Five best books I read this year in no particular order:
Everything Matters- Ron Currie Jr.
This book took over my life for a few days. I was at the lake this summer, and the rest of my family couldn't figure out why I wouldn't leave the bedroom. It's so good, it hurts to read because it makes me face my own limitations as a writer.
Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter- Tom Franklin
I loved Poachers, Smonk, and Hell at the Breech, but Franklin's latest may be his best. Small town Southern gothic murder mystery wrapped in a dual past-present narrative. Did I mention the flawless writing?
Tunneling to the Center of the Earth- Kevin Wilson
Read this: http://www.greensbororeview.org/fall-2005/birds-in-the-house.html
Most of the stories are that good. Nuff said. If you want more, I have a more in depth analysis here.
We're in Trouble- Christopher Coake
Read my thoughts here. A stunning collection. Can't wait for this guy to write a novel.
Looking for Alaska-John Green
Much like Everything Matters, this book held me under its spell for a few days. I talked about it so much with my wife that she read it and even tried to get her book club to read it (no go; most of them had already read it and didn't like it).
Seek these out if you haven't already.