Bookmas: when the Shelf Monkeys gather ’round the fireplace and warble Good King Bookcelaus while they roast marshmallows and burn every copy of The Da Vinci Code they can find. Because cheap literature burns best.
Today’s not-so-secret BookSanta: Helen Marshall!
Helen Marshall is an award-winning Canadian author, editor, and doctor of medieval studies. Her poetry and fiction have been published in many publication and have been reprinted in several Year’s Best anthologies. Her debut collection of short stories, Hair Side, Flesh Side, won the 2013 British Fantasy Award for Best Newcomer and was short-listed for an 2013 Aurora Award by the Canadian Society of Science Fiction and Fantasy. Her newest collection (and damned fine it is) is Gifts for the One Who Comes After.
One of my favorites was Robert Shearman’s They Do The Same Things Different There. I also loved The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell and Karen Joy Fowler’s We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves. I tried reading my way through the Man Booker Prize longlist, and the latter two were my gun-to-the-head favorites.
What 2014 non-fiction would you recommend?
Elizabeth Kolbert’s The Sixth Extinction.
What one 2014 book do you believe needs more love?
Simon Strantzas’ Burnt Black Suns.
Michael Ondaatje’s The Collected Works of Billy the Kid. (I re-read it every year.)
What ongoing series of books would you recommend?
Jeff VanderMeer’s Southern Reach Trilogy.
What author would you recommend?
What’s the one book you’ve read in your lifetime that you think everyone should read?
Peter Beagle’s The Last Unicorn.
- The science-fiction fan: Kazuo Ishiguru’s Never Let Me Go
- The horror fan: Emily Carroll’s Through the Woods
- The fantasy fan: Kelly Link’s Magic for Beginners
- The strict realism fan: Niall Williams, History of the Rain.
- The thriller/mystery fan: A. K. Benedict’s The Beauty of Murder
- The non-fiction fan: Stephen King’s On Writing
- The Canadian fan: Claire Battershill’s Circus
- The graphic novel fan: Saga by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples
If, god forbid, people couldn’t find any of your books, who else would you suggest they seek out for a similar literary fix?
Soup. If there are books and soup in the world, I’m a happy person.