Fine, the title sucks, deal with it. The point is October 19th just went down as the best day for books in 2016 and the whole month has been amazing. Here’s what needs to be on your radar.
– Never Look and American in the Eye by Okey Ndibe. I’ve read both of Ndibe’s novels, Arrows of Rain and Foreign Gods, Inc. He’s a gifted storyteller and a superb mind. Now he’s offering us a memoir. I’m about 100 pages into it and so far I’ve nodded so much my neck hurts. Oh, and this:
“We must recognize that America is, in the end, a much better place when it is open to immigrants. America will betray itself—its legacy and heritage and history—were it to become hostile to immigrants as a tradition.”
– South Village by Rob Hart. I hate series, and I hate Rob for making me love his. He writes Noir with a lot of heart and his main character changes and grows with each new book in truly interesting ways.
– Reel by Tobias Carroll. Tobias is one of my favorite literary citizens, and he also happens to be a hell of a writer. Reel displays its author’s chops and knack for style and detail. It’s weird, unexpectedly full of music, and packed with good prose. Definitely worth checking out.
– Grizzly Season by S.W. Lauden. His previous novel made every damn list out there, and this one will probably end up doing the same. If you like them tough, hard, dark, and fast, this is your guy.
– Stranded by Bracken MacLeod. I haven’t been able to start writing my review of this because the writer in me is still intimidated. This guy brings the goods, and they taste like danger, horror, tension, cold, fear, adventure, and fantastic writing.
– Patricide by D. Foy. This is the best literary novel you’ll read this year. Anger, guilt, hatred, drugs, abuse, booze; you name it, Foy brings it to the table and delivers it in a way that makes other literary fiction authors cry when no one is looking.
– The Terrible Thing that Happens by Carlton Mellick III. Reading Mellick is the quickest way to remind myself why I write Bizarro fiction. This is the master of the genre at work, and that means it’s guaranteed in-your-face chaos and loads of fun.
The best thing about October? It’s not over yet and there’s more goodness coming. Keep your eyes peeled for new madness from Wendy C. Ortiz (Bruja, coming on the 31st from Civil Coping Mechanisms), and Christoph Paul, who just revealed his next horror-movie-inspired poetry collection Horror Film Poems, and much more. Now go read something.
Gabino Iglesias is a writer, journalist, and book reviewer living in Austin, TX. He’s the author of ZERO SAINTS (Broken River Books),HUNGRY DARKNESS (Severed Press), and GUTMOUTH (Eraserhead Press). His reviews have appeared in Electric Literature, The Rumpus, 3AM Magazine, Marginalia, The Collagist. Heavy Feather Review, Crimespree, Out of the Gutter, Vol. 1 Brooklyn, HorrorTalk, Verbcide, and many other print and online venues. You can find him on Twitter at@Gabino_Iglesias