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Greenlight Staff Picks are 15% off!
All of the booksellers on the Greenlight Bookstore staff read widely, and each periodically recommends 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.
A perennial favorite and one of the sources of our name, Fitzgerald's masterpiece is always a staff pick at Greenlight Bookstore.
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.
A great essay for anybody who's even slightly interested in RJ or the Delta Blues (or just the blues, or just music, even, or even just history or people--it's an arresting story). Guralnick does his skillful part to unmuddy that mysterious place where the RJ mythos crosses paths with the scant historical record.
It is upsetting to read about the happy childhoods and hopeful futures of the Romanov sisters when you already know their fates: murdered in a basement. Helen Rappaport answers the question of why it happened by delving into Russian history because the failure of the Romanov dynasty runs deep. The sisters themselves were celebrities, but even their star status was enough to save them.
Caleb Carr's most famous and successful novel, The Alienist, is a story of 19th Century New York City and it's struggle with squalor, violence, madness, vulnerability, and, appropriately, alienation though 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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
1906 to 1908 were a busy couple of years for Hilda Doolittle. In this space of time, she enrolled in Bryn Mawr, dropped out of Bryn Mawr, got engaged to Ezra Pound, called off her engagement, and realized she was a little bit queer. Then she wrote a book about it. Recommended for: fans of symbolist poetry, anyone currently going through a quarter-life crisis, everyone who thinks Ezra Pound is a douche.