PopCo

Who wouldn’t want to read a book that combines pirates, cryptography and anti-capitalism? Fight Club meets Pattern Recognition in Scarlett Thomas’s PopCo. Alice Butler is a crossword puzzle designer recruited by a giant toy corporation to help design and sell products for kids. As she grows disillusioned with PopCo’s amoral greed, Alice receives a series of coded messages. But is the sender a friend or one of the treasure hunters pursuing the piratical fortune Alice’s codebreaker grandfather discovered? Smart and fast-paced, this action-packed read is pure fun with a socially conscious theme. Thomas’s eccentric but witty heroine—half Thursday Next, half Cayce Pollard—proves (as if there’s any doubt) that smart chicks rock.