The best novels and short stories I've read lately

Keith Graves Author Of Chicken Big
By Keith Graves

Who am I?

I have been a voracious reader since I was a kid, and I am always in the process of reading several books simultaneously. Books, whether I’m writing or reading them, are a huge part of my world.


I wrote...

Chicken Big

By Keith Graves,

Book cover of Chicken Big

What is my book about?

On a teeny little farm, in an itty bitty coop, a very small hen laid a big humongous egg! So begins the hilarious story of an enormous chicken with identity issues. The clueless flock tries to guess what he is. He’s big. Is he an elephant? He eats acorns. Is he a squirrel? He protects them from the rain. Does that mean he’s an umbrella?

In the end, they find it’s what’s on the inside that makes the big guy a chicken.

The books I picked & why

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All the Light We Cannot See

By Anthony Doerr,

Book cover of All the Light We Cannot See

Why this book?

The Pulitzer Prize-winning All The Light We Cannot See is a stunningly beautiful story. Set in World War 2 France, it tells the thrilling story of Marie-Laure, a blind French girl, and Werner, a boy her age in the German army. There is a cursed jewel, a Nazi officer who will kill to find it, and there is love. In my top ten.


The Overstory

By Richard Powers,

Book cover of The Overstory

Why this book?

The Overstory broke my heart and opened my mind to the incredible secrets of trees. It weaves together the tree-centered stories of several characters: a scientist, a computer genius, a group of tree-loving activists, an artist, and many unforgettable trees that become characters in their own right. A life changing book for me.


Tenth of December: Stories

By George Saunders,

Book cover of Tenth of December: Stories

Why this book?

Tenth of December is a collection of brilliant, deeply touching, and often hilarious short stories by the greatest of modern American short story writers, George Saunders. He’s part Mark Twain, part Kurt Vonnegut, with an incredible knack for creating characters so real and pathetic that you will swear you have met them…maybe at Walmart. Don’t miss it.


A Friend Is a Gift You Give Yourself

By William Boyle,

Book cover of A Friend Is a Gift You Give Yourself

Why this book?

A Friend is a Gift You Give Yourself sounds like a self-help book but is actually a comic thriller/touching character study set in the world of the New York mob. Rena, the widow of a wise guy, lives a quiet life in the Bronx until the day she cracks a would-be suitor over the head with an ashtray and steals his vintage Impala. It’s a mob caper, an elderly gals wild road trip, and a Grandmother and granddaughter reunion story all in one. Big fun.


Blacktop Wasteland

By S.A. Cosby,

Book cover of Blacktop Wasteland

Why this book?

Seriously high octane excitement in this story of a Black professional getaway driver and hot rod mechanic  Bug Montage. Set in the deep south, it’s a tale of desperate people doing dangerous and crazy things to escape the claws of poverty that are always trying to drag them down. Bug and his family are wonderful characters you will bond with and want more of at the end of this rollercoaster of a book.


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in trees, New York State, and World War 2?

5,887 authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about trees, New York State, and World War 2.

Trees Explore 32 books about trees
New York State Explore 424 books about New York State
World War 2 Explore 976 books about World War 2

And, 3 books we think you will enjoy!

We think you will like Lilac Girls, Alone in Berlin, and Braiding Sweetgrass if you like this list.