Sometimes you read a book and forget about it immediately. But for some books, you dread getting closer to the inevitable end — you need more of the story and you are not ready to let the characters go, and the story becomes part of you, as if you lived it yourself. “Harmless Like You” is one of those books. The story drifts between 1960s New York City and modern-day Connecticut and Berlin, revolving around a young woman, Yuki, and later, her son. It is a story about identity, growing up, family bonds, and the struggle of being an artist. A beautiful debut that grips you until the very end.
— Steffanie Ostrowski, Word [126 Franklin St. at Milton Street in Greenpoint, (718) 383–0096, www.wordbo
Throughout his long career, Alexander Kluge has published books of poetry and fiction, works of academic philosophy, and acted as a filmmaking mentor to Werner Herzog and dozens more practitioners of German New Wave cinema. In this new collection of essayistic stories, subtitled “Opera Stories,” Kluge draws from the librettos of the great operas he loved as a child, evoking a vanished world of high German culture at the precipice of totalitarianism.
— Samuel Partal, Community Bookstore [43 Seventh Ave. between Carroll Street and Garfield Place in Park Slope, (718) 783–3075, www.commun
This young adult tale is superbly eerie, outside of the ordinary, but also takes place in the most mundane location of all: home. Coraline and her parents move to a new flat, in which there is a locked door that seemingly leads to a brick wall. But when Coraline unlocks the door at night, she discovers a passage to another flat in another house that looks precisely like her own — but the food is better; and the books have pictures that writhe and shimmer. And there’s more: a spooky mother and father in the other flat want to change Coraline and keep her forever! Which side of the door will she wind up on?