Staff Picks

The staff of Greenlight Bookstore (and our sister store Yours Truly, Brooklyn) read widely and passionately, and love to recommend books they've especially enjoyed!  You can peruse and purchase current staff picks from the list below.


The Hunt for Red October (A Jack Ryan Novel #1) By Tom Clancy Cover Image
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ISBN: 9780425240335
Published: Berkley - September 7th, 2010

Mustafa: Her size - massive, her current heading - Westward, her Captain’s mindset - questionable, her destructive power - immense, her most dangerous asset – her undetectability; her current location – unknown. For any one who is a lover of a great plot driven suspense techo-thriller that has all of the real-world complexities of the Cold War in the 1980s; this novel is for you. This is the novel that introduces the Character of Jack Ryan to the world.

The Vulture By Gil Scott-Heron Cover Image
ISBN: 9781847678836
Availability: Not In Store / Available To Order (allow for shipping time to bookstore or direct-to-home)
Published: Canongate Books - February 4th, 2010

Chris: "The Vulture is a cool murder mystery based in downtown Manhattan in the late 1960s. Four people reckon with the seemingly senseless killing of John Lee. Lee was just like me and you, taking it day by day. Just trying to make it by in this funny world. The book flows with a similar rhythm to the elegant word play and melodies found in Scott's music. The incident awakens the community, provoking analysis of the system that led to such violence. A beautiful and profoundly sad portrait of street life. An important who done it novel encompassing all of the fixtures of the corner."

Girlfriends: Stories By Emily Zhou Cover Image
ISBN: 9781736716847
Availability: Available In Store Now (while supplies last)
Published: Littlepuss Press - October 17th, 2023

Oliver: "A captivating anthology centering trans and queer lives and the messiness of your 20's. Every character is richly developed, with storylines that immerse you. I often thought of my own queer friends and found-family in NYC while reading. Girlfriends is fresh, relatable, and beautiful."

Grief Is an Elephant By Tamara Ellis Smith, Nancy Whitesides (Illustrator) Cover Image
ISBN: 9781797212258
Availability: Available In Store Now (while supplies last)
Published: Chronicle Books - October 24th, 2023

Ezra: "This amazing little book always brings a tear to my eye. Wonderfully illustrated, poetic, and applicable to any age, it shows you how to befriend (rather than flee) grief, how to listen to and speak with it, and how to understand grief as an experience both painful and beautifully necessary. It doesn't make the pain overly specific either -- this is a book about all forms of loss and the flurry of feelings that come with it. I wish there were more books like this one, for children and adults alike."

This Thing Between Us: A Novel By Gus Moreno Cover Image
ISBN: 9780374539238
Availability: Available In Store Now (while supplies last)
Published: MCD x FSG Originals - October 12th, 2021

Autumn: "This Thing Between Us is heartbreaking, surreal, unsettling, and terrifying. Thiago just tragically lost his wife and is trying his best to process his grief and conquer his self-blame, but feeling like something in the universe is out to get you certainly doesn't help. If you're a fellow horror fan I will always recommend this book."

Elena Knows By Claudia Piñeiro, Frances Riddle (Translator) Cover Image
By Claudia Piñeiro, Frances Riddle (Translator)
ISBN: 9781999368432
Availability: Available In Store Now (while supplies last)
Published: Charco Press - July 13th, 2021

Mandy: "Elena's daughter, Rita, is found hanging from the church bell tower, but Elena knows it couldn't be suicide. A shrewd account of a mother's certainty in her grief, the burdens of caregiving, and the foisting of religious expectations on women. I implore you to find out for yourself what Elena doesn't know."

