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 1, 2019.


 

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Men, Women, and Chain Saws: Gender in the Modern Horror Film - Updated Edition Cover Image
By Carol J. Clover, Carol J. Clover (Preface by)
$16.96
ISBN: 9780691166292
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Princeton University Press - May 26th, 2015

In case the title doesn't grab you... please, let me lend you a hand, welcoming you into the big ole black hole of gender in horror film studies! As a filmmaker, and a lover of horror, this book just makes me smile. There is a lot to unpack and let me tell you Men, Women, and Chain Saws dives in dissecting the slasher genre off the bat. Who doesn't love a hyper critical view on the male gaze within horror movies? There is just so much to talk about, read it, and let's dish.

Picked by Erika in Prospect Lefferts Gardens


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Bob's Blue Period Cover Image
By Marion Deuchars (Illustrator)
$13.59
ISBN: 9781786270702
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Laurence King Publishing - May 22nd, 2018

 It's okay to feel sad. You're not alone. It's nice to be reminded of that every now and again.

Picked by Erika in Prospect Lefferts Gardens


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The Funeral Cover Image
By Matt James (Illustrator)
$16.11
ISBN: 9781554989089
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Groundwood Books - April 3rd, 2018

 

Here's a beautifully illustrated book about death. A sweet read for all. 

Picked by Erika in Prospect Lefferts Gardens


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Here's Your Hat What's Your Hurry: Stories (Art of the Story) Cover Image
$14.44
ISBN: 9780062873729
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Ecco - February 5th, 2019

Here's Your Hat, What's Your Hurry may be Elizabeth McCracken's debut, but it is full to the brim with all of the heart, humor, and wonderful quirkiness that she's become known for since. The characters who grace the pages of these stories are some of the most unique I've ever encountered, each one of them displaying the absolute strangeness and beauty of being human in a new and exciting way.

Picked by Katie in Fort Greene


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Maggie the Mechanic: A Love and Rockets Book (Love & Rockets) Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9781560977841
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Fantagraphics Books - March 2007

The first volume of the highly influential, downright legendary Love and Rockets comic provides the foundation for a very entertaining expanded universe. A colorful cast of characters is rendered in crisp black and white. Some lead ordinary lives, others more fantastical, but they all seem to intersect in inventive, humorous, and moving ways.

Picked by Geo in Prospect Lefferts Gardens


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How I Became a Nun Cover Image
By Cesar Aira, Chris Andrews (Translator)
$11.86
ISBN: 9780811216319
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: New Directions Publishing Corporation - February 28th, 2007

What starts as a father-daughter trip to get strawberry ice cream becomes a hallucinatory, novella-length tale where reality is bent and everything goes awry. Aira's writing is inventive, one of a kind, entertaining, and - on many occasions in the book - outright funny. Despite the plot, this book has only strengthened my staunch support of strawberry ice cream. My love will not waver.

Picked by Justin in Fort Greene


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The Art of Cruelty: A Reckoning Cover Image
$14.41
ISBN: 9780393343144
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - August 13th, 2012

Who wouldn't love a guided tour of the Avant-garde Postmodern art movement, lead unflinchingly by Maggie Nelson? Not her usual autobiographical matter, she points her writing at a broader scope of the art world's use of brutality, real or simulated. If you're an art nerd with a leaning towards the weird and uncomfortable, she presents you with a very deep well of it, while providing thoughtful context so you don't drown randomly.

Picked by Emily in Fort Greene


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Proxies: Essays Near Knowing Cover Image
$13.56
ISBN: 9781937658458
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Nightboat Books - January 4th, 2016

 

Blanchfield writes single-subject essays from memory (no internet usage here!), remembering and misremembering, on things like tumbleweeds, peripersonal space, containment, and house-sitting. He’s playing with Barthes’s concept of “idiorhythmy,” or the individual and the community, and reminds us to consider our selves — exterior and interior — as mirrored in perceptual patterns around us. If that’s not enough to convince you, read the blurbs by Maggie Nelson and Claudia Rankine. These essays are blunt, brief, driving, and devastating. 

Picked by D in Fort Greene


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Finite and Infinite Games Cover Image
$12.75
ISBN: 9781476731711
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Free Press - January 5th, 2013

 

In a place and time that too often feels obsessed with winners and losers, heroes and villains, tragic outcomes and happy endings, here is an idea for a different kind of play. More metaphysical meditation than philosophical treatise (I’m not much of a philosophy buff and would recommend this to other non-philosophers), Finite and Infinite Games is, really, just another perspective, another way of framing. What I like about this frame is its openness, its lean toward improvisation, and its sense for listening (communication is required for play!). Change the rules. The rules are changing. Change to keep up the game. Play on! Play on! Play on!

Picked by Niko in Prospect Lefferts Gardens


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Well Cover Image
$11.01
ISBN: 9781559362535
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Theatre Communications Group - May 2006

When I first picked up this play, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I thought perhaps it would be just as convoluted as every other metatheatrical piece I’ve ever experienced—but instead what I found was a wonderfully self-aware, hilarious, and poignant story that I couldn’t put down. With a fragile mother-daughter relationship driving the show, there are bound to be mishaps, and the result is an entirely exposed discussion of family, empathy, and what it truly means to be well.

Picked by Rose in Fort Greene


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Question Bridge: Black Males in America Cover Image
By Deborah Willis (Editor), Natasha Logan (Editor), Andrew Young (Introduction by)
$25.46
ISBN: 9781597113359
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Aperture - October 27th, 2015

This is a photo essay collection that asks carefully curated questions, from the knee slapping hilarious to family fight inducing, of black men around the country in a post civil rights era. This book challenges stereotypes and illicit empathy of being a black man in this country.

