“Room to Dream,” by filmmaker David Lynch and journalist Kristine McKenna, is a fascinating peek behind the curtain at the life and works of an enigmatic master. The book alternates between Lynch’s own account of his artistic development, and McKenna’s meticulously researched portrayal of Lynch’s childhood years in idyllic Boise, Idaho, his introduction to painting and film-making, and his career as a director, writer, and visual artist. The dual memoir-and-biography offers untold insights into a body of work as multifaceted as it is idiosyncratic, and yet, like something out of one of his films, the more we learn about the stories behind the stories, the weirder it all seems.
— Samuel Partal, Community Bookstore [43 Seventh Ave. between Carroll Street and Garfield Place in Park Slope, (718) 783–3075, www.commun
In Madeline Miller’s latest novel, we are asked to re-imagine everything we know of the gods and goddess of old — particularly Circe, the patron goddess of witches, witchcraft, and sorcery. If Greek history holds your interest, then this book will make your heart sing. Ancient mythology not your thing? Do not worry, this book has it all: revenge, romance, and drama — with a few sprinkles of laughter thrown in.
— Yadira Aguiarr, Word [126 Franklin St. at Milton Street in Greenpoint, (718) 383–0096, www.wordbo
The full effect of David Sedaris’s most recent collection sneaks up on you. Individually, the true-ish stories he has compiled from his globe-trotting life are particularly wry and unsparing. Strung together, they illuminate yet another dimension to his storytelling, one concerned with aging and attempting to retain wonder in a time of dismay. Bit by bit, he develops new stages for his deadpan dramas and further elaborates the characters in his family, that infinite source of personality he continues to lay bare for our entertainment. It’s clear with “Calypso” that Sedaris’s success has only given him more — and even funnier — material to chew on, as tragic and slapstick as ever.
— Ben Hoffman, Greenlight Bookstore [686 Fulton St. between S. Elliott Place and S. Portland Avenue in Fort Greene, (718) 246–0200, www.greenl