A timely collection of stories about home, identity, and fulfillment that will deeply resonate with readers of all backgrounds. Viet Thanh Nguyen’s stories capture the complex emotions and struggles confronting immigrants who have recently arrived in America and beautifully portrays the power of hope amidst struggle. Given the current political climate, I can’t think of a more appropriate book to read.
— Alison Gore, Word [126 Franklin St. at Milton Street in Greenpoint, (718) 383–0096, www.wordbr
Community Bookstore’s pick: “At Swim-Two-Birds” by Flann O’Brien
If you have not yet read Flann O’Brien’s glorious debut novel, this absurd moment in history is the time to start. A young Irish writer begins a series of books starring a cast of down-and-out deviants, and soon these deviants start their own books with their own casts of down-and-out deviants, and this continues until something like an uprising foments in the metafictional ranks. The word “hilarious” gets used a lot, but O’Brien’s novel truly deserves the term.
— Hal Hlavinka, Community Bookstore [43 Seventh Ave. between Carroll Street and Garfield Place in Park Slope, (718) 783–3075, www.commun
The supernatural and the suburban loop together in this graphic novel series illustrated by Cliff Chiang, about four young newspaper deliverers on the strangest Halloween of their lives. The second volume opens with the girls catapulted from 1988 to 2016, where meeting one of their older selves is the least weird thing they confront. With time travel, mystery, girl gangs, and twists and turns unlike any narrative before, “Paper Girls,” is an unpredictable and captivating series everyone should read!
— Melissa Hohl, Greenlight Bookstore [686 Fulton St. between S. Elliott Place and S. Portland Avenue in Fort Greene, (718) 246–0200,