Community Bookstore is Brooklyn’s oldest independent and one of its—justly—most beloved. From the Park Slope store’s infamous store cat, Tiny the Usurper, to its cameo on that one episode of Louie, to its superb selection and events, Community has everything you know (as well as well as several things you didn’t)you wanted from a bookstore.
Stephanie Valdez, co-owner
General Theory of Oblivion by Jose Eduardo Agualusa Set in Angola during nearly 30 years of civil war, Agualusa’s novel is told through the stories of an ensemble that includes a woman who bricks herself into her apartment.
Michael Bender, bookseller
Voices from Chernobyl by Svetlana Alexievich I’m not sure what I can say about this beautiful, haunting oral history of the Chernobyl disaster that hasn’t already been said, so I’ll just say that it is definitely a must-read, but prepare yourself to be in an extremely bleak headspace throughout and for some time after you finish.
Disquiet by Noah Van Sciver A great new collection from a terrific graphic novelist who is somehow still under the radar, there are pieces in here about dysfunctional families, frontier justice, and (my personal favorite) punks vs. lizards.
The Last Samurai by Helen DeWitt This massive, audacious debut novel about a single mother raising her prodigy-to-be son—a book that explores language and education and discipline and genius, filled with ancient Greek and Japanese and Icelandic and Inuit, and peppered with scenes from Kurosawa’s The Seven Samurai—returns to print this May to redeem all of our literary lives. If you read one big book this summer, make it this one, amen.