Staff Picks

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.

Here are even more great book suggestions from the Greenlight staff:

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Ikwo's Picks



French Exit: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062846938
Availability: On Our Shelves Now (while supplies last)
Published: Ecco - June 11th, 2019

This is an utterly delightful, silly, black comedy with more than a twist of the absurd. I want a cat to name Small Frank now. It turns bittersweet by the end and I just loved every minute. If you want to laugh and cry at the same time this is the book for you.

Picked by Marie (May 2020)

Bowlaway: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062862860
Availability: On Our Shelves Now (while supplies last)
Published: Ecco - November 5th, 2019

I just loved the heck out of this sprawling tale of a community and several families and the relationships that tie them all together. Set in suburban Boston in the early 20th century, McCracken starts with Bertha Truitt and her bowling alley but that’s only the beginning as the narrative takes us through a panoply of colorful and eccentric characters- their lives and loves, and their ends. Wonderful.

Picked by Marie (May 2020)

The Son Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062120403
Availability: Available to order (allow for shipping time to bookstore or direct-to-home)
Published: Ecco - January 28th, 2014

The Son is an incredible epic of Texas and America and the Comanche, starring four generations (skipping a few here and there) of a Texas family starting with paterfamilias Eli, who is captured by the Comanches as a boy. A misfit for life when he returns to white society, he begets a long line of misfits one way or the other, each with his or her own incredibly captivating story. It’s a wonderful book to lose yourself in, and a classic and it will stay with me forever.

Picked by Marie (May 2020)

Brooklyn: The Once and Future City Cover Image
ISBN: 9780691165387
Availability: On Our Shelves Now (while supplies last)
Published: Princeton University Press - September 10th, 2019

After 10 years’ labor of love and research, Campanella pops off one obsessively collected fact after another, spinning Brooklyn’s vast history into a multi-dimensional drama. Each chapter focuses on a specific neighborhood and brings to light its historical residents... characters wackier than your roommate, in it for fame, money or God, and maybe some city planning along the way. Don’t let the size of this thing intimidate you; it’s a fantastic project book that, for me, has simultaneously kept me drawn in and helped me look forward to saying hello to these neighborhoods again.

Picked by Emily (May 2020)

Cold Comfort Farm (Unabridged) Cover Image
ISBN: 9781607964100
Availability: Backordered
Published: - February 7th, 2012

Cold Comfort Farm may be the world’s most perfect novel. It was Stella Gibbons' first novel and by no means her last, and it was meant to be a parody of a certain kind of pastoral English novel; in Gibbons' version, a no-nonsense city girl, Flora Poste, moves into her cousins' country farm and rather than being won over by the rural delights she encounters, she sets about making it better. What makes Flora wonderful is that she isn't trying to really change anyone- she just wants everyone to be the best versions of themselves they can be, and she's willing to do whatever it takes to make it happen. It’s a pure delight from start to finish.

Picked by Marie (May 2020)

The Afterlife: A Memoir Cover Image
ISBN: 9780312426354
Availability: On Our Shelves Now (while supplies last)
Published: Picador - May 15th, 2007

I have a soft spot for when a smart aleck or distant figure suddenly becomes sincere (think late-period David Letterman or “This Must Be the Place” by the Talking Heads), and that’s what The Afterlife is for me. Donald Antrim’s fictional works are manic exercises in comic absurdity and surrealism, but his one memoir, principally concerned with his relationship with his dying alcoholic mother, is a deeply confessional work about depression, addiction, and family trauma. Antrim still retains his keen ear for hilarious dialogue and humorous descriptions, but he trains them on the complex of simultaneous emotions one can feel toward a loved one (tenderness, embarrassment, frustration, sadness, etc.) and does it better than almost anyone.

Picked by Matt (May 2020)

The Queen: The Forgotten Life Behind an American Myth Cover Image
ISBN: 9780316513289
Availability: On Our Shelves Now (while supplies last)
Published: Back Bay Books - April 14th, 2020

This is a wild ride of true crime, politics and race in America, a crazy story about an unbelievable con artist and killer who is remembered, when she is at all, only for the most trivial of her misdeeds. Linda Taylor was a thief, a kidnapper and a slow motion serial killer driven by who knows what and for the most part, got away with it all!

