Top 10 Books By Friends 2014

It’s time!

TOP 10 BOOKS BY FRIENDS 2014bookfriend

(These books may or may not have been published prior to 2014–only read by me in 2014.)

In no particular order:

1. Cry Father by Benjamin Whitmer

I love that this book is set in Denver. It’s a gritty, glorious, romanticized bloodfest, a modern day crime and outlaw story alternating between the dive bars and meth houses of the city to the highways that escape out of town but never from the past.

2. Bound by Blue by Meg Tuite

From my Amazon review: These thirteen stories are funny but not funny… Tuite takes us into living rooms that are as disturbing as they are familiar, and repaints them with an artist’s sensitivity and an oddly appropriate sense of wonder. Her characters are raw, flawed, broken, charming, tragic, adorable, hateful, hopeful, and authentically human.

3. Pizzas and Mermaid by Jonathan Montgomery

From my Amazon review: From the epic battle with National Pizza Chain and the “Estimated Delivery Time” saga to stand-alones such as “Placenta” , “Things Left in the Back of My Cab”, late night lottery ticket encounters and strippers with unicorn horns, Jonathan Montgomery combines sharp insight and deadpan humor with magical adventures for grown ups!

4. Maybe This is How Tides Work by Brian Dickson

Brian Dickson has a soft, vulnerable lens that he uses to filter his world, and his newest book of poetry is a bittersweet and beautiful view of people, the heart, and all things New Mexico.

5. She Bears a King by Lynn Brewer

From my Amazon review: “I just finished reading Lynn Brewer’s first novel, “She Bears A King”–a hilarious pop culture romp into the life of a modern woman who is impregnated by Jesus. Loved it!”

6. Patriarch Run by Benjamin Dancer

From my Amazon review: I’ve always been a fan of Benjamin Dancer’s prose—but his new book, called a “literary thriller” combines both the prose and depth of character that I’ve come to expect from Dancer with honest to god high-energy page-turning tension of a classic thriller!

7. Italy: Beer Country by Bryan Jansing and Paul Vismata

Bryan Jansing and Paul Vismata researched this book for years, from their decade + experience working with craft beers to their multiple trips to Italy. If you thought Italy was just about vineyards–you are wrong. Perfect for beer connoisseurs and Italy fans alike.

8. Wild Life by Kathy Fish

Sophisticated, smart, and powerfully understated, they don’t call her the Queen of flash fiction for nothing!  I’m looking forward to reading her newest collection, Together We Can Bury It in 2015!

9. They Only Eat Their Husbands by Cara Lopez Lee

Re-released by Conundrum Press this year, the author of the blog Girls Trek Too takes us on her adventures of the world and the heart in equal measures. Both armchair traveling and introspection with Cara’s signature clever observations and humor.

10. Diddle by Daniel Staniforth

With a poet’s sensibility, Daniel Staniforth weaves lush sentences as intricate as lace doilies, telling the immigrant story with an oddly unexpected and delightful fairy tale flair.

And just one more for the road…

11. Either Way I’m Celebrating by Sommer Browning

This is my kind of poetry! Irreverent, hilarious and highly intelligent, Sommer breaks poetry taboos, draws naughty comics and leaves you alternating between humorous shock and poignant recognition.

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My Top 10 Books by Friends 2013

I have awesome, brilliant, prolific friends. Here is my list of books by friends for 2013: Note–these books weren’t necessarily published this year, only read by me this year. And if your book isn’t on it, it’s because I’m a terribly slow reader (as many of you know)…or I secretly hate you. In no particular order:

1. Wild Life by Kathy Fish

2. Taxis and Shit by Jonathan Montgomery

3. Paper Thin by Rob Geisen

4. Marvelous Things by David Wagner

5. From the Umberplatzen and The Merrill Diaries by Susan Tepper

6. The President and Other Jokes by Sommer Browning

7. The Boy in the Well (forthcoming) by Nick Morris

8. Godless Comics by Kona Morris, Jon Olsen, Chris Henry and Nate Jordon

9. Blood a Cold Blue by James Claffey

10. Her Skin is a Costume by Meg Tuite

11. AND…The Tenth of December by George Saunders, who is nice enough to return my emails.

books by friends