A Few Good Book Recs

I was asked for a few book recs in an email yesterday, and I realized that I should probably share my response since I love it so much when people tell me about books they’ve enjoyed. Here’s what I wrote:
“This year, I loved The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead (National Book Award), Claudia Rankine’s Citizen (National Book Critic’s Circle Award for Poetry – although it reads more like essays), James McBride’s The Good Lord Bird (National Book Award), Kevin Barry’s short story collection Dark Lies The Island, and Welch’s The Death Of Jim Loney (which felt eerily close to my current mental state with a brain injury).
Bryn Greenwood’s All The Ugly And Wonderful Things was DISTURBING but she wrote it beautifully.
Also, I’ve read ten of the Best American Short Stories collections.
Girl In Pieces by Kathleen Glasgow was hard but good as well.
In the last few years…I loved all three Patrick deWitt novels + Lean On Pete & The Motel Life by Willy Vlautin.”
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First Three Reviews On Amazon

Thanks to these three reader/authors, my first editorial reviews are up:

Amazon Editorial Reviews (click):

Praise for The End of Boys 

“Compelling from the first page, The End of Boys is a stark and gritty memoir of a tormented adolescence, where the demons of obsessive compulsive disorder, drugs, and violence are banished by the healing light of literature and faith. Both haunting and uplifting,The End of Boys is a touching and powerful account of a turbulent transition from youth to manhood.” —Jamie Maslin, author of Socialist Dreams and Beauty Queens and Iranian Rappers and Persian Porn

The End of Boys is remarkable story, a testament to the spirit of young boys everywhere, to mothers, fathers, brothers and sisters, to friends and the parents of friends, to teachers, cops, and counselors, to art and literature and the human desire to find a place in the world, to build a meaningful life out of shards and fragments. Peter Hoffmeister has written a terrific book about the human struggle to regain ourselves after great disillusion and desperation. This is a fine book, made of fine true words, each one tough, carefully chosen, and hard-won. I read The End of Boys in one sitting.” —Dorianne Laux, author of What We Carry, finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award

The End of Boys, the story of a boy who can’t find his family even in the midst of them, is big-hearted and heartbreaking. Hoffmeister’s journey through the loss, confusion, and fear of adolescence is unflinching and free of even a single note of sentimentality or self-pity. Read this book. It will punch you in the face, in the best way possible.” —Miriam Gershow, author of The Local News