“The Incendiaries” is my favorite novel of 2018. Please buy it and read it. Immediately. Read the sentences out loud to your friends. Read about longing and possession with your partners. Think about all the ways we are “educated” throughout our days. Consider how you perceive and use your gods. And, above all, enjoy this small, raw gem of a book. R.O. Kwon has done something singular in her writing by distilling metaphor and simple sentences into a potent potion that takes hold of your brain and your heart. “The Incendiaries” deserves a place on your shelf and in your mind.
— Hannah Oliver-Depp, Word [126 Franklin St. at Milton Street in Greenpoint, (718) 383–0096, www.wordbo
In his philosophical novel “The Lives of Animals,” Pulitzer Prize-winner J.M Coetzee explores human identity, the way animals react to each other and the environment, and the ethics of meat by way of an engaging fiction that is as sharp and affecting in its prose as it is compelling in its reasoning.
— Samuel Partal, Community Bookstore [43 Seventh Ave. between Carroll Street and Garfield Place in Park Slope, (718) 783–3075, www.commun
Ling Ma’s debut novel takes the milieu of the film “Frances Ha” and mixes in a subdued zombie apocalypse. It tells the story of Candace Chen, an office drone and aspiring photographer, who lives through a plague that causes people to mindlessly perform familiar motions until they rot away. It is a clever and funny novel that depicts modern urban ennui and a speculative post-apocalyptic world equally well, while using its central contagion as a metaphor to critique late capitalism, globalization, and nostalgia.
— Matt Stowe, Greenlight Bookstore [686 Fulton St. between S. Elliott Place and S. Portland Avenue in Fort Greene, (718) 246–0200, www.greenl