I know, I know, the year's almost over, and I'm only 5 in. And unfortunately, I've lent some of the best books I've read this year out, and can't quote directly from them (the hazards of being a best book, I suppose). So I might end up falling a bit short. Regardless: onwards!
6. Number 6 gets included on the list on a bit of a technicality -- the book came out in hardcover in 2005, but the paperback came out in 2006. And the publicity resulting from the publication of the paperback brought me to one of the best readings I went to in 2006. So there.
Magic for Beginners, by Kelly Link
Jeremy runs all the way, slapping his old track shoes against the sidewalk for the pleasure of the jar, for the sweetness of the sting. He likes the rough cottony ache in his lungs. His coach says you have to be part masochist to enjoy something like running. It's nothing to be ashamed of. Its something to exploit.
Talis opens the door. She grins, although he can tell she's been crying, too. She's wearing a T-shirt that says I'm So Goth I Shit Tiny Vampires.
"Hey," Jeremy says. Talis nods. Talis isn't so Goth, at least not as far as Jeremy or anyone else knows. Talis just has a lot of T-shirts. Shes an enigma wrapped in a mysterious T-shirt. A woman once said to Calvin Coolidge, "Mr. President, I bet my husband that I could get you to say more than two words." Coolidge said, "You lose." Jeremy can imagine Talise as Calvin Coolidge in a former life. Or maybe she was one of those dogs that don't bark. A basenji. Or a rock. A dolmen. There was an episode of 'The Library,' once, with some sinister dancing dolmens in it.
7. Fun Home, by Alison Bechdel
Graphic lifted from Salon's review, as I've lent out my copy