Lists. We love 'em here at the Happy Booker. So when we asked a few authors to help us kick off the holiday season with a list of their favorite gift books—either to give or to recieve—we could not have been more pleased with the results.
For the next month, we will be running these wonderful book lists, all brimming with titles sure to please even the most difficult-to-buy-for people on your list.
So get ready to make with the clicky-clicky because the talented and tireless Kim Roberts, author of The Kimnama, is here today to get us started on our Season of Lists and to give the Happy Booker a much needed nudge in the holiday shopping direction.
From Kim Roberts:
These are my top 5 books of poetry by DC authors (all newly published in 2007). Support your local authors! Buy these books as gifts! Or buy them for yourself—they are all terrific, and highly recommended:
Sarah Browning, Whiskey in the Garden of Eden (The Word Works). This vivid first book reveals an author engaged with the politics of daily life, from anti-war demonstrations to worrying about her young son, from musings about race and white privilege to lovely evocations of urban landscapes, especially DC, with "all these heroes under our feet."
Kyle Dargan, Bouquet of Hungers (Univ. of Georgia Press). Dargan's second book is forceful and moving, examining what American identity means in poems of lyric beauty. "When the busses stop,/these men will clean up/into princes, igniting night like/Montecristos kissed by razors."
Hiram Larew, More Than Anything (Vrzhu Press) In his second book, Larew continues to surprise with his juxtapositions between sweet sentiment and his signature jarring transitions that do nothing less than evoke the the inner clockwork of the English language. "It's as clear to me now/as eggs next to twine..."
Rod Smith, Deed (Univ. of Iowa Press) Smith's tenth book begins with a magisterial sequence, "The Good House," with its associative leaps that play concepts of ownership against impermanence. "The good house is curled/&blunt..." he writes. This book is a tour-de-force.
Terence Winch, Boy Drinkers (Hanging Loose Press) Winch's sixth book tells the story of an Irish Catholic boyhood, and how the speaker comes to reconcile his faith after the death of his mother, where only in dreams "the darkness is dispelled,/our souls opening like fists..."
Limited this list to five was extremely hard—there are so many good books that came out this year! So let me cheat and mention a few others by name that I'd also recommend: Beth Joselow's Begin at Once (Chax Press), Mary Ann Larkin's Gods & Flesh (Plan B Press), Reb Livingston's Your Ten Favorite Words (Coconut Books), Stanley Plumly's Old Heart (W.W. Norton), Ken Rumble's Key Bridge (Carolina Wren Press), Susan Tichy's Bone Pagoda (Ahsahta Press), and Rosemary Winslow's Green Bodies (The Word Works).
And don't get me started on the anthologies...