Ooh, this book! It’s got murder, intrigue, politics, religion, history, insurance fraud (which I swear is actually fascinating!), racial history during the George Wallace era, love, and so much human complexity. In theory this book is about author Harper Lee — although she doesn’t even show up until halfway through the book — and her intense interest in a serial killing preacher in Alabama, not far from her childhood home. But actually, the book is about so much more. If you like big, sprawling, but keep-it-together non-fiction narrative books like those from Erik Larson or David Grann, this book is for you. It is deeply satisfying non-fiction candy.
— Rebecca Fitting, Greenlight Bookstore [686 Fulton St. between S. Elliott Place and S. Portland Avenue in Fort Greene, (718) 246–0200, www.greenl
The latest from natural-history heavyweight Robert Macfarlane, sub-titled “A Deep Time Journey,” explores the 4.5 billion-year history of our planet’s subterranean depths, and our impact upon those underground spaces. “Underland” weaves myth, science, and prehistory together to explore caves, graves, mines, telluric currents, the internet-of-fungus, and more.
— Samuel Partal, Community Bookstore [43 Seventh Ave. between Carroll Street and Garfield Place in Park Slope, (718) 783–3075, www.commun
This sleek, ruthless yarn about a rich girl-poor girl friendship that turns feverishly competitive is psychologically masterful and relentlessly gripping. Pitoniak has an acute eye for the telling details of class and upbringing in 21st-century New York City.
— Mike Lindgren, Word [126 Franklin St. at Milton Street in Greenpoint, (718) 383–0096, www.wordbo