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.

 

The Bell Jar Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780060837020
Availability: Available In Store Now (while supplies last)
Published: Harper Perennial Modern Classics - August 2nd, 2005

This book is my ultimate favorite! The way Plath describes this specific time in her life through the character of Esther Greenwood gives so much truth and power to mental health being so important and to the idea that we need to take care of ourselves. Most people find this book to be dark, but I feel quite the opposite, I enjoy the richness and clarity in Plath's words and images such that I am able to find the joy and humor in this novel. Also for Plath fans, check out her playlist on Spotify -- she reads her own poetry! It is delightful! 

- Karl


Made for Love: A Novel Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780062280596
Availability: Available In Store Now (while supplies last)
Published: Ecco - July 3rd, 2018

I really enjoyed Made for Love; it was quirky, hilarious, edgy and at times outlandish, but it kept me reading and held my attention, which is saying a lot for audio fiction.  If you have a slightly off-kilter sense of humor and are ready for the unexpected, Made for Love is a great choice for you.

- Marie


Under the Sign of the Labyrinth Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9781734976601
Availability: Available In Store Now (while supplies last)
Published: Sublunary Editions - September 8th, 2020

Here is a debut book by an Eastern European writer, published by a new independent press in Seattle. It’s an extended essay in the original, Montaigne sense, a kind of walking around and inventorying of the maze of memory and experience. For fans of Anne Boyer, WG Sebald, and everything in between.

- Michael


Tenth of December: Stories Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780812984255
Availability: Available In Store Now (while supplies last)
Published: Random House Trade Paperbacks - January 7th, 2014

If you’re not sure where to begin with short story collections, this is it. Tenth of December is the absolute best of what short fiction can be. It singlehandedly changed my perspective of the form and renewed my love for writing and reading at a time when I had lost sight of the wondrous possibilities of what fiction can do. In turns poignant, hilarious, and heart-wrenching, Saunders is a master of making you laugh while you cry, of showing the absurdities of life in all its multitudes, of reminding us that the act of being human is an inherently absurd endeavor that is nothing if not strange, a little painful, and - if you remember to look closely - uniquely beautiful because of those very things.

- Katie


Making Comics Cover Image
$22.95
ISBN: 9781770463691
Availability: Available In Store Now (while supplies last)
Published: Drawn and Quarterly - November 5th, 2019

- Emily


Where the Bird Sings Best Cover Image
By Alejandro Jodorowsky, Alfred MacAdam (Translated by)
$19.99
ISBN: 9781632060952
Availability: Available In Store Now (while supplies last)
Published: Restless Books - July 5th, 2016

The Chilean director, author, and creator of Psychomagic, Alejandro Jodorowsky's book, Where the Bird Sings Best, is a surreal, mystical and magical story about his Jewish ancestors' immigration from Russia to Chile.  The book mythologizes his family's journey through fantastic fables and psychedelic magical realism interwoven with esoteric imagery.  At times both brutal and beautiful, Where the Bird Sings Best pays homage to his ancestors like only Jodorowsky can.  

-Shauna


Oreo Cover Image
By Fran Ross, Danzy Senna (Introduction by), Harryette Mullen (Afterword by)
$14.95
ISBN: 9780811223225
Availability: Available In Store Now (while supplies last)
Published: New Directions - July 7th, 2015

- Arti


Wild Beauty: A Novel Cover Image
$10.99
ISBN: 9781250180735
Availability: Available In Store Now (while supplies last)
Published: Square Fish - October 9th, 2018

- Casey


Glyph: A Novel Cover Image
$15.00
ISBN: 9781555976675
Availability: Available In Store Now (while supplies last)
Published: Graywolf Press - February 18th, 2014

Baby Ralph is taking in the world around him: sound, shapes, colors, soft foods, Baldwin, Ellison, Balzac, etc. Although he has limitations, his genius astonishes everyone except himself. A book that mixes an outrageous kidnap plot with philosophical theory to dizzying satisfaction, Percival Everett proves again why he is one of the most underrated American authors working today. 

- Dante


Include Me Out Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9781945492303
Availability: Available In Store Now (while supplies last)
Published: Transit Books - February 4th, 2020

A simultaneous interpreter in Buenos Aires leaves her job in hopes of living by rules of silence she developed in her manifesto. Mara’s new job as a museum security guard in a rural Argentine town seems ideal until her enlistment in a massive taxidermy project compromises her commitment to silence. Mara’s impact on her new community is messy and fascinating, and her single-minded pursuit of her strange ambition makes the novel perfect for fans of Sayaka Murata’s Convenience Store Woman.

