02/23/15 11:54am


From the moment I picked up my first-ever copy of Rolling Stone in 1989 at the age of 15– with Mick Jagger and Keith Richards on the cover–I knew I wanted to write about popular music. While in one way it was my compensating for the fact that I would never become a rock star, it was also an extension of something much deeper than just hearing and buying music: in my case, it was obsessively reading album liner notes, analyzing song lyrics, and poring endlessly through music encyclopedias and album guides.

Over the years, music journalism has become more than saying whether you love or hate an album. It is a serious and well-respected art form thanks to the practitioners who have made the profession what it was and still is: from the pioneers of criticism such as Greil Marcus, Robert Palmer, Ellen Willis, and Robert Christgau; to excellent features writers and reviewers like Anthony DeCurtis and David Fricke; and talented scribes such as Alan Light, Ann Powers, Evelyn McDonnell, and Maura Johnston who are keeping the tradition alive. And not only has music writing evolved over time but so has the medium for it: what once the sole domain of Rolling Stone and Spin in America, music journalism has exponentially expanded thanks to the Internet, especially the emergence of Pitchfork. Music writing still remains more popular than ever, as indicated by two newly published books that will be highlighted at separate events in Brooklyn. (more…)

06/30/14 4:30pm
Back for its third year, Books Beneath the Bridge is quickly becoming a staple of Brooklyn's summer reading series.

Back for its third year, Books Beneath the Bridge is quickly becoming a staple of Brooklyn’s summer reading series.

For the past two summers, Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy has invited local independent bookstores to curate readings for its Books Beneath the Bridge series, which takes place on the steps of Pier 1’s Granite Prospect overlooking the East River. With the Manhattan skyline as a backdrop and the Brooklyn Bridge to the right, it’s a pretty picturesque place to spend a Monday evening enjoying readings from the likes of Patti Smith, Colson Whitehead and Lizz Winstead. This year’s lineup looks to be another great group, starting with a reading organized by Freebird Books on July 7.

Elizabeth Mitchell will kickoff this year’s series by discussing the history of the Statue of Liberty and reading from her book, Liberty’s Torch. The 151-foot gift from the French has been greeting the world’s tired, hungry and poor in New York Harbor for the past 128 years, not to mention a countless number of tourists on city cruises, too. Mitchell’s talk, as well as all the rest of this summer’s readings, starts at 7pm. Here is a rundown of what else to expect over the next six weeks—including a night with the new Morbid Anatomy Museum we filled you in about last week. (more…)

12/09/13 4:00pm
Sat December 14, 2013 - Sun December 15, 2013
Jami Attenberg, author of "The Middlesteins," will be at Word on Saturday and Sunday with other local authors to sign books and wrap gifts at the bookstore's BK Holiday Open House. Photo: Kate Christensen/jamiattenberg.com

Jami Attenberg, author of “The Middlesteins,” will be at Word this weekend with other local authors to sign books and wrap gifts at the bookstore’s BK Holiday Open House. Photo: Kate Christensen/jamiattenberg.com

It’s the holiday season, and though we all love the idea of mingling with friends and family, drinking eggnog and exchanging presents, that sense of merriment doesn’t always extend to the shopping part that goes with it. This weekend Word is easing the process by inviting you to its annual BK Holiday Open House. Don’t eat breakfast ’cause they’re going to have delicious doughnuts and hot chocolate to pair with the holiday movies they’ll be screening. Plus authors like Jami AttenbergDave RomanJeff Salane and more will be in the house to make recommendations, help wrap gifts, sign books and be festive.

11/26/13 11:00am
Sat November 30, 2013
Authors Jennifer Armstrong, Jami Attenberg, Susannah Cahalan, and Emma Straub will work at WORD bookstore on Saturday, Nov. 30 as part of Indies First, a national movement to support indie bookstores. Photo: WORD

Authors Jennifer Armstrong, Jami Attenberg, Susannah Cahalan, Amy Shearn, Tim O’Mara and Emma Straub will work at WORD bookstore on Saturday, Nov. 30 as part of Indies First, a national movement to support indie bookstores. Photo: WORD

Put your literary locavorism into practice and support independent neighborhood bookstores on Nov. 30 at Indies First as part of Small Business Saturday. Started by author Sherman Alexie, Indies First is a bottom-up movement where authors show support for their favorite local bookstores by manning the tills and taking bills as booksellers. This Saturday has some of our favorite authors at some of our favorite stores, including Emma Straub and Sarah McCarry at WORD, Teddy Wayne at powerHouse Arena, and Ayana Mathis and others at Greenlight. Take a page out of their books and support local businesses while you’re at it.

