Who can you always count on when you’re in a bind and need a good book? Your neighborhood bookstore, of course, whose employees read all the newest books before you do. That’s why we’re running this semi-regular column featuring must-reads, handpicked and written about by the staff at some of our favorite independent bookstores in Brooklyn.
Greenlight’s pick: “The Cat’s Table” Michael Ondaatje’s genius is in his sensual depictions of the textures of everyday life. His new book, a semi-autobiographical sketch of a boy’s journey on an ocean liner from Southeast Asia to Europe, takes about 100 pages for anything resembling a storyline to take shape. But there are images here that I’ll retain forever: ships passing through the locks of a canal at night, small boys diving for spoons on shipboard, the glances between a well-bred young woman and a charismatic acrobat. And the story that finally floats to the surface is haunting and beautiful, strange and universal. — Rebecca Fitting, co-owner, Greenlight Bookstore [686 Fulton St. between S. Elliott Place and S. Portland Avenue in Fort Greene, (718) 246-0200].
WORD’s pick: “Hark, A Vagrant” One of WORD’s all-time favorite webcomics, “Hark, A Vagrant” by Kate Beaton, is finally available offline. Learn about Canadian history and all the classic novels you’ve been pretending you’ve read since high school from one of the funniest ladies on the Internet. Also full of comics about naturally funny things like Wonder Woman, Edward Gorey book covers, and owls. — Jenn Northington, event manager, WORD [126 Franklin St. at Milton Street in Greenpoint, (718) 383-0096].