Joy Williams has been writing the very finest stories for 42 years.

Carver called her simply "a wonder." Brodkey said she is "the most gifted writer of her generation." Bret Easton Ellis says she is "The rightful heir to the mastery, genius, and poetry of Flannery O’Connor," and Jim Harrison calls her stories, "chillingly astute."

I can’t add more to that, except to say that the publication of this collection is a major American literary event. Gathered here are 33 of her earlier stories, and 13 kick-ass new ones. They are all stunning, and because she deals with the most fundamental human themes--the old verities--as they are wrangled by seemingly ordinary characters, her work never seems dated, holding up powerfully against any writer on the scene now.

Don’t miss this one--as they say, destined to become a classic.

The Visiting Privilege: New and Collected Stories by Joy Williams (Knopf) Recommended by LH at Square Books Oxford MS

If you enjoy a book with unexpected twists and turns, Chris Bohjalian is an author you will want to read.

His latest book is about the consequences of a good family man's decision to host a bachelor party for his wilder, younger brother. The story keeps us guessing but also leads us to think about important issues.

The Guest Room by Chris Bohjalian (Doubleday) Recommended by Rene at Quail Ridge Books Raleigh NC

In Heroes of the Frontier, the main character, Josie, is a dentist by trade. When a patient sues her for malpractice, Josie grabs her kids and escapes from her work troubles and her no-good husband Carl. What she can’t escape are her invisible burdens: her past―her parents were scandal-ridden nurses―and her lack of self-confidence and sense of direction. Whether she’s running 'toward' or 'away,' the reader and her endearing children―Paul, an eight-year-old with an old soul (the adult of the family most of the time!), and Ana, who is a handful―go along for the ride.

Heroes of the Frontier by Dave Eggers (Knopf $28.95), recommended by Mamie at Quail Ridge Books, Raleigh, NC.