Carmichael’s Top 5 staffpicks

1) The True Meaning of Smekday by Adam Rex (YA fiction) — A funny and surprisingly insightful novel. For any fan of Terry Pratchett, Douglas Adams or Jasper Fforde. Or for those of you who will grow up to be fans of theirs, too. —Emma Aprile

2) Lives of the Monster Dogs by Kirsten Bakis (novel) — A darkly beautiful modern fable that moves seamlessly between a journalist’s coverage of a group of intelligent, talking dogs, their history as written by a dog who befriends the journalist, and the journals of the dog’s 19th century creator. —Jonathan Hawpe

3) Fartiste by Kathleen Krull and Paul Brewer (true story) — It’s a gas! Joseph Pujol was the world-renowned, oft-overlooked Father of the Flatulence Movement. As a boy, he discovered he had an unusual command over his intestinal muscles. In a style reminiscent of Proust’s madeleine cookies, his savory air biscuits lingered on the minds of such contemporaries as Picasso and Freud. This wind-breaking book doesn’t just cut the mustard — it cuts the cheese. Be sure to grab a copy toot sweet. —Kate Hanratty

4) Season of the Monsoon and the Ganja Coast by Paul Mann (mystery) — For fans of John Burdett’s “Bangkok” series, Paul Mann’s George Sansi is a half-English, half-Indian Bombay cop. These gripping noir thrillers teem with the grit of daily life in a nightmare city. —Michael Boggs

5) Ella Minnow Pea by Mark Dunn (epistolary novel) — A compelling, quirky play-with-words written entirely in letter form. Great if you love language, zany critiques of totalitarianism and the power of the individual. —Allison Eastman