – mostly novels, but some short story collections as well – so I could be ready to suggest some works people may have missed.
Finding the time to read is difficult with all of the other forms of media bombarding us. I decided to share 12 books – one for each month of the year – that stuck with me in one way or another. Some I have read numerous times and love more every time I finish it. While others I have only read once but they have had a profound influence on me.
The books listed were carefully selected to go along with each month based on the content within them or the feelings associated with them. There’s a mixture of fiction and non-fiction; children’s books, and comics; as well as classics to modern hits.
I’ve read 55 books this year; over 20 of them were released this year. Here are the 10 I loved the most. (Note: I’m going to have a more in depth post about my year of reading coming in early January.)
The National Book Awards will be announced on Wednesday (November 18). Here are my predictions for who will win the fiction award. I should start off by noting that I really enjoyed two longlisted works that didn’t make the finals better than some of the finalists. Those were Bill Clegg’s Did You Ever Have a Family (you can read an interview I did with him here) and Nell Zink’s Mislaid. Even so, I still think the eventual winner is among the following.