If I was able to put into words the feeling of riding down Mississippi backroads in the summer, I would do that here. Larry Brown is my favorite author and I'm grateful for any opportunity to turn other people onto his genius. A high school dropout (he couldn't pass English), Larry Brown taught himself to write and the yearning authenticity of his dialogue is a constant source of beauty in modern literature.
William Boyle has a gift for writing what happens on the outskirts of the events that would make up most modern mysteries and thrillers. He's created such a defined and populated, unique version of Brooklyn, and you'll feel like you know these characters instantly. This book is also hilarious and so sweet. William Boyle has quickly become one of my favorite writers, all of his books are wonderful!
Jimmy Cajoleas has two excellent middle grade books I full-throatedly recommend and now he has two great young-adult horror novels that I wish I had when I was younger. Minor Prophets is exactly the book I was looking for. Sure, there's plenty of scares and creeps here, but so much heart and compassion.
I would recommend reading John Hodgman's essays in a comfortable place, where you wouldn't be embarassed to laugh out loud, because trust me, that's what you're going to be doing all through this book. This collection is all about the doors that open up to a "minor celebrity" and the cheap-but-made-to-appear-fancy things hiding behind the doors to Silver/Gold/Platinum/Diamond Rewards Member airline clubs.
I was hesitant starting Doctor Sleep. The Shining is probably my favorite Stephen King novel. The underlying themes in that book are so real and so horrifying to me, and it meant a lot as a high-school kid reading it for the first time. I was so relieved and pleasantly surprised when Doctor Sleep turned out to be equally sweet, equally tragic, equally horrifying as The Shining. Stephen King has this abitity to make you feel like you know the characters so quickly, and after the first few pages I was hooked. An incredible book well worth reading for fans of the first book.
The writing and dialogue in JP Gritton's debut are the closest match to Larry Brown's honesty and authenticity that I've read. This is a truly masterful examination of confused masculinity set against the backdrop of a drug deal gone wrong. Family issues, questioning of identity, the question of redemption abound. Is it possible for a bad man to be redeemed? What happens when you can't escape your past and the things you've done? This is an amazingly competent and well written book. I fell in love in the first few pages and didn't stop reading until three or four in the morning, and when I was done I had cried, laughed, worried and felt so moved by these characters. One of the best books of 2019 easy.