Nick's Picks of Nick's Picks



FICTION

ALCATRAZ vs THE EVIL LIBRARIANS by Brandon Sanderson*     On his thirteenth birthday, foster child Alcatraz Smedry receives a bag of sand which is immediately stolen by the evil Librarians who are trying to take over the world, and Alcatraz is introduced to his grandfather and his own special talent, and told that he must use it to save civilization.

THE AMAZING ADVENTURES of KAVILIER and CLAY by Michael Chabon  Chabon deservedly won a Pulitzer prize for this novel which takes us into the world of comic book pioneers in the "golden age of comics" in the early 20th century. With a novel-within-a-novel Chabon explores the tumultuous world of 1930's urban America and Europe through the eyes of his real life and comic protagonists.

 

BONE FIRE by Mark Spragg*   The inhabitants of Ishawooa, Wyoming have enough to contend with on a daily basis, from runaway children to Lou Gehrig's disease, even before a teenager is found dead in a meth lab and motorcycle rallies and rodeos fill the tiny local jail. Moody and beautifully written.

BOY IN THE WATER by Stephen Dobyns   An atmospheric mystery set in a private boarding school in upstate New Hampshire.


BREATH: an interpretation of the “Pied Piper of Hamelin Town” by Donna Jo Napoli

CLOSE RANGE by Annie Proulx A collection of Proulx's short stories featuring "Brokeback Mountain" and much more great writing.


DEATH COMES FOR THE ARCHBISHOP by Willa Cather  A classic.  Spare, moving and thoughtful look at the old Southwest.

DESERT by J.M.G. LeClezio (Translated from the French) After being driven from their land by French colonial soldiers in 1909, Nour and his people, "the blue men" must search for a haven out of the desert that will shelter them. Interspersed with the story of Nour is the contemporary story of Lalla, a descendent of the blue men, who lives in Morocco and tries to stay true to the blood of her ancestors while experiencing life as a modern immigrant.

FAMILY DANCING by David Levitt  A collection of Levitt's first (and I consider very best) writing, featuring contemporary middle class families in an age of cultural and personal change.

THE FULL CUPBOARD of LIFE by Alexander McCall Smith*

GAS CITY by Loren D. Estleman  The saga of a slowly fading midwestern city where the local chief of police, the local crime boss and a high ranking church official all struggle to make sense of the modern world which has moved beyond their understanding.  A sad but beautifully told tale of life for many in the contemporary world.

HERCULE POIROT mysteries by Agatha Christie*

HIDDEN MOON: an Inspector O novel by James Church* His best novel featuring Inspector O who finds his career as a detective in Pyongyang, North Korea, a life filled with as much obfuscation as mystery. A many sided look into what life might be like for the citizens of contemporary North Korea.


IN THE COUNTRY OF MEN by Hisham Matar   A story that shifts between adult exile and youthful wonder and confusion this tale, set in contemporary north Africa, explores the confusing world of adults (men) in a family that seeks answers to questions about freedom in politics as much as in their family. A thoughtful and strong read.

LITERATURE OF THE AXIS OF EVIL: contemporary writing from Iran, Iraq, North Korea and other labeled enemy nations of the US.  Fascinating, translated  THE MOONSTONE by Wilkie Collins

MOVING HOUSE: stories  by Pawll Huelle

MURDER ON THE APPIAN WAY: a novel of ancient Rome by Steven Saylor *

OBEDIENCE by Will Lavender

THE SHADOW YEAR by Jeffrey Ford

SHERLOCK HOLMES mysteries by Arthur Conan Doyle*

SILVER STALLION: A novel of Korea" by Junghyo Ahn  Over 60 years ago war broke out on the Korean peninsula engulfing both North and South Korean troops along with American and members of the United Nations Armed Forces. In "Silver Stallion" the war is seen and experienced through the eyes of Korean villagers.

THE PROPHET by Hoosier author Michael Koryta: small-town high school football, the enduring bonds of brotherly love and murder combine to make this a powerful read.

WHEN WILDFLOWERS DIE, a Phoebe Siegel mystery by Sandra West Prowell*

THE WRIGHT 3 by Blue Balliett

*Part of a series of books by this author



NONFICTION

ALONE IN THE KITCHEN WITH AN EGGPLANT: confessions of cooking for one and dining alone by Jenni Ferrari-Adler

AND KNOW THIS PLACE: POETRY OF INDIANA: the first new compilation of poetry written by Hoosiers and well worth the wait!
DANCING IN THE DARK: A cultural history of the Great Depression by Morris Dickstein

THE DEEP: life in the deep oceans by Claire Nouvian

FEDERAL WRITER’S PROJECT travel guides to the States of America from the 1930’s and 1940’s


FINDING FLORIDA: The True History of the Sunshine State :It's an irreverent, yet thoughtful, and very interesting look at one of our most fascinating states.  Perhaps as our author has it, the state that best describes America.

A GIRL NAMED ZIPPY: growing up small in Mooreland, Indiana byHaven Kimmel

GRANT AND TWAIN: The story of a friendship that changed America by Mark Perry

HOUSE OF STONE by Anthony Shadid: A beautifully written memoir by the late New York Times reporter recounting his year spent regaining his family's ancestral home in war-torn Lebanon.  Haughting and captivating.
LAFAYETTE LEADERSHIP PROFILES: local men and women share their stories in how they came to a lifetime of service* by Lillian price, Jan Mattew, Debbie Lowe and Nancy Kleckner

IN EUROPE: travels through the the 20th Century by Geert Mak

READING THE OED: One Man, One Year, 21,730 pages by Ammon Shea (OED: Oxford English Dictionary)

RUNNING WITH SCISSORS: a Memoir by Augusten Burroughs

SHAKESPEARE (a biography) by Michael Wood

ULTRA MARATHON MAN: Confessions of an all-night runner by Dean Karnazes

WASHED AWAY: How the Great Flood of 1913 Terrorized a Nation and Changed It Forever: a riviting re-telling of the great Midwest flood of 1913 based on eye witness accounts.



WHY CATS PAINT and WHY PAINT CATS by Burton Silver and Heather Busch

 

*includes a short biography of this author