Author note: This week everyone gave me their Friday reads, and I’ve gone to the trouble of guessing what their selections are about based on the covers. If I knew something about the book already I just willfully forgot. Please don’t think any of the Soho staffers represented here think any of these things. These are the things I think.


Snow by Orhan Pamuk – Michelle

A chilly, blurred look at a solitary man that is absolutely Nobel Prize-winning and supremely bestselling at the national level. Will you be engrossed by Pamuk’s essential tale-spinning and historical narration? If you’re anything like Margaret Atwood (and you very well could be), you will. Grade: A

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The Elementary Particles by Michel Houellebecq – Rachel

Legendary describer Michael Houlellebecq expertly describes the chemical composition of an elbow or a pelvis or a thigh for a number of pages. An intricately veined, finely haired novel about the general appearance and horror ‘of the flesh’ from a French author. Grade: A

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What’s Important Is Feeling by Adam Wilson – Mark

Adam Wilson (author of Flatscreen) has written a collection of stories inspired by, and likely set in, the type of city where row houses are a thing. Is it kooky? Almost certainly. The houses are orange! The title is wiggly! Will you feel things? Yup. Will it matter? You bet your ass. Grade: A

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Grasshopper Jungle by Andrew Smith – Dan

In a world where jungles are comprised entirely of grasshoppers, everything is lime green and nothing is sexy. Likely a fictional book by color-obsessive and noted antennae-phile Andrew Smith. You won’t know what to expect, but when you start reading it you’ll find out fast. Grade: A

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Me Before You by Jojo Moyes – Bronwen

A funky-chic, ultra-modern, retro-historical take on calligraphy and the tyranny of the queue from a novelist whose given name you’ll recognize given the popularity of R&B legends K-Ci and JoJo’s 1998 smash ‘All My Life.’ What a good song. Grade: A

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The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt – Juliet

Pulitzer Prize-winner Donna Tartt’s Pulitzer Prize-winning book about a picture of a bird placed under a piece of paper and forgotten. The obscuring paper is torn after some time, thus revealing the once lost bird picture. Everyone walks away, but no one is the same. Grade: A

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Chorus by Emma Trevayne – Meredith

Author of Coda, Emma Trevayne, hits hard with a book about stereos, visualizers, and the chromatic spectrum. Amplitudes! Future! Digits! Buzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. Grade: (future) A

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Fun Home by Alison Bechdel – Amara

An open, generous autobiography about a family and an indifferent man and a smirking child. $100 says they’re part of the family. But don’t think it’s going to be a smooth ride. No way. This is tragicomic, Entertainment Weekly-caliber writing and drawing that will leave you feeling like you’ve flipped through a stranger’s family photo album. Grade: A

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The Snow Leopard by Peter Matthiessen – Kevin

Ice-cold and expansive, The Snow Leopard is a ‘classic’ from National Book Award Winner Peter Matthiessen. You might think there’s a leopard in this book, but fella, this is big sky/snowy mountain country, and sometimes the snow leopards never show. But sometimes they do. Grade: A

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On Being Blue: A Philosophical Inquiry by William H. Gass – Abby

Put on your unhappy pants and get ready to dig into a world where colors indicate emotional states and questions about the nature of things will be answered. Sad women and sad woman enthusiasts take note, you may like this book. Grade: A

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The Strain by Guillermo de Toro – Janine

Creator and Oscar winner Guillermo del Toro teams up with Chuck Hogan to bring you a hard-angled, blood-splattered look at epidemiology or public health or virology or muscle injury or monsters, or even all of those things. DO. NOT. GET. COMFORTABLE. You’re in for it buddy. Grade: A

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The Goshawk by T.H. White – Joaquin

Ornithophobes be warned: This one is a feathery mess. I’m talking birds. Everywhere. I mean, wow. All over the place and pissed for real. Sheesh. Marie Winn, take me home amirite?? Grade: A