Staff Picks

 

 

Kim, bookseller, Brooklyn

Most recent staff pick: SLOPPY FIRSTS: A JESSICA DARLING NOVEL by Sarah Dessen

Before YA became the powerhouse we know it as today, there was this gem from 2001 that I feel everyone needs to know about. Laugh out loud funny, witty, and just plain brilliant, Sloppy Firsts will always have a special place in my heart. I don't think anyone will be able to resist these chronicles from Jessica as she navigates high school without her best friend (who moved the week before her 16th birthday, no less), her cookie-cutter older sister, and her first major romance with the last guy she would have expected to fall for. This book is a perfect 10 for me.

Lorenzo, bookseller, Jersey City

Most recent staff pick: Al Que Quiere! by William Carlos Williams

As the weather warms up here in New Jersey, I gravitate towards a hometown poet who reminds me of our state's beauty during Spring. William Carlos Williams writes in a simple style that elevates the mundane to the sublime. Some of my favorite poems in this collection are "Pastoral" (the first one), "Tract," and "Winter Quiet." If you're looking to fall in love with the world around you, take a trip to the park, find a nice bench, and read Al Que Quiere!

 

Will, bookkeeper, Jersey City

Most recent staff pick: The Devil Aspect by Craig Russell

This was a hard book to categorize. It's moody and dark. With just a hint of the possibility that things may horribly and supernaturally go wrong at any turn. Russell really makes you feel the history of his setting in this psychological horror/thriller story and it all revolves around a simple question. Is the devil real? Or is it just a product of our darker nature when we truly go mad.

Althea, bookseller, Brooklyn

Most recent staff pick: Fun Home by Alison Bechdel

Fun Home is the reason I started taking graphic novels seriously. Alison Bechdel, widely known for the eponymous "Bechdel test" that exposes misogyny in the film industry, dives deep into her murky upbringing in this sarcastic and deeply moving memoir, exploring the intersections between family, identity, sexuality, and grief. You will probably devour this book in one sitting.

Steven, bookseller, Jersey City

Most recent staff pick: Five-Finger Discount by Helene Stapinski

The piecemeal redemption of Helene Stapinski's outlaw family roughly approximates Jersey City's troubled ascent to legitimacy from its inception as a city of smokestacks and vice to "America's Golden Door". When casual graft was the rule of the day and knowing whose palms to grease spelled the difference between poverty and cornucopia, the author's family was embroiled in the same urban corruption that caricatured New Jersey for generations. Five-Finger Discount chronicles Helene Stapinski's life from within a criminal enterprise and what comes after.

Evelyn, bookseller, Jersey City

Most recent staff pick: Daughter of the Pirate King by Tricia Levenseller

Beautiful, adventurous, and absolutely thrilling, Tricia Levenseller has completely captured me in her grip much like the sirens in this tale. DOTPK has everything a summer read needs. Pirates, treasure, the unforgiving sea, and a slow-burning romance, this is just a perfect concoction of everything you ever needed and wanted in a Lady Jack Sparrow novel!

Victoria, bookseller, Jersey City

Most recent staff pick: How to Find Love in a Bookshop by Veronica Henry

In the wake of her dad's death, Emilia Nightingale must find a way to keep her father's bookstore open, which won't be easy due to his unresolved money problems. Luckily, she's got a team of loyal customers who are more than willing to help carry out her father's legacy. How To Find Love in a Bookshop is the perfect book for book lovers — reminding us that at the heart of every bookshop is a strong community.

Teri, bookseller, Jersey City

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Steven, bookseller, Jersey City

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Amanda, bookseller, Brooklyn

Most recent staff pick: ITHACA: A NOVEL OF HOMER'S ODYSSEY by Patrick Dillon

ITHACA is a retelling of THE ODYSSEY from the perspective of Telemachus, Odysseus's son, but there's no need to have read THE ODYSSEY to enjoy this book! Patrick Dillon's writing is beautifully evocative without being overwrought--clean and engaging. A coming-of-age story that examines the relationship between fathers and sons and the experience of growing up in the shadow of a great man.

