This is the ideal novel for an ambitious reader with a soft spot for period dramas. It has everything: metatext, queer erotica, critiques of commodification, racial and gender oppression, the prison system, and the whitewashing of European history, all couched in the close reading of an 18th-century manuscript found by a down-on-his-luck scholar. Rosenberg paints an Escher-like, sex-positive, picaresque dreamworld without losing its connections to our current one. For fans of footnotes and social justice, critics of academia, and those who want to both speak truth to power and binge-watch “The Crown,” who will be pulled along by a mischievous trans rogue, into the underbelly of London.
— Nora Tjossem, Greenlight Bookstore [686 Fulton St. between S. Elliott Place and S. Portland Avenue in Fort Greene, (718) 246–0200, www.greenl
In the late 1950s a new wave of slick ad men on Madison Avenue combined Freudian theory and modernist graphic design to usher in an age of brand-based, turbo-charged capitalism. More than half a century later, we are the brands and the product, with tech behemoths facilitating, and monetizing, much of our daily experience. No longer content to harvest data, Zuboff argues, tech giants are now employing strategies borrowed from behaviorist psychology to encourage more profitable activity, and ensure we stay logged in. Where do we go from here? Read on and find out.
— Samuel Partal, Community Bookstore [43 Seventh Ave. between Carroll Street and Garfield Place in Park Slope, (718) 783–3075, www.commun
In this memoir, Mira Jacob tells poignant stories through illustrations superimposed on photographs. Through effervescent, natural dialogue, she interlaces recollections from her childhood as the “other kind of Indian” in New Mexico with the wrenching pain of raising a curious, thoughtful, biracial child in the Trump Era. From the mouths of these babes (Jacob-as-a-child and her child), Jacob draws difficult questions about whether America is living up to its promise to immigrants & people of color. Spoiler alert: we’re not even close. I read this standing up on the subway and under the streetlights as I walked home. I stood outside to finish it in the wind. It’s that good.