Park Slope Reading: Our Winter Reading List

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The weather outside is frightful–and we couldn’t be happier for the excuse to stay inside and read. Here are our picks for the Top 10 Books with which to hibernate this winter. 

 

Eat the Apple

by Matt Young 

This formally inventive memoir by ex-Marine Young comes specially recommended by Community Bookstore’s Ezra Goldstein. Young had only recently graduated from high school when he joined the Marines back in 2005, a decision that would, as Publishers Weekly describes it, change him into a “dangerous and damaged man.” Sections written in the third person, in the second person, as screenplay, and as imagined dialogues, as well as with a host of other techniques, give this account from an ex-grunt-turned-creative-writing-professor a singular power.

 

What Are We Doing Here?

By Marilynne Robinson

A favorite of Community Bookstore’s Stephanie Valdez, Marilynne Robinson returns this winter with a collection of essays on the little things in life, such as culture, history, and human decency. Among other topics, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author writes eloquently on our political climate and the “human capacity for grandeur.” For those who like their ideas as deep as they are expansive.

 

Feel Free: Essays

by Zadie Smith

‘Tis the season for lady authors with formidable intelligences. This second collection of essays from celeb (one who is celebrated as well as a celebrity) author Smith includes her thoughts on cultural touchstones from Facebook to global warming. It is divided into five sections—In the World, In the Audience, In the Gallery, On the Bookshelf, and Feel Free—and is certain not to disappoint her numerous fans.

 

Sunburn

by Laura Lipmann

This highly anticipated novel is no. 23 from the bestselling Lippman. A former reporter and author of the popular series about “accidental PI” Tess Monaghan, Lippman has written Sunburn as a noir in the vein of James M. Cain (of The Postman Always Rings Twice and Double Indemnity fame). A young mother up and leaves her husband and daughter while on a beach vacation. Who she is and just how many skeletons she is hiding in that closet of hers filled with items to complement her sexy red hair are just two of the questions that drive the twisty plot.

 

Madness is Better Than Defeat

by Ned Beauman

A Hollywood crew intending to shoot a film on the location and members of a New York corporation who want to ship it back to the U.S. simultaneously descend upon a Mayan ruin in 1930’s Honduras. Twenty years later, they’re all still there. This raucously comic novel from the Man Booker-nominated Beauman (for 2012’s The Teleportation Accident) is filled with the author’s trademark wit and features a host of colorful characters, incident, and a wrestling match with an octopus.

 

The Man of Mokha

by Dave Eggers

This is the sort of true tale for which the phrase “stranger than fiction” was invented. Eggers’ nonfiction story centers on Mokhtar Alkhanshali, an American raised by Yemeni immigrants in San Francisco. At 24 and unable to afford college, Alkhanshali was working as a doorman when he learned that coffee originated in his native Yemen. He traveled to the country determined to revitalize its coffee industry—and was still there when civil war broke out, leaving him unable to return home. A real-life hero’s journey.

 

The Children of Blood and Bone

by Tomi Adeyemi

This 600-page fantasy novel earned Adeyemi a hefty payday that included seven figures and a movie deal. Not too bad for a 23-year-old debut author. In this first installment of a planned trilogy we meet 17-year-old Zélie. She embarks upon a quest to retrieve the magic that has been banished from her homeland by an evil king. The Nigerian-American Adeyemi draws heavily upon the West African mythology she studied in Brazil after graduating from Harvard, and speaks to timely issues of race, power and oppression.

 

Jagannath

by Karin Tidbeck

WIRED calls this first collection of English-language short stories from the Swedish Tidbeck “weird in all the right ways.” Her influences range from Jorge Luis Borges and Ursula Le Guin to H.P. Lovecraft. Strange creatures lurking in the Swedish countryside, strange reproductive facilities operating inside the belly of an aircraft, strange happenings between sisters and the fairylike beings they encounter…For those who like their literature to transport them far off the beaten path.

 

Extraordinary People

by Michael Hearst

This latest from Park Slope local Hearst includes mini profiles of 50 fascinating and fairly off-kilter individuals. Curious about the man who agreed to jump Niagara Falls for a whopping $75? How about the woman who walked to the North Pole solo, or the guy who MacGyvered his own personal version of Up using helium balloons and a lawn chair? For the full effect, purchase the book-and-CD (called Songs for Extraordinary People) combo.

 

Unraveling Rose

by Brian Wray

In this children’s book by Wray of Windsor Terrace, a stuffed bunny named Rose loses interest in all the things she once loved when a tiny loose thread dangling from her arm becomes all that she can think about. The author hopes his book can help parents and teachers discuss with children the effects of obsessive thoughts, as well as be a helpful tool for kids who suffer from anxiety disorders. A charming and timely offering.

 

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About Author

Anna Storm is a writer, graduate of George Washington University and Brooklyn resident. Most importantly, she’s an obsessive fan of fiction and film, and an unrepentant peanut-butter addict.

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