Less by Andrew Sean Greer, 263 pages
Arthur Less is 49 years old, staring at his ex-lover's wedding invitation, and has recently had his latest book rejected by his longtime publisher. So how should this awkward man deal with the issues? Flee the country, of course! Against his natural tendency, Less says "yes" to all of the teaching offers, and readings, and prize ceremonies, and "An Evening with Arthur Less" events that have been offered to him around the world. (An aside: this is an avoidance technique that I think all of us wish we had available.) Commence the awkward circumnavigation of the world, filled with situations that could easily have tipped into slapstick territory (a series of co-presenter cancellations, a rash of people getting inexplicably sick after spending time with Less) but are presented instead with the right touch of humor and heart to make them believable. While it took a bit to get used to the style of Greer's unknown narrator, I ended up loving this book, its humor, and its hapless protagonist.