Staff Picks

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 May 21, 2019.


 

Staff Pick Badge
Grief Is the Thing with Feathers: A Novel Cover Image
$11.90
ISBN: 9781555977412
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Graywolf Press - June 7th, 2016

This is an unconventional, beautiful/ugly book. Grief takes the form of a literal and metaphorical crow in the lives of a mourning father and his two children. Grief is ugly, temperamental, fussy, physical, graphic, philosophical, wise. Grief is an oppressive presence in their household until one day, either he or they decide, whether read or not (although, more 'ready' than 'not'), that it is time to go.

Picked by Rebecca in Fort Greene


Staff Pick Badge
Unexpected Night (Henry Gamadge Mysteries #1) Cover Image
$12.71
ISBN: 9781937384777
Availability: Available at our distributor; usually ships in 1-5 days
Published: Felony & Mayhem - October 7th, 2013

For some slightly different beach reading this summer, may I suggest the company of Henry Gamadge: rare book expert, occasional spy, and amateur sleuth in 1940s New York.  Daly writes cozy mysteries in the vein of Agatha Christie, but the texture of mid-century American urban life is so dense that it sometimes feels like reading about an alien planet. 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 


Staff Pick Badge
Good Morning, Midnight: A Novel Cover Image
$13.60
ISBN: 9780812988192
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Random House Trade Paperbacks - July 4th, 2017

The world seems to have ended -- we don't know how or why. Augustine, an astronomer isolated in the Arctic, and Sully, an astronaut on her way back from Jupiter, are each stuck endlessly scanning the ruthlessly silent radio waves, hoping to find other survivors. Both characters are unforgettable, as are their respective mental reckonings with the loss of absolutely everything. Thought-provoking, atmospheric, and emotionally acute, this one is perfect for fans of Station Eleven.

Picked by Sarah in Fort Greene


Staff Pick Badge
The Rainbow Goblins Cover Image
$16.96
ISBN: 9780500277591
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Thames & Hudson - June 17th, 1978

 

An original narrative and artwork by Ul de Rico (conceptual artist for The NeverEnding Story) tells the story of seven malevolent, color-thieving goblins in fabulous oil on oak panel landscapes and portraits--if you look closely, you can see the grain! Straight out of 1978 and trippy as hell, The Rainbow Goblins has predictably been the inspiration for a psych rock album or two; a kid's book that isn't just for kids (although, yes, it was one of my absolute favorites growing up)! Great for gifting, great for your own shelf at home--this one's a treasure!

Picked by Kathryn in Fort Greene


Staff Pick Badge
Kanye West's My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy (33 1/3) Cover Image
$12.71
ISBN: 9781623565428
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Bloomsbury Academic - June 19th, 2014

 

This is the last great Kanye West Album. I repeat: this is the last great Kanye West Album. Before Mr. West found himself being a maligned punch line of social media and confused news anchors, he had already established himself as one of the most important musical artists of the 21st century. Kirk Walker Graves excavates with precision the bravado, the pain, the self-awareness, of what Rolling Stone ranks at 353 on its list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time. 

Picked by Dante in Fort Greene


Staff Pick Badge
Men, Women, and Chain Saws: Gender in the Modern Horror Film - Updated Edition Cover Image
By Carol J. Clover, Carol J. Clover (Preface by)
$16.96
ISBN: 9780691166292
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Princeton University Press - May 26th, 2015

In case the title doesn't grab you... please, let me lend you a hand, welcoming you into the big ole black hole of gender in horror film studies! As a filmmaker, and a lover of horror, this book just makes me smile. There is a lot to unpack and let me tell you Men, Women, and Chain Saws dives in dissecting the slasher genre off the bat. Who doesn't love a hyper critical view on the male gaze within horror movies? There is just so much to talk about, read it, and let's dish.

