Staff Picks

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The booksellers on the Greenlight Bookstore staff read widely, and periodically recommend books they've especially enjoyed.  You can peruse and purchase current staff picks from the list below, or from our in-store Staff Picks display any time. Discounts are factored into the prices in this list.

This page last updated April 25, 2017.


 

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Clean Room, Volume 1: Immaculate Conception Cover Image
$12.74
ISBN: 9781401262754
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Vertigo - June 21st, 2016

Picked by Nicholas in Fort Greene


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Distant Star Cover Image
$13.56
ISBN: 9780811215862
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: New Directions Publishing Corporation - December 17th, 2004

A tale of poetry, semiotics, and serial murder, Bolano's Distant Star examines the vapid and violent nature of right wing art while holding to the nauseating, fever dream vision of good noir. Starting right at the onset of Pinochet's coup in Chile, novel follows an unnamed narrator who contends with his new pariah status and seeks to unravel the mystery of Carlos Wieder and his sinister New Chilean Poetry. Political, lamenting, and certainly creepy, this is the perfect little novel to kick off your 2017 reading list.

Picked by Kelly in Prospect Lefferts Gardens


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The Wise Men: Six Friends and the World They Made Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9781476728827
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Simon & Schuster - June 4th, 2013

As we anxiously watch the world being remade in Washington, it may be prudent to reflect on a previous turn of the circle. The Wise Men: Six Friends and the World They Made is the story of the six men who, in the wake of World War II, were primarily responsible for the post-war order, the Cold War, and in many respects the Pax Americana that may be coming apart. Thoroughly researched and expertly written by Isaacson and Thomas, this is an ambitious and extraordinary six-in-one biography and exploration of the ethos of a bygone type of American statesman.

Picked by Nick T. in Fort Greene


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Mooncop Cover Image
$16.96
ISBN: 9781770462540
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Drawn & Quarterly - September 20th, 2016

A Space Odyssey for the romantically inclined.

Picked by Geo in Prospect Lefferts Gardens


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The Last Report on the Miracles at Little No Horse Cover Image
$13.59
ISBN: 9780061577628
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Harper Perennial - May 2009

This book may have one of the most beautifully rendered scenes: a woman playing Chopin on the piano while being carried away in a flood. But then again, it is a book of miracles.

Picked by Jess in Fort Greene


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The Street Cover Image
$12.71
ISBN: 9780395901496
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Mariner Books - March 15th, 1998

This is one of my favorite books and I recommend it to anyone I come across or anyone who asks for a recommendation for a great book. Ann Petry writes straightforward and honestly in this novel. In a nutshell, it is about a young black woman who is abandoned by the father of her child and left to rear a young black boy in the streets of Harlem in the 1940s. It also incorporates ideas of the supernatural and hoodoo, which perfectly ties into her almost completely independent struggle to handle such a challenging task. Explore the pages of this classic and enjoy all its wonder!

Picked by Rice in Prospect Lefferts Gardens


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The Velveteen Rabbit or How Toys Become Real Cover Image
$19.99
ISBN: 9780385375665
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Doubleday Books for Young Readers - January 28th, 2014

A bracing little tale about love, reality-hunger, and the passing of time that circles around the fate of a toy rabbit. Told in the mode of H.C. Andersen or The Brothers Grimm, a true classic in its own right.

Picked by Maya in Fort Greene


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Veggie Burgers Every Which Way: Fresh, Flavorful & Healthy Vegan & Vegetarian Burgers: Plus Toppings, Sides, Buns & More Cover Image
$14.41
ISBN: 9781615190195
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Experiment - July 2nd, 2010

In the last year or so, the lowly veggie burger somehow got chic (Superiority Burger, Impossible Burger).  I haven’t actually tried these esteemed options, but in preparation I’ve revisited my copy of Lukas Volger’s Veggie Burgers Every Which Way and was reminded what a stalwart option this unassuming book is.  My favorites: Tuscan White Bean Burger, Falafel Burger, Red Lentil & Celery Root Burger.

Picked by Alexis in Prospect Lefferts Gardens


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Good Morning, Midnight Cover Image
$12.71
ISBN: 9780393303940
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - December 17th, 1999

Good Morning, Midnight is the story of Sasha, a woman in crisis; aging, lonely, she struggles to shoulder the weight of her depression. As she reels around Paris, floundering under the waves of memories that knock her around the city, she searches for anything -- alcohol, clothes, men -- to dull her tremendous pain. It's a bleak but unforgettable book.

