Word’s picks: “Horror Stories,” by Liz Phair
Rock star Liz Phair is infamous for her unflinching honesty in the face of taboo. From the naked candor of her debut album “Exile in Guyville” to the raw text of her new memoir “Horror Stories,” the confetti queen of alt-rock has made a career of stripping away the glamour from life in the limelight. The nonlinear essays that constitute this hyper-literate memoir are intimate, painful, and at times shameful, but these are the achingly true memories that roughly approximate a human life.
— Steven Warren, Word [126 Franklin St. at Milton Street in Greenpoint, (718) 383–0096, www.wordbookstores.com].
Community Bookstore’s pick: “The Gallows Pole,” by Benjamin Myers
This novel of coin counterfeiting and criminal conspiracy in 18th century England is haunting and haunted. Winner of the 2018 Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction, it is a Gothic Western set on the moors of Yorkshire — if such a thing can be imagined. It follows the violent unraveling of an unlikely plot that, as befits the most terrifying of tales, is based on true events!
— Samuel Partal, Community Bookstore [43 Seventh Ave. between Carroll Street and Garfield Place in Park Slope, (718) 783–3075, www.communitybookstore.net].
Greenlight Bookstore’s pick: “Salt Slow,” by Julia Armfield
“Salt Slow” is a luminous and engrossing collection of fantasy short stories that connect the supernatural with women’s lives, and that show transformations that happen on different levels and in different ways. The first story, “Mantis,” is about a teen girl going through an unusual, hereditary puberty, and the final, title story is about another transformation driven by childbirth. In between are stories about love, loss, the separation of the self and different kinds of relationships to nature and the supernatural. For fans of Kelly Link, Jeff Vandermeer, and China Mieville.
— Rebecca Fitting, Greenlight Bookstore [686 Fulton St. between S. Elliott Place and S. Portland Avenue in Fort Greene, (718) 246–0200, www.greenlightbookstore.com].