News from Heaven: The Bakerton Stories

We sat a long moment in the dark car. The white flakes landed like news from heaven: notes from elsewhere, fallen from the stars. Yesterday, I wrote about Jennifer Haigh’s second novel, Baker Towers. Centered on the Novak family, the novel begins in the 1940s and focuses on small town America at its peak, thenContinue reading “News from Heaven: The Bakerton Stories”

Baker Towers

Continuing my way backwards through Jennifer Haigh’s catalog… Baker Towers is a family saga set in the fictional town of Bakerton, Pennsylvania. It’s a small immigrant community that completely revolves around its one main industry, coal mining. The town is mostly separated by immigrant populations — Polish Hill, Swedetown, Little Italy — but pretty muchContinue reading “Baker Towers”

Favorites of 2011: Fiction

56 of the books I read in 2011 were fiction. Naturally, I had a much harder time choosing my favorites this year. After some tough decisions, here’s what I came up with. The first three are my absolute favorites of the year. I didn’t rank the rest; everything after the jump is listed in alphabeticalContinue reading “Favorites of 2011: Fiction”