Barbara Isn't Dying By Alina Bronsky, Tim Mohr (Translator) Cover Image
By Alina Bronsky, Tim Mohr (Translator)
ISBN: 9781609458423
Availability: Available In Store Now (while supplies last)
Published: Europa Editions - May 9th, 2023

Maritza: "Walter Schmidt is wholly unprepared to take care of himself and his wife, who is suddenly and mysteriously unable to get out of bed after years of homemaking. I love a messy narrator, and Walter is awful: a menace and a grouch who cannot make his own coffee or feed his dog without mishap, and he takes that out on those around him. That said, the novel's more tender moments and little emotional revelations surprised me and made the book one of my favorites of 2023."

Dogs of Summer: A Novel By Andrea Abreu, Julia Sanches (Translated by) Cover Image
By Andrea Abreu, Julia Sanches (Translated by)
ISBN: 9781662602450
Availability: Available In Store Now (while supplies last)
Published: Astra House - August 8th, 2023

Kyle: "This novel is perfectly subway sized and provides a scorching hot distraction from the unpredictability of a Brooklyn winter.  Dogs of Summer follows two young girls growing up on the outskirts of the Canary Islands in the early aughts.  It deals with the confusion of early sexual desire, the conflict of living as working class in a tourist economy, and the pressure to conform to the expectations of family.  Abreu depicts the obsession of young friendship with the psychological acuity only lived experience can provide and the result is a blistering and visceral account of a summer you'll never forget.  A quick read like a fever dream for fans of Elena Ferrante and Ottessa Moshfegh."

The Rabbit Listened By Cori Doerrfeld, Cori Doerrfeld (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Cori Doerrfeld, Cori Doerrfeld (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9780735229358
Availability: Available In Store Now (while supplies last)
Published: Dial Books - February 20th, 2018

Jessica: "For the soothing of griefs of all kinds, for all ages: this quiet picture book is revelatory.  Whether or not you know (or are) someone who is sad at the moment, reading this sweet and simple book is a lovely reminder of what we really need, and what we can do for each other."

Monstrilio By Gerardo Sámano Córdova Cover Image
ISBN: 9781638931607
Availability: Available In Store Now (while supplies last)
Published: Zando - January 30th, 2024

Rich: "What if Shelley’s Frankenstein monster had been raised in a loving, nurturing home by a family of queer, free-thinking artists instead of being feared and abandoned by those who created him. Cordova’s beautiful and heartbreaking debut novel explores what it means to truly love someone or something unconditionally, and how we can create new life and love from even the most debilitating grief. As I read the last chapter, I found myself sobbing on a plane, wishing that everyone could experience the kind of love that Cordova’s characters have for their beautiful Monstrilio."

The Queen in the Cave By Júlia Sardà, Júlia Sardà (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Júlia Sardà, Júlia Sardà (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9781536220544
Availability: Available In Store Now (while supplies last)
Published: Candlewick Studio - May 24th, 2022

Ashli: "A tale of bravery, boldness, and adventure, The Queen in the Cave is a whimsical story of sisterhood and what you can find when you follow your curiosity. Reading this felt like a modern-day fairytale, yet there was no prince or princessjust three young girls exploring their sense of wonder and seeing where it takes them, both together and apart. What drew my attention to this book was its beautiful cover, and as you read, you will find equally beautiful and intricate illustrations that perfectly compliment the story being told, and help set its playful, oddball tone. PLUS, imagine putting this on display in your child's (or yours) bedroom... *chef's kiss*."

Betty: A novel By Tiffany McDaniel Cover Image
ISBN: 9781984897947
Availability: Available In Store Now (while supplies last)
Published: Vintage - July 13th, 2021

Janele: “A girl comes of age against the knife.”

A lyrically devastating exploration of family and grief. It will cut your heart open in tragically beautiful ways.

Love, Rosie By Cecelia Ahern Cover Image
ISBN: 9780786891085
Availability: Available In Store Now (while supplies last)
Published: Hachette Books - December 1st, 2006

Ashli: It's a tale as old as time... but told in a totally new way. No face-to-face dialogue, no in-person interactions. Love, Rosie tells the the love story of two best friends told through their letters, emails, group chat messages, texts, etc. etc. If you love friends to lovers, British accents (use your imagination), and an infuriating dose of miscommunication and missed opportunities, then read this book (AND WATCH THE MOVIE!)

