Every week, The Thread checks in with booksellers around the country about their favorite books of the moment. This week, we spoke with Tom Lagasse at the Hickory Stick Bookshop in Washington Depot, Conn.
The best part of asking booksellers for a recommendation is that they always have more than one. Here, Lagasse shares two of his recent favorites:
On Ottessa Moshfegh's short story collection "Homesick for Another World"
Moshfegh made headlines last year with her eerie, noir thriller "Eileen." Now she's back with a new book of stories, which Lagasse was thrilled to read.
"Like 'Eileen,' I couldn't put 'Homesick' down," he said. "These are edgy and gritty stories, not for the faint of heart. She sets her keen eye and vast talent mostly on the ignored and the unseen underbelly of society, or at the intersection of privileged and impoverished."
On Francine Prose's "Mister Monkey"
"Who hasn't sat through a less-than-stellar performance and allowed their mind to wander? And instead of watching, you're judging the performers, even the material itself, through a sarcastic lens?" Lagasse said.
"Imagine if you were watching an off-off-Broadway play made from an old children's book about a monkey. Author Francine Prose takes us to that play, 'Mister Monkey,' but rather than eviscerating the actors or the audience with mockery, which seems to be quite popular these days, Prose depicts each character with great compassion."