Brooklyn bookstore staff picks for July 23

What to read this week

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Word’s pick: “Trying to Float” by Nicolaia Rips

Teenage author Nicolaia Rips has written a delightful, fond narrative of her “it takes a village” upbringing in the Chelsea Hotel, which is filled with every kind of New York character you can imagine. Among the whimsical stories of Halloweens gone wrong are truly anxiety-inducing tales of bullying and educational mishaps, but Rips wears her experiences at the Chelsea Hotel like armor — and if you read this book, so can you.

— Hannah Oliver Depp, Word [126 Franklin St. at Milton Street in Greenpoint, (718) 383–0096,].

Community Bookstore’s pick: “Carpenter’s Gothic” by William Gaddis

William Gaddis was an absolutely towering figure in American letters, but somewhere in the last decade, we started mistaking his shadow for the author’s absence. “The Recognitio­ns,” his monument to art forgery, left an impression on postmodernists everywhere; and “JR,” a monument to capitalism-run-amok, looms larger and larger with each passing financial disaster. “Carpenter’s Gothic” is a nightmarish little novel teeming with religious hucksters, corrupt politicians, an attempted assassination, and a veritable apocalypse — all rendered through a fugue of dialogue that writer Cynthia Ozick likened to ritual: “The voices are humanity seeping out, drop by drop, a gradual bloodletti­ng.”

— Hal Hlavinka, Community Bookstore [43 Seventh Ave. between Carroll Street and Garfield Place in Park Slope, (718) 783–3075,].

Greenlight Bookstore’s pick: “Ms. Marvel, Vol. 1: No Normal” by G. Willow Wilson and Adrian Alphona

Meet Kamala Khan. She’s a 16-year-old, Pakistani-American, Muslim teenager from Jersey City. She’s also a superhero. This comic collects her first adventures: discovering and learning how to control her weird superpowers and protecting Jersey City when no one else will, all while being sort-of grounded by her strict parents. Read as Kamla comes to terms with who she really is, because in her case, “secret identity” takes on multiple meanings.

— Jess Pane, Greenlight Bookstore [686 Fulton St. between S. Elliott Place and S. Portland Avenue in Fort Greene, (718) 246–0200,].

Posted 7:34 pm, July 22, 2016
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