Village Voice: NYC’s Best Independent Booksellers Share their Picks for Summer Reading

By Atossa Araxia Abrahamian

With its legendary eighteen miles of books, the Strand is a good first stop to find the summer’s ideal beach read. Leigh Altschuler, the Strand’s director of communications, recommends French wunderkind Édouard Louis’s The End of Eddy, a portrait of the poor, violent northern manufacturing town in which the author grew up. She also loves Scaachi Koul’s One Day We’ll All Be Dead and None of This Will Matter, a book of essays about being raised the daughter of Indian immigrants in the U.S.; Janet Mock’s upcoming Surpassing Certainty; and Jaroslav Kalfar’s Spaceman of Bohemia. She likes these books because they offer a look at someone else’s reality: “These books are all stories of different experiences, perspectives, challenges, and successes,” she says.

Frank Seaman-Baldaro, a book buyer at bookbook in the West Village who focuses specifically on cookbooks, says he’d “100 percent recommend” Julia Sherman’s Salad for President. “Some of the recipes are really easy,” he says. “Watermelon wedges with fennel, olive oil, and sea salt. Things you can get at the market quickly.” His colleague Jennette Cheung is a big fan of Min Jin Lee’s Pachinko, a multigenerational saga of a Korean family in exile in Japan; Lewis Mason, who also works there, will be reading David Sedaris’s diaries.

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