Holiday Handsells

Need some gifting inspiration? The Greenlight Bookstore staff are chatting about the books they're looking forward to sharing with customers. Any of these books would make great gifts this holiday season!  Order here for shipping or pickup in store, or stop by and talk to us for more personalized recommendations.


Deacon King Kong: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780735216723
Availability: On Our Shelves Now (while supplies last)
Published: Riverhead Books - March 3rd, 2020

“One of the books I’m most excited to sell for the holidays is Deacon King Kong by James McBride.  It’s just such a pleasurable novel; it has all the good stuff you want in a reading experience.  It’s a big, larger than life, Dickensian story, that’s set in Brooklyn in the 1960s... There’s a central moment of drama, there’s kind of a mystery that unfolds, there’s romance, there’s all these great, really funny set pieces.  It’s just such a delight — I feel like it’s something you could give to a reader of any age and they’re going to have a great time with it.”

- Jessica, co-owner / events & marketing director

Homie: Poems Cover Image
ISBN: 9781644450109
Availability: On Our Shelves Now (while supplies last)
Published: Graywolf Press - January 21st, 2020

"Homie is Danez Smith’s most recent poetry collection. It’s absolutely incredible. It explores friendship, race, identity, gender, in a very cognizant, resonant way. It’s an amazing, amazing book. It’s funny, it’s political, it’s beautiful. Danez Smith uses form in such interesting ways, from super sparse work through amazing, lustrous prose poems that are so sonically rich and interesting, and imagistically profound and strange, but also so based in accessibility…. You do not have to be a poetry reader to appreciate this book; you truly can read this from any sort of position as a reader. It would make an amazing gift as a first collection of poetry.”

- Phoebe, bookseller in Fort Greene

Young, Gifted and Black: A New Generation of Artists: The Lumpkin-Boccuzzi Family Collection of Contemporary Art Cover Image
By Antwaun Sargent (Editor), Antwaun Sargent (Text by (Art/Photo Books)), Thomas Lax (Text by (Art/Photo Books))
ISBN: 9781942884590
Availability: On Our Shelves Now (while supplies last)
Published: D.A.P./Lumpkin-Boccuzzi Family Collection - September 22nd, 2020

"I personally have been waiting for this book to come out, because I like the work that Antwaun Sargent is doing around art, and I think it's a great coffee table book.  I also think that it's not only a great coffee table book, but a great coffee table book that can teach you a lot about African American artists. I just found it to be interesting and I love it."

- Alisha, bookseller in Flatbush

White Tears/Brown Scars: How White Feminism Betrays Women of Color Cover Image
ISBN: 9781948226745
Availability: On Our Shelves Now (while supplies last)
Published: Catapult - October 6th, 2020

"White Tears/Brown Scars: How White Feminism Betrays Women of Color, by Ruby Hamad, is all about how white supremacy has a history of being upheld by white women, and their roles throughout the centuries and the different ways that has evolved. It talks about Hunger Games, it talks about things that are a little more modern, it also talks about white slave-owners. Read this if you are interested in being a better person and learning your history, and if you're trying to figure out how to do less harm in the world. This book has a lot of good historical context that is also applicable to current times."

- Ikwo, manager in Flatbush (soon to be manager in Fort Greene)

Luster: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780374194321
Availability: On Our Shelves Now (while supplies last)
Published: Farrar, Straus and Giroux - August 4th, 2020

"I suggest reading Luster if you want a book about New York, if you want a book that will keep you thoroughly engrossed. If you're also interested in reading about things that are not big plot points or wanting to know about small details of mundane life, Luster is a great pick. It's a really fast read -- there's like less than 10 chapters -- and it's really enjoyable. I don't want to give too much away because so much happens, but so much doesn't happen at the same time. So it's filled with a lot of imagery and just a lot of different things to make you think about, and it's a really great book. There's so much more I can say, but that means you have to read the book to find out! It keeps you always on your toes, and it's really, really a great read."

- Karl, bookseller in Fort Greene

Glass Town: The Imaginary World of the Brontës Cover Image
ISBN: 9781419732683
Availability: On Our Shelves Now (while supplies last)
Published: Harry N. Abrams - March 3rd, 2020

"I would recommend Glass Town by Isabel Greenberg. She does a lot of graphic novels that have an indie style to them. They're always just beautiful and her stories are always women-centered. This one is about the Bronte sisters, weaving a story about the sisters and the worlds that they create, which is pretty much Isabel Greenberg's wheelhouse. Strong, feminist topics and re-dressing women in storytelling. It feels very mythological, but also in a tone that's a lot lighter and a lot of fun to read.  And it's just a nice looking book."

