one well-loved copy of The Boys of My Youth (by now a veritable classic among modern story collections) by Jo Ann Beard, author of the novel In Zanesville, which I reviewed here last year.
Mothers, Tell Your Daughters, a story collection by National Book Award finalist Bonnie Jo Campbell, queen of rural noir–if you’re asking me. I touch on her collection, American Salvage, here. Prefer novels? Campbell’s Once Upon a River is a nearly perfect little gem set in rural Michigan. Sorta rural rust.
Touted as a “masterful saga” of the “conflicted city” of Cleveland, Ohio, is Mark Winegardner’s Crooked River Burning. Can’t believe I haven’t read this one yet. The front material for the novel includes:
Cleveland city of light, city of magic,
Cleveland, city of light, you’re callin’ me.
Cleveland, even now I can remember
’Cause the Cuyahoga River
Goes smokin’ through my dreams.
—Randy Newman, “Burn On”
What’s in your to-read pile?