Hawk Mountain: A Novel By Conner Habib Cover Image
ISBN: 9781324064862
Availability: Available In Store Now (while supplies last)
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - August 1st, 2023

Mandy, Autumn, & Maritza: Beautiful writing anchors a harrowing plot in Hawk Mountain, a literary horror novel that follows a young father whose childhood bully forces his way back into his life, all while befriending his six year-old and shaking traumatic memories loose. Our favorite book of last year-- thank you to A.L. for the recommendation.

Watch Over Me By Nina LaCour Cover Image
ISBN: 9780593108994
Availability: Available In Store Now (while supplies last)
Published: Rocky Pond Books - January 18th, 2022

Oliver: A hauntingly beautiful story about grief, trauma, and healing. With lyrical prose and a powerful understanding of the ghosts that can follow us throughout life, this is the perfect novel to get swept up in.

The Saint of Bright Doors By Vajra Chandrasekera Cover Image
ISBN: 9781250847386
Availability: Available In Store Now (while supplies last)
Published: Tordotcom - July 11th, 2023

Jessica: If you have any interest in:

* magic including seeing invisible beings, defying gravity, and doorways to other realms

* non-Western fantasy landscapes

* queer coming of age / coming to the city stories

* family drama on a continental scale

* witty and gorgeous prose

* also high-stakes heists, avant garde theater, romantic tensions, and experiments in urban infrastructure... just go ahead and read this book, and then we can be friends.

Hopscotch: A Novel By Julio Cortázar Cover Image
ISBN: 9780394752846
Availability: Available In Store Now (while supplies last)
Published: Pantheon - February 12th, 1987

David: Cortázar's masterpiece. A scouring of the undefinable. Part eloquent ramble, part literary bebop. Translated with immeasurable grace by Gregory Rabassa.

Games and Rituals: Stories By Katherine Heiny Cover Image
ISBN: 9780525659518
Availability: Available In Store Now (while supplies last)
Published: Knopf - April 18th, 2023

Dante: If you are looking to take a respite from often "overlooked" historical fiction, convoluted, dense, story plots that make you turn back a couple pages multiple times, speculative narratives that are too close to real life, AS. WE. KNOW.IT... then I invite you to give Katherine Heiny's short story collection Games and Rituals a peek. It highlights people maneuvering through having an elderly father mistake his hearing aid for a peanut, discovering a credit card charge that puts their marriage into a tailspin, finding unrequited love with a co-worker and its aftermath, and...I'll let you discover the rest.

Hopefully, this collection provides connection and a loud chuckle at the inner workings of the person next to you on the bus, train, Uber, pool, round trip or one way flight, in line waiting to buy overly priced macadamia nuts at the neighborhood market.

Staff Pick Badge
The Dangers of Smoking in Bed: Stories By Mariana Enriquez, Megan McDowell (Translated by) Cover Image
By Mariana Enriquez, Megan McDowell (Translated by)
ISBN: 9780593134092
Availability: Available In Store Now (while supplies last)
Published: Hogarth - February 1st, 2022

Mandy: 12 gothic fantasies about death, sex, and the occult. Let us say no more.

Staff Pick Badge
Punch Me Up To The Gods: A Memoir By Brian Broome Cover Image
ISBN: 9780358695257
Availability: Available In Store Now (while supplies last)
Published: Mariner Books - May 3rd, 2022

Autumn: This memoir is poetic, graceful, and gorgeous and simultaneously raw, heart-wrenching, and brutal. Brian Broome has so generously shared with us his very honest and evocative journey to allowing himself the permission to exist in his own skin and take up space in this world. I will never be able to recommend this book highly enough.

Staff Pick Badge
The Great Gatsby: The Only Authorized Edition By F. Scott Fitzgerald Cover Image
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.