Greenlight Staff Picks are 15% off!
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 November 26, 2019.
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.
Picked by Rose in Fort Greene
David Toop guides readers on an excavation of sound documentation, cataloging sonic explorations throughout the 20th century: from a never-realized collaboration between Edgard Varèse & Charlie Parker to the new-German sounds of Kraftwerk. Recordings of Amazonian frog choirs are discussed with the same reverence as a Tokyo radio station where programming schedules reflect tidal patterns. This is a book about the transcendent nature of listening with patience & care, which we should all consider in this age of elaborate distraction.
Picked by David in Fort Greene
With all the recent accusations of fake news and conspiracy theories, witch hunts and deep state politics, this timely book explores how our uniquely American paranoia is ingrained in the history of our country, how it continues to influence our culture and, more importantly, how it permeates into our politics. Scary and fascinating, this is a great entertaining read.
Picked by Shauna in Fort Greene
One of the most striking, impressive, haunting books I've ever read. Jenny Offill pulls off an incredible feat: a complex book told by an 8-year-old narrator watching the deterioration of her parents' marriage and her mother's mental health. The tension and beauty of the novel lies in the disparity between what the narrator sees but is too young to interpret. This is the sort of book that you can't put down until you finish, and it will linger a long time after it's done.
Picked by Katie in Fort Greene
Cortázar perfectly embodies Latin America’s fascination with death and the unknown with this terrifying collection of bizarre stories--like one that switches perspective from man to fish, another that tells the story of a brother and sister living together in their family home being taken over by unknown forces, and a tale of a young girl who spends her summer vacation in her family country house only to find out there’s a tiger roaming the halls. I recommend reading these stories with Brian Eno’s ‘Lizard Point’ playing quietly in the background.
Picked by Oswald in Fort Greene
These everyman's poems about teaching high school, working night shifts and part time jobs, delivering pizza, etc., are a wonder and a delight. Kass captures the small moments in the broad swath of life's fullness, but doesn't get bogged down by them. This is no oppressive working class tale-telling, it's a celebration of all the little things that make up complicated life.
Picked by Rebecca in Prospect Lefferts Gardens
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
Rimbaud’s prose poems capture the strange space we inhabit: a stillness between utopia and apocalypse, a bored, wavering impatience before the flood. Ashbery’s translation avoids the clunk and flourish of previous versions in favor of recognizing the weirdness of the poems, preserving their crystalline concision and vivid, fantastical images. This book also provides a genealogy of Ashbery’s own poetry, which like Rimbaud, accepts the danger of conveying simple beauty and agency in “this huge city under a sky stained with fire and mud…”
Picked by Michael in Fort Greene
Surviving a terrorist attack will change everything... especially the rules of living on this plane of existence. This book tells two stories, one of an inter-dimensional ghost love story and the other of the rising young star, Darcy, who wrote the love story and is now trying to make it in New York's publishing scene. Westerfeld masterfully keeps readers guessing in a thrilling novel that gives voice to fears about everything from falling in love, to surviving a mass shooting, to learning how to keep friends in the adult world for the first time.
Picked by Jackie in Fort Greene
Jesse Jacobs has long been a leader in the Canadian underground comics scene, and it’s easy to understand why with one peek at Safari Honeymoon. A poetic and humorous voice within a community that's known to break with the conventions of visual storytelling, I findJacobs' work to be well worth pouring over multiple times. His attention to detail with both dialogue and illustrative form makes for a body work that’s a pleasure to recommend!
Picked by Joey in Fort Greene
I discovered this work by (Sir) Jeffrery Archer over 30 years ago. If you enjoy reading well-written short-stories in the vein of Graham Greene and W. Somerset Maugham--stories that have both a literary and cinematic quality with a bit of a twist--you too will surely enjoy this particular offering by Mr. Archer.
Picked by Mustafa in Fort Greene
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
Fleeing a failed fling by flying from Berlin to Paris (linguistically, culturally, emotionally)—a young French pianist recounts where she thinks she went wrong, with a particular focus on her tryst with a supposedly-genius composer. Not quite a monologue, all anxious musicality, her all-too-relatable remembrances create a cresting voyeuristic anxiety in the reader, building to an almost unbearable finish. Did I mention it's laugh-out-loud funny? For fans of Molly Bloom, melancholic Euro-lit, monologues, classical music & digressions.
Picked by Abe in Fort Greene
At the center of this thought-provoking, suspenseful novel is Judith Carrigan, a transgender woman reckoning with a tragic incident in her past. She could serve as an exonerating witness for an old friend, but to do so she'd have to annihilate the carefully drawn line between her pre- and post-transition selves. As much a meditation on identity as it is a page-turny mystery.
Picked by Sarah in Fort Greene
Henry Gamadge: rare book expert, occasional spy, and amateur sleuth in 1940s New York. Daly writes cozies in the Agatha Christie vein, but mid-century urban America is so texturally dense that it feels like reading about an alien planet; what even are the rules about hats? How does checking into a hotel work? What social faux pas just made everyone feel awkward? It makes for a meta-mystery that's kind of addicting, and Gamadge is such a good guy in a sea of incompetence, pettiness, and prejudice that it's a delight to hang out with him.
Picked by Jessica in Fort Greene
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
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
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
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
A perennial favorite and one of the sources of our name, Fitzgerald's masterpiece is always a staff pick at Greenlight Bookstore.