Picked by Erika in Prospect Lefferts Gardens


Staff Pick Badge
Bob's Blue Period Cover Image
By Marion Deuchars (Illustrator)
$13.59
ISBN: 9781786270702
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Laurence King Publishing - May 22nd, 2018

 It's okay to feel sad. You're not alone. It's nice to be reminded of that every now and again.

Picked by Erika in Prospect Lefferts Gardens


Staff Pick Badge
The Funeral Cover Image
By Matt James (Illustrator)
$16.11
ISBN: 9781554989089
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Groundwood Books - April 3rd, 2018

 

Here's a beautifully illustrated book about death. A sweet read for all. 

Picked by Erika in Prospect Lefferts Gardens


Staff Pick Badge
Here's Your Hat What's Your Hurry: Stories (Art of the Story) Cover Image
$14.44
ISBN: 9780062873729
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Ecco - February 5th, 2019

Here's Your Hat, What's Your Hurry may be Elizabeth McCracken's debut, but it is full to the brim with all of the heart, humor, and wonderful quirkiness that she's become known for since. The characters who grace the pages of these stories are some of the most unique I've ever encountered, each one of them displaying the absolute strangeness and beauty of being human in a new and exciting way.

Picked by Katie in Fort Greene


Staff Pick Badge
Maggie the Mechanic: A Love and Rockets Book (Love & Rockets) Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9781560977841
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Fantagraphics Books - March 2007

The first volume of the highly influential, downright legendary Love and Rockets comic provides the foundation for a very entertaining expanded universe. A colorful cast of characters is rendered in crisp black and white. Some lead ordinary lives, others more fantastical, but they all seem to intersect in inventive, humorous, and moving ways.

Picked by Geo in Prospect Lefferts Gardens


Staff Pick Badge
How I Became a Nun Cover Image
By Cesar Aira, Chris Andrews (Translator)
$11.86
ISBN: 9780811216319
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: New Directions Publishing Corporation - February 28th, 2007

What starts as a father-daughter trip to get strawberry ice cream becomes a hallucinatory, novella-length tale where reality is bent and everything goes awry. Aira's writing is inventive, one of a kind, entertaining, and - on many occasions in the book - outright funny. Despite the plot, this book has only strengthened my staunch support of strawberry ice cream. My love will not waver.

Picked by Justin in Fort Greene


Staff Pick Badge
The Art of Cruelty: A Reckoning Cover Image
$14.41
ISBN: 9780393343144
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - August 13th, 2012

Who wouldn't love a guided tour of the Avant-garde Postmodern art movement, lead unflinchingly by Maggie Nelson? Not her usual autobiographical matter, she points her writing at a broader scope of the art world's use of brutality, real or simulated. If you're an art nerd with a leaning towards the weird and uncomfortable, she presents you with a very deep well of it, while providing thoughtful context so you don't drown randomly.

Picked by Emily in Fort Greene


Staff Pick Badge
Proxies: Essays Near Knowing Cover Image
$13.56
ISBN: 9781937658458
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Nightboat Books - January 4th, 2016

 

Blanchfield writes single-subject essays from memory (no internet usage here!), remembering and misremembering, on things like tumbleweeds, peripersonal space, containment, and house-sitting. He’s playing with Barthes’s concept of “idiorhythmy,” or the individual and the community, and reminds us to consider our selves — exterior and interior — as mirrored in perceptual patterns around us. If that’s not enough to convince you, read the blurbs by Maggie Nelson and Claudia Rankine. These essays are blunt, brief, driving, and devastating. 

Picked by D in Fort Greene


Staff Pick Badge
Well Cover Image
$11.01
ISBN: 9781559362535
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Theatre Communications Group - May 2006

When I first picked up this play, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I thought perhaps it would be just as convoluted as every other metatheatrical piece I’ve ever experienced—but instead what I found was a wonderfully self-aware, hilarious, and poignant story that I couldn’t put down. With a fragile mother-daughter relationship driving the show, there are bound to be mishaps, and the result is an entirely exposed discussion of family, empathy, and what it truly means to be well.