Picked by Jen in Fort Greene


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Displacement Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9781606998106
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Fantagraphics Books - February 8th, 2015

Not only is Displacement a pretty funny graphic travelogue, but its prime strength lies in Knisley's touching personal navigation into the world of familial care-giving.

Picked by Geo in Prospect Lefferts Gardens


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Erasure Cover Image
$13.60
ISBN: 9781555975999
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Graywolf Press - October 25th, 2011

In a literary canon that spans over twenty five titles, to me this is Everett's Magna Opus. This book takes a satirical look at the left turn an author takes when his latest book doesn't move the needle in the publishing world and turns to Urban Fiction, piggybacking off the success of an Oberlin educated writer's newest release We's Lives in da Ghetto.

Picked by Dante in Fort Greene


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Alanna: The First Adventure Cover Image
$9.34
ISBN: 9781442426412
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Atheneum Books - December 7th, 2010

Eleven year old Grace wanted to be one of two people: Lyra from His Dark Materials or Alanna, the girl knight, from the Song of the Lioness.  I guess becoming a bookseller was the next best thing.

Picked by Grace in Prospect Lefferts Gardens


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Elect Mr. Robinson for a Better World Cover Image
$12.75
ISBN: 9780312662103
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Picador USA - June 5th, 2012

Taxpayers have defunded the public school system; neighbors are erecting punji pits and defense walls around their homes in a sort of cold war against their suburban neighbors; a cult (centered around fish) has stepped in to lend comfort and purpose to a depressed and scared community. Not only strange and prescient but also lyrical, I love this novel so much that I taught myself to recite its opening paragraph from memory.

Picked by Andrew in Fort Greene


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Beverly Cover Image
$18.66
ISBN: 9781770462250
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Drawn & Quarterly - January 26th, 2016

Soothing pastels and stripped-down layouts give way to the sort of quiet anxiety and all-too-real hopelessness that calls to mind Chris Ware. Some shocks come suddenly: a deranged daydream, an ominous stranger. More affecting, though, is the way the six stories slowly bleed together, with subtle tensions becoming major themes and small characters muttering the disappointing, revealing sound bites that form the texture of a place. Drnaso’s Middle America is hollow, but he’s an incredible artist.

Picked by Julian in Prospect Lefferts Gardens


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What Does It Mean to Be an Entrepreneur? Cover Image
$15.26
ISBN: 9781939775122
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: March 4th Inc - January 26th, 2016

This inspiring book asks its reader what it means to be an entrepreneur. It starts off with 'Does it mean making lots of money? No, the book tells us - it does not. But it slowly transitions from the negatives to the positives, which as a small business owner, I can attest are true: being an entrepreneur means asking what if, solving problems, thinking outside of the box, following your dream, saying Yes I Can and moving forward through your fears. The list goes on, and the book itself is a delight.

Picked by Rebecca in Fort Greene


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Spider-Woman, Volume 2: New Duds Cover Image
By Dennis Hopeless, Dennis Hopeless (Text by (Art/Photo Books)), Javier Rodriguez (Illustrator)
$15.29
ISBN: 9780785154594
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Marvel Comics - February 9th, 2016

Even though this is the second volume of 2014's Spider-Woman series, this is actually the best place to start on the adventures of Jessica Drew. The character has been around for some time, but New Duds marks a new beginning for the superhero, from a new costume to a new day-job (Avenger-turned-private-investigator), understanding and coming to terms with her own reinvention just as her readers are doing the same.

Picked by Geo in Prospect Lefferts Gardens


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The Fact of a Doorframe: Selected Poems, 1950-2001 Cover Image
$16.11
ISBN: 9780393323955
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - November 17th, 2002

Here is Adrienne Rich. I've carried this book around in my bag until the pages are torn and the cover is rubbed away. I've given this book away with small scraps of paper tucked in as bookmarks with favorite lines written out on them. Here is one: The Fact of the Doorframe "means there is something to hold onto with both hands."

