November 20, 2014  
Greenlight Bookstore Holiday Picks:
In This Issue
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Dec. 24: 10 AM - 8 PM
Dec. 25: Closed

Dec. 31: 10 AM - 8 PM
Jan. 1: 12 PM - 10 PM
All Holiday Picks
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Dear Friends and Fans of Greenlight,

Each year, we at Greenlight Bookstore compile our own "best of the year" lists in several categories: the titles we most want to recommend for reading and holiday giving.  This list of 85 Holiday Picks  is available in these emails, on our website, and in a printed catalog in the store immediately after Thanksgiving.  The diverse, well-read, and eloquent Greenlight staff offer their own thoughts on what makes each book so special. 

Today's selection from our 2014 picks list : Greenlight's choices for the best of nonfiction!  There are some incredible offerings this season, from serious meditations on race, healthcare and criminal justice, to insightful memoirs by beloved entertainers, to biographies, essays and more.  Many titles are available in autographed editions at no extra charge.
Click on any of the titles below for easy ordering online, or stop by the store to browse, explore, and discuss.  Happy reading and giving this holiday season!

Greenlight Bookstore

Who We Be: The Colorization of America 

by Jeff Chang  


 In an era when we like to think we aren't scared to talk about race, but we actually are, here is a book you can put on your coffee table in hopes of sparking a constructive conversation. In Who We Be, Jeff Chang approaches race with a visual, page-turning, illustrated element combined with hard hitting, well informed, relevant text. He weaves in how race is navigated via pop culture, making it feel accessible and interesting for younger adults. Yet with all this, he takes the topic of how we as a culture address (or don't address) race very seriously. So, bridging both worlds (the coffee table and the serious tome), here is one of the more important books of the year. (Rebecca)


by Roz Chast

Part of the promise of the graphic novel as a medium is the possibility of talking about dark, traumatic things divorced from the pretense and seriousness that comes along with "serious litratchoor." This book is the realization of that promise. Funny, heartbreaking, and loving, Roz Chast's graphic memoir addresses the aging and loss of her parents in the way that only such a talented writer and artist can. Perfect for a lover of the graphic novel, someone dealing with a loss, or anyone who likes truly honest writing. (Sam)
by Pierre Christin and Olivier Balez

The Power Broker himself gets the European graphic biography treatment in this richly produced translated edition from Nobrow (even the ink smells sumptuous). For all of the political details of how Robert Moses transformed the city in the first half of the 20th century, one can of course read Robert Caro's massive biography. But there's something to be said for Christin and Balez's strategy: keep the story spare, and let the visual impact of skylines, architectural details, and bird's-eye panoramas speak for themselves. The dialogue conveys Moses' paradoxical idealism and elitism, his great works and the eventual decline in his power with an admirable sense of nuance. Great for New York-ophiles, comics lovers and architects alike. (Jessica)

So Anyway...

by John Cleese


The man who brought you the Ministry of Silly Walks, the Dead Parrot, and the Cheese Shop with No Cheese (his personal favorite sketch, he told us at BAM this fall) is ready to talk about where the funny comes from. John Cleese's new memoir incorporates both serious contemplation of his life and relationships, including with long-time collaborator and friend Graham Chapman, and a wealth of goofiness, which may be even more illuminating. Sure to please aspiring entertainers, as well as the Monty Python nerds (you know there are some) in your life. (Jessica)


by George Clinton

Hallowed words of wisdom and wild times of funk's grand poobah, George Clinton. Yes, all the crazy stories are in here (did you know Creem magazine was going to stage a wedding between Clinton & Iggy Pop?!!!), but so is Clinton's extensive musical knowledge and sharp insight into the music industry. This is how to build a legend and empire from doo-wop to hip-hop (and everything in between). It's pure promentalshitbackwashpsychosis, so let's take it to the page! (Jarrod)
by Maureen Corrigan

Maureen Corrigan has had a longstanding interest in The Great Gatsby, as has Greenlight (it's our namesake!). She explores the book from all angles, examining its cultural, historical and personal significance, and recounts fascinating tidbits of history. For example, did you know that the book was all but forgotten and out of print, when a few smart folks decided to print large quantities of low-priced pulp copies to ship abroad for soldiers during the war? Gatsby helped invent the mass market paperback, and if it weren't for that moment of revival, this great American novel would've fallen into obscurity, and our bookstore would've been named something else. (Rebecca)
by Lena Dunham

