The Color Master, Aimee Bender

I love Aimee Bender's stories, but there's something about a collection of them that can become a little overwhelming -- instead of appreciating the finely wrought little worlds in and of themselves, it's easy to get lost in a universe of these worlds, dizzyingly unfamiliar and yet still recognizable.   Perhaps best not to read the collection in a single sitting, then. 

Of course, the dedicated reader will find something to suit her fancy. Bender's glorious empathetic weirdness is at its best in "Tiger Mending," a story of sisters, one of whom is a seamstress called to duty to patch together tigers coming apart at their stripes; the lush language of "Appleless" leaves you yearning for more.