Picked by Jess in Fort Greene


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The Hearing Trumpet Cover Image
By Leonora Carrington, Helen Byatt (Introduction by)
$13.56
ISBN: 9781878972194
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Exact Change - February 2nd, 2004

This book has everything: a cast of sassy octogenarians, esoteric murder plots, occult machinations, the Holy Grail, witchy rituals of the divine feminine, AND the polar apocalypse. Known primarily as a surrealist painter, Leonora Carrington also possessed a prose style that reads like (early) Agatha Christie taking liberal doses from Lewis Carroll's 'drink me' bottle. This book is pure delight with a good dram of piss and vinegar, and it will charm your pants right off.

Picked by Jarrod in Fort Greene


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How Do You Wokka-Wokka? Cover Image
By Elizabeth Bluemle, Randy Cecil (Illustrator)
$5.94
ISBN: 9780763660857
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Candlewick Press (MA) - September 25th, 2012

Silly words and rocked-out rhythms that make it a giggly pleasure to read out loud.  A many-colored cast of urban kid characters, each with their own style to walk, wiggle, or play their way along the street. And a finale that looks like a Brooklyn-style block party.   I love this book in my own wokka way; you'll love it in yours.

Picked by Jessica in Prospect Lefferts Gardens


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Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit Cover Image
$12.75
ISBN: 9780802135162
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Grove Press - August 20th, 1997

1985 brought us Jeanette Winterson's semi-autobiographic debut novel, in which the protagonist (named Jeanette) is adopted into a strict religious household in northern England. With sharp humor and integrity, Winterson tells the story of a young girl confronting orthodoxy with unorthodoxy and coming into her own against a backdrop that aims to get her to do anything but. Do note Winterson was only 25 when the book was published (!!!). Also, I promise you'll want to read this more than once and share it with your friends.

Picked by Melissa in Prospect Lefferts Gardens


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Nixonland: The Rise of a President and the Fracturing of America Cover Image
$17.84
ISBN: 9780743243032
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Scribner Book Company - April 14th, 2009

Picked by Matt in Fort Greene

 


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The Sisters Brothers Cover Image
$12.74
ISBN: 9780062041289
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Ecco Press - February 14th, 2012

Patrick DeWit’s second novel is a bloody and hilarious rogue’s journey.  The brothers, Charlie and Eli, orphaned roving hitmen of the frontier, are assigned to kill a prospector who has fallen on the wrong side of their boss, the Commodore. 

Picked by Alexis in Prospect Lefferts Gardens


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Preparation for the Next Life Cover Image
$14.41
ISBN: 9780991360826
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Tyrant Books - November 3rd, 2015

Here is a novel of discarded people--discarded by family, by war, by environment. Of course it's a tragedy, and yet it's also, as Dwight Garner of the New York Times wrote, "the finest and most unsentimental love story of the new decade." That this is Atticus Lish's debut--even considering his notable parentage—is all the more astounding.

Picked by Andrew in Fort Greene


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Exercises in Style Cover Image
By Raymond Queneau, Barbara Wright (Translator)
$16.95
ISBN: 9780811220354
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: New Directions Publishing Corporation - January 31st, 2013

Picked by Hannah in Prospect Lefferts Gardens

 


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The Wee Free Men: The Beginning Cover Image
$8.49
ISBN: 9780062012173
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: HarperTorch - August 24th, 2010

Terry Pratchett was, in my opinion, one of the best fantasy writers and this book shows his writing at the top of his game. Tiffany Aching may only be a nine-year-old girl, but she's got the wit and boldness any fully grown adult can admire. Accompanied by a rowdy group of pixies who are known for fighting their way out of every reputable (and irrefutable) establishment and their crippling fear of lawyers, Tiffany voyages into faerie land to rescue her kidnapped brother armed with nothing but a frying pan. You'll laugh, you'll laugh some more and then you'll say, "Wow what a great book!"

Picked by Anna in Fort Greene


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Jude the Obscure Cover Image
By Thomas Hardy, Dennis Taylor (Introduction by), Dennis Taylor (Notes by)
$8.50
ISBN: 9780140435382
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Penguin Books - September 1998

Thomas Hardy’s final novel, Jude the Obscure, gained infamy for its depiction of Jude Fawley and Sue Bridehead’s out of wedlock romance. Today, their relationship pitfalls might seem quaint, but Hardy’s unflinching look at the working class remains pertinent, especially in the wake of this 2016 election. 

