Carrie Brownstein’s memoir is for anyone who has ever been a fan and anyone who has had a small obsession, which I imagine is most of us. The Sleater-Kinney guitarist and “Portlandia” actor writes about being a fan first, of writing long letters to stars in hope of someone listening to her. This memoir is filled with humility and moments of poetic language, like when she compares a man’s toe to a gnarled piece of ginger.
— Jess Pane, Greenlight Bookstore [686 Fulton St. between S. Elliott Place and S. Portland Avenue in Fort Greene, (718) 246–0200, www.greenl
Community Bookstore’s pick: “The Visiting Privilege” by Joy Williams
Joy Williams has been my biggest discovery of the year. Yes, I’m late to the party, but here I stand, totally and utterly baffled that we have not constructed a monument to this contemporary American master. This book collects many of Williams’s most-loved stories, showing the full range of her devastating short fiction. These dark, funny, ferocious stories turn the staid suburban narrative inside out, and are told in the dark, funny, ferocious language of right now, where we hold our breath between hell and the void. Read it and be changed.
— Hal Hlavinka, Community Bookstore [43 Seventh Ave. between Carroll Street and Garfield Place in Park Slope, (718) 783–3075, www.commun
This is a body-positive book about breaking down stereotypes and learning to love yourself — but it is also about insecurities, female friendships, and mother-daughter relationships. A lot happens in this young-adult novel starring a self-proclaimed fat girl, including a complicated romance and a beauty pageant, and I had a hard time putting the book down until I finished it.
— Lydia Hutchins, Word [126 Franklin St. at Milton Street in Greenpoint, (718) 383–0096, www.wordbr