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.

 

Staff Pick Badge
In That Endlessness, Our End By Gemma Files, Jesse Peper (Artist), Jon Padgett (Editor) Cover Image
By Gemma Files, Jesse Peper (Artist), Jon Padgett (Editor)
$20.00
ISBN: 9780578759760
Availability: Not In Store / Available To Order (allow for shipping time to bookstore or direct-to-home)
Published: Grimscribe Press - February 15th, 2021

Danni: As the staff Scary Reads Expert, I agonized over my choice--trust that I picked a good one. Files short story collection is in the vain of The Twilight Zone. In one story, one third of a throuple notices that a house keeps getting closer and closer, changing its position on the street. In another, a woman is trying to install lights in her apartment where there is no electrical current, yet if you hold a bulb to the wall it gives out light. In another story a married couple expecting a baby are bothered by the noise of their neighbors living in an unoccupied apartment next to them. 

These stories are set in our world or maybe not. Reading these is the equivalent of rushing to get out of the house: Your alarm didn't go off, you are late to meet your a family gathering, you scramble to get dressed, you brush your teeth for long enough, you grab keys, and then you realize that the external walls are gone. You simply walked through a door you could have gone around. Nothing is threatening you but your mind tries to find the point where Something Went Wrong; the precise moment when nature erred, reality glitched, your mind started deteriorating. Files assures us that what we fear is happening is really happening. How will you handle it?


Staff Pick Badge
In the Wake: On Blackness and Being By Christina Sharpe Cover Image
$24.95
ISBN: 9780822362944
Availability: Available In Store Now (while supplies last)
Published: Duke University Press - November 14th, 2016

Alicia: In the Wake deals with temporality, memory, and haunting in the aftermath of slavery in America. Sharpe coins the term "wake work" to address the absences in the official record that bleed meaning; to remember what was forgotten. Similar to Saidiya Hartman's work, as well as Marianne Hirsh's The Generation of Postmemory and Avery F. Gordon's Ghostly Matters, Sharpe is looking at intergenerational trauma through the gaps, fissures, and silences in the archives. Wake work is enfleshed work; our bodies understand that the past is not really the past. 


Staff Pick Badge
Their Eyes Were Watching God By Zora Neale Hurston Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780061120060
Availability: Available In Store Now (while supplies last)
Published: Amistad - May 30th, 2006

Karl: This book changed my life when I first read it junior year in high school. The writing style that Hurston uses is breathtaking. The way she sets up the fictional world of an all-black town (based off of her anthropological studies) is so lit (for lack of a better word) because she shows the authencity of black life that is mostly erased from academia. This book serves as a constant reminder for myself to honor who I am and how I want to be in the world-- loved, respected and never apologize for my truth -- Thank you Ms. Zora <3 


Staff Pick Badge
The True Story of the Three Little Pigs By Jon Scieszka, Lane Smith (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Jon Scieszka, Lane Smith (Illustrator)
$17.99
ISBN: 9780670827596
Availability: Available In Store Now (while supplies last)
Published: Viking Books for Young Readers - October 1st, 1989

Morgan: Who's afraid of the big bad wolf? No one, that's just propaganda from the little pigs and the pig-glomerate! We've all heard the side of the pigs, but what about the wolf? Houses being blown down by a huff and puff, yeah right sounds like faulty foundations and spring allergies to me, but hey go ahead and pick up this book and know the truth; then we'll see who's really crying wolf.


Staff Pick Badge
The Adventures of Team Pom: Squid Happens: Team Pom Book 1 By Isabel Roxas Cover Image
$12.99
ISBN: 9781912497256
Availability: Available In Store Now (while supplies last)
Published: Flying Eye Books - June 8th, 2021

Maritza: An absurd, action-packed graphic novel about a synchronized swim team in Queens that befriends and recruits a giant squid while trying to earn a little respect. Technically for 7-10 year olds, but the artwork is so beautiful, the jokes are so fun, and the characters are such delightful and proud (self-proclaimed!) little weirdos that I found myself scouring the internet for the next book in the series (which comes out October 18th!).


Staff Pick Badge
Toddler Hunting: And Other Stories By Taeko Kono, Lucy North (Translated by) Cover Image
By Taeko Kono, Lucy North (Translated by)
$16.95
ISBN: 9780811228275
Availability: Available In Store Now (while supplies last)
Published: New Directions - October 30th, 2018

Claire: Surely this book's title already has your attention, so allow me to capture it for a moment longer. Taeko Kono's stories are serrated with a dissatisfied dread that threatens to erupt into violence. This volatility is feminine: plagued by the past and daunted by the future, the women who walk through these pages contend with the existential pressure of their gender, trying to let off steam as the men in their lives demean them and the time they have left on earth dwindles, day by day, second by slow second. One attends a magic show and becomes convinced that yes, she really did see a woman sawed into two bloody halves. Another pays visits to a couple she met at the theater, slowly becoming privy to their sadomasochistic routines and becoming a part of them herself. Restraint and release compose the heartbeat of Kono's writing as she reveals the livid pulp that pulses beneath women's quiet exteriors.


