Read these books now

Not that these people need any of my help. But you need to read Alice Munro’s Too Much Happiness. In fact, you really need to read it twice. I love the way each character casts a shadow; Munro finds brilliant ways to add depth and backstory to characters that normally turn up ‘flat’ (crazy intruder, nasty husbands, etc.) When you’re done, clear your palate with Wells Tower’s Everything Ravaged, Everything Burned. , by far the best debut story collection you will find this year. Lavinia Greenlaw’s The Importance of Music To Girls is a lyrical memoir about the power of music. She messes with the formula along with chronology. Don’t expect another variation on Nick Hornby’s High Fidelity. Marie Brenner’s Apples and Oranges uses an unusual lens — the joys and hardships of the apple-growing industry — to examine her relationship with her brother. Francine Prose’s Blue Angel is a highly entertaining academic horror story. It’s satirical, and yet it contains some sound writing and workshopping advice.

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