Issue October 15, 2008

Carmichael’s top 5 staffpicks

1) Nobody’s Home by Dubravka Ugresic (nonfiction) — Essays on multi-culturalism? No! Essays on one’s place in an increasingly plural, multi-“cultural” world, dominated by American mass consumerism. Read the last paragraph of page 208 or pages 173-174. Hers really is a strangely rational, compassionate and fresh voice. —Jason Brown

2) The Little Girl Who was Too Fond of Matches by Gaetan Soucy (novel) — Fun and disturbing. A mixing up of magic and truth. You speak of the universe? Brittle? Risky? Worthwhile? Sure. Kind of like Jean Genet let loose in a world made by Hermann Hesse. —JB

3) By Hook or By Crook by David Crystal (nonfiction) — Travelogue, history, language study — this book wears all these hats and more. It is a personal, thoughtful, entertaining look at words, names and how we say them, and what they say about us. —Emma Aprile

4) The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins (YA novel) — The first of a trilogy set in a future “former North America.” “Lord of the Flies” crossed with “Running Man.” A resilient and loveable protagonist — horribly dark and reassuring. —JB

5) The God of Animals by Aryn Kyle (novel) — I love debut novels! This is a coming-of-age story about a young girl and her family’s horse ranch. The relationship the narrator has with her sister is most poignant, but the bond between humans and horses is the glue of the story. —Kelly Estep