- Maritza


On Love and Loneliness Cover Image
$13.99
ISBN: 9780062510136
Availability: Available In Store Now (while supplies last)
Published: HarperOne - April 8th, 1994

- Mei


The Other Name: Septology I-II Cover Image
By Jon Fosse, Damion Searls (Translator)
$17.95
ISBN: 9781945492402
Availability: Available In Store Now (while supplies last)
Published: Transit Books - April 7th, 2020

This isn’t a book so much as a river. There are no periods, but you won’t be needing them. It pulls you through time—both linear and emotional--like nothing else. The second volume comes out March 17.

- Michael


Tentacle Cover Image
By Rita Indiana, Achy Obejas (Translator)
$13.95
ISBN: 9781911508342
Availability: Available In Store Now (while supplies last)
Published: And Other Stories - January 15th, 2019

- Sarah


Pugtato Finds a Thing Cover Image
By Sophie Corrigan (Illustrator), Zondervan
$17.99
ISBN: 9780310767817
Availability: Available In Store Now (while supplies last)
Published: Zonderkidz - August 4th, 2020

Pugtato finds a Thing, and begins a quest to discover what the Thing actually is. He asks his friends (surely someone must know), but nobody knows Thing's true purpose even though they pretend to. Everything in this story is deeply endearing from the gleam in this potato-pug's eye, to its perfect rotund shape, to its aptly named friends ("tomatoad" wow!). If you're in need of a hug in book form, this here is the book for you. Continue the fun: Pugtato Let's Be Best Spuddies comes out in March."

- Ikwo


The Adventures of Cardigan Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780892969500
Availability: Available In Store Now (while supplies last)
Published: Mysterious Press - October 1st, 1988

This is a great collection of short stories highlighting the cases of hard-boiled Private Investigator Jack Cardigan of the Cosmos Agency. It has all of the crackle and pop and sardonic wit of the Pulp Fiction written during the mid 1930’s and all of the suspense and intrigue of the period too. The crispness of the dialogue just pulls you in like a vortex and takes you under, back into another world and time when coffee costs a nickel but crime still didn’t pay; these stories are great escapist material and anyone who is a fan of Dashiell Hammett, Raymond Chandler or Cornell Woolrich will love this book. I hadn’t read these stories in two decades but when I picked this collection up again it reminded me why I love this era of American Mystery fiction so much.

- Mustafa


Gods of the Upper Air: How a Circle of Renegade Anthropologists Reinvented Race, Sex, and Gender in the Twentieth Century Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780525432326
Availability: Available In Store Now (while supplies last)
Published: Anchor - July 14th, 2020

Diving into the rich and varied lives of four women anthropologists who defined how we consider race and gender King writes with great insight and occasional humor about what society thought of them. Especially intriguing is the writing about Ella Deloria, a Dakota Sioux activist who wrote extensively about the Great Plains Native Americans. Take this book for inspiration and hope in carrying forward the incredible diversity of peoples living on Earth.

- Jackie


The Doors of Perception and Heaven and Hell Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780061729072
Availability: Available In Store Now (while supplies last)
Published: Harper Perennial Modern Classics - July 28th, 2009

- Malachi


The River of Consciousness Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9780804171007
Availability: Available In Store Now (while supplies last)
Published: Vintage - October 9th, 2018

At a time when it's easy to get stuck in the doldrums, this slim volume of Sacks's work covers a range of philosophical and scientific subjects with the sort of depth, joy, and genuine curiosity needed to get your mind wandering again. Pick any essay depending on your mood and delve into the way time travels when you're busy or bored, or the way creativity takes a bit of aimless forgetting, or what exactly we're asking someone when we say "how are you?" A discursive pleasure from start to finish that tickled the sad sack in me.

