Who can you always count on when you’re in a bind and need a good book? Your neighborhood bookstore, of course, whose employees read all the newest books before you do. That’s why we’re running this semi-regular column featuring must-reads, handpicked and written about by the staff at some of our favorite independent bookstores in Brooklyn.
“The Confession” by John Grisham is this week’s hot pick. Fans will not be disappointed by Grisham’s newest paperback. This legal thriller reminds us of why Grisham holds the bar high in this genre. Pick up a copy today and plan on staying up all night!
— Bina Valenzano, co-owner, The BookMark Shoppe [8415 Third Ave. between 84th and 85th streets in Bay Ridge, (718) 833-5115].
Glen Duncan’s “The Last Werewolf” is dirty, sexy, violent, and yet somehow highly civilized. The British author’s venture into genre fiction engages with the big questions (love, death, the meaning of life) while delivering a sophisticated thrill-a-minute plot that’s a far cry from the teen drama you might expect. The protagonist, 200-year-old werewolf Jacob Marlowe, is a delightful companion despite his compulsion to kill and eat people once a month. His narration drips with witty jokes and literary allusions, and he loves a fine whiskey as well as a roll in the hay. It’s a smart, satisfying, slightly naughty summer reading.
— Jessica Stockton Bagnulo, co-owner, Greenlight Bookstore [686 Fulton St. between S. Elliott Place and S. Portland Avenue in Fort Greene, (718) 246-0200].
This is the kind of book that makes me want to grab people by the arm as they walk past me on the street and shout, “Have you heard about this guy? This book?! It’s amazing!” Binyavanga Wainaina has literary chops (he won the 2002 Caine Prize for African Writing, is the founding editor if Kwani, and has written for a smorgasbord of newspapers and magazines), and as you read his memoir you can see why. His prose is incandescent, white-hot with vivid imagery and surreal word play, and he evokes childhood, Kenya, and the struggles of the creative mind brilliantly.
— Jenn Northington, events manager, WORD [126 Franklin St. at Milton Street in Greenpoint, (718) 383-0096].