11/12/13 9:46pm
Fri November 15, 2013
A round of King Post's new board game, Moby Dick, will be amongst the entertainment at Friday night's Moby Dick Not Marathon at WORD.

A round of King Post’s new board game, Moby Dick, will be amongst the entertainment at the Moby Dick Not Marathon happening Friday night at WORD. Photo: King Post.

Fans of Herman Melville’s Moby Dick might be sad to hear that the citywide, three-day reading of the classic novel, hosted in honor of its U.S. publication on Nov. 14, 1851, is not happening this year. In its place, however, will be smaller celebration of the epic tale of man versus marine mammal, the Moby-Dick-Not-Marathon, happening at WORD Bookstore on Friday evening. It’s being hosted by the same folks that organized last year’s event, but this time around, all the fun is happening in one place, for one night. It’ll be a variety show celebrating Moby Dick in life and literary culture, including readings, live performances, trivia, sea shanties, giveaways and a game of Moby Dick or The Card Game, a new board game we wrote about in September. They’ll also be serving up clam chowder from Littleneck Brooklyn and Harpoon Brewery beers. Fun starts at 7pm.

08/05/13 12:00pm
Thu August 8, 2013

Sarah McCarryWhen I met Sarah McCarry in the old offices of Ugly Duckling Presse, I immediately knew three things: She was one badass lady who wouldn’t tolerate any bullshit; her impressive tattoo collection showed a level of artistic commitment that I could only hope for; and she would probably be the nicest boss I’d ever have.  What I didn’t know was that she was already an internet famous blogger, a future renegade chapbook publisher, and in the process of finishing her first novel. Now, a year and change later, All Our Pretty Songs is finally published and quite frankly, awesome. A reimagining of the Orpheus and Eurydice myth set in 1990s Seattle, it is exactly as cool as it sounds, and not only do I strongly encourage you to read it, I sincerely hope you’ll go to its launch party at WORD this week and celebrate its release with cake and mixtapes, and maybe even tell Sarah what an indomitable literary maven she is. (Author photo: WORD) –VR

07/12/13 8:14am

Whether you’re at the beach (or on the long train ride to the beach), in the park or curled up in front of the AC, summer is a great time to get lost in a leisurely read. We reached out to some of the most avid readers we know, including a few who work at some of Brooklyn’s best bookstores, for their recommendations. Happy page turning.

tumblr_md6es9vGjl1qbl75hThe Unknowns, Gabriel Roth

San Francisco’s dot-com boom and computer geek culture conjure clichéd images, but in Gabriel Roth’s debut novel The Unknowns, start-up success Eric Muller defies expectations, starting from the moment he divulges an embarrassing sexual tic to a woman while high on ecstasy. It’s not the woman Muller ultimately falls in love with; when he does, he will make an even greater misstep, being more adept to the logic of programming than the messiness of the heart. As Roth toggles between Muller’s present-day, millionaire-at-24 self, and his awkward childhood and teen years, punctuated by games on the Comodore, My Little Ponies, and the shitty decisions of his deadbeat dad, he becomes even more endearing and complex. Then Muller learns that the love of his life has a dark past, and you’re not only engrossed, you’re impressed by the way Roth navigates such a surprising path.  –Nicole Davis

Roth reads from The Unknowns at BookCourt in Cobble Hill this Saturday, July 13. If his recent takeover of the Little, Brown Twitter on the publication day of his book is any indication, it will be a very entertaining evening.

Bootstrapper: From Broke to Badass, Mardi Jo Link

Bootstrapper opens with author Mardi Jo Link, drunk at 10am on her Northern Michigan porch, accessing her situation. Her recently estranged husband, to whom she refers as “Mr.Wonderful,” has moved out, her childhood dream of a farm is in rough shape, her home is in shambles and she has $61 to feed herself and her three sons for the next month. For those of us who fantasize about quitting the city life and starting a quaint farm of our own, Bootstrapper is a kick in the face. Mardi Jo is tough as nails and tells her story from a journalist’s perspective with hilarity and poignancy.  It’s the perfect summertime memoir–reads like an iced cold beer but feels as good for you as veggies from the farmer’s market. –Lauren Griffin (more…)

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