- Emily, events department / Yours Truly, Brooklyn

Maybe the People Would Be the Times Cover Image
ISBN: 9781891241574
Availability: On Our Shelves Now (while supplies last)
Published: Verse Chorus Press - September 22nd, 2020

"This is Luc Sante's newest collection of essays. They're kind of semi-autobiographical digressions on a variety of subjects, mostly his time spent living in the Lower East Side and in the East Village, kind of in the 70s, 80s, and 90s. There's also a variety of subjects, filmmakers, painters, singers -- there's a great essay about Patti Smith in here; there's also a great essay about Georges Simenon, the French crime writer. It's all over the place, and each essay is playing with form, whether it's using pictures or reviewing old 45 records to figure out who the owner of those records were. I read it pretty quickly. It's an easy read; the prose is really nice, and Luc Sante's kind of a treasure that I don't know gets read that much."

- David, bookseller in Flatbush

Dessert Person: Recipes and Guidance for Baking with Confidence Cover Image
ISBN: 9781984826961
Availability: On Our Shelves Now (while supplies last)
Published: Clarkson Potter - October 20th, 2020

"I'm recommending for the holidays Dessert Person by Claire Saffitz. I think cookbooks just always make a great holiday gift. It's one of those things people rarely buy for themselves but love to receive as a gift. It's just so gorgeous; it'll make a beautiful coffee table book or displayed in your kitchen. And it's a great gift for the sweet tooth in your life! Desserts are a great thing to think about around the holidays. And bonus: we've got signed copies!"

- Chelsea, events & marketing assistant

All We Can Save: Truth, Courage, and Solutions for the Climate Crisis Cover Image
ISBN: 9780593237069
Availability: On Our Shelves Now (while supplies last)
Published: One World - September 22nd, 2020

All We Can Save, edited by Ayana Elizabeth Johnson and Katharine Wilkinson, is an anthology of writing on climate change and the climate crisis, both where things stand right now and policy and ideas for moving forward.  It’s just a really amazing collection, really well crafted — they do these amazing art prints between each section.  It’s a huge list of people writing into it, and it mixes both essays and poetry, which I found really powerful in talking about these huge problems that we have to confront in the next decade.  It’s a big mixture of both very practical — here’s what’s going on on the ground and what people are already doing — and things that we can be doing in the future, from policy to the creativity that we need to go forward with in terms of the cultural shifts and the storytelling that we do ourselves.  It just came out this fall; of all the many books you could read about climate change I think this is one of my favorites, and I’d definitely recommend it as a holiday gift.”

- Niko, bookseller in Flatbush

Chinatown Pretty: Fashion and Wisdom from Chinatown's Most Stylish Seniors Cover Image
ISBN: 9781452175805
Availability: On Our Shelves Now (while supplies last)
Published: Chronicle Books - September 22nd, 2020

"There are all these really adorable, just wholesome geriatric content. And it's also just style inspo. I've been really into looking through this, and I just feel like buying someone an art book -- I would never buy it for myself, but I'd be really elated if somebody got one for me. It's so wholesome!"

- Arti, bookseller in Fort Greene

The Silver Arrow Cover Image
ISBN: 9780316539531
Availability: On Our Shelves Now (while supplies last)
Published: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers - September 1st, 2020

“The book that I’m giving to every beginning reader and tween on my list is The Silver Arrow by Lev Grossman.  It’s great because parents are going to be into it if they love the Chronicles of Narnia, because it’s got talking animals and a magical train. But it’s actually at it’s core about environmentalism, and about the responsibility of the next generation to do a better job. So there’s a lot of growth that happens. The diction is very contemporary; the main character is an eleven year old girl, along with her younger brother, and they’re charming, and it’s a lot of fun. And Lev Grossman is our neighbor, and it never hurts to support a local author.”

- Jessica, co-owner / events & marketing director

Dolly Parton, Songteller: My Life in Lyrics Cover Image
ISBN: 9781797205090
Availability: On Our Shelves Now (while supplies last)
Published: Chronicle Books - November 17th, 2020

"My pick is Dolly Parton, Songteller. This is a collection of all of her lyrics, and photos, and stories, too. This is a perfect gift for anyone who's a fan of Dolly Parton, or of music in general."

- Shauna, manager of ecommerce

Sanctuary Cover Image
ISBN: 9781984815712
Availability: On Our Shelves Now (while supplies last)
Published: G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers - September 1st, 2020

“My handsell for the holiday season is Sanctuary by Paola Mendoza and Abby Sher.  I think this is a perfect book for a young reader, grade six to I’d say grade ten. It’s a dystopian novel taking place in 2032 about an undocumented young woman and her family as she navigates this eerily resonant and quite possible world… It makes very dense political subjects accessible to young people and gives them an access point, a point of relatability. It’s tender, it’s sweet, it’s heartbreaking, and it’s a wonderful read for your young reader.”

