Staff Picks - Nicole

Nicole has an MFA in Creative Writing and is a fan of all things literary fiction, including books about writing and the creative process.  Some of her favorite writers include David Mitchell, Robert Coover, David Foster Wallace, Sam Lipsyte, and Joy Williams, although if you ask her tomorrow, she'll give you a completely different list.  

Queen Sugar (Hardcover)

ISBN-13: 9780670026135
Availability: On Our Shelves Now - Call to Confirm
Published: Pamela Dorman Books, 2/2014
Natalie is from California, but this book places her firmly in the tradition of Southern writers.  Charley and her daughter move from Los Angeles to Louisiana after inheriting a sugarcane farm.  Will Charley succeed even with her judgmental mother and the tradition of sugar cane farming telling her otherwise?  

ISBN-13: 9780812976366
Availability: On Our Shelves Now - Call to Confirm
Published: Random House Trade Paperbacks, 2/2011
Mitchell's new novel, "The Bone Clocks," releases in September of this year, so now is the perfect time to reread his most recent, a historical novel set in 19th century Japan.  Any fan of Mitchell's knows that his best writerly quality is diversity; every book he writes is completely different in structure, content, and tone.  

ISBN-13: 9780143105985
Availability: On Our Shelves Now - Call to Confirm
Published: Penguin Classics, 12/2009
A funny and ominous commentary on our consumerist culture, the story revolves around an ultramodern, witty, sarcastic, and observant family and is narrated from the father's point of view.  You'll be pulled in by the father's voice and keep reading to see if the family and their community will survive the "airborne toxic event." 

Life on Mars: Poems (Paperback)

ISBN-13: 9781555975845
Availability: Not in stock. Usually ships in 1-5 days from the warehouse.
Published: Graywolf Press, 4/2011
Former Stanford Stegner Fellow, Tracy K. Smith went on to win the Pultizer Prize for this collection.  Her father was one of the engineers who worked on the Hubble Space Telescope.  If poetry is not your cup of tea, check out this collection, largely informed by science and space.  If poetry is your cup of tea, you should've read this already!

ISBN-13: 9780375727641
Availability: On Our Shelves Now - Call to Confirm
Published: Vintage, 1/2002
Alice, one of the three young protagonists, drives this novel with her funny and dark hatred of humankind.  You'll recognize, but likely not identify with, Williams' subtlely distorted version of our world.  Anyone who is a fan of David Lynch, Don DeLilo, Westerns (if you are, read Patrick DeWitt's "The Sisters Brothers" too!), or Surrealism will be a fan of this book.  

The Intuitionist (Paperback)

ISBN-13: 9780385493000
Availability: On Our Shelves Now - Call to Confirm
Published: Anchor, 1/2000
In his debut novel, Whitehead creates a noir world of warring elevator inspectors: the Empiricists and the Intuitionists.  The novel is reminiscent of Ralph Ellison's "Invisible Man" (another of my favorites!) in matters of race, politics, and class, with a humorous and ironic narrative twist.  Whitehead showcases an incredible imagination, sly wit, and an extensive vocabulary.