Word’s pick: “The Republic of Imagination” by Azar Nafisi
If you’re looking for a reason to reread the classics, Nafisi has got you covered. The author of “Reading Lolita in Tehran” is now an American citizen, and contemplates three pivotal American books in her new book. By way of “Huckleberry Finn,” “Babbitt,” and “The Heart is a Lonely Hunter,” she examines our current political life, what it means to be a US citizen, and her hopes and fears for modern-day readers. And given the recent political climate and protests, a little extra consciousness goes a long way.
— Jenn Northington, Word [126 Franklin St. at Milton Street in Greenpoint, (718) 383–0096, www.wordbrooklyn.com].
The BookMark Shoppe’s pick: “My Brilliant Friend” by Elena Ferrante
Fans of Adriana Trigiani are sure to find Elena Ferrante’s “My Brilliant Friend” just as amazing as I did. It has the feel of a deeply personal memoir. A great story about the friendship between two girls and how their lives evolve, clash, and diverge. Get a peak into life in Italy in the 1950s, and embrace the two girls throughout their journey.
— Christine Freglette, The BookMark Shoppe [8415 Third Ave. between 84th and 85th streets in Bay Ridge, (718) 833–5115, www.bookmarkshoppe.com].
Greenlight Bookstore’s pick: “Alphabet” by Kathy Page
This is my favorite book of the year. Kathy Page puts you inside the head of Simon. He’s in jail and doesn’t understand his rage. He’s murdered his girlfriend. He learns the alphabet and begins writing anonymous letters to women. He pretends to be someone else — someone who loves art — until someone figures him out and asks him for the truth, and it all unravels. This book is about identity, the prison system, and how to love yourself when you’ve been beaten down.
— Jess Pane, Greenlight Bookstore [686 Fulton St. between S. Elliott Place and S. Portland Avenue in Fort Greene, (718) 246–0200, www.greenlightbookstore.com].