Community Bookstore’s pick: “The Secret Commonwealth,” by Robert Kirk
In the 17th century, Scottish minister Robert Kirk set out to collect the accumulated lore of the fairies, fauns, demons, sprites, spirits, and elves of his native Highland village, and wrote what he believed to be the first systematic history of his nonhuman neighbors. Written in a minister’s crisp prose with startling credulity, this long-forgotten classic, originally published by Sir Walter Scott, is now available in a charming edition from New York Review Books Classic.
— 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: “Paul Takes the Form of a Mortal Girl,” by Andrea Lawlor
I caught up with “Paul Takes the Form of a Mortal Girl” after it was republished in paperback this spring, and I loved it. The novel is a fun romp through the queerscapes of the ’90s with excellent characters, smut, poetry, and music and reading recommendations galore. I will be recommending this to my special customers who I think will get a kick out of it.
— Austin Broussard, Greenlight Bookstore [686 Fulton St. between S. Elliott Place and S. Portland Avenue in Fort Greene, (718) 246–0200, www.greenlightbookstore.com].
Word’s picks: “The Sun on My Head,” by Geovani Martins
“Debut” is a loaded term, because so many new or first books reek of the influence of earlier, often greater, writers. That is why, when something is not only fresh, but also undeniably good, we should all take notice. Geovani Martins’s parables of tender masculinity are rendered in a natural dialogue that brings us straight onto the blinding beaches of Rio and the desperate walled-in streets of the favela. For Martins, this is home, and his stories are so evocative, so full of life and motion, that I was floored. This is a book for all ages, for all sensibilities.
— Jeff Waxman, Word [126 Franklin St. at Milton Street in Greenpoint, (718) 383–0096, www.wordbookstores.com].