Kent Russell is a hell of a good writer. His first book, I am Sorry to Think I Have Raised a Timid Son (Knopf, $24.95), a collection of essays published earlier this month, is the most compelling and engaging book you'll read this year.
Rufi Thorpe's powerful debut novel, The Girls from Corona del Mar (Knopf), tells the story of the 20-year friendship between Mia and Lorrie Ann, two girls who grow up together in the eponymous Orange County beach town.
Maybe it's because the authors lived here, but dozens of classic books for kids are set in the center of New York. Crickets in their pages hang out, not in cornfields, but in Midtown. Mice don't run down country lanes: They sail boats in Central Park.
Cheryl Strayed turned her back on a world of experiences that had left her bereft and began to walk, in solitude, to learn how to survive alone. It took her a novel and two decades to make sense of that decision.
My only regret sometimes is that I read so many unpublished works that are submitted to me as an editor, that I don't have time to read all the published books that interest me. But I try, how I try...