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.
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!)
Mandy & 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.
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.
Jen: American beatnik generation writer, Burroughs, first published work, before best-seller Naked Lunch. If you’re into or know that friend who reads novels that are semi-autobiographical depicting gritty or taboo New York experiences. A great recommendation for transgressive literature or cynical antagonist narrative fans !
Jessica: My kid's first chosen Halloween costume was a tiger with a top hat, after this awesome book -- because it is fun to go from fancy to feral and back again. Bonus: it's a great read-aloud, with the potential for snooty accents and lots of interactive roaring!!
Kyle: This is my favorite debut of 2023 (calling it now). The Adult is a queer coming of age that brims over the lip with longing, desire, and the exhaustion of experiencing what it means to become yourself. The prose is captivating and playful, it tap dances around itself but never misses its chance to prick you with its bittersweet point. Fischer can and will be compared to many contemporary fiction writers, but with a debut like this she stands in a league of her own.
Alexis: I love this book. A stunning depiction of the tragic yet everyday evils of self obsession, intellectual superiority and white feminism. This book, which places the reader inside the mind of a nasty b*tch of a narrator, was so searing yet somehow empathetic. The narrator has many despicable qualities but the most terrifying is how easily her train of thought could turn to exactly the kind of thing I may find myself thinking. It's a psychological thriller about female rivalry and somehow also the writings of Camus? A quick and very fun read.
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.
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.
David: Cortázar's masterpiece. A scouring of the undefinable. Part eloquent ramble, part literary bebop. Translated with immeasurable grace by Gregory Rabassa.
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.
Mandy: 12 gothic fantasies about death, sex, and the occult. Let us say no more.
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.
Maritza: I will forever love Why We Swim because it was among the first books I was able to commit to after the pandemic settled in. The book is a balm: multi-genre nonfiction that explores what allows and compels us to swim, featuring case studies of specific communities relationships with the water. A restorative, quietly delightful mix of reporting and memoir that pairs well with Lulu Miller's Why Fish Don't Exist.
Micah: Not only is this book visually amazing, but the story is so relatable and creatively told. It is all about a sheep doing their own thing in their little cottage, until the sheep has to go out into the presumably mean forest and endure what lies ahead. I will stop there because I don't want to spoil the story, but The Wolf Suit is definitely an enjoyable read and I like to think, in its own way, a tale of the typical New York experience. And while it's listed as a children's graphic novel, I think everyone can appreciate this one!
Bria: If we get started now, we could have this sh*t fixed before I'm 40, lets go. But really, a clear and concise answer to the question, "but, like, what could socialism in the U.S. really look like?"
Matt: I felt micro-targeted by this debut novel -- a hilarious publishing industry satire with a Larry David-esque plot and super local setting (there's even a scene set in this very bookstore!). Highly recommended for fans of Fake Accounts, Early Work, and The New Me.
Ashli: If you ever read Harry Potter and thought This would be much better if Harry and Draco got together... put down your AO3 or Wattpad fanfic and pick up this book!
K.: Celebrate Pride all year by honoring the legendary living transgender elder, Miss Major Griffin-Gracy. This book is a required must-read for any & every queer here today. Miss Major Speaks speaks for itself.
Megan: I missed my subway stop twice reading this book! Part suspenseful mystery, part romance, this book transported me to a spaceship where everything is going wrong, nothing is what it seems, and there's nowhere to escape.
Mustafa: What if Raymond Chandler were hired by Walt Disney to write a Graphic Novel, what might it look like? It might look something like Blacksad, an anthropomorphic Film Noir styled, action packed, visually stunning masterclass in storytelling. I discovered this Graphic Novel series almost 10 years ago since then each new edition has never failed to entertain and inspire me. I hope you’ll feel the same.
A perennial favorite and one of the sources of our name, Fitzgerald's masterpiece is always a staff pick at Greenlight Bookstore.