Gianna’s List of Best Books from Publishers We Don't Work For [and yes, I know this is grammatically incorrect, but "for whom we don't work" sounds way too pretentious for Gianna's #10 pick]
1. Inside Scientology by Janet Reitman.
I loves me some Scientology.
2. Bossypants by Tina Fey
I read this and listened to it on audio. I looked like a complete dope walking around listening to this on my iPod, twice doubling over laughing. What is really great about Fey’s book is she covers all the personal stuff (the chapters about her daughter are priceless), but you also get an excellent dose of work related chapters, the ins and outs of comedy writing, her stint at SNL, and of course 30 Rock. This is one of my favorite books from any publisher this year.
3. Crimes in Southern Indiana by Frank Bill
I found this collection of stories at BookPeople here in Austin. I'd never heard of it, nor Frank Bill, but I am a sucker for a good title. I would have to say this is the best blind buy I have made in awhile. Gothic in the best sense of the word, he is in the company of Daniel Woodrell, Flannery O’Connor and a little bit of Cormac McCarthy (think No Country for Old Men). These stories are a force. They are violent and gritty and nothing, I say NOTHING holds this author back. Great read.
4. I Want My MTV by Craig Marks and Rob Tannenbaum
|Gianna: Use this picture!|
Liz: Who are these people?
Gianna: ...Seriously? Sheesh.
5. Life Itself by Roger Ebert
I grew up watching Sneak Previews and then At the Movies with my younger brother. I wrote Roger Ebert off so many times for liking movies I didn’t like, I swore over and over that I would never read or listen to another review. I never stopped. As I got older I learned to respect him (although when he gave a thumbs up to Into the Blue with Jessica Alba…well, I hated him so much for a bit), and it pains me now to see him having to review the latest Twilight movie. Life Itself is Ebert’s only memoir and when you read it you realize how very overdue it was. What an amazing life and what a beautiful writer. The best chapter is on Studs Terkel; amazing.
6. Rin Tin Tin by Susan Orlean
7. The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach
This is it. This is the big American novel of the year. You can have Franzen by the way…I will take Harbach. If you like John Irving (older Irving for sure), or Michael Chabon, and yes, John Franzen…please don’t miss this wonderful first novel. And by the way, if I didn’t love baseball this book would still be on my list…but oh how sweet that this book has that theme. Go Cubs!
8. We the Animals by Justin Torres
I bought this book for three reasons. One, it has a great Dorothy Allison quote on the back. Two, it has a great Marilynne Robinson quote on the back. Three, Michael Cunningham called it "brilliant and ferocious." Personally, I found this 125 page book to be sparse, raw, and heartbreaking [like Gianna's rashes]. You want a book you’ll never forget for under $20, this is it.
9. After the Apocalypse by Maureen F McHugh
10. Dollhouse by Kardashians