NBCC members and finalists and winners of our book award were eligible to vote in the winter edition of the NBCC’s Good Reads. Member critic and debut novelist Jonathan Segura voted for books by Elisa Albert and Nicholson Baker. Here he explains why:
fiction: THE BOOK OF DAHLIA by elisa albert / free press / march 08. full disclosure: she’s a friend of mine. But she’s also a hell of a writer, and she wrote a very ballsy and heartbreaking book about a young woman who dies of cancer. it’s the antithesis of the typical cancer/grief/when-life-hands-you-lemons-dot-dot-dot narrative.
nonfiction: HUMAN SMOKE by nicholson baker / s&s / march 08. apparently, march 08 is a good month for books. there’ve been—what?—ten million books covering the years before, during and after WWII, but i’ve never seen a book like this. it’s that rare book that speaks to the heart and the brain. (sexy, huh?)
and, truth be told, i don’t really read poetry so don’t have anything to recommend there.
Jonathan Segura is the Deputy Reviews Editor at Publishers Weekly. His novel, Occupational Hazards, will be published by Simon & Schuster in July.