At Powell's, our book buyers select all the new books in our vast inventory. If we need a book recommendation, we turn to our team of resident experts. Need a gift idea for a fan of vampire novels? Looking for a guide that will best demonstrate how to knit argyle socks? Need a book for a vegetarian who loves Radiohead and Flight of the Conchords? Email your question to [email protected]. We'll be posting personalized recommendations regularly.
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Q: I finished school two years ago (with a degree in literature) and was suffering from the worst reading burnout I've ever had in my life. I simply forgot how to read for entertainment. I recently broke up with Netflix and feel that I'm ready to jump back in to reading for me again. I think a good place to start would be light and fun, maybe with a dark twist or something that will get my heart racing. Please help! –Jamie
A: Miranda July is known for exposing the most awkward, neurotic parts of our humanity with mirth and tenderness, and her stories often illustrate these themes by way of bizarre premises or characters — though usually both. If this sounds like something that could be up your alley, go buy The First Bad Man, her debut novel; it came out at the beginning of the year. Entertaining doesn't even begin to describe it, and it's the perfect sort of book to draw you back inside the world of books. If it hits the spot for you, Matthew Quick's Love May Fail is a great follow-up. He also wrote The Silver Linings Playbook. –Aubrey
I'm just crazy about The Intern's Handbook. It came out last year and is dark, darkly funny, and a blazing-fast read. He has a follow-up to it, Hostile Takeover, which goes on sale July 14 and is every bit as good as Intern's Handbook. –Tom