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EDITOR’S NOTE:

Another year has come and gone, and it’s time once again to present The Nobbies, the official book awards of The Nervous Breakdown.

Below you’ll find this year’s winners, our picks for the best books of 2012.

Congrats to the victors, and their publishers.

And thanks, as always, for reading.

-BL

Book Tour Week Two: Stacy Bierlein Faces Her Snippy Self-Interviewer

 

The interviewer walks slowly through the garden gate, looking around, inspecting.  I notice now that the Italian cypress needs to be trimmed; the Boston ivy has survived the Santa Ana winds but is wild and everywhere.

We were bound but not gagged; the wife wanted us to talk.  Her assistant had done the dirty work—jumped us in the street, knocked us out, transported us to wherever the hell we were, tied us tight to wooden chairs.  It was my day off.  I had been walking the Highline.  I heard footsteps behind me, turned, and everything went black.

I will admit, the title of Stacy Bierlein’s debut story collection made me somewhat uncomfortable and more than a little nervous. A Vacation on the Island of Ex-Boyfriends has an ominous ring, summoning imaginary scenes of one’s own hypothetical island of ex-boyfriends. In my mind, there are few things more dangerous than a group of men one once bedded, all converging in the same, small space. I circled the book for a few days, uncertain of what angle to approach it.