Framed as an advice guide for young women, Not That Kind of Girl offers plenty of tips on what to do and what, or quite often who, not to do. In her screenwriting, Dunham's dialogue shines, both for its well-studied grasp of her modern milieu and its classically comedic bon mots, and this talent lends itself well to a direct, conversational, and funny memoir. (Matt)
by Atul Gawande

In his latest book, Gawande explores aging, death and how rusty we've grown at handling these things. Our health care system, with its culture of 'save lives' being foremost, forces people to navigate terminal illness in demoralizing and overwhelmingly expensive ways, and doesn't leave much room for grace. Gawande posits that hospice is not only more humane, but would be a great financial savings as well. But all that makes this book sound a bit dry. What's amazing is that Gawande can write with so much warmth, thoughtfulness and care on such a sensitive and charged topic. This is truly one of the best and most moving books of the year. (Rebecca)
by Steven Johnson

Steven Johnson did not overlook the fascinating and often accidental discoveries that got us to now. In his signature provocative style, he answers questions (how clean water allowed us to create the computer chip, to name one) perfect for anyone interested in modern technology, design and the networks that allow inventions to happen.  (Halley)
by Hermione Lee

Penelope Fitzgerald took the British literary world by surprise at the tender age of 60 in an upset win of the Booker Prize.  Who was this fusty old lady and just why wasn't she writing cozy little mysteries or some such?  Hermione Lee, the renowned biographer of Virginia Woolf, takes on another worthy subject in her latest, an exhaustive and illuminating look into the life of one of England's finest and most opaque authors. (Alexis)

The History of Rock 'n' Roll in Ten Songs

by Greil Marcus


Here it is: a rock top-ten list WITHOUT a mention of the Beatles, the Stones, Elvis, or Dylan (a near-miracle, considering it's Greil Marcus). How does Marcus swing that? By boiling rock down to its essence, and giving readers a selection of songs that best distill it in purest form. Marcus' list makes total sense without being obvious in the least. You might learn a thing or two--or find a new favorite song. Perfect for the know it all who hasn't thought of everything. (Jarrod)


by Buddha Monk and Mickey Hess

"Here I go, deep type flow, Jacques Cousteau could never get this low..." Man, was he right. It's been ten years since the passing of Ol' Dirty Bastard, and to this day you'd be hard-pressed to find an emcee quite like him. What better way to delve into the days of the Wu-Tang Clan's most unpredictable member than The Dirty Version, fellow emcee Buddha Monk's account of time spent with the rapper formerly known as Big Baby Jesus. (Geo)
by Amy Poehler

What I expected was an effusive, witty, and hilarious book about Ms. Poehler's journey of following her dreams and those moments within that provide layers to her persona. Well... her book delivers! (Dante)
by Emily Spivack

The concept for this book is amazing - take 60 great artists, writers, thinkers, etc. and have them tell a story about an article of clothing significant to them. The book is beautifully done, with pictures accompanying each essay. Thoughtful, funny, heartfelt, and completely unique.  (Annie)

Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption

by Bryan Stevenson


This is, quite possibly, one of the most important and moving books of the year. Bryan Stevenson is a lawyer who has spent most of his career working on wrongful conviction cases in the South. Most of his clients are underprivileged minority folks who languish and get lost in the system, nearly forgotten and ignored. He has a natural storytelling way of recounting his experiences and the experiences of his clients, and he writes in a wise, accessible, utterly human style. This is the best book addressing the death penalty to come out since Sister Prejean's Dead Man Walking. (Rebecca)


Getting Creative with Giving Books

They say true book lovers are hard to shop for -- so we're making it easier. 
Are you dreaming of certain books for holiday gifts, or hoping a booklover you know will make their wishes known? You can create a wish list easily through Greenlight's website, and get the books you want from your local bookstore! Learn more here, or just click "Add to Wish List" on any book page.

Sometimes the best gift is the gift of choice.
You can buy (and send) Greenlight Gift Cards in any amount, in the store or online.  Or for a truly last minute gift, purchase and instantly send an Online Only Gift Code -- it will be emailed to your recipient, who can use it to shop for anything on Greenlight's website.

What gift is better than a great book? How about an autographed great book every month?
Greenlight's First Editions Club is a magnificent gift for book lovers, whether they're building a library or want to keep up with what's new. Our selection committee picks the best of new fiction and nonfiction -- from emerging talents and established masters -- and subscribers receive an autographed hardcover suitable for collectors each month. Limited time and ongoing subscriptions available. Ask a bookseller for details, or read more here.