And, back to the immensely popular Holiday Gift Suggestions series we've been running, this time around Quinn Dalton pipes in. Quinn has published the novel, High Strung (Atria), and the short story collections, Bulletproof Girl (Atria) and Stories from the Afterlife (2007, Press53), and is an EWN favorite - one of her stories will be included in the anthology, Visiting Hours (2008, Press53) that a certain somebody who works round these parts edited.
"For kids, I’m recommending two books from EWN member Julianna Baggott, The Slippery Map and the Amazing Compendium of Edward Magorium, a prequel novel to the just-released Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium movie. Both are written under the pen name N. E. Bode and are fabulous for the read-aloud crowd (ages 7-9) and the read alone YA’ers—age 10 and up. They also happen to be excellent reads for adults, which is great if you happen to be a parent of read-alouders, as I am.
Anthologies make good gifts—a handy way to give a sampler of writers in one package. A new one worth reading and giving is Surreal South, edited by Pinckney and Laura Benedict and featuring contributors such as Joyce Carol Oates, Ron Rash and George Singleton—as well as Julianna Baggott, mentioned above. Full disclosure: Press 53, the publisher, is also the publisher of my latest book. But I loved Surreal South and you will, too.
Speaking of Ron Rash and George Singleton—two favorite writers of mine—I recommend both of their latest: Singleton’s Work Shirts for Madmen and Rash’s Chemistry and Other Stories. Also, a book that came out last year which I just came across recently and loved was You’re Not the Boss of Me—a collection of essays by Erika Schickel. Hysterical, excellent, in-your-face truthful writing about motherhood and family.
And, finally, What is the What: The Autobiography of Valentino Achak Deng, a novel by Dave Eggers based on Deng’s escape from Sudan as one of the Lost Boys, his years in those shifting cities known as refugee camps, and his transition to American life. It is beautifully written, well-told, horrific and yet also a love story. You just should read it."