Picked by Marie (May 2020)

Summerlings: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780385544641
Availability: Available to order (allow for shipping time to bookstore or direct-to-home)
Published: Doubleday - August 6th, 2019

Summerlings follow the neighborhood adventures of four Washington, DC, kids during the summer of 1959. While the grownup world navigates the complexities of the enduring Cold War, these friends have their own attentions on catching spiders, teaching their neighborhood bully a good lesson, and orchestrating a block party so that their neighbors will get along and allow the kids to use their pools. Packed with memorable characters and details that all pay off in the very end, Summerlings will transport you to a time where things seemed simpler, even though they never were.

Picked by Geo (May 2020)

The Moonflower Vine: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780061673238
Availability: Available to order (allow for shipping time to bookstore or direct-to-home)
Published: Harper Perennial - March 24th, 2009

The Moonflower Vine the heartbreaking, wonderful story of the Soames family. The only novel Carleton published in her lifetime, it’s set in 1930s Missouri. When the book opens, three adult daughters return to their childhood farm for a summer reunion; they're happy and they love each other and their parents, still married and in their seventies. After this idyllic beginning, Carleton takes us one by one into the hearts and minds of each member of the family, laying bare their secrets, their shames and the love that pulses through their veins. It is a special book you will cherish and want to press into the hands of everyone you know.

Picked by Marie (May 2020)

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The Aesthetics of Resistance, Volume I Cover Image
By Peter Weiss, Joachim Neugroschel (Translator)
ISBN: 9780822335467
Availability: On Our Shelves Now (while supplies last)
Published: Duke University Press - June 22nd, 2005

This antifascist historical epic transports us from the Pergamon Museum in Berlin in 1937 to the makeshift hospitals of the Spanish Civil War, narrating a journey of resistance under the stars of Kafka, Cervantes, Brecht and Joyce in breathless, beautifully twisting prose. Volume II’s English translation finally appears later this month, after 40 years of acclaim in Germany.

Picked by Michael in Fort Greene

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IQ (An IQ Novel #1) Cover Image
By Joe Ide
ISBN: 9780316267731
Availability: On Our Shelves Now (while supplies last)
Published: Mulholland Books - September 19th, 2017

A combination of Sherlock Holmes' other worldly perception and Easy Rawlins' street wise sensibility, Joe Ide's creation Isiah Quintabe, IQ for short, is proof his appreciation of the crime noir/mystery genre runs deep in his blood. Set in modern day Los Angeles, our detective navigates the treacherous underworld of hitman, cutthroats, and his ex-wife.

Picked by Dante in Fort Greene

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Moshi Moshi Cover Image
By Banana Yoshimoto, Asa Yoneda (Translator)
ISBN: 9781640090156
Availability: On Our Shelves Now (while supplies last)
Published: Counterpoint LLC - November 14th, 2017

After Yoshie's father commits suicide in a pact with an unknown woman, she begins to constantly dream that he is trying to find his phone to call her. Certain that it must mean something, she begins investigating his death, unraveling truths about her father that only lead to more confusion and pain. Intimate, personal, and close to the heart, this book is a beautiful, profoundly human portrayal of how we learn to cope with a loss that we can't make sense of, and ultimately, how to rebuild in the face of all the unanswered questions that remain.

Picked by Katie in Fort Greene

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A Fortune for Your Disaster Cover Image
ISBN: 9781947793439
Availability: On Our Shelves Now (while supplies last)
Published: Tin House Books - September 3rd, 2019

A beautiful collection navigating the landscape of race, loss, and love. Abdurraqib's words may inspire you to cry big, globby tears in public spaces. 

