As usual, my favorite reads were published predominantly by small presses, written by writers unafraid of taking chances with their work:
I bookended the year with collections by the innovative Robert Vaughan: Diptychs + Triptychs + Lipsticks + Dipshits (blurbed, reviewed on Goodreads) and Addicts & Basements, also reviewed on Goodreads.
I also read and blurbed Nancy Stohlman’s book Vixen Scream and Other Bible Stories. Nancy is another original who performs her stories live as well as she writes them.
If I Would Leave Myself Behind: Stories by Lauren Becker, which I also talked about here.
Understories by Tim Horvath, which is terrific and I gave five stars to on Goodreads.
I read two Gay Degani books in 2014, her collection, Pomegranate Stories and her novel What Came Before, which I blurbed and reviewed on Goodreads. I also interviewed Gay right here and she has lots of smart things to say about writing in general.
Bald New World by Peter Tieryas, reviewed on Goodreads. This book was recently nominated for the Folio Prize in the UK.
Bones of an Inland Sea by Mary Akers, reviewed on Goodreads.
The Last Days of California by Mary Miller, reviewed on Goodreads.
An Untamed State by Roxane Gay, reviewed on Goodreads.
My Mother Was An Upright Piano by the talented and versatile writer of flash as well as longer works, Tania Hershman, reviewed on Goodreads.
Girl with Ears & Demon with Limp by Edward J. Rathke, reviewed on Goodreads.
Doll Palace by Sara Lippmann, this book was one of my favorite short story collections of 2014 and one of my favorites, ever…reviewed at The Lit Pub.
Still Writing: The Perils and Pleasures of a Creative Life by Dani Shapiro, a great inspiration in 2014 and mentioned in various posts on this blog.
I reread The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro (who incidentally drafted the novel in four weeks according to this article in The Guardian).
Understudies by Ravi Mangla, reviewed on Goodreads.
House of Mirth by Edith Wharton
Where’d You Go, Bernadette? by Maria Semple
Don’t Tease the Elephants by Jen Knox. blurbed and reviewed on Goodreads.
Quarry Light by Claudia Smith Chen, reviewed at The Lit Pub.
The Worst Hard Time: The Untold Story of Those Who Survived the American Dust Bowl by Timothy Egan. A fascinating, harrowing read.
The Creative Habit: Learn It and Use It For Life by Twyla Tharp, another inspiring read, also mentioned a time or two on this very blog.
Smokelong Quarterly: The Best of the First Ten Years 2003-2013, a book I contributed to and reviewed on Goodreads.
Dept. of Speculation by Jenny Offill, reviewed on Goodreads. I loved this book so much I read it twice.