Staff picks inform her reading choices

Mamie Potter works at Builders Unlimited and Quail Ridge Books, where she is the Signed First Editions Club coordinator.

Recommended read: As one of the people responsible for selecting books for the First Editions Club, I read the best of what’s being published in contemporary literature. So when I say something is “the best book I’ve read this year,” the book has to be outstanding. My favorite book of 2016 is “Commonwealth” by Ann Patchett. From the first chapter I was caught up in the story of these two families told in Patchett’s exquisite writing style. This book is a great choice for book clubs.

Currently reading:Hold Still: A Memoir with Photographs” by Sally Mann.

What is your favorite book that nobody’s heard of?A Marker to Measure Drift” by Alexander Maksik. Nancy Olson recommended this book to me. It still remains one of the most beautiful and thought-provoking books I’ve read. But I hesitate to recommend it because of the disturbing nature of the demons that haunt this young Liberian woman.

What movie was better than the book? “Not better, but different and equally well done: Bryce Courtenay’s novel “The Power of One.” One of the characters in the novel is a German composer, and the music in the novel was as alive as the performances in the movie.

Where do you go for book recommendations? I like to visit other independent bookstores. I will check their staff picks for someone with reading tastes similar to mine. I also like to get recommendations on their local authors. I will say I’ve never found a region quite so rich in local authors as North Carolina! FYI, a great place to learn about good books is our store Book Bash, coming up Monday Sept. 12 at 7 p.m. with wine and cheese, or Tuesday Sept. 13 at 10 a.m. with coffee and donuts.

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Ann Patchett

Harper, 336 pages