So I'm sitting at my desk, thinking about what to pick up this weekend (it's supposed to be pretty cold, so I plan on snuggling up indoors with a book and either apple cider or hot chocolate). I decided to use the best resources I have at my disposal -- coworkers. So I called around the store and asked booksellers, "What are you reading?"
Here's what they told me:
Patrick -- Lightning Rods by Helen DeWitt
What he likes about it - "I love the writing. It's probably the funniest book I've read in a couple of months. It's a satire of something I didn't think could be satirized: sexual harassment."
Brief Plot Synopsis - A man finds success in a creative solution to sexual harassment in the workplace.
Christian -- Sabbath's Theatre by Philip Roth
What he likes about it - "I love it. I like that [Roth] can take such difficult and scandalous subject matter and still keep literary and artistic integrity while writing about it."
Brief Plot Synopsis- "A guy named Sabbath who is a puppeteer on trial for obscenity. He's a disgusting, dirty old man, but he brings up a lot of philosophical questions about society."
Ashanti -- The Stand by Stephen King
What she likes about it - "It's awesome. It's a really realistic rendition of an apocalyptic kind of end-of-the-world scenario and there's some really interesting magical realism among the survivors. King always has such realistic characters, it's probably his best quality as a writer."
Brief Plot Synopsis - "Despite bans on German warfare, a government experiment of a superflu gets spread among the populous and wipes out 99% of the human race."
Nicole (our newbie!)-- Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
What she likes about it - "I really like the idea that the story is shaped around these pictures."
Brief Plot Synopsis - "A young boy discovers something strange about his grandfather's past."
Jorden -- Hark a Vagrant by Kate Beaton and Deer Hunting with Jesus by Joe Bageant
What she likes about them - [HV] "It's hilarious. It's both history and good social commentary" DHWJ - "It's really sad but also funny, and just really sobering, I guess."
Brief Plot Synopses - "HV is Kate Beaton's second collection of comics and DHWJ is about how America is poor and keeps screwing themselves by voting Republican."
Ria -- Poems by Elizabeth Bishop
What she likes about it - [Ria had some difficulty putting her feelings for Elizabeth Bishops poems into sentences that would do them literary justice] "They're beautiful and...they're just awesome. They're awesome and amazing and wonderful and she's incredible."
Brief summary of the poems as a whole - "They're mildly humorous and honest without being overly confessional."
Stephanie -- Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor (who will be here on Monday!)
What she likes about it - "There's a good lead character. It's intriguing, and leaves you with a bit of a cliffhanger. I don't like that I have to wait for the next one though."
Brief Plot Synopsis - "Mysterious teen artist in Prague leads a secret second life and discovers who she really is."
Tracy -- The Magic of Reality by Richard Dawkins and David McKean
What she likes about it - "The whole reason I picked it up was because of David McKean. He did The Sandman and his art is just really awesome. I love him. So far, the science is described in a way that is helpful for people like me who don't have science-y backgrounds."
Brief Plot Synopsis - "It's about evolution. Which, I know the basics of it, but the way they're describing some of the concepts are really interesting and different."
Arsen -- Contents May Have Shifted by Pam Houston and When She Woke by Hilary Jordan
What he likes about them - [CMHS] "The writing's good and she's telling her story in a very interesting, unique way." [WSW] "It’s kind of creepy. It makes me want to make sure that Rick Perry doesn’t get to be president. "
Brief Plot Synopsis - "Futuristic tale where a woman wakes up dyed red because she has been convicted of the murder of her unborn child."
Laina -- All Men of Genius by Lev AC Rosen
What she likes about it - "I picked it up because it’s written by someone I went to college with. It’s a little bit along the lines of Alana – it’s a twin story (though not for middle readers!) it’s gender-bending, it’s doing this ‘what is the right path for you despite social convention,’ thing, it’s science, it’s invention, and I’m finding it’s really different to read books by people you know.”
Brief Plot Synopsis - "It's a new Victorian steampunk novel. A scientifically-inclined girl goes to exclusive all boys educational institution without anyone knowing who she really is."
...and so that's what folks around the store. What are you reading?
Author’s Note: Stop Reading My Fiction as the Story of My Life - What is behind the fascination with the real-life connections between an author and her work?
3 hours ago