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In which LitReactor asks me to pick my Top Five favorite books of 2021 (which is not easy, or even pleasurable, but here we are, and not in any discernible order either).

· Matthew Specktor,Leesa Cross Smith,Avner Landes,Sara Lippmann,Gina Frangello
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I could certainly offer a number of caveats about the list, but the key caveat is this: it includes no books I was honored to promote. That said, I love these books and these authors and I'm also honored to be able to share said love with the masses. The books (and they truly are in no particular order) are JERKS by Sara Lippmann, Blow Your House Down by Gina Frangello, This Close to Okay by Leesa Cross-Smith, Meiselman: The Lean Years by Avner Landes and Always Crashing in the Same Car by Matthew Specktor. Should you wish to read more about my thoughts on these choices you may do so at LitReactor here. Should you not choose to do so, you may still read more about my thoughts on these choices at LitReactor here. Also, and as needed, some excerpt may be found below.


"Always Crashing in the Same Car" by Matthew Specktor

When is failure not failure? When you're not sure that success is what you're after. Or celebrity anyway. What does Specktor want? In these essays he wants to understand the impact of his upbringing as a child of Hollywood, but also a time in his life when the possibility of success felt unreachable. He does so through the movies, of course, and far-ranging explorations of everyone from Thomas McGuane to Tuesday Weld, to the main character of the book, the author himself.