Rusty's World

Rusty’s 2015 Books of the Year | January 1, 2016




First off, let me make this clear… this is not some sort of organized award thing. If it were you might notice that I am talking about books that likely were not even published in 2015.

I don’t really care. What these are, instead, are books that I first READ in 2015 that I thought were the best. I do it both for ‘books’ and ‘comics’, even though the comics I refer to are quite clearly books,  because it is my blog and I can do what I want.

Honourable Mentions (Books):

The Zurita chapbook is special, but it isn’t the book alone that makes it so. It is the memory of his reading at VERSeFest. It was captivating, heartbreaking, mesmerizing and spell-binding in a way that I hadn’t thought possible. I was nearly to tears while HE was reading (as in, the untranslated text), which tells you something.

It is the level of emotion … or nearly, at least, that puts Karen Connelly’s ‘Come Cold River’ on this list as well. Incredibly moving.

Honourable Mentions (comics):

‘Over Easy’ by Mimi Pond is one of those personal retrospectives that can be in equal parts captivating and dull. She managed the former here quite nicely. It is about character more than plot, and that is where my bread is buttered, so to speak.

‘Here’ by Richard McGuire is absolutely fascinating. If I say I like character more than plot, this book has neither. It is completely about place as it is page after page of the exact same place and different times. It is really amazing, but in a different way than any book I have ever read.


The winners…

…are not exactly a surprise seeing how I put the pictures at the top of this post.

‘Madness, Rack, and Honey’ by Mary Ruefle is a collection of essays, ostensible about poetry but it meanders a bit. It is the one book this year that I kept having to stop, go back and reread a passage over again… over and over. I would sometimes need to share and quote sections to whomever happened to be nearby. It was illumination.

‘Seconds’ by Brian Lee O’Malley, who is better known for his Scott Pilgrim books, is a really lovely book. It takes a fascinating premise and twists it around on itself until you a re reading g different book than the one you thought you were. What if you could do things over? What would you do?



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