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Sunday, August 24, 2014

The List of -ist

Posted by Alana T.

Recently, our catalogers and book purchasers have noticed a large number of titles ending with -ist.  There are fashions in book cover art, popular genres and titles; this seems to be the latest thing.   Listed below are some of the most popular titles (descriptions from Goodreads) with staff favorites marked.  All are rated 3.5 stars (out of 5) or better, so give one a try and let us know what you think of the latest fad.

The Imperfectionists by Tom Raschman.  Set against the gorgeous backdrop of Rome, Tom Rachman’s wry, vibrant debut follows the topsy-turvy private lives of the reporters, editors, and executives of an international English language newspaper as they struggle to keep it—and themselves—afloat.

The Anthologist by Nicholson Baker(staff pick) Paul is having a hard time;  his career is floundering, his girlfriend left him, and he is thinking about the great poets throughout history who have suffered far worse and deserve to feel sorry for themselves. What unfolds is a wholly entertaining and beguiling love story about poetry. At the same time, Paul barely manages to realize all of this himself, and the result is a tenderly romantic, hilarious, and inspired novel.
The Illusionist by by Françoise Mallet-Joris and Terry CastleBored and lonely, 15-year-old Hélène decides to pay a visit to her father’s mistress. Within days, she is captivated by Tamara, a Russian émigré whose arts of enchantment include lingering kisses, sudden dismissals, and savage, rapturous reunions.

The Intuitionist by Colson Whitehead.  Verticality, architectural and social, is the lofty idea at the heart of Colson Whitehead's odd, sly, and ultimately irresistible first novel. The setting is an unnamed though obviously New Yorkish high-rise city, the time less convincingly future than deliciously other, as it combines 21st-century engineering feats with 19th-century pork-barrel politics and smoky working-class pubs.

The Informationist by Vanessa Monroe.  Vanessa  deals in information--expensive information--working for corporations, heads of state, private clients, and anyone else who can pay for her unique brand of expertise. After almost a decade building a new life and lucrative career from her home base in Dallas, she's never looked back. Until now.

The Supernaturalist by Eoin Colfer.  (staff pick) In the future, in a place called Satelite City, fourteen-year-old Cosmo Hill enters the world, unwanted by his parents. He's sent to the Clarissa Frayne Institute for Parentally Challenged Boys. At Clarissa Frayne, the boys are put to work by the state, testing highly dangerous products. At the end of most days, they are covered with burns, bruises, and sores. Eoin Colfer has created an eerie and captivating world-part Blade Runner, part futuristic Dickens-replete with non-stop action.

The Archivist by Martha Cooley.  (staff pick)The Morgan Library in New York recently acquired letters written by Thomas Pynchon to his agent, but the head librarian decreed that this correspondence will not be available to scholars during the author's lifetime. A few miles south, in Princeton, New Jersey, there's another potentially explosive series of letters that are locked up until the year 2019 -- ones that renowned poet T. S. Eliot wrote to a woman named Emily Hale. The situation and wacky characters are fictional, of course, but nonetheless you will be riveted by this marvelous first novel.

The Alchemist by Paul Coelho.  (staff pick) This enchanting novel has inspired a devoted following around the world. The story, dazzling in its powerful simplicity and inspiring wisdom, is about an Andalusian shepherd boy named Santiago who travels from his homeland in Spain to the Egyptian desert in search of a treasure buried in the Pyramids.

The Miniaturist by Jesse Burton.  Set in seventeenth century Amsterdam-a city ruled by glittering wealth and oppressive religion-a masterful debut steeped in atmosphere and shimmering with mystery, in the tradition of Emma Donoghue, Sarah Waters, and Sarah Dunant.

The Absolutist by John Boyne.  The Absolutist is a masterful tale of passion, jealousy, heroism, and betrayal set in one of the most gruesome trenches of France during World War I. This novel will keep readers on the edge of their seats until its most extraordinary and unexpected conclusion, and will stay with them long after they've turned the last page.

And last, not quite fitting the ..., The Other Typist by Suzanne Rindell. Rose Baker is an orphaned young woman working for her bread as a typist in a police precinct on the lower East Side. Every day Rose transcribes the confessions of the gangsters and murderers that pass through the precinct. While she may disapprove of the details, she prides herself on typing up the goriest of crimes without batting an eyelid.But when the captivating Odalie begins work at the precinct Rose finds herself falling under the new typist's spell.

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