Booksmart – Picks

Carmichael’s top 5 staffpicks

1) “Said the Shotgun to the Head” by Saul Williams (epic poem) — My favorite line is, “The wind is the moon’s imagination wandering.” Piercing language and imagery make this poem about love a joyous read. —Miranda Boggs

2) “The Wayward Muse: A Novel” by Elizabeth Hickey (novel, new in paperback) — Louisville native Elizabeth Hickey’s second novel set in the world of art is a graceful, evocative imagining of the lives of the artists who became known as the “pre-Raphaelites.” Rich with historical detail. —Carol Besse

3) “Spook Country” by William Gibson (novel) — A fast-paced, paranoid techno-thriller constructed with clockwork precision, stripped-to-the-bone language, a visionary outlook on how we live, and a dash of dark comedy. Fans of DeLillo, Pynchon, George Saunders and even Michael Crichton will enjoy. —Jonathan Hawpe

4) “The Children’s Hospital” by Chris Adrian (novel) — A big novel to really dive into — this is it! Magic realism in the Marquez tradition, taking on sex, death, spirituality and science. Beautiful and friendly and unpretentiously challenging. —Jonathan Hawpe

5) “The Things They Carried” by Tim O’Brien (novel) — I’m not a huge fan of war literature, but this book, set in Vietnam, is so compelling, interestingly written and haunting in its realistic beauty that I could not draw myself away from the powerful world of these soldiers. —Ally Eastman