Picked by Grace in Prospect Lefferts Gardens


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My Life in France Cover Image
$13.60
ISBN: 9780307277695
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Anchor Books - October 9th, 2007

Julia Child's personality is so big it can come across in any medium, whether it's cooking, television, or in this case a wonderful autobiography of her journey as a writer and chef, with a whole lot of travel writing mixed in. If you didn't already love Julia, you will after reading this book and like all the best food writing you'll feel fuller after reading (as well as a strong desire to go out and buy endless pots and pans).

Picked by Anna in Fort Greene


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The Book of Barely Imagined Beings: A 21st Century Bestiary Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780226213200
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: University of Chicago Press - November 10th, 2014

What's the real cost of shrinking biodiversity? For Henderson, it's the annihilation of mystery and wonder. We know so little about even some of the most studied species on our planet that they might as well be mythical. Starting with a real creature, each chapter spirals into a blend of natural history and philosophy, delving into subjects like the evolution of vision and the nature of memory and illusions. Endlessly rich and compassionate, with hundreds of margin-notes and allusions to literature.

Picked by Julian in Prospect Lefferts Gardens


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Butcher's Crossing Cover Image
By John Williams, Michelle Latiolais (Introduction by)
$12.71
ISBN: 9781590171981
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: New York Review of Books - January 16th, 2007

Picked by Shauna in Fort Greene

 


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The Brownstone Cover Image
$15.26
ISBN: 9781616894283
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Princeton Architectural Press - January 5th, 2016

Picked by Rebecca in Prospect Lefferts Gardens


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Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong Cover Image
$15.29
ISBN: 9780743296281
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Touchstone Books - October 16th, 2007

Picked by Dante in Fort Greene

 


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The Alienist Cover Image
$14.45
ISBN: 9780812976144
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Random House Trade - October 24th, 2006

Caleb Carr's most famous and successful novel, The Alienist, is a story of 19th Century New York City and its struggle with squalor, violence, madness, vulnerability, and, appropriately, alienation, through a manhunt for a vicious serial killer. A team of police, a journalist, and the titular alienist (an old-timey word for psychologist) develop and use the concept of psychological profiling in the days when fingerprints were still just barely understood. The Alienist is an unforgettable tour of New York at the fin de siecle, from the glittering dining room of Delmonico's to the slimy, dripping underbelly of the old Croton Reservoir.

Picked by Nick T. in Fort Greene


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Einstein's Dreams Cover Image
$12.71
ISBN: 9781400077809
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Vintage - November 9th, 2004

Picked by Hannah in Prospect Lefferts Gardens


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The Bloody Chamber: And Other Stories: 75th-Anniversary Edition (Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition) Cover Image
By Angela Carter, Kelly Link (Introduction by)
$16.00
ISBN: 9780143107613
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Penguin Books - May 26th, 2015

There aren't enough adjectives to describe Angela Carter's modern-gothic renderings of fairy tales and fables. They're chilling, elegant, visceral, poetic, and, yes, bloody. They ripple with sensuality and violence. Carter was a force to be reckoned with, and that is especially clear in this story collection. Also, most of these stories include some pretty badass women, if that sweetens the deal.

Picked by Jen in Fort Greene


Alice in Puzzle-Land: A Carrollian Tale for Children Under Eighty Cover Image
By Raymond M. Smullyan, Martin Gardner (Introduction by), Greer Fitting (Illustrator)
$11.01
ISBN: 9780486482002
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Dover Publications - December 8th, 2011

Having put himself through school by being a professional magician, and having been a magical person in his own right, Smullyan knew how to entertain. I grew up with Smullyan pulling coins out of my ear and riddling me questions like the ones in this book. His logic puzzles and whimsy are sure to delight the curious and are sure to exercise every brain.

Picked by Rebecca in Prospect Lefferts Gardens


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The Passionate Mistakes and Intricate Corruption of One Girl in America Cover Image
By Michelle Tea, Brandon Stosuy (Foreword by), Eileen Myles (Afterword by)
$12.71
ISBN: 9781584350521
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Semiotext(e) - August 17th, 2007

Picked by Jess in Fort Greene

 


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The Great Gatsby Cover Image
$13.60
ISBN: 9780743273565
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Scribner Book Company - October 2004

A perennial favorite and one of the sources of our name, Fitzgerald's masterpiece is always a staff pick at Greenlight Bookstore.