To say that Brazil is a dominant force in the game of soccer is a major understatement. Its five World Cup titles, not to mention its role as host of the upcoming tournament, attest to its greatness in the sport. “Futebol Nation” looks at how soccer first came to Brazil as a pastime of the upper class and how it grew in popularity across the various sectors of Brazilian society. The book also explores how “futebol” integrated itself so much into the country’s social fabric that its influence can be seen in such diverse aspects as racial equality and political corruption. Well-written and researched, this book is highly recommended.
— Ricardo Kaulessar, Word [126 Franklin St. at Milton Street in Greenpoint, (718) 383–0096, www.wordbr
In Amy Sohn’s newest novel, we are taken into the luxurious, fast-paced life of actress Maddy Freed. American heartthrob Steven Weller sets his sights on Maddy, brings her up to A-list stardom, and sweeps her off her feet. Maddy was born to this life of red carpets and mansions, she has found everything she has always dreamed of. Or has she? After alienating her friends, and staving off rumors that Weller is only using her as a decoy for his career, Maddy learns all that glitters is not gold. Set in a world of glamour and scandal, “The Actress” is the perfect guilty pleasure read of the summer.
— Bina Valenzano, co-owner, The BookMark Shoppe [8415 Third Ave. between 84th and 85th streets in Bay Ridge, (718) 833–5115, www.bookma
Set in a small Montana town in the late 1970s, “Fourth of July Creek” follows a social worker who unintentionally gets caught up in the activities of a paranoid, destitute family who have removed themselves from any kind of society. As the social worker — who often has his own foot on the other side of the law — works to keep this family safe, his own life begins to unravel. Easily one of the best books of the summer.
— Emily Russo Murtagh, Greenlight Bookstore [686 Fulton St. between S. Elliott Place and S. Portland Avenue in Fort Greene, (718) 246–0200, www.greenl