- Phoebe, bookseller in Fort Greene

Gideon the Ninth (The Locked Tomb Trilogy #1) Cover Image
ISBN: 9781250313188
Availability: On Our Shelves Now (while supplies last)
Published: Tordotcom - July 14th, 2020

"I'm recommending Gideon the Ninth followed by Harrow the Ninth. If you are looking for fun, exciting, fast-paced, adventure in space, look no further than this series (which will be a trilogy when completed). This tale of necromancers in space is also really funny, with darkly-comic humor. You should read this if you're looking for a refreshing sci-fi read that is different from the usual sci-fi reads."

- Ikwo, manager in Flatbush (soon to be manager in Fort Greene)

Harrow the Ninth (The Locked Tomb Trilogy #2) Cover Image
ISBN: 9781250313225
Availability: On Our Shelves Now (while supplies last)
Published: Tordotcom - August 4th, 2020

(See above!)

The Silence: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9781982164553
Availability: On Our Shelves Now (while supplies last)
Published: Scribner - October 20th, 2020

"My holiday pick is the new Don Delillo book, The Silence. It's really short, enjoyable, interesting, and kind of imagining the shutdown this year in a different way. Basically it imagines all technology is disrupted, and talks about some things I've been thinking about in terms of our collective experiences here: maybe appreciating certain aspects of being stuck at home, or not going to work, or taking breaks from our phone or the internet or whatever. It's a really quick read, in that it's all typed in out in a typewriter font, so it sort of mirrors what it's talking about in an interesting way. And it's a great book."

- Michael, bookseller in Fort Greene

The Neil Gaiman Reader: Selected Fiction Cover Image
By Neil Gaiman, Marlon James (Foreword by)
ISBN: 9780063031852
Availability: On Our Shelves Now (while supplies last)
Published: William Morrow - October 20th, 2020

"I'm  recommending for the holidays The Neil Gaiman Reader. It's got like 52 short stories, novelettes, novellas of his collected work, with an introduction by Marlon James. It's great for the speculative fiction reader in your life who hasn't been introduced to Neil Gaiman yet, who would definitely love him and find the wondrous joy in his stories. To me, Neil Gaiman is just one of the most joyful writers, because you can tell how much he loves writing in every story. And it's great for the person in your life who's already a Neil Gaiman fan, to see his stories in a different way and paired in different ways together. This is an impressive collectible that people might hesitate to treat themselves to, but would make a lovely and thoughtful gift."

- Chelsea, events & marketing assistant

Shrill Cover Image
ISBN: 9780316348461
Availability: On Our Shelves Now (while supplies last)
Published: Hachette Books - February 28th, 2017

- Rose, receiver in Flatbush

The Hole Cover Image
By Hiroko Oyamada, David Boyd (Translated by)
ISBN: 9780811228879
Availability: On Our Shelves Now (while supplies last)
Published: New Directions - October 6th, 2020

"This is Hiroko Oyamada's second novel to be translated in English. It kind of ties in with her first, which came out last year, The Factory, which I really liked. This one has a similar mood and tone, as well as a similar length. It's a very short, brief, but really unsettling novel about a woman who moves out to the countryside with her husband and starts noticing the appearance of holes everywhere, as well as this creature that she follows down to the river. And it just kind of goes off in a few directions from there. Not a lot happens, but it's all for the best. It's a really weird kind of metaphysically unsettling journey."

- David, bookseller in Flatbush

Intimations: Six Essays Cover Image
ISBN: 9780593297612
Availability: On Our Shelves Now (while supplies last)
Published: Penguin Books - July 28th, 2020

"So the first thing that I think is really beautiful about this book is that it's small and not a huge commitment. I've had a lot of moments during the pandemic where it's just been really hard to focus, so I found this really easy to jump into; it's six pretty short essays, so it's easy to get involved in it.  She uses really clear, elegant language, and it's beautifully written.  The other thing that's really great is that it's incredible perspective. I wasn't necessarily looking forward to all of the books that were going to come out about the pandemic, but when I was reading this I felt an immense sense of relief -- like, finally some perspective from a wise person who knows how to write. So it's definitely worth the read, and an enjoyable one, even though it is about our current situation."

- Sarah, bookseller in Fort Greene

The Tree That's Meant to Be Cover Image
ISBN: 9780593119679
Availability: On Our Shelves Now (while supplies last)
Published: Doubleday Books for Young Readers - September 24th, 2019

"The Tree That's Meant to Be is a lovely, touching story about a tree in the forest that is the last one to be picked by everybody that's looking for a Christmas tree. He's all alone and he's all afraid, and it's cold and it's winter. And then his friends in the forest help him build his confidence and help him find himself and make him feel a lot less alone. It's a beautiful story about friendship and love and finding your home."

- Ikwo, manager in Flatbush (soon to be manager in Fort Greene)