- Ben  


Palaces for the People: How Social Infrastructure Can Help Fight Inequality, Polarization, and the  Decline of Civic Life Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9781524761172
Availability: Available In Store Now (while supplies last)
Published: Crown - September 10th, 2019

This book is an accessible yet informative deep dive into social infrastructure and how it's affected American society in the past and the present (pre-pandemic), and how strategic and thoughtful planning around building intentional community networks, either physically/architecturally or socially, can affect how we function in the future. For example, in the 1995 Chicago heat wave, neighborhoods that had strong community networks, where people helped their neighbors, got through the crisis far better than disconnected neighborhoods. We weather storms better together. I read and deeply appreciated this book long before Covid and I've been thinking a lot about it again recently, as we start to shift toward the next phase of the pandemic: burgeoning rebuilding and recovery.

- Rebecca


DeadEndia: The Watcher's Test: Book 1 Cover Image
$14.95
ISBN: 9781910620472
Availability: Available In Store Now (while supplies last)
Published: Nobrow - August 7th, 2018

In the world of Deadendia, there's a portal to hell in the haunted house ride at Pollywood (like Dollywood, but maybe sort of ... evil?). The tone is more rollicking than scary, as the staff (trans gay teen Barney and his best friend Norma) navigate social anxiety, romantic complications, pet care, time travel, and keeping peace between planes of existence. I love these characters so much, and their saga has as much crazy wow-factor as a Marvel blockbuster, but with way more ethical accountability.

- Jessica


Sweet Days of Discipline Cover Image
By Fleur Jaeggy, Tim Parks (Translated by)
$13.95
ISBN: 9780811229036
Availability: Available In Store Now (while supplies last)
Published: New Directions - October 29th, 2019

Set in a post-war Swiss boarding school, Fleur Jaeggy’s brief novel reads like a prose poem, excavating the pangs of youthful infatuation through the prism of time misplaced – and possibly misremembered. By turns haunting and tender, this selection pairs well with the arrival of cool autumn evenings.

- David


The Great Gatsby: The Authorized Edition Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780743273565
Availability: Available In Store 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.


The Need Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9781982113179
Availability: Available In Store Now (while supplies last)
Published: Simon & Schuster - July 7th, 2020

Molly, a paleobotanist, is at her wits' end taking care of her two children while her husband is away on a business trip. One night a masked intruder slips into her home. What follows is a Twilight Zone episode that burrows and tendrils out into the safe spaces of your mind. Part thriller, part metaphysical nightmare, Phillips works her magic into the primal need to know oneself.

- Ikwo


Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood (Pantheon Graphic Library) Cover Image
$15.95
ISBN: 9780375714573
Availability: Available In Store Now (while supplies last)
Published: Pantheon - June 1st, 2004

- Liz


The Witch Boy Cover Image
$12.99
ISBN: 9781338089516
Availability: Available In Store Now (while supplies last)
Published: Graphix - October 31st, 2017

A delightful story about magic, identity, and growing into your family. Aster knows he is drawn to witchcraft, even though in his family that kind of magic is only for girls. With the help of a new friend (Team Charlie for life!) he embraces who he is and uses his gifts to save everyone from a mysterious, threatening force. A fun and thrilling story for young readers, but, hey, no age-ism here! Be the kid—and the witch—you were meant to be!

- Niko


Secret Saturdays Cover Image
$7.99
ISBN: 9780142417478
Availability: Not In Store / Available To Order (allow for shipping time to bookstore or direct-to-home)
Published: Puffin Books - April 12th, 2012

- Rebecca


Signs Preceding the End of the World Cover Image
By Yuri Herrera, Lisa Dillman (Translator)
$13.95
ISBN: 9781908276421
Availability: Available In Store Now (while supplies last)
Published: And Other Stories - March 10th, 2015

Thank goodness I read this for a book club because woah did I need to talk about it afterwards. It is quite possibly a perfect book, both in story and in structure. It follows the trip a Mexican woman takes from Mexico to the U.S. in search of her brother, and all the complexity surrounding her border crossing. But it doesn't just address the physical crossing (which is arduous and dangerous), Herrera also weaves in the mental and emotional logistics that surround human migration, cultural shifts, senses of place and of displacement, and the ensuing language shifts that a migrating person needs to navigate. It is short enough, and beautiful enough, that you may want to read it, then re-read it.

- Rebecca


Saturday Cover Image
By Oge Mora (By (artist))
$18.99
ISBN: 9780316431279
Availability: Available In Store Now (while supplies last)
Published: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers - October 22nd, 2019

It's comforting to know that in this topsy-turvy world, we have stories like this one: a delightfully illustrated and tender reminder that cherished days with people you love are what make life magnificent, even when things don't go exactly as planned…

- Rose