Welcome to our column Staff Picks, in which we ask the staffers at our favorite book, music, and movie stores around to town to share with us what they're reading, listening to, and watching this week. We figure they're good people to ask. Today we're checking in with the staff at Shakespeare & Co. Booksellers in Greenwich Village to find out which tomes tickle their fancy.
Bookseller Galia recommends Sleepwalk With Me (2010) by Mike Birbiglia: "Made me laugh out loud on the R train at 10pm. You know a book's doing it's job when you're cracking up on public transportation. Birbiglia's telling of anecdotes and episodes from his life are warm, hilarious, and engaging. His voice lends itself so naturally to the prose, that it's almost like seeing his show in person."
Another pick: The cookbook American Flavor (2011) by Andrew Carmellini: "It's not quick-and-easy, but the effort is worth it. Carmellini's take on American dishes are inventive and delicious. If not for anything else, the photo of 'The World's Best Biscuits—End of Story' merits a perusal. If you're into hearty dishes and honey butter like I am, then this is a must-have."
Bookseller Connor recommends The Graveyard Book (2008) by Neil Gaiman: "With the protection of the graveyard, Nobody Owens is a boy raised by ghosts and other supernatural beings in Neil Gaiman's Gothic reinterpretation of Rudyard Kipling's The Jungle Book. Gaiman is a master of merging fun and frights in this story of childhood that is not just for children."
Also: Outer Dark (1968) by Cormac McCarthy: "McCarthy's second novel is a masterpiece of the Southern Gothic genre that is as beautiful as it is haunting. McCarthy follows a brother and sister as they wander separately through an unknown region of the turn of the century South in search of a nameless man. McCarthy's prose and mastery of strange and terrifying characters is something all readers must behold."
Operations Manager David recommends Surface Detail (2010) by Iain Banks: "As good a jumping-on point as any for Banks's terrific 'Culture' novels, about the doings in and around a supercivilization of near-omniscient and omnipotent computers and their pansexual, drug-using, self-actualized citizens. Lots of murder and revenge in this one. In space."
One more pick: Hark! A Vagrant (2011) by Kate Beaton: "Finally! a book version of Kate Beaton's much beloved webcomic Hark! A Vagrant. Want to read about Spider-Man being more like an actual spider? Or about the Romantics being creeps? Yeah, you do. Hilarious and sublimely weird."
Shakespeare and Co. Booksellers // 716 Broadway // (212) 529-1330