This one-volume history of the United States is astonishing — not just in its breadth, but also in its clarity. Lepore is such a delightful writer and astute historian — she is thoughtful, not polemical; she is observant, but not reverential. This book is like reading one of her “New Yorker” articles, but on steroids! A compact reckoning for these days.
— Alexis Akre, Greenlight Bookstore [686 Fulton St. between S. Elliott Place and S. Portland Avenue in Fort Greene, (718) 246–0200, www.greenl
Editor’s note: What can we say? Apparently, “These Truths” is the must-have book of the season!
A masterful history of the United States, from the first Spanish ship docking at Hispaniola to now. Lepore combines first-rate scholarship with the narrative lucidity of a great novelist. She does not shirk from the ugliness of our collective past, reckoning directly with a history of invasion, conquest, and slavery which unintentionally produced a fragile but vibrant multicultural democracy. For the true patriot on your shopping list!
— Samuel Partal, Community Bookstore [43 Seventh Ave. between Carroll Street and Garfield Place in Park Slope, (718) 783–3075, www.commun
Word’s picks: “What If It’s Us,” by Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera
Is there anything more adorable than a meet-cute in New York City? You would think not, but this gay romance — the brainchild of two young-adult heavy hitters — builds on that moment to make a pitch-perfect novel about second chances. Author besties Albertalle and Silvera create relatable, lovable characters, and will wrap you up in their individual and shared experiences over one summer in the city that never sleeps.
— Kim Small, Word [126 Franklin St. at Milton Street in Greenpoint, (718) 383–0096, www.wordbo