Five Books You Should Read by Guys Named Matt

by a contributor

from John A. McDermott, author of Inappropriate Gifts for Infants:

  1. Sugarhouse by Matthew Batt—funny and sad, this memoir will teach you something about Salt Lake City and home renovation and love.1
  2. Dogfight, A Love Story by Matt Burgess—funny and sad, this novel will teach you something about Queens and crime, both petty and not, and love.2
  3. Sermons and Lectures Both Blank and Relentless by Matt Hart—funny and sad, this poetry will teach you something about Cincinnati and punk rock and love.3
  4. All-American Poem by Matthew Dickman. Funny and sad…oh, hell, the title sums it up.4
  5. Come on All You Ghosts by Matthew Zapruder—funny and sad, this poetry will teach you something about America and airports and love letters and love. And ghosts.5

1 Admission: I know Matt Batt. We briefly taught at the same university here in Texas. He’s a sweet, sharp guy who wrote a sweet, sharp book. His wife Jenae is a beautiful force of nature. The book’s about her, too.

2 Admission: I’ve met Matt Burgess. Once. He married my second-cousin. He seemed nice. But I read the book because it sounded good. It is. Much better than good. Oh, my second-cousin is pretty cool. They live in the Twin Cities. Hey, so do Matt and Jenae. Matt, meet Matt. Jenae, Matt.  Georgia, Matt. Georgia, Jenae.  I think y’all would get along.

3 I do not know Matt Hart. I saw him read last month. It was like watching a one-man rock concert in a small and smoky club. We were not in a small, smoky club but I think anywhere this guy reads might feel like that. He took the top of my head off. Seriously, if you can catch him at a reading, go. And his stuff is even better on the page.

4 I do not know Matthew Dickman. I just really like his work. But you knew that.

5 I do not know Matthew Zapruder. He’s Matthew Freaking Zapruder. You don’t know Matthew Zapruder? Read his book. You’ll feel like you do. But that might just be his poetry.