Picked by Dante in Fort Greene


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The Vast Fields of Ordinary Cover Image
$7.64
ISBN: 9780142418208
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Speak - March 17th, 2011

Fans of Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda, I proffer you this gem of a book, dusted off from when I first read it years ago during a transitional summer of my own. One of the rare coming-of-age stories that takes place not in high school (we meet our narrator at the start of summer following his graduation), and draws from "rom-coms" and "coming out" stories without getting stuck in their sappier conventions, TVFOO is expertly woven with Nick Burd's vivid prose and brings us a main character both complicated and instantly recognizable. This one's for those who need a reminder that the world is ultimately vast, and that we never run out of room to be who we are. 

Picked by Austin in Prospect Lefferts Gardens


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Backlash: The Undeclared War Against American Women Cover Image
$13.59
ISBN: 9780307345424
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Broadway Books - August 15th, 2006

Though the 1970s saw great gains for American women, Backlash focuses instead on the 1980s, a decade revealed through Faludi's reporting as fraught with subtle anti-feminist agitprop and an escalating culture war that enlisted consumerism, mass media, and politics to warp the message of feminism and roll back the gains earned by 1970s activism. The work suggests that those unwilling to learn from feminist history will stumble blindly through its darkest chapters. No less relevant in our own time, Backlash persists as one of the most essential pieces of journalism for understanding the importance of the women's movement in America.

Picked by Austin in Prospect Lefferts Gardens


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Revolutionary Road (Vintage Contemporaries) Cover Image
$14.41
ISBN: 9780375708442
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Vintage - April 25th, 2000

 

Richard Yates' 1961 classic is so much more than the on-screen reunion of Leo and Kate. April and Frank Wheeler are suburban perfection, a middle-class family who seems to have it all but fumble for more. Yates writes with heartbreaking clarity about identity, familial roles and dreams just out of reach. The truth revealed and the suspense created linger long after the last page.

Picked by Wynne in Prospect Lefferts Gardens


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Ronia, the Robber's Daughter Cover Image
By Astrid Lindgren, Patricia Crampton (Translated by)
$5.94
ISBN: 9780140317206
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Puffin Books - February 5th, 1985

Ronia is clever and fast on her feet. She climbs sheer rock cliffs to practice not being afraid. She knows her heart and how to stand by it. As much a tale of childhood adventures, it’s a story about families—those we’re born to, those we choose, and making our place among them. I admit nostalgia: Mom read us Ronia’s story when we were small. A few decades later it is still a delight. Recommended for young folks 9-13 years old. Great for folks of any age. Especially good shared and read aloud. Watch out for harpies, yell for spring!

Picked by Niko in Prospect Lefferts Gardens


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Bandette Volume 1: Presto! Cover Image
$12.74
ISBN: 9781616552794
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Dark Horse Books - November 5th, 2013

Bandette possesses all the charm and skill that makes her the self-proclaimed world's greatest thief. Imagine if Audrey Hepburn was ever cast as Catwoman, or if Amelie knew karate. Sure, she steals things, but in a Robin Hood kind of way. Except she keeps some things for herself and her loyal gang of urchins when she deems it appropriate. Paul Tobin's playful characters are rendered in Colleen Coover's beautiful watercolor style, homaging the French and Belgian comics of the past.

Picked by Geo in Prospect Lefferts Gardens


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Gentlemen of the Road: A Tale of Adventure [title page only] Cover Image
$12.75
ISBN: 9780345502070
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Del Rey - September 30th, 2008

Michael Chabon says he originally wanted to call this adventure story Jews With Swords—set in medieval Europe, it draws from little-known Jewish history and legends, as well as the grand tradition of swashbuckling tales from Dumas to comic books.  It's an irresistibly charming miniature epic, with larger-than-life characters, hilarious tight scrapes and desperate pitched battles galore, and just enough of a love story to leave one filled with longing.  It's Chabon at his best, an explosion of brilliant sentences and pure joy in storytelling, that also manages to engage with the long history of both antisemitism and Jewish creativity.

Picked by Jessica in Fort Greene


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Rat Queens Volume 1: Sass & Sorcery Cover Image
$8.49
ISBN: 9781607069454
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Image Comics - April 8th, 2014

This rowdy crew is made up of crude and crass monster-slayers-for-hire, who get as much thrill from decapitating an evil dragon as a one-night-stand after a night of heavy drinking. For the Rat Queens, that oftentimes happens all in a row (with variations on order). Whatever (mis)adventures the Rat Queens have, they’re always entertaining. In short, Rat Queens is Lumberjanes for adults. 

Picked by Geo in Prospect Lefferts Gardens


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News of the World: A Novel Cover Image
$13.59
ISBN: 9780062409218
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: William Morrow Paperbacks - June 20th, 2017

At a time when many of us are questioning the contrived boundaries of masculinity, it’s a joy to get to know Jiles’s protagonist Captain Kidd, who is as hard-bitten as the classic heroes of the Western genre without sacrificing an ounce of compassion. I was touched by his frank affection for fierce little ten-year-old Johanna, who was taken from her white family years ago and raised by the Kiowa. Unprepared and unwilling to rejoin the world of forks and corsets, she proves to be a resourceful little hellion, and a wicked shot to boot. Kidd and Johanna make a delightful team, and I left feeling refreshed.

Picked by Sarah in Fort Greene


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The Great Gatsby Cover Image
$14.45
ISBN: 9780743273565
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Scribner - September 30th, 2004

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