Patti Abbott tagged me to recommend a book that deserves more attention. Given my particular affection for short stories, the first book that came to mind was Spadework by just-named MWA Grandmaster Bill Pronzini. Pronzini's decision not to name his protagonist precluded him from building a reputation on attitude as too many fictional PIs have. As familiar as Nameless has become over the years, what jumps to mind about Pronzini's work is storytelling skill, and this 1996 collection from Crippen & Landru features every flavor of story.
I'd also like to recommend the Collected Poems of 2004 U.S. Poet Laureate Donald Justice. As with Pronzini, Justice's range and genuine voice appeal to me. As Pronzini helps me remember what a story is, Justice helps me remember what a poem is, equally invaluable to a working writer.
I pass this project on to Jim Winter for next Friday.