Writer reads

My office is a neat, well-organized place — papers filed, desk cleared, cords coiled — with one exception.

The books.

They’re everywhere. On bookshelves. In boxes. On the floor.

While preparing to do some book reviewing for January Magazine I was forced to go through the piles to locate the novels I’m reviewing and referencing.

It was discouraging to realize that only a dozen of the books were memorable, and only half of those were memorable for good reasons. The outstanding book among them was The Feast of Love by Charles Baxter. Inventive, light-footed, and thoroughly charming, it’s a novel about an Ann Arbor writer whose late-night wanderings lead him to a fellow insomniac who has a treasure trove of bittersweet stories. And I liked Simple As Snow by Gregory Galloway, slightly edgier in tone, about love and coming of age in a small town that reverberates with echoes of Columbine. (Parental guidance: If you have teenagers, this book will make you crazy.)

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