Arsen, Head Buyer
Favorite Genres: Literary fiction, American history, classic fiction, contemporary short stories, poetry
Favorite Authors: Zadie Smith, Joyce Carol Oates, Saul Bellow, Percival Everett, Philip Levine, Donald Hall, Alice Munro, Joshua Ferris, Chester Himes, Philip Roth
Perestroika is a runaway racehorse that finds a home near the Eiffel Tower. Somehow she eludes the gaze of the thousands of people that pass by each day. A menagerie of animals and a small boy befriends her and help keep her safe and fed in this heartwarming tale of friendship. Smiley’s novel is like the best Disney film imaginable without being overly sentimental.
In this career spanning retrospective, which includes dozens of new poems, Momaday brings his formidable lyrical talents to his personal life, the plight of Native Americans and to literature and writing itself. In a dazzling section of 100 haikus, Momaday’s keen observational abilities and musical ear are beautifully brought together. In other poems, he brings up long ago memories and examines them anew.
Bays, a television writer who co-created How I Met Your Mother, hilariously captures our socially media obsessed society in this ensemble novel. We start with Alice Quick, an underachieving nanny with dreams of being a doctor, move on to her brother, an overachieving tech mogul who gives it all up to being a Buddhist monk, to dozens of other brilliantly realized characters. I was laughing from beginning to end.
The title refers to all the headlines that start with “Florida man….” Usually, it's some absurd thing that no one in his right mind would do. Cooper’s Florida man is Reed Crowe, the owner of a seedy motel and ticky tacky amusement park. Years earlier, Crowe stumbled upon a ton of marijuana at the sight of a plane crash. Now a survivor is catching up to him. Wildly entertaining with real heart and genuine tenderness.
Sportcoat, a cranky old church deacon, shoots the drug dealer of his Brooklyn project in full view of everyone. Why did he do this? How are the various characters including Sportcoat and the drug dealer connected to each other? McBride does a wonderful job showing us this slice of 1969 Brooklyn. He rotates between several people and always provides a bit of humor.