I know it’s too late to make a top three list for 2012 but if I were to do so this book would be on it (along with Redshirts by John Scalzi and Red Dust Road by Jackie Kay). Magic for Beginners is a collection of short stories and novellas and it is… extraordinary. I can honestly say I’ve never read anything like her before. I can understand why pretty much every fantasy and science fiction writer I admire is slavish in their praise of Kelly Link’s writing. She’s definitely working in the tradition of Charles De Lint and Neil Gaiman, using mythological and horror tropes to inform her fiction. These stories read like forgotten folk tales as David Lynch might tell them – dark and funny and weird, really really weird. Wonderfully weird. Her writing is delightful, witty, exquisite and haunting. These stories are heartbreaking and beautiful, filled with unforgettable images. Seriously, just do yourself a favor and download this book. It’s available for free on her website. You’re welcome.