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 August 23, 2019.


 

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On Immunity: An Inoculation Cover Image
$13.60
ISBN: 9781555977207
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Graywolf Press - September 15th, 2015

There was a brief period last year where my sister toyed with the idea of not vaccinating my niece (ultimately, she did). New mothers grapple with the same fear, it seems: one of contamination—of failing in salubrity and, therefore, motherhood. New mother Eula Biss shared these fears and chose to investigate: In turns tender and tough, Biss dispels the myths of the anti-vaxx movement and reveals how they erode not just our trust in medicine, but our trust in each other. Fear is infectious, but so is knowledge. Take a deep breath. This’ll only hurt for a second.

Picked by Austin in Prospect Lefferts Gardens


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Weaveworld Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780743417358
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Gallery Books - April 2001

There are stories, and there are stories. There are songs, and there are songs. There are rugs, and there are rugs. Some things, without our full understanding, embody a certain and ineffable brand of magic. Weaveworld is one of these things—the story concerns the fate of a hidden world of magic and rapture that, to save itself from certain destruction, has woven itself into an oriental rug. With this wide and sprawling epic, Barker delivers boundless wonder and unspeakable horror with a voice unlike any other out there today. 

Picked by Austin in Prospect Lefferts Garden


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Pippi Longstocking: The Strongest in the World! Cover Image
$16.96
ISBN: 9781770462151
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Drawn and Quarterly - October 20th, 2015

Arguably the only thing better than Lindgren’s original novel is this wacky comic strip of her beloved character, Pippi Longstocking. There’s something about the kooky artwork, the bold primary colors, and dialogue that sometimes verges on non sequitur that will prime readers previously unfamiliar with the Strongest Girl in the World. (And that recent Chance the Rapper shout out doesn’t hurt, either.)

Picked by Geo in Prospect Lefferts Gardens


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Hot Milk Cover Image
$13.60
ISBN: 9781620406700
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Bloomsbury USA - May 9th, 2017

Easily one of my top five favorite novels that I've read in the last several years. Deborah Levy is the kind of writer whose words carry you forward just because you don't want to stop reading her beautiful sentences. She's a master of portraying immense amounts of emotion in just a few words and creating characters who feel unique, surprising, and alive. This book is a beautiful and clever examination of what it means to be a woman and a daughter finding one's way in the world.

Picked by Katie in Fort Greene


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Color: A Natural History of the Palette Cover Image
$15.30
ISBN: 9780812971422
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Random House Trade Paperbacks - December 30th, 2003

This book is a bit of craft writing, secret history, and geology behind every classic pigment of the painters' palette. It's fascinating content that lasts in the mind, written with a light touch perfect for a summer full of museum visits. I read this one in art school, despite all the other reading I had to do, and it still informs how I look at a painting.

Picked by Emily in Fort Greene


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In the Next Room: Or the Vibrator Play Cover Image
$11.86
ISBN: 9781559363600
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Theatre Communications Group - November 16th, 2010

 

In the Next Room has been one of my favorites for many, many years running; A poetic examination of intimacy, female friendship, and sexuality that somehow makes you laugh hysterically one moment and weep openly the next, this play will have you in pieces by the time you reach the climax.

Picked by Rose in Fort Greene


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Garments Against Women Cover Image
$15.30
ISBN: 9781934103593
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Ahsahta Press - March 15th, 2015

Anne Boyer might be the Baudelaire of the twenty-first century. Describing feeling and its absence in a world of shock, Boyer gives form to a kind of life that has only emerged recently, a life amid precarity, numbness and infoxication. In advance of her new book The Undying, out in September, I wanted to bring back this excellent 2015 book of prose poems, or essays, or memoir fragments, or philosophical theses on writing, sewing and other impossible acts.

Picked by Michael in Fort Greene


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People in the Room Cover Image
By Norah Lange, Charlotte Whittle (Translator)
$13.56
ISBN: 9781911508229
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: And Other Stories - July 31st, 2018

 

Originally published in 1950 and only recently translated, this Argentine novel explores the life of a 17-year-old girl who spends her days ignoring her family in favor of watching the people living in the house across the street. This lost gem of Latin American literature is as mesmerizing as is it haunting and dark - building an oppressive atmosphere of domestic life. A quick read that demands every page to be examined. Perfect for fans of Clarice Lispector and Virginia Woolf. 