Don’t say I didn’t warn you…

Picked by Arti in Fort Greene

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Lima:: Limón Cover Image
ISBN: 9781556595318
Availability: On Our Shelves Now (while supplies last)
Published: Copper Canyon Press - May 14th, 2019

Natalie Scenters-Zapico’s second collection of poems explores the complexity of gender roles within the landscape of the poet’s hometowns of Ciudad Juárez and El Paso. Through rich lyricism and strange imagery these poems investigate feminized labor, violence, and desire on the US-Mexico border. Haunting and visceral, this is a must-read for fans of Dorothea Lasky, Khadijah Queen, and Ocean Vuong.

Picked by Phoebe in Fort Greene

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The Age of Light: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780316524148
Availability: On Our Shelves Now (while supplies last)
Published: Back Bay Books - October 22nd, 2019

This sumptuous historical novel charts the life of war photographer Lee Miller, who began her career as a model in late-1920s Paris and entered into a complex relationship with Man Ray as his muse, student and lover. Scharer's inviting prose makes it easy to slide into Miller's fascinating and criminally overlooked story. Highly recommended for fans of Paula McLain and Anthony Doerr.

Picked by Sarah in Fort Greene

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What Are People For?: Essays Cover Image
ISBN: 9781582434872
Availability: Available to order (allow for shipping time to bookstore or direct-to-home)
Published: Counterpoint LLC - May 25th, 2010

There are few writers who capture middle America so beautifully. A poet and farmer, Berry writes with scathing clarity about American culture's detachment from Earth. Honestly, reading anything by him will make you think differently, but this collection includes an essay about what culture has in common with decaying soil that is unforgettable. If you enjoyed Hillbilly Elegy, it’s the natural next step to consider What Are People For? 

Picked by Jackie in Fort Greene

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Under the Udala Trees Cover Image
ISBN: 9780544811799
Availability: On Our Shelves Now (while supplies last)
Published: Mariner Books - September 20th, 2016


In Udala Trees, two girls fall in love in a country at war with itself, where such a thing could cost them their lives. Ijeoma and Ndidi are children from different tribes when they meet during the Nigerian civil war. All too soon, they find themselves having to submit to familial and societal pressures, and the cost of doing so or not. These pages are drenched with emotion, and every sentence will rip you from your reality. I'm a sucker for a coming-of-age story, and even more so for a love story, and this book is no exception.

Picked by Ikwo in Prospect Lefferts Gardens

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Love, Z Cover Image
By Jessie Sima, Jessie Sima (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9781481496773
Availability: On Our Shelves Now (while supplies last)
Published: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers - December 18th, 2018

If this book were a beverage, it would be a warm cup of tea on a chilly day. A young robot named Z receives a mysterious letter in a bottle. It's signed, 'Love, Beatrice.' What is love? Z wonders, but it does not compute. Delightfully illustrated with soft landscapes and quirky, angular robots, readers journey alongside Z to discover the meaning of this perplexing word. An absolutely miraculous way to show kids just how many different things love can be. Every time I read it I feel warm, and cozy, and safe. I hope you do, too.

Love, Rose

Picked by Rose in Fort Greene

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The Round House: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062065254
Availability: On Our Shelves Now (while supplies last)
Published: Harper Perennial - September 24th, 2013

On a spring day in 1988, Geraldine Cuotts is attacked on the outskirts of the reservation she calls home. Narrated from the perspective of her thirteen-year-old son, Joe, The Round House is at once a coming-of-age novel as well as a reckoning with native identities, land and the female body. As Joe and his father (a judge on the reservation, desperate to avenge his wife) grapple with the trauma their loved one has experienced, he's also forced to come to terms with the fact that men, even men we love and cherish, can violate us in unexpected ways. If the material sounds heavy, fear not. In Erdrich's capable hands this heavy subject matter is both delicate and direct, the prose fast moving and the language exquisite. It was my favorite book I read last year.

Picked by Wynne in Prospect Lefferts Gardens

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On Immunity: An Inoculation Cover Image
ISBN: 9781555977207
Availability: On Our Shelves Now (while supplies last)
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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The Great Gatsby Cover Image
ISBN: 9780743273565
Availability: On Our Shelves Now (while supplies last)
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.