Staff Picks

Amanda R., bookseller, Jersey City

Most recent staff pick:  Close to the Knives by Charles Wojnarowicz "This book was released in the early 90's but manages to maintain a tone of urgency that transcends time. Wojnarowicz paints a picture of his world in this intimate memoir where he's surrounded by sickness, drugs, and death during the AIDs crisis in NYC. I believe his criticisms of power structures are still relevant today."

Teri, bookseller, Jersey City

Most recent staff pick: Spectral Hue by Craig Laurance Gidney

A lush and well-crafted novel of family secrets, goddesses of the waking world, and consuming horror that is sure to tickle your spine. Gidney's language is immersive without being unreachable. The characters are painstakingly well-developed; you can feel them telling you their portion of the story. dive into the tangible purple tapestry of an atmosphere certain to engulf every part of you.

 

 

Jeff, bookseller, Brooklyn

Most recent staff pick: The Other City by Michal Ajvaz

The premise is hardly new: a man picks up a mysterious object--it could be a key, a ring, or a mirror, but here, it's a book--and he might enter a new world, one full of surprises and charming adventures and, probably, the love of a beautiful woman. Or something like that. But in THE OTHER CITY, the man instead finds himself newly aware of the world he lives in; he doesn't enter another place so much as discovers the one that exists in the cracks and crevices of his own, a separate city in the margins of Prague. Like Rome atop Rome or like Israel atop Palestine, this other place exists all around him, just beneath his notice, but “usually we don't stray off the path even once in the course of our lives.” Later in the novel, a parrot named Felix elaborates: “The places we call the fringes are the secret center on whose fringes we dwell. . . this secret center is itself only the fringes of a more distant center. The last center gleams in a dream beyond a thousand frontiers and you'll never reach it. . .” At the same time, this book is full of references to blackfish, to sacred sharks, and to a bizarre religious cult built around sea creatures of all kinds. And Ajvaz seems to relish the repulsive: he describes monsters “playing slimy Ludo with figures carved from meat” and tells us of tiger-maulings and shark-assassins in church towers. He is a poet of the truly gross, but he's also crafting something, an alternate reality achieved along an absurdly classical journey.

Steven, bookseller, Jersey City

Most recent staff pick: The Real Lolita by Sarah Weinman

The abduction of Sally Horner is a grand tragedy in and of itself. A little girl is taken from her home and smuggled torturously across the country over the course of two years, only to become a tabloid scandal upon rescue. The most surreal fold in the story, however, is how an obscure Russian-American author twisted these headlines into one of the most celebrated novels of the twentieth century. In "The Real Lolita", Sarah Weinman details this bizarre saga with narrative expertise, detailed research, and, above all, respect for the often sidelined victims of circumstance.

Evelyn, bookseller, Jersey City

Most recent staff pick: In a Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware

In a dark, dark wood is an entertaining yet eerie feel psychological thriller. Starting off at a steady pace, this book gradually builds up to its plot with flashbacks and puzzling memories. The dark woods and glass castle-like setting sets this book off to a great start of the autumn season. This book is by no means meant to scare or unsettle the reader but to entertain and to solve an eerie case with its clues. If you're a reader who loves to solve mysteries. This is the book for you! 

Victoria, bookseller, Jersey City

Most recent staff pick: And Now We Have Everything by Meaghan O'Connell 

I don't plan on becoming a mom anytime soon, but I've always been curious about pregnancy, which is why I loved this book! It's honest, funny, and informative. O'Connell covers everything from the societal pressure to have a natural birth to postpartum depression. But more than anything, she reminds readers that moms are human, too. 

Althea, bookseller, Brooklyn

Most recent staff pick: When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead 

One of those books that stays with you for a lifetime. Leave all expectations of plot and genre at the door and ENJOY!

Lorenzo, bookseller, Jersey City

Most recent staff pick: The Complete Stories by Franz Kafka

Aside from his three novels, this collection contains all of Franz Kafka's stories, most of which were published after his death. Aside from classic "The Metamorphosis" and other widely-read stories such as "In the Penal Colony" and "A Hunger Artist," there are countless flash-fiction gems you may have never read before. If you're a Kafka fan, this is a great book to discover more of his mind-bending, philosophical musings!

 

Will, bookkeeper, Jersey City

Most recent staff pick: Cold Storage by David Koepp 

A fun science thriller with a great touch of humor in the writing. David Koepp hits a perfect balance of tension and character development in this story of an out of control fungus that could wipe out all life on the planet if it gets loose.

 

 

Kim, bookseller, Brooklyn

Most recent staff pick: Frankly In Love by David Yoon

When a book manages to exceed expectations, it's mandatory that you try your best to get it into everyone's hand. Frankly in Love is a home run of a debut novel. It manages to be hilarious and heartfelt in the same breath. Yoon perfectly encapsulates what it's like to be the child of immigrants, tackling identity in such a real way. This book packed punches I was not expecting but it just added to the book's authenticity.

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.

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