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, www.wordbr
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, www.commun
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, www.greenl
©2016 Community News Group
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