Staff Pick Badge
If This Gets Out: A Novel By Sophie Gonzales, Cale Dietrich Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9781250805805
Availability: Available In Store Now (while supplies last)
Published: Wednesday Books - December 7th, 2021

Shanni: Listen, let's not talk about the obvious. We all know what this book is about. Har--Zach and Ruben. Two totally fictional boy-band heartthrobs, falling out of friendship and in to love while coping with the pressures of an international tour and overbearing management. Don't know how Sophie + Cale came up with this! I've sold ITGO (yes, it needs an acronym) to my friends, my colleagues, my bosses, strangers on the bus, strangers at the park -- you get it. #hater #zuben #bipanic #queerYA #larry #anjon #mm #whirlwindromance #friendstolovers


Staff Pick Badge
The Trees Witness Everything By Victoria Chang Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9781556596322
Availability: Available In Store Now (while supplies last)
Published: Copper Canyon Press - April 26th, 2022

Chelsea: For lovers of the way language can flower in surprising ways under formal constraint. I picked this up because a) I was drawn in by the unique shape and b) I adored Victoria Chang’s last collection Obit. Generous in its sparsity, wildly imaginative in its strict adherence to form, this collection aches and resonates. No one writes of loss with such simultaneous beauty and bluntness like Chang. And for lovers of indie presses, Copper Canyon literally never misses!!


Staff Pick Badge
All the Lovers in the Night By Mieko Kawakami, Sam Bett (Translator), David Boyd (Translator) Cover Image
By Mieko Kawakami, Sam Bett (Translator), David Boyd (Translator)
$28.00
ISBN: 9781609456993
Availability: Available In Store Now (while supplies last)
Published: Europa Editions - May 3rd, 2022

Bria: Lovely little novel! I haven't read her other books, so this was my first time reading Kawakami's work. Wandering and thoughtful, and just a little out there (like Elif Batuman meets Miranda July). Multiple underlined paragraphs made me stare off into the middle distance contemplating life and loneliness. Read on a rainy day or tucked in the corner on the subway for maximum effect.


Staff Pick Badge
Linea Nigra: An Essay on Pregnancy and Earthquakes By Jazmina Barrera, Christina Macsweeney (Translator) Cover Image
$21.95
ISBN: 9781949641301
Availability: Available In Store Now (while supplies last)
Published: Two Lines Press - May 3rd, 2022

Josie: At once both a meditation on and celebration of motherhood, Linea Nigra joins an elite lineage of maternal texts entwining the rituals of human, natural, and artistic creation. The result is astonishing—a beautiful book full of revelations on the depths of human connection, both with each other and the world around us.


Staff Pick Badge
The Vanished Birds: A Novel By Simon Jimenez Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780593129005
Availability: Available In Store Now (while supplies last)
Published: Del Rey - January 26th, 2021

Ikwo: It begins with a boy who fell from the sky and a captain who would do anything to protect him from powers (and thousand-year old psychopaths) far greater than either of them. In this debut humanity continues to trip over itself in an attempt to simultaneously hold on to the past and the places it could go. The more things change the more they stay the same, like the violence of our desires, and the intangible things like love and emptiness that grounds. The price of colonisation remains high through Earth's expansion through the galaxy in this novel spanning centuries and light-years, and two seemingly unconnected people are caught in the middle of it all.


Staff Pick Badge
The Children's Book (Vintage International) By A. S. Byatt Cover Image
$17.95
ISBN: 9780307473066
Availability: Available In Store Now (while supplies last)
Published: Vintage - August 10th, 2010

Jessica: Imagine the kids who were the basis for Christopher Robin and Peter Pan: sure their childhoods were magical, but they also had to deal with having their lives mined/exploited for art, the complicated hypocrisies of their parents (so many affairs), and oh World War I. Byatt's sprawling, enthralling novel follows a fictional version of these messy late 19th / early 20th century families; it's never boring and sometimes verges on magical. (Plus, the Midsummer party scene is iconic.) 


Staff Pick Badge
Blackout: A Novel By Dhonielle Clayton, Tiffany D. Jackson, Nic Stone, Angie Thomas, Ashley Woodfolk, Nicola Yoon Cover Image
$12.99
ISBN: 9780063088108
Availability: Available In Store Now (while supplies last)
Published: Quill Tree Books - May 31st, 2022

Jessica: This is the perfect book for August. A little sweaty, a little swoony, with short-and-sweet stories that all come together in the end at a glorious Brooklyn block party, it's a beautifully diverse gathering of Black teen love stories framed by a city-wide power outage.  Whether you're 13 or 43 or 103, treat yourself to some summery thrills.


