Well, there are so many books that I didn’t get to, and I know I’ll be reading a ton in January, but here is my list of the top ten books that I read in 2010. They all totally blew my mind. They are in no particular order.
The Physics of Imaginary Objects
by Tina May Hall
A dark, surreal lyrical collection of shorts dripping with emotion and truth. Drue Heinz Prize winner. She was a new voice to me, and one that really resonated, haunting me for weeks.
by Lindsay Hunter
She never shies away from sex, violence or brutal honesty. I loved this debut collection, so much fun. Be sure to read Lindsay’s work wherever you see it, or come out to Quickies! Chicago.
It Came From Del Rio and The Ones That Got Away
by Stephen Graham Jones
I’m going to cheat a bit here and give Stephen two as one. Del Rio was a wild ride, set in Texas, with a bunny-headed vigilante and chupacabras. His short stories never cease to amaze me, blending the best of genre fiction (horror, fantasy, science fiction) with the elevated prose and honesty of literary fiction.
by Benjamin Percy
This is the story of man vs. nature, and sometimes nature wins. Percy is a master of the authoritative voice, and set in the Oregon woods, this father-son-grandson story is also one about hope and loss and love. Such a great debut novel, I’ve been enjoying his short fiction for years.
In The Mean Time
by Paul Tremblay
How can you create tension and unease at the same time that you create beauty and love? Dysfunctional and surreal, this is a collection that I just couldn’t put down. So good.
by Craig Davidson
More broken, dysfunctional characters, this time from Craig Davidson. Like many on this list, I’ve been a fan of his work for a long time. Visceral, painful, and extremely rewarding.
Under the Dome
by Stephen King
I know, look a BIG PRESS and a BIG AUTHOR. I’ve been a fan of King since high school, and I think this is his best book in years. It’s expansive, as he’s known to be, but the story, the characters, this small town trapped under a dome – it’s as addictive as his work always is to me, and even at 1000+ pages, I cruised through this.
by Nik Korpon
My label mate at OWP and fellow neo-noir author, this was a book that I couldn’t wait for, so happy to see it out. Dark, gritty, set in Baltimore, it’s also funny, touching and full of love. A great debut.
by Chris Deal
This started out as a 100 word contest that I created at The Velvet. Chris Deal just exploded with stories and ideas, and won it with authority. I told him he needed to put this into a collection and get it out there. He did that, and I am so proud, and excited that he did this. His work is dark, surreal, visionary and touching. Expect more from him.
by Caleb J Ross
Soon to be published with OWP as well, Caleb is one of the smartest, most connected, giving authors I know. This collection is just the tip of the iceberg. Dysfunctional families, riddled with despair and loss, his stories are also emotional and touching. Keep an eye out for more from Caleb as well.
Support your small, independent presses and pick up one of these titles today. You won’t regret it.