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Maureen Corrigan's Best Books Of 2015: Short(ish) Books That Pack A Big Punch

Stack of books on the dark wood background.
Nataliya Arzamasova
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This year, most of the best stories I read came in small-ish packages. Many books that were either big in size — like Garth Risk Hallberg's over-900-page opus, City on Fire, and Jonathan Franzen's 500-plus page Purity — ended up being just "OK." The same, in my opinion, went for some books that generated "big buzz," like Lauren Groff's Fates and Furies. Short stories and fragmented, intense memoirs dominate my best books list, along with the incredible true story of a short-haired dog.

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Maureen Corrigan
Maureen Corrigan, book critic for NPR's Fresh Air, is The Nicky and Jamie Grant Distinguished Professor of the Practice in Literary Criticism at Georgetown University. She is an associate editor of and contributor to Mystery and Suspense Writers (Scribner) and the winner of the 1999 Edgar Award for Criticism, presented by the Mystery Writers of America. In 2019, Corrigan was awarded the Nona Balakian Citation for Excellence in Reviewing by the National Book Critics Circle.