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.
“Hush” by Kate White
Most readers know Kate White as editor-in-chief of Cosmo. They might not know that White is also a New York Times best-selling author. “Hush” is White’s first stand-alone mystery thriller, starring Lake Warren. Warren, in the middle of a bitter divorce, has a one-night stand with a collegue who turns up dead the next morning. This page-turner will have you guessing — until the last chapter — who was the real target of that murder? Also, look out for true crime journalist Bailey Weggins in White’s original popular mystery series.
— Bina Valenzano, co-owner, The BookMark Shoppe [8415 Third Ave. between 84th and 85th streets in Bay Ridge, (718) 833-5115].
“Rin Tin Tin” by Susan Orlean
In her trademark style, Susan Orlean definitely does the story of Rin Tin Tin justice, making it a fascinating and well-researched biography of the dogs and owners and producers involved, but this is a much broader book than just that. This is a sweeping book about America, hidden in a wolf’s clothing. Underlying the deceptively straightforward biography aspect of this story is a wealth of cultural observation on how America was changing during this era. Going in and out of war, adjusting to life with and without war, how war changed families and lifestyles, the advent of the concept of “family pet,” the beginning of the “pet industry” in the form of training, breeding, dog shows, and household pets, the development of silent films, talk films, then tv, and how all those forms of media affected and changed the way people lived their lives. Orphans, Hollywood, rags to riches and back to rags, the American story she channels through the life of Rin Tin Tin goes on and on and is endlessly fascinating.
— Rebecca Fitting, co-owner, Greenlight Bookstore [686 Fulton St. between S. Elliott Place and S. Portland Avenue in Fort Greene, (718) 246-0200].
“Zone One” by Colson Whitehead
For people who like zombies: Dude. It’s a book about zombies. Zombies in MANHATTAN. Killing zombies and surviving and killing more zombies. Read it already.
For people who don’t like zombies: Ah, ignore the zombies. Feel free to see them as a useful metaphor if you must. But don’t miss this book. Whitehead is at the top of his game. There are many pages of writing so good, you’ll feel like a zombie just ate your heart out and your life is slowly fading before your eyes. Wait! We mean, ignore the zombies.
— The staff of WORD [126 Franklin St. at Milton Street in Greenpoint, (718) 383-0096].