Popular Literature

Your Debut and You: Six Debut Novels to Get You Through NaNoWriMo

NaNoWriMo is National Novel Writing Month, in case you were wondering. Every November, writers from all over the world endeavor to write 50,000 words of their novel in thirty days. To join them, you need to do just one thing: write! Whether you’re a seasoned novelist or a novice, November is the perfect opportunity to let that thought buzzing around in your head fly onto paper.

Our Popular Literature team has curated a collection of debut novels from Strozier’s Pop Lit section to provide inspiration and motivation for the coming month. Even renowned faculty were once in your shoes – notice any beloved FSU creative writing professors in the mix? So, this month, do not be discouraged. Instead be excited about where your writing journey can take you.

Below is a small selection of the debuts we have to offer. Mostly Dead Things is our most recent addition, and we are excited to have it available for check-out within the coming month.

Mostly Dead Things, by Kristen Arnett
Cosmic Hotel, by Russ Franklin
The Star Side of Bird Hill, by Naomi Jackson
The Impossible Fortress, by Jason Rekulak
The House of Spirits, by Isabel Allende
The Turner House, by Angela Flournoy

This collection proves that your first novel – or your second, third, or however many it takes to get to your debut – can be thought-provoking, hard-hitting, or even award-winning but, most of all, it can be anything you, as its author, need it to be. Whatever you write this November, let it be authentically you; the rest will come in time.

Although the Popular Literature section is unavailable for browsing, any of our books are accessible through pick-up via the materials request form or curbside pick-up.

Happy writing!


National Novel Writing Month began in 1999 and officially became a nonprofit organization, geared towards supporting literacy and education, in 2006. You can learn more about their organization here.

New Arrivals to Pop Lit!!

In June 2020, the Popular Literature committee did an initial sweep of titles in the collection for books centered on conversations of race and racism in the United States. After that sweep we followed up by ordering more books to diversify and continue this conversation in the library and to offer ways for the patrons and employees in the library to continue to educate themselves in this area. Our hope is to continue an open and vulnerable conversation; to work together to be better to each other; and to have a welcome space at FSU for all of our visitors, students, faculty and staff who are black, indigenous, or people of color.

These new books were received September 28, 2020 and are currently in process and will be available for curbside pick up through this link here!
The original reading list and statement regarding anti-racism and the black lives matter movement at FSU Libraries can be found here.

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A Reading List on Anti-Racism and the Black Lives Matter movement at FSU Libraries

At the FSU Libraries Popular Literature Committee, we want to fight for equity, inclusion, and to provide a safe space for our students and employees who are Black, Indigenous, and People Of Color (BIPOC) to come and be heard and respected.

We will not stand for racism at FSU Libraries and we are committed to providing a place to facilitate conversations and a space for learning about racism, inequality, and the struggle of BIPOC in America.

Below is a list of books currently available for students and employees of FSU at FSU Libraries through our curbside pickup (and some digitally) now. This list has been researched and cross examined with other lists from similar institutions, as well as a list published by Ibram X. Kendi who is a professor and the director of The Antiracist Research and Policy Center at American University.

While normally the Pop Lit committee only highlights the books we have in our Popular Literature collection, we felt it was important to provide the titles on this list including those from the general and electronic collections as well as Pop Lit. All of the titles below are linked to the FSU catalog for quick and easy access.

Furthermore the Pop Lit Committee will be allocating the remainder of our special funds to purchase more books on this topic to further provide resources for our students and staff so we can have a true open, honest, educated, and vulnerable conversation and work together to erase systematic racism and further the conversation outside of our walls, into our classrooms, homes, social groups and more.  We stand with our BIPOC students and coworkers. We stand against inequality, police brutality, and racism. We will continue to the best of our ability to keep our entire FSU Libraries family safe and give everyone the chance to educate themselves and be better.

UPDATE: This selection of new orders of Popular Literature books on this topic can be found here

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Celebrate Banned Books Week with Pop Lit

Happy Banned Books Week!!

Wondering why libraries celebrate banned books week? It’s a celebration of the first amendment right to access information, and a celebration for public libraries’ protection and right, as public institutions, to keep books available for people who want access to them.

The American Library Association has celebrated Banned Books Week since 1982 after the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that students’ First Amendment Rights were violated when Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut was removed from school libraries in the Island Trees School District.  A previous case seen by the supreme court in 1965 was similarly ruled, stating “there is a First Amendment right to receive information; the right to receive information is a corollary to the right to speak.” 

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Pop Lit Pride

In honor of Pride Month and the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, we are highlighting some of the books written by or about LGBTQIA+ people featured in the FSU Libraries’ Popular Literature collection. Some of these are newly added to the collection and many were purchased with funds from an FSU President’s Diversity and Inclusion mini-grant. Books are continually being added to the collection.

New PopLit for the New Year

Do you need a mental break from your studies? The Popular Literature Collection at FSU is specifically catered to bring what you want to read into your library. The Pop Lit Collection was started after a request from the Student Government. The Pop Lit committee carefully selects books from multiple genres that range across literary fiction, true crime, fantasy, biographies, and more. We just got our first order of 2019 in and are excited to add twelve titles to the shelves!

The Pop Lit Collection continues to grow. In 2018 we added over 200 new books to the Popular Literature Collection! We acquired stand-alone books, later installments of series, and some top reads of 2018. 

