CARVER Collected Stories by Raymond Carver. In this economy more than ever getting the best bang for your buck is on most people’s minds. So why am I recommending that you spend forty dollars on a book of older collected works of a dead writer? Because Carver was a master storyteller and writer. He belongs to the class of great writers like Tobias Wolf, Charles Bukowski and Richard Ford. But even among these and most writers Carver was the king of minimalist writing. He is a writer’s writer and a reader’s delight. Carver looked at detail, but made the experience he was writing about, universal. A rare find of a short fiction writer. This collection was put together by Carver’s widow Tess Gallagher who disagreed with some of the original editing made on Carver’s stories. This complete collection is most definitely the best bang for your buck! I hope you enjoy as much as I have reading Carver over the years.
Goat Song by Brad Kessler. This is probably one of the best surprise books I have picked up all year long. Goat Song is Brad Kessler’s memoir, after being fed up with city life; he sets up a goat farm with his wife in Vermont. What follows are the joys, struggles and surprises that come with a year of raising and being raised in a pastoral life. Kessler has a language that is poetic in telling his story as well as the story of how pastoralism still plays a big part in our everyday lives.
Sylvia and Bird, by Catherine Rayner. Sylvia a blue-green dragon, and bird, a little yellow duck-like creature, share few things in common. But their friendship, and love of flying are what make this pair. Rayner sensitively captures the story of an unlikely friendship and the desire of fulfilling one friend's wish at the sacrifice of another. While at first glance the pictures are simple watercolors, they are ones that belong in any child's permanent library!
That's it for now! I will blog about my other favorite books of 2009 later.