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10,000 Maniacs + presidential kids + America on fire + Degas in New Orleans + the Rough South + rural v. urban + Tom Sawyer all grown up + the best parts of trees + timely + provocative + critically acclaimed + discover a great book here.


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thirteen exceptional books for 2017
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What folks are saying:


"It is said that at the heart of every cliché lies a grain of truth. Each line of this book flickers between cliché and truth, at turns inspiring and insipid, a device that propels a searing political critique. William Walsh demonstrates that, when done well, the selection and arrangement of previously existing texts can result in fabulously original literature." — Kenneth Goldsmith, author of Capital: New York, Capital of the 20th Century

"It's time to admit what everyone knows: there's no bolder, no wittier critic of our modern, polarizing American culture than Dave Housley, who points out the absurdities in our relationships while reminding us why we must hold on to each other." - Susan Muaddi Darraj, author of A Curious Land on Dave Housley's Massive Cleansing Fire

"Nancy McCabe's Following Disasters is a novel that offers thrilling wisdom--about family, friendship, and romance. This is a true and important book, sometimes haunting, that is worth any reader's time." - Sena Jeter Naslund, author of Abundance, a Novel of Marie-Antoinette and Ahab's Wife on Following Disasters by Nancy McCabe.

"Harriet Scott Chessman has once again invented an utterly beguiling story inspired by art. This time, in her novel inspired by a Degas sketchbook that may have once existed, she has given us a richly evocative and emotionally true portrait of Edgar Degas during his 1872 visit among his Creole cousins in New Orleans. With the clarity and simplicity of a piano sonata, The Lost Sketchbook of Edgar Degas is a novel about perception, enduring love, and the complex family legacy of a great artist." - Katharine Weber, author of The Music Lesson, on The Lost Sketchbook of Edgar Degas.



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By the time Edgar came to visit us in New Orleans,

I could barely see the house at all, or the magnolia, or the lemon tree, or the toys scattered throughout the house, or the saffron rooms, the baby grand piano René had bought for me in Paris....

Read an excerpt from The Lost Sketchbook of Edgar Degas by Harriet Scott Chessman


His face crowned by a striking blond pompadour,

he commanded attention with playground taunts and classroom disruptions...

Read an excerpt from Forty-four American Boys: Short Histories of Presidential Childhoods by William Walsh


He could be making better money doing customer service again.

But he needs this: the two of them, literally whirling through the world, city to city, thigh to thigh, heart to heart...

Read an excerpt from Massive Cleansing Fire by Dave Housley


She’s in a smoky log cabin trying to breathe. Smoke stings her eyes into slits and pinches her throat closed.

She is pressed everywhere by people and dogs and smoke and the smell of urine and sweat. . .

Read an excerpt from What Becomes Us by Micah Perks


The day had come to die proper. You mightn’t think life had nothing more to offer a 35-year-old Joe Harper,

but then again you mightn’t have abandoned all your kin and returned home ten years on. . .

Read an excerpt from The Adventures of Joe Harper by Phong Nguyen


I see a universe animated by appetite. All history the story of hunger.

For sustenance, shelter, and sex. The hunger for power and love. . .

Read an excerpt from On Heights & Hunger by Josh MacIvor-Andersen


Back before she got really sick, Aunt Beth said she was going to haunt me someday.

Later, after her face turned moony, her movements slow, and her words edged like the little serrations on a butter knife, . . .

Read an excerpt from Following Disasters by Nancy McCabe


Sheri pushes her lips into a pout, reveling in the feel of the satiny layers of Miami Samba coating her lips

She says it aloud, Miami Samba, loving the smooth, waxy taste. . .

Read an excerpt from Children of the Country by Abigail R. Shaffer


For the first twelve years of my life they called me Larry.

And then, one day, they started calling me Dogsucker.

Read an excerpt from The Well-Stocked and Gilded Cage by Lawrence Lenhart


Even after watching Vertigo fifty-plus times, I have no mental picture of him.

Why is Stewart chasing this man? We will never know.

Read an excerpt from Madeleine E. by Gabriel Blackwell


There is no great sense of loss for those with limited expectations.

Inspired by the lives and careers Cardinal Francis Spellman and Cardinal Richard Cushing.

Read an excerpt from Patrick Fitzmike and Mike Fitzpatrick by Larry Smith


Bradley dresses like a child, and appears a child, against that sea of shirtsleeves and ties.

But like anything on a sea, he floats, he is above.

Read an excerpt from Adherence: A Romance by Ben Nickol


These people who think they are something, they are really not.

They come and go wrapped like gypsies at a carnival, sounding like artists, smelling of mildew. I can’t take them anymore.

Read an excerpt from Welcome to Christiania by Fred Leebron


I wake up to check my computer to see if I have posted anything I am now embarrassed by so I can delete it.

I get distracted by other things.

Read an excerpt from IRL by Timmy Reed



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