Staff Pick Badge
The Visitors By Jessi Jezewska Stevens Cover Image
$25.95
ISBN: 9781913505288
Availability: Available In Store Now (while supplies last)
Published: And Other Stories - June 7th, 2022

Josie: Jessi Jezewska Stevens has created a parallel timeline as tumultuous and dread-inducing as our own, yet somehow this distorted reality reveals more about the preoccupations of existing than it's lived counterpart ever could. Part time capsule, part user manual, and part hallucinatory malware, The Visitors will still be with you long after the lights have gone out.


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


Staff Pick Badge
Foreskin's Lament: A Memoir By Shalom Auslander Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781594483332
Availability: Available In Store Now (while supplies last)
Published: Riverhead Books - October 7th, 2008

Shanni (Yours Truly, Brooklyn): A bitterly hilarious glimpse into (Ashkenazi) Jewish neurosis. A neurosis that any recovering-from-traditional-restriction (looking @ u Catholics) could maybe identify with. Auslander recounts his orthodox upbringing, secret rebellious childhood, and break from religion -- all while remaining paralyzingly terrified of the omniscient G-d, who could take away anything that brings him joy at any moment. So he avoids joy altogether. Reading him talk to God made me feel delightfully blasphemous myself: "Fuck you. But please don't kill my son because I said that." If you heard a hyena cackling on the C train in April of 2021, I'm sorry, that was me, reading this book.


Staff Pick Badge
Who Will Pay Reparations on My Soul?: Essays By Jesse McCarthy Cover Image
$17.95
ISBN: 9781324091479
Availability: Available In Store Now (while supplies last)
Published: Liveright - February 15th, 2022

Matt: My introduction to Jesse McCarthy was his brilliant essay "Notes On Trap," published in n+1, an essay I've already read multiple times. This collection lives up to the hype of that essay, and it's a terrific gateway to so many other great thinkers and works of art. It's an underrated gem.


Staff Pick Badge
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay (with bonus content): A Novel By Michael Chabon Cover Image
$19.00
ISBN: 9780812983586
Availability: Available In Store Now (while supplies last)
Published: Random House Trade Paperbacks - June 12th, 2012

Rich: A beautifully written, Pulitzer prize winning novel set in 1930s New York. If you are a fan of coming of age stories and the golden age of comic books, you will love this book.


Staff Pick Badge
Frog and Toad are Doing Their Best [A Parody]: Bedtime Stories for Trying Times By Jennie Egerdie, Ellie Hajdu (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Jennie Egerdie, Ellie Hajdu (Illustrator)
$16.00
ISBN: 9780762478460
Availability: Available In Store Now (while supplies last)
Published: Running Press Adult - October 5th, 2021

shurmi: Once upon a time I was doing a dramatic read-aloud of this book in the store, and the UPS worker who was delivering our daily loot was so taken that he stopped what he was doing and purchased himself a copy to keep in his little pinchers. "Wow!" he said. "I need a copy of that in my little pinchers!" He really said that! (He didn't. But he did buy the book!)  Needless to say, if you're on the fence about buying this book, just summon me and I'll dramatic read you into an alternate demention. For real. You will not leave here without this book. Even if I'm not working, just whisper "frog and toad" to yourself three times with as much humidity in your breath as you can and a vision of me will appear before your eyes to deliver those literary goods. Come along with me, friends. And let's discover the beautiful adventures of these quaint little homos. Hop to it! 


Staff Pick Badge
Iron Widow By Xiran Jay Zhao Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780735269934
Availability: Available In Store Now (while supplies last)
Published: Penguin Teen Canada - September 21st, 2021

Megan: Ever wanted to burn down a corrupt government? Then this is absolutely the book for you! Reading this book was a catharsis I didn't know I needed. Zetian is a furious, dark main character who isn't always likeable and I loved her even more for it. Plus, why have a boring old love triangle when you can have a canon polyamorous throuple? Love triangles are so 2008 anyway.


Staff Pick Badge
The Tea Dragon Society By K. O'Neill, K. O'Neill (Illustrator) Cover Image
By K. O'Neill, K. O'Neill (Illustrator)
$9.99
ISBN: 9781620107379
Availability: Available In Store Now (while supplies last)
Published: Oni Press - June 16th, 2020

Kiara: I’d give my left leg, my right arm, and a sizeable piece of my liver to live in a world as enchanting as this one.