Picked by Oswald in Fort Greene


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Future Home of the Living God: A Novel Cover Image
$14.44
ISBN: 9780062694065
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Harper Perennial - November 13th, 2018

Everyone wants to be the heroine of their own life, but it’s hard when everything personal turns upside down. This book takes a mysterious place among the likes of Octavia Butler's Parable of the Sower and Naomi Shihab Nye's poetry. Almost immediately you're swept up by the fears of a poor, young, and pregnant woman making her way in the climate-change havoc world. This novel is rooted in how indigenous identity frames every experience you have - raising more questions than answers in Erdrich's distinctive prose-style. 

Picked by Jackie in Fort Greene


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The Alley of Fireflies and Other Stories Cover Image
By Raymond Roussel, Mark Ford (Translator)
$15.26
ISBN: 9780998829098
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Song Cave - February 2019

Raymond Roussel was an aristocratic dandy convinced of his own literary genius who looked like Hercule Poirot and wrote like Jules Verne on LSD. The dude also authored some deliciously strange books, which read like schematics for dream architectures, often crafted by employing elaborate self-devised constraints and methods. This collection of his shorter works may be the best place of all to jump into Roussel's bizarre oeuvre. It's an absolute treat, making perfectly evident why the Surrealists, Oulipo, Foucalt, and the New York School poets held him so dear.

Picked by Jarrod in Fort Greene


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Gifts (Annals of the Western Shore #1) Cover Image
$8.49
ISBN: 9780152051242
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: HMH Books for Young Readers - April 2006

 

I mean, just read all of Ursula LeGuin, okay? She will transport you to places where the magic you know is out there becomes real, and will also give shape to your vague sense of what is wrong. Whether you need more after the Earthsea series or you just love fantasy YA (or realistic, relationship-driven YA for that matter), Gifts is a mesmerizing story about what it might mean to relinquish a toxic power, and how understanding the diversity of our gifts might help to heal the damage caused by tradition.  (Plus, magic.)

Picked by Jessica in Fort Greene


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Batman: White Knight Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9781401279592
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: DC Black Label - October 9th, 2018

 Considering the character's prestige as a pop culture icon, a good Batman story must simultaneously reaffirm its established mythos while offering a new take, and Sean Murphy does both. By recasting the Joker as a rehabilitated seeker of redemption and Batman as an unpredictable source of fear, Batman: White Knight pulls it off, joining the club of classic Batman stories that include Frank Miller's The Dark Knight Returns and Jeph Loeb's Hush.

Picked by Geo in Prospect Lefferts Gardens


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Grief Is the Thing with Feathers: A Novel Cover Image
$12.75
ISBN: 9781555977412
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Graywolf Press - June 7th, 2016

This is an unconventional, beautiful/ugly book. Grief takes the form of a literal and metaphorical crow in the lives of a mourning father and his two children. Grief is ugly, temperamental, fussy, physical, graphic, philosophical, wise. Grief is an oppressive presence in their household until one day, either he or they decide, whether ready or not (although, more 'ready' than 'not'), that it is time to go.

Picked by Rebecca in Fort Greene


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Good Morning, Midnight: A Novel Cover Image
$13.60
ISBN: 9780812988192
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Random House Trade Paperbacks - July 4th, 2017

The world seems to have ended -- we don't know how or why. Augustine, an astronomer isolated in the Arctic, and Sully, an astronaut on her way back from Jupiter, are each stuck endlessly scanning the ruthlessly silent radio waves, hoping to find other survivors. Both characters are unforgettable, as are their respective mental reckonings with the loss of absolutely everything. Thought-provoking, atmospheric, and emotionally acute, this one is perfect for fans of Station Eleven.

Picked by Sarah in Fort Greene


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Kanye West's My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy (33 1/3) Cover Image
$12.71
ISBN: 9781623565428
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Bloomsbury Academic - June 19th, 2014

 

This is the last great Kanye West Album. I repeat: this is the last great Kanye West Album. Before Mr. West found himself being a maligned punch line of social media and confused news anchors, he had already established himself as one of the most important musical artists of the 21st century. Kirk Walker Graves excavates with precision the bravado, the pain, the self-awareness, of what Rolling Stone ranks at 353 on its list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time. 

Picked by Dante 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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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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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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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.