What an exciting time to give a darn about books! The Brooklyn Book Festival is this weekend. The Frankfurt Book Fair is right around the corner and sprinkled in between is a pleasant selection of readings and events to keep your left brain satiated well into the holiday season.
Any night for a few weeks
Reviews on this J.D Salinger documentary have been somewhat split (leaning toward bad), but the trailer for this one is just too damn enticing to miss out. Sure, a documentary about one of the most enigmatic and influential writers of the century might have been better directed by someone other than the man behind Alien Vs. Predator, but nonetheless, that trailer is just killer! Plus, it might make you want to write, and hide in a cabin for the better part of your existence, so bring a loved one and some anti-depressants with you. It’s playing at Nitehawk Cinema and The Angelika.
Friday, Sept. 20
Fourth Annual Brooklyn Indie Party!
Greenlight Bookstore, 686 Fulton St., Fort Greene, 7:30pm
Greenlight Bookstore partners with some of Brooklyn’s best independent book and magazine publishers to throw a Brooklyn-sized party celebrating the spirit of literary independence in Brooklyn with food, drinks and music! Partygoers will mingle with the borough’s great authors and publishers, discover new works and celebrate Brooklyn Book Festival week.
Saturday, Sept. 21
Brit Lit: Brideshead Revisited
Word Bookstore, 126 Franklin St., Greenpoint, 3pm
The reading groups at Word are beloved by all who attend. Brideshead Revisited is beloved by all who’ve read or watched it. Do you feel like dressing up and using words like “delightful?” Do you feel like being very aware where your pinky is stationed when you’ve got a drink in hand? Then I entreat you to read and attend.
Fall into Fantagraphics Book Party
Bergen Street Comics, 470 Bergen St., Park Slope, 8pm
A book signing with five Fantagraphics Books’ cartoonists and their newest graphic novels. Ed Piskor (Hip Hop Family Tree), Leslie Stein (Eye of the Majestic Creature Vol. 2), Charles Forsman (The End of the Fucking World), Ulli Lust (Today is the Last Day of the Rest of Your Life) and Tom Kaczynski (Beta Testing the Apocalypse).
Sunday, Sept. 22
Brooklyn Book Festival
Borough Hall Courtroom, 209 Joralemon St., downtown Brooklyn, all day
The Brooklyn Book Festival takes place on Sunday. You simply cannot miss with any of these events, but here are some recommendations.
Arts and Politics in Fiction
Brooklyn Historical Society Auditorium, 128 Pierrepont St., noon
Art has always been a tool for political and social change. In these novels, it comes in the form of protest-pop songs, motorcycle photography and high-end fashion. Alex Gilvarry (From the Memoirs of a Non-Enemy Combatant), Rachel Kushner (The Flamethrowers) and Nicholson Baker (Traveling Sprinkler) shed new light on the timeless relationship between art and politics. Moderated by Joel Whitney.
Storytelling: How Do We Tell Our Most Essential Stories?
Borough Hall Community Room, 209 Joralemon St. 1pm
This discussion about narrative and the art of storytelling features a trio of voices from around the globe. With Antiguan-American writer Jamaica Kincaid (See Now Then), Guatemalan writer Eduardo Halfon (The Polish Boxer) and Nigerian writer Chinelo Okparanta (Happiness, Like Water). Moderated by Eric Banks.
Writers Who Read
St. Ann & The Holy Trinity Church, 157 Montague St. 2pm
These stories come alive on paper, but nothing’s better than hearing Jonathan Ames (Wake Up, Sir!), Sapphire (The Kid) and Tao Lin (Taipei) read their vivid prose aloud. Colorful, memorable characters riddled with tragedy and emotional issues truly come to life when embodied by their brilliant, charismatic creators.
The Faces of Brooklyn
Borough Hall Courtroom, 209 Joralemon St.
New York’s coolest borough is home to hipsters, people who dislike hipsters and literary stars—among them, Brooklyn enthusiasts Pete Hamill (The Christmas Kid), Adelle Waldman (The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P.) and Adrian Tomine (New York Drawings). These powerhouses plant uniquely different characters in a nostalgic Brooklyn, a contemporary Brooklyn and a colorful Brooklyn that jumps off the page. Moderated by Penina Roth (Franklin Park Reading Series).
Also on Sunday:
The Second Annual Literary Tailgate—a SpArts mash-up combining football and literature
Brooklyn Brewery, 79 N. 11th St., Williamsburg, 7pm
Two teams of writers will compete to gain yards and score touchdowns with their original work. The referee, poet Matthew Rohrer, will determine if the player wins or loses yards, based on criteria invented on the spot: a player might lose ten yards for referencing vampires in a poem. Or gain ten yards for explaining how Dennis Miller came to be an NFL commentator. The growing roster includes Dorothea Lasky, Guy Cimbalo, Amy Shearn, Stephen Elliott, Christopher Stackhouse, Sarah Jean Alexander, and Damian Lanigan. The $15 cover includes Brooklyn Brewery beer and Williamsburg Pizza slices! And, of course, readings from New York’s finest writers.
Thursday Sept 26
The Soundtrack Series, The Gallery at LPR, 158 Bleeker St., West Village, 8pm
You simply can’t lose with the Soundtrack Series. Want proof? MTV’s Kennedy appeared on the last installment and blew the house down with a story about “Hurt” by Nine Inch Nails. Check it out here. This week features psychological humorist Slash Coleman (he changed his name to Slash with his bar mitzvah cash), Comic Julia Wiedman and more.