Picked by Rose in Fort Greene


Staff Pick Badge
The Vast Fields of Ordinary Cover Image
$7.64
ISBN: 9780142418208
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Speak - March 17th, 2011

Fans of Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda, I proffer you this gem of a book, dusted off from when I first read it years ago during a transitional summer of my own. One of the rare coming-of-age stories that takes place not in high school (we meet our narrator at the start of summer following his graduation), and draws from "rom-coms" and "coming out" stories without getting stuck in their sappier conventions, TVFOO is expertly woven with Nick Burd's vivid prose and brings us a main character both complicated and instantly recognizable. This one's for those who need a reminder that the world is ultimately vast, and that we never run out of room to be who we are. 

Picked by Austin in Prospect Lefferts Gardens


Staff Pick Badge
Backlash: The Undeclared War Against American Women Cover Image
$13.59
ISBN: 9780307345424
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Broadway Books - August 15th, 2006

Though the 1970s saw great gains for American women, Backlash focuses instead on the 1980s, a decade revealed through Faludi's reporting as fraught with subtle anti-feminist agitprop and an escalating culture war that enlisted consumerism, mass media, and politics to warp the message of feminism and roll back the gains earned by 1970s activism. The work suggests that those unwilling to learn from feminist history will stumble blindly through its darkest chapters. No less relevant in our own time, Backlash persists as one of the most essential pieces of journalism for understanding the importance of the women's movement in America.

Picked by Austin in Prospect Lefferts Gardens


Staff Pick Badge
Revolutionary Road (Vintage Contemporaries) Cover Image
$14.41
ISBN: 9780375708442
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Vintage - April 25th, 2000

 

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


Staff Pick Badge
Bandette Volume 1: Presto! Cover Image
$12.74
ISBN: 9781616552794
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Dark Horse Books - November 5th, 2013

Bandette possesses all the charm and skill that makes her the self-proclaimed world's greatest thief. Imagine if Audrey Hepburn was ever cast as Catwoman, or if Amelie knew karate. Sure, she steals things, but in a Robin Hood kind of way. Except she keeps some things for herself and her loyal gang of urchins when she deems it appropriate. Paul Tobin's playful characters are rendered in Colleen Coover's beautiful watercolor style, homaging the French and Belgian comics of the past.

Picked by Geo in Prospect Lefferts Gardens


Staff Pick Badge
Gentlemen of the Road: A Tale of Adventure [title page only] Cover Image
$12.75
ISBN: 9780345502070
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Del Rey - September 30th, 2008

Michael Chabon says he originally wanted to call this adventure story Jews With Swords—set in medieval Europe, it draws from little-known Jewish history and legends, as well as the grand tradition of swashbuckling tales from Dumas to comic books.  It's an irresistibly charming miniature epic, with larger-than-life characters, hilarious tight scrapes and desperate pitched battles galore, and just enough of a love story to leave one filled with longing.  It's Chabon at his best, an explosion of brilliant sentences and pure joy in storytelling, that also manages to engage with the long history of both antisemitism and Jewish creativity.

Picked by Jessica in Fort Greene


Staff Pick Badge
Rat Queens Volume 1: Sass & Sorcery Cover Image
$8.49
ISBN: 9781607069454
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Image Comics - April 8th, 2014

This rowdy crew is made up of crude and crass monster-slayers-for-hire, who get as much thrill from decapitating an evil dragon as a one-night-stand after a night of heavy drinking. For the Rat Queens, that oftentimes happens all in a row (with variations on order). Whatever (mis)adventures the Rat Queens have, they’re always entertaining. In short, Rat Queens is Lumberjanes for adults. 

Picked by Geo in Prospect Lefferts Gardens


Staff Pick Badge
The Great Gatsby Cover Image
$14.45
ISBN: 9780743273565
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
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.