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Bradley Sands’s Best of 2009

Here’s a quick run-through of the books that I read this year and came out this year. Pretty much the books that I gave four stars to on goodreads because my memory sucks. I would mention movies, but I don’t have a goodreads like thing for movies.

Light Boxes, by Shane Jones: Made me want to write bitter-sweet happy stuff. Have failed, except for prose poem-y things.

A Jello Horse, by Matthew Simmons: Publishing Genius put out this one along with Light Boxes. It has a similar tone. About a road trip to go to a funeral, but reading it made me feel happy to be alive. Written in second person, and it actually works.

Fugue State, by Brian Evenson: Might be my favorite collection by him. It felt more diverse than earlier ones.

Last Days, by Brian Evenson: A lot of fun. Love the lean prose. He’s always played with genre, but this feels like the first book where he’s totally embraced it.

Good Book LP: The Bizarre, Hilarious, Disturbing, Marvelous, and Inspiring Things I Learned When I Read Every Single Word of the Bible, by David Plotz: I have always wanted to read the Bible without actually having to read the Bible. This is like highly entertaining Cliff Notes to the Old Testament. Plotz says he’s not going to write the sequel because he is Jewish. I would be very interested in reading it.

I Am Going to Clone Myself Then Kill the Clone and Eat It, by Sam Pink: Sam is the best poet who I’ve had dumb email conversations with.

The Ultimate Game Guide To Your Life: Or, The Video Game As Existential Metaphor, by Christopher Monks: I don’t like contemporary video games because they’re too goddam hard for me, but this book was great. I think it might have inspired this story. Not sure which one wrote or read first.

The Way Through Doors, by Jesse Ball: Fantastic

Bradley Sands is the author of the novel, It Came from Below the Belt (Afterbirth Books), and the editor of the literary journal, Bust Down the Door and Eat All the Chickens (www.absurdistjournal.com). Forthcoming books include Disappointing Sophomoric Effort (Afterbirth Books), My Heart Said No, But the Camera Crew Said Yes! (Raw Dog Screaming Press), and TV Snorted My Brain (Evil Nerd Empire). His work has appeared in The Bizarro Starter Kit (Blue), The Magazine of Bizarro Fiction, The Dream People, Lamination Colony, No Colony, Opium Magazine, Zygote in My Coffee, Robot Melon, decomP, Mud Luscious, Thieves Jargon, NOÖ Journal, and elsewhere. Visit him HERE.

John Madera's fiction may be found in Conjunctions, Opium Magazine, The &Now Awards 2: The Best Innovative Writing, and many other journals. His criticism may be found in American Book Review, Bookforum, The Review of Contemporary Fiction, Rain Taxi: Review of Books, The Believer, The Brooklyn Rail, and many other venues. Recipient of an M.F.A. in Literary Arts from Brown University, John Madera lives in New York City, where he runs Rhizomatic and manages and edits Big Other.

2 thoughts on “Bradley Sands’s Best of 2009

  1. Great list. I’ve read and enjoyed five out of your top eight, and of those, I’ve reviewed three.

    I wrote music inspired by Light Boxes (http://johnmadera.com/music/).

    Simmons’s book makes me look forward to a full-length from him. And I agree with you about some tonal similarities between JH and HB. Though each of the writers are certainly distinct from each other, they do share some qualities; there’s a concision and melancholic lilt in the sentences, how they bob along. You can see it in Easter Rabbit and MLKNG SKLS, too.

    Jesse Ball is always incredible.

    And what can I say about Evenson that I haven’t already said? His versatility always inspires.

  2. Thanks for this, Bradley.

    Novel or something coming slowly but surely, John. I think. I hope.

    I never know.

    I like the use of “full-length” in this context. A Jello Horse is my 10″ EP.

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