They are in different formats:

  • Graphic Novel
  • Hardcover
  • Paperback
  • Mass Market Paperback

Cover a range of genres:

  • Fantasy
  • Travel
  • Biography
  • Science Fiction
  • Mystery or Thriller
  • Horror
  • History
  • Politics
  • Literary Fiction
  • Graphic Novels
  • Romance
  • Graphic Novels
  • Romance
  • Adventure
  • Science
  • Self-Help
  • Business

If you are interested in reading some of our books, stop by the popular literature collection on the first floor of Strozier library right by the library side of Starbucks. 

Popular Literature Collection & the President’s Diversity & Inclusion Mini-Grant

Begun in 2017, President’s Diversity & Inclusion Mini-Grant program approved funding for projects that helped advance FSU’s diversity goals. The Libraries received one of these grants to purchase materials for the Popular Literature Collection and grow the collection’s titles to include more diverse perspectives and experiences. These 2017-2018 additions cover a range of ethnic, racial, social, religious, gender, sexual, and personal identities and representations in addition to some related to social movements and current events. Through the funding provided by the grant, we worked to add a large addition to the collection that helps it better reflect FSU’s student, staff, and faculty’s diversity. The popular literature collection is on the first floor of Strozier library, right before the interior Starbucks and lounge area.

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Book Titles & Authors

Lovecraft Country by Matt Ruff–Her Body and Other Parties by Carmen Maria  Machado–The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas–Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli–I Am Not Your Negro by James Baldwin & Raoul Peck–Wild Beauty by Anna-Marie McLemore–The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee–Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood by Trevor Noah–When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon–Meanwhile, Elsewhere: Science Fiction and Fantasy from Transgender Writers by various–Laughing All the Way to the Mosque: The Misadventures of a Muslim Woman            by Zarqa Nawaz–Bad Feminist  by Roxane Gay–The Star Side of Bird Hill by Naomi Jackson– House of Purple Cedar by Tim Tingle–Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan–We Are Okay by Nina LaCour–                  The Reason I Jump by Naoki Higashida–The Ministry of Utmost Happiness by Arundhati Roy–the Secret Loves of Geek Girls by Various–Locking Up Our Own: Crime and Punishment in Black America by James Forman–Exit West by Mohsin Hamid—Pachinko by Min Jin Lee–His Secret Son by Brenda Jackson
Savannah’s Secrets by Reese Ryan–To Tempt a Stallion by Deborah Fletcher Mello–Black by Kwanza Osajyefo & Jamal Igle–Managing Bubbie by Russel Lazega–How to Be an American Housewife by Margaret Dilloway–Geek in Korea: Discovering Asian’s New Kingdom of Cool by Daniel Tudor–The Girl Who Wrote in Silk by Kelli Estes–We Were the Lucky Ones by Georgia Hunter–Mustard Seed by Laila Ibrahim–The Fifth Season by N. K. Jemisin–The Obelisk Gate by N. K. Jemisin–The Stone Sky by N. K. Jemisin–The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl by Issa Rae–I’m Judging You: The Do-Better Manual by Luvvie Ajayi–The Woman’s Hour: The Great Fight to Win the Vote by Elaine Weiss–
The Rock, the Road, and the Rabbi: My Journey into the Heart of Scriptural Faith and the Land Where It All Began by Kathie Lee Gifford & Jason Sobel–The Prada Plan by Ashley Antoinette–Black AF: America’s Sweetheart by Kwanza Osajyefo,‎ Jennifer Johnson &‎ Sho Murase–An Unkindness of Ghosts by Rivers Solomon–Black Panther: A Nation Under Our Feet by Ta-Nehisi Coates,‎ Chris Sprouse, Don McGregor, Rich Buckler, & Brian Stelfreeze–Black Panther: World of Wakanda by Roxane Gay, Yona Harvey, Ta-Nehisi Coates,‎Rembert Browne, Afua Richardson, Alitha martinez, Joe Bennett–Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng—Call Me by Your Name by Andre Aciman–The Upside of Unrequited            by Becky Albertalli–Bingo Loveby Tee Franklin,‎ Jenn St. Onge,‎ Joy San,‎ Genevieve FT–A Princess in Theory by Alyssa Cole—I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter by Erika L. Sánchez–Lagoon by Nnedi Okorafor–The Best of All Possible Worlds by Karen Lord–The Ballad of Black Tom by Victor LaValle–Final Girls by Riley Sager– Best Laid Plans by Brenda Jackson–Dreadnought by April Daniels–Ways of Grace: Stories of Activism, Adversity, and How Sports Can Bring Us Together by James Blake & Carol Taylor–The Blackbirds by Eric Jerome Dickey—Sovereign by April Daniels–Korea: The Impossible Country by Daniel Tudor–Tyler Johnson Was Here by Jay Coles–The Little Black Book of Success: Laws of Leadership for Black Women  by Elaine Meryl Brown,‎ Marsha Haygood & Rhonda Joy McLean– The Harlem Hellfighters by Max Brooks–The Speed of Dark by Elizabeth Moon–Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows by Balli Kaur Jaswal–Tash Hearts Tolstoy by Kathryn Ormsbee–Dear Martin by Nic Stone
A Girl Like Thatby Tanaz Bhathena–The Milk Lady of Bangalore by Shoba Narayan–Binti by Nnedi Okorafor

Written By: Nicole Gaudier-Alemany