Monday, November 28, 2011

Pam's Staff Picks

Well, Marie's already written about her staff picks, and she's been working at the bookstore a year less than I have. (But then, she's a better blogger than I am.) Can I introduce you to some of my favorite reads?

A few of these books are recent reads, which I have already reviewed. Most of them, though, are older books that I've loved forever. Now they're conveniently grouped in one spot that's not my own personal bookshelf. It's like my own twisted corner of the Book Fair.

Have you read any of these books? Thoughts?

-Alone in the Kitchen with an Eggplant edited by Jenni Ferrari-Adler - Collected stories about cooking and eating by yourself. Some are lighthearted, while others are more serious, but this is a very well-rounded set of stories.

-Bellwether by Connie Willis - A scientist is studying how fads travel through groups of people in this hilarious, madcap story about chaos theory.

-Black Ships by Jo Graham - A retelling of Virgil's Aeneid through the eyes of seer Gull.

-Bluebeard by Kurt Vonnegut - I love just about anything written by Vonnegut, and this is his take on the art world.

-The Complete Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams - I'm a geek. If you're a geek and you haven't read this, we can't be friends.

-Daughter of Smoke and Bone - Full review here.

-The Firebrand by Marion Zimmer Bradley - This is were my obsession with the Trojan War began. A retelling of the Iliad through the eyes of Kassandra, princess of Troy and priestess of Apollo.

-The Gunslinger by Stephen King - Certainly not my favorite of the Dark Tower books, but you can't start in the middle. It's a shame that this is the slowest (and to many, most boring) book in the series. I could read the Dark Tower books from here until forever and not be bored.

-H.P. Lovecraft Goes to the Movies by, well, H.P. Lovecraft - I haven't read this whole collection, but I wanted to include my favorite Lovecraft story, Pickman's Model (which is included here).

-House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski - Holy crap, how do you describe this book? It's the story of a troubled man that includes the academic paper written by his neighbor about a very bizarre documentary film about a house that's larger on the inside than the outside. Danielewski typeset the book himself to get it exactly as he wanted, and I'd be hard pressed to think of any other book that has stuck with me in the same way as this one.

-The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins - If you read any YA this year, let it be this. Think American Gladiators meets The Lottery.

-How Did You Get This Number by Sloane Crosley - I wanted to include Crosley's first book of essays, I Was Told There'd Be Cake, but I haven't been able to get it in. This collection is not quite as funny, but it's still worth more than a few laughs.

-The Magicians by Lev Grossman - Harry Potter goes to college. If that doesn't sell it, I don't know what will.

-Motel of the Mysteries by David MacAulay - It looks like a kid's picture book (in fact, that's where it's shelved), but MacAulay's tongue-in-cheek look at archaeology is spot on (and pretty damn funny, too).

-The Night Bookmobile by Audrey Niffenegger - Full review here.

-The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern - Full review here.

-The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender - A young girl asks her mother for a lemon cake for her birthday, and when it tastes strange, she realizes she can taste people's emotions in the food they cook.

-Rant by Chuck Palahniuk - An oral history of Buster "Rant" Casey, told talking head-style by all the people who knew him. Each person has a different idea of "who" Rant was, and this contains some of my favorite quotes about what one person can mean to another.

-Ready Player One by Ernest Cline - Full review here.

-The Secret History by Donna Tartt - A very exclusive group of students at a small college in Vermont kill one of their own because he knows something he shouldn't. I read this book every couple of years because I love it so much.

-Ship Breaker by Paolo Bacigalupi - Full review here.

-20th Century Ghosts by Joe Hill - I like Hill's short stories more than his novels, and this collection is one hit after another.

-World War Z by Max Brooks - I'm a geek. If you're a geek and you haven't read this, we can't be friends.

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