Six New Book Recommendations from Brooklyn Authors


The Brooklyn Book Festival is this Sunday, and it has us thinking about what to read as the weather grows cooler. Who better to recommend a great book than one of Brooklyn’s many writers? We talked to a distinguished group of local authors about what they’re looking forward to curling up with–or baking from–this fall.

Mark Chiusano: author of Marine Park, part of Brooklyn Bound: Writing Kings County tonight, Sept. 18, a Brooklyn Book Festival Bookends event
Recommendation: Station Eleven, by Emily St. John Mandel, out now
“In the interest of full disclosure I work for the company that publishes this book, but Station Eleven, by Emily St. John Mandel, is worth the conflict of interest. Station Eleven is the warmest, most haunting, most lyrical post-apocalyptic story I’ve ever read, featuring a travelling Shakespearean theater troupe, an otherworldly art project, a strange airplane and a harrowing escape from Toronto. Jumping back and forth before and after the fall, Mandel uses the pressure of the apocalypse to evoke the exquisiteness of the present.”

Emma Straub: author of The Vacationers, part of Join the Conversation with Leonard Lopate and Mary Gordon at the Brooklyn Book Festival
Scandals of Classic Hollywood by Anne Helen Peterson, out Sept. 30
“Right now I am breathlessly anticipating Anne Helen Peterson’s Scandals of Classic Hollywood, based on her popular column for The Hairpin. For the past year, I’ve been blaming my baby for not having enough time to read, and I’m hoping that these bite-sized pieces of salaciousness will quickly convert me back into being a Reader of Books. Anne Helen, take me away!”

Erin Patinkin and Agatha Kulaga: authors of Ovenly: Sweet and Salty Recipes from New York’s Most Creative Bakeryout Oct. 1
Recommendation: Fancy Desserts, by Brooks Headley, out Oct. 20
“We can’t wait to get our hands on Brooks Headley’s Fancy Desserts. Not only are we excited for the entire chapter that’s devoted to vegetables (remember, these are recipes for desserts), we are also excited to read his perspective on ingredients. Headley’s combinations inspire us to push the limits with our own flavor profiles, and we can’t wait to get inside his brain through this book. A punk rock drummer turned pastry chef who rose through the dessert ranks–this book will no doubt entertain! ”

Lev Grossman: author of The Magician’s Landpart of Fantastical Thrillers at the Brooklyn Book Festival on Sunday
Recommendation: The Secret History of Wonder Woman, by Jill Lepore, out Oct. 28
“I’m very much looking forward to reading The Secret History of Wonder Woman by Jill Lepore. Last year she published one of my favorite books of the decade, a biography of Benjamin Franklin’s sister. This time she’s writing about William Marston, who created Wonder Woman and also invented the lie detector test. Apparently Marston lived a tumultuous, scandalous and highly unconventional life? I want to know more.”

Julia Dahl: author of Invisible City, moderator of Fact Finders and Fact Fakers and speaking on the Whodunnit in NYC panel at the Brooklyn Book Festival on Sunday
 The Secret Place by Tana French, out now
“I’ve been waiting impatiently for the fifth installment of Tana French’s Dublin Murder Squad series, The Secret Place. French’s literary thrillers dig into all kinds of darkness, from festering family drama to the legacy left by the collapse of the Celtic Tiger. The prose is spot-on, the world vivid, and the mystery never disappoints.”

Ben Dolnick: author of At the Bottom of Everything
Recommendation: Listening to the Heart, by Kittisaro and Thanissara, out Nov. 4
“Eighty percent of what I read is fiction, but the book I’m most excited for this fall is a Buddhism/self-help book called Listening to the Heart, by a husband and wife named Kittisaro and Thanissara. They were monastics before they decided to leave the fold and become a couple–which is, come to think of it, pretty novelistic in its own right (who made the first move? how did that first post-disrobing conversation go?). But, more importantly, it gives them an unusually solid foundation to answer the question that lots of bedside-table Buddhists have: OK, meditation and calm and kindness all sound good, but how do I apply any of this to my actual life of relationships and work and chaos? I’ll be in line on Nov. 4 to find out.”

Leave a Reply

  • (will not be published)