Those who were introduced to Matthew Quick through the Academy Award-winning film adaptation of The Silver Linings Playbook may not be aware that he is a former high school teacher with three YA novels under his belt. His most recent, the riveting Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock, introduces readers to a teenager in crisis who is contemplating a murder-suicide. (Read our interview with Quick about the book here.)
We were curious about which books Quick has enjoyed reading lately and asked him to share three recommendations. Here they are:
DR. BIRD’S ADVICE FOR SAD POETS
By Evan Roskos
Fantastic title. Little known fact: Evan Roskos and I once tried to write a book together. It was called MonkeyShark. We never finished it—instead he took his parts and wrote Dr. Bird, and I wrote Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock. Like me, Evan cares deeply about mental health awareness. His take on anxiety, Walt Whitman, family and friendship is as authentic as they come. It’s a beautiful, hopeful story. And it features a talking pigeon! That alone makes it a must read.
THE BEST OF YOUTH
By Michael Dahlie
I met Michael at the PEN Hemmingway Awards when my debut was an Honorable Mention to his winner. He handled his victory with the same class and grace that imbue his novels. Dahlie’s hapless protagonists are as hilariously flawed as they are earnestly humane. Almost a year after first reading an advance copy, my wife and I still discuss scenes—especially the one featuring a herd of rare goats—from The Best of Youth. For all the Young Adult and ghost authors out there, this is a must, as it explores the fickle and sometimes even pernicious aspects of the writing life.
THE ROSIE PROJECT
By Graeme Simsion
Not sure when I’ve loved a character more than Don Tillman, “Professor of Genetics and licensed server of alcohol.” With Twain-like efficiency, Simsion constructs his humor on a sturdy foundation of humanity. This is the type of book that makes you believe in people, love and taking chances. I smiled and laughed all the way through and then gave the book to my wife, who loved it just as much. This one is forthcoming in the U.S. (October 1), and I suggest you preorder today.
What say you, readers? Will you be checking out Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock or any (or all!) of Quick's recommended books?