Melissa Reddish, author of My Father is an Angry Storm Cloud and the forthcoming Conium Press title, Girl & Flame, shares her top five books of the year.
Hybrid nonfiction: Tender Points by Amy Berkowitz
Exploring her fibromyalgia while weaving together a portrait of trauma, invisible illnesses, gendered medicine and misogyny, and other ephemera, Berkowitz creates a fluidly fragmented, beautiful, haunting, and lyrical portrait.
Short Story Collection: Valparaiso Round the Horn by Madeline ffitch
It was difficult to choose a single story collection, as this is my go-to genre, but this collection climbed steadily to the top with its off-kilter worldview and old-school adventurer vibe. Each story is a little weird gem that is artfully crafted and sticks with you.
Poetry: [insert] boy by Danez Smith
Okay, so this was technically published in Dec. 2014, but it is so good, I just had to include it. When I first read “Dinosaurs in the Hood” through a friend’s Facebook post, I sat back and said, ‘whoa.’ The collection as a whole does not disappoint.
Part D&D love letter, part drunken bar fight, this comic is fun and funny and bawdy and constantly entertaining.
Book I Would Slip into Everyone’s Bag When They Weren’t Looking: Citizen by Claudia Rankine
By far my favorite moment of protest in the bombastic insanity that is the 2015 election cycle (aka watching the slithering underbelly of hatred and bigotry reveal itself), was the woman who quietly read Citizen during a Trump rally. Lots of whoa moments in this book as well.