Greenlight Bookstore’s pick: “Palaces for the People,” by Eric Klinenberg
This book is a call to action to improve our quality of life by investing in, building, and growing our “social infrastructure” — shared spaces where different groups can come together. Klinenberg focuses our attention on our environments, the ways we interact with them, and the people around us. He provides historical context, modern-day examples, and hope for the future. This is a wonderfully inspiring book that I refer to constantly since reading the book. I cannot recommend it enough.
— Rebecca Fitting, Greenlight Bookstore [686 Fulton St. between S. Elliott Place and S. Portland Avenue in Fort Greene, (718) 246–0200, www.greenlightbookstore.com].
Community Bookstore’s pick: “Democracy: An American Novel,” by Henry Adams
An instant bestseller when it was published anonymously in 1880, Henry Adams’s “Democracy: An American Novel” is a hilarious and scathing farce, depicting Washington corruption and New York high society in all-too-familiar fashion. Melville meets the swamp in Adams’s chiseled-from-marble prose. This book is your election season must-read!
— Samuel Partal, Community Bookstore [43 Seventh Ave. between Carroll Street and Garfield Place in Park Slope, (718) 783–3075, www.communitybookstore.net].
Word’s picks: “How Are You Going to Save Yourself,” by JM Holmes
Trying to describe the stories in “How Are You Going to Save Yourself” is almost as disorienting as reading them. You assume that you are starting a story with a certain angle or narrative structure, and then you find yourself looking through Wonderland glass at a former version of yourself. JM Holmes accomplishes this not with genre-defying dips into speculative fiction, but with a narrative control over the minds of his characters and readers. This explosive collection asks the questions that we often avoid, and I hope you hang on until the very. last. page.
— Hannah Oliver Depp, Word [126 Franklin St. at Milton Street in Greenpoint, (718) 383–0096, www.wordbookstores.com].