 

Jeff, bookseller, Brooklyn

Most recent staff pick: Dark Lies the Island: Stories by Kevin Barry

Raving about an Irish writer's gift for gab is a cliche I won't indulge, but in this boozy and bawdy collection, Kevin Barry goes far beyond the shores of Ireland, traipsing through Wales, England, and lesbian bedrooms in Berlin to bring an Irish poetry to a wretched people inundated with fucking Anglo curse words, lager, and cider. Marrying clear-eyed and open-hearted narration with an optimistic nihilism and a very dirty mouth, Barry is in a class of his own, but he'll be readily enjoyed by fans of Frank Bill and Dan Chaon. So here's the deal: I challenge you to stand in the store, read "Fjord of Killary", and not leave with this book.

Deidre, Operations Director, Jersey City & Brooklyn

Most recent staff pick: The Confessions of Frannie Langton by Sara Collins

Frannie is a character that Sara Collins forces you to keep with you long after you finish this book. Collins manages to cover the scope of slavery through bot an international and interdisciplinary lenses that uncovers yet another horrifying aspect to this time period. Not only do we follow Frannie Langton from the plantations of Jamaica to the foggy streets of London, we also learn of the psychological and scientific practices developed to keep people of color in subordinate positions in the most terrible of ways. Frannie Langton's story is one of true survival, but not one of a slave girl who had no autonomy but an enslaved woman who would not let her soul be put to rest without her truth being laid bare however it may be perceived. Though several generations apart, there is too much I could relate to in Frannie Langton and I can not stop talking about her! Anyone who reads her testimony will love her too!

Ashante, bookseller, Jersey City

Most recent staff pick: Manhattan Beach by Jennifer Egan

Manhattan Beach opens in Brooklyn during the Great Depression. Anna Kerrigan, nearly twelve years old, accompanies her father to the house of Dexter Styles, a man who, she gleans, is crucial to the survival of her father and her family. Years later, her father has disappeared and the country is at war.

Yadira, bookseller, Jersey City

Most recent staff pick: Girls of Paper and Fire by Natasha Ngan

I never thought I would get to say, "a story about lesbian rebels!" and yet, here we are. If you're looking for a fantastical dystopian that deals with a rigid caste system, demons, and a growing rebelion then you're going to love - LOVE - Girls of Paper and Fire! This book has a little bit of everything: war, espionage, and a steamy lesbian romance. I'm already eagerly anticipating the next installment of what is sure to be a great series. TW: sexual assault

Chazz, bookseller, Jersey City

Most recent staff pick:

Peanut Butter Dogs by Greg Murray

Just when you thought you were about to embark on an even lower descent into your existential crisis here comes a book, no.... a chronicling of reasons to continue living and fighting the good fight. It's a historical record of some of the most important figures of our time complete with high quality photos and intimate details of their attributes and contributions to society. They act as examples for how we should compose ourselves as well as react in any given situation or any political climate. To this day they continue to perfect the legacy they want to leave behind while continuously making positive impacts on the world around us. You will remember, acknowlege, and appreciate them and what they do the next time you open a jar of Skippy.

 

Check out the top 10 bestselling physical books at WORD Jersey City for the month of September 2018!

Christine, owner

Most recent staff pick: Modern Lovers by Emma Straub (ebook available)

Emma's newest book feels like it was written just for me. Two couples that have been friends for two decades, going through the growing pains of marriage and friendship, raising kids into adulthood...it all resonated with me. I flew through this book, enjoying both the moments reliving my teenage years with Harry and Ruby as well as the familiarity and frustrations of a long-term marriage with Zoe, Jane, Elizabeth and Andrew. I have a feeling this is going to be this year's summer read. (Christine)

Adrian, formerly the world's only illiterate bookseller, who has moved up to chapter books

Most recent staff pickThe Myster of the Gold Coin by Harper Paris 

This is the first book in the Greetings From Somewhere series and a great pick for beginning chapter.

Vivi and Cora, resident babies

Most recent staff pick: Everywhere Babies by Susan Myers